You may be familiar with Dave Ramsey’s philosophy of making your money work for you by living on less than you make, in other words “act your wage.” During a meeting with a client last week, she commented, “I wish my entire sales team would act their wage. They all set big goals at the beginning of the year. Even though we’re just a month in, most are on track but others haven’t been putting forth the efforts necessary to accomplish them.”
Now that puts ‘act your wage’ in an entirely different light!
I want to clarify that I’m not saying to spend beyond your means to create an external image of success. The focus is on your mindset. You may be aware that you have an internal self-image that is stored at your subconscious level. Your self-image literally creates your ‘normal’ or how you know yourself to be, and its operating 100% of the time. Setting big, hairy, audacious goals (kudos to Jim Collins for coining that term) beyond your current ‘normal’ can cause procrastination. It can also create a mental ping-pong match in your head between your conscious and subconscious mind. Maybe you’ve had that experience, and I certainly know I have.
In the past, I would look at someone, admire what they had achieved, and then catch myself thinking, “yeah but I could never do that because ….” Armed with new information, and a desire to turn my passion into a business I love, helped me shift my ‘normal’ in numerous ways including:
Turning my fear of public speaking into being a keynote speaker with an opportunity to present at TEDxUMKC. Shifting the feedback still living in my head from a high school English teacher that I didn’t write well into publishing two books in two years. Changing my attitude about social media from it being a waste of time to using it to create key relationships locally and nationally. My friendship with the best-selling author, Bob Burg, is just one example. Resisting any kind of change, to embracing and moving through it at lightning speed.
Did it take work? Absolutely and a mindset shift too! Realizing that I didn’t have to be the smartest person in the room was liberating. I began creating strategic relationships within my network who could help me (and sometimes kick me in the backside) when needed. The result was that as my ‘normal’ expanded far beyond what I ever imagined and my confidence to tackle even greater challenges grew with it. I became comfortable with being uncomfortable. Ten years ago, the thought of pushing comfort zones would have made me run screaming from the room. Now I look at change as an opportunity to acquire knowledge, new skill sets, and exponentially expand my network.
Take time to reflect on your goals. Which ones have you already achieved, and where do you find yourself falling short? Confucius said it well, “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”Creating goals and taking action steps are essential, but in order to achieve even greater success requires adjusting your ‘normal’. What characteristics do you need to embody to achieve your big hairy audacious goals?
And remember, goal achievement isn’t always a 100% you focus as there may be people you need to connect with that could be strategic to the outcomes you desire. Be sure you ask how you can add value to their business as well.
As you move through the year remember:
- Trust that you have the ability to achieve the goals you set. If they’re too easy then you need to make them bigger.
- Consider all of the knowledge you already have and knowledge you’re gaining every day. Use it to fuel your determination.
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And don’t be afraid to fail as sometimes that’s part of the process.
- Making the adjustment from where you are to where you ultimately want to be may not be easy, but it’s always worth it. You can do it when you act your wage!