I spent the past week abroad visiting childhood friends. It did not take long for the group to settle down and start talking about goals and dreams. Looking back it played like mastermind session at three in the morning, except it also had an extra component… I am going to call it “liberation”.
Perhaps the best lesson in success I heard came form Erik. Very early in his career he achieved a good position in a consulting firm. He did not enjoy working for other people and decided that his end goal was to open a business and become an enterpreneur.
Rather than keep doing something he did not enjoy in order to one day open a business, he sat down with his family and talked about raising funds. Within the year he had a business of his own and today it just went into another expansion phase. He opened a beauty salon.
He shared with me that owning a business is not what most people think it is. He works harder than he did back in his consulting days and he deals with a lot of difficult people on a daily basis.
However, that is not the part of the story I want to focus on. When it comes to your life goals, I think it is important to ask yourself, “Can you start TODAY?”
That is a very important question. When I think about what I want to do several years from now, I often have a mental picture in my head. I want to spend time with my wife, read a lot and write a book. Those are things that really bring joy to my life.
Another friend of mine shared that his goal is to get a doctorate in his area and open a consulting firm. He already does it part time and he has top notch work experience. I went fishing with him and several times asked, “Can you start today?”
Based on what he tells me I really thin he can. If not today, I really hope he starts very soon.
My closest friend growing up started his career in advertising, dropped everything and moved away to study history and become an archeologist. After several years working only for recognition in his field and not a whole lot of financial return, today he owns a Cultural Consulting firm that handles a couple of seven figures projects.
He picked me up when I landed and drove me to the airport for my flight home. He also drove me to the beach two hours away and to my fishing trip, so we actually spent a lot of time talking in the car. He agrees that the first step is to know what you want. What is the end game?
The next step is to create a path to get there. Anything you do to get closer helps, and you should take one step towards your end goal every day. I thought it was a great lesson.
In 2014 I am starting a business with my wife. That truly puts me exactly where I want to be… I outlined my idea to the group and I received input from everywhere. Even days later I was getting feedback from the group. It was really liberating to say out loud what my plan is without fear of failure, to people I really care about.
When it comes to my business idea, one thing that I may have overlooked was brought up: someone in the group mentioned that everything is centred in the talent (my wife) so it is essential to keep her happy.
Sometimes we take our significant other’s happiness for granted. It really made me think.
Part of my job to reach my end goal is to make the wife happy. Does it mean I am going to watch the ballet with her? Absolutely! Am I going salsa dancing again in 2014? You bet! Am I going to stop drinking soda? Yup!
Those are the steps I am taking every day, along with reading more and writing more.
The timing of this trip could not have been better. New year. New resolutions.
Happy wife, happy life. Happy holidays!