I recently learned that February 11th is National Inventor’s Day. To celebrate, I wrote this blog post to discuss how I invented myself into who I am and to help you invent your best self.
We are all inventors. We produce (invent) work that impacts people. It doesn’t matter whether your work impacts a handful of people or the entire planet. Your work impacts people.
But how exactly do you invent your best self? How do you set yourself up for success and produce work that you are very proud of? Let’s dive in.
Have The End In Sight
For any big goal I set for myself, I always have the end in sight. I’m always dangling the carrot in front of myself knowing that I won’t reach it in the short-term, but in the end, I’ve got myself a carrot (substitute your favorite food. I’m not a carrot person. I hope I didn’t offend anyone).
For my virtual Content Marketing Success Summit, I’m thinking about game day when I have all of the interviews lined up and have the autoresponder set up. I’m thinking about thousands of people engaging with the presentations within the virtual summit.
The carrot is right in front of my face, and I need it in front of my face. That carrot motivates me to work far harder than I currently am.
To invent your best self, you must be crystal clear on who you aim to reinvent yourself as. Do you want to be a bestselling author? Do you want to make more revenue?
Picture that end result and let that idea of massive success drive you to the finish line.
Predict The Checkpoints
As you invent yourself into a better you, it’s tempting to give up. Going from where you are to where you want to be may seem close to impossible. That’s because most people approach reinvention wrong.
They only view the end goal without building their foundation brick by brick. I don’t just snap my fingers and suddenly have a successful summit. However, I set checkpoints to make sure everything goes according to plan.
By mid-February, the design will be complete. Then I contact all potential speakers by the end of February. I get the interviews done in March and April. In May, I write the emails and get partners to promote the summit.
These checkpoints allow me to monitor my progress and allow me to finish the summit at a comfortable pace. Now, these checkpoints are just predictions. I could finish the site design a few days earlier or later. However, I act as if these checkpoints are set timeframes.
When I got started with social media, my ambition was to become a social media rockstar. I set checkpoints for how many followers I need to have within a certain timeframe.
I’ve referenced several times in the past that I set the goal of surpassing 100,000 Twitter followers in five years. I had no idea how to get that many followers, but the checkpoint forced me to take action.
Those five years are up. I ended with a little over 300,000 Twitter followers. Not bad for someone who didn’t know how to get 100,000 Twitter followers upon giving himself that goal.
Don’t be afraid of giving yourself a checkpoint you don’t know how to reach. I had many fearful thoughts when I started my podcast. I didn’t know how to keep it going, how to prepare for an episode, or how to even record the conversation between me and the guest.
I only got committed when I got enough people to say yes to being a guest on my podcast. At that point, I was committed and I set checkpoints so I’d be prepared for the first interview.
Overestimate The Workload
For any project I pursue, I always overestimate the workload. If I want to get 50 speakers, I contact 200 potential speakers. Any of those people who say yes get to become a speaker. In this scenario, I may very well interview far more than 50 people.
When I create a training course, I always assume I must pour countless hours into the training course. This changes my work ethic. I understand it’s not a walk-in-the-park, and that makes me work smarter and exert more effort towards what I’m doing.
When you reinvent yourself, overestimate the amount of work it will take for you to reach a certain goal. If you believe writing four blog posts each week will double your blog traffic, raise the estimate higher. You should believe that only daily blog posts will get you that same goal.
Overestimating the workload allows you to do at least one of two things:
Get the same stuff done sooner
Get much better results than you anticipated
Life is a game of inputs and outputs. We have an idea of what inputs lead to what outputs. Two good rules of thumb are to test the inputs to prove or disprove your hypothesis and to put more into the input (as long as it will lead to an output with long-term benefits).
As an inventor, it’s tempting to continue inventing new things without looking at your past inventions. Sometimes I go through my blog posts to see what my audience liked and didn’t like. Analyzing my blog posts allows me to determine what my audience wants more of.
This allows me to invent content, videos, and products that my audience (you at the moment) will love.
Every week, I look at what went right and what went wrong. These weekly reflections allow me to hone my skills and get better at producing better content at a faster pace.
Everyone needs help. Not even Superman went into battles all by himself. He had the Justice League (or Super Friends depending on your preference, but I strongly prefer Justice League as I didn’t go through any of the Super Friends series).
When I have a question, I ask one of my mentors. I don’t pay for their help. I just stop by every once in a while and ask a quick question. I could go the life coach method and hire someone who oversees much of what I do, but for now, I am more than content with how I get my mentors.
Upon this post’s publication, I’ve published 25 episodes on my Breakthrough Success Podcast. All 25 guests provided my listeners and me with great insights. Imagine how much you would learn if you listened to all of the episodes on EOFire.
That’s what I get to do with my podcast. And I can interview people whose expertise match the expertise I’m looking for. I always pick potential guests who will interest me and arm us with massive insights.
As you continue inventing yourself, your journey will continue to change. Success isn’t a line. It’s a jumbled up path. I’m sure you’ve seen the viral picture that continues attracting attention many years after it got published.
With the right mindset, you’ll invent yourself into the person you wish to become. The fact that you’re even on the journey to reinventing yourself means you’ll learn more about yourself. People who reinvent themselves into something better always make progress.
Your thirst for progress allows you to make progress. The amount of effort you exert determines how much progress you actually make.
How are you reinventing yourself in 2017? How are you accomplishing your big projects? Sound off in the comments section below.