I was talking to a friend about a project he’s meant to do but he isn’t quite convinced himself that he should do it.
How do I know he’s meant to do it? These three signs:
If you’ve felt any of those three things toward a project or idea, DO IT.
At the root of all three signs is fear, and fear is never a good idea to not do something, unless of course it’s the kind of fear that’s stopping you from jumping in front of a train.
...I'll be speaking to a group of college-age interns at a chemical and plastics manufacturing company about my book, RESET, and how to do more of what they love. I'll get paid well to do it and sell 20 books in the process. It's exactly what I want to be doing.
So how did I land the gig? Let me back up and explain because there's a lesson embedded in there that is crucial for anyone trying to reset their career.
One year ago-ish I got an email from a guy named Rick -- a banker -- who was passed a copy of my book from a friend at the organization I was working for at the time. He read it and reached out to thank me for the book and asked if we could meet up to talk more.
At first, I was hesitant. I was just starting my business and the time it takes to meet for an hour really ends up being more like a 2-hour round trip with travel included. And I wasn't convinced he would end up as a long-term paying coaching client, but I went anyway.
We met at a Starbucks, talked through the book, and I pointed him toward his next steps to figure out what to do with his life. We had a great meeting and I was inspired by his reflectiveness and commitment to do more of what he loves. In short, I was glad I got over myself and met with him.
Fast forward a year. He quit his banking job, landed a great job in the social sector doing more of what he loves, and emailed me to say thank you.
He then sent my name along to some colleagues who are part of a large organization that brings in speakers. I met the leaders for lunch, gave them each a book, paid for their lunch, and we set a date for me to speak for free at the event.
On the drive home from lunch, I talked with my wife and we reflected on the idea that I had given up a few hours of time at this point plus $50 or so for lunch with no financial return. I remarked that my goal was simply to serve people and good things come around when you put good into the world. It's the law of reciprocity.
At the event, I spoke, sold ~$200 in books, and connected with some great people. But it didn't stop there.
One of them reached out to me this week -- a month after the speech -- and asked if I could speak at her chemical and plastics engineering firm for 90 minutes to a group of 20 interns. For a great speaking fee. Plus $250 in books.
Done and done.
I've also connected with a few others from the event for one-on-one coaching and to help them do more of what they love.
In short, I'm doing what I love and getting paid to do it.
How did it all come to be? A few keys I've learned:
I recently went to Moab, an amazing spot in Utah for hiking. On the first day we drove to the parking lot for our first excursion, made a quick lunch, put on sunscreen, grabbed some water and went to the trailhead to look at the map and decide which trail to take.
One trail would take us one way and another trail would take us the other. Both ended up at the same spot, but they each had potentially different vistas, terrain, and experiences.
Based on feedback from the park ranger, who had been down the trails before, and based on gut instinct, we picked one.
Did we pick the right one? Who knows. We'll likely never know. But we made the most of it regardless and enjoyed the journey.
Imagine for a second that we stood at the trailhead all day long, paralyzed to make a decision because we didn't know *for sure* that we would pick the right trail. The extent of my trip would have been a view of the trailhead and a whole lot of "what might have been."
Welcome to the world of 90% of career clients I coach.
"Which way is right?"
"What if I pick wrong?"
"How can I know *for sure* that it will work out?"
Behold -- a few key lessons from the anecdote:
A word of caution: asking people about the path once you've figured out your passion is crucial. Asking people about your passion before you've figured it out is dangerous. That would be like me asking other people where they think I should go on vacation. "Well, I liked Y because of the beach." If that had happened, I never would have made it to Moab in the first place. YOU figure out your passion, don't let others do it for you.
If you're at the trailhead, you're in a good spot. It means you've done the research and reflection to figure out generally what you want to do with your life. Now don't get stuck trying to pick the right path.
Just choose something. You can always turn back, jump trails, or carve a new path.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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