Potpourri: Motivating Yourself To Change Your Life:
Are you feeling trapped by your life? Do you blame others for your circumstances? Do you believe that those who take risks and change their lives are different from you? Do you think you are too old, poorly educated, or frightened to alter your existence?
There is a way to eclipse such negativity. Once and for all, take a life leap that you have resisted as too risky or intimidating. Embrace a change that you know in your gut will open a doorway to a future otherwise unattainable. We’re talking a sharp turn in direction, not fine-tuning. This is business-starting or career/life-changing.
Recent economic upheaval may have placed you at a fork in the road. You can follow the path consistent with your past: familiar, comfortable. Or, you can take the road less traveled: imposing, perhaps unnerving, but also the path that might let you realize a dream. Which will you take?
To help you choose your route, let me offer some ideas that helped me leave a career of two decades and start a new business eight years ago at the age of 50. They can cut your learning curve and soften the sharp edges. You may have heard some of this before. That’s because it works.
Burn to make the change – Want it badly. Life revolution is hard and desire sustains during the dark times. The less-traveled direction will leave you lying awake at night wondering if you lost your mind. It’s part of the journey. Know that, embrace it, want the new life enough to endure the sacrifice, and you’ll likely do fine.
Suck up self-help books and tapes – It may sound hokey, but aphorisms from professional motivators like Brian Tracy or business gurus like Peter Drucker can become your mantras. “Cash flow is everything.” “Jump off a cliff and build your wings on the way down.” “Right actions each day add up.” “Thoughts are things.” These motivated me. Collect and post yours around your desk.
Accept responsibility for your life – This essential insight comes from Tracy. Stop holding others accountable for what is wrong and realize that you, YOU must change it. No one else. The life you lead is the result of the way you have been thinking up to this point. You DO become what you think about.
Hang out with successful people – Learn what they know, mimic their attitude (which is positive), and copy their habits.
Listen to everyone, but trust your gut – Solicit and welcome advice, but realize that your best decisions will come when you follow your instincts of what is right for you. Take it all in, but follow your nose.
Network incessantly – Believe it, live it. PR veteran Jim Fyock says if you don’t market, you are working yourself out of business. He’s right. So too is sales executive Bill Brooks who says you must keep your name before prospective clients so that they will think of you when they decide to buy the service or product you provide.
Monitor the marketplace and be prepared to turn on a dime – The survival of your business is more important than your idea for your business. In my case, I initially planned to produce corporate videos like former journalism colleagues. However, within just six weeks I realized there were too many video producers for me to succeed as I intended. Fortunately, other potential clients wanted crisis management advice and media training. I changed direction immediately to fulfill their wishes. The marketplace knows what it wants from you, so provide it.
Be deliberate but patient – Someone said building a business is like pushing a wet noodle around on a table. It never quite goes where you want when you want it. Each prospective client goes underground like a seed. Only some sprout. Plant a lot. Retired TV station manager Reynard Corley says if you can stay the course, you can make it.
Accept the fear – All who risk are afraid. You can’t look over the edge and remain comfortable. It is like going into a tunnel, but you will come out the other end. And then – oh the view!