In today’s world, we have gotten really good at the “I want that!” part of the equation. I bet…over the course of the past week…you have looked at numerous advertisements and specials related to the holiday season and found several items that made the words “I want that!” fly out of your mouth. It’s easy to do! And we have been conditioned to think in a manner that displays the ends…and not the means. The easy part is sticking your hand out and waiting like a baby in a candy store or a dog waiting to fetch a stick…the hard part is actually figuring out how to make that “I want that!” dream a reality.

You do not just have to want the latest in electronics or that car you have always desired. The “I want that!” mentality also applies to wanting a different job, way of life or a goal you have set for yourself personally. The good news…knowing what you want is the first step in achieving it. The bad news…it is also the easiest part of the equation. If you really want to obtain the life, toy or goal…you need to lay out exactly how to get there and attack the process.

How To Get What You Want

So what is the process that will bring you to what you desire?

Dog Fetching Stick

Determine Exactly What You Want – When I say determine what you want…I mean get specific. It is not enough to say you want to be a pro blogger, live the internet lifestyle and get that fancy car. You need to lay out exactly what you want to blog about, how much money it is going to take to quit you 9 to 5, what your version of the dot com lifestyle is (fancy cars or the ability to travel where ever you want) and exactly how much money you need to make per month to accomplish this goal. While it is very easy to point at someone else and say…I want what they have, it is a much different process to lay out exactly what you want. Without this very specific goal, you are lacking the information you need to carry out the rest of the steps in the process.

Change Your Mindset…Today! – I see people all the time use speech that is counteractive to their goals. Change your “if this happens” to “when this happens”. So many times, people naturally leave themselves an out in their thought process so they are not disappointed if they do not achieve the result. You are shooting yourself in the foot by being easy on your own brain and feelings. This is not an “if” this is a certain “when” and you are going to define the when. If it was up to chance…you would be playing the lottery. Instead, you are going to achieve your goal by completing specific tasks…so start acting like you are achieving that today!

Set Your Goals High – Your end goal should be high. You are short changing yourself if you really just want a new pencil to write with. While it can be good to practice this process with smaller objects to build confidence towards your bigger goals, you need to get into the mindset that this is your one and only life. It is up to you to make the most of it. Not all goals are monetary in value. It is up to you to pick your ideal situation and go after it like crazy.

Set Smaller “Step Goals” – Every goal has steps that need to be completed. Nothing is going to come right away and really great life goals always require smaller “step goals” to get to the end result. After you have laid out exactly what you want…and your goal is high…you need to lay out smaller, short-term, “step goals” that will eventually lead to your ultimate goal. These “step goals” are the means to the end. If your goal is to make $250k per year with your business and you are making $50k right now…some of your “step goals” may be to make $75k…$100k…$150k. By setting smaller goals that bring you to the much larger goal…you are laying the foundation needed to keep everything flowing in the right direction. For each of these “step goals”, you need to lay out specific tasks that will get you to that goal much like you did with the ultimate goal.

As You Complete “Step Goals”, Celebrate Your Little Victories! – We need success to keep up driving forward. As you complete and accomplish each of your “step goals”, you need to celebrate those victories to keep the drive alive. No one likes to carry the burden of too much stress and work without any reward, so you need to use this success to your advantage! Celebrating these victories does not have to have material value. Maybe you take a day off and spend time with the family…or go see a movie…or go out to dinner with your wife to celebrate your latest achievement. Most of the time, celebrating your victories with others is the best way to keep the positive energy flowing and by celebrating…you also create even more drive to accomplish the next goal. See how you start to build up momentum?!

You Achieved Your Goal!!!! – Congratulations! You have achieved what you want in life by setting a large goal and the small steps in between to obtain that goal. It is a fantastic day where you realize your dreams are coming true. Like most things in life, you are not done. I really see life as a continually evolving entity where we are on the constant pursuit to improve our presence on this world. We have been given a gift…and by taking advantage of that gift…we are able to continually improve. By completing one goal, we have opened up another in the pursuit of our ideal lifestyle. It is time to start the whole process over again and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

If you take one thing away from this entire article, it needs to be this…write everything down. When you come up with your goal and how you are going to get there, write it down. I use a whiteboard in my office to accomplish this task as it is easy to cross things off the list to show progress, but you need to use whatever method works best for you. When you write something down, you make it real. If you just leave everything in your head, it is easy to let it get lost in the random thoughts you have throughout the day and it is easy to forget the details. This is not a random thought or dream…this is a task and tasks need to be organized and real.

As you go throughout the day…have you honestly laid down what you really want professionally and in life or are you just making due with what you have at the time?

Baby in Line Photo by fensterbme | Dog and Stick Photo by Lukje

In my mind, there are two types of rock stars on the market…the long lasting icons and the fly-by-night flavor of the week. While each flavor-of-the-week rock star has dreams of making it big for the rest of their career, there are certain aspects to their style and management that make that never possible. The iconic rock stars have elements to their work and how they run their business that brings success year in and year out.

So…what can we learn about blogging from rock stars? As you continue to build and expand your blogging, you need to look at other creative avenues and see what makes them see massive success and bring that success into your business and blog. Here are the top 7 things that iconic rock stars can teach us about our blogs.

Top 7 Things Rock Stars Can Teach Us About Blogging

What to be a rock star blogger?! Here is your chance…

  1. Long-Lasting Niche – Truly successful rock stars that have ultimate staying power are in long-lasting established niches (rock, country, rap). While the competition is higher in these fields, they have the ability to have long term success. The rock stars that just ride the latest “it” wave typically see fast growth and a large following, but when that fad fades off into the distance…they are no where to be found (where are most of the boy bands today?). When you are blogging, is your topic on that could be gone at any point? All of that hard work will go down the tubes with it. You need staying power and by blogging on a subject that is not a fad that will go with the wind…you solidify that staying power.
  2. Diversification – Iconic rock stars have clothing lines, music videos, theme parks…and all of this is built around their central branding structure so that their name is EVERYWHERE and it is all profitable! While the flavor of the week’s try to accomplish this task, they see to fall short in favor of making a quick buck over providing quality. As a blogger, you need to look into areas where you can diversify your offerings over time to create a wider spread (clothing, forums, wider niche, sub-sites, etc.) and bring the same amount of consistent quality to each of your new assets.
  3. Appeal To Large Audience – You can not be a iconic rock star without appealing to a large audience. While there are some fantastic musicians that have an incredible amount of talent in the underground, eclectic music market…they will never make it big because they do not appeal to a wide enough audience. As a blogger, you can have fantastic content, but if that content does not appeal to a large enough audience…you are going to have a hard time really making a run at it.
  4. Be Different – How many “copycat” rock stars ever make it big? They might have their 5 minutes of fame, but the original always wins out. People like originals…they like hearing something new…and they can spot a copycat right away. As a blogger, you need to come to the table with something new and original. This does not mean it has to be a new and original niche…but you do need to present it in a way that is unique. If you are just trying to ride the coat tails of another successful blogger, you are just going to get frustrated as no one really grabs onto your content. Why would they? They can have the original at another site!
  5. Bring Personality – People connect with rock stars that have personality. This personality can take many forms and is unique to the rock star (Garth Brooks, Jim Morrison, Eminem). Their unique personality bleeds through their music and listeners directly relate to this inner feeling. If your writings as a blogger lack feeling and seem more like a research paper, your readers are not going to connect with your content. Readers read blogs to connect with people and read what you have to say. Sometimes…using the hardest points in our lives as personal examples can bring the largest amount of success. What is your favorite song and why? Did it speak to something you had going on in your life at the time? The same will hold true to your blogging with your readers.
  6. Manage Your Business – One of the main reasons some great talents never make it is because they do not manage their life or their business. As they start to see success, the success goes to their head and all rational thinking goes out the window (Axle Rose). You can have all of the talent in the world, but if you do not manage your life and your business, you will never make it big as a blogger. Get ready to be your own accountant and manager in the beginning and make sure you have everything lined up correctly including your time management. Poorly managed businesses fail just like failed rock stars.
  7. Adapt To The Times – Rock stars that span decades have been able to adapt to the times and appeal to audiences that span generations (Aerosmith). They were also able to accomplish this without losing sight of who they really are and that is why they do not lose loyal fans. Are you able to adapt with the changing atmosphere of blogging? The Internet is the fastest changing field you will find anywhere. You have to stay on top of trends and continue to learn or you will get left in the wake of old CSS code.

Long lasting, iconic, business blogging is possible if you play your cards right. Are there some bloggers that are going to ride the flavor-of-the-week wave a lot longer than you thought was possible? Of course…but the percentage is incredibly small. Your best bet as a blogger is to focus on your staying power and put things in place that will allow you to grow over time and become that rock star, iconic blogger you have imagined in your head. Be original, be yourself and continue to push the envelope looking for ways to continually grow your business.

Today is Thanksgiving in the US. It’s a day where we give thanks for the family, friends and good things we have going on in our lives. To celebrate, we all get fat and happy around more food than we can eat and then sleep it off in front of the TV.

What better way to give thanks for the past year than to eat great food?!

This time last year, my wife and I were contemplating getting another Boxer so our female…Hemi…could have a friend to play with throughout the day. The following story of Hans has probably been the most rewarding thing my wife and I have done over the past year.

On Boxer Given A Second Chance

This story starts with the want to get another dog. Our princess – Hemi – was starting to get a little too spoiled and we wanted another dog that she could run around with since Boxer’s have A LOT of energy. We thought, “what better way than to get her a friend?!”. After a lot of thought, we decided to rescue another Boxer instead of going through a breeder like we had previously. At first, that decision was really a selfish one…as much as we love puppies…we were hoping to get a dog that was already house trained.

Hemi and Hans

After a lot of going back and forth with various Boxer rescues in the Atlanta area, we settled on Atlanta Boxer Rescue and waited for them to match us up with a dog. Little did we know..they were going to match us up with Hans…a brindle male. Apparently, it isn’t a good thing to throw two females in one house…who would have known?!

Once they had Hans ready, we took Hemi with us and visited the foster house. Right away, Hemi and Hans started chasing and playing with each other in the foster parents backyard, so…I looked at Jenn and said…”that’s the one”. We signed all of the necessary paperwork and I put him in the truck to take him home.

Hans Hunting - BoxerNow…the back end story for Hans. Apparently, Atlanta Boxer Rescue was called on Hans’ “last day” at the pound. For those of you that don’t already know…the “last day” at the pound is not a good thing. ABR took Hans in and we was rescued pretty quickly. A guy rescued him that lived downtown who had supposedly owned Boxers his entire life growing up. Well…he brought him back 2 weeks later claiming that he just wasn’t a dog person anymore. Crazy…I know.

Anyway…then we step in and take Hans. What has proceeded to happen over the course of this year is that Hans has given back way more to our family than we could ever give in return. There is something about this dog that is incredibly special. I love my female to death, but there is something about the way that Hans looks you dead in the eye and all you feel is thanks and love. It is really crazy. To the point that everyone that comes over says the exact same thing after being around him for a little while.

It is almost as if he knows he is on borrowed time and he is 100% thankful for everything he has around him. Hans is my daily reminder to be thankful for the big and small blessings I have in my life. I have a great wife, a great house and a great family. Over the course of this year, my wife and I have had to go through some pretty hard things that have been taxing on both of us. But we are getting through and trying to enjoy the smaller things that bring brightness to every day.

On rougher days…we are able to look into the eyes of our dogs and know that everything is going to be ok. I truly believe that we were meant to have this dog in our house. It sounds weird, but everything just fits so perfectly that I think each of us had to go through certain life experiences to end up where we are to enjoy what we have. For that reason, my rescue dog has been the smartest personal and business decision I have made all year.

Look…I wish I could tell you life was easy. I wish I could tell you that money changes everything and you will just be living the good life until you rest blissfully in the clouds. I wish all of that was true, but…the reality is…it isn’t. In life, we are going to be faced with roadblocks both personally and professionally. There are going to be those people that do not want to play by the rules, are only out for themselves and could care less about how their actions affect your life and what you are trying to accomplish.

As we go through life, our goal is to try to minimize these roadblocks and design our life so that we are not dependent upon other people. The more we are dependent, the more our livelihood is determined by someone else. They decide what you are worth…they decide how you spend your time…you are left to try to make the most out of a situation while living inside rules that someone else has set for you.

Other people setting the rules in your life is a huge roadblock to your success. In today’s economy, it is not uncommon to see layoffs, pay cuts and real monetary hardships. The gut reaction is to blame someone else. You want someone to point the finger at to take ownership of your pain and struggles. That person is the roadblock to what you want in life. If it wasn’t for them…everything would be fine.

I am here to tell you that you are the roadblock. Your faulty thinking of placing that blame on someone else is misguided. Your own thinking is blocking you from achieving a life that you have in your head. It is not the other guy…it is you. By focusing all of your mental capacity on why it is not your fault but the fault of someone else, you are using valuable mind real estate on something that is not productive.

This is your chance. This is your chance to step out of the ordinary and achieve something great. This is the kick in the ass that you need to conquer your own roadblocks in life. By changing your thought process and focusing on positive goals, you can end up with that ideal life. You can look back on today and say “that was the day everything changed for me”. Some of us need a drastic kick in the ass or roadblock to steer us off our boring life course. We need that shake up to really get things rolling.

With every roadblock…you are given a choice. Are you going to conquer the roadblock or just be another victim? And that is a choice only you can make…

Roadblock Image by Old Sarge