What could you do if you didn’t know any better?

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This clip, from the movie, “Facing The Giants,” is a poignant reminder that we can do more than we think we can. It also shows you why you should never give up.

If you need a bit of inspiration, or a kick in the seat, watch this clip and ask yourself, “What could I do if I didn’t know I couldn’t?”

And go for it.

[mc src=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vB59PkB0eQ” type=”youtube”/]

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How to achieve any goal you set–guaranteed

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I just finished reading, "Double Your Income Doing What You Love," by Raymond Aaron, which describes a unique method of setting and achieving goals. One of the perennial issues in goal setting is whether we should set big goals, which inspire us to reach high but usually leave us disappointed, or small goals, which we almost always achieve, but don’t take us very far. Aaron presents a system that provides the perfect answer, one I have never seen before.

"Instead of recording a goal, you subdivide your goal into three levels of achievement," he says. The first level is what we are almost certain to do, not based on our hopes but on our actual track record. "It is not much more than a to-do item," he says. But just because you are almost certain to do it doesn’t mean you will and so it is still a goal. This first level can be called the "minimum."

The next level is your "target". This is a stretch beyond what you are confident you can do.

The highest level he calls "outrageous" and it is the most challenging of the three, practically impossible to achieve.

By setting three levels of the same goal, you will always achieve that goal. You are guaranteed to succeed at some level, and thus your self-esteem is enhanced (the rationale behind setting easy goals) while you are simultaneously inspired by your bigger target and outrageous goals. You’ll hit your target goals often enough, and sometimes hit (or make significant progress towards) your outrageous goals. The bottom line of this system is that you hit more goals more often.

Aaron also suggests using monthly goals as your primary time line, long enough to accomplish something meaningful but short enough to be held accountable. Monthly goals are tactical, the mechanics of reaching our long term (annual) strategic goals.

He also tells us that while we are responsible for our lives and, therefore, the accomplishment of our goals, this doesn’t mean we are the ones who have to do everything (or anything) towards their achievement. Aaron is a proponent of delegation, urging us to do only what we love. "When you set a goal, you likely wonder when you are ever going to find time to complete it. When I set a goal, I wonder who is going to do it. If it’s not one of my special talents, I delegate it so that it gets done."

Over the last twenty-four years, Aaron has mentored thousands to success with his goal setting methods, and, not surprisingly, suggests everyone will benefit from "a mentored life." "You do what makes sense to you. Therefore, on your own, you keep doing the same thing all the time, because it makes sense to you. To have a giant leap forward in your life, you need to do what does not make sense to you. Only a very wise mentor can alert you to such new and strange actions you could take to make a huge change in your life."

I recommend Aaron’s book. In fact, I guarantee you’ll get something out of it.

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Free advice that can make you millions

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One of the best ways to get from where you are to where you want to go is getting help from someone who has done what you want to do. Make a list of areas you would like help with or areas where you would like to grow. Three key areas for lawyers in private practice would be

  • Substantive practice areas
  • Marketing
  • Administration/management

Specific areas you might want to key on might be

  • Technology/internet
  • Employee relations
  • Taxes/record keeping
  • Risk management/insurance
  • Retirement planning/investments

And so on.

Of course you can always hire experts to consult and advise you in these areas, and you might. But why not find lawyers (or other professionals) who have had success in these areas and ask them to be your mentor?

Mentors help you see what’s possible by serving as a role model. They can keep you from going off course by providing feedback about your ideas. And they can open doors for you to opportunities, introductions to vendors, prospective clients and referral sources. The right mentors can spare you years of hardship and, literally, make you rich.

Once you have identified a list of areas you would like to be mentored in, start asking everyone you know for recommendations and referrals to experts in those areas. “Who do you know who is a great networker?” “Do you know any lawyers who know a lot about web sites?” “Who is the best construction litigation attorney you know?”

Next, make a list of specific points you’d like to cover in your first conversation, such as why you’d like them to mentor you and what kind of help you might be looking for.

Successful people like to share what they have learned. Properly approached, you’ll find any number of individuals willing to share a few minutes of their time with you each month.

Here’s an approach you can take:

“Hello, Mr. Jones, my name is Robert Lawyer. We haven’t met and I know you’re a busy man, so I’ll be brief. I’m a sole practictioner in the area of estate planning. I know you’ve built a very successful estate practice over the last twenty-five years. I’ve been practicing for four years now and I’m ready to take things to a higher level and I would appreciate it if you would consider being my mentor. All that would mean is spending ten minutes with me on the phone once a month, so I could ask you a few questions. I’d really appreciate it. Would you be open to that?”

Be prepared to give your mentors something in return. At the very least, give them feedback on how their advice has worked out for you. Look for information and resources that can benefit them and share it with them.

Eventually, find others whom you can mentor. There’s no better way to pay tribute to your mentors than to follow in their footsteps.

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