This is something I think will help others so I thought I should post it. Maybe it will help someone.
I think everyone at some point feels trapped because they don’t know where they are going. They have this big goal way out there but its just mush. Here is an example, say you want to be a millionaire. But what is that?
How do you get there?
How long do you plan it to take?
Will you be happy when you get there? Or on the way there?
You see my point. The hows are a tricky thing and you have to be careful with them but they are a very important component. You can’t except all the hows to work out but you can expect to meet your goal if you just stay focused on that and keep reworking the hows as time goes on.
The analogy I used the other day for finding your path to your goal, was this…
Your goal is like you’re going somewhere on a map. Say I’m in New York, NY. I want to go to Los Angeles, CA. That is a clear defined goal. What helps is when you say, you will get there by a commercial jet. That is the how.
Now lets flip that, and do a less clear path….
You’re in New York, NY and you want to somewhere out west but you’re not sure where that is.
This is the primary example of saying, I want to be a millionaire or whatever it is, without clearly defining it and defining the how. Goals and direction in life is like using GPS in your car. You know where you are, you know where you’re headed, and you know how you’re getting there.
In the case of the millionaire goal again, its broken down like this…
Where are you now?
How long do you want to take to get there?
What does being a millionaire mean to you?
What is the end game, become a millionaire and retire?
I think of this like, walking, running, horseback, car, jet. Each one has a component of speed but there is a time and cost factor to each one. For example, the jet would be the fastest and preferred method for most but there is a huge cost factor and in this case that cost factor might be giving up everything that matters to you in life, or extreme levels of stress, to get to your goal using the fastest method possible. Or to counter act that, to walk, it would take you a long time, significantly longer than taking a jet, but you get there. Likely not so stressed or having to give up much from life in general as your cost factor.
Every time I think about goals and direction in life, I think about it like a map. I’m here, I want to be there, how do I do it and how long will it take me? Goals without a deadline are just dreams and setting timelines with an expected outcome is about as perfect as you can get.
This is not to say, that this is full proof and you’ll always reach your goals with this methodology, although you are significantly more likely. Life happens, goals and directions change. I’m the biggest example of that. Someday I’ll dive into that. If the how changes, so what? If the goal changes, no big deal. You do you. You get what you want from life and purse your dreams. This isn’t meant to be treated as definitive but it is used to be treated how to relax and figure everything out. Something I’ve been doing for years and up until recently lost touch with this methodology.
Time is limited. You only have so much and that is it. If today isn’t used, its wasted. Move forward or go backwards. Run backwards or run forwards, you pick (whom ever said this to me, wish I remembered your name but thank you for that one. Came from the Less Doing Labs)
I admit this will be a short post. It should be, since time is limited.
Respect every second you have on this earth because it can be pulled away from you faster than you think.
This theory of thinking, which I apparently have been doing for a long time without knowing, is highly useful in prioritizing your time. This theory is called Inversion. Its nothing new and has been around a long time. I learned more about it from James Clear, you can read that article here, and more about him here. Inversion is where you think about what would be the worse thing that could happen. For example, if I want to be successful in writing on my blog, what would be something or things that would cause me to fail at this? This would be, not prioritizing my time, not staying on track and posting everyday or close to everyday, loosing focus, etc. Or say you want to have a successful relationship, think about what you could do wrong that would cause your relationship to fail. Then when you figure these things out, you just focus on not doing those things.
I’ve been thinking this way for a long time but I haven’t used it all the time. Now on any project I do, I try to think of ways I could fail at it. Now I prevent myself from failing because I know what not to do all the time. Highly useful and certainly a time saver. Life saver if anything. Inversion is just another mental model. Mental models are basic theories on how things work and help you advance in solving a problem by relating it to that mental model. Highly recommend learning as many mental models as you can. Success in everything in life comes to those that understand those mental models and use them all the time. You really only need to know a handful of them to be able to succeed. More on mental models here from James Clear.
Probably a million or more things I could say, “this is the most important thing I learned about business.”
This is one of those million things. Anyone in business, long enough will agree… talk is cheap. This is true in life as well of course. We’ve all heard this saying.
I think of sooooo many times where someone said they were gonna do this or that and nothing happened. Heck I can say the same for myself. I get an idea and go after it for a bit but then realize, bad idea, or lose interest and walk away. Which I think is good. When you lose interest, that means it wasn’t meant to be. Best to walk away from anything in life you lose interest in, before you grind away at something that you don’t love.
It’s when someone says, hey I’m going to start the next Microsoft and pounds away at really nothing, just tells people all day long they are gonna do this and that. With no real progress. Maybe a domain or a site that was slapped together but nothing more. It is further worse when you reach out to competition and say you will be doing this business to compete with them without really having a footing. This goes back to the thought of the wantrepreneur. There is actually a guy I was chatting with the other day about this business he started and how he’s proud to be a wantrepreneur. I don’t know about you or anyone else reading this but I will say, striving or being proud to be a wantrepreneur, means a life of constantly building something to only, get no where. Or really building nothing. I.E. talking for the sake of talking … talk is cheap.
I think of all the times, I got an email from a guy saying. “Hey I see you doing this business. You seem to be doing well. I’m gonna start a business just like yours and I’m gonna out compete you.” Shockingly I’ve gotten that email a lot. In fact more than I ever thought was possible. I can only imagine how many people that have really killed it in business, how many of those emails they have received. The best was when I was in a business that wasn’t really that good of an idea anyways. Then I get and email saying “I’m gonna build something better than you and put you guys out of business.” Then and now, I’m like, “go for it.” I think out of all those moments, only once did anyone ever actually sort-of follow through. They were in business for about 2 months. Beyond that, everyone was all talk. Even better was the guy that emailed me, messaged me on linkedin, a bunch of times. He was convinced he could build a better mouse trap. Wrote long emails about how much better of an idea he had. Years later, still no business to his name and still working for someone else.
I get people asking me a lot lately, can I ask you a question? Can I talk to you about something? Yes you can, but don’t ask me. I don’t respond to any of those kind of messages. I want clear, concise, direct messages. You want to ask me or anyone else something, just ask, tell me, just go for it. Worse case I don’t respond to that either. But asking me, just tells me its not important enough to just say it or its probably not something I want to hear anyways.
This all ties in, when someone just asks me, “can I ask you something”, it goes back to the talk is cheap. If you can’t get to the point right away, its no different the guy saying, “hey I’m gonna be better than you.” I don’t have time for it, and honestly no body should. Just go for it. If you are gonna be better than me, do it already. I don’t care. Like I know there are people way better than me in so many different ways, but I don’t send emails to them saying they are. And I don’t message them to tell them, I’m gonna out do them. What is the real point in that? I don’t loose a bit of sleep over this. And the millions of times someone said they were gonna start a business to compete with me, go for it, competition is good, makes me work that much harder. As for those not getting to the point with questions, I have no issue deleting those emails, text or whatever medium. In fact I have an automated method to this that does delete a lot of questions like that, so I never even see them.
Moral of the story folks, axe out all the stuff that is just waste of time, don’t listen to anyone that can’t get to the point or is just talking because they want to feel special. Every minute, second, counts. You only have one life to live, you are gonna die. If that doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will. With all this data and people in the world, we have to be very selective how we use our time, who we share it with, who we communicate with. I highly recommend automated tools to automatically delete emails, calls, texts, messages on all platforms that are just going to slow you down. In fact try to automate as much of your life as you possibly can.
I want to talk to the people that tell me what they want, or just ask that question, or get on a plane to meet me because all that shows me, this is important. When someone is sacrificing their time and money to come talk to me or go out on a limb and just ask me something, then I know, this matters. They care, they really want to work together, they really want me in there life, they really love me, whatever the case may be. Keep those people close.