I had just gotten married. I had a two and a half year old daughter to take care of. I had a ridiculously high car payment and lots of other bills. And, due to some poor money habits (Because Lord knows I was making enough money), I was living paycheck to pay check. And it was at that time in my life that I lost my job. I had no clue how I was going to take care of my family.
I applied for unemployment and was denied. I went through a month of really hitting the applications hard. Finally I landed a temp job through a really reputable agency. I thought to my self, “Sweet, I should be able to hop from contract to contract until I land something permanent.” I got to the end of my first contract and called the office to see what my next assignment would be. They didn’t have one for me. Thankfully it was the holiday season and I was able to land a seasonal job for a bit. But that ended too, and the real slump began.
I went two months with nothing after that. I was able to get interviews but no job offers and we were really starting to hurt. My wife had found a job, but it was part time and couldn’t really pay the bills. We made it another couple months but I was starting to think that we were in serious trouble. Then I got an interview. And that led to a job offer. And then I was among the employed again! WOO! I went in on my first day and learned some of the ropes. I went in on my second day and started helping people out. I did some good work. I went in for my third day.
And they fired me.
I walked in the door, they handed me my check, and said they needed to let me go. And no, this didn’t happen to me a long time ago. This just happened today. So why am I telling you all this story?
I’ve developed a philosophy in my life about jobs and employment and this experience really kind of confirms it: if you don’t fit, there’s no point it trying.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t develop yourself. I’m not putting that out there as an excuse to be lazy. I’m not saying wait for handouts. But I am saying that if you put in your best and it doesn’t work out, don’t sweat it. Just keep moving onto the next one. There will always be a next one. All you gotta do is keep working for it.
So, I’ll take my two days of pay and keep moving forward. That wasn’t the only line I had in the water. And hopefully, you guys ALSO have more than one line in the water. Because the more you have out there, the more you can catch.
Now yesterday, we talked about our impossible lists and using it to keep us motivated to keep moving. Today is all about taking that first step. And, for the record, just diving right into something is NOT the correct first step.
The fist step is actually to take your goal that you’re going to be working towards, and break it down into smaller, more manageable phases. The second step is to break those phases down into even smaller steps.
Now, one of the things on my Impossible List is to have a successful blog. So what does the process look like, using my blog as an example?
First, we have to define what a successful blog looks like. Now in my case, I’m starting from the very bottom with a free Word Press account. What this means for me is that this blog will be very hard to find and will NOT come up on any sort of search that is made. I haven’t even told people I know that I’ve started a blog yet. And this is where people jump up and say “But Sam, you said…” and they would be right. I didn’t start the blog 100% correctly. But the number one rule for ANY content creator: be consistent. So I got things started with just the idea that I would post up something every weekday. And the simple fact is that I DON’T have the resources to pay for the services that get you views, so starting and being consistent is really the first phase for this project. Once I’ve been consistently posting for three months, then I’ll start looking for views. Until then, I’ll feel successful with just getting my posts out there every weekday.
Obviously that goal is nothing and I would be crazy to be fully satisfied with that. I want to get thousands of views a day, sell ad space, work out business deals and all that jazz. But I need to start small. Its all I can do. So let’s break the whole process down into a nice checklist form:
- Post consistently for 3 months (that’s one post for every weekday)
- Get any views during that time (This is a bonus)
- Start work on Search Engine Optimization[SEO] (Required to grow my reader base)
- Post consistently for 6 months
- Get at least one view per month
- Show up on searches for the blog
- Continue work on SEO
- Start building Email List
- Post consistently for 1 year
- Get a few views per month
- Have some of my posts show up when searching on those topics
So that’s a basic breakdown for the first year. When making these sort of break down lists, you need to add as much detail to all the steps as you can. I’m not going to put in ALL the details here, though. Mainly to save on space. (and also because I haven’t worked out all the details myself :D)
Next is to itemize all the tasks that you need to get done in order to achieve these goals. And for that there is a whole lot more to talk about that we’ll get into tomorrow 😀
So yesterday we made a Life List. A list of things that we want in our lives. Today we’re shifting gears a little and making another type of list that will help encourage us to keep plugging away at it. Today we are making our Impossible List
The Impossible List is a very interesting concept. It takes what most would call insanity and makes it possible. As long as you don’t give up and you keep working at it, you’ll find yourself doing things that blow your mind. The goal is simple: create a list of things that seem out of reach, and then reach them. Thomas Frank of College Info Geek states it best
Put simply, the impossible list is an ever-evolving list of experiences that build on each other, helps others as well as yourself, and implore you to take action.
So here’s my Life List, categorized and slightly expanded into an Impossible List:
- Create exercise routine
- Start exercise routine
- Make friends for health/exercise group
- Eat mostly vegetarian diet
- Start running again
- Have 2 more babies
- Buy a house
- Plant a veggie garden
- Raise chickens
- Start daughter in some dance/gymnastics classes
- Make art
- Plant a daisy garden
- Plant some fruit trees
- Go out with friends more
- Have a nap day
- Keep a clean, pretty house
- Keep a clean, pretty yard
- Set up Laundry Day
- Get masters in a a and be certified(wife)
- Get life coach certified(wife)
- Finish college and get my Bachelor’s
- Get my CCNA certification
- Become self employed
- Sell art
- Learn to play guitar
- Learn to bake/cook
- Get caught up on bills
- Pay all bills on time for 3 months
So from here we’ll start. And tomorrow we’ll start talking about how to organize in ways that enable us to start ACCOMPLISHING THINGS.
NOTE: If you’re currently unemployed and you haven’t seen it yet, check out my Note About Employment.
We all have things to do. And those of us that have ever gotten things done know that the key to doing it is to start. And that’s what I’m doing here. I know that if I want to make a blog, I have to start writing a blog. And I know that if there’s more than one thing that you want to get done, you better write everything down so that you don’t forget anything.
That’s what my wife and I decided to do just that. We sat together and made a list of all the things that we want to make happen in our lives. I’ve decided to dub this my Life List:
- Finish School
- Advance in Career
- Buy a House
- Learn to Play Guitar
- Complete Nuzlocke Quest
- Write an Album
- Write a Book
- Have Another Baby
- Make Time for Painting/Coloring
- Take More Family Trips
- Plant a Vegetable Garden
- Learn to Bake/Cook
- Build a Recipe Book
- Create a Personal Haven
- Create Exercise Group
- Start Exercise Routine
- Have an Active Life
- Take 1 Nap a Week
- Setup a “Laundry Day”
- Buy Another Car
So now that we have this list, we’re good to go. Everything will get done and all our dreams will come true, right?
Having just a list is nothing. If I made this list and walked away, nothing on this list would ever get done. If you make your Life List remember that it also takes planning, strategizing, and work to get things done.
From here, we’ll start looking into ways to help you do all the planning and work to accomplish this. We’ll also look at another type of list that is designed to keep you motivated and moving through your lists.