Starting a New Life — Resources and Passion

STARTING A NEW LIFE

We have finally come to the point at which starting a new life will require you to make some practical decisions.  The next few articles will talk about the opportunities that are open to you.  Some may not look like  anything you would ever want to do. That’s all right.  The purpose here is not for me to dictate what you will do but to instead give you enough information for you to be able to dig deeper if a concept looks doable to you.  I will try to discuss pros and cons of each approach.  But you will have to be the decision maker.   Before you make a final decision, you may want to consult your team of trusted advisers — your Board of Directors — that I talked about in Entrepreneurial Ideas — Vehicles to Success. But you probably don’t want to talk to your Board about your blueprint for starting a new life too early in the process.  Read all the next few articles and narrow your choices down to two or three and do some more research on those.  Then you can present your idea to others.  By doing it that way you will also be developing a little practical experience in putting together a business plan, which I will discuss in more depth in a future post.

RESOURCES FOR STARTING A NEW LIFE

The first item on your agenda will be to analyze what resources you have.  While lack of particular resources may not keep you from using a specific vehicle, it may slow you down.  However, if you are sold on a particular business approach but it seems to have major obstacles, you may still be able to overcome the obstacles.  It might take more time and more adjustments to your action plan and timeline on your goals, but you still may be able to do it.  So what do I mean by resources?  There are many resources.  Capital is one.  Labor is another.  But even though your people are a resource, resist the temptation of seeing them as only that.  They are human beings who have needs.  More about that in a later blog.  Inventory is a resource.  Your own expertise is a resource.  I would even call your own passion a resource but passion is difficult to quantify.  You just have to have it.

If you find that you do not yet have available all the resources that are required, you will need to find a way to get them.

IT TAKES MONEY

Capital is definitely a resource.  Yep.  That dirty word.  Money.  The old saying that it takes money to make money has some truth to it.  Obviously, if you are going to buy a franchise or an existing business, you will need money to do so.  And since it takes awhile for most businesses to get to profitability, you will need operating money to grow your business to that point.  If  you are going to invest in anything like real estate, stocks, etc., it will require capital.  Even if

Starting a new life through business ownership will require capital.

All businesses require some finances.

you intend to start a business making a product in your home part time, it will take capital but you may be able to use savings and your income from a day job or your spouse’s income to finance the business.  No matter what business you start, it is likely to require money.  Some businesses  require more than others.  But before you throw up your hands and walk away, go back and re-read your dreams and your five year story.  I can wait…

Now that you are back, I am assuming you have re-inspired yourself.  Remember, this is not going to be easy — just worth it in the end.  Unless, of course, you find that you are not sufficiently committed to actually making your dreams come true.  If so, then you need to re-think your dreams and see if they are really your dreams or if the dreams you thought were yours  are actually someone else’s.  Or maybe you were afraid in the beginning to write down your real dreams and instead just made up a bunch of stuff.  A little soul searching might be good here.  The truth is that if you are really committed to a particular business plan that requires money and you don’t have any, you may have to get some financing from outside sources.  I will talk about financing in a later blog as well.  The other alternative is to find a cheaper vehicle or give up on your dreams.  I think you know I don’t recommend giving up on your dreams and I don’t think that is what you want to do, either.  Otherwise, you would not still be reading this blog.  But there are less expensive ways to achieve success.  Internet businesses and network marketing are two concepts that come to mind.

But if money is the problem, figure out whether you can borrow it or save it.  Can you make other sacrifices so that you can start your business?  Do you have savings?  Using personal credit cards to finance your business is a huge gamble and can be a disaster if the business does not succeed,  but  lots of businesses have been financed by credit card.  That method is usually not the best.   Borrowing from relatives sometimes can be done.  And as I will discuss in a later blog article there are lots of sources for outside money to finance a small business idea.  But if you have no track record in business or bad personal credit, it may be difficult to get financing from bank loans or other money resources and even if you do, you may have to put your house or other items of value up for collateral.  I don’t say any of this to be discouraging.  Business just has risks.  But it also can have immense rewards for those who are successful.  Many people never achieve their dreams because they have always wanted to play it safe.  If that is you, that is perfectly all right.  You just have to ask yourself whether you are satisfied with your life or whether you want more.  And if you want more, how strong is your desire to get it.  And how much will you risk to get it?  And as I mentioned earlier, there are lower cost businesses that are an alternative — internet businesses and network marketing businesses.  I will go over each type of business in more detail in the next few posts.

There are conduits to your personal success available and I believe you are the kind of person who will continue to strive until you make it.   The strength of your desire to succeed will determine whether you continue to read and do the work and planning required.

LEARN WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Maybe you just do not have the expertise in the product or service you want to offer.  If that is the case, you will need to find training for yourself if it exists or partner with people who do

Starting a new life may start with getting trained.

You may have to learn more before opening your business.

know about it.  If you have never started a business, you may need training in how to start and run a business.  I will give you some here.  But you can also take some business courses at your local college or online.  Just don’t procrastinate too long before taking the plunge into your new life as an entrepreneur because you want to know everything before you start.  The simple fact is that you will never know everything you need to know.  You are embarking on an adventure that is full of surprises.  Many of the surprises will be positive and wonderful.  But there will be challenges.  Studying and developing problem solving skills will be some of the most important preparation you can do.

PEOPLE ARE YOUR BEST RESOURCE

Depending on the type of business, you may need other people to actually participate in the business with you.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to family and friends.  Paul Orfalea built the largest chain of business services stores in the country, Kinko’s Copies, with family and friends as his partners.  There are some ground rules that I won’t get into yet, but it can certainly be done.

STARTING A NEW LIFE TAKES PASSION

Passion is something you just have to have.   Before you consider what direction to go in opening a business, it will be useful to determine what your passions are.  You may have a hobby about which  you have a lot of expertise. It might be able to be developed as a business. 

Starting a new life requires passionate desire to do so.

Get passionate.

You are probably already passionate about that.  Or you may have other passions.  Children, travel, maybe a cause that you have been involved in, something that is on your dream list — there are lots of places to look for your passions. Or you can just find a business that has a service or product that you can become passionate about.  Josh Shipp talks about turning your passion into profitability in his article here.  He talks about starting a business but also about  getting a job in a related field.  And that might be a good idea in some cases.  You can bring in money while learning how to do the business.  Ivana Taylor makes suggestions in her article about how to actually find your passion.   But regardless of whether you use Ivana Taylor’s method or something else, just figure out what it is that you can get excited about.  If there isn’t anything you get excited about, I may not be able to help you.  You have to love something.  After all, life is an adventure and so is business.

Why is passion so important?  Because there will be days when you want to give up.  And on those days your “why” (the reason you are starting a business) and your passion for the business you started are the two things that will keep you going.

THE NEXT STEP IN STARTING A NEW LIFE

There may be other resources you are lacking.  You have to decide if they are crucial enough to your success that you need to acquire them before you can start your business or if you can get them as you go along.

The most important skill you can learn is how to think out of the box.  And unfortunately, no one else can give you that.  You have to be free thinking enough and have enough courage and enough willingness to ask questions and listen to other people — your advisers, your partners and fellow adventurers, your co-workers (and I include employees in that category because I don’t believe they should work for you but instead work with you), your vendors, your customers — listen to everyone — and then be willing to try new ideas from others or invent new ideas of your own.

Keep reading and you may be able to decide soon if you are ready to take the plunge or if you need more preparation.  Just see starting your own business as a great adventure, as is life, and have fun.  Above all, have fun.  After all, you are actually pursuing your dreams — your new life.  Not someone else’s, but yours.  What can be more exciting than that?

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Let me know about your past successes or failures and whether what you have gotten from this blog so far has changed your thinking in any way or set you on a new path.  If you enjoyed “Starting a New Life — Resources and Passion”,  I would like to know.  Please  leave a comment.  I would like to hear from you.  And if you leave your name and email address at the top right corner of this page, I will also send you a notification anytime I update the blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Setting Personal Goals — Embrace the New Year

SETTING PERSONAL GOALS — EMBRACE THE NEW YEAR

I hope you are all having a warm, safe, and happy holiday season surrounded by people you love.  Unfortunately, there are far too many people in the world for whom that is just not the case.  And part of our approach to Christmas should be to try to ease the pain of others wherever we can.  Even some of my readers may be living in unfortunate circumstances.  Although there are some people who find that there really is no reasonable way to recover from the tragedies with which they are burdened, many can climb to recovery with the right encouragement and tools to do so.  I assume that if you are reading this blog, you are looking for a hand up.  I sincerely hope I can provide some help in the right direction.  By setting personal goals based on the dreams you have for your life and then finding a financial vehicle and an action plan to reach those goals, you have made a new beginning for your life.   You may have worked hard for many years with very little to show for it.  Using the methods outlined here, combined with the persistence and hard work of which you are capable may be the defining difference that will finally allow you to find success.

MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP

 

Setting personal goals will define where the journey will take you.

Don’t miss the beauty of the woods, but your dreams require the journey to continue.

In one of my favorite poems Robert Frost wrote “The woods are lovely, dark and deep.  But I have promises to keep.  And miles to go before I sleep.”

I hope you also feel that you have miles to go and can’t wait to get on the road.   We are coming to the end of another year and it is a good time for  reviewing the past and assessing your accomplishments in the past year.  Do so.  Write down your accomplishments, including the obstacles you have overcome.  Think about what you could have done differently.  Learn from your mistakes or even from your successes.  But if you did not accomplish as much as you wanted, do NOT waste any of your time in non-constructive self criticism.  This is a new year!  You have a chance for a fresh start.  There are opportunities all around you.  And any time wasted in grieving over what you did not do in the past is taking away precious time from what you need to be doing in 2014.   Any lack of success you had last year does not reflect on you as person.  You are the same person you were at the beginning of last year.  You may find that your prior conditioning is a bigger obstacle than you expected and you may need to develop a more aggressive action plan to overcome that conditioning, but you are just as capable of success as you were.  No one said setting personal goals and achieving them was going to be easy.  Enter 2014 with a new spirit of determination.  And do the work outlined in this blog.  You will stumble along the way.  Everyone does.  Just keep going in the right direction and never stop moving.  You will have success in the end.

FOUR SCENARIOS FOR 2014

You can enter 2014 from one of four possible approaches.

First if your past has been less than stellar, you may cling to an attitude of pessimism.  And self-fulfilling prophecies work incredibly well.  If your belief system is negative enough, 2014 may truly be a disaster.  Then you can look back at the end of the year and say, “See, I told you so.  I just don’t understand why I never seem to have any luck.  I just knew this was going to happen.”

Or you may be in the second category.  You do want good things to happen.  And you try to keep a positive attitude.  You may even set some New Year’s resolutions.  But you have never really done your five year story to see what you want your life to be like in the next few years.  Therefore, you are not prepared to set annual goals based on your dreams.  Maybe you have occasionally  set some random goals.  Maybe you write them down, maybe you don’t.  But you are not really very consistent at setting personal goals.  You don’t have a  realistic action plan so that you know exactly what you have to do to reach your goals and when you are going to reach them.  You are to be commended for thinking about your future, but this type of approach is more likely than not to end the year with you still clinging to the status quo.  You may find yourself starting 2015 at pretty much the same starting point you have now.

The third and fourth approaches will yield the best results and give you the most satisfaction. Whether you are in category 3 or 4 depends on what your starting point is.  They are both based on reviewing all the articles of larrybuckleyblog.com. If you haven’t done the work yet, do it.  Learn to dream again and do a five year story based on your personal dreams. Then set five year goals, then four, three, two and one year goals and make necessary adjustments so that you know what your goals and your action plans for 2014 need to be.

I know I have not finished the discussion on the various vehicles you could use to achieve your goals.  I will continue to do so over the next few articles.  Then I will help you to break down your annual goals into daily tasks so that you know exactly what you need to be doing every day.  Your action plan will take one of two paths.

You may already have the knowledge, skills, and resources to move forward on

Setting personal goals can make you successful in 2014.

Plan now for success in the new year.

getting your business started during the next year.  If so, that is a truly exciting prospect.  In fact, you may already have a business in place and now want to take it to the next level.  Then your annual goals and game plans will be based on starting and/or growing your business.

However, you may be in the fourth category.  You do not yet have all the skills, knowledge, and resources needed for you to start your business.  If this is your personal situation, setting your personal goals and action plans will be no less important than they would be if you did have those elements in place.  But  your plan for the next year will not be about starting or growing you business.  It will instead be centered around acquiring what you need, whether that be education, experience or financial resources.  Sometimes dreams require preparation.  But that can be just as exciting as actually making the plunge into entrepreneurial waters.  Just always remember to keep your eyes on the prize.  Your focus should constantly be on  the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Your dream defines the gold.  Your goals and action plans along with your determination provide the focus.

DON’T FORGET THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU!

Finally, in this Christmas season, don’t forget who you are doing it all for.  If you have a spouse and children, take time to spend quality time with them.  Perhaps there is an extended family that is important. Moms and dads have sacrificed and been the best parents they could be, given their own backgrounds and conditioning.   Even if you have family who are not entirely supportive of your goals and the direction you are choosing, that’s ok.  In most cases they want what is best for you.   They just don’t have the same dreams you have.  They don’t have the same belief system you have or the vision you have.  But they love you.  Please spend this Christmas season nurturing that love.  It may sound corny but I believe the stronger we build our relationships with those we love, the happier our lives will be. I believe we will then find it easier to approach our goals with

Setting personal goals will be crucial to success in 2014.

Here’s wishing you a very happy and successful new year.

the positive attitude necessary for success.

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Let me know about your past successes or failures and whether what you have gotten from this blog so far has changed your thinking in any way or set you on a new path.  If you enjoyed “Setting Personal Goals — Embrace the New Year”,  I would like to know.  Please  leave a comment.  I would like to hear from you.  And if you leave your name and email address at the top right corner of this page, I will also send you a notification anytime I update the blog.

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Entrepreneurial Ideas — Vehicles to Success

Entrepreneurial Ideas — Vehicles to Success

So far in this blog you have learned  how to dream again, just in case you had forgotten.  At least you have sharpened your dream skills.  You then learned how to turn those dreams into practical long term goals and how to break those down into annual goals that put the prize closer to your eyes.  You will learn in a post coming soon how to reduce them even further so that you can actually schedule your daily activity and focus your time and energy on  moving ever closer to achieving your dreams.  The challenge many of you have at this point is that you don’t have a business yet or any other vehicle that can carry you to success.  So there is no way to know what your future activity should be.  You are willing to work hard and to keep your mind focused on your goal.  But how?  You have to find a vehicle.  You need entrepreneurial ideas.  I will use the next few posts to talk about the opportunities that are available to you.  This article will give you a general outline of  many methods you can use to achieve success.  I will follow in future posts with a discussion of each one in a little more detail

I may be losing some of you now because you really don’t want to start a for-profit business.  You want to find some other vehicle.  As I pointed out in an earlier post,  Winning Attitude Essential for Success, gold is not always gold and not all vehicles have to be businesses.  But since it is necessary to have at least some money to achieve almost all goals, the emphasis here will be on business ownership.  However, if you have other vehicles in mind, a non-profit business, for example, or something else,  please keep following this blog,  anyway.  You may still find larrybuckleyblog.com useful because it really is about your life as you choose it to be and may provide some valuable tips that will help you, regardless of which path you take.

All right, I know you have heard that the middle class is shrinking and just a few people in this country control most of the wealth.  That is true.  But does that reality mean there are no opportunities unless you are already wealthy?  No, that is not what it means at all.  You may be required to think out of the box or to learn new skills but in a world of increasingly rapid change, new opportunities are opening up constantly.  Of course the possibility exists that  the best opportunities may be the ones that have not been invented yet.  The best entrepreneurial ideas may be hidden deep  in your mind waiting to be liberated.  Now I know a lot of you are saying “I thought he was going to give me the next great idea for a business.”  No, I just can’t do that.   After all, you do have to use some imagination and creativity yourself.  I will give you guidance on where to look, but the idea has to be yours.  Besides, when I do conceive the  idea for the next great American business, I will probably start that business myself.  I mean,  I can’t give away everything.  🙂

Create a Board of Trusted Advisers

No matter whether you don’t think you have any imagination for this sort of thing or you think you can come up with a million entrepreneurial ideas, there is another concept that will fall somewhere between absolutely essential to immensely useful in your endeavors.  I learned long ago to gather people around me who are smarter than I am and to leverage their ideas and talents.  You will hear me talk about this concept a lot in future posts.  But before I go any further, I want to make absolutely clear that I have great faith in your ability to produce brilliant ideas, whether you believe in yourself or not.  We all have that ability.  We just have to become observers of the world around us and find needs that have not been met.  What do people want?  That is the paramount question before you start a business and after you start a business.  It isn’t about you.  It is about them.  And you should never ever ever forget that. 
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

Entrepreneurial ideas must always be focused on helping others to get what they want.

Help others get what they want.

 It starts with your customers.  But that concept can extend to your employees, team members, colleagues, even your vendors.  I didn’t originate that concept.  Zig Ziglar did.  Sometimes it is even all right to steal other people’s ideas.  It may even be necessary if you are going to get better at your chosen path.  You should develop the habit of associating with winners — smart people who have positive attitudes about the future and about the world around them.  Let their positive attitudes wear off on you and let your enthusiasm about your future wear off on them.  Use them as a mastermind group,  a board of trusted advisers,  whatever you want to call them.  Either find people you know will give you honest feedback or find a way get them to do so.  Do a Vulcan mind meld if you have to.  But leverage their thoughts and talents in every way you can.  (The Vulcan mind meld might require some training.)  No matter what business model you use,  trusted advisers can help you to stay grounded.  That may seem like a contradiction of what I said in How to Change Your Attitude about overcoming the conditioning you have had from negative input from other people.  You have to trust YOUR  judgement.  Do listen to others but make sure they are positive thinking people who have faith in you.  And always remember, it is YOUR passion that counts, YOUR gut feeling that an idea will work is all that counts in the end.  It is YOUR FUTURE and YOU are responsible for it!  Listen closely to your mastermind group and then use

Your advisers help you to keep your entrepreneurial ideas grounded in reality.

Think of your advisers as your Board of Directors.

YOUR best judgement.  Think of your trusted advisers as your Board of Directors.  The Board sets the direction but YOU run the company.  Hopefully, they will stand behind you no matter what decision you make and will continue to give you feedback on your future decisions.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities

You can use other people’s entrepreneurial ideas to start a new enterprise or you might even buy into theirs.   McDonald’s made franchising popular and they were so successful with it that today’s business owners very frequently look to franchising as a way to get their idea or concept out into the marketplace.  All you have to do is google to find more franchises available for purchase than you would have believed possible.

If you have the capital or can get it, you may find buying an existing business to be a good option.  There are brokers who  sell businesses just like real estate agents sell property.

You can also start a business from scratch using your own entrepreneurial idea or concept.  However, if you have never run a business before,  your mastermind group becomes crucial to your success.  You might even want to consider taking on talented partners to help you make your business grow.

You can open a storefront business or you can manufacture a product and

Entrepreneurial ideas equal dollars.

What business should you start?

market it through retail businesses owned by other people.  You can become a distributor for other people’s products as well.  You could start an online business.  Or you can do a combination.  I personally feel that although people will be able to make money in a mom and pop storefront establishment far into the future, any storefront business owner who wants a high level of success will need an internet presence.  By that I don’t just mean for you to get someone to build a website for you and throw it out there to see what happens.  I mean learn how to rank on google, learn how to leverage social media, learn how to build a brand online that will enhance your offline business.  Again, you may have to learn some new skills. But once you have learned those skills, you will be able to enhance your offline business in a huge way or be able to make money in several  existing categories of internet business, even if you don’t create the next big internet idea yourself.  I will talk about those categories in a later post.

Another direction in starting a home business could be a network marketing business.  There are a lot of scams out there but also a lot of great companies.  Network marketing is a legitimate and rapidly growing marketing concept that allows a person with little investment capital to grow a business, online or offline, into a substantial, sometimes incredible, income, working from home without the costs of a business storefront or office and without the costs associated with having employees.  I personally have several businesses under my company’s umbrella and a couple of them are network marketing businesses.  And I will talk extensively about network marketing in future posts.

The economy is improving but it still has a long way to go.  But people are buying more in anticipation of better days to come.   That means opportunity to the aspiring entrepreneur in any type of business.  And the near depression we experienced convinced a lot of people that there is no job security.  People are looking for opportunities and that gives the network marketer the edge.  Whatever type business you decide to start, the timing is right and the opportunities are real.  Laura Petrecca wrote an article in USA Today in 2009 that is just as valid today, maybe more so.  People are buying more now than they were then. 

Of Course, There Are Obstacles

Just as there were obstacles with your  goals, you will find obstacles attached to many of your potential success vehicles. Retail businesses take financing.  Sometimes it is difficult or impossible to find the money, particularly if you

Entrepreneurial ideas usually incur obstacles.

There may be major obstacles . Don’t give up. Adjust your goals.

have never owned a business before. And being under financed can be a road to failure.  To succeed in an internet business takes expertise.  And I don’t just mean computer skills.  You may be a novice or you may be absolutely amazing on the computer.  No matter which is true, you may know little if anything about marketing  and even if you do, you probably don’t know anything about how to market on the internet.  I know a few of you do have those skills but most don’t.  So it will take a lot of time to build your expertise.  Your obstacles may be formidable.  But they are not impossible unless you decide they are.   The bigger the obstacle, the bigger the challenge.  But all they really mean is that it may take more imagination and more time to reach you goals than you at first thought.  That’s why we do goal adjustments.  You may have to use some interim steps to prepare to overcome the obstacles — to get the training or the experience or the backing that you need.  Remember, all this started with a dream.  The dream produces the passion.  The goals that come out of that dream must be so crystal clear in your mind that you will find a way to achieve them, no matter what it takes.

In the next few posts, I will discuss some of the above business models in greater detail.  But I sincerely hope the general concepts I have outlined here have already brought your vision of your future into better focus.

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Let me know about your past successes or failures and whether what you have gotten from this blog so far has changed your thinking in any way or set you on a new path.  If you enjoyed “Entrepreneurial Ideas — Vehicles to Success”, I would like to know.  Please  leave a comment.  I would like to hear from you.  And if you leave your name and email address at the top right corner of this page, I will also send you a notification anytime I update the blog.

 

 

 

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Realistic Goals — Making Adjustments

REALISTIC GOALS

In the last article in this blog Can I Be Successful? –Believe in Yourself I talked about looking at your long term financial goals and deciding whether they are realistic goals.  Whether you can achieve your goals is not the issue.  Of course you can!  The question is whether you have the ability and/or the willingness to achieve them in the allotted five years.  You may have decided you are not willing to do as much as it will take to accomplish your financial goal in five years.  That is all right.  You have to balance your desire for the achievement of your goals against your willingness to put in the effort.  Or at this point in time you may be lacking either the ability or the courage to climb the mountain to your five year financial goal.  And why do I just talk about your financial goal and ignore all the other goals you have set?  Because your other goals depend on making your financial goal. Most of them require financing if you are going to achieve them.

ADJUSTING YOUR GOALS IS ALL RIGHT!

Extra steps may be necessary to make create realistic goals.

Crucial first steps are sometimes needed before we can reach for our ultimate goals!

So if you don’t feel that you can reach your financial goal as it currently looks, you have a dilemma.  You have written your five year story so well that you can almost reach out and touch the life you want to be leading at the end of the time frame you have set.  You have also set goals very carefully to allow yourself time to accomplish part of the goals each year.  But you are discouraged because it all just seems too overwhelming.  If that is how you are feeling, it is not necessary to feel badly.   Try to set aside the discouragement and quit beating yourself up.  You have made a conscious and intelligent decision based on what you know about yourself and your environment.  You can change both yourself and your environment but it may take more time than you have allotted.  If you are just not very ambitious, I can’t help you. But I know that probably is not true or you would not be reading this blog.   If you have other weaknesses, you have already learned in earlier articles how to deal with those through spaced repetition, training and education, and practice.  You may have to step out of your comfort zone to improve, but your dreams are worth it.  YOU are worth it.  Let’s face it.  Most people don’t achieve their dreams because they are not willing to do what you are willing to do.  So don’t be discouraged. You can get to where you want to go.  It will just take a little longer than originally planned. In the article “Next Business Step? Success”, the author discusses doing a simple cost/benefit analysis.  Good idea, but make sure you always remember the pot of gold that you are after.  Remember your story. In almost every case adjust your goals, don’t discard them.  

ADJUST EVERYTHING!

Change the Time, Not the Goal to create realistic goals.

Your story is still the same. It might just take a little longer.

You can then look at your one year goals in other areas and adjust them according to the financial condition your financial goal adjustment will leave you in since finances do affect most of your goals.  You can then adjust your two, three, four, and five year goals in all non-financial areas as well.

THE TIMELINE CHANGES — NOT YOUR GOALS!

So what does this do to your five year story?  It changes it, of course.  You will need to rewrite it.  But don’t throw the original story away.  All it does it become your six, seven, eight, nine or ten year story.  You haven’t changed your dreams.  You have just analyzed the progress your determination and your perceived ability combined with your present circumstances will allow you to make.  In other words you have made your dreams more practical.  You have set realistic goals.  This process may even make it EASIER to reach out and touch your dreams despite the fact that they are years further out because you can now more clearly see…and more importantly, BELIEVE IN…the roadmap to get to those dreams.  You see them as something you can actually do.  And if you can achieve your goals THIS year, then you can achieve them next year, and the next, and the next, and so on.  Your dreams really are within your reach, one step at a time.

LIFE HAPPENS!

Another factor to consider when adjusting your goals is the relative importance of different areas of your life at this particular moment in time. Let me explain what I mean by that. At times in all of our lives there are urgent things that are happening. We may be having trouble in our marriage. We may have children who are having problems. We may have a loved one who is ill or we may be grieving over someone who has passed away. You get the idea. These life

Adjust the sails to keep realistic goals.

When the winds of life blow in an unexpected direction, we have to adjust the sails to stay on course.

experiences are urgent and have to be dealt with. But they are also obstacles to achieving your goals. If you are going to achieve your goals, you will have to find ways to overcome these obstacles, as hard as it may be. I am not being cold and uncaring here about the serious crises in which you may find yourself. But I also don’t want you to abandon your dreams and I don’t think you do, either. You may understandably have to slow progress toward your goals. Sometimes we have to emphasize one facet of life over another. So the financial aspects of your dreams may have to proceed at a slower pace. Don’t completely stop moving forward because it may be very difficult to get started again. But if you have them, those life experiences may be one more factor to consider when adjusting your goals.

VEHICLES!

When you have settled on goals that seem realistic and that you really really believe you can achieve, I know you are clawing at the gate ready to start the race.  But there may be one more challenge.  If you already have a business and  know how to set projections and goals for your business that will be in keeping with your personal financial goals, you are ready for the discussion about six month priorities and daily activities.  But what if you have no vehicle to get you to the end of the rainbow?  If you don’t have a way to create cash flow beyond your current personal income, the next article will describe several possible financial vehicles for you to consider.  You are going to need to find that vehicle so that you can map your direction in the very exciting (and possibly somewhat scary) next year of your life.

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Let me know about your past successes or failures and whether what you have gotten from this blog so far has changed your thinking in any way or set you on a new path.  If you enjoyed “Realistic Goals — Making Adjustments”, I would like to know.  Please  leave a comment.  I would like to hear from you.  And if you leave your name and email address at the top right corner of this page, I will also send you a notification anytime I update the blog.

 

 

 

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Can I Be Successful? — Believe in Yourself

CAN I BE SUCCESSFUL?

In the last blog article I showed you how to set five year goals and how to break them down into four, three, two, and one year goals.  But then I asked the question that I know some of you were asking,  “What if my goals (especially financial) are really scary?  Can I be successful?”

Sometimes we ask ourselves, "Can I be successful?"

Sometimes we just aren’t convinced that we can be successful.

“What if my financial goal is just not practical?”, you ask. If you are asking that question, it may prove that you are a practical, forward-thinking person and that is good. Ok, let’s look at that. What would make your one year dollar goal impractical? Maybe the dollar figure turns out to be so high that you would have to double the size of your business in the next year and although that might be possible, you just don’t think you can do enough activity in the next year to get it accomplished. Maybe you sell a product or service that can be sold and/or demonstrated to either individuals or to groups and to reach your goal, you would have to do a lot of employee group sales to large businesses or would have to demonstrate your product to large groups of people at a time and you don’t want to do that type of sales. Maybe you are in a network marketing business and achieving your goal would require so many recruits to get you to the level of income you need that you just don’t think you can do enough activity in the next year to achieve it. At first glance those obstacles do seem to provide a lot of justification for the question, “Can I be successful?”

But notice what the problem is in all of the above scenarios.  YOU are not willing to do either the type of activity or the amount of activity that it would take to achieve the goal.  In both cases it is a matter of YOUR choice.

And THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!!

You may not feel that you would be effective at group sales or it may just be so far out of your comfort zone to get up in front of audiences that you need more than a year of practice before you can do it.  Or you may not even think you can ever do it.  (I will talk about that in a later post.) You may work a day job now and just not be available at the optimum times that group sales or group demonstrations need to be done.  You may also have looked at the number of recruits needed for your network marketing business and have decided you just don’t have the time to put in that much activity. Or you may have looked at the activity it would take to double the size of your business and have decided you just don’t want to work that hard.  That is legitimate.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Knowing your own present limitations and weaknesses is a strength.

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

Afraid to take the plunge.

The first step off the board is sometimes the hardest to take.

You should be able to be honest about yourself. I used to do evaluations of managers who worked for me and sometimes I would ask the manager to do the same evaluation of himself or herself using the same form I used before I did the actual evaluation interview. One thing I learned was that many people knew their own weaknesses and were usually harder on themselves than I was. The only time I worried was when the manager’s evaluation bore little resemblance to mine. That meant I had either totally misread the person or the manager did not understand his or her weaknesses. Usually it was the latter and the manager involved had limited future success in managing a store. So knowing your weaknesses is a strength. We all have weaknesses but we can’t do anything about them until we know what they are. Just make sure that fear is not causing you to create weaknesses where there are none. Or that you are not exaggerating the weakness out of proportion to reality. It could be that overcoming the weak area is just a matter of stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new. Fear is huge factor for many people in their inability to take the first step toward success. I don’t minimize fear as a factor. It can be excruciatingly painful. To learn more about getting past that, Martina McGowan’s insight into overcoming the fear of failure is well worth reading.

Ok.  Let’s assume that there is a problem area, one of the above list or another one, that is an obstacle to achieving your goals.  Successful people DO find ways to go around, through, over, or under obstacles to achieve their goals.  They think out of the box.  They find solutions that are not obvious.  They sometimes exhibit great courage in achieving their goals.  Their desire is simply greater than their fear.

This is important.

YOUR PRESENT PERSONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL HANDICAPS ARE TEMPORARY OBSTACLES TO YOUR SUCCESS AND NEVER HAVE TO BE PERMANENT UNLESS YOU ALLOW THEM TO BE!!

You might want to write that down and memorize it.

Can I be successful. Yes. Believe in yourself.

Believe in yourself. Never forget that you are a creation of God.

So what can you do about these personal and environmental obstacles?  You can use the brain God gave you, the courage you have lurking inside waiting to get out, and the tools I am giving you.  You can set goals to overcome your weaknesses.  You can use spaced repetition to learn new habits and exhibit new behaviors.  You can be courageous in practicing skills that can overcome your fears.  You can find ways to make your time more productive so that you can eventually quit that job that is tying you down.  You can believe in yourself.  And you can make a decision right now to never ever ever give up!!

IT IS YOUR FUTURE AND YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR IT!

This is very important.  No matter what the personal or environmental obstacle that is standing in the way of your reaching your dreams, what you do about it is a matter of PERSONAL choice.  It IS possible to achieve your goals.  There is little likelihood that there is a defect in your long-term abilities that would keep you from doing it.  YOU choose whether to overcome the obstacle or not.

So what is the solution?  The answer to the question “Can I be successful?” is really pretty simple. It is up to you.  You need to figure out what you CAN or ARE WILLING to accomplish and set your goals accordingly.  I will explain how to do that in the next post.  I just hope the above discussion motivated you to expand your possibilities.

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Let me know about your past successes or failures and whether what you have gotten from this blog so far has changed your thinking in any way or set you on a new path.  If you enjoyed “Can I be successful?”, I would like to know.  Please  leave a comment.  I would like to hear from you.  And if you leave your name and email address at the top right corner of this page, I will also send you a notification anytime I update the blog.

 

 

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Long Term Goals — Achievable Dreams

LONG TERM GOALS

LONG TERM GOALS AND PRACTICAL DREAM BUILDING

Long term goals and breaking those down into shorter term goals are what make dreaming practical.  What you are going to do now is not quite as much fun as writing your story, but the likelihood of actually achieving your dreams without this step has similar odds to the necessity of Beelzebub wearing long underwear.  This step is what makes your dreams real.  This is where you can look at your dreams and believe they not only CAN but WILL be accomplished because you know you have a practical plan to achieve them.  You will have a roadmap to success.  

Now that you have a story, you are probably bouncing-off-the-walls ecstatic.  I know I was.   My first five year story was VERY detailed and included most of my lifelong dreams.  And remember, I told you I was a dreamer.  Even got notes sent home from school.  I could dream, all right, but my problem was in implementation.  When it came to actually obtaining what I desired…well, I don’t think I had ever signed up for that class.  So somebody suggested I SHOULD sign up.  I did…     And it helped so much that I would like to share some of what I learned with you. 

LONG TERM GOALS IN EVERY AREA OF LIFE

Now that you have your story written, you need to use that description of your life in five years to write as many long term goals as your story requires.  For example…Make X amount of dollars per year within five years (make sure you assign an actual date as a deadline, the date being exactly five years from now); be giving X number of dollars to my church within five years; be serving on the City Council within five years…    You get the picture.  Each of these goals will have a specific deadline of five years from now (the actual date)  and have as many details included as it takes to be crystal clear as to what the goal means. 

Create long term goals in every area of your life.  Use your story to see what your goals should be.  Your story told you what you want your life to be like in five years.  Set your long term goals accordingly. 

 

Long term goals must be approached with a plan.

No matter how big your goals, they can be reached if you have a good enough plan.

If you wrote your story with your spouse or even if you wrote separate stories and shared them, then many of your long term goals will also be joint goals and should be worked on together.   If you each have complete buy in on the direction you want to go, your likelihood of getting to your destination increases dramatically.

Joe Spano, on his 3 Notions blog, talks about the kind of motivation and confidence in where you are going that can be obtained by setting long term goals.  It can be liberating and can have a huge effect on your life. 

LONG TERM GOALS AND YOUR VALUE SYSTEM

Also use your value list while setting your goals.  What does your value list have to do with setting goals, you may ask.  Well, if you set goals that are outside of your value

Long Term Goals must be based on your values system.

Test your goals against your values and your daily decisions will be easier.

system, you will have trouble ever achieving them or being happy if you do.  You know the old saying “It’s just business.”  And that is supposed to let you do anything if it makes a profit, no matter how coldblooded or ruthless it may be.  I don’t believe that.  Business should be conducted ethically.  I doubt that anyone needs to explain to you what is right or wrong.  You just know.   You have values.  You have now actually written them down.   You need to follow them.

You may already be seeing a flaw in the total life approach to setting your goals.  If you don’t make enough money with your financial vehicle, your other goals will suffer.  That is true.  And I am going to show you how to adjust your goals based on your actual adjusted economic outlook.  But for now, just set the goals. 

MAKING LONG TERM GOALS SHORTER

After you have set all your five year goals, begin to back those down a year at a time.  You will start with your five year goals.  Then you will need to look at each goal and ask yourself where you need to be in four years in order to reach your  five year goal.  Write down each four year goal. (Make sure you have specific dates as deadlines.)  Then do three year goals.  Then two year goals.  And finally, where do you have to be in the next year  to be on

A series of short term goals will get you to your long term goals.

Achieve your long term goals one step at a time.

target for your future story? When you know this, then

you can create action plans.  You can figure out what you need to be doing this month, this week,  and  finally,  what  you need to be doing TODAY in order to reach your goals.   That can allow you to focus your efforts TODAY on activities that will help to achieve your long term goals and you will be able to minimize or eliminate activities that do not.

Once you have set your five year goals and broken them down by year as I have suggested, you should know how much money you need to make in this next year.  You have broken your five year money goal down all the way to a one year goal.  If you have an existing business, you now know how much money the business needs to make in the next year to be on target to achieve your dreams.  And after all, isn’t that why you are in business…to achieve your dreams?  If you do not have a business (and I promise we will talk about financial vehicles soon), you still know how much income you have coming in from whatever resources you have.  So now you know how much you will need from whatever financial vehicle you choose.  You may choose a vehicle that allows you to keep your job for a while,  or you may have income from your spouse’s job or other sources.  So you can subtract — your one year money goal minus your current income — to be able to figure out what you will need to add. This is the part that keeps even the biggest dreams from being pipe dreams.   If you can match the goal against the actual potential income, the dream then becomes very practical and achievable.  

BUT WHAT IF MY LONG TERM GOALS ARE REALLY SCARY?

If the numbers make sense and you are convinced that you can achieve them, you are pretty much through with the long term goals part of your dream.  But I know there is a chance you think the numbers do not make sense, do not look achievable.  That is not unusual.  Do not despair.  It is fixable.  In my next two articles, I am going to show you how to analyze your financial goal and to do a little soul searching about your own ability to see if adjustments need to be made. Then if they do, I will show you how to make any adjustments in your long term goals that are needed. 

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Let me know about your success or lack of it in the past and what you have gotten from this blog so far to set you on a new path.  Please  leave a comment.  I would like to hear from you.  And if you leave your contact information at the top right corner of this page, I will also send you notification anytime I add a new article to  the blog.

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Personal Vision Statement — Your Story

PERSONAL VISION STATEMENT — YOUR STORY

Your personal vision statement, aka your story, is the first step in transitioning your dreams from the status of pipe dreams to being practical and attainable. 

Do you wonder what your future will be like but can’t really think past next week?   That may be

Your may have trouble writing your  personal vision statement if you can't see past your current problems.

It is hard to plan your future when you are fighting for survival today.

because you are so bogged down in paying the rent and getting the kids school supplies that you can’t think of anything else. Or you may have just not ever thought very long term.  Of course, it is also possible that you have thought about your long term future but have never really defined what it should look like.  After  all, you didn’t actually have a way to change your future, so it really didn’t matter much.  

 The roadblocks that have always kept you from  seeing your future clearly or affecting it in a positive way are about to become relics of your past.  The vehicle to get you to your future will be discussed later, but you are about to take a very exciting step.  You are going to write your story.  It could also be called your personal vision statement.  But you are going to write it differently from the way most people would teach you to do it.  This won’t be a short statement of your vision.  It will be a story, in great detail, of the way your life will look in the future.   All good leaders have the ability to clearly see the future as they want it to be.   That is called vision.  This is a good place to expand your ability to see the future.  You will need to have a vision for your business and your personal future depends on

Your vision statement is ready to be written.

Your future is yours to shape if you have the courage to do what it takes.

your having a personal vision statement as well.   All this is preparation for actually making your dreams come true. It is the first step in transitioning from dreaming to goal-setting.  You are about to take the first step toward making your dreams practical.

Although it may not be absolutely required, it would be

extremely helpful if your spouse or partner is on board

with this whole exercise.  If he or she is going to be a part

of your long term future, it is only logical that he or she

plays a role in planning the future as well.  You might

write a joint story or write separate stories and coordinate

the two stories together or you might just get input into

your story.  But the greater the role your spouse plays in

planning the future, the smoother the ride to success will

be. 

FIVE YEARS TO A NEW LIFE!

Don’t forget to put today’s date at the top of the page.  That is mandatory.  Every journey has a beginning and an end.  You have to mark your beginning.  Then go out five years and start writing.  You are going to describe a beautiful moment in time.  Your life will have changed drastically.  You may not have reached all of your goals in five years, but success is a journey, not a destination.  When you achieve your goals, you will find yourself on a higher mountain from where you have ever been before and from which you will be able to see new possibilities that were hidden from you in the past.  And you will have the desire to create an even bigger future for yourself.   And you will have the tools to make those new dreams come true.    

DESCRIBE YOUR LIFE IN THE PRESENT TENSE!

When you talk about a point five years from now, refer to everything in the present tense.  That does two things.  It is sobering to talk about your age five years from now, for example,  in the present tense.  “It is May 3, 2018, and I am (whatever age you will be at that moment in time.) years old.”   This can give you a chilling sense of realism.  But it will also help you to see more clearly and with more reality what you really do want your life to be.  Sometimes when we quit thinking about a vague future that we probably will never get to and start talking about the future as if it were already here, it gives us a belief and a sense of urgency that we never had before. 

DESCRIBE YOUR FUTURE IN GREAT DETAIL!

Then you simply start describing your life in great detail.  What does your house look like – in great detail?  You can even talk about square footage, how many rooms and what do they look like and what are they used for.  What are the grounds like.  Do you have a pool, tennis courts, horses, etc.   What is your work life like?  How much money do you make?  What is your net worth?  What is your family life like?  What are your civic activities?  What are your social activities?  What is your spiritual life like?  Describe all facets of your life.  What does your overall life look like, in detail?

 To simplify things, you may want to look at each area and answer some of those questions in short sentence answers before you start.  For example: 

Your vision statement shoudl be as detailed as possible.

Add as much detail as possible to make your dream more vivid.

What type of house am I living in?  A bigger one.  Three bedrooms, at least.  And a two bathrooms…  Finally!  …Oh, and I want some trees and flowers. …And a horse.  Yeah, I need room to have a horse. 

 You get the idea?  This can be fun.  The more detail you add, the more exciting your dream will be.  That will help to make the goals that come out of your dreams more exciting as well.  And remember, your goals must be exciting to you or you just won’t have the burning desire to reach them that you will need to be successful.

Put as much detail as possible into your five year story.  This becomes your personal vision statement.  This is the way you want your life to look in five years.  The details will not all come true.  You may even change your mind about some of the details with the passage of time.  But the details will help you to reach out and touch your dream.  You have to see it and feel it.   If you don’t, you can’t get there.  Every dream will not seem to be within your control.  Put it in, anyway.  After all, at this point it is still a dream.  Practical dreaming requires that you first see the dream clearly.  Then you will be able to set goals that are crystal clear.

Paul J. Meyer  says  “If you are not making the progress

that you would like to make and are capable of making, it

is simply because your goals are not clearly defined.”  

If your goals are defined clearly enough, they will move you in the direction of the dream.  But before that can happen, your dream itself must be so vivid, so crystal clear, so highly defined that you can reach out from where you are right now and believe that you can touch it.  It must be REAL.  If it is, when the time comes, your magic ship just might appear and take you to your own personal star.  Your dreams can come true. 

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Let me know about your success or lack of it in the past and what you have gotten from this blog so far to set you on a new path.  Please  leave a comment.  I would like to hear from you.  And if you leave your contact information at the top right corner of this page, I will also send you notification anytime I add a new article to  the blog.



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Your List of Values and Your Goals

YOUR LIST OF VALUES AND YOUR GOALS

One more element that should effect how you set your goals  is your own personal list of values — your value system.

For good or bad, we all have a list of values, whether we have ever written those down or not.  Or even thought much about them, for that matter.  No one else has the right to make judgements about your value system unless you give them permission.  Truthfully, it wouldn’t do much good if they did, anyway.  Our list of values have

Your list of values is such a part of you that we will be unhappy if your goals do not agree with your values.

It takes a lifetime to form your personal value system.

been developed over a lifetime.  Some came from our parents…even though we sometimes resisted.  Some came from our Church.  Some came from our formal education.  Some came from our personal experience.  Some came from our emotional reaction to our own lives and things we have experienced.  We have blended all these together…usually subconsciously…to create a complex value system that is uniquely our own.  If our dreams and our life goals  do not fit within our value system, we will be uncomfortable.  We will not be happy.  For that reason, it is crucial that we understand our value systems.

You have a list of values that connects to every area of your life.  Since your life is multifaceted and since your entire life needs to be a part of your story,  you need to write and think about  your values in every facet of your life — financial and business, family and friends, education and learning, cultural, spiritual and/or ethical, and health.

WHAT IS A VALUE SYSTEM?

What do I mean by a value system?  Examples from my own list of values are that I value loyalty in friendship (from myself and from the friend), I value dedication to family, I value honesty in business, I believe in voting in every election  and

Your life goals must jive with your list of values.

Your values are a part of you.

 in service to my country, I value tolerance of all people,  I value forgiveness.  You get the idea.  An excellent article to explain this in more depth is The Power of Personal Values by Roy Posner.  Your values must be your own deeply felt beliefs.  As Posner explains, they must be part of your personality. After you read the article, write a list of your values.  It should be extensive — meaning lengthy.  Just scribbling down a half a dozen values won’t get it.  You are a complex person who has a complex list of values.  By being thorough, you will be preparing yourself to do your long term goals but you will also gain valuable insight into why you lead your life the way you do and the direction you want to go in the future.

Again, if your spouse/partner and you are doing these exercises together, you should write separate lists and then share them.  It will give you a better understanding of each other and possibly some very interesting dinner conversation.  Values are unique to each person.  This part can’t be a joint exercise.

Your values are such an important part of you, if your life goals, your story, do not jive with your values, you will feel uncomfortable  with what you are doing and will be likely to fail in the end.  At the very least, what you are doing will make you very unhappy.  That is why it is crucial to understand your values before you start setting goals.

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Let me know about your past successes or failures and whether what you have gotten from this blog so far has changed your thinking in any way or set you on a new path.  Please  leave a comment.  I would like to hear from you.  And if you leave your name and email address at the top right corner of this page, I will also send you notification anytime I update the blog.

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Life Goals — Making a List

LIFE GOALS — MAKING A LIST

Overcoming Obstacles to Success

In previous posts I have talked a lot about dream building.  Why?  Because the inability to dream, the inability to really imagine oneself in a very different circumstance, is one of the biggest obstacles most people have in trying to be successful. They not only can’t achieve their life goals.  They probably don’t really have any that are very clear.   I am going to talk about dream building again in this post before we begin to merge dreams and goals.  You are even going to make a dream list to test your skill at dreaming.  It can be fun to dream.  If you haven’t tried it lately, you are in for a treat.

You may be asking yourself why all this is important when all you want to do is start a business and get rich — or at least pay the bills.  The honest brutal truth is that although the rewards that can come from business ownership could be huge, it will not be easy.  There will be obstacles galore and days that your biggest goal will be to give up.  You will want to quit.  The only burning desire you will have will be to get as far away from the business as possible.  If you are not clear on where you want to go and why, you may actually give up on the best decision you ever made and success and any life goals you have will elude you once again.  When you cut down a tree, you will find it very difficult to do so if you don’t first sharpen the ax.  This is ax sharpening time.

Use spaced repetion to help achieve life goals through positive conditioning

This would be a good time to suggest that getting your spouse or partner involved with these exercises can be a good idea.  Your joint futures are probably tied closely  together.  It will make things easier if you are on the same page.  Ask your spouse to read the previous posts and both of you will work separately and then together on the lists that I am going to ask you to do.  It may be an amazing  journey of discovery for both of you when you share your lists.

So you have learned, if you didn’t know, that most of us have been conditioned to believe that we cannot reach our dreams.  We have been conditioned to believe we have limitations. So we either never reach our life goals or we  set them too low.  If we see a television ad enough times, we become conditioned not only to buy the product, but to use phrases or words from the ad in our daily conversation and to think in terms of the message the ad is conveying.  As a society so many people can be influenced this way that our language and our culture are sometimes changed by television advertising.

The result of negative conditioning is negative attitudes so deeply ingrained that we often do not even realize that they are there.  However, when we talk about getting rich or any other really big dreams – and although not all dreams require money, most do – when we talk about our biggest dreams, we giggle nervously and have trouble sharing the  really big dreams with even close friends and family members.  We are not sure we ourselves believe that they are practical goals that can really be reached and we are sure that other people will view our ideas as  far-fetched pipe dreams, unlikely to come to any good.  In some cases we are afraid if we are too honest about our dreams, some of our relatives might try to have us committed.

The good news is that we can overcome our conditioning and develop new attitudes, habits, and behavior that can lead to different results.

The first step, of course, is that we ourselves must overcome that part of our conditioning that keeps us from believing we can achieve what we set out to do.  We can start to do that simply by doing, by moving toward success, regardless of our doubts.  We can also change our input.

Then we must set clear, exciting life goals.  Let me repeat that.  We must set CLEAR…AND…EXCITING life goals.  Clear so that we can really understand where we want to go and exciting so that we will have a burning desire to get there.  We will talk about both of these elements later. After setting clear and exciting goals, we must lay out practical action steps to achieve those goals.

Although it is not easy to overcome a lifetime of conditioning, it can be done.  The damage that was done…and sometimes is still being done…by negative input can be undone by positive input.  If we set a goal to change an attitude and find a way to give ourselves repeated positive input over time, our thinking will gradually begin to change.

You can achieve just about anything you want in life, but nothing is free.  A commitment will be required on your part, a commitment to be the best that you can be.

Dream Skills and Doing That List

It is time to look at the shape your dream skills are in.  Maybe you have no real dreams, except to retire and to live a simple life.  That’s fine.  That is really a dream, too.  Just make sure that you are not working to fulfill someone else’s dream for you and not your own.  Maybe you have lost the ability to dream bigger dreams because of a lifetime of conditioning that has caused you to think that your dreams are unreachable and that you should concentrate on more practical things.  Maybe a spouse or other loved one has convinced you to give up your dream because he or she has been conditioned to think dreams like yours are unreachable.  Or maybe you have always had modest dreams.  Whichever scenario is true, it’s all right.  I just want you to be open minded and to examine honestly what you really want from life and to make sure you are not just settling for less because you think it is all you can get.

I am going to lay out a system for you that will allow you to focus all your efforts every day toward achieving your dreams.  You will have the tools to be able to decide what is really important to you, to set long-term life  goals that will reflect your personal priorities,  and to plan your activities every day to achieve progress toward those goals.  I am sure that you have other priorities in life and that some of you may be questioning whether expending time and effort on this undertaking is worthwhile.  Maybe it isn’t.

But let me ask you a question.  How many of you…when you are really honest…feel that you are not getting much closer to your dreams through your current daily activities…that you are sort of spinning your wheels when it comes to your dreams? And if you are not succeeding following your current path, do you want to do better.  Good.

Remember, it is your future and you are responsible for it.

Learn  to achieve your life goals for a better future

Which way to your future?

There is a possibility that you have never before had access to the tools and concepts that I am going to give you.  I speak from personal experience when I talk about how valuable these tools are. The first time I was taught this concept, my immediate  thought was that  it was way too time consuming and my busy world didn’t have room for it.  But when I actually set long-term goals and then learned to  translate them into daily activities that would get me to those goals,  I thought I had discovered some sort of an epiphany.  It revolutionized my sense of purpose and I have watched so many other people have the same feeling that I am convinced that you will have a sense of purpose you have never had before if you will learn and use these methods.

To begin, let’s see where you are now.

Take a piece of paper and write down your biggest goal right now.  Take five minutes to do that before you  read anymore.

All right.  Now put that sheet to one side.  On another sheet write down the biggest dream you have ever had.  Take five minutes to do that.

Are there any differences?  What does this exercise tell you about what you have lost?  What does this exercise tell you about what your world looks like today and how many “what if”s” there may be in your life because your life doesn’t look like you want it to look?

Dreams change.  There may be some dreams that you had as a child that you don’t even want today. That is natural.   However, there may also be those child-like dreams that you are afraid  to admit that you still want.  Those may be part of the “what ifs”.

Life goals should start with a dream list.

List your dreams . From your dreams will come your life goals.

The best place to start long-term goal setting, also called “effective dreaming”,  is with a dream list.  Just write down every dream you have ever had, up to a hundred if possible.  Include things you’ve wanted to be, things you’ve wanted to do, things you’ve wanted to own, places you’ve wanted to visit, etc.  Sort of like a bucket list.   Remember the child you were — the one who thought anything was possible.  Have fun with the list.  It will be very useful later. That list may lead to life goals you never thought of before.   And the added benefit is that you are starting to dream again.

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Let me know about your success or lack of it in the past and what you have gotten from this blog so far to set you on a new path.  Please  leave a comment.  I would like to hear from you.  And if you leave your contact information at the top right corner of this page, I will also send you notification anytime I update the blog.

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How to Change Your Attitude

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE

You probably agree that having a winning attitude is crucial to success but have no real clue about how to change your attitude.  Most of us don’t.  One of the problems most of us have is that we have been conditioned to believe that we cannot reach our dreams.  Even if we set goals, we may set poor goals or the wrong ones because we don’t really believe we can ever make the dreams that are written on our hearts come true.   As children, we probably were convinced  that anything was possible.  Some wise and loving adult may have  told us at some point that we could do anything we wanted to in life if we would just set our mind to it.  And we really believed that.  And we dreamed about what we would do when we were all grown up.   But somewhere along the way, we lost our faith.  Ok, maybe we just got a healthy dose of reality. Maybe our belief in the magic of the future was childish and naive in the first place…  Maybe.  … Maybe God really didn’t  give us all the abilities we need to accomplish the things we dreamed about…Maybe…    Of course, I don’t really believe that and I doubt that you do, either.

So what happened?  And how do we fix it?  How do you change your attitude this late in the game to  re-gain that child-LIKE– NOT childish — belief that anything is possible?  To have the courage to reach for the stars that we really want to reach for and to find our own personal magic ship that will get us to those stars, we may have to work on ourselves as well as working on our goals.  Scary, huh? Yes, it is. But you are worth the effort.  Remember, if you shoot at the moon and miss, you still land among the stars.  That’s a cliche, I know, but still a very accurate one.   And I  believe in every one of you. That’s right.  EVERY one of you.  Even  any of you poor lost souls who have been told much of your lives that you were losers  and you are convinced you  have proven people right because you have not been much of a success at anything you have tried thus far.   I know you have made a commitment to yourself just by being here.  And I know you will step out of your own comfort zone and have faith that doing something different might be necessary if you are to succeed in changing your life — discovering what is important to you, and then setting and achieving your life goals.  But you must change your attitude.   God did not make an imperfect product.  You have the tools.  They may be buried at the bottom of the toolbox but I can tell you how to look for them.  The digging is for you to do.  I will just tell you how.

SPACED REPETITION AND ITS EFFECT ON OUR LIVES

You may have to change your attitude to reach your dreams.

Life can be overwhelming without direction.

Throughout our lives, we have gotten input, both positive and negative.  Much of that input has been repeated over and over with little spaces in between, like we get radio or TV commercials.  After so many repetitions we begin to adopt the input as our own.  We internalize it.  Through spaced repetition of the input, we have been changed.  We are conditioned toward certain attitudes and because we have those attitudes, we adopt habits which affect our behavior in life.  This behavior affects everything we do.  The results we achieve from our behavior may be desirable or not desirable, as seen through our own personal prism.  Sometimes we are not happy with the results we have gotten in life, but just don’t know what to do about it.

The input we have gotten comes from all around us – our parents, our friends, our teachers, our ministers, our spouses, from TV, from the books we  read, even from computer games we play and  from Facebook and other online connections.  Input comes from everywhere.  The mother-in-law I mentioned in another post certainly has to make her opinion known.  Heck, even your dog has to get his say. And you are still playing tapes in your head from what your parents said years ago.  Our internal replay system is saying  things like, “Don’t you ever do anything right?”  “Why can’t you be like your brother?”  “You just need to find a good man and get married.  You don’t need to go to college.”  “You can’t get rich, anyway.  So why try?”  “The rich folks have it all rigged.”  “You need to get a good education so you can get a good job.”  “Don’t take chances.  You have a family to support.”  “Uncle Sam’s just going to take everything, anyway.”  “The government’s out to get you.”  “You ain’t gonna forget your friends when you’re rich, are you? Ha, ha.”

HOW TO REVERSE COURSE

You may be pleased with your life and the results you have gotten.  In that case there isn’t a lot you will want to change.  But if you are not happy with the results you have gotten thus far, the good news is that you can consciously change the results by changing the input.  We either plan our future or we are victims of our lack of planning.

Using spaced repetition effectively can change your attitude.

Spaced repetition works for negative input or for positive input.

You will sometimes find that you have to change your attitude  in order to reach your goals. YOU may be your biggest obstacle.  If that is so, you will need to reverse the process of negative spaced repetition that got you to this point.  You can use positive spaced repetition of the desired input to change your attitudes and habits, so that you can get the desired results.

If you do not think you have been successful so far and want to change that, then you should be looking at the input you are getting on a daily basis and finding ways to change the negative to the positive.  What type of people do you hang out with?  Are they positive successful people, or are they negative about life and just never quite get to where they want to go.  Or worse yet, they have no idea where they want to go.  According to Jim Rohn,  over time you will become a combination of the five people you spend the most time with.   Let me repeat that.  Over time you will become a combination of the five people you spend the most time with.  Wow, what a concept!  If your friends are not good for you,  maybe you should get some new friends.  I am not suggesting that you have to abandon the old friends. And you certainly still need to be there for your close friends and family when they need you.    You just start spending less time with the old friends and spend more of your time around more positive people.  And people around you are not the only sources of negative input.  You will probably need to adjust your life in other ways as well.   How much TV do you watch?  How much time do you spend playing computer games?   Do you read motivational and self-help books?  Do you listen to self-help tapes?  Do you think SUCCESS?  Or do you think FAILURE?

You really can take control of your life.  You can change your attitude and your future.   Your success really is up to you.  It is your life and you are responsible for it.

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Let me know about your success or lack of it in the past and what you have gotten from this blog so far to set you on a new path.  Please  leave a comment.  I would like to hear from you.  And if you leave your contact information at the top right corner of this page, I will also send you notification anytime I update the blog.

For those ambitious types who want to jump ahead I would also like to recommend an article by Ann Sieg called The Attraction Marketers Manifesto that might provide a new perspective on marketing and give you some ideas on how to be more effective, no matter what type of business your eventual life goals success vehicle might be.

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