Sunday, December 12, 2010

Make Your Own Gail Vaz-Oxlade

This is a blog that I recently read & really enjoyed.

Here is the original blog post:
Please check out her blog, I love Gail. I think she is very blunt & honest, which is how we all need to be with our finances.

Make Your Own Opportunities

So Alex and I were talking the other day about getting what you want. She chastised me for what she referred to as, in essence, being cocky.  I told her that asking for what you want, and telling people why they should give it to you isn’t “cocky”… it’s smart. Our conversation got me thinking.

Do you believe that you make your own opportunities?  Napoleon Hill said, “The world has the habit of making room for the man whose actions show that he knows where he is going.” I believe that.

Years ago I woke up one morning wondering why I wasn’t writing for a major newspaper. Hey, I was really good at what I did, why didn’t I have a regular column? So I sent both the National Post and the Globe and Mail emails (to their respective money editors) asking for a column. The Globe gave me one, which I wrote for… I dunno… maybe a year, maybe a year and a half.

My email talked about the fact that I was a well-known and well-respected financial writer, it detailed my successes (books, other columns, and the like) and then it asked for what I wanted: my own column.
Maybe the difference between getting what you want and not getting what you want simply boils down to asking.

In sales lingo, it’s called “going for the close” and it’s a big factor in the success or failure of salespeople to get the order. I believe it’s also a big factor in our personal  success.

What was the worst that could happen if both the Globe & Post said, “No thanks?” I wouldn’t have had a column. But I already didn’t have a column so that downside was non-existent. They could think I was “nuff nuff”, as they say in Jamaica. But I’m way past worrying about what anyone else thinks.

The upside was that I would get a column, some more exposure, and a venue to help people hear The Word. Turns out someone said yes!

Some people believe that they could no more do what I did than fly. Well, here’s what Henry Ford had to say about creating your own reality: “If you think you can do it, or you think you can’t do it, you are right.”
I believe with all my heart that we can each do anything we want, if we want it badly enough and have some gumption. But you have to believe that you are the author of your fate. You have to KNOW that you are going to achieve what it is you’ve set your heart on.

As Francis Bacon said, “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”

No one ever said getting what you want is easy. Sometimes it’s damn hard. But if your follow these five steps, you’re much more likely to succeed: DANCE!

D – Decide.  What do you really, really want? You must be clear and absolutely committed.
A – Act. Nothing will happen if you aren’t prepared to DO WHATEVER IT TAKES.
N – Notice what you’re doing. Is it working? What isn’t working?
C – Change. You must be adaptable. You must be willing to accept new information and alter course if that will get you to where you want to be.
E – Evaluate. Measure your success. Take pride in your accomplishments. Decide if you are still on the right track.

Did you notice that we’re back to DECIDE? Yup, the whole process is a cycle. You need to stay on it, and you need to follow through.

I’ll leave you with one final pithy saying:
“Be careful what you wish for, for you shall surely get it.”

***See more of Gail's links on my Making Ends Meet tab!

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