All that nonsense about dreams and doing what you are passionate about is for kids. Once you are an adult you have to get serious.
We have to pay for mortgages, insurance, and many other things. Dreams or passions are not valid currencies to pay those bills.
We might hate our jobs but we are being real, it is what it is. All those that say they really enjoy what they do, that they are living the dream, are probably doing so because they are selling something. What they say has to be a lie.
Does this sound familiar? How many times has this conversation gone on inside your head?
That voice will probably stay there forever in your head. But there are ways to lower the volume of that voice, you can do so slowly until it is not even noise in the background.
Matt and I have been fortunate enough to not only find our purpose but also help others take action to find theirs.
Maybe you feel there is something you are missing, you feel everything is going fine and you are OK with that… but what if there is more? What if you can actually start taking action to build a career that you will enjoy while also paying the bills?
The truth is it won’t happen overnight. It will probably take a lot of time and effort to make it happen. But if advancing your career is your priority, then it will be worth it.
Let’s explore some valuable tools you can use to create the momentum that will allow you to advance your career.
Nothing Will Work Unless You Do
This insight is going to be counter to what others say, yet it works. Do two things at once. Seriously, sometimes doubling up is the only way to reach your large dream, deep passions, or grand ambitions.
I have heard many people say, you must focus all your energy on one thing to succeed. How many of us actually live in a word where we can put all our eggs in one basket? As a marketing consultant, I would never rely on just one client, yet people are routinely told they should do just one thing with their life to attain their goals. Nonsense.
Do multiple things, the key is to leverage them against each other. Here are some personal examples.
Before my son was born, I had three jobs simultaneously. I taught at the University of Houston, Houston Community College, and worked with an international non-profit. I did this for three years. It took energy and many hours each week. Yet, I learned how to work with young people as a college instructor which translated to me being an intern leader in Haiti with the non-profit during the summer.
Currently, I oversee a marketing consulting business, Elisha Consulting, and I am one of the co-founders of BizLatte. With Elisha, I work with many executives on marketing and branding projects which gives me confidence in BizLatte when we meet with high-level individuals regarding millennial integration with their business. Similarly, all the content we produce and the back-end technical aspects of BizLatte helps my marketing knowledge expand.
It is possible to work multiple jobs and utilize both to reach a singular dream. For you, what is that dream you want to achieve? Don’t quit your job to go after it just yet. Instead, do something on the side. This will make sure you really do love that dream and will give you incremental experience. Further, view everything you do as the accumulation of skills which can be used with both your main job and side gig.
You will be surprised how learning two things at once will make you much better at each. My clients encourage me to work multiple jobs because I will come back with new skills quickly. You can have the same results.
If we break down all the above, it should be apparent, start going after your dream job/passions now even if that means doing it on the side. This will provide valuable skills which will add to your current situation.
Most people fail not because they aren’t able to do it but because they give up.
People give up before results can actually manifest, and they do so for many reasons. People give up because they run out of energy, and because they see no light at the end of the tunnel.
Any learning process will always be tough, especially at the beginning. There is usually a tipping point when everything starts to flow, and that tipping point might look different depending on the activity you are doing.
It happens with people’s career dreams and many other things. You can probably think of a couple of things you wanted to do and you gave up. Or maybe you didn’t even start.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could start taking some small steps that could allow you to achieve those dreams?
WARNING: It won’t happen overnight. It will probably take at least a couple of years. This is why it is key that you set yourself up for success at the beginning.
Let’s take a look at what that process could like, for you, with a concrete example.
During Spring 2016 I was in the process of taking my LinkedIn profile, and presence, to the next level. Part of that process was copying the best practices from others that had great LinkedIn profiles and a strong personal brand.
I noticed Matt had published a couple of articles on the platform. I thought it was a great idea and that is where this whole journey to 400 articles began, without event thinking much about being on the first page of Google or speaking at different organizations about networking and how to build meaningful professional relationships.
It all started with this article. I know, It wasn’t very good but it was the first step which is probably the most important. If you don’t take action nothing will happen!
At the beginning, the goal was to write just an article a month. Then I saw that I could probably do a bit more and increased it to two per month, and now I write between 9-12 articles every month. At that moment I would’ve said that 9-12 articles a month was impossible to do on top of everything else that I was doing.
It all started with one article. What have you been postponing but you really want to do? Is there a way that you can start small?
Now our articles have been picked up organically through Google Search and LinkedIn Pulse, and I know it’s just a matter of time until we reach the tipping point and build a huge audience. But even if that doesn’t happen just the process has been a valuable result in itself because of the skills and relationships that we have built by taking action.
You can do the same, but you have to start taking action!
There are several keys to staying consistent in order to create the momentum that will lead to the tipping point and achieve exponential growth.
- Start small, but start now:
Whatever it is that you want to do… do it, but don’t overcommit because you will run out of energy. Think of it as a marathon, if you sprint you will burn out. Consistency is more important than quantity.
- Search for growth in the process:
Even if you don’t achieve the goals that you set for yourself, there should still be growth. Tim Ferriss always talks about this, and his mindset when starting his podcast. Yes, now the podcast is a total success, he made it! Yet, when he started he was clear that even if the podcast never went past 6-10 episodes, just being able to practice the craft of asking better questions, and just the opportunity to meet world-class performers (with the excuse of being guests at the podcast), would be worth the time.
Don’t Focus on the Length of Time
Those who read our blogs are dreamers and achievers. We know that and want you to continue pursuing your professional purpose. The only way to actually reach those goals is through action and work.
It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick, yet your ideal future is worth the sacrifice of work. When you are working toward your goals, something will happen. You will be more fulfilled, you will be positive when you are around others, and the world will be better off once you attain your goals.
We both believe some of the best artists, politicians, businesswomen, doctors, and writers never make it because these people are not living their professional purpose. Instead of being an artist they become an engineer. Instead of being a politician then become a financial analyst. Instead of being a writer they become an accountant. Why? They do not take action toward their goals and leave the world worse off than if they would have embraced the dream that was given to them.
Don’t be that person. It might take a decade and multiple jobs, yet don’t focus on the length of time. Just keep going forward, there can be no failure when you are pursuing your goals. Failure only occurs by not doing what you know you should do.
Maybe you are saying, “well I actually don’t know what I should be doing.” Don’t worry, the BizLatte team spent many hours researching and creating our FREE interactive e-guide on Identifying Your Professional Purpose. This short guide will walk you through key questions to determine what you should be doing professionally.
The main thing is, start and don’t stop.
Alejandro I. Sanoja & Matt Avery