Dreams. We all have them, but few of us are making the moves necessary to discard unhealthy habits, and start building the momentum necessary to build a truly meaningful career.
Self-made digital marketing guru Neil Patel illustrates this point by citing the following Gallup poll stat in his book Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum: nearly 90% of workers feel emotionally disconnected from their jobs.
As student loans balloon to epic new proportions, and the starting salary for most positions fails to keep up with student load inflation, many college graduates feel stuck.
According to Hustle, the biggest barrier to success is “self-imposed friction.” So, how does one overcome this? By hustling, of course, which is defined as “how we use our idiosyncrasies to find our unique means and our own personal success.”
To find true freedom, working hard isn’t enough. Many people work extremely hard and never get out of the rat race. You have to be smart about it, and avoid these 4 common traps:
Expertise Trap– The idea that you should only focus on one thing. With technology advancing so quickly, it’s safer to be a generalist with transferable skill sets rather than a specialist.
Passion Trap – Not every passion can be turned into a revenue-producing venture. Instead of blindly following your passion, make sure it’s viable first.
Mastery Trap– Malcolm Gladwell famously said that anyone can master any subject simply by clocking 10,000 hours of study or practice, but there’s more to it than that. 10,000 hours of voice lessons won’t turn you into Beyoncé. It takes a little luck and natural talent, too.
Perfection Trap– Perfection is the enemy of a successful hustle. Set deadlines, and stick to them. If you have a great idea, striving for perfection could put you in a weakened position that enables competitors to beat you to market.
Hustle’s equation for success looks like this:
Success = hustle X Luck X Your Unique Talents
To find success, hard work, luck, and talent are necessary. If any one of these three items is missing, the likelihood of achieving success significantly decreases. But if you have all three of these attributes ready to go, here are the next-steps you can take to build momentum:
- Take Risks
Stop dreaming, and start doing. You can’t be afraid to take a swing, even if you think the likelihood of success is low. On the path to success, failure happens. Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back.
Even author Neil Patel encountered huge obstacles on his path to becoming a digital marketing icon. One of his first start-ups flopped when his partners disappeared with his investment, leaving him holding the bag on $1 million of debt.
Because he didn’t accept failure, and kept hustling, Patel paid off his $1 million debt in less than a year, and today he’s a highly sought after digital marketing expert and author.
- Create a Personal Opportunity Portfolio
To do this, you must fill four buckets—Potential, People, Projects, and Proof. This entails testing new methods, meeting new people, taking on projects that help you grow, and capturing the results to demonstrate your value.
- Steal Success
Failure happens, and sometimes it can feel difficult to peel yourself off the pavement and keep going. The authors of Hustle suggest you steal success, which entails borrowing positivity from another area of your life to help you persevere.
The path to owning your dreams is a long, winding road that 90% of people give up on. There will be bumps along your road to success, but by creating habits that help you recover faster and keep hustling, you’ll be able to maintain the momentum necessary to succeed.