Tony Robbins has said that it is hunger that leads people to live extraordinary lives. Entrepreneur Magazine has published numerous articles claiming hunger is the one thing that pushes people to succeed. And others have said that hunger is the secret weapon that the truest, most authentic entrepreneurs have, which puts them over the top.
As a CEO of a multi-million dollar company, mom of two elementary school aged kiddos, and wife to an amazing husband, I have to agree. Life is crazy busy. It’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to listen to the naysayers. It’s easy to find something else to do. But to realize your dreams, be your most authentic self and live your most extraordinary life, you have to stay hungry.
So how does one stay hungry?
1. Choose your dream. And then choose it again.
One of my favorite quotes is from Ursula Mentjes’ book One Great Goal. (link: https://www.amazon.com/One-Great-Goal-Entrepreneurs-Professionals/dp/0988756714) In it, she writes, “If a dream has been placed on your heart and is circulating through your mind, THAT IS YOUR MESSAGE! The message cannot be any clearer. Stop questioning what you already know.” Later, she writes, “Choose [that dream]. And then choose it over and over again.” People may question to your dream. Heck, you may question your dream at times. But if you truly believe in your mission or your calling, you must choose your dream again and again.
Secret tip: I write my mission on a piece of paper and post it just beyond my computer screen. That way, it’s always within my view. You can also set put your mission on your computer screensaver or your phone’s wallpaper image.
2. Find time.
I admit it can be difficult to find the time to follow your dream or calling – especially if you have kiddos, work full time, make dinner, workout, the list goes on and on. But if you want it bad enough, you will find time. Period. It’s that simple.
Secret tip: Schedule time to work on your dream. Wake up earlier. Go to bed a little later. Ask your husband to take the kiddos to the park for one hour on a Saturday. As Stephen Covey said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
3. Make a decision.
How quickly you are able to accomplish your goal or realize your dream depends on how quickly you make decisions and take action. While some will make 100 decisions or take 100 actions in a single day, others will only make 1 or 2. That’s ok. Move at an intensity and speed that feels right to you. The most important thing is to make decisions and take consistent action every single day. Every. Single. Day.
Secret tip: Focus on one task at a time. Finish it. Cross it off your list. And then move on to the next. The more you cross off, the more inspired you become to keep going.
4. Fail quickly.
You’re going to fail. Somewhere along your journey, you will fail. Your prototype breaks. Your ad doesn’t convert. Your partnership falls apart. You have a typo on your packaging. Whether big or small, you’re going to fail. And it’s okay. The sooner you become comfortable with failing, the quicker you will recover. And there is nothing more empowering than admitting a failure, learning a lesson, and applying that lesson to your next action.
Secret tip: It’s ok to fail on activities and decisions all day long, but don’t ever fail on your big idea, your one great goal or your desire for ‘something more.’
5. Keep moving.
There will be days you want to throw in the towel. Keep moving. There will be days that surpass all expectations. Keep moving. There will be days when you feel like you’ve taken five steps backwards. Keep moving. There will be days you want to remember forever. Keep moving. Whatever you’re feeling—recognize it, accept it, celebrate it and then keep moving. It’s all part of the journey. The key is to not get overwhelmed by setbacks or blinded by successes. Keep moving and stay the course.
Secret tip: If you have a win, take time to celebrate. You don’t need to shout it from the rooftops, but you do need to do something to celebrate. High-five your dog. Buy yourself lunch. Order a new pair of shoes. And then move on. If you have a bad day, go for a walk. Walking the dog is my “safe zone,” and I give myself permission to go blank. I don’t worry about what was for dinner or calculate sales or try to solve the latest scheduling dilemma. My dog and I just walk. Some walks, I think about nothing. Other walks, I dream up the perfect vacation. Yet other walks, I allow some of the best ideas to appear. Ironically, I’ve made some pretty important decisions (and still do) in 20 minutes … while literally moving.
Launching a business, following a dream or living your most extraordinary life takes work, but it’s not all hard. It just requires that you focus, commit and stay hungry.
Abby Lou Walker’s mission is to empower women to wear the shoes they love without pain and to live in personal peace and freedom. You can learn more about her business and her journey here. (www.abbylouwalker.com)