From the (e)mail bag:
QUESTION: I’m convinced that now is the time to reinvent myself, do something new and exciting. How do I do that? How do I go completely out of the box?
ANSWER: Great questions to ask yourself during these tumultuous times — or any time when you feel stuck. And here are more questions that can help figure out where and what you want to be.
Write down your answers to these questions. Be spontaneous; often the first thing that comes to mind is your most compelling and heartfelt answer. But be thoughtful as well. Make sure your list is as complete as possible to help you figure out how to reinvent yourself.
Changing your life
• What gets you out of bed in the morning? What do you really love to do that doesn’t feel like work? Is it helping other people? Speaking in public? Do you get your juice by expressing yourself artistically, in words, music, movement or through building things with your hands?
• What is your special gift, the one that you’d feel great about orienting your life around? What are you really good at? What is your magic? (Hint: It may not feel magical at all — just something that you do effortlessly and well.) What is it about you that draws the most compliments from people, inspires others?
• What motivates you? Interestingly enough, lots of people have trouble with this question. But some typical answers to this question are money, fame, love, security, respect, admiration and service to others. Yours, of course, may be different.
• What are your strongest resources? Your faith, money in the bank, a supportive partner, family, your tribe, the ability to take risks and learn are just a few of the possibilities.
• What have you wanted for years, a lifelong dream that’s worth living, starting now? What are you deferring until “things get better”? Until you make more money/have more money in the bank? Until the kids graduate and move out of the house? We all do it.
• What holds you back? It could be external things – putting other people’s needs before your own, what people think of you or internal. That could be a lack of self-esteem, fear and a lack of faith in yourself, among others. If you’re stumped on this one, ask a close friend, someone who is not going to blow sunshine up your skirt: “What do you think is holding me back?” Then sit back, listen and take notes.
- How much money do you want to make? Put it out there. True story: Several years ago, I was building a vision board for myself, writing down what I wanted. One of those things was “earn $100,000 a year.” I felt absolutely crazy for doing it. That amount was waaaaay over what I had been earning. Nevertheless, it stayed on my board…and two years later, I grossed $92,000. Not $100K, for sure, but waaaaaay over what I’d been making and so close to my goal. True story No. 2: Years before that, on New Year’s Day, I listed five annual goals and just let it sit. One year later, I had accomplished three of the five goals — with zero effort on my part. Including paying off credit cards.
And this is why I so strongly believe in setting your intentions. Putting aside all the woo-woo stuff, putting your intentions out there makes you more aware of opportunities that present themselves for the picking.
Take a broad overview to your answers to all these questions and understand there are no “right” or “wrong” answers — just yours. See what naturally fits together, how they build on each other. What direction do you see in the picture you’ve just created?
Now it’s time to start researching.
• Can you make the amount of money you want by following your passion, using your gift? Are there companies who pay people to do what you want to do? If not, would starting your own business be a profitable course of action?
• Talk to people who are doing what you’d like to do. Get their input. Ask them what they’d do differently and what they didn’t expect as they followed their dream.
• What resources do you need to move forward? It could be more education, a loan or partner or investor, relocation to a different part of the country or something completely different.
Once you’ve determined where you want to go, you need to figure out how to get there. Your map will be your plan of action. Determine when you want to achieve your large life goals or professional goals and reverse engineer your path to it.
Give yourself three to no more than five specific smaller goals to reach at established intervals within that larger time frame. Success with smaller goals leading toward your larger ones will give you the incentive to move forward. You may want to consider making some small moves that can further solidify your plan to change and reinvent,
Make sure your goals have some “stretch” to pull you to the next level but aren’t so big that you get overwhelmed at just the thought of it. Continually review your plan. Conditions and people change, and your plan has to reflect that.
Stuck? Let’s set up a free 15-minute chat.