You understand that you have to delay gratification sometimes. You put your head down and work hard on your goals so that when you achieve them you will reap the rewards. And you have a lot of goals.
You have goals at your full time job. You have goals for a new career that you’re starting on the side. You have relationship goals, personal goals, physical goals, spiritual and financial goals.
Oh, is that all?
Do you ever get tired of working so hard for the hope of future happiness? I know I do.
If we’re not careful, and all we do is deny the now for the future, we can lose our motivation and give up on the goals we truly want.
I’ve been thinking about that as I’ve been building my professional speaking business.
I have some ambitious goals on who I want to present to, how often I want to speak, where in the world I want to speak, how much I want to earn, and more.
To achieve those goals, there is a lot of work to do. Some of it I don’t enjoy very much. I don’t really like creating my website, editing my demo video, cold calling prospects, following up on the cold calls, and tracking every contact I make.
It’s a lot of work without a quick payoff. Staying focused on my why helps. But, if I don’t get some instant gratification as I go, I might give up before I reach my ultimate goal.
I have to be more than goal destination oriented. I need to be process oriented as well.
The good news is there are a bunch of things I love about being a professional speaker. I can choose to focus more on those things, and enjoy what I’m doing now, while also continuing to pursue my long-term goals.
Creating presentations that positively impact people’s lives
Presenting to people and organizations about the importance of purpose in and out of the workplace
Helping businesses create more engaged employees and a better bottom line
Helping people find and pursue their Passionate Purpose
Meeting new people before and after each presentation
Seeing people change because of my speech
Getting referrals for more events
Traveling to new places to give my talks and seminars
Signing my book for people who are all in on living extraordinary lives
I can go a step further and even find things I enjoy inside the things I don’t.
I can turn cold calling into a way to meet new people and offer ways to serve them – not sell them.
I can focus on the fun parts of creating my web page and demo video. I enjoy making those look good and being great resources for people.
When I get my focus right, I can enjoy my journey to my long-term goals. And that makes all the difference.
Questions for discussion:
What destination goal is frustrating you?
What parts of working toward that goal do you love?
What could you do to make the journey more enjoyable on a daily basis?
(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)
The best way to become successful is to serve other people. The best way to serve others is to share your expertise with them. So how do you become an expert? You can do it in less time than you think.
1) Determine what you want to be your expertise. It’s easier and faster to become an expert at something you’ve already been working on and that you enjoy doing. If you’re looking to become an expert in something totally new, you can do it; it’s just going to take longer.
This is where I advise finding your Passionate Purpose. Working to become an expert at that will lead you to be more successful, fulfilled, and joyful, than simply looking to become an expert in something you think will make you money.
Don’t get me wrong, making money is great, but it’s super great if you’re making money doing something you’re passionate about. Otherwise, it can turn into a pair of golden handcuffs.
2) Go one step further and determine in what niche you want your expertise.
3) Go deeper still and define the market you want to target your expertise to.
Keep this target market in mind as you’re becoming an expert. What do they want to know? What problems can you help them solve? What pain can you take away, and what pleasure can you help provide, with your expertise?
4) Determine the keywords that define your expertise.
Use those keywords to:
Set up Google Alerts – this will allow you to receive daily updates on the latest news in your field and niche
Search iTunes for related podcasts – listen to the most popular ones
Search YouTube for related “how to” videos – watch the most popular ones
Search for blogs – read the most popular ones
Search for seminars and online courses – use the ones that hit your target the best
5) Read one, best selling book a month on your subject.
It amazes me how many times I hear people brag about not reading books. Why is that now a badge of honor? You can get more out of a great book than you can out of a college course, a seminar, or one video – and for a lot less money.
Read these books to use the knowledge that is in them. I read books in my field as if I’m going to have a final exam.
I read like this:
Frist time through I just read the book
Second time through I highlight what resonates with me and make notes
Third time through I focus on my highlights
Fourth time through I start implementing the ideas into my life
If you read one book a month, in just one year you’ll know more about the field than 99% of the people you come in contact with.
Bonus: If you’re a great reader/studier, you can supercharge this be reading one book a week.
6) Start blogging about your quest to become an expert right away.
People love to see how other people do it. They love getting a behind the scenes view to your struggles and your successes. The more honest you are about the obstacles you’ve hit, the better.
Blogging about this will help you improve your writing skills, lock in the new information you’re learning, and build your brand.
Google “how to start a blog.” It’s very easy and cheap to do. For around ten bucks you can buy a domain name, and for another ten a month you can have your site hosted. Use a free theme on WordPress and you’re ready to roll.
7) Use what your learning in the real world.
It’s one thing to know theories, facts, and how to do something. It’s very different to actually do it. Your story of using your expertise in your life will carry more weight with most people than any letters after your name.
The leaders I talk with, from all types of organizations, comment on the problems they have with employee engagement. The latest research I’ve seen shows as many as 60% of employees are disengaged or actually hate their jobs.
That’s. Not. Good.
That leads to high employee and customer turnover, lower productivity, lower quality of work and creativity, higher error rates, and more sick days taken. And the most important driver of employee and customer engagement is the desire for “purpose,” the “why” of what you do.
No matter what business you’re in, it’s easier (and more fun) to become world class at it, and give incredible service, if you’re doing business on purpose.
If you, your team members, and customers all believe in and rally around the same purpose, you’ve got a great start.
Everything you do should line up with your purpose. If it doesn’t why are you doing it?
When you have a strong purpose in your business, you don’t get lost, you don’t drift. If you don’t have a strong purpose, it’s easy to get sidetracked for things that sound like good ideas – or just for some quick money. Stay true to your purpose and it will serve you well.
Chick-fil-A has a strong purpose: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” The company strives to align everything it does with that purpose:
It’s always been closed on Sundays so all of its employees could spend time with their families and go to church, or have a day of rest. It gives up a lot of money every Sunday be being closed, but it stays true to its purpose.
It’s why they do so much volunteering.
It’s why they give free sandwiches to first responders in times of crisis.
It’s why they created the Winshape foundation to strengthen families and bring people closer to God and each other.
When you mean it, your company purpose will help you hire and keep the best people. Share it with the people you are interviewing. Most millenials say they don’t want to work anywhere without a purpose they believe in. And older generations might not say so, but everyone wants to be part of something with a great purpose that makes a difference.
“People want to work with a person, not for a company. Most (Operators) feel that this is more than just a job. They feel either a divine call or the satisfaction of a desire to make a difference in the world.”
— S. Truett Cathy Founder of Chick-fil-A
I just started reading, It’s My Pleasure, by Dee Ann Turner. She worked for Chick-fil-A corporate for 30 years. When she applied there, the interview process was four months long. That’s a testament to how much Chick-fil-A believes that the business is all about the people. They look for great character and people who believe in their purpose.
My 17-year-old daughter, Faith, noticed this at one of our visits to the restaurant. She happened to walk buy a manager interviewing a young teen for an entry level job. When Faith returned to our table she said, “Dad, guess what I heard the manager ask that young man…’Who are your heroes?'”
Do you think they’re asking that question during the interviews at McDonald’s? Right.
I also love the focus Chick-fil-A puts on super serving the customers. Every time I go into the restaurant I find happy employees who seem to really want to serve me. They do everything they can to help me and always say, “it’s my pleasure.”
It’s part of how they create raving fans and evangelical customers. Hey, it led me to blog about it, didn’t it?
“If we get better, our customers will demand we get bigger.” –S. Truett Cathy
Does your business have a purpose everyone can rally around? If not, can you create one? If not, do you need to find a company in whose purpose you share?
Can you use that purpose to help drive your success?
What ways can you come up with to super serve your clients beyond their expectations so they just have to tell everyone they know about you?
The following is a rough transcript of the podcast (except for my interview):
Today we’re going to hit on the idea of finding and pursuing your passionate purpose, how that makes a difference in the world.
Then we’re going to talk about how much habits impact our lives and how to get rid of the bad ones and create new ones.
And we’ll end with an encouraging message to go for the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Ready? Let’s GO!
We’re all diff, but some things are universal. You want to matter, count, and make a difference. You want to live a life of value and significance.
God made us that way. You want to live intentionally, with purpose and passion.
How do we do that? We have to find our passionate purposes in every part of our lives. We have to take the gifts we were given and increase them and use them to help and serve others.
When we do that, everyone wins. In our relationships, family, work, finances, faith. It all gets better when we’re doing what we were brought here to do.
I love seeing this in people’s lives:
We had family movie night at the Knapp house over the weekend and we watched Eddie the Eagle. It’s a feel good comedy based on the true story of Michael Eddie Edwards.
What I loved about the film was the message on the importance of a Passionate Purpose.
Eddie had knee problems as a child and had to wear a leg brace. The doctors told him he should give up on sports. His father told him he would never be an athlete.
But, when Eddie was little he read a book about great moments in Olympic history. From that point on he was determined to become an Olympian, have his moment, and prove everyone wrong.
He had a passionate purpose and he had a strong why that supported it.
He tried a lot of different sports and none seemed promising. He had spent years trying to get on the British Olympic team in downhill skiing, but couldn’t quite make it. Most people would have given up.
His passionate purpose continued to drive him.
Eddie figured out that no one had been a ski jumper for Britain since 1929 and there were no qualifying distances to make the team. (However, the Brits decided to rewrite the rules and set up a qualifying distance.)
He convinced an old, drunk ski jumper to coach him. Using his own money, and any he could borrow, Eddie trained for a year and made the Olympic team.
Not only had his passionate purpose turned him into a decent ski jumper it also gave his coach a purpose to get sober and do something with his life.
A strong purpose can change more than just your life. What strong purpose is motivating you to great things in your life?
If you don’t have one right now, it’s time to find one.
Greg, Can I Really Get the Life You Want? Yes! If…
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?
–Amelia Earhart said, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
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.
“But, I really want to change. What? Your actions are so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying.” — Greg Knapp
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.
How much longer will you wait?
Another thing that can hold us back is our habits. So much of what we do habitual. We try to change and we fall back to old habits.
We can use habits to our advantage if we can create new, good ones that keep us on course to live out our Passionate Purpose intentionally.
Charles Duhigg has written a great book about this, called, The Power of Habit- Why we do what we do in life and business, and he’s joining me now on Your Passionate Purpose. Charles, how are you?
I want to encourage you that you can find and pursue your passionate purposes in every part of your life. God gave you gifts and talents that he wants you to grow and use for His glory, to serve people and to live an abundant life.
Steven Covey said, “Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment”
The world needs what you have to offer. I’ll see you tomorrow.
Greg, this “Passionate Purpose” stuff sounds a little new-agey, touchy-feely to me. I’ve read some articles and books that are saying the idea of following your passion doesn’t work. I’ve even read stuff that says setting goals means you just end up failing and feeling bad about yourself. Is that true?
No, and yes, or yes and no. I’m not trying to avoid answering the question, but that’s really the answer. (Those are the answers?) Another great quote from Henry Ford explains it: “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Yes, figuring out why you’re here, discovering your Passionate Purpose, setting goals and not reaching them can be frustrating, and sometimes depressing. But, you know what can be even more depressing? Never figuring out your purpose, never setting any goals, and never achieving any goals.
You know what’s a lot better than not setting goals so you won’t feel bad if you don’t succeed? Setting goals and actually achieving them. You are not going for a passionless existence. You are living an impassioned life!
When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind. –Seneca, Roman philosopher
It’s all about your mindset, how you set your goals, the plan you create to achieve them, and the execution of your plan.
But ask yourself this: What gives you a better chance of living out your dreams, figuring out what they are and pursuing them or just floating through life whichever way the wind blows?
But, Greg, doesn’t success at your job create passion? That works for some people, for a while. But how many people earning a good income do you know who hate their jobs?
Doctors, dentists, and lawyers all make it into the top 20 of highest suicide rates by profession and those are some of our higher-paying jobs. It’s not all about the cheddar, is it? Golden handcuffs still chafe and hurt just as much as the cheap ones do.
You have to decide these answers for yourself. For me, I want to live out the “why” of my existence. I want to pursue what I’m passionate about and use that to make me rich in every sense of the word.
You might be surprised to find that you will eventually make more money following your passion than you do right now trying to slog through the day. Then again, you might not. But at a certain point, money isn’t the number one priority, is it?
My goals definitely include creating a good income for my family and me, but a goal like earning $1 million per year is not my primary motivator. It’s not my top “why” for my Passionate Purpose.
My “whys” include inspiring people, creating more freedom for myself, helping people live their dreams, a flexible schedule, doing what I love, and taking more vacations with my family. If you took all those away and simply paid me more for doing a soul-sucking job 50 hours a week, I’d say no thanks.
What about you?
I was a guest on the Hello Techpros podcast this week. The topic was “How to get and stay motivated.” Please share it with anyone you think it will help. We’ve all had times when we feel motivated, but then get depressed when it doesn’t last. I hope this helps.
Your motivation will go up and down. No one stays super motivated all the time. You’re not happy all the time, or sad all the time.
People who say getting motivated and working on improving yourself are a waste of time because it wears off need to really think that through. Doesn’t everything wear off if you don’t keep up with it?
I play the guitar and I used to play the trumpet. When I play in a band I make sure I tune my instrument before we begin. Guess what? The instruments don’t stay in tune. I re-tune them every other song or so.
I take a shower every day. I eat three times a day. I lift weights three times a week. I practice my guitar every day.
Why do I have to do these things every day? If I do them once, shouldn’t that be enough?
That sounds crazy doesn’t it?
Everything wears off if we don’t work to improve our skills. What we need to do is build in ways to boost our motivation when it starts to lag.
Here are some ideas on how to get re-motivated when you’re starting to feel down:
Call your accountability partner.
Go on YouTube and listen to a motivational message.
Attend a motivational seminar.
Refresh your memory on why you’re working on these goals.
Reward yourself for the progress you’ve made so far.
I always come back to the “why.” Why are you working this hard? Why are you doing what other people aren’t willing to do? Because then you will get to do what other people aren’t able to do.
My daughter has a stomach bug and she asked me to watch a movie with her. She decided on, Joy, with Jennifer Lawrence. It’s the story of how a divorced mother of two, living with a very dysfunctional family, went from nothing to creating a multimillion dollar business empire.
The film is loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, the inventor of the Miracle Mop. I thought the movie was just ok, but even Hollywood messing with the truth, the messages I took from Joy are great.
Joy had family troubles, house troubles, ex-husband troubles, work troubles, financial troubles and legal troubles. Most people would have given up. Her mom did give up – she just laid in bed watching soap operas all day. Joy could have followed that example, but instead she kept making the choice to take action and succeed. (Yes, that is a choice.)
I keep noticing that the biggest difference between success and failure is not giving up. I’m not saying that’s easy. I know I’ve had times when I wanted to give up. In fact, I have given up before, and then gotten back in the game. What’s stopping you from getting back in the game? You haven’t failed until you’ve given up permanently.
What will you choose to do with your next opportunity? Keep going and tweaking it until you succeed, or get discouraged and give up?
Unfortunately, just about everyone in Joy’s family discouraged her. They told her that her business ideas wouldn’t work, that she wasn’t smart enough, and she was “just an unemployed housewife.” She almost allowed them to be right.
How many people – some of them meaning well – are pulling you down and preventing you from pursuing your Passionate Purpose? How long will you let them? What can you do today to change that dynamic in your life?
How can rejection and failure be encouraging? By learning how common it is and how every successful person has dealt with it.
Yes, all of us experience rejection and failure. I’m convinced a great deal of success comes down to simply not giving up on what you really want.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time –Edison
Look at these stories and Be Encouraged.
Modeling agencies told her she should consider becoming a secretary. —Marilyn Monroe.
A college drop out started a company called Traf-O-Data. At first the software didn’t work. Then, it barely made money. Oh, yeah, then he started another company and is now the richest man in the world. —Bill Gates
He was awkward on the violin. Teachers said he was too stupid to compose. —Beethoven
“Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” — From Fred Astaire’s first screen test.
“So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.'”
“So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.'” — Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer.
Fired as a contributor to the San Francisco Examiner because, he was told, “You just don’t know how to use the English language.”–Rudyard Kipling
Failed at starting his own business three times. Tried again and became one of the richest men in the world while making it possible for the average family to own a car. – Henry Ford
Put aside her passion for decades but in her seventies became one of the best-known American painters of all time. — Grandma Moses
Sometimes something bad has to happen for you to realize how many people care about you. I just found that out and I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and encouragement I have received from people who care about me.
I bet you have many more people who care about you than you know as well. (I just hope you don’t have to experience something bad to discover it.)
After my radio show last Wednesday I was told that corporate was looking at saving money and decided the best way to do that was to lay me off. For the past 5 years I have consistently had the highest ratings on the station, so I was told repeatedly it was not about my performance. My general manager was very kind in telling me how much she appreciated my show and my work.
This sometimes happens in radio. Does it stink and hurt? Yeah, but I get it. I’ve been in the business for 20 years now. It’s actually been great to me. I’ve had more fun and made more money at it than anything else I’ve done in my life. And it’s not over, yet. This is just a temporary setback. I’ve already had people express interest in my show and I’m excited about what might come next.
I hope this doesn’t come off as humble bragging but I really want to thank everyone publicly who reached out to me and share with you why I feel so good on the heels of losing my radio show. I sincerely thank you for reaching out and lifting me up. I can’t express in words how much each of your comments mean to me.
I’m really energized about how I can use this time to ramp up my Personal Development business. I love speaking to organizations, colleges, high schools and churches on the power of purpose and how it can change your life and work.
I love coaching people to help them find and pursue their Passionate Purpose.
I’m starting to write my second book and creating online courses.
Just this week I’ve had three new speaking engagements booked and two new coaching clients.
What I’m even more excited about and what blew me away was the response I received after I posted on my Facebook page that my show was taken off the air. Kind words and messages came flooding in from friends, family, and listeners of my show.
You told me how my book has changed your life. (That makes me feel incredible.)
You asked if I could coach you.
You told me how you felt like I was your friend because of how I related to you on the radio everyday. (That’s the best compliment I could ever get about my show. Every time I turn on the microphone I picture myself talking to a friend. When you feel that, I’ve done my job.)
You told me how you made a point to tune into my show everyday because I entertained you, informed you and made you feel something.
You praised me for being so prepared for every show. (That one really got me because I pride myself on reading and being over-prepared each day.)
You asked me to send you information on my speaking so you can help book me to present at your company’s convention.
You prayed for me. One of you even called me up and said a prayer for me right on the spot.
I had no idea how many people cared about me and wanted the best for me. It has lifted me up as I’ve pondered what’s next.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I am at peace with the idea that better things are coming. I know I’m here for a purpose and God has plans for me.
It’s time for me to keep practicing what I preach. I know my Passionate Purpose is to help as many other people and organizations find their Passionate Purpose as possible so they can live out the extraordinary lives of their dreams.