A message to 20-somethings, generation me, and, especially, to any young woman who is feeling stuck:
I would like to make an announcement, “I am a 20-something.”
There, I said it.
I grew up on 90s Nickelodeon, I am connected to technology in all forms, and I go through identity/life purpose crises on the daily. There should have been a welcoming committee the second I turned 20. You know a bunch of clowns jump out of the bushes right at the moment I’m blowing out my 20th birthday candle shouting, “Welcome to the ride of your life, you’ll be broke, jobless, and have to date morons!”
First off, let’s back track, if that did hypothetically happen (not saying that it did…), I would have to smack those clowns in the face, because:
1. I can’t stand clowns 2. What they are saying is a blatant lie!
Yes, you will have your fair share of being a slave to student loans, working at minimum wage gigs until you land that big fish, and dating guys who still think that asking you to help pay on the first date is “only fair.” But, with anything in life, we have a lot more choices than we originally thought.
There are 20-somethings out there that are running major start-ups, backpacking across the globe, and becoming the person they were meant to be everyday. To say that money, time, or circumstance is pushing against you from getting up and turning your dream into a reality is a great disservice to the world and to yourself. You don’t need to be a billionaire to build something, you just have to have an idea and the drive to push the idea forward. That’s all. Everything else will come to you in time.
Are you a 20-something that has ideas and drive? Then you can pretty much manifest anything in your life. You see if you put your focus on something that you want (really, put your focus on it) then it will happen for you. Not because you daydream about it, and then leave it at that, but because you live, breath, and act upon it.
I want to pay off at minimum 75%-100% of my student loans within the next 3-4 years, visit Europe for at least a month, and run a successful blog and freelance digital marketing business. How do I expect to do it? Hustling.
Hustling, is not just for street thugs and business tycoons, it’s meant for 20-somethings too. Whatever I can do (that is both legal and not going to hurt anyone) I will do to turn my dream into a reality. I took the words nevermind and no out of my vocabulary, and all that is left is yes andsuccess.
Like the expert hustler and serial entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Hustle is the most important word–EVER.” Need a quick pep talk to get you into the hustling state of mind? Check out his video:
STEP 1: What is Your Big Goal or Dream?
Alright, now that you are pumped and ready to hustle. You need a dream or a big goal to go after. Get a piece of paper and write down your big goal. Whatever it is, whether it’s running your own business, visiting a country you’ve always wanted to check out, finding love and starting a family, write it down. Not sure what that big goal or dream is? Then answer these questions : What are you passionate about? What gets you up in the morning and up at night? If you had one year to live (and nobody would judge what you did) what would it be? You don’t have to figure it out right at this exact moment, but now that the wheels are turning, when you do figure it out just remember to be specific. Saying you want to find love is good, but saying you want to find a partner who is compassionate, goal driven, and values family is even better. Just a reminder, if your goal scares you and gives you butterflies in your stomach, then you are on the right track. This is the time to pick the biggest, baddest, goal that is out there. Don’t worry about how you are going to accomplish it just yet, that’s where the mini goals come into play.
STEP 2. Create a Game Plan on How You Are Going to Get There.
Mike Dooley, author, speaker, and entrepreneur says it like this, “Little tiny dreams require little tiny thoughts and little tiny steps. Great big dreams require great big thoughts and little tiny steps.” You have to put in the same amount of energy for a little or big dream, so pick the big dream instead. Dreams are accomplished by little steps that you take each day. Have you noticed how your day-to-day life doesn’t change drastically, but when you look back on where you were 5 even 2 years ago, it feels as if you made quantum leaps either in the right or wrong direction? My father, a retired Gunny from the Marine Corps, taught me the greatest lesson I will ever learn. The lesson of sacrifice. My father has sacrificed for his country and for his family. The little steps he took each day (which looked like massive ones when I was growing up) put a roof on our heads and helped made college a reality for both my brother and I. Many people give up on a dream, because they feel like they aren’t accomplishing it fast enough or that they haven’t made any leeway on it.
When in reality, great things happen over time and need room to grow. You don’t look at a great oak tree seed and expect it to transform from a seed into an oak in a day do you? Then why would you expect instant gratification with your dream? We live in a world of now and instant, and while that might be plausible for technology, it’s unrealistic in our personal lives. Marie Forleo, a life coach and business expert debunks the idea of overnight success in her video below:
Marie Forleo: Three Truths About Overnight Success
Remember, overnight success does not exist. It’s the hard work and long hours behind the scenes that make it look so seamless. So take those baby steps. Do something a little each day that is congruent with your end goal. With my dream of paying my student loan payments off in 3-4 years, visiting Europe, AND running a successful online blog and digital marketing freelance business, I’m going to need A LOT OF CAPITAL! So I take steps every day to create as many revenue streams as I can.
My Goal is : I want to pay off at minimum 75%-100% of my student loans within the next 3-4 years, visit Europe for at least a month, and run a successful blog and digital marketing freelance business.
The steps that I am taking (right now) to make that happen: I’m looking for a full-time marketing gig to help me pay off big chunks and supply a steady income, babysitting people’s kids in exchange for money, building up and promoting the Inspiremecafe brand on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, and LinkedIn, utilizing Google Adsense, Amazon affiliate links, Groupon banners, in the process of writing an e-book, learning a second language so I can work with a larger range of clients, and remodeling my website: AmandaCRivera.com and my business card so I can start prospecting for future clients who need my services.
Sometimes I feel as if I’m going on a hamster wheel, because I’m putting so much effort into this goal and I don’t immediately see a lot of improvement, but when I get positive feedback from readers and clients, every now and then, I know I’m doing the right thing. I’m only one person, and there is a lot on this list so far, so I have to be realistic and know that it’s going to take time. You see almost everything on that list is a preparatory action. It is preparing me for an opportunity to gain more down the road, but at the moment it still needs a lot of work. I think I made .48 cents using Google ads on my blog last month (Hey, it’s .48 cents I didn’t have!). If I just looked at my current situation and not the possibilities, I would quit. You can’t live off of .48 cents and this Google Adsense thing is just not working. But, I see a possibility in it. It might not be working as well now, with my smaller readership, but if I gain a larger readership, then who knows!
Don’t say no to an opportunity until you have fully exhausted every angle of it. I’m a strong believer that those big breaks lie in what we’ve been doing all along, but in hitting it from a different angle or perspective. If you hustle and put yourself out there, something is going to come up.
STEP 3. Follow-through, accountability, and rest time
I think this is the most important step in this whole post. Having accountability for your dream or goal is what fuels the whole endeavor. You have to keep on feeding your drive, so you can push your goal along. To get the fuel for this trip you will need a perfect balance of laser like determination and moments of stepping back and taking a break. While you can hustle 24/7, you probably shouldn’t. It’s pretty much a guarantee for you to burn out down the road. Allow yourself some time to step back from your pursuit of your goal every now and again to gain some much-needed perspective. Life is a journey more than it is a destination. If you aren’t having fun or enjoying yourself in the moment, then what’s the point?
Earl Nightingale, american motivational speaker and author, defined success as such, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” So just pursuing the quest to claim your 20′s means that you are successful. Cheers, you are a successful person, right at this moment! Whether you achieve something down the road, or not, you will always be successful because you went after something you believed in. There is a small minority of people on this planet that ever come close to doing something so wild and powerful as pursuing a goal or dream. So keep it up! Grab a partner or a friend and ask them to send you inspiring messages whenever you are feeling down or in the dumps. Help out a neighbor with something they want to have accomplished. Keep your fuel up, and stay hungry! Or, if you like Steve Jobs quotes as much as I do, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!”
This is what claiming your 20′s is all about, in my personal opinion: converting your ideas, dreams, and hopes for the future into real-life, authentic, manifestations in your personal life. That’s a much greater way to live, in my opinion, then moping around and waiting for your 30s to start your life. Remember your 30s is not the new 20s so claim this decade NOW!
(P.S. I’ll leave you with one more inspirational video below, but that’s it! No more procrastinating, just get out there!)
TED TALK: Meg Jay: Why 30 is not the new 20
Please join me every friday on twitter (@Inspireme_cafe) and facebook (facebook.com/inspiremecafe) for #StartUpFridays. Start-Up Fridays is a twitter/facebook series that helps those who are thinking about starting a business. When we help small business owners grow we are creating an environment where people are hired–not fired. )