Do you have a big vision for your freelance career? Do you want to change the world for the better? Create a fulfilling life? Help others?
In the article “How To Make Your Big Mark In The World With Six Essential Steps,” career success coach Kathy Caprino points out that lots of people have incredibly inspiring visions for their lives, but that the number of people who actually act on their dreams and bring them to fruition is a far smaller number.
Her advice to start making a mark on the world is to find people you deeply admire who are doing things you’d love to do. But focus not on where these movers and shakers are today, but on what they’ve been through and done to get there.
“Without exception,” she writes, “the people making a huge mark in the world have been engaging in a number of critical steps for a long time that have cleared the pathway for their visions.”
She adds that success is never an overnight experience, and that people who make a mark are continually taking six key steps that make success possible at a very high level.
Here are the highlights of Caprino’s tips.
1. Get Clear About What You’d Give Up Everything For
You could summarize this one to say, focus, focus, focus. “You simply cannot make the difference you long to if you’re all over the place – chasing a hundred different directions at a time and trying to be something to everyone,” Caprino writes. “It takes an intensive degree of focus on the one key thing that matters more to you than anything else in the world. And it takes saying many “No’s ” and making hard and challenging decisions (often daily) because you’ve committed to saying “YES!” to your own vision.”
This advice is particularly relevant to us freelancers as we generally have a lot of coals in the fire. It’s good to keep our own vision for our life at the forefront of our minds. Otherwise, it gets lost in the mix too easily.
2. Create Something that Helps People Be, Think, and Live Better
To make a positive mark in the world, we need to figure out how to help others in a unique way. As Caprino puts it, “To make a real difference in the world, you need to be bold and creative in finding your “special sauce” – the way you uniquely uncork the potential in others, so that they too can reach their highest potential and manifest their dreams and goals.”
3. Adopt an “Other-focus,” Not a Self-focus
Those who think only of themselves can’t generate the energy needed to sustain world-changing work. People who are what Caprino calls “authentic positive forces in the world” are less concerned with the glory of being successful than they are doing good work in the world.
“If you meet someone who seems to be an internationally-recognized ‘mover and shaker’ but acts like a narcissist (crushing people in his or her wake), just run,” Caprino advises. “People who think only of themselves and their own ascension simply can’t sustain positive growth over the long haul.”
4. Engage Your Full Spirit – Be Generous, Kind and Compassionate in All You Do
When you reflect on your life, you can look at what you are doing, but perhaps more importantly, look at the how you’re doing it. Caprino suggests looking at people who are making a difference. She argues that usually, their spirits are fully engaged, with the how of their lives being about kindness, caring, and giving.
“To make your mark,” she writes, “it’s critical to focus not only on your desired goals and outcomes, but on the “how’s” of your life – the way in which you uniquely choose to contribute and intervene.”
5. Get “Hip to Your Trip” and Nurture Your Self-awareness
What trips you up in your work? What holds you back? Caprino argues that we need to challenge these “blind spots” in order to achieve our maximum impact. She lists some of the most common “power gaps,” including not digging deep enough to identify one’s “right work”; not addressing core fears; and failing to recognize, and believe in, special talents and gifts.
“If you’re not examining your own “power gaps” and working on them every day,” she writes, “you’ll get in your own way and potentially crush the budding opportunities in front of you to make the impact you long to.”
6. Believe and Commit
Trust. Your. Vision. Believe it. Commit to it. And take steps to manifest it.
“The world can be a very harsh place,” Caprino writes, “and people around you will try to tear you down at every turn…The key is not to listen to the haters and detractors. Act on what you know to be true, and trust that you have what it takes to move forward, day by day, inch by inch. Just commit, and do it.”
Photo: Andrea Allen (CC-BY)