I have a new obsession.
Yep – you guessed it: another incredible entrepreneur and blogger I started following.
His name is James Clear, and he writes some darn good stuff!
I learned about him through a Facebook group I’m in, which is the community forum for the Freelance to Freedom Project (which was started by my fellow designer/developer/entrepreneurial friend Leah Kalamakis).
Leah is really smart about how our online group operates. It’s not just an open forum to share ideas, ask questions, and find people who can help you with various projects. There are actually very clear, day-specific goals of the group.
For example, Tuesday is “Tweet Tuesday,” and we can post a Click to Tweet link so that others can Tweet it out. Thursday is “Blog Post Thursday,” and we all share our posts for the week. This one is really awesome and beneficial because our posts not only get shared around the World Wide Web, but our fellow freelancers and entrepreneurs (and hopefully other people, too) also comment on our posts. All this sharing and commenting is excellent for traffic, and of course, for SEO.
The most recent day-specific goal Leah created is called “Wicked Smart Wednesdays.” This is when we share unique ideas we are working on, a good book or article we read, or a new strategy we’re implementing in our business.
On the first Wicked Smart Wednesday (which was just last week), someone posted about something called the Eisenhower Matrix. It sounded a bit intimidating because I had no clue what that was. Before I even had a chance to look it up, Leah posted a link, which made the task of finding out more even easier.
James Clear wrote an article on what the Matrix (or Box) is all about and even offered a nice little gift at the end of his post – Free Bonus: Eisenhower Box Spreadsheet. Be sure to grab yours here.
I’m actually not going to go into what the Eisenhower Matrix/Box is all about. And I’m not even here to talk about the Freelance to Freedom Project (well, not today). I AM here to talk about what came out of everything I’ve mentioned above and how it relates to taking action NOW on your dreams and ideas.
As usual, when I get onto someone’s website and they draw me in with their wisdom, I can’t help but want more! So, of course, I signed up for James Clear’s email list and got two AMAZING resources (in addition to the Eisenhower spreadsheet).
James wrote two e-books (I guess they’re e-books…although he calls them “Guides”) and sends them to you when you subscribe to his list. The first one is called “Mastering Creativity” and the second is “Transform Your Habits.” Allow me to describe these guides in one word please…
First of all, I am purposely not putting the links to those guides in here because I promise you will love them and will want to read more from this great writer! So, be sure to go subscribe to his email list so you can grab your own copies.
Secondly, I want to share with you a few things (and direct quotes) that I read in these guides that really stood out to me:
- Pablo Picasso’s reason for charging $1 million for something that took him 30 seconds to draw is just the motivation I needed to start charging properly for my services. No, I won’t be charging $1 million for a website or a small website tweak, but when you read “Mastering Creativity,” you’ll know what I’m talking about.
- Despite the fact that the title of this post encourages you to take action on your “dreams,” there is a quote mentioned in the guide that says something I find myself preaching all the time: “Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer.”
- “We all have some type of creative genius inside of us. The only way to release it is to work on it.”
- “If you want to make a masterpiece, you have to be willing to create a little garbage along the way.” (oooh, AMEN to THAT!)
- “Stop waiting for motivation and inspiration to strike you and set a schedule for your habits.”
- “Professionals stick to a schedule. Amateurs let life get in the way.”
- “You want to set a schedule based on actions you can do, not results that you want.” (when you see his example, you’ll wholeheartedly agree)
- “Setting up a visible reminder and linking my new habit with a current behavior made it much easier to change. No need to be motivated. No need to remember.”
- “Lasting change is a product of daily habits, not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.”
I could go on and on, and you’ll see why when you download the guides yourself.
So you may be wondering why I titled this post, “Take Action NOW on Your Ideas and Dreams.”
Well, it’s because there is no better time than NOW to work on an idea you have, to make progress on something you’ve been dreaming of doing, or to get started on a project that’s been sitting on your to-do list for months. If you don’t do it now, when will you do it? Later? Tomorrow? When you’re ready? When will you be ready?
The truth is – there is no “perfect” time to start. Sure, you may need to delay starting something until something else is where you need it to be. But, make sure you are setting a schedule for that delayed “start” or else it’ll never happen.
For example, if you need to delay buying something until you get your next paycheck or close your next deal, that’s perfectly ok (those are responsible, realistic things that are set to happen in the near future). But if you delay doing or buying something until you make a million dollars or paint your entire house – yet you set no concrete goals for when or how you’re going to make that million or paint the house – then you may as well assume the dream/idea might not happen…ever.
I talk about starting something NOW vs. waiting for that unrealistic, perfect moment in this post, which talks about NOW being the time to get your website up and running.
James Clear emphasizes the concept of working very hard at something and doing it over and over and over again in order to master it. His examples of what Pablo Picasso and Markus Zusak did to achieve such success are spot-on with what we realistically have to do in order to become really great at our hobby, job, skill, etc.
- Have you had any experiences where you started implementing small changes every day in order to achieve a bigger result later on?
- Was there something you worked on for years and years before it became truly successful?
- Is there something you’re waiting to get started on until “something else” happens (and is that “something else” truly realistic)?
Tell me about it in the comments…and go enjoy your inspiring and helpful reading material from James Clear!