Yesterday I watched the Creative Live broadcast by Peter Voogd – “Six Months to Six Figures“. Most of the things he was talking about were not new and had been addressed by the productivity community, many times over.
But, knowing something doesn’t automatically translate into taking action on that something. And personally, I tend to consume information without reflecting on it or taking any action. So the talk was inspiring and there were a few things that I want to incorporate into my life.
1% Doubt Will Take You Out
One thing that caught my attention was that if you have doubt, no matter how tiny it is, it will ruin your plans. Basically, in order to get results, all doubt must be eliminated.
How to Learn Stuff
I tend to jump on any piece of advice that I find interesting. My reasoning is that if the information can be useful, it’s worth consuming it. This approach may have worked before the Internet era. Nowadays, the amount of useful information online exceeds the capacity of our brains, big time.
When deciding what to learn next, choose skills that make money. I need to ask myself: “If I learn this thing, will it increase my income within the next couple of months?”. And if the answer is “no”, it will have to wait.
When learning new skills, start small. Continuously reflect on what you are learning. Don’t move on to the next skill until you have mastered the current one.
This is so true. Most of the times, I would learn something without actually applying it in a real-life situation. The result is that the skill will be soon forgotten.
And, the most effective way to learn something is to challenge yourself to teach it to others.
Mastery vs Overload
When everyone and their dog offers free advice on the Internet, you need to choose who you listen to wisely.
Be very selective on what information you consume. Only follow the people you look up to and want to be like.
Check your sources: ask yourself if the author has proof for his statements.
Ask yourself: “Have I taken action on the previous piece of information that I learned?” If the answer is “no”, don’t start learning something new until you have processed the previous lesson.
Ask yourself: “Is this the best information or training on the subject?” If the answer is “no”, why would you invest your precious time in it? Instead, find the absolute best training available.
A few things that will prevent you from moving forward:
- Perfection vs Experimentation
Perfect is the enemy of done. Being perfectionist is very dangerous for an entrepreneur. Instead of polishing your first idea, try 7 different things, ask your customers for feedback, figure out the market and test ideas.
- Being Busy vs Driving Results
Obviously, your need to make sure that you are not spinning your wheels for nothing. Take time to reflect and figure our if you are spending your time on the right things.
- Riding Circumstances vs Concrete Vision
Don’t change the course of action every time a new shiny idea pops up. Stick to your vision until you see results. This may seem to go against the first point, but it’s not. Many people give up too early, without giving their business a chance to yield results.
- Ideas vs Implementation
Ideas are cheap, everyone has ideas. Implementation of the idea is what’s going to put money in your pocket (unless, of course, your ideas are so brilliant people will pay you money for them 🙂 )
- Emotions vs Analysis
Analyze the situation based on intelligence, instead of emotions.
Stop Justifying Your Failures
What lies are you telling yourself to justify your failures or lack of progress? Your background, education, age (too young or too old), the wrong gender for the industry, lack of technology, lack of money.
Having all of the right conditions doesn’t guarantee success. On the contrary, people who’ve experienced adversity in life tend to become more successful.
The solution is to turn your adversity into your advantage.
Resourcefulness if your ultimate resource.
Other valuable traits are vision, creativity, courage, determination and commitment. That’s all the resources you need.
Install the Right Belief System
Action without the right belief system will not lead to anywhere.
Do what you said that you were gonna do, no matter if you feel like it or not.
If you deliver on your promises, your confidence will grow.
This is something that I personally struggle with. I tend to make empty promises. Promise to call people. Not responding to personal emails.
But it goes deeper. I can’t seem to keep promises that I am giving myself. I may decide to do something, put it on my todo list for the day, and spend the day thinking about the task without actually doing it. Procrastination in its glory.
It appears that as soon as I make a commitment, to myself or to someone else, I immediately start to resist it. Sometimes just the act of commitment discourages me.
I could have a sincere desire to do something, feeling motivated and inspired. But as soon as I make a promise, I loose all the motivation. If I didn’t make the promise, I would probably have done the task.
What can I do? Peter didn’t seem to offer a solution, just pointed out how important it is to deliver on your promises.
I may start by putting a stop on all acts of commitment, internal and external. Stop making promises and plans. This will at least reduce the feeling of guilt and failure.
Then, I will decide on one thing that I could commit to. Not 10 or 5. Just ONE. And it should be something relatively easy. Put it on my list and commit to doing it. Rinse and repeat.
The Decision Train
Top performers make decisions in a slightly different directions than most people.
Most people do what they feel like doing. They wait for inspiration. If they don’t feel like doing it they won’t do it. Always letting your feelings guide your decisions will lead you to only do the easy things.
Feeling –> Action –> Decision
The 5% of people reverse the decision train. They start with the decision, which leads to action, which leads to them feeling great about their accomplishment.
Decision –> Action –> Feeling
Connecting with the right people and constantly growing your network is key. Networking leads to new opportunities, increased influence, income and raising awareness about your business.
Always ask “WHO”.
“Who can help me get there faster?” Half of your success depends on who you connect to to speed up the process.
Don’t ask for anything
When reaching out to people, offer to do something for them, instead of asking them to do something for you.
Write to them and show that you’ve invested your time into studying their work. Say that you bought their book, and shared it with your audience. Thank them for their contribution and help.
Be authentic, don’t pretend you are bigger than you are. “I don’t have a huge audience, but…”
Offer to connect them to someone, introduce them to your audience, offer your knowledge and expertise.
Always be networking, consistently.
When you are just starting your business, 70% of your time should be spent on the actual business (the “grind”), and 30% on networking. Once your business has taken off, you should spend 70% of your time networking.
As always, evaluate the effectiveness of your networking efforts, and correct if needed. Don’t network if it doesn’t bring results.
Photo credit: Jasmine Star