“Better Safe than Sorry” Is a Lie

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After my last blog post about planning your escape from your current job, I received an email: “Greg, it sounds great to go after the life you want, but haven’t you ever heard the phrase, better safe than sorry?”

Yes, I’ve heard that expression. (In fact I just read something about it in Bob Proctor’s book, It’s Not About the Money. I don’t believe in coincidences, so let’s talk about it. )

My emailer continued, “I’m, nervous about trying something new and leaving my safe, stable job where I know I have a steady income.”

I totally understand where that guy is coming from. We were taught from an early age that the “safe” thing to do is to get a “good” job at a “good” company with a good salary, health care plan, and sick leave and vacation policy. When you get that, hold on tight and don’t let go.

I get it, and I always tell people that to decrease your risk you should keep your day job while you begin working on your Passionate Purpose. Then, slowly transition to your new thing.

With that in mind, here are the problems I have with the idea of “Better Safe Than Sorry:”

1) It implies that if you play it safe you will never be sorry.

Is that true? I’ve gone the “safe” route a few times where I still regret it to this day. I’m sorry I played it safe. I missed out on some great stuff.

No one on his deathbed ever said, “I didn’t really enjoy my work. I never went after what I really wanted. Maybe I could have lived the extraordinary life of my dreams. But, better safe than sorry!”

Don’t you want more than a job you barely tolerate because you think you won’t get fired?

2) Is any job really “safe” anymore?

During the 2008 recession, the United States lost 8.7 million jobs. How many of the people who were let go thought their jobs were safe? I thought mine was. Boy, was I wrong. How about you?

But, Greg, the recession is over. “Good” jobs are safe again. Really? Hmm…here’s a report from CNBC:

“In the first four months of the year, employers said they would hand out 250,061 pink slips. That is the highest total for the January-to-April period since 2009.”

I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer. I’m a glass is half full kinda guy. But, I’m also realistic. You could lose your job today. There is no safe job anymore (unless you work for the government – then you’re more likely to die than be fired). So does it make sense to stay in a job you don’t like, or even hate, because – better safe than sorry?

I think it’s safer to follow your passionate purpose. You will enjoy your work and life more right away. Because you love what you do, you’ll keep getting better at it and improve your chances to generate more income regardless of what’s happening with our economy.

And you’ll have fewer regrets.

Questions:

  • Are you fulfilling your Passionate Purpose with your current job?
  • Are you excited to get out of bed every morning?
  • Do you know that your life counts and that you matter?
  • Are you a success because you’re doing well financially, even if you don’t like your job?
  • Or, does your success come from using the gifts you were born with to make the most out of the purpose you were created for?
  • Is it time to start working on your Passionate Purpose today and create a plan to transition away from your current “safe” job?

Let’s GO!

(I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets. Click here for more details.)

Once I Become Successful, Then I’ll Worry About Fulfilling My Purpose

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Greg, that idea about finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose sounds great, but haven’t you heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? You have to take care of the basics befor you go after self actualization. Once I’m a success, then I’ll worry about my purpose.

I’m a big believer in Maslow’s theory. If you don’t have anything to eat or a place to live, you’re probably not as concerned about going to a museum to look at a piece of art. I get it.

But, I think finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose helps you get everything else you need to live – not just to live better.

Most people have heard of Viktor Frankl’s classic, Man’s Search for Meaning. (If you’ve never read it, start reading it today.) He gives his account of what it was like to be in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII, and then he turns to the importance of purpose.

Frankl found that if a prisoner had no purpose left in life – if he saw no hope – he was doomed. If, however, a prisoner saw a purpose in life he could cling to, his chances of survival dramatically improved.

Research in some of the poorest places in the world has supported the idea that a strong sense of purpose keeps people going in the direst of conditions. In many cases, it helps people live happy, healthy lives where we would think there would be no hope.

People living in third world countries have said their Passionate Purpose is to:

  • Help my family survive.
  • Educate the children in my village so they will have more opportunities.
  • Spread happiness to everyone I meet.
  • Get my village clean drinking water.
  • Be able to move my family to a better place where we will all be safe.

These purposes keep them motivated and inspired to live a life with meaning -to live a life that makes a difference.

In fact, finding and pursuing a Passionate Purpose may be more important before you become successful. It’s what gets you up when you really want to stay in bed. It’s what gives you optimism when your circumstances can’t justify it. It’s what gives you courage to face the tough situations. And, it’s what let’s you enjoy this life, when others would wallow in depression.

My belief is that finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose is at every level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs scale. Regardless of where we live, or how much money we make, to live our best lives we need it in everything we do.

Let’s GO!

I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets.Click here for more details.

How to Help Each Other Succeed

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Motivation is a tricky thing. It waxes and wanes like the moon. Some people claim motivation doesn’t work because it wears off.

Hold on, I eat three (or five) times a day. I guess I should just stop eating. It wears off.
I work out three times a week. I guess I should just stop exercising. It wears off.
I shower every day. I guess I should just stop showering. It wears off.

Sounds kind of ridiculous, doesn’t it? EVERYTHING wears off.

The question is, how do you stay motivated to pursue your Passionate Purpose? A big helper in that is finding an accountability partner. The word “partner,” is important here. This is going to be a mutually beneficial relationship. You are going to motivate each other.

So, find someone you like and trust who is also looking for an accountability partner. It should be someone who shares your desire for an extraordinary life, someone who will support you in your efforts and kick you in the butt when you need it.

I find the best accountability partners are people who want you to hold them accountable for goals they’re working on in their life as well. When you encourage each other AND hold each other accountable, great things happen. Once you find one:

  • Tell each other exactly what you want and why you want it
  • Set a date for when will complete “x”
  • Determine how will you know you’ve done it
  • Schedule a weekly phone call to review the past week’s activities towards your goals
  • If necessary, exchange an accountability email half way through the week
  • Encourage and challenge each other to keep going

To be clear, the content of the call and the email is simple:

1) What did you say you would do this week?

2) What work have you done on that?

3) What went right?

4) What didn’t go so well?

5) What’s holding you back?

6) What adjustments do you need to make to improve your progress?

7) What can you do to help your partner?

Warning:

As you work on your Passionate Purpose, you will hit plateaus. Expect it and be ready to do the work necessary to break through them.

Fear and doubt will creep in from time to time.

Some of your friends and family may feed your fear and doubt by telling you your wasting your time, or that living an extraordinary life is for the lucky few, not you.

Some will do this because they think they’re protecting you from disappointment. Sadly, some will do this because they’re jealous of your aspirations and achievements.

You will overcome that by leaning on why you want this new life, on your passionate purpose, on your skills, abilities and experience.

You can do it. And there are plenty of people who WANT you to succeed. Lean on them, too.

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

How to Think Like the Owner and Score Big

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A large part of how successful you are, or will become, is determined by how you think about yourself. Do you think you can be successful? Do you think you’re smart enough, talented enough, or connected enough? Do you think you deserve to be successful? Do you think as if you’re an employee or as if you’re the owner?

Um, Greg, I am an employee, I’m not the owner.

Maybe…

But, if you want owner salary, benefits, and results – think like the owner.

How?

Have you heard of Richard Montañez? He was a Mexican immigrant who didn’t speak English well. He had trouble figuring out his purpose and dropped out of school. He was a janitor at a Frito-Lay plant in California.

One day he saw a video where the Frito-Lay CEO told all the employees that they should be thinking like owners of the business. They should be looking for ways to improve the company and make it more competitive. Richard took that to heart.

He liked spicy foods. One day, thinking like the owner, inspiration hit.

“I see the corn man adding butter, cheese and chile to the corn and thought what if I add chile to a Cheeto?” He asked himself.

He went home and experimented. His friends and family loved the spicy Cheetos. Richard could have stopped right there, but he didn’t

He kept thinking like an owner. He called the CEO and got an appointment to pitch the executives on his new product. He bought his first tie, got a marketing strategy book from the library, and went for it.

The CEO loved his concoction and “Flaming Hot Cheetos” were born.

Richard is now executive vice president, multicultural sales and community activation, for PepsiCo North America. He serves on several boards, has spoken at the United Nations and has even met presidents.

He says it’s all the result of his Ph.D. (poor, hungry and determined) and thinking like the owner.

No matter where you work, or what you do, no one can stop you from thinking like the owner except you.

Let’s GO!

Questions for comment: What can you do to think like the owner? What new idea or way of doing things could make a big difference?

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Can YOU Really Get the Life You Want? Yes! If…

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You’re excited about the idea of finding and pursuing your passionate purpose. You’ve visited a few websites about it, watched some videos, and maybe even read a book about how to do it. You’ve been dreaming about what your best life would look like.

But…nothing’s changed. You aren’t taking action. Five years ago you were in the same situation and a year from now?

Why?

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.
–Amelia Earhart

If you read my blog, social media posts and book, you know I’m a super positive, encouraging, optimistic guy. (And humble!)

But, let’s get real here, ya’ll. Tough love time. IF you really want to live an extraordinary life where you pursue your Passionate Purpose, I can’t sugar coat this.

If you have thought about it – or tried to do it – before and failed, you’ve made excuses.

Here are some that I’ve heard (and used myself from time to time).

  • Only the lucky few get to do that
  • I’m not rich enough
  • I’m afraid I’ll fail
  • I don’t have the right connections
  • I’m not a genius
  • I’m afraid I’ll lose all my money
  • You have to be really talented to do that
  • I don’t know how to do it
  • I’m afraid I’ll get divorced over it
  • I don’t want to sacrifice my wife/husband/kids/relationships to do that
  • I’m not educated enough
  • Now’s not the right time
  • It’s too hard
  • I won’t make enough money to live on if I do that
  • I’m not good enough
  • I don’t deserve it
  • People from my family don’t do that
  • It’s selfish and greedy to want to do that
  • I don’t have enough time to do everything I would need to do
  • I’ll do it someday

Those are just some of the excuses I’ve heard to make people feel better about giving up on their dreams. I’m sure you could help me come up with more. Some of these concerns are real. I don’t want to suggest that going after what you really want is easy and requires no sacrifice. That’s just dreaming.

But, if you really want to pursue your Passionate Purpose and go after that extraordinary life, you have got to cowboy up for a serious ride.

Do you really want to look back on your life and list the excuses why you never tried? Do you want to use your children, spouse and friends as human shields to protect you from your fears of going for something great? Do you really believe that ALL successful people are divorced, greedy, horrible human beings who sacrificed all their values to get where they are in life?

Am I going to stop talking in questions? Yes. Right now.

The reason you aren’t taking action and going after this isn’t because you don’t have talent—nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. It’s not because you aren’t smart enough, don’t know the right people, or don’t have enough money to get started. It’s not because you don’t have enough time. We all have the same 24 hours in each day.

Look, all the excuses really boil down to one. Fear.

Change is scary. All those excuses we listed create fear. Your mind is screaming at you to avoid fear and risk. Subconsciously, your brain is telling you that you get more out of not changing than you think you would get out of changing.

IF you really want this, it’s time to convince yourself these aren’t just wants, they are needs.

Time to convince yourself that the fear and pain that always comes with change is worth it for the chance to live the extraordinary life of your dreams.

Time to convince yourself that NOT changing is risky, too. Imagine living your whole life and NEVER going for what you could have had!

If you are tired of just getting by and letting days, months, and years slip past without achieving what you know you were put on this earth by your Creator to do, then now is the time.

Get your mindset right.
Understand fear creeps in but can be handled.
Determine what you want.
Set your course.
Take action.
GO!

How much longer will you wait?

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Do You Know Someone Who Needs This?

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The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. — Mark Twain

Do you know someone who hasn’t figured out their why? Someone who doesn’t even know what they really want? Someone who is struggling to find a purpose in this world?

I want to help. My Passionate Purpose is to help as many people as I can find their Passionate Purpose so they can live out the extraordinary lives of their dreams.

If you know someone who needs this information and encouragement, please pass on the link to my homepage and the link to my recent appearance on KC Live

If they are interested my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, please pass on the link to it on Amazon.

I would love to give them my free, companion eBook— 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. They can download it from that link.

If you are receiving this as an email, just forward it to anyone you think might benefit from it.

All the best.

Greg Knapp

Being Assertive Right Away Pays Off Big Time

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I can’t believe what that guy said to me.
Wait until you hear what our vendor just did.
That customer wastes so much of my time, I wonder if he’s even worth it.

Do you ever say things like that? Why don’t you do something to stop these problems from happening again and again?

Well, the customer is always right. I don’t want to be difficult, or rude, or impolite. I was raised to be nice to people.

I get all that, but are you confusing being nice with being a doormat?

You can be polite and nice while still being assertive. When you do, your life will get so much easier. People will respect you more – even the people who are mistreating you – and you will start to be treated preferentially.

When I was in 7th grade I got into 13 fights. I didn’t start any of them. I was a short, scrawny kid with braces, glasses and acne. I looked like I had a sign on me saying, “Please pick on me.” The bullies did.

I didn’t win any of the fights. But I never fought the same kid twice because I stood up for myself. When someone started to hit me, I hit him back. But I didn’t just hit him back, I went CRAZY! I yelled, screamed, punched, scratched, kicked and did whatever I could to let him know I was not an easy target. He might win, but he would be licking some wounds in the victory circle.

It took a while for word to get around the bully clique, but after 13 fights no one ever picked on me again. The bullies didn’t become my friends, but they respected me.

Greg, um, I don’t think it’s good advice to beat people up.

I’m not saying it’s time to beat up everyone who mistreats you. But the idea that you have to take people’s garbage and smile is ridiculous. Don’t be aggressive, be assertive.

When someone is speaking rudely to you kindly, but firmly, let them know you’ll be happy to speak with them when they’re calmer and can be civil.

When your vendor isn’t living up to the contract, politely but firmly remind them of the details and hold them to it – or change vendors.

When a customer is more pain than he’s worth, let him know that while you appreciate his business, it seems he isn’t happy with what you offer and it’s time he takes that business somewhere else.

Start being assertive right away and watch how things change. You will end up being happier, more productive, and probably make more money by doing away with so many problems. You’ll also be treated better by everyone you interact with.

Try it and tell me how it goes.

Tired of waiting to be chosen? Choose Yourself

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How much of our life do we wait to be chosen? From the playground, to the “cool” group, to getting into the “right” college, to getting that job or promotion, to starting your own business…

I’ve joined up with my friend Frank Keck of Embrace Your Freakness to start a podcast. This one talks about How to Choose Yourself. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

You Didn’t Win the Powerball Lotto, Now What?

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OK, I admit it. I got swept up in Powerball Fever and bought a ticket. And…I lost. And so did you. Bummer.

Wait a second. I can make this a good thing.

Greg, I love your enthusiasm but losing $1.5B is not a good thing. That’s like saying Jar Jar Binks was a good Star Wars character.

I hear you, (and please don’t ever make me think of Jar Jar again) but you didn’t lose that money, you just didn’t win.

The whole reason I bought a ticket was to try to make my dreams as real as possible. I spent some time imagining what I would do with all that money. I would travel the world (but mostly warm places). I would go on adventures. I would give more to my church, family, friends, and charity. I would take guitar lessons again. I would learn several more languages. I would live by the beach. I would still work at helping people find their Passionate Purpose. I would…

What would you do? Not just what things you would buy, but what you would do? The answer to that might just give you a peak into what you’re most passionate about.

You lost, now what? What if you could still do most of the things on your list? Are there ways you could do that?

Why not turn losing the lotto into a positive thing? It got you to start thinking about what you really want. Now dig a little deeper. Why do you want it? Write it all down. Take those ideas and write down goals that go along with them. Start reading those in the morning and at night before you go to bed. (I know you’ve heard this before, but have you done it? It works! Try it.)

When you get sure on your what and your why, the how begins to appear. You will be shocked at all the ideas that pop into your head when you begin to focus on this. I have seen it happen countless times in my life.

You don’t have to take a huge leap, quit your job, and risk everything to follow your dream. You can start with baby steps and transition to it.

Time keeps ticking by no matter what we do. In a year you will either be exactly where you are right now, or you will be a year along your journey to your extraordinary life.

Which will you choose?

Let’s GO!

Who Else Has Trouble Letting People Help Them?

Do you ever feel like you are totally on your own in pursuing your goals? Most of us don’t have a big network or platform to lean on.

But, what if we have more than we think? What if there is a way to let (not “get” but “let”) other people help us?

What if you open up, take a risk, and tap into a network that you didn’t even know you had?

Greg, my network is too small to even matter, I don’t know anyone who could help me. I doubt if anyone but me would share my vision for asparagus ice cream anyway.

I thought the same thing (except for that asparagus ice cream thing). But, by stepping out of my comfort zone, I have had people I haven’t spoken with in years connect with me and offer to help me. This can happen for you, too. Stick with me through this story…

I launched my book Go! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose this year.

When I first started thinking about “launching” the book I thought to myself, “Self, who is even going to know you wrote a book? Who is going to care? You don’t have a big following. Only family and friends will buy it.”

Yup, you can see I was really encouraging myself. I need to go back and read my own blog posts on the voices in my head and how to make them work for me.

Then, I calmed down and started thinking in a more positive way:

I have a radio show and many of those listeners will buy the book. (Don’t worry. You don’t have to host a radio show for this to work. It isn’t part of this story, but I wanted to be honest about the platform I have.) I have been increasing my activity on my blog, Twitter and Facebook. I try to add value and encourage people on those sites. I did that enough that posting about my book didn’t come off as pushy sales stuff.

I did some research and came up with the idea of building a “street team” for my book launch. I reached out to people on Facebook, Twitter and through my radio show. I let them know that I was creating a team of 100 people. I would give them a digital copy of my book before it was for sale. All they had to do was agree to write an honest review on Amazon, post about it on their social media accounts, and tell all their friends about the book.

Part of me was a little worried about telling my family, friends and acquaintances about my manuscript. Would they think I was just trying to make money off them? Would they be offended? Would they care?

But, at heart I am a dionarap. It’s a reverse paranoid (OK, you got me, it’s just paranoid spelled backwards). I believe everyone is out to help me, not to get me. The responses to my postings on Facebook supported that belief.

People I haven’t spoken to in years reached out to help me. One recommended my paperback to her book club. Another put it on the reading list for his clients and students. In fact, he called me up and we may end up collaborating on a book in the future. We found ways to help each other that we never even dreamed of before.

I had people offering to help me with my website and to proofread my book. I had people posting kind comments and encouraging me. It made me feel wonderful.

And all of this because I reached out to people and took a small risk. I didn’t even know the talents and interests that so many of my friends have. I bet you have connections that would love to help you. I bet they have skills you don’t know about. They are just waiting for you to let them help you.

Let them. Then, go one extra step. Let them know how much you want to help them. Ask them what goal they’re working on.

What skills do you have to help that they may not know about? What information or person might you connect them with that will help get them where they want to go?

When we start looking to help each other there’s no telling how much we can accomplish. And, the love it generates feels awesome. (But you might want to come up with a better goal than creating asparagus ice cream.)

Action step: Take a risk. Reach out to whatever network you have. Explain what you’re working on. Ask for help. Let me know what happens.

Question: What has worked for you in helping others and letting others help you? What’s the best way you’ve grown your network?