1. Are you charging enough for your ideas? Enough that people will perceive substantial value. Enough that people will be tempted. Enough that people will listen. Enough that people will actually do what you say. Enough that you don’t have to work as much as you used to. Enough that you set a precedent of professionalism, value and awesomeness.
REMEMBER: Experts charge more. Command a premium.
2. Are you confident enough to be humble? That means admitting your ignorance. That means not always having the right answers. That means playing the “Let’s See How Long I Can Go Before I Tell Anyone What I Do” game. That means letting go of the need to self-promote at every opportunity, knowing that your brilliance and authenticity and value will naturally shine through everything you do, say and ARE.
REMEMBER: Practice positive ignorance. Be a sleeper.
3. Are you exposed to enough good ideas? Here’s an easy way to tell: If you never have writer’s block, never have thinker’s block, never run out of stuff to talk about and never fail to have ideas to brainstorm about, then you’re good to go. If that’s not the case, no worries. Here’s what you do: (1) read one book on creativity every week, (2) think of the top ten most creative people you know and throw a party for them, (3) learn to write morning pages, and (4) come to my writing marathon on Friday.
REMEMBER: Inspiration is overrated. MAKE ideas come to you every day.
4.Are you gaining confidence early enough? The sooner you diffuse defensiveness, the sooner you make people feel comfortable. The sooner you make people feel comfortable, the sooner you give people permission. The sooner you give people permission, the sooner they trust you. And the sooner they trust you, the higher their confidence IN you will soar.
REMEMBER: Overcome initial discomfort. People at ease buy easily.
5. Are you gambling on yourself enough? You have to trust your inner resources. You have to believe that when you stick yourself out there, a net will eventually appear. And if it doesn’t, you have to believe that when you DO fall on your ass, you’ll be able to dust yourself off proudly and expeditiously, transforming your mistakes into lessons and lessons into wealth.
REMEMBER: Gambling on yourself has pretty good odds when you work your ass off.
6. Are you journaling enough? Writing is the basis of all wealth; and if you don’t write it down, it never happened. So, here are my suggestions: Morning Pages, WOM Log, Gratitude Journal, Highly Valuable Activity Record, Victory Log, Mistake List, Learning Log, Boundary Book, Dream Diary, Luck Log.
REMEMBER: Writing is power. Writing is medicine. Writing is money.
7. Are you laughing at yourself loud and often enough? Take your health seriously. Take your work seriously. Take your passion and purpose seriously. Take your relationships seriously. But don’t take yourself seriously. You’re really not that big of a deal. Instead, learn to poke fun at yourself. It disarms people. It grounds you. It keeps you human and relevant and relatable.
REMEMBER: Humorless people suck.
8. Are you saying “no” enough? Every time you say no to something that’s wrong for you; you make room FOR and give yourself permission TO say yes to something that’s right for you. On the other hand, if you don’t set boundaries for yourself, people will set them for you. And then they will violate them. And it will be your fault.
REMEMBER: Boundaries are saviors. No’s lead to yeses.
9. Are you saying “yes” enough? Hey, you never know. Everybody is somebody’s somebody. Everything matters. Every word is a seed the scatters. Every choice matters. Every tide turns. Everyone has influence. Everyone teaches you. Everything is related. Everything is significant.
REMEMBER: The answer is yes. The answer is yes.
10. Are you serving enough? In the movie Glengary/Glenross, Alec Baldwin’s character coined the term ABC: Always Be Closing. It became the classic sales mantra for generations to come. And I find this interesting, because you rarely hear about the mantra, “ABS: Always Be Serving.” See, when you serve first, you don’t have to close. Try teaching THAT to your sales force.
REMEMBER: Aspire to serve. Brand your service. Commence joyful serving.
11. Are you specializing enough? If you were scheduled to receive a double lung transplant, would you want a doctor who happened to do a little thoracic surgery on the weekends; or the best lung surgeon in the country? Likewise, your customers want specialization. You need to be known FOR some-thing, AS some-one and TO some-group. Pick a lane. Specialize or die.
REMEMBER: When you specialize, you monetize.
12. Are you spending enough time learning to listen to your own voice? That means practicing every day. That means becoming fluent in the language of your gut. That means meditating and doing yoga and breathing exercises. That means journaling your thoughts. That means doing whatever you have to do to turn up the volume on that inner whisper where Truth resides.
REMEMBER: Reestablish inner calmness. Just breathe. Then listen.
13. Are you stretching enough? No. You’re not. You’re not making yourself uncomfortable enough. You’re not sticking yourself out there. You’re not willing to make an idiot of yourself. You’re not willing to practice for 10,000 hours. You’re not willing to pay the price and suffer The Dip and work your ass off. You’re not willing to put in the hours when nobody is noticing so you can eventually become the best five years down the road.
REMEMBER: Stretching never stops. Comfort zones are overrated.
14. Is your platform strong enough? That means lots of subscribers. That means blogging every single day. That means sending out a newsletter or ezine at least twice a month. That means (physically) being in front of key players on a regular basis. That means being interviewed IN, and as an expert BY the media on a regular basis.
REMEMBER: Get their email. Build a following. Cultivate your fans.
15. Is your purpose clear and specific enough? The best advice I ever got in my life was from a random 83 year-old man I met in the summer of 2003 in downtown Philadelphia. He told me, “Validate your existence on a daily basis.” Holy. Crap. Did you get that? “Validate your existence on a daily basis.” That’s purpose.
REMEMBER: Assemble your purpose. Make it your map. Then go.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you doing enough?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “13 Ways to Out DEVELOP the Competition,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
No time to write?
Can’t finish that book?
Dog ate your last article?
Come to the St. Louis Writing Marathon this Friday!
No excuses. Just writing. All day.
I promise it will be the best $20 you’ll spend on your writing career all year.
Learn more at www.writingmarathon.com!