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I was giving a presentation last week in Riga Business School in alliance with University at Buffalo, The State University of New York on how to succeed in your career. One of the core messages in my presentation, which is something I strongly believe in, was – find your passion and do something that you are truly passionate about, or don’t do it at all. That statement massively resonated in the audience of entrepreneurs, business leaders and senior professionals in the room.
My 20+ years in business and career experience gives evidence that when you do the job that you are truly and naturally passionate about and you have the opportunity to apply your talents to add value for others, then you are energized, inspired, well appreciated and recognized as a professional in the team and overall in the business. If you do something that you are capable of and technically can do well, but have no passion for that job or the results or team or culture in the company – you do not have that sparkle in your eyes that people highly value and your impact to the results and delivery is much lower. You also do not receive the appreciation and recognition from people around you since – you are just doing your job.
It works like a snow ball effect – the more passionate you are, the more eager you are to do the job with excellence, putting into it your heart and mind and being personally excellent at it. More people will recognize that and see how you add value – more projects and opportunities come your way as people notice that you are great at what you do. As more opportunities come your way to do the job that you are really passionate about, the more your inspiration, contribution, added value and appreciation grows. And then will come the time when someone comes to you and says: ”Would you like to take that dream job?” Literally. Evidently. Confidently. Because you are great at doing that kind of job and people have noticed your results, your drive and your passion.
When I reflect back on every job that I have been doing in my career – I have succeeded most in the jobs where I was truly passionate about what I do or the purpose and content of the job let me apply my talents. Or – when I shaped the purpose and content of the job to fit that well.
It is also been proven in the scientific research that when you do the job that you are passionate about, you are a more happy person and your soul and body reflects that – you are a more positive, solutions focused, impactful, healthy person. If you are not happy or do not enjoy the job that you are doing – your soul and body instantly reflects that through your behaviour, attitude and health.
But what to do if you do not know what is your passion?
I have been asked this question frequently in the personal brand development workshops that I am facilitating with the companies to help professionals to be more personally excellent, better collaborate in the teams to implement the strategy and succeed in their careers. Also – in individual coaching sessions this question comes up time after time. And with no surprise – I was asked this question a few times last week in the presentation in Riga Business School.
There are several ways how to discover your passion. There is no one way that would suite everybody. I will share with you 3 most common approaches on how to discover your passion:
1. Sometimes you find your passion through challenges that you experience in life or at work
Sometimes the challenges that you experience in your life or career helps you to discover your real passion. At the beginning it feels really hard to experience and go through all these challenges, but when you have travelled that challenging journey and have found your solution or victory over the challenges, you learn something new about yourself, you discover a different angle of your personality or capabilities.
And – if you have resolved that challenging situation or period in your life for yourself, you become passionate to help others and share with others the tools and strategies that you have applied to resolve. Or the mindset techniques that you have learned along the journey. Or mistakes you have made and how others could skip them.
I will share with you a situation with one of my colleagues. Bear with me – I will cut the story as short as possible to bring the essence to life:
I had a colleague that experienced a very challenging period in her life and work. If you think your life is difficult sometimes, believe me – she had one terrible situation after another all year long. She has been a hard worker all her life – really dedicated, driven, committed to do her job with excellence. Once from some really tough emotional situation at work and a terrible accident in her wider family at the same time, her mind and body could not handle it any more and she had a really bad stroke, which took the majority of the year to recover.
Having partly recovered and being totally committed and dedicated to work, she returned to work and worked a lot and hard, while the doctors did not want to let her come back to work yet and her body had not recovered yet fully from the stroke. During that period, on the way to the office she got in a car accident which damaged her back and again – it took massive amount of time and pain to recover. There were a few other really difficult situations in her work and private life. On the recovery journey the doctor and medical specialists recommended her to take better control of her emotional state, let go of the experienced emotions and bring in work life balance and mindfulness into her life.
Now she has fully recovered. She has let go the emotions that were upsetting her. She is a stronger, much happier and more impactful person. She has pulled together a workshop to help other colleagues to feel more confident to have wellbeing in their work life. She has even been nominated for the annual recognition awards in the company as “People Who Make a Difference”.
She is now passionate in helping others to ensure balance in their life and to be more effective while more congruent with themselves and work. She has been through really difficult times, but has since recovered and is now truly passionate to help others not to get where she was. She is now a hugely energized, passionate, and happy person. And people around her recognize and appreciate that. And she gets the opportunities to do more of what she is passionate about. As she is great at it. And adds massive value for others. And now the HQ have established a new job role: Wellbeing Business Partner, as there is a business need to implement wellbeing strategies and tools across the business.
2. Explore your past likes and dislikes to discover useful insights
One of the techniques that helps to discover your passion is – exploring your past. Exploring what did you like doing in your past roles, or at school or in your free time or in your childhood. And how can you now translate it to the current business world to add value. As an example – I liked observing people, exploring what are their aspirations, what they want to achieve and what do they need to change or tailor slightly to be more successful.
Hence, I studied psychology and worked in human resources leadership and a few years ago I tailored that “like” in my passion for personal brand development coaching. The core is the same, it’s just a different way on how to implement it. Now I am coaching ambitious and dedicated professionals, leaders and entrepreneurs to unlock their highest aspirations, think bigger, get crystal clear clarity and success strategies to achieve their ambitions and sky rocket their career quicker, smarter and bolder.
I never liked to be told what to do or to fit in the particular process or system. Hence, I am more passionate about a job that involves creativity, that needs to come up with solutions, resolve challenges and widen wider horizons to think bigger and act bolder.
3. Some people just need to keep trying out different things
What to do if you think you have discovered your passion, but after a while you are not sure and want to do something different? Well, some people just need to keep exploring and trying out different things. The well known writer Elisabeth Gilbert once said in her speech that maybe you are a hummingbird and have a curiosity driven life – you just need to keep exploring and trying out something new. We need these kind of people in our life who are great example of courageous moves – starting something new and different in their life, making that bold decision to change and start again. To not keep doing something that you actually are no longer passionate about.
Take one of my sisters for example – she is now studying to become an expert in her fourth different professional area. She has changed her interests from having completed professional cookery school and being a really great cook to obtaining an international tourism management degree in university and working in the hospitality and tourism industry to being a massage therapist and now for the next two years she is dedicated to study towards being a professional facial beauty expert – a completely different area from all before that involves medical studies, chemistry, physics and other subjects she did not study before.
For some people reading this, it might feel slightly confusing or indecisive, but I am proud of her that she does not settle with the job that she is not passionate about.
My recommendation is – keep exploring to find your passion and do something that you are truly passionate about. Or don’t do it at all. When you follow your passion, people notice your drive, inspiration and energy and added value, and will offer you to do more of it. Because you are great at it.
This is your personal invitation to the presentation of The Success Planner Book in Riga, Latvia! It will be combined with interactive and an immensely valuable Personal Branding presentation at the Riga Business School.
Please see the detailed agenda of the Personal Branding session and register here: Riga Business School
Places are limited, so book your reservation for this unforgettable experience as soon as possible!
The Success Planner book is for those that want to commit to enhancing more success in their life, business and career. It is developed in a way that is easy to read and follow the guidelines to succeed. And – it also helps you to develop your personal brand!
It contains valuable tools and impact-ful strategies that will help you connect with your passion, discover your talents, and develop your vision for the future and create a mission that will help you get there. And having walked through that journey myself – I know it can help you to set your personal goals in a way that you can achieve them auto-magically.
It is not for everyone – it’s only for those who really want to enhance their success and commit to it. In The Success Planner book I will be sharing with you – exactly how to do that.
The Success Planner Book consists of 2 parts: the first part – mindset and success tools and strategies, the second part – a planner that is developed in a particular way – to help you focus on your success and outcomes.
Unique opportunity: You will have a unique opportunity to join www.TheSuccessPlannerBook.com presentation and obtain a signed copy of The Success Planner to help you enhance your success mindset and develop your personal brand.
When: 1 October, 2015
Book presentation: 14:30 – 15:00
Personal Branding session: 15:00 – 16:30
Location: Riga Business School, 11 Skolas street, Riga, Latvia
Treat yourself this autumn on Thursday, 1 October, 2015 with an inspiring experience.
Decide to succeed and use the tools and strategies that will help you! The Success Planner contains impactful tools and valuable strategies to help you have more clarity on what you want to achieve, to live with passion, to achieve your goals and to reach ultimate success.
It will help you to:
- discover your talents to achieve success more easily
- define your passion, mission, vision and purpose to live a more fulfilling life
- unlock what success means for you
- connect better with your true you and gain extraordinary confidence
- focus on your true goals and success, achieving them instantly
- get hugely energized, inspired and empowered while traveling on your success mindset development journey
You can start setting your goals at the beginning of a new calendar year, on your birthday, on the day you make an important decision or at any other time of the year. It really does not matter when you start – the sooner, the better though.
The Success Planner is a fabulous present for anyone whom you care about or for whom you wish all the best.
Check it out:
My call for thoughtfulness and action today is about goal setting and achieving them. How to set your goals impactfully in a way that you can achieve them automagically.
University of Scranton research suggests, that only 8% of people achieve their goals. Why? There are a number of reasons, but most common are the following three:
1. Creating vague goals
I often say – “what gets measured, gets done”. If you set goals that are too general, like “I want to lose weight”, then it is difficult for you to achieve them. How much do you want to lose? By which time frame? How are you going to achieve this? How will you reward yourself for success?
There is a recent example of a friend who set a vague goal which resulted in an unexpected outcome. She was in a dating relationship with her boyfriend and wanted to have a family. She wrote down in her goals: “By next year in September, there will be 3 of us together.” What she meant was – her partner, herself and their child. What happened next year by September was something different- her partner introduced her to his gay friend…
2. Lacking higher purpose, which leads to lack of focus
You can set goals in any area, but if you do not have a higher purpose as to why achieving this goal is important to you, it is easy to give up when it becomes a bit more difficult.
It happened with me when I first started to write my book two years ago. I did not have this sense of purpose that I have now and I had not unlocked clearly my passion. Since I have completed it last year, my book is in print now!
3. Not knowing what you really want
Mark Twain once said that he could teach anyone how to achieve what they want, but his challenge was – he could not find anyone who would know what they want. In my coaching experience I see that there are many people who do not know what they want to achieve. They often know what they do not want and that is where their focus and energy goes.
I usually set my goals every year and mostly achieve them. There came a period of time a few years ago when I felt a bit confused. I had achieved everything I planned for and I did not have any more goals to set. Nothing came to mind. Nothing felt like – yes, I want to achieve that! As I am a high achiever by nature, I started to feel really low, as I need targets to achieve constantly.
What is the solution?
I spoke with one of my friends about this issue, and she laughed – “Relax, I never set goals and I don’t achieve much. There are many people who do not know what they want. Be chilled about it!”
“It’s not helpful, is it?”, I thought.
I asked my coach: “What should I do?” My coach helped me by asking really good questions, such as: “What is your passion?”, “What is your overall purpose in life, what do you want to achieve?”, “What have you already achieved and what talents did you apply to achieve them?”, “What’s missing?”
I travelled a journey of unlocking my passion and my purpose. My passion is helping people to succeed. I accomplish this via coaching, inspirational speaking, and leading by example by being an empowering and inspirational leader.
I have expanded my goals more since having more clarity of my passion and purpose, and I am achieving them automagically. As an example – I had said that I will give at least two inspirational speeches in big international conferences this year. And by setting these goals in the right way, the opportunities presented themselves, magically. As a result, I have done two speeches already and was recently invited as a speaker in the upcoming world congress in Paris.
Paul Meyer has said: “If you are not achieving the success you desire, it’s because your objectives are not clearly defined.” He guides to the SMART principle of setting your goals. It is setting your goals, to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.
There are plenty of approaches for goal setting, but most common or popular are the following three:
- New Year’s Resolutions– you set them at the beginning of a new year and mostly don’t achieve them, as they are too vague. You keep setting and not achieving them year after year.
- The Wheel of Life– you set your goals in 8 areas of your life to be complete. Sometimes it is too much for people – they achieve some and do not achieve others. This is not very motivational, is it?
- SMART principle– it is most popular in organizations. But people do not always achieve all of these goals as they do not feel passionate about all of them.
Having reviewed what works and what does not, I have developed The Success Planner™ goal setting approach, which integrates Passion & Purpose with SMART principle. In a nutshell it is this: focus on your strength and passion, define your purpose, be SMART and watch out for success!
I developed this principle after I have gone through some low moments in my life and that has helped me to get back on the track of success. That has also been useful for many of my coaching clients.
In conclusion: there are a number of reasons why people do not set or achieve their goals. Having travelled my own journey of resolving challenges with goal setting has led me to develop the “How to set your goals impactfully to achieve them automagically” approach. To help more people achieve their goals, I have written a book called “The Success Planner ™”. This book contains impactful tools and valuable strategies to help you to unlock your passion, achieve your goals and reach ultimate success.
What makes it from being just fine to having a brilliant leadership? I have done much research and this is what I have discovered: Having a personal brand is a leadership requirement now. It helps you to be a better and more authentic leader. It also enhances your executive presence and impact.
Leaders who develop their leadership brand step out of the sea of sameneness and make a much more meaningful impact on their teams by inspiring and empowering them. For what? For being excited to deliver on strategy, to collaborate, to do their best to WOW the customer. Personal leadership branding has become more important than company and corporate branding.
Why? Because we trust people more than companies. And people are more accountable than companies. When you have an issue with a company product or service, whom do you call? The Company? Is the Company picking up the phone? No, you call a professional who sold you the product or service or who is there to help solve your problem. Great Leaders inspire and empower their people to be their best. And overall, leaders, by their leadership brand influence the brand of the company – the experience that people have dealing with the company.
As a leader you are selling your strategy, your vision and why people should follow you to your team and employees. Your personal leadership brand message makes an impact in people’s hearts and minds to engage and convince them, to feel valued and excited to contribute their best.
We know the saying that “people join companies and leave leaders”. Yet, we spend little time developing leadership brand.
What is a personal leadership brand? As Glenn Llopis, leadership branding expert defines it, “A personal brand is the total experience of someone having a relationship with who you are and what you represent as an individual, as a leader”. Think about what that means to you. And don’t confuse this with just acting the part. On the contrary, you should be more of who you are naturally and bring up your best in leadership.
Developing Your Personal Leadership Brand, consider the following 7 steps:
- MISSION. Consider what major outcome you want to achieve in the next 12 month as leader?
- TALENTS. What are 5 words that characterize your talents that you would personally want to be known for as leader?
- PURPOSE. Write down 3 phrases that combine 5 chosen words and capture your added value and desired identity.
- BEHAVIOURS. How do you differentiate from others?
- VALUES. What are 3 core values that are truly important to you in the way you do things?
- PASSION. What are you excited, energized and passionate about in your leadership agenda?
- VISION. What is your aspiration in the leadership journey?
Based on a survey conducted by Glenn Llopis Group, less than 15% of people have truly defined their personal brand and less than 5% are living it consistently. Why? It can be extremely challenging and it requires a tremendous amount of time and effort invested in developing self-awareness, being focussed, executing actions and being accountable for the impact and the result.
The image of your brand is a perception held in someone else’s mind. Successful Personal branding entails managing this perception effectively. As well as managing and influencing how others perceive you and think of you.
It is important to bear in mind though, that the purpose of leadership branding is not self-promotion, it’s rather a commitment to advance yourself as a leader by serving and inspiring others. This will enhance your leadership impact naturally and extraordinarily.
Why passion matters, you might ask. As passion comes from believing you are extraordinarily great at something, being passionate is a sincere way of saying, “by the way, I’m awesome”. All of our emotions exist for good reason. We feel hunger to ensure we don’t starve. We feel full to ensure we don’t burst. And we feel passion to ensure we concentrate our efforts on things that energize and reward us the most.
Your passion will persuade people to listen to you and follow you. It will persuade people to believe in you. But most importantly, passion will persuade YOU! Passion is an emotion specifically intended to make you go mad and work your behind off at something because your brain believes it is highly valuable and could rock your world. Believe me, that is a feeling worth fighting for.
What we’re passionate about is too important to leave to the mercy of fate. If you haven’t found your passion yet, try to create new things, to lead new trends, and to fuse new combinations. But don’t ever stop looking. In my new book called “The Success Planner” I have collated the questions to help you think through and travel on a journey of discovering your passion if you have not yet done so. It is best to start with unlocking your talents, followed by finding your passion and values.
Make your passion your fuel, not your final destination. Whatever you do, be true to yourself and what is meaningful for you. As an example, using the passion discovery tool that I have described in “The Success Planner”, I have discovered that my passion is helping people to succeed. I gain huge energy, inspiration and satisfaction while noticing how my coaching clients become more inspired, focused, self-aware and successful.
Since my early childhood I have loved observing people and thinking about what they could have done differently to be more engaging or more successful in their relationships. Since I have discovered and now am clear of what I am passionate about in my life, which is – inspiring people, developing their success mindset and empowering people to focus on their passion to succeed in life and business, I am finding more and more opportunities in both everyday life and corporate work to focus on this area. This is highly rewarding and gratifying for me. And this is why passion really matters!
In life there are people green-lighters and red-lighters. Go with the green-lighters!
“Green lighters” are the ones you want to hang around. They will encourage you and inspire. They will show you the green light to succeed. They will open the doors of possibility for you. If you will struggle to come up with a solution, they will guide you to search for advice from more experienced or innovate the solution.
“Red-lighters” will focus on problems and why you cann’t do it. They will explain you why it is difficult to do what you are planning to and why it is safer to stay in your comfort zone and do nothing different. They may even spend time to search for scientific proof that the idea you have may or will not work.
How many times you had a great idea, but did not implement it because somebody close to you said “it’s not worth doing” or doubted your success? And how much empowering does it feel when somebody helps you to think through the solutions and implementation, despite the challenges in the way? Trust me – you want to hang around with the green-lighters!
You need to get out of the comfort zone to succeed and make a difference. There is never a lack of finance or opportunities to implement your ideas, only the lack of creativity. Learn from experienced and people who have succeeded. If you are the smartest person in your team or business, you will go broke. So – equip yourself with smart people in the team, with green-lighters and that will hugely increase your opportunities for success.
And – how about yourself? Be mindful of – are you a green-lighter or a red-lighter for people around you? Do people feel inspired in your interaction with them or depowered? Trust me, from my experience, it is much more rewarding to be the green-lighter!
Whenever I create an opportunity to inspire someone, I feel much more energized and inspired myself. To inspire and empower people is my passion. When you follow your passion, you generate empowering energy. Go with the green-lighters!