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Why You Should Do What You’ve Always Wanted to Do

Why You Should Do What You’ve Always Wanted to Do

You know what you’ve always wanted to do, BUT…

What is it with the rampant self-doubt?

You concoct so many reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t do what you want. No time, money, support, etc. Classes to take, kids to care for, relationships to tend to, and so on. There should be a diagnosis code for this. Call it self-doubt 101, something so many of us suffer from.

What is the possible treatment?

There’s going onto the therapists couch and analyzing who, what, when, and where. Then there’s taking a trip, running away, and trying to find the answers elsewhere. And let’s not forget, the way most of us treat our excuses about why we don’t do what we always wanted: you stuff it down to the back of your soul and plod on. Doing what you think you ‘should’ do.

Here is another option.

Take a look at some people that went ahead and did what they always wanted and succeeded. But not before they failed on an epic scale. So take that in, realize that you can choose to do what you always wanted to and get ready to take some huge falls.

After falling and floundering, getting doors slammed in your face, being called all kinds of names, and shouting back at the voices in your head that scream at you to stop, you WILL succeed – just like these famous people below that did what they always wanted to do.

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You are no different than they are.

stallone

    Sylvester Stallone had it rough as a child. He was taunted in school and in-and-out of foster homes. He was told, “You’re stupid lookin’ do somethin’ else.” His movies grossed over a billion dollars.

    What he wanted to do: Inspire people and act.

    einstein

      Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four, or read until he was seven years old. Everyone thought he was mentally handicapped and would not accomplish anything. He won a Nobel Prize and became the face of modern physics.

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      What he wanted to do: Study physics and change the world.

      thinker

        Rodin was considered the worst student in his school and was continually rejected when applying to art school. His father called him an ‘idiot.’ He ended up becoming a sculptor and famously created “The Thinker Statue.”

        What he wanted to do: Be an artist and sculptor.

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        elvis

          Elvis Presley was fired by the manager of the Grand Ole Opry after one performance. Presley was told, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere… son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”  What do you know, Elvis became the most popular singer in America.

          What he wanted to do: Sing and perform.

          churchill

            Winston Churchill failed 6th grade and lost every election for public office until he was 62-years-old. He went on to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Among many other accomplishments, he renewed the world’s faith in the superiority of democracy.

            What he wanted to do: Serve his country.

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            disney

              Walt Disney went bankrupt and was fired by a news editor for ‘lack of imagination.’ He was the man who gave us Disney World and Mickey Mouse.

              What he wanted to do: Entertain people.

              It’s YOUR turn.

              What do you want to do? Imagine if these individuals above would have not felt they should do what they always wanted to do. We wouldn’t have Mickey Mouse! Or “Love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go” (Elvis). How about the Winston Churchill quote: “Never, never never give up? The theory of relativity.” How about Rocky – that movie inspired people all over the world to go for their dreams and never give up.

              You have something that you always wanted to do and we are waiting, the world is waiting. Even if it’s something you don’t think will be the next Thinker Statue, it will light your soul and everyone around you will be encouraged by you. This ripple effect can make a change for generations to come.

              Put the Rocky soundtrack on and run up and down the stairs and imagine what your life would be like if you were doing what you always wanted to do. Prepare for bumps and bruises, knowing that that’s part of the game of life. And in the end, you will be pumping your fist, standing tall and proud of living your life the way you want to. You’ll be using the gifts you have until you cannot squeeze another drop out. Then squeeze some more.

              Featured photo credit: Do What You Love via flickr.com

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              Esther Litchfield-Fink

              Content Creator

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              Published on September 23, 2020

              6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

              6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

              I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

              If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

              What is Negotiation?

              First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

              Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

              In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

              Places We Negotiate

              I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

              1. Work/Business

              This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

              When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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              In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

              Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

              2. Personal

              I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

              I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

              Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

              3. Ourselves

              You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

              I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

              Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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              Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

              Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

              We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

              My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

              If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

              As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

              6 Negotiation Skills to Master

              Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

              Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

              1. Preparation

              Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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              It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

              For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

              After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

              2. Clear Communication

              The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

              If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

              3. Active Listening

              Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

              If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

              4. Teamwork and Collaboration

              To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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              If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

              When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

              5. Problem Solving

              Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

              Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

              From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

              There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

              6. Decision-Making Ability

              Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

              Conclusion

              There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

              Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

              More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

              Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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