079: 5 Ways to Create Productive Thinking Times [Podcast]

The most successful people I know spend time to think. Like us, they are busy, have families and responsibilities, so they have to find ways to force thinking time into their schedule. Why? They know success is tied to thinking and action. Action can be easy, but thinking about what action to take, now that is the key. As one person suggested to me on thinking time, if you are not thinking you are not leading, you are only following. And followers are average.

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My son David in his “thinking time”

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Why You Need a Thinking Time

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” — Alan Alda

With all the inputs coming at you on a daily basis, you need time to process the information and do something active. Your ability to think and reason is what makes you different from a robot. Robots just respond to commands and stimuli.  Don’t be a robot – THINK.

“Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” — Albert Einstein

Thinking Hints

  1. Schedule a regular thinking time
  2. Find a place to think
  3. Put away distractions
  4. Use tools that help you be more creative
    • Mindmaps (I like Xmind for a software version)
    • Paper and pen (bank paper – not ruled)
    • Whiteboard
  5. Set a wrap-up time
    • Process the thoughts into something that captures
    • Save documents, mindmaps, etc.
    • Put in calendar or schedule
    • Make notes – like a journal – of the key thoughts








Download my “Getting Started” guide to help you have more productive thinking times.

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If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: What do you do to have a productive thinking time? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

078: Employee to Entrepreneur: Preparing to Make the Transition [Podcast]

Are you thinking about moving from employee to entrepreneur? Over 50% of Americans want to start a business. And when you get to those in their 20’s and 30’s, that number increases to about 65%. Other countries have similar statistics. So if you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you are in good company. But, how do you prepare to move from employee to entrepreneur? I am currently helping one of my clients, Bob (not his real name), who is preparing to make this transition from employee to entrepreneur. Here is a quick snapshot of the process we have been taking.

Employee to Entrepreneur: Making the transition

“Another Gorgeous Outer Banks Sunrise” by Michael Bentley licensed by CC 2.0. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/  Edited with text. 

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Employee to Entrepreneur Transition

A few years ago, my wife Lea and I felt like God was leading us to go into missions work. So, we began to seek counsel, starting with our pastor. He asked us how much we had been involved in missions in the past. Lea and I looked at each other oddly and realized the answer was almost none. Our pastor then made this statement that has stuck with me: “You do not go into missions, you grow into missions.”

Since then we realized the missions work God had for us was much different than what we typically think of as missions, in fact, it was serving others through business, writing, and podcasting. But the lessons I learned from the pastor have stuck with me. As a faculty member and coach, I often find I am working to help people “grow into business.” You do not go into business, you grow into business.

[Tweet “You do not go into business, you grow into business. #entrepreneur”]

So as I began to work with Bob, I wanted to help him grow into his business. Just so you know, Bob actually likes his day job, and may never quit. Yet, he is feeling trapped. He wants to become independent so that the daily turmoil of the corporate setting does not create stress for him and  his ability to pay his bills and provide for his family. Bob is looking for a lifestyle business, one he can do on the side now and get freedom but may one day do full time.

1. Get Control of the Money

Most people in industrialized countries are in debt. Each month part of their income goes to pay for student loans, credit cards, and automobiles. And, their spending habits keep them in this trap. Are you in this trap? Make a list now of the debts you have. Who are they and how much do you owe each. Look at how much you spend month-to-month just keeping up with the minimum payments.

If you want to make a transition from employee to entrepreneur, you need to get control. Starting with a budget and paying off debt will free you from many of the traps that keep people in their day job. I am not a financial counselor, so I will point you to an excellent source to get out of this trap – The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.

2. Start Your Business as an Income Source

Once you get a plan for the money and start working the plan, you now need to start a second income source. You could deliver pizza, but that will get you no closer to your goal. Instead, start your business. But, start it in a way that generates income instead of costing you cash. For instance, if you are looking at a food services business, instead of investing in a storefront, begin catering out of your kitchen. If you are developing a software tool to sale to the healthcare market, start now by offering consulting/contracting services to the healthcare market.

By taking these simple steps you will be entering your market with minimal investment. The benefits are extra income, knowledge of the business, and a growing reputation in the business.

3. Transition Bills to Business Income

As income starts to come in from the business, you can start to live on it. Bob has managed to grow his business to the point he can safety pull out $2000 per month from the business to pay his mortgage. Since his mortgage is $1500 monthly, he is actually paying his mortgage plus extra on the principal, therefore getting control of his money. Bob has no short term debt, if he did he would be using the extra $500 monthly to kill the credit cards or other debt. Since he has already completed step 1, he has started to live on part of his business. What about that $2000 monthly from his day job he is no longer spending? He divides it between debt (more on the house) and savings.

This might sound like a pointless game of moving money around, but it is psychological. Bob is now seeing he can live on his business. This is giving him momentum and motivation to grow his business.

4. Transition to 100%

My position here is very conservative. I am suggesting to Bob that he keeps growing his side business until he is living 100% on the business income and saving all of his employee income. The key here is that he does not touch that money from the day job for his monthly expenses. When he hits the 100% mark, he can, if he wants, quit his day job.

Some people need different plans. Some are ready to quit the day job when the business brings in 50% of their employee income. It depends on your level of risk and how much time your business takes. Bob’s side business takes very little time since he is selling products online in a niche market. His work in the business can be contained in after hours and weekends. If he had a time intensive business, he might need to make the transition at less than 100%. Either way, Bob has a plan.

The key is that you do not go into business, you grow into business.

Question: Are you planning a transition? Why? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Resources

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If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: Are you planning a transition? Why? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

077: What Kind of Entrepreneur do You Want to Be? [Podcast]

Everyone is an entrepreneur – technically speaking. The question is, what kind of entrepreneur are you? And perhaps more important, what kind do you want to be. You make money to live, and depending on who you are and what you want, how you make money and who you serve is the key question. This is a quick look at some pros and cons of where you are that I hope will help you think a bit about where you would like to be.

What kind of an entrepreneur are you?

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Three Entrepreneurship Models – What Kind of Entrepreneur are You?

The Employee Model

Most people do not think about this model as being an entrepreneur. This might explain why so many corporate workers are miserable and lacking in growth. But the reality is, if you are serving others and getting paid for it, you are in business. (The definition of business is the exchange of money for goods and/or services.)

Here are some characteristics of the employee model of entrepreneurship.

  • Stability – Perceived to be stable. The reality is that working for a corporate job, especially in a larger company, is not stable or predictable. Right now someone could be making a decision that will impact your job, without warning.
  • Risks – As an employee you do not have a financial investment in the business and therefore you do not risk anything other than your income. But, you do not control the risks. Stupid or risky decisions could be made and are often beyond your control.
  • Source of income – As an employee, you have a single source of income. In other words, you are a business with a single customer. This is one of the greatest risks in the employee model.
  • Control – Most employees assume they have little control of the overall decisions. This is an assumption and using the Company of One model presented in Resumes are Worthless, you can begin to gain influence and take more control.

[Tweet “If you are serving others and getting paid for it, you are in business. #CompanyofOne”]

The Lifestyle Model

When people come to me wanting to start a business (and sometimes raise capital) they have conflicting views about their goals. So the first thing I want to do is help them decide what kind of business they want. I find most people are talking about a desire to be a lifestyle business. In this model, the desire for lifestyle is first, and income and business growth is second. People start a lifestyle business for the following reasons:

  • Freedom of time, or the ability to work when and how they want.
  • Freedom of location. Lifestyle entrepreneurs may want to travel and work at the same time or just work from wherever they want.
  • Grow a business for my kids or grandkids.
  • Be in 100% control.
Like the employee model, this model allows a payoff that is periodic. In other words, you are not working toward a big win in the future, but instead you are making money as it comes. Unlike the employee model, the income is less predictable from month to month.
[Tweet “Lifestyle entrepreneurs are focused on lifestyle first, money second. #entrepreneur”]

 

The Grow and Sell Model

What kind of entrepreneur do we normally think of? What kind of entrepreneur risks is all for the big payoff? We are talking about the likes of Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, and so many other founders who have taken a company from small to very large. Of course while we can think of these who have taken their companies to the big time, there are millions of these kinds of businesses you have never heard of. They are just starting with one person, or a small team serving a specific niche, or just have not made their way to the household name. Most never will. There are also millions who have gone away and closed their doors.

This model is about a big gamble. They are not looking for small change or lifestyle, but instead are betting it all for the future payday, the time when they walk away with millions in their pocket.

Here are some characteristics of this kind of model.

  • You lose control due to the need for capital and team members.
  • Slow growth is unacceptable.
  • You and the team work like a dog.
  • The payoff is later, often 3-10 years, if at all. Everyone can make a salary (not always), but they typically will not make as much as in the employee model. The payday comes when you sell the business or take it public in an initial public offering (IPO).
  • The potential payoff if huge, depending on the sales price and the percentage you own at the end. (In this model you almost never own 100%, and you might own much less that 10%).

[Tweet “The grow-and-sell model of business has a payday way in the future. #entrepreneur”]

Question: What do you think? What are other pros and cons of each type? Which would you like to be living? Where are you now?   You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Resources

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If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: What kind of entrepreneur are you working to become? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

076: Leading with What You’ve Got [Podcast]

A few years ago I took a leadership position at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Not in so many words I was told, “You have no money, no people, and no resources, but congratulations, you are in charge.” When I speak to leaders at all levels, I get the impression they have the same problem. Recently I was speaking to a group of school system CIOs who are all working with limited resources having to lead with what they have got. If you find yourself in that situation, here are three things I have learned about getting control and leading with limited resources.

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Five Ways to Start a Business for Less than $1000

1. Get Perspective

As a leader, you have to step back and see the landscape of what you are doing and how you are doing it. Some of the best tools I have found to do this are:

  • Networking – When I have a problem to solve, I tend to start searching google and try to figure it out on my own. But that rarely works. Instead, I have learned to find the person who has already solved it and learn from them. This learning most likely starts by contacting them and asking for advice. But, it could also be by learning what they write and speak about – especially if they do teaching on the subject of your problem.
  • Thinking Time – Take some regular time out to think. Daily or weeekly time periods is best. Allow yourself to process information and organize it. Those who depend on you to lead need you to think.

2. Create Community

Leadership is lonely. Often I find leaders (even those who do not think of themselves as leaders) trying to do it all and supporting others on their team as a one-man expert. When you feel like you are the only one with your responsibility, you need to find others who are doing what you do. They could be other people in your same company at other locations, or people in other companies. Either way, you need connections. Best way to do this is through a mastermind group.

A mastermind group is a powerful way to grow your network and get constant feedback and advice. A good group will force you to challenge your assumptions, think bigger about alternatives, and provide needed encouragement.

3. Develop and share a vision

Everyone needs a vision. Where are you going in your role. Even if you have no employees and you are the proverbial “cog-in-the-wheel”, someone is going to ask you what the future looks like. Might come as one of these questions:

  • Where do you see yourself in a few years?
  • What is going to happen to the software you support in the future?
  • What trends do you see with the customers you support?
  • How could we do this better?
  • How can we cut the budget and provide the same service?
  • Etc

When you get these kind of questions, they are asking you about vision. Unfortunately, these questions rarely come with warning. So you need to be prepared.

[Tweet “It is he who provides hope and a plan that leads.”]

How do you create a vision?

  • Define your customers? Who are the people you serve? Are they a mixed group with different needs? When I asked this of the CIOs of school systems, they explained how they served teachers, administrators, school boards, parents, and of course students. All had different needs and different views.
  • Learn about their pains and desires. This steps just takes time, but you have to ask and listen a lot to learn about what they expect or would like to see happen.
  • Define the vision. Knowing your customer’s pains and using your expertise, you can define the future to serve their needs. Sometimes their big needs are things the customer is not aware of having. For instance, consider problems many school board CIOs find. Teachers, parents, and others have a pain or desire to get user devices (IPADS, etc) into the hands of all students. That is the customer pain. But, the CIO expertise knows these devices mean more bandwidth, and infrastructure issue. Students and teachers do not think much about bandwidth, they only see their need. It is the CIOs job to connect the perceived need and the real need.
  • Share the vision. Tell a story. When you have defined the vision, share it without the technical details. Keep it simple. Remember when Steve Jobs shared about the IPOD? He could have easily said “30 GigaBytes of data storage, but instead he said “1000 songs in your pocket”. Same thing, said in different ways.
  • Find Champions. Now you need champions to help you share your vision. Find the influential people in each circle. A project manager might need to find a person of influence in finance, operations, their superiors, and their coworkers. It is much easier to win over one person at a time and then let them help you win over others. 

Resources

 

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If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: What leadership challenges are you having? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

075: Is “Follow Your Passion” Bad Advice? [Podcast]

Should you follow your passion or not? In my talks I often state two things: 1) the most successful people have passion for what they do and  2) to find the best work for you find ways to connect the work you love to money. After the talk, some will mention authors that argue against the “find your passion” mantra. For example, Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs tells people that “finding your passion is terrible advice.” Another who talk against finding passion is Scott Adams, author of the Dilbert Cartoon Series. And of course my own friends and clients often challenge these ideas. Recently Rusty Hyde of Hyde Engineering challenged the “follow your passion” thinking. With so many smart people challenging this thinking, I thought perhaps it was time to look into my message.

Is Follow Your Passion Bad Advice

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Did I Say That?

I was trying to find out where I tell people to follow their passion. While I am sure I have used those words, what I usually do is tell them to find their calling – which is a mixture of passion, skills, and market demand. Perhaps my talk about calling is misunderstood for the simple “follow your passion” advice. That is fair since so many tout the “follow your passion” mantra.  Perhaps they are translating my message to “follow your passion.” Fair enough.

Why is Follow Your Passion Bad Career Advice?

So what is wrong with simply following your passion? The word “follow” implies someone is leading. Since it is your passion, it is YOU who must lead. And there is the problem. Leadership takes effort and work. It is not sit and think without action. Sit and think is fine, but if you are still sitting and thinking months later, you need to get moving.

But, passion is hardly a bad thing. There are plenty of examples of  people finding a passion and let it drive them (even if they have no great skill) as well as others who find something to be passionate about in what they do.  Some start with passion and others discover passion.

The trouble is that “follow your passion” is often an excuse for inaction due to laziness and/or fear. Instead of acting, they wait to discover. And wait, and wait, and wait.

Calling is Real

Cal Newport in his new book  So Good They Can’t Ignore You, mentions “research” which indicates most people do not have preexisting passions. That is crazy. We all have things we are passionate about. What Cal is “discovering” is that most people cannot see their passion. They are blind to it. I have had hundreds of conversations with clients who say they do not have passion about anything, only to discover their eyes lighting up a few minutes later what I lead them to talk about their passion.

The problem is not lack of passion, the problem is lack of thinking and action. We are so stuck in thinking about “jobs” that we have a limited view of how we might connect our passion to money. For instance, I met with a lady who is a bookkeeper the other day who could not find her calling. She later explained how she loved yard work, flowers, plants, and all things about making your yard look beautiful. She explained she was not willing to start a company doing this kind of work. She also did not have the depth of experience needed to get a job in these areas.

I asked her if she had thought of doing bookkeeping for a landscaping or horticultural services company. She had never thought of that. She could connect her passion to her skill. Why do we not see these opportunities? Partly because we are not taught to think. We are taught to follow directions. So our passions lay lifeless while we find work that pays.

Execution is Key

You might think I am arguing against Scott, Mike, and Cal. This is hardly the case. In fact, if you read on in their material you will find they are not against passion, but perhaps more against excuses. But when the soundbyte is delivered, it sounds like Scott, Mike, and Cal are suggesting we should all hate out jobs. Hardly the case. Those who argue against “follow your passion” are really saying that we need to be willing to WORK.

Passion can be chased, discovered, propel us, etc. – but execution is the key.

I might be tempted to say “Let you passion drive you.” or “Your passion can help you find your calling.” or many other pithy statements, I will avoid doing so.

Instead I will just say, finding work that is meaningful to you takes a mixture of many things, but action is the one ingredient that must be part of the equation. Passion without action is just a bunch of hot air.

[Tweet “Passion without action is just a bunch of hot air.”]

Your Calling or Your Passion?

Want to explore ideas you might want to act on? Learn how to find your calling so you too can find ways to make money and create your own new normal.

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: What do you think? Is “find your passion” bad advice? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

074: Why Does Everyone Want to Start a Nonprofit? [Podcast]

It is an epidemic. Everyone seems to want to start a nonprofit. They want to serve the inner city, the poor, the boys without fathers, those who cannot read, and many other causes. Yet, when I hear nonprofit, my heart sinks. It is not that nonprofits are bad, but something about our society is being said when we all want to be a nonprofit. If you are thinking a nonprofit works for you, here I will challenge some of your assumptions.

start a nonprofit

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Reasons to Rethink Your Plan to Start a Nonprofit

  • All business serves people. It seems as a society we have been taught that being a for-profit business is evil. We begin to believe that businesses which are about making a profit do not serve people. Nothing is further from the truth. Business is all about service. Look around and see all the positive impacts that have come from for-profit business ventures.
  • Disconnecting the customers from the person served. This is one of the greatest challenges nonprofits have. They serve one group and are paid by another group. This disconnect is a constant source of trouble since you will need to always be trying to convince your customer (the one that pays) that you have added value.
  • Non-profits do not have to show value. We assume that nonprofit means I can serve others without having to show results or show value added. People will just pay me to serve. This assumption is definitely false. Just find people who have been in the nonprofit world for a long time. The challenge is about how you show value added. Since the customer served is different from the customer paying, showing value is going to be a challenge.
  • People value what they pay for. As a nonprofit providing services, we think that those receiving the “free” service will place value on what they get. Perhaps they will for a short time, but this quickly goes from thankful to expectant and then to entitled. It is human nature. What I do not pay for, I do not value.
  • Nonprofit means no profit. You have to remember that nonprofit is just a tax status. You still will need to show some money flow and have good accounting practices. In fact, you will have to be more diligent in accounting than any other business since those who fund you might call you asking for evidence of how you spent their money.
  • Nonprofits are messy.  Nonprofits have many legal and tax issues that the founder and directors must be careful to manage. This is definitely a place where you need an attorney and an accountant to make sure you dance between the laws.

The For-Profit Option

Nothing is wrong with nonprofits, they are just overused and poorly thought out. A much better option for serving people is by offering a regular business that provides goods and services. We often assume those people who I want to serve cannot pay. But, that is rarely the case. The problem is getting your customer to value what you offer. When I look at poor people in my country, many living on the government, they still have money to buy things like televisions, iPhones, and other luxury goods and services. If I want to help those who have little resources, I might have to get creative with what I offer and how I show them I can add value. But, that is what marketing is all about. And whether for profit or nonprofit, I still have to convince them to use my services.

Resources

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If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: Who would you like to serve that you would assume needs to be through a non-profit? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

073: Growing Your Influence through Managing Your Contacts [Podcast]

Building a network is one thing, managing your contacts is quite another. With so many platforms (Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, email, etc) to keep up with, it is hard to reminder the last time I checked in with the key people in my network, much less what we said. But worse than that, I noticed that I would meet some great contact, and by the time I got back with them a year or more had past. The initial meeting and relationship had gone cold. Now I was working to rebuild the relationship. I was searching for some simple solution to keep up with it all. Then my mastermind group showed me Contactually.

contactually.png

Contactually Devices | Courtesy of Contactually

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[Tweet “Pull together contacts from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and email!”]

Contactually is a powerful tool that helps me do some of the things I continually teach others to do. (For example in Networking for Introverts)

  • Develop key contacts that I want to grow and stay in touch with them.
  • Find ways to periodically add value to the lives of those key contacts.

Managing Your Contacts by Keeping Contact

In this interview with Brian Pesin of Contactually we discuss key principles for networking success.

  • The importance of systematizing your business
  • What a CRM is and what it can do for you/your business
  • A four step framework that professionals can use to stay relevant with the VIPs in their network.

[Tweet “Contactually helps you follow up with the right people, at the right time, to maximize relationship ROI.”]

A Look at Contactually

Resources

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: What challenges do you have managing your contacts? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

072: I Work My Day Job to Fund My Dream Job [Podcast]

If I asked you what you were working toward, could you tell me? A recent conversation startled me. A very bright and well educated man I was coaching told me of his dream to start a non-profit to help stamp out illiteracy. He had a true heart for those who were held back because they could not read. But, his short term goal was to move up in his company. Sensing that I was not hearing him right, I asked why he had two opposing career goals. Both would take energy and commitment. In reality, he could not do both. He told me, “I work my day job to fund my dream.”

My Dream Job

Dream – Courtesy of flicker/CreativeCommons | greg westfall 

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[Tweet “I work my day job to fund my dream.”]

Question the Dream

His statement led me into some obvious questions:

  • How much money do you need to start?
    He did not know.
  • Are you serving this group now on a volunteer basis?
    He wished he could more, but his job is too busy.
  • Why don’t you start now?
    All people who run non-profits seem to be broke themselves. He did not want to go broke.
  • Why does the business have to be a non-profit?
    The people I am serving cannot pay, so I have to get others to pay.
  • Have you talked to anyone who runs a successful business serving these people?
    No.

I will deal with the non-profit issue in more detail later. (Seems to be an epidemic of people wanting to start non-profits.)

I think this man is pretty typical. He has a dream, but really he is wandering aimlessly listening to friends and society about how he should serve and what he should do. He is not doing the one thing he alone can do – think.

[Tweet “Think. By doing so you put yourself in the top 10%. “]

But I am not making fun of him. By no means. You try it. Next time someone tells you what they want to become, ask them some obvious questions to see if they are on the path, or just “dreaming”.

Rather than Wondering Aimlessly

What if someone asked you these questions?

  • Do you know what your dream is? Can you describe your future? In detail? If not, work on getting clarity.
  • What are your obstacles in terms of money? Get clear how much you need and the reality of those needs. The average startup cost of a new business is less than $10,000. Here are five ways to start for less than $1000.
  • What does it really take? Have you reached out and found people living your dream and found out from them how they got there? If you struggle with networking, check out Networking for Introverts
  • Seek out those who will encourage you, not squash your dreams. Find someone who will help you think through how to get started and grow into your dream instead of waiting. Avoid the one-way-to-success people.
  • Figure out how to get started TODAY and get momentum. Do something. If you think you are in the top 10%. If you act you become the top 1%.

[Tweet “Avoid the “one way to success” people.”]

[Tweet “Get started TODAY on your dream. Get momentum. “]

Resources

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If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help me tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: What are you doing to get clarity on your dream? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

071: Do You Really HAVE to Do Anything? [Podcast]

Are you running yourself to death? The typical family with careers and kids spend most of their time running and working. They run to get their kids to school. They run to work, which is running all day. Then they run home to get their kids and take them to their endless array of sports and activities. All in the name of providing for our kids and “living the dream”.

Hurry, Hurry (Courtesy Flicker/Creative Commons - abbilder)

Hurry, Hurry (Courtesy Flicker/Creative Commons – abbilder)

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The end result is exhaustion, burnout, poor eating, lack of exercise, and shallow relationships. Most parents do not even really know their kids. They are not spending time with them, they are spending their time serving them. Why? We have to, or course. We have to do it all and do it well.

As I meet with and speak to people all over the world, I see the same challenges. They are the have-tos of life, which are rarely challenged.

You have tos

  • Go to college to be successful. (or send my kids so they will be successful)
  • Get a loan to go to college.
  • Go to the best college. (define best on your terms)
  • Live in the city where I work.
  • Work from 8-5.
  • Have my kids play sports, music, etc so they will be well rounded and succeed.
  • Spend my days running my kids from one thing to another so they will excel.
  • Do what my neighbors do.
  • Do what my family expects. (Assuming you are an adult living on your own.)
  • Make more money.
  • Have a car payment.

It is comical (and scary) to see the families working like dogs to make it all happen. Recently I listened to a family with pre-college kids lecture me about what all must be done to get their son into college. He must be in sports. He must do several community activities. He must make excellent grades. He must take advanced courses. He must….. Was any of it true? No. But they sincerely believed it was true. Their son’s entire future rested on them working. Their intense planning and work made me wonder if they were preparing a boy for college or instead launching the space shuttle.

Challenge Your Assumptions 

How much time and energy do we waste on assumptions or advice of so called gurus and experts? Challenge your assumptions. Whenever we find ourselves starting a must, we should step back and ask two questions:

  1. Am I really sure?
  2. Can I think of any examples to support my assumptions?
  3. Can I think of any examples that counter my assumption?

Remember basic logic. If something is true, it is always true. Any example to the contrary disproves a statement from being fact.

[Tweet “How much time and energy do we waste on assumptions or advice of so called gurus and experts?”]

For example, can you think of anyone who has been successful without college? Since you can (if not, email me and I will give you a list of self-made billionaires who did not go to college) then the statement “You must go to college to be successful.” is NOT true.

I am not really a country music fan, but cannot help to think about the song “I’m in a Hurry” by Alabama. Maybe we should all take a listen and then stop and rethink what we are doing and why.

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

Company of One - ItuneCompany of One - Stitcher

Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help me tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: What other have-tos have you seen in your life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.