This is an inspiring guest post from Ryan Eggenberger, who teaches others to turn their career, business, or entrepreneurial dreams into realities.
Everybody has dreams and goals. But why do some make it and others do not? Two differentiators between the most successful people and ordinary people are smart planning and action-taking. To make your goals a reality, however, you have to invest in yourself. What kind of actions do you regularly take to invest in yourself and your goals?
Here are nine powerful methods I use and recommend to ensure future success.
1. Get A Coach
There is no better way to jumpstart you toward accomplishing personal success than to hire a coach. A coach is somebody who will take you from where you are to where you want to be, no matter your goal.
Last year I hired a business coach to teach me how to start blogging. He not only taught me what to do, he held me accountable by being available 24/7 for the period for which I hired him.
Coaching is not for anybody. It is only for those who are ready to make a real change in their life. Most coaches offer a free inquiry session to ensure that the client is serious and to solidify that a working relationship can exist.
2. Implement GetAway Days
Every month, I go away for two days. I jump on a plane and travel to some city in the United States. When I go on a GetAway day, I aim to accomplish three goals: get some personal time (which flying helps me get), attend a self-improvement event, and build new relationships for future opportunities. In fact, during my last GetAway day in Atlanta I had two job offers in less than four hours!
A typical GetAway day for me involves flying early in the morning usually arriving by 9am, getting to hotel, attending an event, back to hotel, get up, meetup with somebody I met at the event for coffee to build a new relationship, go to airport and go home.
3. Go to Meetups and Events At Home
I don’t spend money on flights for GetAway days because I use the miles on my card. But a lot of people don’t use credit cards and a lot of people don’t want to spend the money to fly (although something has to be said about radically putting yourself out of your normal environment to push yourself).
If you’re still uneasy about flying away, you can attend events near home for free. Meetup.com is my favorite website for this. Over on this website, you can search for any events going on in your area. Events might range from volleyball groups to business groups, or even knitting groups!
Have fun with this. Go to events you normally wouldn’t go to and see who you meet. Remember: the point of going to events is to learn new skills and to build relationships for future opportunities.
4. Learn To Follow Up
I don’t carry a business card and I hardly hand them out. They are a waste of money for me.
When somebody asks for my card, I simply say, “I don’t have one. But give me yours and I’ll follow up.” I use this tactic for two reasons. First, by not handing out my card I don’t have to worry about somebody pestering me if I don’t really want to talk to them again. Not every opportunity that comes across my desk is worth my time, especially if it doesn’t match up with my personal mission statement and goals. Secondly, by asking for their card, I have the power to follow-up if I want to.
If you want to follow-up with somebody who you meet, do it immediately. Learn to go home, pull out those cards, and send emails while their faces are still fresh in your mind (and while yours is still fresh in theirs!)
5. Get on a Budget
This one’s a no brainer. Creating a budget helps you spend less money than you make. If you have a problem, you don’t need to spend less money. You just need to find ways to make more!
6. Take a Mentor Out To Coffee and Learn
If you meet somebody who has something that you want, be it great health, a great family, or a great career, ask them out for a coffee to get to know them.
I do this often. I love meeting successful people and taking them out to hear their stories of how they got to where they are. I have had coffee with the president of Meijer, Biggby Coffee, and I even got an opportunity to have two skype meetings with Justin Bieber’s voice coach, Jan Smith, just because I wanted to learn from their experience. Successful people often love sharing and giving advice to those who ask.
7. Start A Blog, Build A Platform
If you like to read blogs, you might be the right person to start one of your own!
I enjoy blogging because it allows me to help people find creative ways to make money. Creative income, leadership, blogging, and business are my favorite topics. Blogging positions me as an expert and it looks great on a resume or marketing piece.
You can start blogging for free, or you can step it up a notch to blog as a professional by getting your own domain name and custom email address.
8. Spend $20 A Month on Books
Read. Read read read! There is nothing better you can do then to read.
One of my favorite quotes is this: “You will be the same person in ten years from now except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
I love reading, but not in the traditional sense. I prefer listening to my books because I can listen on-the-go while running, driving, or doing my chores around the house.
9. Listen to Free Audio Media
You can also invest in your future by listening to free podcasts. My favorites are the Jillian Michaels Podcast (health and business), the Dan Miller Podcast (career), and Fr. John Riccardo’s podcast (spirituality).