065: 4 Reasons Good Books Don’t Sell Anymore (and What to Do About It) [Podcast]

Children are born utterly helpless and dependent. And a book is no different. Many authors think after a book is written the hard work is over. But writing a book is like giving birth. A baby can’t take care of itself and neither can a book. Both require supervision.

pl_header_ep-065_1

Much like parenting, the book launch process is an arduous and rewarding journey. You’ve produced this living thing, but now you’ve got to make sure it survives and thrives.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy and I talk about why it’s easier than ever to publish a book, but more difficult than ever to sell one. Listen in as we discuss the death of the golden age of publishing, and what it means for writers.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email, please click here).

You can also listen via iTunes or on Stitcher.

You and what army?

Back in the day, if a writer landed a contract with a publisher, they were set. All they had to do was write the book and the publisher took care of everything else.

Now, with the introduction of self-publishing and digital channels, the game has changed. Publishing houses are folding and merging. They are adapting their approach to acquiring new talent and launching books. For authors, writing a good book isn’t enough anymore.

To write a book that sells, the weight of marketing and promotion falls on the writer’s shoulders. To succeed, authors need an army.

Show highlights

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The difference between a good book and a great one
  • The myth many writers believe about getting published
  • What the end of the golden age of publishing means for writers
  • How to pursue your passion while considering your audience
  • The realistic ratio between how long it takes to write a great book and how long it takes to launch it
  • A fatal mistake authors make during book launches
  • How a writer can understand the reader’s investment in a book
  • Why a launch team isn’t enough to sell books
  • Questions an author must answer to rally an army
  • Bridging a marketing budget gap with magic
  • How to get people to share your book like crazy

Quotes and Takeaways

  • When you rise out of obscurity people pay attention.
  • Good books don’t sell anymore.
  • Once you finish writing a book, the work has just begun.
  • People buy books slowly.
  • It doesn’t take a team to launch a book, it takes an army.

Resources

  • That’s Interesting by Murray Davis
  • The Scientific Secrets of Shareable Content
  • The $ 100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
  • The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau
  • Platform by Michael Hyatt
  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  • David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Contagious by Jonah Berger

What do you need to do differently for your next book launch? How are you raising an army for your book launch? Share in the comments


Goins, Writer

How a Life Plan Illuminates Your Calling

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Laurel Emory. She is a business and leadership coach with Building Champions, and a member of Tribe Writers.

Discovering your calling is not an epiphany but a series of intentional decisions. —The Art of Work

How a Life Plan Illuminates Your Calling

Dozens of books have been written over the last decade about how to discover meaningful work. While all contained nuggets of wisdom, by in large they’ve been too mystical, ethereal, or philosophical to actually be useful.

The Art of Work eliminates the mystery of finding our purpose and provides the practical “nuts and bolts” to help us get somewhere and live a life of significance.

As a business and leadership coach, I spend most of my time helping clients improve their decision-making process, and take deliberate action. Our philosophy at Building Champions is:

In order to fully live life, we first need to get clear on what matters most to us. —Laurel Emory (tweet)

Greg McKeown, in his book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, says that a life of purpose and meaning comes to the person who “pauses to discern what really matters.”

The life planning process provides clarity about who and what is most important to us. Jeff speaks the truth when he says, “Finding our purpose is a path.” A life plan establishes boundary markers so we don’t venture off the path into the nonessential and end up having someone else prioritize our life for us.

As part of my doctoral dissertation, I interviewed CEOs of multi-million dollar corporations and each one of them said that making intentional decisions based on what mattered most to them was one of the major reasons for their success.

As the Millionaire Musician remarked to Jeff, success for him was “about setting a goal and then achieving it.” Nothing happens if we don’t make an intentional decision, take action, and do the necessary work to reach our goal.

The life planning process is a useful tool that guides us along this journey. A life plan helps us set a clear goal, and identify the required steps to achieve it. For some people we coach, this process led them to discover their calling. For others, it gave them permission to invest more resources on their current path and the motivation to move forward.

One client intentionally decided, through the life planning process, that she wanted her home to be a place where her teenage kids and their friends felt comfortable hanging out. When tragedy struck their town and a teenager was killed, our client and her husband were the people these teens went to for comfort because they’d grown to trust them and enjoyed the welcoming environment.

Another client offers grief therapy by using her horses. But she works full-time in a corporate job and hasn’t been able to commit as much time to serving others. As a result of creating a life plan, she is looking for another job that will provide enough flexibility so she can spend more time helping people in need of healing.

At Building Champions, regularly help our clients gain clarity on what matters most to them. As a result, they live more fully and are more present in the work and relationships that align with their calling.

Each of us has meaningful work that we were uniquely created and called to do. —Laurel Emory (tweet)

What’s in your life plan? Are you living to your potential? What do you want to change? Share in the comments


Goins, Writer

Book Review: Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko

copy of Thinktoys book coverOur Library has a professional development book club, and Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko was our latest  reading.  While not a new book  (the 2nd edition came out in 2006), it was new to me, and worth sharing with my academicpkm audience.

Michael Michalko developed many of his innovative thinking methods while leading a NATO team to solve international problems during his service in the US Army.  He also organized CIA thinktanks and is an established expert in creative thinking techniques who is in high demand consultant and keynote speaker for many Fortune 500 companies.  His best-selling book, Thinkertoys, is regarded as one of the 100 Best Business Books of All Time by CEO-READ.   I’m surprised I have never run across the book until recently, but I’m glad I did!

This book explores a number of different methods for looking at problems in new and unconventional ways, opening our minds to see options and alternatives we might not have otherwise considered. It is organized to be a working handbook that can be turned to when a new approach is desired for breaking through problem blocks or to stimulate new ideas or thoughts.  The exercises are categorized into Linear Thinkertoys (more of an analytical, left-brain approaches), Intuitive Thinkertoys (focusing more on right-brain approaches) and even some group-based exercises. Michael explains that “The worth of the ideas you create will depend in large part upon the way you define your problems… Nothing is more harmful to a positive creative attitude than fears, uncertainties and doubts.”

How do his exercises work?  By providing a plethora of different ways to approach thinking.  Stymied on solving a particular problem?  Maybe his False Facts techniques would help.  This exercise has you search for new ideas by challenging and reversing what you believe to be the conventional assumptions about the problem.  Or maybe dividing the problem into its components and then reassembling it in a different way would help.  That is the technique that Michael describes as Cherry Split.  Another technique that might be more familiar to readers of this blog is mind mapping. We’ve discussed this technique and several tools for mind mapping here in the past.  Michael lists mindmapping (his chapter called Think Bubbles) as one of his Linear Thinkertoys.

The Intuitive section of Thinkertoys contains many exercises that are based on the belief that your subconscious already knows the answer which you are seeking. Once you make that assumption, the question becomes where and how do you look for the answer?  How do you release it from your subconscious mind? The techniques in this section of the book are designed to help the reader obtain that “flash of brilliance” that will provide solutions they need.  Michael’s exercise “Blue Roses” focuses on ways to develop one’s sense of intuition and “Dreamscape” describes how to capture ideas that are released in your dreams.

With thirty-nine chapters of ideas, I’ve only scratched the surface of this handbook’s offerings. Check it out!

 

I found this interesting videocast by Miriam Knight from a few years ago where she interviewed Michael for another of his books (Creative Thinkering).  It is almost 30 minutes long, but he is fascinating to listen to.  I hope you enjoy it as well.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The post Book Review: Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko appeared first on Personal Knowledge Management for Academia & Librarians.

Personal Knowledge Management for Academia & Librarians »

064: Amy Porterfield on How to Use Your Day Job to Build a Business (Without Getting Fired) [Podcast]

Hamsters are the spirit animal of most entrepreneurs. They “spin their wheel” trying to hustle, but never make any progress. They end up burned out and sweaty. Pursuing a passion requires a little more than hustle.

pl_header_ep-064_1

Hustle is one of those trendy terms used as a rallying cry to work hard on a dream and make it happen. As if we can summon a dream into reality by the sheer force of blood, sweat, and tears.

While building a business requires elements of hustle, there comes a point when we need to stop hustling. Instead, we must clarify our vision and create the life we want to live.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Amy Porterfield and I talk about her transition from working for Harley Davidson and Tony Robbins to becoming the go-to guru for all things Facebook.

Listen in as Amy shares her journey from corporate content developer to full-time entrepreneur and online marketing expert.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email, please click here).

You can also listen via iTunes or on Stitcher.

Pack a parachute while you pivot

Too many people are inspired to chase a dream and decide to quit their job with zero preparation. Taking this leap into entrepreneurship before preparing financially and emotionally is like jumping out of a plane without a parachute.

I made this mistake when I quit my job to become a full-time writer. I prepared financially for the transition, but failed to recognize the emotional implications. I got depressed because I was used to working hard around the clock and didn’t know how to spend the extra time. I needed to discover a new rhythm.

One of the things I found most interesting about Amy’s journey was her preparedness. Instead of blindly stepping off the cliff into the unknown, she took baby steps and built the foundation of her business one block at a time.

Amy’s “leap” took a full-year, but the lessons she learned during an internal pivot at Tony Robbins provided the perfect parachute.

Show highlights

In this episode, Amy and I discuss:

  • Why vision is a prerequisite for success
  • The dangers of a “go big or go home” mentality
  • Three hurdles Amy overcame to become an entrepreneur
  • Essential baby steps to accomplishing big dreams
  • How to build a bridge between day job and dream job
  • Using your current context as a practice ring to acquire new skills
  • Getting paid to obtain an education and start your own business
  • Know when to quit your job and pursue a passion full-time
  • How to make an internal pivot and get closer to your dream
  • What it takes to become a Facebook expert
  • The right way to leverage Facebook to grow your business
  • Why hustle is bad for building a business

Quotes and Takeaways

  • Everybody has something they can eventually turn into something bigger on their own.” –Amy Porterfield (Tweet)
  • Build a business to fit your life, not become your life
  • Massive progress doesn’t happen overnight
  • If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never get there.” –Amy Porterfield (Tweet)
  • You can design the life you want to live and the work you want to do
  • Quit trying to hustle
  • Make an impact for those you serve.” —Amy Porterfield (Tweet)
  • Spend time building a bridge between where you are and where you want to be

Resources

  • Online Marketing Made Easy (Amy’s podcast)
  • The Profit Lab

How can you pivot at your current job? What can you learn at work to prepare for a big leap? Share in the comments


Goins, Writer

26 Things To Remember If You Want To Be Truly Happy

sea-beach-holiday-vacation-large (7)

If you’ve asked yourself how to become a happier person, this is already a very good sign. Happiness is not something that happens to us by chance. Being happy is an achievable and learnable skill, which requires constant work on your attitude and depends on how you interpret your life situation. Happiness is largely a matter of choice. And it is probably the smartest life choice you can make. Recent studies show that happy people are 35% less likely to die early than unhappy ones!

So, what do you need to remember if you want to be truly happy?

1. Never dwell on the past

“Learn to appreciate what you have before time makes you appreciate what you had.” – Unknown

Your past is just a story. Everyone has a past – often full of pain, disappointment, missed opportunities, and unfulfilled expectations. No matter what your past looks like, it’s just a story – so don’t let it influence you. Make the present meaningful.

2. Never focus on what’s missing; look at what you actually have.

 “Happiness is not having what you want. It is appreciating what you have.”- Unknown

Be grateful for what you have. You could waste hours counting the things you would like to improve, which would only take you away from appreciating your real life. Gratitude puts situations into perspective and rewires your mind toward a positive direction.

3. Never underestimate quality time with yourself.

 “Focus on loving yourself instead of loving the idea of other people loving you.” - Unknown

Don’t confuse happiness with excitement; a lasting joy of life grows when your mind is in peace. Making time for yourself is as important as devoting time to your everyday duties. Regular meditation, sport, contact with nature, and quality (offline) time spent reading will help you reconnect with yourself and hear your intuition again.

4. Never stop improving yourself.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”. – Mahatma Gandhi

We are all different, and there is no perfect direction or path to our personal evolution. The whole point is to become the best version of YOU, and never stop taking lessons from your own life experiences.

5. Never be too harsh on yourself.

“Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can.“ - Unknown

Many of us are our own hardest critics, constantly diminishing every success. Accept that you will never be ideal – and see this as okay. In the process of self-development, embracing your own vulnerabilities has been scientifically proven to be a key component of happiness.

6. Never lose a sense of purpose in what you are doing.

“What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” – Unknown

Your time and life power are limited, so spend them wisely and target your energy towards something meaningful. Finding a purpose helps you live a bigger life.

7. Never treat your body badly.

“Your body is precious. It is your vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” – Buddha

A truly happy soul can only live in a healthy body. Your body will “send you a bill” for the trash you’ve eaten, the sports classes you’ve skipped, your long nights of partying, and your long hours of stressful work. Treat your body as your biggest investment; it will have to serve you your entire life.

8. Never value material things more than experiences.

“Your actions are your only true belongings.” – Allan Lokos

Experiences bring people more happiness than possessions, which never keep you satisfied. Experiences will last in your head forever, nourish your mind, and become a memory which will light up your face with a smile on a bad day.

9. Never compare yourself to other people.

“True happiness is when you are living your life without waiting for anyone’s approval.”- Unknown

Everyone lives life at a different pace, which makes us each special and beautiful. The sooner you embrace your uniqueness and the differences between you and other people, the happier you will be. Surround yourself with people who appreciate you for who you really are without trying to change you or reframe you.

10. Never let your bad thoughts grow.

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts” – Marcus Aurelius

Being judgmental, jealous, or angry will at some point turn against you. A bad thought can trigger bad speech, just as bad words provoke bad actions. Don’t let your mind initiate anything you’d be ashamed of later.

11. Never fear to embrace change.

“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.”- Unknown

As you accept the laws which change our life, our bodies, and the way we evolve, you will see the unique beauty of every moment in life with all its natural flow. Be open to new opportunities and humbly accept changes you can’t influence.

12. Never blame others for your own failures.

“Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems. Look for someone who won’t let you face them alone.” – Unknown

Be responsible for your actions and their outcomes. Taking responsibility gives you a sense of power over your life; blaming your life on circumstances can make you feel powerless.

13. Never tame your curiosity.

“If you do nothing unexpected, nothing unexpected happens.” – Fay Weldom

Be curious and ask a lot of questions. Travel, observe, read, watch, and talk with smart people to open your mind and explore the world. Inquisitive thinking and a passion for exploring will nourish your mind.

14. Never stop being mindful.

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect” – Unknown

Learn to mindfully observe, smell, hear, and fully appreciate every minute of your life. Those who can’t conscientiously notice and appreciate the present moment aren’t able to be fully happy.

15. Never forget about your loved ones.

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Care about those who are happy to see you succeed in life and support you in difficult times. Avoid harsh critiques and make sure these people know how glad you are that they’re a part of your life.

16. Never worry about the things you cannot influence.

“Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All is does it steal your joy and keep you very busy doing nothing.”- Unknown

How many times has a situation you’ve worried about not come true? Worrying about things you can’t influence is a waste of time and makes you feel unnecessarily miserable.

17. Never attach happiness to something in the future.

“Think of all the beauty that is still left in and around you and be happy.” – Anne Frank

Many people live like they’re waiting for something – to find a perfect love partner, to get promoted, or to retire with a good pension. Don’t postpone your happiness to a moment in the future; life is all about enjoying the journey.

18. Never stop meeting new people.

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” – Joseph F Newton

Surrounding yourself with happy people makes you happier. Meeting new people nowadays is easy, due to open lifestyles, new technologies, internet forums, popular mobile apps. It would be a waste to not make the most of this opportunity. Even people who enter your life for a short time can teach you important lessons and make your life more colorful.

19. Never let your ego win.

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals.”- Pema Chodron

Acting with anger and following your insecurities can only complicate your life situation. Instead, act with compassion and humility towards others. Showing maturity will make your relations with others more joyful and fulfilling.

20. Never voluntary harm.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” – Mark Twain

Every choice you make, every word you say, and every purchase you make impacts someone’s life. Choose to be a good person.

21. Never stop living life to the fullest.

“Hug harder. Laugh louder. Smile bigger. Love longer.” – Unknown

Live intensely. Do what you want and enjoy it with all your senses. Start working on fulfilling your dreams as soon as possible. “Hug harder. Laugh louder. Smile bigger. Love longer.”

22. Never forget to smile.

“Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.” - Unknown

You don’t know what the person in front of you is going through. Be kind to others and share your smiles and positive words. Isn’t it amazing to make someone’s day a little better in such a simple way?

23. Never be afraid to completely change your life.

“If you’re still looking for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror.” – Roman Price

It is never too late to completely change your life and make it more meaningful. Let your mind be free and surprise you from time to time.  Go with the flow and open yourself up to different possibilities.

24. Never be afraid of being alone.

“If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.” – Maxwell Maltz

Don’t be afraid of being alone. Happiness is internal, and you don’t need anyone or anything to be happy. Learn to have fun on your own: walk, travel, eat good food, etc. Being alone doesn’t mean to you have to be lonely. Look at monks for example – being happy in solitude is a virtue.

25. Never stop organizing your own happiness.

“Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.” – Richard Kline

Happiness appears where dreams meet preparation. Make a conscious everyday effort to shape yourself and your life the way you want.

26. Never stop loving.

“Love as much as you can from wherever you are.” – Thaddeus Golas

True love doesn’t lose value over time; it multiplies and comes back to you the more you give it away. The meaning of our whole existence would be much simpler if love meant only romantic love. Love everyone who you think deserves and needs your love. Love the Earth and the people who have helped you become who you are. Love your own life.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

The post 26 Things To Remember If You Want To Be Truly Happy appeared first on Lifehack.


Lifehack

10 Secrets Of Charming, Irresistible People

4071104190_48b2dc180c_o

Being irresistible is no easy task, but what is it that sets the irresistible people around us apart from the rest of the pack? We all know that there is something special about these people, but often we can’t quite put our finger on it. Although good looks don’t hurt, being irresistibly charming involves something special on the inside. There are a few secrets that irresistibly charming, learn how to adopt them today.

1. Anyone can be irresistible

Irresistible people may seem like they have special gifts that allow them to seduce and influence anyone they meet, but in fact, they have many “secrets” that they have learned over their lifespan that allow them to attract others and get what they want. Perhaps the greatest secret of all is that anyone can be irresistible. Charm, charisma, and magnetism are all skills that you can develop over time no matter who you are today.Keep a goal of becoming more irresistible in mind and soon enough you will adopt habits that make you so.

2. Body language shows you are interested

Body language is just one of the skills that irresistible people have usually mastered. While most of us give little thought into the way we carry ourselves, how much we smile, when we make eye contact, and how we maintain our posture, an irresistible people knows how to carry themselves with the right body language.  they know exactly how important these things are in the way that other people perceive them. Things like facing people when they speak to you, standing or sitting up straight, and placing your arms relaxed at your sides can all convey interest and let people know that you want to know what they have to say.

Some basics of body language skills include smiling, eye contact, and posturing. A smile makes people feel welcomed, happy, and accepted. Just smiling at anyone we meet can quickly boost or personal magnetism. Giving people eye contact conveys confidence, trustworthiness, and respect, and just by maintaining appropriate eye contact with others we can increase greatly enhance their perception of us.

3. Vocal skills are valuable

Have you ever heard a voice that quickly caught your attention, or listened to someone speak who had you mesmerized by the warmth of their words?  Irresistible people are often masters of vocal skills like resonance, timing, and proper use of emotion in their speech.Resonance refers to the skill of speaking in way that resonates through your entire body. Resonance can be achieved by standing up straight, opening your nasal passages, and trying to make each word form deep in your chest. By opening up our bodies and speaking through our chests, we can create a much richer and warmer sound with our voice. You can even try humming to understand the way it feels to have sound in your chest.

Timing in speech means using things like pauses to regroup, repeated words to emphasize, or even asking questions to increase engagement or allow for thought on a subject. Timing of your words and speech can help you keep people engaged, attracted, interested, or even amused. In addition, demonstrating emotion in our words we can help covey any emotion that we wish to show to the person we are speaking with.By using and showing our emotions through speech we can help draw closer to the people we interact with and form deeper connections.

4. Empathy is a bridge to being irresistible

When you show how much you care about another person’s perspective, it makes you more charming to them. One of the ways you can made the most genuine of connections to to practice empathy by putting yourself in their shoes to understand their thoughts, emotions, and actions. By truly considering another person’s view, we can create strong bonds between ourselves and other people. Many people simply wont take the time to think about others, so just making people feel understood will go a long way towards increasing your own irresistibility.

5. Great listening skills draw people in.

Have you ever met someone that was an excellent listener? When someone opens up to you and listens to each word you say, it draws you out of your shell and into the open. People naturally will be compelled to share more with you, tell you more stories, and open up emotionally if they feel you are truly interested in what they say, but in order for this to work, you must actually care about what the person is saying. Interest really can’t be feigned, so actually find something to be interested about and listen intently.

6. Confidence is attractive

No matter what the situation, people will always be attracted to a confident person.  In bad situations people look to leaders who are confident enough to lead through challenge, and in good times people look towards confident people to encourage growth and creative thinking. Confidence makes other people feel secure, unchallenged, and encouraged, and all of these emotions will increase the desire of others to be around you.

7. First impression is everything

A first impression can determine the entire future of events. It may not seem fair, but oftentimes, the first few moments we spend with someone will create the perception of who we are to another person. A bad first impression can take years to overcome as everything we do is seen through that bad interpretation of us. When creating a first impression, using other skills like smiling, making eye contact, and showing interest increases your level of charm.

8. You must be able to adapt to any situation.

The truly irresistible among us know how to attract others no matter the time or place. Whether it is a crowded bar, a workplace, or park, they know how to demonstrate a calm confidence, warmth, and the proper emotions for each individual situation.  You must carry yourself very differently at a job interview than you would on the beach on spring break, and irresistible people know how to blend in just enough to stand out. Adaptability and knowing how to read a situation makes you the most charming you can be in every situation.

9. You must be authentic and you must be yourself.

Irresistibility is often a byproduct of people being unique and different.  People are often attracted to others who display creative thoughts or think outside of the box.  Creativity and individuality are highly celebrated traits in the world, and the most irresistible people are those who embrace who they are and let it shine. Don’t act like someone you aren’t when your individuality is something to make you memorable and special in your own way.

10. You should always find ways to relate to people.

Irresistible people know how to relate to others, and how to do it well.  When people are held in too high of esteem, they can often seem distant and indifferent, but true magnetism often occurs when you can make people feel like you are like them.  The more things someone feels they have in common with you, the more attracted to you they will become, and irresistible people know how to find common ground between many different people. No matter how different a person may be to you, finding commonalities is important in creating a solid foundation.

Featured photo credit: Michael Carian- Youmacon People via flickr.com

The post 10 Secrets Of Charming, Irresistible People appeared first on Lifehack.


Lifehack

What We Learn About Life from Fairy Tales

Note: The following is an adapted excerpt of my latest book, The Art of Work, which is now available at the lowest price it’s ever been on Amazon.

At the beginning of every great story, before anything exciting happens, we see something that looks a lot like normal life. Long before the protagonist slays a dragon or the heroine embarks on a quest, we see her in some unsuspecting place, dreaming of something more.

fairy tales

Photo Credit: tbee via Compfight cc

In Beauty and the Beast (my personal favorite Disney classic), Belle sings of wanting more than “this provincial life.” In Star Wars, Luke can’t wait to escape the boredom of a farmer’s life. And in The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy sings about life “somewhere over the rainbow.”

It’s easy to dismiss such people when we meet them in everyday life as dreamers or even downright crazy. But are they really? I used to get up early on Saturday mornings and write essays that I would then save on my computer and share with no one. I dreamed of publishing my stories somewhere, but for years, they never left the comfort of my living room.

I’m not alone in this, this dreaming of another life. This is the preoccupation of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life and the fixation of Walter Mitty. It’s the reason we sometimes daydream or stay up late watching movies. Our lives are haunted by the ghosts of what might have been.

Our lives are haunted by the ghosts of what might have been.

Click To Tweet

Here’s the good news, though. This is where a story always starts — with an unrealized dream. A hope deferred. A life un-lived. Before a chain of events sets the hero on a course to his destiny, there is a sense that there should be more to life than this. But hopefully, that’s not where the story ends.

At an important moment, everything begins to make sense. This is what storytellers call the “inciting incident,” the moment when the character’s perspective changes and the tale of an average person living an average life becomes one of mythic proportions.

But something has to happen for any of this to take place: The character must choose to enter the story. Belle goes to find her father. Luke leaves home with Obi-Wan. Dorothy gets swept up in a tornado. In any great narrative, there is a moment when a character decides to be more than a bystander. That’s really when a story begins — with the decision to act.

This choice, though, is often preceded by a feeling of discontent. Which is why when people are called to some great task, they know it. They recognize the prompting to do something significant, something bigger than themselves, and then respond.

Why? Because they have been waiting for it their whole lives.

Frustration prepares you for your purpose

My friend Ben Arment says every dream begins with frustration, and I think that’s true. But that frustration must be funneled into awareness that leads to action; otherwise, it becomes bitterness.

You must be willing to do something, to step out into the unknown and see what happens. Until you make this choice, you’ll continue feeling frustrated, seeing other people succeed and chalking it up to luck or some unfair advantage. You’ll be jealous and critical and wonder, why not me? And in doing this, you will deceive yourself.

Because the truth is some do get lucky, and others have been born into privilege. But what are those things to you? You are still called. Chances come to us all, but only those who are ready recognize them.

Chances come to us all, but only those who are ready recognize them.

Click To Tweet

So before you know what your calling is, you must believe you are called to something, even if you don’t know what it is yet. That nagging sense that everything is not as it should be, that you were meant for more than the status quo, is an important clue. And what you do with that is essential to how your story unfolds.

What this means is you don’t need some big plan. You just need to be a little dissatisfied with the way things are, to possess a premonition that something is amiss and you may hold the key to fixing it.

You don’t need some big lucky break or a golden opportunity. You don’t even need to “just know” what you’re supposed to do. You just need the willingness to begin. Only then can you dedicate yourself to the work required of you, and only then will you know what it’s worth.

Without this awareness, you won’t be able to recognize the opportunities that come. And they always come to those with open eyes.

Action is required

So what do this mean practically?

First, you must acknowledge the story that you’re in and recognize that your gift is needed. The world will not be made right until you see things as they really are.

Then, embrace the frustration that you feel and decide to do something about it. Committing to a course of action is essential to getting unstuck.

Finally, you must act, paying attention to the lessons you’ll learn along the way and stay flexible enough to change course as you discover new information.

All of this, of course, is predicated on doing something. Every great story begins with awareness but leads to action. You must enter the tale that is unfolding around you and choose to become a part of it. Otherwise, you’re just another dreamer, staring out into an open field or singing some sad song about a rainbow.

And stories are rarely made by those who only dream.

When was the last time you did something instead of dream about it? What did that reveal to you about the story you’re living? Share in the comments.

Note: This was an excerpt of my latest book, The Art of Work, which is now at the lowest price it’s ever been on Amazon. Check it out!


Goins, Writer

Attributes and Procedure of Getting CPD Accreditation Status

The term Common Professional Development (CPD) is a well organized approach to acquiring the pre determined specialized education, knowledge, practical training practice for pursuing a certain profession that is mandatory in many countries including the UK. CPD requisites can pertain to several professions such as medical, judicial, research and fellowship programs, logistics and transport etc. as per the regulations in an institution or governmental laws. For instance, according to the CPD rules in practice in England and Wales, a legal executive or solicitor executing full time legal practice in the country (working 32 hours or more in a week), needs to complete at least 16 hours of CPD every year that will earn them 16 CPD points.

Obtaining CPD Accreditation

There are several authorized organizations that offer CPD accreditation programs. Before you proceed to acquire your accreditation it is mandatory to complete your CPD program with minimum attendance fulfillment, participation in several activities as a registered college/university candidate etc. Completing this formality will bestow the recognition of an accredited CPD provider status. More or less the following procedures are adopted by all major organizations that offer independent CPD accreditation to a professional.

Application: The first step is to register and apply for an independent CPD provider accreditation status. While applying the candidate will have to submit proof of attending the CPD program, details, of participation in activities, hours completed etc.

Review: The institute awarding accreditation will take about a month of time to review the certificates and credential submitted to verify the authenticity of the documents before processing the application to the final stage where the accreditation awarded to the CPD provider.

Accreditation Awarding and Conditions: The final stage is the accreditation awarding when the candidate is assigned a particular date when he will receive the status of accredited independent CPD provider and gain the privilege of promoting himself in the professional domain to set a milestone in his career. He will then have the facility to approach potential clients or join any institute as an accredited member. To ensure that the accreditation remains valid for lifetime, keep updating it as and when there are any changes in the terms and conditions introduced in the regulations of the particular profession.

  • Gain better client prospects as an established accredited professional
  • Beat the competitors in the professional world and get exposure to premium career opportunities
  • Explore the new job opportunities for which you meet the criteria of accreditation requirements
  • Build a network of clientele with whom you can keep pursuing your profession with peak high progress

The CPD obligations are formulated in accordance with requirement of the essential and advanced skills and education to pursue any said profession with complete accuracy. Many organizations have strict codes for CPD fulfillment of the all the recruits. However the independent professionals not yet associated with any organization or enterprise, in their own interest can opt for taking CPD to ease out their way to getting hired and setting firm foot in the professional world.

Apprenticeships are also another route you can go down and with Gordan Franks Birmingham apprenticeships it is easier than ever before.