We all have incredible untapped potential to be, do and have things, far beyond our current experiences of life. And that holds true whether you’re a student, a television personality, a sales assistant, a stay-at-home mum, or a multi-millionaire business mogul. However you spend your days, you’ll likely fall in to one of two camps. First, the “Have-Nots”, who are trapped on a treadmill of acceptable societal “norms”. Turning up at their respectable job 5 mornings a week, doing their 8+ hours in exchange for a “fair” hourly rate, paying their bills, and being a consumer of material things (often bought on credit) to impress friends, colleagues and acquaintances with their “aspirational” lifestyle.
On the contrary, the “Haves” are not bound by societal pressure to conform, and care little about other people’s opinions of them. Instead they recognise the endless opportunities in life and are willing to push the envelope, on a daily basis, allowing them to be constantly uncovering more and more of their potential.
“Yes”, I hear you say, “But, they’ve probably had every advantage put in front of them”. Or, “They’ve been incredibly lucky”. Well, to some degree that may be the case, but many of our most well-known success stories, came from pretty challenging backgrounds. Take Oprah (the woman doesn't even need a surname anymore!), Tony Robbins, Jim Carrey, Anthony Worrall Thompson, Les Brown, and Sarah Jessica Parker. And those are just a few of the famous names, but there are countless others experiencing incredible success, away from the public eye, who came from equally meager beginnings. These people weren’t afforded endless opportunities, and as Samuel Goldwyn famously pointed out, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”. Herein lies the secret of so many a success story. It’s not that the “Haves” were lucky, but that through hard work, dedication, and most importantly, clarity of pursuit, that they created their own luck!
So, I promised to share with you, 3 core mistakes that stifle the potential of many a would-be outstanding career woman, and here they are.
1. It’s not all about money; but it is about money! So what is it that defines success? Well, first off, it’s not money. After all, if the pursuit of money is the only thing driving a person, then chances are they are pretty miserable. I know many, many financially wealthy people that completely hate their work, but feel obliged to keep at it because it is affording them a certain lifestyle. The problem with that outlook, is that they’re neglecting to pay attention to the 40+ hours of each week that is draining their mental energy, and negatively impacting their wellbeing. I mean, seriously, is there any point in wasting the lion-share of your weekday waking hours doing something you hate? What kind of a lifestyle is that?
Then, you have the people who don’t hate their work, but don’t love it either. They feel frustrated by their financial dependence on the job, and tell themselves that money just isn’t important, in an effort to make themselves feel better about the fact that they never have any, while secretly longing for that life-changing lottery win.
And, similarly, those brave few that have already found the courage to follow their hearts, and pursue work that they love, but feel sleazy selling their services. As if it’s wrong to take people’s money when they’re just doing something that they love. But career success without financial abundance is just a hobby. I mean, what’s the point of pushing yourself to be a better person, pursuing your passions, and building a career based around what you love, if you can’t make enough money to be able to actually spread the word, reach out, and help people with your products and services. Or, if it does not afford you the flexibility and lifestyle to be able to spend time with your loved ones, see the world, enjoy new and varied experiences and contribute even more to others.
So, stop making excuses to justify why you’re not happy, or don’t have enough money. Instead, figure out what you love, and find a way to build a viable income around it. Remember, the greatest success allows you to do what you want, when you want, and with whomever you want. And that means doing work you love, and earning plenty of money at it.
2. Online opportunities are staggering; but you need to get offline! Ok, another conundrum for you. While it’s true that there are incredible opportunities to spread the word about you, your professional experience, and/or your business online, the problem with the internet is that it is so incredibly busy. Sometimes, it can feel like your shouting to someone at the opposite end of a packed football stadium, because unless you are offering something very unique, chances are there’ll be a million other voices shouting the same messages, and there’s every chance they’ll have been at it longer than you, have a bigger budget than you, and are able to get their messages seen before yours.
So, while an online presence is incredibly important, if you truly want to build your own personal career stock (whether you are self-employed, working for someone else, or both), the most important thing you can do is to build an offline presence. Put yourself in front of prospects and other professional people and build personal relationships with them. Become the person whose messages they’re interested in hearing. Then, when they’re at the other end of the football stadium, at least they’re looking out for you, and can pick up the phone to hear your message, rather than trying to listen over the baying crowd. And, when the time is right, and they’re needing what you offer, you’ll be the person that they think of. Not one of the huge crowd shouting relevant messages. But the one they actually know.
How do you do it? Attend networking events, training sessions, business exhibitions, seminars, and more. Figure out where the people you’re looking to reach are hanging out, and be there. People go to these very places to meet people, just like you. So stop telling yourself that people won’t be interested in you, or that you’re not confident enough. Get off your backside, push that envelope, and start exploiting your potential.
Career Advice Infographic
3. There will always be 24 hours in a day; but how many days have you got? There are two major reasons that people don’t push on and pursue what they want, and they have everything to do with time.
The first, is that they don’t have the time. They’re so busy with their jobs and their families, and their friends, and their responsibilities that they can’t possibly make the time. Frankly, that’s rubbish. I was a single mother, working a full-time corporate job, and running a full-time business for almost a year. Yes, sometimes I was tired, but the only thing that I ever considered giving up was my corporate job. And how did I do it? Well, first of all by cutting the dross out of my life. I don’t turn the TV on to watch soaps, or news, or Jeremy Kyle. I don’t surf social media unless I’m actively looking for useful content to share with my fans. I don’t read celebrity magazines. I don’t listen to music in the car (I listen to seminars and business podcasts that can help me build my business, which I don’t want to waste time on when I have the opportunity to be working). I also get up early. Very early. At 5am on weekdays. I spend a little time meditating, exercising and journaling and am working by 6am every day. I have a highly focused schedule so that when I’m working, I’m working. I don’t answer the phone, respond to texts, read emails, or check Facebook and Twitter, unless I am in a specifically allotted time, within my schedule, for doing that. Now that might all sound really regimented, but what it affords me is the opportunity to be highly productive when I’m working and, to be completely honest, I’ve never once been disappointed that I missed Loose Women, or pictures of my friends’ dinners on Instagram. You see, I’m doing what I love, and that more than makes up for idle distractions. Plus, it means that I’m completely available to family, friends, and myself, when I’m not working. As a result, I don’t have to keep dipping into work at other times, because I was already so effective in my working hours. And I didn't tell you all that to show off or make you think that I'm some kind of superwoman. I'm telling you because if I can do it - with my teeny attention span and night-owl tendencies - then anyone can do it!
The second reason that time stifles potential, is that people think they have forever. They don’t worry about the fact that they haven’t gotten around to pursuing their dreams, because they figure tomorrow will do. But honestly, how many tomorrows have you got? The answer is you just don’t know, but it is a fact that around 70% of people that come to me for coaching, have experienced a serious shake up in their lives, by way of accident or illness, marriage breakdown/separation, bereavement, or some other major wake-up call that made them realise that things can change in an instant. My own transformation was brought on by a combination of all three and so I’m painfully aware of how life can bring things into startling perspective by changing the playing field.
So, what low-value activities can you cut out of your life, immediately, to make room for what’s most important, before time is taken away from you altogether?
My mission is to see you tap into much more of your incredible potential, and to begin experiencing the success that you deserve, and that’s why I’m committed to providing you with practical and insightful content, that is designed to enable you to take action and improve your life now.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and can see the value in tackling these potential stifling mistakes. I’d love to know your thoughts and ideas so please feel free to leave me a comment below, and I promise to reply.