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Courage; Can You Be Courageous?

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015

It’s officially the new year and, as you know, I’ve made some goals public for the year, as I’ve done most years that I’ve been blogging. I know that some people think setting goals and making resolutions don’t work so they don’t bother. I tend to believe that if you don’t have plans or goals you’re just spinning your wheels, throwing everything you can on the wall to see what sticks, and often what sticks really doesn’t get you anywhere.


Of course I’ve also come to realize that it’s not just about setting goals; well, normal ones anyway. You have to actually work towards those goals, and you have to have focus, break out of the mental fog as Lynn Terry just wrote about, but even that’s not enough. What we need to do is reach beyond those goals, try to be even bigger and better than the goal you want.

Why? Let me use myself as an example.

One of the goals I wrote on that post I linked to was to double my income this coming year. I had a pretty good year, so in theory that sounds pretty good.

In practicality, I’ve actually already done that in my past; actually, I did it two years in a row. Yup, before I started this particular blog I actually had two wonderful years where my income was out of this world. I bought myself a car and my wife a car, and you’d have thought I would have lived off the hog and not had to work for a very long time.

However, life doesn’t work like that. First, you still have to pay bills. Second, I had a lot of debt that I’d accrued before taking off, and I had to address all of that. Third, we had some things that had to be done for the house. And fourth, since I didn’t have an accountant at the time, I didn’t pay enough taxes at the time. I did pay taxes, but not close enough to what I made.

So, even if I double my income this year, I know it’s not enough. I know that I have to reach for more; I don’t have tons of years left to get it all done.

Stephen Train via Compfight

I tell anyone who asks that my ultimate goal is to have $10 million in the bank by the time I hit 65. Well, a big part of me says that’s not going to happen, but that’s not the point of a big, audacious hairy goal. The big point is to have a BHAG, and then work towards reaching it.

If I don’t reach it but achieve more than my goal, will I think I’m a loser? Y’all heard of Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup books fame? He tells a story of wanting to make $100,000 off the sale of his first book in one year while he was only making $20,000 a year at his job. Because of a set of circumstances that helped bring publicity to his book it made $92,000. He was far from sad; he was elated because he’d gone way beyond his first goal, which was to make back publishing costs, and eventually the success of the first book led to other successes which made him a very rich man.

So, dream big. But it takes more than just dreaming big. It takes more than setting goals. You already know what it takes because it’s in the title…

It takes courage. Once again, I’m going to explain what I mean by using myself. Man, one of these days I’ll use myself for something I did good. lol

I’ve been working on my own for 13 1/2 years. I’ve had some amazing adventures, and I’ve worked some very interesting gigs.

What I haven’t done is landed many of these gigs on my own. I could say that I set them up via networking, hooking up with people who had a lead on a project I could work and that would be true. But I haven’t really gotten many gigs on my own.

What that means is that someone else invariably got paid for work I did. I know that sometimes the person who actually contracted the work got 50% on top of what I was getting. Sometimes it was less but so what? If I’d landed those contracts on my own I’d have gotten it all. And I’d have deserved it; I did the actual work after all.

Courage Is…
Creative Commons License Celestine Chua via Compfight

But it takes courage to get out there, go through the metaphorical slamming doors in faces (which in actuality is leaving messages no one’s ever going to return or being rebuffed by an office staff person whose been told to turn everyone away). I’ve had courage here and there but never enough; that’s disconcerting.

If you look at the stories of all the millionaires and billionaires out there, the one thing you always come back to is how courageous they had to be. For entertainers it takes courage to audition, and courage to be told you’re not “this or that” and be ready to go for it again. When you hear stories like how each of the stars of the Harry Potter movies were one of thousands of kids who showed up and know that all those other kids had to have the courage to try again if they wanted to be in the business, you start to realize that it takes more than competency, more than talent; it takes courage to try, and then courageousness to get off the floor and try again.

I’ll admit I’ve never been good at rejection. All 4 of the women I dated, which includes the one I married, asked me out first. I’ve had days when I’ve done maybe a couple of hours of marketing, then left it alone for weeks at a time. I plant seeds and wait to see what happens; that’s not courage, that’s nature.

So here it is, a seminal year the way I see it. This is the year of courage. This is the year where I go for it, break out of my shell and go for some big things. I’ve already talked to potential back support; no one gets rich on their own. If any of the things I’m shooting for comes together… well, I won’t tell you how much I made, but I’ll let you know how I feel about it once it’s completed.

I always say this when I write these types of posts so I’ll say it again. I don’t put this stuff out there to boost myself up. I put it out here because I’m not alone. I know some of you are looking at dreams and goals but are hesitant to take the next step. Earlier today I was talking to someone about her goals and she owned up to being scared to even try for fear of losing what she has now.

Courage Is Needed to Make a Better World (22/37)
Creative Commons License Tony Fischer via Compfight

On a Facebook group I belong to I put out a challenge to the members to pick up the slack, get blogging again, and get back to the purpose of our group or else fold and move on. In a way, it’ll take courage for some of them to get going again because they’re feeling beaten down and listless, uninspired because things didn’t go quite the way they thought they would when they started blogging. But a lot more people than I expected popped in, saying they were ready for the challenge and would redouble their efforts this year.

How many of you are looking at what you’re doing now, wishing you had the courage to try? Come along with me, with us… let’s be courageous in our efforts and try to get to what we want out of life, where we want to be.

If you’re content, stay that way; don’t even comment on this post, don’t even read it; I won’t reply to your comment (unless it’s Rummuser, and only because he’s retired lol). But for those of you who ernestly want to try and are ready to be courageous in 2015… welcome aboard! 😀

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It took a lot of courage to retire when I did Mitch and it still takes a lot of courage to say no to job offers that I get every now and then because, there is a shortage of experienced senior professionals in my speciality. But I will understand if you do not respond to my comment. I am no role model for ambitious young bucks.
Rummuser recently posted…Vishweshwar And Jaganmohan.My Profile

January 5th, 2015 | 10:07 AM

Rummuser, you’re the only one I gave a pass to, as you saw. lol These days it does take courage to retire because many people find that their savings or living off social security doesn’t quite take care of their needs, let alone their wants. Now staying retired when someone wants you… not sure if that’s courage or stubbornness. 🙂

January 5th, 2015 | 10:51 AM
Holly Jahangiri:

And how do I lure Rummuser over to my blog?

As you know, Mitch, blogging is not a “business” to me. But writing is. Blogging is like exercise, to a writer. (That said, we need actual physical exercise, too! Lots of it, actually, to counteract all the time spent sitting on our butts, writing.) Another thing blogging is, as you’ve demonstrated here, is a way to cement our commitment to ourselves, to explore the thoughts and beliefs that might be holding us back, to share our progress and help keep ourselves accountable along the way – and I think, I hope, there’s some interest in reading that. I’m tired of the “4 Things You Need to STOP Doing RIGHT NOW” posts. But if bloggers can spin it as “4 Things I Changed and How That’s Working for ME” I’d read it.

And Mitch, retirement can be a grand adventure – for folks who see it that way and don’t just go home and stare at the walls. Rummuser can pick and choose, now, I assume. There’s much to be said for a little autonomy.
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Short Story ContestMy Profile

January 8th, 2015 | 3:16 PM

Holly, the way I see it, courage is a way to break out of a box one might have gotten themselves into that they no longer want confining them. Without courage, you’re stuck with the whims of someone else. What I’m hoping to do is establish myself as a true competitor with some of the other consulting companies out there and then try to prove that I’m actually better because of my background and skills, instead of being a suit who’s hired people to take a low salary while they collect the big bucks for their shareholders. It’s a totally different mindset for me, thus will take a different kind of courage than it took for me to start trying to work for myself all those years ago.

What you’re doing shows your own courage, based on the goals you wrote on your blog. Because on one of them I’ve been there and don’t have that kind of time anymore, and on the other… too much weight loss for me to even consider in one year! lol

January 8th, 2015 | 4:01 PM
Holly Jahangiri:

Weren’t you the one who urged ME to make “subscribe to comments” the DEFAULT option? Ugh…I keep forgetting to check BOTH boxes.
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Short Story ContestMy Profile

January 8th, 2015 | 3:17 PM

Nope, not me. I’m not one who has defaulting things as something I like except for CommentLuv, because no one complains when you’re helping them advertise their blogs. lol

January 8th, 2015 | 3:56 PM

Rummuser is flattered that you would like to lure him to your blog. He has taken the bait.
Rummuser recently posted…Disgustingly Cheerful!My Profile

January 8th, 2015 | 8:09 PM

Which one don’t you have the time for?

As for the other, it’s less than 2 lbs/week. It should be very doable, unless I break my foot again.
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…How to Write a Book from ScratchMy Profile

January 8th, 2015 | 10:23 PM

Your writing project, all the articles and such. These days I don’t have the time to keep up with that kind of pace, though it was intriguing when I did.

Considering the weight thing, maybe for you it’s doable but for me, when I saw how many calories I could eat a day I said ain’t no way. I’ll take mine nice and slow, and if I don’t lose another pound but glucose stays under control like it has, I can live with that.

January 8th, 2015 | 10:54 PM
James McAllister:

Hi Mitch!

Your goal of reaching $10 million by 65 is commendable. Far better to strive for $10 million and end up with $8 million than meeting a goal for only $5 million, right?

I think those who are most successful at achieving their goals are the ones who have courage. Courageous was a trait I could never use to describe myself just a few years ago. I like to tell the story of when I was contacted by NBC to interview a group of major television celebrities for a press release on one of my old websites.

I was 17 at the time, and it was probably the most nerve wrecking things I have ever done. I managed to pull myself together and accept the invitation, and after that experience I was a new person. I’m now far more willing to take risks and actually do what I want to do rather than think about ‘what ifs.’ I’d say it was one of the most important things that happened to me in regards to business.

Looking forward to following you this year.
– James
James McAllister recently posted…How To Quit Your Job To Blog Full Time (It’s Easier Than You Think!)My Profile

January 25th, 2015 | 8:52 PM

Hi James; welcome to the blog!

Actually, if I made a couple million dollars I wouldn’t be all that upset. I’ve made enough money in a couple of years where it looked possible but it’s difficult to sustain sometimes.

I’m glad you were able to find your courage to do that; I bet you felt really proud of yourself afterwards. Sometimes it’s hard to find it; for instance, I know lots of people who can’t imagine doing a video, even though it would look and sounds just like they always do. Me… I’ve got over 200 videos now I think; it is what it is, but in a way I didn’t need the courage to create them. But there are lots of times when I’m looking for the courage to do something… most of the time I eventually find it. 🙂

January 26th, 2015 | 4:56 PM
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