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10 Signs You Will Be Able To Retire At An Early Age

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10 Signs You Will Be Able To Retire At An Early Age

For many people, the dream of an early retirement seems far fetched. Worries about how you will live, what will you do, and what others will think can obscure the reality that is right in front of you. But early retirement may be more viable than you think. Take, for example, the story of Brenton Hayden who made himself a goal to retire by age 27 and succeeded. By strategically building a business that could run itself when he was ready to walk away, he did the seemingly impossible and now lives a life of complete freedom.

So we have compiled 10 signs you could be capable of the same.

Being able to identify the 10 signs that you can retire early can be the first and most important step to setting your own course. As you read the list, you may be pleasantly surprised at how many of these elements apply to you right now.

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1. You Believe That Opportunities Exist Everywhere

Hayden’s belief that he could find the positive in any situation and turn it to his benefit is what allowed him to become self-sufficient and able to meet his goal of retiring at 27. Opportunities can be all around us, we just have to look to see them.

2. You Feel That Your Daily Life Is No Longer Fulfilling

Sometimes being productive or successful in a position still leaves a spiritual and emotional void. When you reach this point, the best cure is often to walk away and follow that “road less traveled” to reawaken that desire to build something new – perhaps even in a new location.

3. You Want To Share The Skills You’ve Learned

When you’ve mastered a skill or trade, the greatest satisfaction is often gained by sharing that knowledge with others. Not only is this a great way to “pay it forward,” but it also empowers those around you and enables them to carry on with what you’ve taught them, freeing you up to focus on the things that will help you achieve your early retirement goal.

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4. You Aren’t Afraid Of Risk

The old saying, “no risk, no reward” is particularly important in knowing if you are ready to retire. Walking away from the relative security of a known existence (i.e. job, daily routine, etc.) to step into an uncertain future is a profound choice. Yet if you feel that the only thing worse is to remain stagnant, then the time may be right to make that move.

5. You Want to Control Your Destiny

Recognizing that being able to dictate how and where you spend your time is truly life affirming and can be a major step in the retirement process. If you find yourself wanting to take control of your own future and live life according to your own terms, then you may just have what it takes. The key is having the courage to take the first step.

6. You Don’t Believe In The Traditional Definition Of Retirement

Retirement no longer means just sitting around the house, playing golf or tennis, and watching the time go by. Believing that retirement today can mean working (or not) when you want, traveling when you want, and not being held to someone’s else’s agenda is a major indicator that you are ready to retire on your terms.

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7. You Believe That Retirement Isn’t The End, But Instead A New Beginning

Being freed from the yoke of job deadlines, a daily routine and demands on your time marks that start of a whole new existence. You can now work hard (or not) and play hard. It is up to you how to take this next chapter in your life and make it your own.

8. You Accept That Money Is Not The End-All And Be-All

Monetary status is like the weather; it can change without warning. By embracing the fact that you can live cheaply for now – if need be – in order to achieve your goal of early retirement, you are already prepared to handle the ebb and flow that retirement and investing while retired, can bring.

9. You Don’t Measure Your Life Against Others

One of the most profound benefits of retiring on your own terms is that you no longer have to measure your life achievements against what others have (or have not) gained. Success and failure are both just chapters. Some of which fall short of a goal and may ultimately lead you to end up reaping more rewards than if your original plan had succeeded. Life is funny that way.

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10. You Know That Age Is Just A Number

Nowhere is it written that you have to reach a certain age in order to be “ready” for retirement. True, some financial situations, such as pensions, 401k’s or Social Security have a mandated legal age, but the idea of retiring and beginning a new life is not bound by those same numbers. That is why people like Hayden could choose to retire at 27, while others continue to work through their 70’s and 80’s. Knowing that age is just a number means that you are not bound by the societal barriers that dictate what the “right” age for retirement should be. That choice is uniquely your own.

So What Questions Should You Be Asking?

Every journey starts with the question: What do I want to discover? No matter what your age or status, it is never too early to start asking yourself some serious questions about retiring. As you look within, these 10 signs will stand out as beacons showing you that the only obstacle to meeting that dream is yourself. Dare to take that first step today.

Featured photo credit: barca-couple-soledad-wholesale-473854/Montaplex via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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