I am a creator. I make things. The kind of things that you can hold in your hands. I work hard and play hard, perhaps too hard at times.
I am 30 years old, but my body thinks it’s 90. Waking up sore every morning, leaves me questioning some of my past decisions.
Maybe it was working in the hay fields since I was 9.
Maybe it was the construction labor jobs where I was so eager to out work and out lift everyone.
OR maybe it was the phase that I went through where I thought MMA cage fighting was a good idea to do without health insurance…
Whatever the true cause of my beat up and sore body may be, I am left asking myself if I would change anything about my life. Would I do it differently if I could go back?
The answer is without out a doubt… HELL YES I would make different decisions!
However, let’s not spend too much time focusing on what I would change about my past… that is… unless you have a time machine. You don’t? Ok, lets focus on what comes next then.
Let’s focus on transitioning into a new life style that may be a little easier on my body over the next 30 years. I am ready to work smarter, and not just harder.
I see that there is a world out there different from the one that I am used to. One where I can use my brain a little more and my body a little less.
Recognizing that there are new possibilities out there and knowing where to begin are two different things.
I feel like I have been spinning my wheels for 2 years now, but the truth is… I have learned a lot of the things NOT to do.
Now, the trick is that I need to remind myself of these great lessons that I have learned so that I can apply them and move forward. If I don’t learn from my mistakes, then they are just that… Mistakes.
Here are 5 lessons that I need to keep reminding myself as I move forward.
1: Change your mindset
I measured work in the past by how much physical labor was required to complete a task. Well, as we just discussed… The physical side of work is losing it’s appeal with every aching morning.
When I first started working for myself just a couple of years ago, I had to learn (and am still learning) that tasks such as administrative, quoting, and organization are all also considered work.
If I was not hands on creating then I felt like I was wasting my time. To sit down and answer an email or follow up on a quote doesn’t equate to immediate income in the way that finishing up a project does.
This is the Laborer’s mindset, and it couldn’t be more wrong. The tasks such as quoting are actually the most important tasks because they allow future work to find it’s way to you.
It’s ok to sit down. It’s ok to be reading and responding to emails. It’s ok to not just be a laborer… Because every business and every project has multiple positions to fill. For now, you may be the only one filling these positions, but they need filled non the less.
2: Establish clear goals
Every step of the way I find myself seeking validation from all of the wrong people.
I waste my time feeling that I need to prove that I am on the right track by making all kinds of crazy goals and plans about the future.
Getting side tracked not only makes progress slower, but it can confuse us to the point of losing site of what we set out to do in the first place.
We have all heard of “the shinny object syndrome”. Well… let me tell you that THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!!!
Staying focused on one clear goal is very difficult (sometimes near impossible), but it must be something that you work on everyday.
3: Learn from the mistakes of others
You are not alone. Someone out there has gone through every problem that you find yourself facing.
Find a mentor. There is no reason that you need to learn everything the hard way.
Mentor-ship comes in many forms. By finding someone who has “been there and done that”, you can save yourself lots of time and heartache by learning from their mistakes and experiences.
A mentor doesn’t have to be someone that you know. Hell, they don’t even have to be alive…
Reading books and listening to podcasts are a great way to find many mentors in any area that you wish to grow.
If you find someone who really helps you with their free content alone… then that’s when I would suggest exploring their paid content, or possibly reaching out to hire them as a mentor/ coach.
4: Invest in yourself
As your world opens up and you see new and exciting possibilities, you can’t be afraid to invest in yourself.
The knowledge and skills that got you to this point, will not be the same as what gets you to the next level of success.
Constant growth is a must. Growing too slow, however, can kill momentum.
Hire that mentor to get you to the next level.
Go to that networking event to meet more like minded people.
Join that Paid mastermind group to help keep you on track.
“But I don’t have any money for all of that”
Well, look at investing in yourself a little differently then. To learn is also an investment. Taking the time to gain knowledge that will help you obtain a new level of success is the ultimate investment after all.
Make this initial investment and you will come to love seeing progress. Once you are moving in the right direction then you may want to spend a little money to speed up the learning process by being guided by the experience of someone who has walked the path before you.
So no matter the cost of the investment, as long as you are investing in yourself… you will keep moving in the right direction.
5: Progress is better than perfection
I still find myself planning, setting goals, and analyzing how I will do something all while I am making ZERO actual progress.
I will spend my time surveying potential clients about their needs. I will write lists of all the ways that I can solve those needs. I will come up with a million things that I am going to do… But all of the thinking and planning in the world can not hold a candle to taking action.
It may not be perfect out of the gate but at least I now have something that can be improved.
There is no substitute to taking action. Although I have tried really hard, I still haven’t figured out how to think my way around taking action.
With the absence of a time machine, looking back and thinking “what if” will get us no where.
The only reason to look back at all is to see what didn’t work. Now let that be a lesson to ya, and move on knowing what not to do.
These 5 lessons come from my own experiences. Add them with the lessons that you have from your own experiences.
Trust yourself and move forward taking massive action. Know that every failure is a lesson, and every lesson is an investment into your future.
What are some important lessons that you have learned, and need to remind yourself of from time to time?
You may like this post called “8 Steps for taking Constructive Criticism like a Boss”