By learning, growing, and becoming everything I want to, I’ve boiled the process of setting my own goals to do what it takes down to three important steps. These three steps are at the heart of what needs to be done to make progress in any endeavor. They will teach you how to get anything you want, and are a high-level overview of the tenets of success.
Before I hash out these steps, I’d like to explain where I was before I started applying these.
I had been told that to succeed in life and get business success, one MUST go to college. My parents, in well-meaning preparation, had saved money for me to go to college since before I was born! They instilled to me this path, hoping the best for my future.
I greatly appreciate this.
However, I believe this is an outdated way of getting business successes, unless you’re in a field such as: pre-med, pre-law, or engineering. These paths will take enormous studying, perfecting, and critiquing of your craft to get where you’d like to go. They’re almost a must have when thinking about these specific professional futures.
Engineering relies heavily on scientific approach and mathematics. Pre-med will consist of hours of practicing and studying information you will need to know about the body. Law is a profession that takes much legal study and preparation for the types of cases you will be handling on a daily basis. If your goals include these, then go ahead! You will benefit IF you stick to these professions.
If you so choose to push yourself, this is a domain in which you can study your professors, gain some of their insights, find new friends to talk to, approach girls you haven’t met, meet new connections and so on.
The kicker: college sets you up for almost no real world business experiences. If your goals are to get a job, you will learn everything about that job in the first few months.
The vague concepts that are taught in college, such as business, economics, entrepreneurship (The irony!) and others will have little bearing in the professional world. Especially as an entrepreneur.
Humor me by entertaining this thought for a second: unless the professor of your entrepreneurship class is a self-made, self-educated millionaire thanks to his outside businesses, he has NO idea what he’s talking about in application.
You are learning entrepreneurship from an employee. An employee learning from a book, not experiences, nonetheless.
Even as an open-minded, hard-working, and dedicated individual, it’s very hard for you to come up with a reason to stay working towards a degree when you see the options in the real world.
With just one short year of hard work and commitment, I made more money than I had ever made in my life (some while sleeping), I became free to travel with no job or boss, and I journeyed to six new countries own my own dime.
The best part is, this is only the beginning.
A major turning point in my life was when I decided to take full responsibility for my life, and with one decision, I decided to go out into the real world and get some experience in the field I was studying (Graphic Design). I asked many entrepreneurs, doing what I thought I wanted to be doing at the time, if they would show me how to do it, in exchange for some of their time.
I called them up, sent out tons of e-mails and left countless messages with the local designers around the Denver metro area.
I ended up landing apprenticeships with 3 main designers, and met with some others for lunch and coffees with the intention of interviewing them. I learned how to make logos, design websites, make flyers, brochures, headers, and banner ads; you name it. It was a valuable experience to say the least, as it fit nicely into what I’m currently doing.
This Experience Was Valuable to Me For Three Key Reasons:
1. I got to learn the real world craft in action
2. I got to see how these freelance designers worked and lived
3. I got to understand that what I was learning in class was a joke
Now, the following is in no way disrespectful to any of these designers; I appreciate what I learned. I soon recognized that I didn’t want to emulate the types of lives they lived, though. They didn’t seem to fit what I was after in business: freedom, fulfillment and making a colossal difference in the world.
For instance, the first designer was 10 years out of college, had a small design firm a mile from the university and was still swimming in 40k+ of debt.
The second designer lived in an extremely small home 2 miles from the university, was crammed in a one bedroom office for work, and was swamped with other people’s projects for 12 hours or more a day.
The third designer was 35 years old, ranked number one in Google for the town we were in, yet he lived in his grandma’s basement.
I wasn’t really trying to achieve goals like these…
On top of that, the whole business model was flawed because each of them was still selling their time for money. They didn’t have teams, and they were mainly freelancers who had built clients up over time.
By selling time for money, you put a cap on your earning potential.
This is not a causation of the Graphic Design field of course; it’s more of a correlation. But the point is, I went straight to the top designers in my city near Denver and not one of them had the most important thing in life: time freedom.
Everything is a result of how hard you hustle, what your mindset is like and how you talk to yourself. These people could have been far more successful had they simply chose to and made the necessary set of decisions. This point aside, I recognized the most important part, in my opinion: college was a joke.
So what did I do?
I immediately searched for ways that I could make a living and still be free, travel around, and set my own hours. I sat up all night researching, learning, studying about how others have done it, and I came across this trendy little term: location independence.
I wanted that.
No, no, let me rephrase: I said to myself “I will have that.”
I knew I could achieve goals that I set in my path, and what came in my path next was extremely vital.
I came across two fundamental articles with points of views I didn’t yet have. For this spark of inspiration, and what followed, I am eternally grateful.
Do yourself the favor if you’re currently in college or contemplating it: read both.
Each have an enormous amount of value and will uproot your belief systems so you can live a freer life.
These articles helped plant that initial seed that would soon lead me on to a new world. One of greater enthusiasm about business, time freedom, and fulfillment through making a difference in ambitious people’s world. I figured out I had no answer for Steve’s first question to ask yourself: “Why am I going to college?”
My action shortly after this was the only logical reasoning I could come up with. This was to stop the thing I didn’t want, dead in its tracks, to fully create what I did want.
You must stop creating what you don’t want in order to get what you want.
As they say: out with the old, in with the new. It’s impossible to spend all your energy dismantling what you have, in order to build what you want.
Socrates put it best: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Focus on how to achieve goals and succeed, instead of how to not fail.
So here are the 3 main steps that I’ve found to get you closer to what you want.
3 Steps to Achieve Goals
1. Vividly Picture What it is That You Want
This one is the most important. Most people don’t get what they want out of life, because they have no idea what they want! Or they want some vague thing like: more money, a big house and a business of their own.
Okay, cool, but what do you really WANT? What are your goals for your life in the big picture? How much money is enough?
What type of house, with which furniture inside, what flooring type, with what type of landscape in which city of the world?
Get the picture?
Decide whether it’s a business, a lifestyle, materialism, philanthropy, anything at all. But first you must make the commitment, the decision.
Craft a clear visual of EXACTLY what you want. In every area of your future life.
2. Practice Visualizing Daily
To get what you want, you must visualize what you want every single day. Burn your goals into your subconscious. You do this by repetitively practicing the thoughts you entertain in your mind.
Print out pictures, collages, vision boards and Photoshop creations. Anything that will help you picture yourself in the position of having all that you want already in your possession.
Feeling what it will feel like when you have it is what will help you achieve your goals.
For the financial facet of my goals, one of the most powerful tools I’ve created for myself in this arena are Photoshop images of my face on my ideal body, with my favorite types of cars and the types of homes I want to live in to set on my computer desktop.
I accompany these with specific goals, written like they’re already achieved, and constructive affirmations.
They’ve helped me not just see, but feel how it feels to have them. This goal setting and visualization exercise is very important.
3. Take Action
It seems simple but many people stop here!
This is the step that ties the other two up and brings them into reality.
What goals do you expect to hit if you won’t do anything about it?
I believe the Law of Attraction exists, but possibly the most overlooked aspect of this way of thinking is the need for consistent action.
Sitting at home on your couch and expecting checks to come in for upwards of 25k with no work is a bit ridiculous to me.
However! You can get off that couch, set some goals, build a business, start an organization, learn how to invest, learn stocks, buy real estate, find SOME hustle and make yourself a student of the world around you and you might see some of those 25k checks start to materialize.
It’s not hard to achieve goals, it just takes a specific process, coupled with action and persistence. It’s also not some complex theoretical problem you need to solve to achieve your goals.
You can follow success clues and you don’t need to re-invent the wheel. That is such a cliche phrase for a reason. To blast past all of your goals, you can find the pathway, it just takes work and dedication.
*Bonus Point: You must also figure out a way to add to others’ lives. This is a huge one that I didn’t start out understanding, and this puts a limit on what you can earn. So… as far as me cutting off your learning curve, you’re welcome.
Zig Ziglar put this best:
How to Actually Achieve Goals:
As soon as you master these three potent concepts, you are more than well on your way to achieve all of your goals.