According to Plan – Words that Don’t Describe My April
Can you remember a time when things didn't go according to plan?
That's what this whole month has felt like for me – one long sequence of unplanned events. I started the month with one idea and a domain I've been using for over two years, and I'm going to close the month with clarity and a new idea and a domain I hope will carry me into the future.
Since in the process of becoming a full-time entrepreneur, I've experienced many emotions. I know I'm not the only one; I know my wife has too.
But choosing to jump in with both feet, instead of searching for another j-o-b, has given me a lot to think about and learn from.
Over the past few months, well, really, over the past few weeks, I've made several changes to my way of thinking and how I plan on building my brand online. These changes affect you too. The changes are going to alter what I write about, how I write, the guests I have on my podcast and the questions I ask them.
I'd like to share my thoughts with you today, get your feedback, and hope you'll stick with me for many years to come.
I've written about this idea before, but over the past few weeks it has really taken on a new level of significance for me.
The idea is a question, really:
What do I want to be known for?
That question came from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Aff) by Stephen Covey. In one of the final chapters of his book, Covey asks us to not only “begin with the end in mind,” but to think of our ultimate end (our departure from this earth) and work backward.
He asks us what we would want a friend and a family member to say about us at our funeral.
While that question and the overall topic may seem scary, it provides both of us with the opportunity to plan our lives and to be intentional with the time we're given. When I asked myself what I want to be known for, I hit a wall.
I didn't really have the answer.
Though it took me a while, I finally started gaining some clarity. Honestly, it came from listening to a podcast episode where Leah Darrow, an ex-model, left her photo shoot after she decided she was miserable.
This girl (Leah), in the middle of work, decided her life had more meaning and more purpose than what she was giving it. And in that moment, while hearing Leah's story, I gained clarity.
I had just exited the highway and was about to turn onto the road that would take me to my Toastmasters meeting. Stopped at a red light, I called my wife and exclaimed,
I think I finally have my mission statement!
I'm almost embarrassed to say, but it took me two years and two months of reading dozens of books, writing over two-hundred blog posts, and coaching several people before I came to fully understand what I'm here to do.
If you don't have a clear idea what your purpose in this world is, maybe my struggle, and how long it took, will give you some encouragement.
For over two years I was going in one direction, only to course-correct while listening to Starve the Doubts.
Here is where it gets difficult for me.
This whole time I've been blogging about leadership, personal development and how to build a personal brand. I've built my brand by becoming an expert at those three things, and they're still very important to me. And I believe I still have a lot to share on those topics.
Where the challenge lies is in serving and supporting who I know I'm here to help.
I've come to realize that I need to help the growing community of people who have been let go from their companies. I'm meant to help people believe in themselves, understand they're in the driver's seat, and help them start their own success journey.
I firmly believe the days of rising through the ranks of Corporate America are over.
I also believe we're on the cusp of a resurgence in entrepreneurship.
The same entrepreneurial mindset that built this country, but that was lost somewhere in the industrial revolution and the glitz and glamor of the corner office, will help get not only our economy back on track but our country as well.
I believe Americans are realizing the so-called corporate dream is really corporate slavery, and the only way to succeed in life is to take control of it.
I wasn't quite sure about this idea of coaching entrepreneurs until I had a chat with a friend of mine a few weeks ago. She had been let go from her job in January. Like most people who get laid off, she had done nothing wrong. Over the course of our conversation, she began to tell me she was thinking about starting her own company.
Here was a girl I thought would surely work for someone else until she retired (and do an awesome job by the way), telling me she was tired of the politics and disregard for everything she'd done for the company.
She had come to realize what I realized a long time ago. I won't get into the details of that now, but, my conversation with her helped crystallize my target audience in my mind.
And again, this is where it gets difficult for me.
I don't want to lose you as a reader, but I know I need to help this community.
My fear is that you might not follow along.
My new mission:
To empower you to choose yourself as the master of your own destiny and the architect of your success. And, once you've made the choice, to equip you with the tools necessary to help you achieve success on your terms.
I hope you'll stick with me. I hope you'll allow me into your inbox every week, and I hope I can continue to share my experiences, knowledge, struggles, and adventures with you.
It's a scary time for me, as any of you who have set sail for distant shores can relate.
I'll see you on the other side!