I launched this website and create the content that I create because I believe in living a good life. And that is what I think is the secret. The first step is to actually start BELIEVING that you have the power to live a good life, and get very specific about what that means to you.
But there is a “gotcha”… sort of like an unavoidable kick in the head that can derail you from believing in yourself...
And that "gotcha" is that everyone else, also has something that they believe in.
That friend of yours who is making less than $20k a year believes it’s impossible to make $100k in a month unless you come from a family with money and get a college degree, and they will try to convince you too that it's impossible!
Your bosses or managers probably also believe that you should show up on time for them, and be at your desk when the clock strikes 8:00am, and that they would be doing you a favor by letting you leave an hour early one Friday a month.
If the people who you work for don't understand the term "knowledge economy" then you can forget about getting paid for those minutes, or sometimes hours that you spent researching and learning how to solve a problem because they won’t understand that is part of the value you are delivering and they will “advise” you not to care or that your research resulting plans or solutions are not “real work”.
And forget about getting away from your desk for exercise, you don’t have time for that because pressing, higher priority things need to get done for them.
Your (insert relative) believes that you would be crazy for turning down that amazing job opportunity for a startup tech company that you found on Jobs.com and is 5 states away just because it would be “full-time” and offers “benefits”… even though you could do that job from ANYWHERE (considering it is a “tech” company).
And more times than not, these same people that may even love and care for you - may also be the same ones thwarting your own intentions to live a good life.
As humans we are social creatures that often suffer from biases and peer pressure on a daily basis, and it doesn’t take much to fall victim to other people’s influence or agendas.
But there is a way to get clear about what YOU believe.
And that is by realizing that there are really four kinds of advice... Most of which you should just stop caring about.
First and worst, is that advice which is unqualified and is unsolicited.
This is often the advice that comes from friends or family or people that do not share your vision. Sometimes it even comes with love and good intentions, but often the folks offering this kind of advice have zero experience or results with the advice they are offering.
You didn't ask for it, and it's not going to help.
So, it is in your best interest to just politely decline, or ignore (and stay away from) this kind of advice -- because it will often throw you back a few steps and even kill your dreams or confidence.
Second to worst, is that advice which is unsolicited, and may be qualified.
This advice is almost just as bad as the first because you won’t be open to it. Even if the person giving the advice had the answers and keys to your success, you won’t use it if you are not open to it. If you learn how to recognize qualified advice, then it IS useful if you need it. But if it is advice that you don’t currently need in your life, then it usually becomes a distraction.
Then there is unqualified advice, that maybe you ARE asking for (soliciting).
And even though it may be unqualified, it’s not totally bad because you will learn from it. Maybe someone tells you something, and you accept the advice, but realize that maybe it’s just not for you. Now, moving forward you will know what to avoid.
This could be like asking a friend about what kind of salary you should ask for and they tell you that $50k a year seems more than fair because that is what "most jobs like this offer".
Yet, soon after you do your own homework, you discover that even though $50k-$60k year is what the "census" says is the median income - you also find out that is much less than you will need to earn in the long run if you want to support your family, or even retire.
This just means that maybe you need to change your target, and seek advice from someone who does understand finances and can help you come up with goals that are meaningful, measurable and realistic - such as $250k-$700k+ a year "because of X, and so that Y".
Fourth there is the advice that you do solicit, and IS definitely qualified.
This is good advice. It is the advice that you need to learn how to find. But beware, it’s not ALL going to come from one or two people. It’s not always going to be easy to find, but when you do find it - it’s powerful and effective. That “thing” you were struggling with, disappears as if it was never an issue at all and the pressure lifts away like a day clearing after a storm.
It's like finding a good book keeper that makes sense of your mess, and saves you more on taxes than you ever pay her.
Or it's like learning a new way of doing something, or a process, from an experienced professional that eliminates 50% of the work that you were previously doing, and saves you 5 hours a week just on that one thing.
It could be anything from getting coached on how to ride your mountain bike better, a nutrition plan, cardio exercises, improving your people skills, marketing your business, hiring help, increasing your sales, managing your finances, buying or selling a home, investing for retirement, and so on.
The advice you can receive is endless, and you either need it or not, or it’s helpful or not. Some people are qualified to give it for a specific thing, and others are not.
That is why you need to be specific about what you are looking to achieve.
First, prove it to yourself that certain systems are flawed, such as trading time for a limited amount of money that keeps you stuck. And prove it to yourself what will work for you, such as not limiting your income while working on projects that you are excited about -- so that you can lead a good life for yourself and those you love.
I'll end this short post by saying that my advice to you (even if it may be unsolicited) is to learn how to find the time, and then learn how to find effective qualified advice that will get you where you want to be in life.
I'm not saying that everyone on this planet does not have some unique story or an amazing ability that you can learn something from... I’m sure we can all learn something from each other no matter how young or old or our status in life.
But, I am saying that often when you are after achieving a specific goal, then there will be a lot of advice coming your way that just won't work.
So, focus is key. Embrace and take action on the advice that does work for you, and don’t feel guilty about saying no thank you to the advice and systems that don’t work for you.