The Strive recently published an article about finding your greatness. It was a great article and it made many good points that I agree with. And it inspired me to write about why you should also strive to be your own hero.
There are a lot of people that are worried that wanting to be successful or rich will make them no different than one of those egotistical, entitled, shallow rich people. I know because I used to be one. I used to think the pursuit of money made me shallow and ugly.
But there are also a lot of people that want things to be easy. I know because I used to be one of those people too, not wanting to put myself out there and take a risk, in case I fell flat on my face.
It felt safer to wait until I had the perfect idea, or for the perfect moment.
I put a condition on my success without realising it.
Success was only possible if first x,y and z happened.
What is Your Dream?
Tell me, do you have a dream? A wish? Want to lose weight, start a business, get married, find that perfect job?
Here’s a question: What is holding you back?
Why haven’t you started your business yet?
Why aren’t you married yet?
Why are you still complaining about your dead end job, why haven’t you done anything about it?
I can hear the litany of excuses you are likely shouting at me now.
“There are no jobs available that i’m qualified for.”
“I can’t afford a gym membership right now so I can’t lose weight.”
“There are no more good men/women left to date.”
I hear it all the time and it drives me nuts. Friends, family, co-workers, all complaining about something or another without taking action.
So many of us are waiting for the right moment.
We have a dream but we add a condition to it so we have a convenient excuse on why we haven’t taken action yet.
And it allows us to say “It’s not my fault”.
Too often we want what we want without making an effort.
Yes you want to be a millionaire and I see you buying lottery tickets, but honestly, you are more likely to get rich starting your own internet business than you are winning the lottery.
You are like a victim in a superhero movie, waiting for Batman to sweep in and save you.
Well here’s a thought: IT’S TIME TO BE YOUR OWN HERO!
“In the end, you’ve got to be your own hero, because everybody is busy trying to save themselves.” – C.T.
Batman didn’t know what he was doing at first either. It took him a while to perfect his costume (let’s face it he still can’t turn his neck). He had to learn how to fight, leap from buildings, drive ridiculous cars and bikes (I mean really!).
He doesn’t carry a gun so he has to pummel bad guys with his bare hands, and get pummelled in the process himself.
The police hate him. He has no friends, and only one person, Alfred, knows his true identity.
Yet he goes to work during the day and then at night, instead of sitting in front of the TV eating pizza, he goes out fighting crime so he can make his city a better place to live in.
No-one shows up to save him, but everyone expects him to save them.
His life sucks, big time!
I bet it sucks more than yours.
But still he does it. He does it because he has a dream and no-one else can do it for him.
It’s time for you to become your own hero and make your own world better.
I have researched a lot of successful people, and if there is one thing I can say for sure, is that they took responsibility for their own lives.
They took action to make their dreams come true.
There was no waiting for the right job, or the right moment.
They didn’t sit around complaining that no-one was helping them, that they didn’t know how to do something, or about their boss, or their lack of opportunities.
They went out there and they made it happen.
For most of them, it was hard, it took time, there were many setbacks, people saying it couldn’t be done.
I bet they were lonely, and scared, and worried about money. But they stayed the course until they succeeded.
There’s a quote floating around on the internet, how some people work for years and years only to suddenly become “successful overnight”.
It’s like TheStrive.co, do you think they built this website overnight? No, it took years of hard work and dedication to make it the brilliant site it is today.
I used to be one of those mediocre underachievers, never really trying too hard to achieve things, I worried about failing, or being seen to fail.
I didn’t think I could do it and to be honest I was simply too scared.
It has taken many years of reprogramming my brain, but I’ve realized that I am actually capable of anything I put my mind to, I SIMPLY HAVE TO GET STARTED.
- When I try things, I am more likely to achieve something.
- And I learn from it.
- I even learn from failing.
- This increases my confidence.
- Which means that now I am willing to try even bigger and better things.
I became my own hero.
I now know that if I want something to happen, it is my duty and responsibility to do it.
No-one else can do it for me. It’s just me, I have to take action.
What Does it Mean to Be Your Own Hero?
It means no more excuses.
No more waiting for the right moment, or the right opportunity.
No more being afraid.
Your parents aren’t responsible for your life, nor your boss, your teachers, your partner or your financial adviser.
You are the person responsible for your life.
It’s time to take action, even if it’s a small step, to making your dreams come true.
How Do I Start? Where Do I Start?
If you want a promotion then don’t wait until you feel ready.
There are two types of people in this world, those who think they are ready to be CEO when they are not, and those who never feel ready, so they don’t even try.
You’re obviously in the 2nd group otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.
Make an appointment with your boss, state your case for a promotion, and get clarity of what you’ll have to do to make it happen.
My boss gave me a lot of projects to work on for a year or two to raise my profile.
It also gave me lots of material to put on my promotion form to prove I have what it takes to go to the next level.
Enough complaining about how much you hate your job.
It’s time to start looking for a new job.
The perfect job isn’t going to find you through magic, you’ll have to go looking for it.
And like a princess you’re going to have to kiss a few frogs.
This means go for interviews even if you don’t particularly want the job, because it is great practise.
That way when the job you DO want comes along, your interview skills will be awesome.
- Write your CV.
- Create a few online job seeker profiles – there are many websites to choose from, in all industries. Start with Linked In if you are unsure.
- Search for 10 jobs at least, they don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t need to have all the qualifications listed.
- Apply for those 10 jobs.
- Wait a week or two. REPEAT the process until you get at least three interviews.
I recently had a conversation with a friend about dating.
I often feel that when we date, or when we are single, we are hoping someone will come along and sweep us off our feet, solve all our problems for us, tell us we’re beautiful and smart, make us feel loved and worthy of being loved.
We expect them to help us magically melt all our insecurities away in a heartbeat.
If only the right person would come along to love you, you could finally feel confident, secure and happy.
We’re all waiting for that confident, pretty, successful and rich person to come along.
No-one thinks to become that person themselves.
The problem with waiting for someone else to be your hero, is that there are no perfect heroes. Everyone has their own problems, and their own insecurities.
So instead you must become the hero in your own story.
When I first saw the movie Shrek, I was very amused by the princess.
She is clearly her own hero capable of saving herself.
But instead of taking ownership, she chooses to wait around for her perfect prince to come along.
Don’t be the princess in the tower.
Consider this: Why should someone else love you if you don’t love yourself?
Work on yourself, learn to love yourself.
So you want to have your own business but don’t know where to start?
Here’s a thought: E-commerce
Selling a product on Amazon is the easiest way to get started and you can do that while still showing up for your day job (the one you hate).
- Make a list of everything you have bought yourself over the past 6 months.
- Then make a list of everything your partner has bought over the past 6 months
- And another list of everything you hear your friends or work colleagues talk about.
- Have kids in the family? Well what toys do they talk about or like playing with?
If you still don’t have an idea for your first product then it’s time to pivot to some other type of business.
It’s time to stop talking about it and finally sign up for your MBA, or those guitar lessons you’ve had on your New Year’s Resolutions now for 5 years straight.
I bet at least one person you work with has an MBA.
Ask around till you find that person, and get their thoughts on where you should go for yours.
Guitar lessons you can easily do online.
Or better yet, GO OUT AND BUY A GUITAR and then ask the salesperson who they would recommend.
It’s time to accept you are underpaid.
And therefore time for a payrise.
I find it works about the same as asking for a promotion. Make a list of all everything you’ve achieved over the past year or 2, and it helps if you can find out what others earn.
If your manager is willing he/she might give you some more projects to work on. This is good, that way when you complete it they have no choice but to give you the pay increase.
But if they say no, then it’s time to negotiate.
- Don’t accept no for an answer
- Be patient
- Continue the conversation as calmly as possible
- Impress on your boss all your successes
- List your current responsibilities
- Mention your completed projects
- And find out the general salary on the street (only if higher than yours, don’t mention it if it’s lower)
- Be willing to compromise.
- You can offer to work more weekends to prove your dedication to the company, or vice versa, if they offer to pay for travel expenses or something similar, then it’s as good as getting a pay rise as you’ll still have extra money in your pocket.
Read Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Christopher Voss.
It’s one of the best books on negotiation I’ve ever read.
I’ve negotiated the most random concessions out of companies and people using these techniques, all which in the end had real monetary value for me.
Buying a House
I can’t lie, unless you are a hedge fund baby, you’re going need to start saving some money every month.
Hero’s don’t wait for permission. So grab the bull by the horns, and start socking money away whenever you can and as much as you can.
The sooner you start the easier it will become, and the BETTER it will be for you thanks to Compound Interest.
Compound interest is when you earn interest on last year’s interest.
Over 10 years it can make a massive difference.
The same goes for credit cards, but not in your favour. Interest on interest you haven’t paid is like burning banknotes for fun, except no-one actually thinks it’s fun.
In my opinion, you should be buying your first house by the age of 30. Even if you think the market is overpriced, start saving money, because luck happens when preparedness meets opportunity.
The point is, get your budget together and start saving money.
- Have a look at starter homes for first time buyers in your area so you can get an idea of prices
- Make a budget
- List your income
- List all your expenses
- List everything that you spend money on that are luxuries (I hate to be one of THOSE people but 5 Starbucks lattes a day is not a good investment)
- Figure out what you can give up each month
- How much can you then save a month
The math works like this:
- You can save $100 per month
- You need $20,000 to put down on a deposit for a house
- That means you have to save for 200 months, which is 16+ years.
- You want to buy a house in 5 years, so 12 months x 5 = 60 months of saving
- The deposit will be $20,000.
- So you need to save $334 per month
Round the World Trip
Be honest now, it’s on your bucket list isn’t it!
Here’s the good news that most employees don’t know, because they don’t read the employee handbook properly.
Most companies offer some sort of unpaid leave where you can take a career break without having to quit your job.
Meaning that as long as you have saved enough money for expenses while you travel, your job will still be there when you get back.
Check with your HR department, then have a conversation with your manager.
Find out what they would be willing to agree with.
It might be that they can’t do without you this year, but if you wait 12 months after that big project has finished, they would be willing to let you take 3 months off.
Become Your Best Self
I’ve left this one for last as it’s a bit vague.
But the truth is that success in life requires you to TAKE SOME FORM OF ACTION.
For many that action is too scary.
We lack self confidence or self-esteem for so many reasons, so to take that next step can be daunting and scary.
So it’s time to start working on yourself.
Learn more about confidence, build new habits that set you up for success, and start working on acquiring the skills you might need to build the future you want.
You are still delaying taking action, but at least you are taking small steps in the right direction.
The point is to START!
Every journey begins with a small step.
Define your dream life.
Identify small steps you can take towards it.
Take MASSIVE action.
Dive in head first and learn to swim with the sharks.
It’s your choice.
But I promise you, on your deathbed you will wish you had at least tried.
Don’t be the boring grandparent!
Be the grandparent with the great stories to tell!
Till next time,
PS – If you enjoyed this post about becoming your own hero, then you’ll love this post on How to Be a Conqueror.
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