“I choose YOU!” Those words make us feel good. It doesn’t matter if you are a 4th grader in gym class and the teams are being divided up to play dodgeball or if you are a struggling author attempting to get her first book published. “I choose you.” Makes us feel like we are part of the team. We have been chosen and that makes us good enough. Depending on what we are hoping to be chosen for, it may really take the wind out of our sails if we are rejected. It hurts to deal with someone telling you that you aren’t good enough. The wonderful thing about the world that we live in is that it is changing. In today’s world, we can each choose ourselves! You can start doing what your passion tells you to do! You can accomplish amazing things!

Years ago, the idea of a job, a career wasn’t something that one had to think about. You did whatever your parents did. You stayed in the same social caste that you were born into. Your life was mapped out from the day you were born until the grave the moment you popped on the scene. In the world today, you can be whatever you choose to be. You can do whatever you choose to do. Life is about making those choices, and today, I am choosing you to make your dreams come true! (Exerpt from I Choose YOU!)

 

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We all have things we love to do. You might even be good at them, but currently, they don’t bring in any money. How can you change that.

First: Write down everything you enjoy doing…even the stuff you think doesn’t matter.

Second: Look at your list, get rid of the vague stuff. How can you narrow it down. Example: Your list says, “I like to read”. Narrow that down. What do you like to read? One genre? Maybe you absolutely love Real Crime or reading Sports Biographies.

Third: Brainstorm about what you can provide to other people who have some of the same passions you do. To continue with the above example: Look for ways to match your interest in reading Real Crime books with a way to help others who read in the same genre.

  • Can you blog about the best books?
  • Could you start your own used book store that specializes in your genre? Maybe just online, using your existing collection to help you get started.
  • Start your own company that sells things related to your genre. (This might take the example too far if we are sticking with the real crime genre. I am more thinking tshirts, dolls of characters etc…not lock-pic sets or fake I.D.s)
  • Are you well read enough to become a critic in that micro field?

Maybe reading isn’t your thing. Maybe it is gardening, dancing, talking on a ham radio or watching football…The same steps apply. Write it down, then narrow it down, then brainstorm on how you can monetize it. Then comes the hard part…putting your plan into action.

Remember, someone came up with the idea for Fantasy Football. Many people have opened Dance studios or clubs. There are how-to videos about gardening. (Can you make a better one?) There are clubs for many things, does there need to be one in your niche?

What hobby can you turn into the next great business?

 

Why should you travel? Laying my cards on the table, I love to travel. It doesn’t matter if it is two a little town I haven’t been to before that is only an hour from home or if it is across the country or an international border or two. The great thing about traveling is how it opens our eyes up to see new things and creates new ideas in our own minds.travel

Just one example: Starbucks wouldn’t exist in current form if Howard Schultz hasn’t taken a trip to Italy and tried an expresso.

Travel is less about where you end up visiting and more about how well you can adapt to new cultures and surroundings. These skills along with the new inspiration that comes from seeing things in a new perspective are attributes that leaders, business people and entrepreneurs value.

When you travel, you experience new ways  of doing things, new cultures, new languages, new shops, new products and we often, if we will keep our minds open, see things that we think would be great ideas back home.

So where are you going next?

 

Recently I posted the following on Facebook:

Stuck? We each have 24 hours in a day. 8 for sleep, 8 for our job, which leaves 8 for us. What are you doing with your 8 hours? Be proactive with your 8 hours and you might find that life improves.

The responses surprised me as I didn’t think this was a confrontational or contentious post. Many people seemed even angry that I would say such a thing. One point that was made was quite valid though. Many people don’t work an 8 hour day. They may work two jobs, overtime, or have other solid commitments in their life that they don’t feel are really taking them forward, but are what they have to do to get by for now.

Here is my thought on that. We all do what we have to to get by. I have worked maintenance at a trailer park shoveling out the sewage treatment sand pits in the hot July sun. That wasn’t my end game. It wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my career, but I did it and was happy to have a job. I worked fast food in college, I have worked in retail, convenience stores and other non-prestigious career moves. Note that I didn’t stay there.

So what is the difference between those who stay at a dead end job, barely making it for years, and those who get ahead, move out of those jobs to something better? Maybe the second group moves on to a different career, maybe they move up in the company to a better paying position, but how do they get there.

Here are some of the ways people who succeed use their time effectively  to move forward…Really it is one thing: Learn new skills. This isn’t just college. It is taking your own time to make yourself more valuable to the world and to your employer or possible future employer. So how can you do that if you are struggling to get by now and don’t have much free time?

  • Read a few good books on the field that interests you.
  • Take a class. (I don’t just mean college classes. One of my good friends had a college degree that he felt was useless. He then went and took a 6 week course in Real Estate. He began selling houses and was very soon making at least 30% more than he had been making at his previous job.)
  • Start a small home business. It could be one of those normal ones like selling Mary Kay. It could be something entrepreneurial like offering to clean houses of a few friends. (I have a good friend who started cleaning a few houses…now she has enough clients that she runs her own cleaning company and is doing just fine financially.)
  • Get a new certification. Sometimes that piece of paper does open the door. Not all certifications are a 4 year college degree. Some are a weekend, a semester, or a year long. There are so many certifications that I can’t begin to name them, but they range from Welding to Teaching English as a Second Language to Real Estate to Technology…

Freeing up your time can be tough. For some of us, it could be as simple as not watching TV as much. For others, you will have to get creative. Maybe offer to do a neighbors laundry in exchange for them doing your grocery shopping. You both gain some time as you had to do laundry anyway,  and they had to go grocery shopping anyway. Now each of you have a little more time for something else.

 

Some people seem to be born lucky….or so people say. It seems to me that luck is really just reward for making the right decisions and taking the right risks. We don’t always know what the right risks to take are, but I guarantee that if you don’t take them, you won’t be lucky.

As I write this, someone won a huge powerball lottery. I didn’t win…I didn’t even watch the drawing, because I didn’t buy a lottery ticket. I had a zero chance of winning. (Which is slightly lower than the real odds for those who did buy tickets.) I am not a proponent of the lottery system, but it does make a point. Only those who take a risk and buy a ticket have a chance of being lucky.

There are many other risks we can take though.

  • Write a book (Maybe no one will read it?)
  • Start a business (It might go bankrupt.)
  • Ask someone out (She might say “No.”)
  • Try to market that invention (What if nobody buys it?)

The list goes on…and if we listen to the little voice in our head that tells us “It won’t work, don’t even try”, then we won’t do it…and we will never be “lucky”. OR we can ignore that depressing voice and give it a go! We can follow that dream, take that risk and do something that could lead to our making our own luck.

How far will you go to make your dreams come true?

 
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