5108883331_b2d6264873_zI want to challenge you to learn something new.  Invest the time, invest the energy and perhaps even invest the money. I had the privilege to meet a lady who did just that.

In my last post I mentioned meeting two women on a flight back to Minneapolis and how the discussion was inspiring. This is the other woman that contributed to the conversation. She is a speaker, horse trainer and retired officer in the US Military. She happened to be returning from Florida where she had been learning how to “paddleboard”. While paddleboarding itself is amazing, what is inspiring here is that someone from Northwestern Minnesota would pay to fly to Florida for two weeks in the middle of the winter to learn a new hobby! Considering the winter we just had, perhaps it’s more understandable. However, I love it when people take the time to learn something new. [click to continue…]

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I recently sat by two women on a flight back to Minnesota. Usually I am hoping that I will have peace and quiet so I can get some work done. This trip, however, I struck up a conversation that lasted the entire flight, and I was inspired and motivated by the discussion. The ladies were two generations apart, yet the three of us were able to talk for over two hours about doing work that you love. In this post, I will share just one of the stories and save the other for later.

The first woman was a college graduate with great prospects. She was returning from an extended stay in Paris where she worked for a family member in their business. She was excited about our discussion and had many questions. She was at a time in her life when she needed to make some decision about her career and her future. Should she get more education, or try to find work?  Would it be possible for her to do work that she loved, or should she just take any job she could find?

Here are some things that you can learn from this young lady:

·         She had no debt! Her family was able to pay for her education.  In addition she insisted on not using credit cards or adding consumer debt.  Having zero debt is an incredible thing when you are done with college. To have a college degree without long term debt sets you apart from the majority of college students. Today, college graduates are starting their career by being in the hole financially. Debt freedom provides you with options. When you are limited by debt you make decisions based on repayment obligations, not based on what is best for your career. This young lady is in a better place than even most adults because she is debt free and determined to stay that way. Check out these posts for some ideas on how to save money in college.

·         She was clear about her interests and passions. While she didn’t have a polished “elevator speech” it became obvious what her interests were. She was excited and passionate about nutrition and healthy living. It was clear that she was very knowledgeable and her degree supported her chosen career path. It is a great combination when you have education, passion, skills and experience all aligned toward the same purpose.

·         She had taken action in her area of interest.  It is so important to get experience doing what you think you want to do. How else will you get clarification? Action builds confidence. It shows you what you really can do, and it opens up the possibility for feedback. She had taken action in her personal life with her own goals for healthy living, but she also had earned some experience working in the nutrition department of a local pharmacy. Experience is powerful. How are you gaining experience today? Have you taken action in your area of interest?

At the beginning of our conversation this young lady seemed a little uncertain about her future. As the plane arrived at our destination she seemed more confident in her situation. While she hadn’t yet found work in her field she realized how much she had that was positive. Sometimes our uncertainty clouds the positive decisions we have made. We often have more going for us than we realize.

Do you have uncertainty about your career path? Are you headed in the direction you want to go? If not, I encourage you to create a plan and start moving in a better direction! Let me know if I can encourage you along the way!

(photo by gadgetdude via flickr.com)

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Arizona BlacksmithWould you skip college to pursue your dream? That is what two college age students in Arizona are doing. A few weeks ago, I met this young married couple at a Tourist destination called Rawhide, near Phoenix Arizona. They rent a small, but very awesome building at this old west town and have converted it to a Blacksmith shop. In this space they do blacksmithing and leather work. He does the iron work and she does the leather work. When I saw them, they were very busy with a waiting line of customers placing their orders for leather bracelets, belts and dog collars or metal roses, horseshoes and branding irons. You can see some of their handiwork at their site on Etsy.com. [click to continue…]

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ChecklistWhen you are working on growing a new business, starting a project at home or taking your business to the next stage of success, there are tons of new things to do. These things are not a part of your normal duties or daily routine and it is difficult if not impossible to get them done. Most likely you still need to do all the same tasks that you normally are responsible for, but now you must add in these new jobs. How do you get it all done? How do you fit these extra things in and still have time to breathe?

Here are a few ideas. By the way, I am growing in this area, so these are ideas that I have picked up, am working on, but have not mastered, yet…

Set a Deadline. Yes I know this is kind of lame, but it still works, at least it gets me closer to completion. I recently set a deadline to get a writing project completed. The closer to the deadline the more intense was the pressure to get it completed. I worked very hard during the final hours and today the first part is complete. However I missed my deadline, by a few hours. But that’s ok! I feel the satisfaction of completing the project and I am pleased with the result. Saying you will have something done “someday” will ensure that you never get it done. This is something I am good at. The deadline thing, I am still working on it! Go ahead, set your deadline. Even if you only get it half completed you are still moving forward. [click to continue…]

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How to Make $1000 an Hour!

by Rocky on October 11, 2013

in College, Financial, Take Action, Work

6629054127_6651867221College students, and parents of college students, would you like to learn how to make $1000 an Hour? It’s hard enough to find a job earning $10 an hour, let alone 100 times that amount. By the end of this post you will hear about someone who has done it, learn some of her tricks so you can do the same thing and also learn how to get a resource to help you along the way.

First let me tell you her story. A young lady named Hannah Rivard decided that she wanted to attend the University of Northwestern in her home state of Minnesota. She knew it was going to cost a lot more than a state college education, so she began looking into scholarships to help fund her education. She won a few scholarships and developed a process. By the time she graduated she paid for her entire $100,000 college education with scholarships! Wow! I have never met anyone else who has done this! It is such an incredible story, that I wanted to make sure you had a chance to hear it. [click to continue…]

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Work on Your Gift!

by Rocky on October 6, 2013

in Focus, Passion, Personal Development, Work

MichelangeloMost of us have seen and marveled at the skill of the artist Michelangelo. He is the famous sculptor and painter that created the Statue of David, Pieta, and the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to name just a few. You may be surprised to know that his advice to the world is to work on your gift. What do I mean by that? Even Michelangelo needed to spend time honing his skill as an artist. He is quoted for saying the following: “If people knew how hard I worked to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful“. This statement is powerful to me. We all need to work on our skills. Even the best have to develop and improve. Do we think that gifted people just start out being the best at their art? This is extremely rare and perhaps it doesn’t exist.

If the best need to work on their gift, then we should take this advice and do the same. What does this mean? I think it can mean a number of things. If you are a speaker, you should attend some speaking classes to improve your skills. At the very least you should ask someone to critique your speaking and give you some feedback. Perhaps even hiring a speaking coach would be a great idea. If you are a business owner, it might make sense to have a consultant evaluate your business and give you some feedback about your processes. A mechanic should get regular training on new technology and even reminders about the fundamentals. Athletes need coaches, musicians need coaches and we all need constructive criticism.

Have you discovered what your gift is? Are you working on it? What are the things you are doing to improve? Leave a comment below. I would be happy to share ideas with you!

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BYPU Logo 2Ok, this is going to sound a bit like an advertisement, but that’s because I love to recommend businesses and resources that have been helpful to me. Jonathan and Bob from Blogging Your Passion have created tons of resources that are a huge benefit to anyone that wants to start or improve their blog. Not only is their blogging “how to” site helpful, but they are successful with their other blogs as well. Here is what I have learned from them and their blogging success:

  • Discover Your Passion – This is not some mystical thing, it’s just focusing on something that you enjoy doing. This is usually something that you are drawn to and something where you have proven skills. For Bob, he focused on the world of personal finance in his own effort to get out of debt and live in financial freedom. He is also a Christian and desires to put Biblical Principles into practice in his life and how he handles money. He started ChristianPF.com which provides resources and information on the topic of money and debt. All from a Christian perspective. He has thousands of followers, and full time income from a site devoted to his passion, which is helping people reach financial freedom.
  •  A Desire to Make a Difference – Jonathan has skills in several areas and his blogging is a reflection of those skills.You can find him at JonathanMilligan.com or SimpleLifeHabits.com. These blogs are dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives using his unique gifts and abilities. A blog is a great way to make this happen! He is also generating full-time income from his blogs, since he has attracted thousands of followers as well.
  •  Build a PlatformMichael Hyatt wrote an entire book about this topic. When you have skills, passion and a desire to make a difference; the next step is to create a platform. This is your soap box. It is your microphone. It is the place where you begin to share with the world the unique way that God has made you, and the specific message you want to tell. A blog is a perfect place to start your platform, and this is why I recommend the resources from Blogging Your Passion.

So what is Blogging Your Passion? It is a blog with tons of free information about blogging. It also has detailed courses that you can purchase individually. I became an affiliate last year, because I purchased the BYPU201 course and it was very helpful to me in getting my blog up and running. (Being an affiliate means that I can earn a commission if people use my links to purchase from the site)  The best and newest part of this site is an online community called Blogging Your Passion University. I am a member of this community and it has been a huge help and encouragement to me in the blogging process. You can also be a part of this community if you sign up by October 1st. There is a short window to get involved if you are interested. You can find more information here.

The reason I got involved with blogging is because I had a passion and needed to create a platform to share this passion with the world. Leave a comment below if you have any questions or would like more information. Sign up for email updates from this blog by entering your email below. Thanks for reading!

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What Motivates You?

by Rocky on September 20, 2013

in Be a Blessing, Focus, Passion, Purpose

Motivation Infographic (300x199)What is it that keeps you going? What motivates you? Are you motivating anyone in your life? These are some great questions to ask.  If you can discover the answers to these questions, and others like them, it may provide some clarity to why you do what you do and what you hope to become. Let me tell you what motivates me in my life. [click to continue…]

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B-ball picTeaching someone a skill can be a successful small business model. When you are a coach, you are doing just that. This Post is an excerpt from my Free E-book and is one of those entrepreneur ideas that is often overlooked. I hope you will give this a try, or pass it along to someone who needs it! [click to continue…]

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TeamIt’s hard to lose a great employee, but it happened to me this week! It’s not about the productivity loss. As managers, we can always find a way to fix that. What’s hard is the loss of a GREAT employee. How to be a great employee is what I am talking about.

I always knew that it would be difficult if this particular employee (let’s call him Matt) left the company and it’s true. While we have other great employees, Matt was unique in his ability to do a fantastic job, get along with the team and have a positive attitude. He was the kind of employee that you hoped would never leave. Even so, I am happy for Matt and wish him the best. [click to continue…]

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