Have you thought to yourself, “What am I really doing with my life and what will I be doing in 10 years?”
You might be fed up with your 9am-5pm “job”, looking for work out of college or maybe you run a startup that’s isn’t giving you the sense of fulfillment you hoped for.
It’s probably safe to say that everyone feels this way at some point. However, most people don’t take action to change anything, why?
Everyone knows the safe linear path of going to school and finding a job. Become a doctor or a lawyer. This is what we are all taught. However, most times people get stuck taking a “job” that isn’t meaningful to them because it pays the bills.
Stepping outside the linear path is scary because it requires risk and means you will feel discomfort from the unknown.
But don’t fall into the trap of the biggest risk of all. The founder of Facebook, Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, said it best:
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk” ~Mark Zuckerberg
The good news is that the Internet is changing everything. People are discovering how to use their unique gifts to make a living and they are sharing what they learn with others. You can too! When you pursue what you’re born to do it’s not working anymore, it’s a mission.
Use Your Skills for Good
In fact, 94% of millennials want to use their skills for good causes. Motivated, well-educated, and digitally-savvy, they are redefining the workplace culture and business models today.
A recent study by Bentley University found that only 13% of survey respondents said that their career goal involves progressing within a corporation to CEO or president. The same study, by contrast, found that almost two-thirds (67%) of respondents said that their goal involves starting their own business. But most of all, today’s young people want to have an impact on their world.
Change like this always starts with the individual, that’s you! In this article, I want to share some of the steps I took to help me discover my own path with Change Creator Magazine.
This doesn’t mean you should drop your current “job” to start a new venture. You have to work on it on the side for a while until it becomes real. But that’s ok. There is nothing more motivating than knowing you’re waking up to do something you love, something that aligns to who you are and what you believe in, and soon enough you will be getting paid to positively impact the world. I like to call that excitement to wake up for the day the “Christmas Even Effect”.
There is No Success Without Struggle
There’s no way around it, as Ashton Kutcher put it, “opportunity looks a lot like hard work.” And it sure is! Emotional ups and downs along with additional hours of “hustle”. There is no success without struggle. But there is nothing more rewarding than seeing your progress with each small win. Persistence is essential and you can never lose sight of the vision.
Anyone that masters a craft will find ways to make a living, the money will show up. For example, in Jeff Walker’s book, “Launch”, he talks about a case study with Will Hamilton who is a tennis lover. His idea was to create instructional videos, post them on Youtube and get paid from advertising. That didn’t work out because there wasn’t enough views in this niche for ads. So he decided to create a membership site for $25/month. After 10 months he closed shop and decided people just won’t pay for online tennis instruction.
Long story short, it was all in his execution. When he launched the business the right way he found great success. Then he started expanding his product line for more success. Here’s the real kicker. His success attracted the attention of the agent for pros Bob and Mike Bryan, one of the most successful men’s doubles in tennis history. They were interested in working with Will on a product. That launch ended up pulling $450k in sales.
I personally can’t stand when I read articles that state “following your passion” is bad advice. One article said the big reason why is that “most people’s passions don’t fit well with the world of work”. That’s just insane as it clearly tells you to conform. You can make money doing anything if you innovate a solution that works and people need. As demonstrated, if you love sports you need to be pro athlete. There are other ways. Passion leads to fulfillment but you still need competency and hustle to make a business that works.
As philosopher Alan Watts put it, “what’s the point of doing work that makes you miserable just so you can go on being miserable?”
In this short video, you’ll find some powerful insights from Alan Watts that will get you pumped up.
Simple Steps For Clarity
First and foremost you need to start asking yourself some questions and writing things down. To be honest it took me years to figure things out for myself but I never stopped trying. I literally carried a small notebook with me everywhere I went to capture new ideas from podcasts and articles I read.
The steps I share below are a great way to start getting clarity about yourself and what niche might make sense for you. They allowed me to think about myself in an honest way and I wrote it all down in my notebook. Actually, I was on a train from NYC to Philadelphia, had my headphones, and because I was so engulfed in thought, I missed my stop and went over an hour out of the way. Let’s just say I missed dinner with the wife that night.
Today, if I tell someone about Change Creator they will respond by saying, “Oh, that’s so you”. That’s when you know the mission you’re pursuing reflects who you are. Now, this is a starting point and I want to point out that experiences like travel and ongoing education is a huge part of finding your path as well. This process will get you thinking and give you direction.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Write your answers down on paper, make it real, and put them on your wall! Thinking about it and writing it down is VERY different. Write it down!
ONE: The Whys
You must understand why you personally want change and write those reasons down! When done, save them, put them on your wall. They will be your driving force and a reminder of why you’re doing this on days that your motivation fades.
- Write down as many reasons as you can to define why this important to you.
- Next narrow that list to 10 that are most compelling and circle the 5 that mean the most to you.
TWO: Self Inventory
- List all of the skills and talents you’ve already learned from your life experience.
- Examples = Computer programming, graphic design, website development, cooking, photography, leadership, management…etc
- Make a list of the things that are most important to you.
- Examples = issues, causes, family, activities, do you want to be your own boss or part of an existing community, what you like about your current job and what you would change if you had the chance, what moments in your life have been most rewarding, are you a people person or do you prefer to work alone?
- List your personal values. These are beliefs that drive your personal and professional life.
- Examples = Collaboration, helping others, honesty, integrity, compassion, teamwork…etc
THREE: Ask Yourself These Questions
1 – Do any of the challenges around the world make you angry? Personal frustration can be a big motivator.
Scott Harrison of charity: water was speechless after his experience volunteering around the world. That experience was the driver for creation and success of charity: water, which has now helped millions of people. Kenton Lee was helping orphans in Nairobi Kenya when he saw the children had no shoes or they didn’t fit at all. This inspired his current business – The Shoe That Grows.
Travel can be one of the most powerful ways to truly spur an “ah-ha” moment. This has been the case for at least 70% of the people I interview for the Change Creator Podcast. Listen to stories from Billy Parish, Jake Orak, Rachel Faller and many more.
2 – Have you ever been asked for advice? If so, what were they asking for advice about? This can give you an idea of a quality people may see in your for help.
Remember, write those answers down. Don’t just think about it. It matters, so don’t skip that part of the process.