There’s a huge list of blocks that we all face in our lives that hinder our success. But if you group them together, it all boils down to these 3 major blocks that we should focus on overcoming. These major blocks can be on its own or you could also argue that one is related to another.
Whether it’s a fear of rejection or fear of failure, we have the tendency to let fear stop us from achieving what we want in life. We’re worried about the what-ifs. What if they think I’m pushy? What if the business fails? What if I embarrassed myself? What if I lose tons of money? Yes, these things could possibly happen but we’re letting it stop us from making even the first step. If we don’t even dare attempt it, how would we ever know if it would ever work out?
We should think of all the outcomes, regardless of good or bad as lessons or feedback. When we don’t view of the outcomes as rejection or failures, we will have a better chance at succeeding simply by learning from it and finding better ways to do things.
Being a perfectionist myself, I could totally relate to the numerous times perfectionism stopped…or rather, still stopping me in my tracks. Perfectionism gives you a message that you’re not good enough, you’re incompetent and the world is going to judge your flaws. It keeps you obsessed with the act of self-editing or polishing, agonizing over the details that don’t necessarily matter.
We must continue to remind ourselves that nobody is perfect and it’s okay to not get it 100% right the first time. It doesn’t define who we are. It only means that we’re not quite there yet and still in progress.
As mentioned earlier, these major blocks can be inter-related. Your fear of something or wanting to be perfect can also be a sign of you feeling insecure. When something is unfamiliar, we feel like we’re venturing into unknown territory. Fear starts to creep in along with our insecurity of not knowing what will happen. We feel that we need to prepare ourselves and have plans after plans (perfectionism kicking in) in order to ensure 100% success rate (which almost never happen.)
Insecurity comes from the limiting beliefs we have about ourselves. We need to replace those limiting beliefs about our capabilities to liberating beliefs that we can do great things and make things happen.
Life happens regardless of whether or not we’re taking control of our destiny. If we don’t overcome these major blocks that deter us, we will find ourselves stuck in the same position and just going through the motion in a meaningless and purposeless life. It’s time for us to consciously “dig out the trash” in our head and fill it with beliefs that propel us forward.
For the past one decade, I’ve struggled with focus and staying consistent. Every new year, I would set my goals and failed to achieve them. I feel like I’ve wasted the last 10 years of my life going through a whirlwind of activities that didn’t serve me. I don’t know what 2020 will bring me but I have a strong feeling that it’s going to be my best year since 2010.
The following is my manifesto and the mindset I’m going to have for 2020 which I hope will inspire you too.
- Don’t just learn, act on it. I’m an avid learner. I’m obsessed with consuming knowledge and learning new things. However, I achieved very little success for one very simple reason; I don’t always practice what I’ve learned. Moving forward, I’m going to be more selective in what I spend time and effort to learn and place more emphasis on taking action.
- Things may not always go as planned, be flexible. That’s what life is all about. It’s unpredictable because there are so many things that are beyond our control. Instead of worrying about it like I always did, I must have a flexible mindset and go with the flow.
- Positive state leads to infinite possibilities. One thing I notice whenever I’m facing problems is when I’m in a negative state, all I see is doom and gloom. The moment I decided to take a breather, that’s when solutions start popping up. So, instead of worrying about things not going my way, I must maintain a positive mindset. Even
- Prioritise what (or who) that matters to you. For the past 10 years, I was constantly trying to do everything for everyone to the point that I suffered burnout and tremendous stress. It’s only when I decided that enough is enough that I can clearly see that I’m only one person and I can’t do everything. Besides, I also felt used and not appreciated. It’s time to prioritise the things I enjoy doing and the people who truly matters to me.
- Focus, focus, focus. This is the one word I’ve been hearing consistently from my family, close friends and mentors. They could tell that I was all over the place. This is the single most important thing for years to come.
Most financial gurus will advise you to not spend beyond your means and encourage you to live a life of frugality. But there are some of them that will tell you not to focus on savings, or not to deprive yourself from enjoying life or spending less means living less. The latter advice works very well if you’re a hustler who strives to accumulate as much wealth as you can get and if you have the means to achieve all your financial goals.
However, as a minimalist who doesn’t want to accumulate too many physical stuff, I’m opting for a simple and frugal life yet feeling contented with what I already have. At the very least, I can be certain of one thing: spending lesser than I earn will definitely ensure there’s a surplus at the end of the month where I could either save it or invest it. Also, people should really get it out of their head that living frugal means living cheap.
The difference between being frugal and being cheap
While spending less doesn’t mean living less, being a cheap is definitely living less. A cheapskate will deprive themselves just to save a couple of bucks here and there. They will buy counterfeit or low quality items or services. They’ll love free stuff and will not reject it even though they don’t need it.
Being frugal, however, means living a simple minimalistic and non-wasteful life. Frugal people are able to separate wants from needs. They would spend $100 on a high quality pair of shoes they can wear daily for more than one occasions than to own a few pairs of 20 somethings shoes that couldn’t last beyond 6 months. Frugality also means being able to live a debt-free life, paying bills on time and having savings or investments that will grow exponentially over time.
In short, cheapskates will save money in any ways they can, sometimes at the expense of others. Frugal people, on the other hand, are generous but choose to spend money on the right things or right people.
Think about the last time you bought something of significant value. It can be a laptop, a car or even a house. You walk into the store or showroom. A salesperson approached you. You had the intention to make a purchase but were you looking to be sold to? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Did the salesperson ask you what you were looking for or interested in or tell you the features they wanted you to know?
- Was the salesperson genuinely interested in what you want?
- Did the salesperson show you the option available within your price range or try to persuade you to go for something more expensive?
- Did you walk out a happy customer or did you suffer from buyer’s remorse after your purchase?
The final question is an indication of whether you were in control of your purchase decision or you were steered towards what the salesperson wanted for you. It feels like they’re imposing what they think or believe to the best for you while it’s really about their own interests. I’m not saying being sold to is usually a bad thing. There were times when I was sold to and still I was a happy customer because the salesperson genuinely care more about what I wanted. But this is a topic for another day.
So now that we have put ourselves in the consumer’s shoes, we really don’t want to “sell” to family, friends, acquaintances or even total strangers. Whether you’re a business owner or freelancer, you need to reframe the idea of selling to sharing. People feel instant connection when you share. The word sharing is associated closely with contributing or giving. Also, salespeople may sell you something you don’t need or may not be beneficial to you but when it comes to sharing, you don’t share craps to your family and friends. You only share because it’s good and you think it may benefits them, then leave them to decide if they want it.
In the era of social media, even large corporations are transforming their sales and marketing practices into more personalized approaches where they begin to share information rather than pushing advertising messages down your throats. So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be utilizing the social media to your advantage when you’re running a business.
Sharing What You Do with Your Family and Friends
If you’re a business owner or an entrepreneur, you must know that your products or services are good or else why would you be in this business? So, begin sharing with anyone who might be interested in what your products or services can offer. If they truly have the purchase intention, you can recommend options. A little persuasion won’t do any harm but don’t push it too hard.
Some people may find it easier to share it with strangers rather than family and friends. Now, the question is, why wouldn’t you share about your products and services to your friends if you know that it can be a solution to their problems? If a regular salesperson out there are earning commissions out of your friends by providing good services, I bet you can do an even better job because you know what your friends want best and your services will definitely be more personalized compared to the strangers out there.
Helping Others to Make Informed Purchase Decision
Information is important for us to make good purchasing decisions. We’re already doing that anyway. We inform our friends about the new deals at certain online stores, great movies they should watch, or delicious food they may enjoy at a newly opened restaurant. We’re recommending products or services of other companies to our family and friends based on our positive consumption experiences. The only difference is that those other companies don’t pay us. Why don’t we share and recommend our own products or services?
You’d be surprise at how supportive some of your relatives and friends can be. I know I have paid higher for the same products to my friend who’s selling them compared to purchasing it at the store. I’ve also stopped buying certain products from the stores even though it’s more convenient simply because my friends are selling them. I would rather support my friends’ livelihood than to give my money to large corporations.
Talk about your products or services on Facebook or Twitter and let them be the judge. I’m sure they’ll contact you if they need your products or services. Don’t sit there and thinking of how to sell, just begin by sharing!
Last week, I talked about how we could use our idle time effectively to learn. Listening to podcasts, particularly on business related topics or personal growth was one of it. This week, I would like to share with you a few amazing podcasts that I follow religiously and listen to whenever I could.
Smart Passive Income
Pat Flynn is one of the most authentic entrepreneurs out there. I’ve followed him for years. If you’re looking to start a business that will gradually generate passive income, you should follow this podcast. Smart Passive Income contains a huge volume of online business and blogging strategies, marketing tips and productivity hacks for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. Pat Flynn interviews a wide range of successful entrepreneurs and self-made millionaires who are willing to share knowledge with you.
Originally AskPat podcast featured Q&A sessions where people will send in questions related to their business and Pat Flynn will answer them. In this evolved version, instead of five days a week, Pat Flynn will feature one entrepreneur per week in a targeted coaching session. I enjoy listening to AskPat 2.0 because I could relate to some of the issues that were faced by the entrepreneurs or freelancers. There are also some amazing knowledge and tips you can learn from Pat and the featured entrepreneur.
Chris Ducker is a close friend of Pat Flynn and I heard about him from listening to Pat Flynn’s podcast where he was interviewed. YouPreneur FM is a weekly podcast where Chris dives deep and provides you with the best advice on how to build your personal brand, product or service launch strategies, and marketing yourself.
This is a must go to podcast if you’re a blogger. Darren Rowse has been blogging since 2002 and is currently making a full time living from his blogs for years. He provides insightful knowledge and practical tips on how to build a better blog by creating compelling content, engaging readers and monetizing your blog.
On Purpose with Jay Shetty
Jay Shetty is one of the most inspiring person you’ll ever come across. In this podcast, listen to fascinating conversations with successful entrepreneurs and business owners. Jay touches on various topics about our personal growth, business productivity and living a life with purpose.
Company of One
Prior to this podcast, I’ve followed Paul Jarvis on his previous podcast known as The Freelancer. It was a quick 10 minutes or less listening which I really loved but Paul is no longer doing that. Ever since he published his book called Company of One, he also has a podcast with the same title where he explores what happens when businesses challenge the traditional idea that bigger is always better. I would also highly recommend that you get the book. It was an amazing read for me as I’ve never wanted to scale up my business to the point that’s beyond my control.
What podcasts do you listen to?
There are so many inspiring business podcasts out there but I keep my list small so I can zoom in to topics that are really close to my heart. Besides, I’m sure we all have our own preference over certain podcasters, the formats they present their ideas or information as well as the lengths of podcasts. Feel free to share in the comment the podcasts you listen to.