Chasing goals has become #goals. I look at success (achieving goals) as being incremental and not as a singular event. Every action, ounce of energy and small win that lead to monumental accomplishments should be celebrated. There are times that I’ve been so laser focused on a particular goal, that I discounted the value of the journey to get there. Often, the biggest lessons learned happen during the journey and not at the destination. Realizing this, I’ve changed my approach to goal setting.
As a journalist, contributor, content creator and public speaker, I’ve bucketed the way that I spend my time when working toward a goal into four categories: teach, learn, consult and develop. I’m able to celebrate key accomplishments in each category as well as ‘stay ready’ so that I don’t have to get ready if an opportunity presents itself in the meantime. As an example, one of my short term goals is to land a paid speaking engagement. Completing activities in each of these categories (teach, learn, consult and publish) will not only help me better position myself to be selected for a speaking gig but can uncover (or create) opportunities that I hadn’t thought about.
The most successful people are teachers in some way. Think of teaching outside of the literal sense. It could be sharing knowledge with colleagues or fellow entrepreneurs. Recently, I heard someone say that we assume that everyone else is good at the things that we are naturally good at (or something like that). Basically, we take our innate abilities for granted. I have always been really good at interviewing. I volunteer with Goodwill by teaching an interviewing skills class. Not only am I sharing my knowledge, I gain insight from the participants. If you have a colleague that’s struggling with Excel, show him/her a few tricks. Remember, when you are teaching, you are also sharpening your skills in that area.
There’s no excuse not to learn something everyday. At minimum, use your smart phone to get smart (sorry, I had to do it). I have hundreds of books downloaded to my Kindle app on my phone. If I arrive to a meeting early, am in the waiting room at the doctor’s office or anywhere else that I have downtime, I read. Read blogs, articles, ebooks…anything that you come across. There are also lots of free resources to learn new skills. As a content creator, I’ve become interested in photography. As a proud member of #teamiPhone, I found out that the Apple store offers FREE iPhone photography classes. There are so many resources that you can take advantage of to learn new skills. Local libraries offer free classes and sites like Udemy offer thousands of courses on topics from project management to public relations.
On the corporate side, as a learning & development consultant, I provide training solutions to organizations. As an entrepreneur, I consult with my peers (bloggers, writers, content creators, speakers). Consulting is lending yourself as a thought partner by asking guiding questions, providing expert advice and helping someone solve a problem. Consulting requires that you think outside of the box, explore new ideas and is a great growth activity for all parties involved. Find opportunities to use your expertise to help someone solve a problem.
You want to be a writer, but what have you written? I used to say that I’d wait until someone hired me to write a guest post or share an article, but how would I get paid if I didn’t have samples of my work? I started publishing the type of content that I wanted to be hired to create on my blog. We get caught up in waiting for someone else to give us an opportunity, but you have to just do it. If you are an aspiring makeup artist, start by doing friends/family faces and posting (publishing) on social media. If you are a business coach, start coaching and sharing testimonials from your clients. Whatever ‘publishing’ means for you, just get your work out there!
Each month, I am intentional in making sure that I am involving myself in activities that allow me to teach, learn, consult and publish. I celebrate each of those opportunities as I know that the skills and experience that I gain will help as I continue the journey to the larger goals.
Hope this was helpful!