I have a lot of conversations with people about how to get things done.
How to leave that crappy job and find a better one. How to break into a career in content. How to start a business. How to take that epic, life-altering trip they’ve been dreaming about.
It makes perfect sense that I find myself in these conversations over and over again. Because I am a doer. While I certainly believe in planning and revisions and doing things the right way, my even deeper belief is that you’ll get nowhere unless you take the first step. And then the second. And then the third.
Even as a child, I never saw a point in sitting around and waiting for the perfect time to do a thing. (After all, the “perfect time” is all a matter of perspective.) Like when I was 14 years old and wanted desperately to go to Australia and hold a baby kangaroo. From the “not perfect time” perspective, 14 isn’t a great age to have this dream. I didn’t have the money or resources. I’d never been on an airplane. I’d never really been away from home. And my parents weren’t excited about the possibility of me traipsing across the world for a month.
But, where I could have seen “not the perfect time,” instead I saw opportunity. Because, on the other hand, 14 is the perfect age to travel. I had no job, no obligations, no bills. I had a whole summer off school to do whatever. And people love supporting volunteer trips, particularly when the person volunteering is young and passionate.
That year, I raised $5,000 and I went with a volunteer group to Australia. I held a baby kangaroo. I ate grub worms in the outback. And my entire perspective on life started making a subtle shift.
And I’ve been doing the same thing over and over throughout my life. With starting a business. With traveling full-time. With being a writer.
Which brings me to my point:
Doing anything in life starts with, well, doing something.
It’s about making a plan. Writing 200 fundraising letters, babysitting every weekend, and raising that $5,000 (or whatever it is that you need). Signing up for that trip. Taking that business class. Learning that language.
Pick your poison. All of them are the same in that you need a plan and the whole process is a one-step-at-a-time thing.
Of course, the next question is how.
How do you make a plan? How do you save or raise the money? How to you know what steps to take?
This is the part where I recommend a book.
So, when I was hanging out in Paris, keeping away from the cold one night and probably eating a pastry, I gave Betsy & Warren Talbot’s newly re-released book a read-through.
They call it “an action plan for dreamers,” and I was delighted to find that it really is that. It’s all about taking that dream, making a plan, and being a doer.
They talk about everything from getting clarity about your dreams to figuring out how much your dream will actually cost (vs. the giant figures we all get in our heads) to actual things they did to save money, plan, and change their lives.
So, just in case you’re stuck. Just in case you really do want to take a year off to travel the world, save enough to really start that business, or hold a baby kangaroo in Australia at the age of 14. Just in case any of that, you should go grab a copy of this book.
Because it’s not just fluff (which, let’s face it, many self-help books are). Instead, it’s full of real advice and detailed recommendations, all based on the authors’ real-life experiences.
And a whole lot of the ideas and philosophies they write about? They’re the same things I (and other people I know who are living their dreams) have done and are doing. So I can tell you right now that this stuff really works.
Super big thanks to Betsy and Warren, who sent over a free copy of the book. Of course, all opinions and stories are my own (and all that other disclaimer yada-yada).