Strategies to recognize your potential and dominate your passions
Have you ever wondered whatever happened to all the people that you went to high school or college with? I don’t mean close friends, I just mean folks in general that are not your friends on social media.
School was great for me because it was a time of big dreams. It was a protected environment, I could sit and journal what I wanted to do in the future.
I took an assessment of where former schoolmates were 10 years later and of course, there were those that just took off, they seemed to have everything together. They were not necessarily wealthy, but they were really on the road to success and it showed. Then, there was the other group, they hadn't quite figured out what they wanted quite yet.
So what made the first group more successful than the 2nd? Well, it turns out there some basic universal truths and principles that, if employed, would allow most folks to reach their full economic potential no matter what profession or business they choose.
Principle of hard work
My mother said this to me over and over until she was blue in the face, “You have to work hard G (my middle name), in this life, if you want anything, you have to work for it”. The older I get, the truer this principle becomes.
It’s usually not talent or education that makes you successful, its hard work. Hard work is more than showing up to work and working harder or longer than anyone else, it’s about the quality of work as well.
Quality hard work requires more from you. It requires bettering yourself, thinking about your company or department and thinking of ways to increase production or save the company money.
Quality hard work requires not just showing up physically, but being fully engaged. Those employees are quality employees and are deeply valued by the companies they work for. They are also rare, so it doesn't take long to be noticed and promoted which leads to more money.
Being able to maneuver in a social setting is important because people want to be around people they like. Being personable makes you memorable, in a good way. I used to have a real problem with this principle because I thought people I worked with, who socialized with their managers were really fake and were basically kissing up to get ahead.
As time has progressed, I have started to think differently about what it means to be sociable, even at work. Good social skills open doors for you. Building social bonds by being positive and pleasant becomes valuable when you have to ask for a raise or want to pitch a new Idea to clients or managers.
Discipline and self-control
Every one of us has to work even though we don’t feel like it, sometimes. We have to get to work on time and successfully execute a set of tasks. Work is not always exciting or sexy; it can be monotonous and mundane.
There is a really dangerous message out on the blogs, TV, and magazines telling people to “live your dream/passion” and “work does not feel like work if it’s your passion”. The problem I have with this “live your passion” movement is, that it is very emotional, and emotions are temporary.
What happens when this passionate job becomes like all jobs, repetitive and sometimes stressful? Does that mean you are doing the wrong thing? Should you move on to your next passion? Unfortunately, most people just move on to the next thing that interests them. This jumping around from career to career means, you never really get good at one thing, and therefore never maximize your earnings in any one career.
It also means, you are always starting over and everyone knows, you make the least money when you are new to a career or starting a new business. It helps to see any venture or job as a long journey that will, inevitably, have days that just suck. But that's just part of the process.
Partnerships and Alliances
This is a top often avoided because it involves making difficult choices. A struggle between pragmatism and idealism. What am I talking about? Personal relationships, spouses and significant others, who do you surround yourself with?
In an Ideal world, you want a spouse or significant other who shares the same values, and belief system around money and hard work. In simpler terms, a saver should hook up with a saver and a spender should hook up with a spender. Likewise, a hardworking person should hook up with another workhorse.
When you work hard, keep opening doors for yourself using those great social skills and communication skills and maintain discipline and self-control, you will make money. You will maximize your earnings, but it is pointless to make the money if you cannot retain any of it.
Having a partner who does not share your goals or is not supportive can erode all your hard work and all your great potential. I have come to realize again, over time, that actions speak much louder than words and talk is dirt cheap.
Look at a person’s habits before making any long-term commitments. A lazy person will never tell you they are lazy, but you can tell from their actions.
A spender’s actions will reveal who they are, without them ever speaking a word. So align yourself with those people whose habits will allow you to be your most successful version of yourself.