Alan Donegan: PopUp Business School Co-Founder, Entrepreneur, Financially Independent Pizza Lover, Marvel Movie fan and soon to be Script Writer
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The last decade has just finished and the question I have started to think about is: "What are you going to build over the next 10 years?"
What can you build in 10 years?
Most people vastly over estimate what they can build in a year and vastly underestimate what they can build in 10 years. I first heard this from Tony Robbins and it really resonated with me.
I feel into this trap for many, many years! I would set out ever year with outrageous, exciting goals that I would want to accomplish within the year and then I would get really, really disappointed that I had not completed them all by February! I would be on the verge of giving up on life if I had not completed them by October.
Setting wildly outlandish goals and then not hitting them can be hugely demotivational and cause you to stop trying at all! I know because it happened to me repeatedly for so many years.
What I didn't realise is that in most instances huge success doesn't come in a year, it normally doesn't even come in 2 years! It takes 3 - 10 years of working at something to really get somewhere but most people (including me to start with) give up too early.
If you want to achieve Financial Independence it is going to take you many years and a lot of focused effort. If you try for 9 months and then give up because you haven't done it yet then you are never going to get there!
If you want to build a successful business and you only give yourself 9 months before you give up then you are probably never going to get there. It took me 2 years before I landed my first really good client and started to make decent money. It took me a LOT, LOT, LOT longer to build it into the PopUp we know today! PopUp Business School has been going 8 years now and the first 2 years were pretty lean!
As you think through what you want to achieve this year have in mind that some of your goals are going to require you to work consistently over multiple years to get there. Behind every over night success is normally 5 - 10 year of hard work!
Perspective over time
The magic happens as you really start to think over time. This can be challenging to do though because we are all wired for instant gratification. This change has only really happened for me over the last five or so years.
When I was first starting out in goal setting it was ALL about what could I achieve this year, what could I create and make happen now. How would I get it going right away and whilst that drive to get going immediately is very powerful you can multiply its effect when you know what you are building over time.
How will actions you take this year compound with the actions over the next 5 years to create something truly amazing? How will the direction you are taking in January work towards what you are building for yourself in ten years time?
Having that long term true north or guiding direction is going to keep you going, keep you focused over the years. For me I have only ever had 2 really big ones:
For a while I flirted with the purpose or mission of eradicating bad Powerpoint and helping people achieve great presentations and I enjoyed it but it didn't create a fire within me like the two above!
These two huge goals or missions have kept me focused and building over the years and helped me to create some really cool things.
My question to you is "What do you want life to be like in 10 years time? What do you want to have built? What do you want to create?"
Having that vision of where you are heading allows you to work towards it every day over the years and it is the compounding of these actions over time that will create amazing outcomes.
Take a few moments to write down ideas and to start creating a longer term perspective!
Income is a by-product
In the early days a lot of my goals were about how much money I wanted to earn each year. I would always write down "I want to earn £100,000 this year! or I want to earn £250,000 this year and get very excited about hitting this goal.
By March I would feel dispondent that I was no where near hitting the goal and feel like giving up. It would really cause me pain and disappointment how far away I was.
What I have realised since is that income is a by-product of adding value to the world and creating or building something that adds value. The income is the by-product of value. You need to focus your energy on creating something that adds value to the people around you and income will be the by-product of that value.
It is great to have income goals but more importantly is what are you going to build that adds value to the world. One of my favourite quotes is from Zig Ziglar and he said "You can have anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want in life"
This is the key to this whole thing. If you build something that helps other people, makes their lives better, brings them joy or energy and ask to be paid for it you will create huge value for them and in return you.
The question is what are you going to build that brings value to the world?
Income is based on adding value to other people's lives. It is great to have the income goal on your list but it is the by-product of something different not the actual goal itself.
Focus on creating something that improves people's lives in some way.
Everything is created
Everything you see in front of you, around you or online has been created. The house you live in was dreampt up by someone, the device you are holding reading this was built by humans, the ideas you are reading here came out of my head and were build on top of other great human's thoughts.
Everything around you has been created. We (humans) came up with cars, mobile phones, laws, rules and more. We built and created it all. We used the building blocks we found on the planet and we built and created.
Obviously I didn't create the money tree that sits in the corner of my lounge but a human created the pot it sits in!
What I am trying to say to you is "we made all of this up!" We create, came up with, imagined all of this stuff around us.
The extraordinary beloongs to those who create it.
Why is there a picture of Katie, My friend Jason and I at Legoland at the start of this blog post? As you are probably aware I love Lego and love building and I am always amazed at what one can build from a set of small plastic bricks and pieces.
I would love you to start thinking of your life more like Lego. What are the building blocks you are putting in place over the coming years that will build the life you want.
We made all of this up and created it and you can if you want to; build your own life; build your own future. The real questions is:
What are you going to build?
You have the power to create and build. If you are reading this you already have access to the internet, probably some kind of technology in your hand and pretty much everything you need to get going!
The hardest question to answer is what are you going to build? Where do you want to focus your energy?
Are you going to build an amazing family home? Financial independence? An incredible career or a business? Are you going to create an amazing family get away? Beautiful relationships? A movie? A new dance? Music? A podcast? YouTube Channel? A movement? A beautiful space to live in?
What are you going to build?
The extraordinary belongs to those who create it.
So get out there and CREATE! no one else is going to do it for you.
Look out for the next post which includes some tools to help you come up with what you want to create and sign up to the mailing list below if you would like to get updates once every few months about the blog and what is going on!
Happy New Year!