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Top 5 Mistakes made by Online Marketers. Don’t make these mistakes and sabotage your promotional efforts

Today I am tackling one of the BIGGEST problems faced by new online marketers. The problem is this, the inability to market effectively. This causes so many marketers incredible frustration! The result, they throw up their hands in despair and quit long before they see any results.

This is what I hear from people day after day in my role as an online Home Business Consultant. “I am posting, and promoting but not getting any leads or sales! Help me!” If this is you, keep reading, I am going to tell you what you need to know about marketing.

It is true that you can be promoting every day but if you are making one or all of the 5 common mistakes I’ve outlined here, you won’t get the results you want. Take note, this is important stuff if you are really serious about making money online.

1. The first mistake made by new online marketers is this:

Not knowing WHAT to market.

I talk to people daily, nice people who want to sell something online and earn some extra money. They sign up or this and for that, they get Affiliate Memberships all over the web hoping to get better results by being involved in everything they can get their hands on. There intentions are good, they are motivated but they stumble right off the bat by not knowing what to market.

Here’s a quick guide for you on WHAT to Market: -Pick products to market that are DIGITAL. Digital products are those that can be bought and sold instantly online. You get your commission sooner, the buyer gets their product instantly! It’s no-fuss no-muss and the best way to start your web marketing experience and see some results. -In most cases there is no cost to be a product Reseller or Affiliate – hurray! -Pick Reseller products from a reputable long-standing company that specializes in helping vendors connect with affiliates to sell products online -Pick products or affiliate programs that provide advertising copy, banners, and sales aids along with referral links so you can easily promote the products -Pick products that catch YOUR EYE! Newest releases, products with catchy names, trendy topics, those with positive buyer feedback, and return guarantees are best! -Look for Joint Venture releases so you can be one of the first to promote the products when first released for sale Finally, FOCUS! Keep your eye on the prize – profits – don’t spread yourself too thin. Narrow your efforts to a few products and put 100% effort into your campaign.

2. The second most common mistake made by new online marketers is this:

Not knowing HOW to market.

I am always surprised at the answer people give me when I ask how they are marketing online. They look at me perhaps thinking what a ridiculous question that is! They tell me they are sending out their website address. When I look at their website I see a site that is oh so boring! It reads like a brochure with company history, and a few pages of fluffy copy. Yes, of course it is important to promote your website address BUT if you wish to capture leads you must do this – get the prospects contact information!

Getting the contact information from a prospect is often very difficult to do with a standard corporate site. The answer to this problem is to create what are called LANDING pages, or Squeeze pages. These are single page sites that have one purpose and one purpose only – get you a LEAD – and better yet lead to a sale! Some companies provide Landing Pages for you when you become a Reseller for their products. Landing pages help you build your marketing list. Every person may not be a buyer today, but on your mailing list they may enjoy future products you offer. Offering an option to join your mailing directly on your Landing Page gives people 100% control over opting in to your mailing list or not. You build your list while ensuring that people have voluntarily joined your mailing list.

Here’s a quick guide to creating responsive landing pages:

-They should be FAST Loading! Skip any animation, video or annoying distraction that just makes people click OFF! -Use images that are colorful, directive, and related to the theme of your product -Your copy MUST be short, punchy, laden with benefits – speak directly to the reader -Your copy should tell readers what they get if they ACT now! Limit the offer, even better! -Capture the contact information of the reader so you can deliver what they asked for -The more goodies, freebies, offers, and cool stuff you can give people the BETTER the response! -Always include an option for people to join your mailing list and give them GREAT reasons to want to do so!

Unlike a website, a landing page should be EXCITING, BENEFIT-LADEN and accomplish this:

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3. Here is the third most common mistake I see new marketers making:

Not KNOWING WHERE to Market

Marketing is NOT simple but if you know what you are doing it can be. The key is to find the sites, the niches where you can target your market. Market to the right people instead of the masses with solid products and you will get instantly better results.

Here’s a quick guide to knowing WHERE to market:

-Do a Google search to find sites related to what you are promoting, then target those sites for your marketing campaigns -Use every available niche market you can find and post there, this includes Forums, Classified Ad Sites, Banner Exchanges, Twitter and Social Networking and Bookmarking sites. -Do not discount FREE and low cost advertising options like Safelists, and Traffic Exchanges. These are excellent ways to target a specific market -You do NOT have to spend ridiculous amounts of money on advertising. Find the sites where your target market exists, then place low cost ads including safelist posts, banners, and classified ads. Don’t even think about buying pay-per-click ads at sites like Google unless you have deep pockets and know what you are doing. -Learn what backlinks are and why they are SO VERY important to generating traffic and achieving better search engine indexing for your site, products or business. -If any of the terms above are foreign to you, you have some homework to do, I have included some resources below.

4. Are you ready for the fourth and perhaps most fatal mistake made by new online marketers?

Not knowing how to TRACK your promotional campaigns

If you are going to spend time and money to promote a product or service you MUST, you absolutely MUST know where you are getting your results. Ad Tracking is a 100% requirement! If you are not tracking your ads, and the clicks you get and from where, you are promoting blindly. What happens when you don’t watch what you are doing? You can fall in a hole! Online this can be a hole where you fall in and throw your money into wasted ad campaigns. I’ve seen more people allow paid advertising to eat up their entire budget than I want to think about. Smart marketers that get results know exactly the ad campaigns that get results, and the sources they came from.

Get an Ad Tracker Tool. Some advertising sites provide you with data on number of clicks to your ads, or impressions. This is important, just be sure you understand what those terms mean. A click is usually far more powerful for you then a “view”. You want ACTIVE respondents, real people actually clicking on your ad to see it. This is much different than an “exposure” or a “view” with the latter being considered passive and very weak marketing, often provided free. For best results you will ALWAYS get better results from paid advertising than from free advertising but don’t discount free promotion, it is a good way to earn advertising credits if you have a small advertising budget. If you buy advertising be SURE you get some kind of way to validate the promotion, the click rate, and actual IP addresses of unique respondents to ensure the hits are legitimate and not computer generated. Make sure your respondents will be geographically specific too, from countries that you wish to target. For example, Canada or the USA. If you have your own domain you are fortunate, as you can benefit from an Ad Tracking tool that tracks all your promotional activities and traced to your website domain address.

5. The fifth common mistake I see online marketers making is very straight-forward.

Not being realistic or giving it enough consistent time and effort to see results.

I know we live in an instant gratification world but if you are new to online marketing you will need to be more realistic. Promotion takes a lot of CONSISTENT effort using a number of strategies at a number or web sites. By tracking your ads you can see instantly where your efforts are being productive. Be prepared to try various copy, be cognizant that some products will sell better than others, some advertising resources will deliver better than others. Vary your offers, change up your products as needed, update landing pages, post to a number of sites and track the results. Take some time to learn about some of the terms used in this article. Be honest with yourself about what you are doing. Are you serious about earning money online or are you doing this as a hobby? Your level of hunger and ambition to succeed will be your motivator. The good news is that once you have built your mailing list, and found niche sites and advertising resources that work, your job to promote gets easier but NEVER goes away.

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Budget billing for utilities?

Budget billing for utilities?

Dave says budget billing plans for utilities are a great idea, especially if you’re just starting to get control of your finances.

QUESTION: Ryan is just starting Dave’s plan, and he asks if budget billing is a good idea for utilities.

ANSWER: I think it’s wonderful! For a lot of folks, especially those in your situation, it helps smooth out utility payments and make them a little more manageable.

In most budget billing scenarios, they add up your utility bill for the last 12 months and divide that total by twelve to determine a fixed billing amount for the next twelve months. It can make things a lot easier when you’re first starting to live on a budget.

Budget billing for utilities?

Dave says budget billing plans for utilities are a great idea, especially if you’re just starting to get control of your finances.

QUESTION: Ryan is just starting Dave’s plan, and he asks if budget billing is a good idea for utilities.

ANSWER: I think it’s wonderful! For a lot of folks, especially those in your situation, it helps smooth out utility payments and make them a little more manageable.

In most budget billing scenarios, they add up your utility bill for the last 12 months and divide that total by twelve to determine a fixed billing amount for the next twelve months. It can make things a lot easier when you’re first starting to live on a budget.

When to start the process

When should you start looking for a good real estate agent and mortgage company? Dave answers Sarah’s questions.

QUESTION: Sarah and her husband are ready to begin saving for a house. When should they begin looking for a good real estate agent and start the underwriting process? Dave has the answer.

ANSWER: You’re being very intentional and goal-oriented about getting control of your finances and the home buying process. I’d advise starting a conversation with a quality mortgage company when you’re about five or six months away from your savings goal date.

There’s “pre-approval,” but there’s also something called “certified.” That’s a step beyond pre-approved, and it basically puts you in a position to make an offer when you’re ready for the purchase. After that, sit down and talk with a few agents. Interview them, and decide on someone with lots of experience that you like and trust. Then, start outlining your search and buying strategy.

What I would not do is jump from agent to agent. There’s a tremendous benefit in finding someone you trust and feel good about. I’m talking about a buyer’s agent who’s going to fight for you.

When to start the process

When should you start looking for a good real estate agent and mortgage company? Dave answers Sarah’s questions.

QUESTION: Sarah and her husband are ready to begin saving for a house. When should they begin looking for a good real estate agent and start the underwriting process? Dave has the answer.

ANSWER: You’re being very intentional and goal-oriented about getting control of your finances and the home buying process. I’d advise starting a conversation with a quality mortgage company when you’re about five or six months away from your savings goal date.

There’s “pre-approval,” but there’s also something called “certified.” That’s a step beyond pre-approved, and it basically puts you in a position to make an offer when you’re ready for the purchase. After that, sit down and talk with a few agents. Interview them, and decide on someone with lots of experience that you like and trust. Then, start outlining your search and buying strategy.

What I would not do is jump from agent to agent. There’s a tremendous benefit in finding someone you trust and feel good about. I’m talking about a buyer’s agent who’s going to fight for you.

Lost and overwhelmed

Lost and overwhelmed

Sometimes saving isn’t a budgeting issue. It can also be an income problem.

QUESTION: Adrienne and her fiancé are having trouble saving up for a $1,000 beginner emergency fund. With a little digging, Dave discovers the root of the problem.

ANSWER: First, your finances should be separate until you’re married. There’s shouldn’t be a “we” in terms of money at this point. You can always run a single budget to look at and prepare for after you’re married, but right now he shouldn’t be paying your bills and you shouldn’t be paying his bills.

The biggest problem is that he’s making no money. He needs to get a better job. He can’t pay his bills, and in the process, he’s sucking you dry. He needs to make a serious career shift soon—like now! In the meantime, this guy needs to take on two or three part-time jobs until he gets that career shifted.

It’s not really a budgeting problem you’re looking at. It’s an income issue.

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Re-fi now?

Re-fi now?

Is the offer Phil received to refinance his home a good deal? Dave doesn’t think so.

QUESTION: Phil was offered a deal to refinance his home. He gives Dave the details, but it doesn’t sound like a very good deal.

ANSWER: You don’t need to refinance with those numbers. You’d be going up more in terms of interest rate than you’d save with no PMI. The only reason the payment is going down is that you’d be agreeing to stay in debt longer.

If you could’ve lost some of that interest rate, and gotten rid of the PMI, that might have come close to making sense. But, even that might not have worked in the end, because you’d have closing costs associated with the deal. You’d essentially be going up a full percentage point in terms of interest, and all you’d really be doing is resetting, or re-casting, the loan.

0% interest?

0% interest?

Does Dave like the idea of zero percent financing? Nope!

QUESTION: Does Dave think it’s okay to finance things at zero percent interest? Detrick may be disappointed with the answer.

ANSWER: We just finished an extensive study of more than 10,000 millionaires. Not a single one of these folks said they became rich by borrowing money to buy things at zero percent interest. We know banks charge interest on loans, so how is it you think they’re loaning money at “zero percent interest?”

Is it possible the pricing of the item has the interest rate built into it? I think the chances of that are pretty high. In addition, companies offering this kind of financing have highly researched data that tells them the vast majority of people who take out zero percent loans don’t pay them off in the specified period of time. What happens if you don’t live up to the terms of those contracts? It becomes a regular loan, and they back charge you for the interest.

So, on average you’re paying for it all. I don’t know why you’d want to play with snakes, Detrick. Snakes bite. And debt destroys your most powerful wealth-building tool—your income.

 

Having Faith During a Financial Crisis

Having Faith During a Financial Crisis

An image of a Bible on a desk.

10 MINUTE READ

Tough times force us to ask some deep questions. Whether you believe in God or not, you’ve got to at least admit that you don’t have all the answers. We need guidance and hope that’s bigger than ourselves.

Years ago, my boys misplaced the remote control for the TV, and they started to panic! They thought that the TV could not be turned on without the remote. I chuckled at this, and later, it hit me: We often have the same response when it comes to faith. We can misplace it or forget that we even have it.

Faith is essential at all times, but it’s really important to rely on faith during difficult and trying times. Faith reminds us that God’s in control, and that we need to rely on Him to see us through, even when the path ahead is dark and unsteady. He’s steady, and He’s ready, willing and able to sustain us through anything.

 

Get expert money advice to reach your money goals faster!

I’ve been hearing so many heartbreaking stories during the coronavirus pandemic. The best thing I can do is point you to the deepest source of wisdom and hope that I know: God’s Word. What does the Bible have to say about economic hardship? Here are five principles for trusting God with your money.

1. Take your fear and anxiety to God—He can handle it.

All of us are fighting fear these days. Maybe you feel buried by anxiety from the moment you open your eyes in the morning. Will my loved ones get sick? How will I make ends meet after losing my job? Will the economy ever recover? Some of us entertain those thoughts and start to spiral, and others of us take the ostrich approach—burying our heads in the sand and waiting until it’s over!

But there’s a third way to deal with fear, and it’s the best one: Hand off your anxieties to God.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear. Psalm 46:1–2 (NIV)

The first thing we need to get straight is this: God cares deeply about our suffering, and He invites us to cast our burdens on Him (1 Peter 5:7). Did you catch that? God’s not far away, kicking His feet up on some heavenly footstool, shaking his head, and hoping that it works out for us. He’s near to those who are broken and confused. He wants to take your anxiety from you. The question is, are you allowing Him to lift your burden?

You can trade your fears for God’s peace if you’re willing to lay out your requests to Him (Philippians 4:6–7). And believe me, His peace is powerful! It’s the only things that will truly loosen your tight chest when you feel like you can’t take another breath. Instead of white knuckling your way through your anxiety and playing out millions of scenarios in your mind, let it go, lay your requests before God, and feel Him lift that heavy load off your back.

Take your worries to God. He’s big enough to handle them.

2. Trust God with your money—He owns it anyway.

There’s an old-timey word that I want to introduce to you: stewardship. It basically means that you’re entrusted to take care of something that belongs to someone else. Managing a team of people or resources at work is an example of stewardship because you’ve got someone to answer to.

Can you see where I’m headed with this? Yep—you’re a steward of the money and resources that God’s given you. Now, of course, you must take personal responsibility and work hard. In fact, because God has trusted you with a job, you better take it seriously! But at the end of the day, your ability to earn money and build wealth is given to you by God, as we see in this verse:

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth. Deuteronomy 8:17–18 (NIV)

You can trust God with the money He’s given you because He’s the real owner of everything under the sun! He’s the ultimate source of our security. As 1 Timothy 6:17 (NIV) says, you shouldn’t put your hope in wealth, but instead, “hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

3. Recognize your dependence on God.

Okay, people. So, if God made and owns everything (John 1:1–3), and He entrusts us as His stewards, then that means we can depend on Him to provide. So, we have to ask ourselves, Do I believe that He is good? Will He take care of me?

Let’s take a look at this passage from Matthew that Jesus taught His followers in one of His most famous sermons.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life. . . Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:25–27 (NIV)

I want you to do something. Look outside your window. Hopefully you live in a place where you can see birds and hear them singing. They seem to be doing okay, don’t they? Not a single one of those birds is watching in fear as the Dow plummets. None of them are stocking up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer. I know this sounds ridiculous, but hear me on this: They’re just birds! You’re a human being who was carefully made in the divine image of God. Don’t you think He cares more about you than the sparrows and the blue jays?

God isn’t worried about supply chains and economic downturns. He feeds the birds day in and day out, and you better believe He’ll take care of his children too.

4. Practice contentment in both good and bad times.

Have you ever heard the old joke “You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse?” You can’t take your stuff with you when you go! It’s tempting to work like crazy to keep up with the Joneses, piling up stuff, and chasing down the next purchase. The Bible warns us against the temptation to hoard our wealth, but instead encourages us to be “rich toward God” (Luke 12:21 NIV). This means that we use everything in our life (including our money) to honor God.

Trusting God’s provision leads to contentment—being grateful for what we have. This idea appears all over the Bible. Take this verse in Job, for example: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:21 (NIV)

When you’ve placed your trust in God and what He provides, you’re free to be content with what you have right now. It helps you loosen your grip on your assets. Contentment is an incredibly important habit to practice when times are good and when times are bad. Gratitude changes your perspective because it shifts your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have. I like to put it this way: “It’s hard to be hateful when you’re grateful.”

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12–13 (NIV)

A relationship with God sets you free from worry and comparison. You just take it one day at a time. In times of abundance and crisis, contentment is the key to experiencing joy and gratitude.

5. Be generous to others just as God has been to you.

This is where it gets fun. If you’re applying the first four principles we’ve talked about, then you’ll be free to enjoy your money without being controlled by it. You’ll also recognize God’s outrageous generosity more and more, and you’ll want to treat others the same way!

If you have kids, I want you to think back to a time when you had a special gift for them. Maybe you surprised them with a puppy on Christmas morning, or you finally bought them their first iPhone. Most parents—even though we’re not perfect—want to do their best and take care of their children. We find great joy in seeing their faces light up when they get something they’ve been asking for. And you know what? God has the same generous heart toward his children! He gives good things to those who ask for them, and he delights in our joy (Matthew 7:9–12).

Generosity is contagious. When you’ve received something good, it’s a natural response to overflow onto others. Being generous is a powerful antidote to fear because it forces you to get your focus off of your own needs. It forces you to put your money where your mouth is.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. . . Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:16–18 (NIV)

God notices when we give, and He’s pleased by our generosity (Matthew 6:2–4). And if you’re short on cash, that’s okay. There are endless possibilities for how to be generous with your time, your talents and your friendship.

Does God Care About My Suffering?

Loss is painful. It’s real. We cannot make sense of all the evil in the world. And it’s a very human response to ask, Where’s God in all of this? Why doesn’t He do something?

But if you want to know where God is in the midst of suffering, all you have to do is picture Jesus on the cross. If you’re wondering why He doesn’t do something, then remember the work He accomplished to conquer death and bring us hope. My friends, He’s well acquainted with loss and pain. He took it upon himself to come to earth and share in all the same brokenness we experience. And because of the mission He accomplished, we can place our trust in Him and have hope that He can heal our diseases and restore our fortunes.

I’ve been walking with Him since I was eight years old, although I really got to know Him in my 20s. The Lord has been the most consistent thing in life, and I’m grateful for his love, grace, mercy and hope! Here’s my personal favorite Scripture to dwell on when things get tough:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

Even in the darkest moments, God promises to deliver his people, protect them, and ultimately, prosper them. We can trust that He will do the same for us. As my good friend Dave Ramsey says:

“Remember, there’s ultimately only one way to financial peace, and that’s to walk daily with the Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus.”

In times of crisis, find peace of mind by taking control of your money. For the first time ever, we’re offering a free 14-day trial of a Financial Peace Membership! Get started today.

How to Get Your Dream Job

How to Get Your Dream Job

employees working in shared workspace

11 MINUTE READ

These days, having a case of the Mondays every Monday morning and being miserable in a boring 9-to-5 job is normal—but that’s no way to live.

If being miserable at work is normal, then I don’t want to be normal. I want to be different.

Because the truth is: It is possible to find your dream job and love what you do for a living. It’s called living the dream—and you can have that if you’re willing to work for it.

My path to meaningful work is a seven-stage process that will lead you to your dream job. It will take time, perseverance and patience to work through, but if you stick with it, before you know it, your case of the Mondays will become a thing of the past.

Are you ready to get after it?

7 Stages of Finding Your Dream Job

1. Get Clear

Before you do anything else, you must discover what you do best, what you love to do most, what results you want to produce, and where (industry, company, etc.) you can put those three components together to do work that matters deeply to you.

 

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I know that sounds overwhelming, so let me break it down for you:

What you do best includes your natural talents, skills and character strengths. These should be tasks or roles that come easily to you and have been pointed out to you by others. Here are some examples: I’m a great writer. I can analyze numbers effortlessly. People have told me I’m an excellent salesperson.

What you love to do most would involve any activities and tasks you look forward to and that make you come alive. For example: Working with kids lights me up. Helping someone work through a personal issue so they can take control of their life leaves me feeling energized. Solving complex problems makes time fly by.

What results you want to produce is about considering what problems you love to solve, what solutions you love to create, and what people group you most want to help. For example: I enjoy helping young mothers (people group) get through the first year of parenthood (problem) by teaching them how to schedule their days (solution). I love when a small-business owner (people group) is able to free up time to scale their business (problem) because I’m managing their payroll and bookkeeping (solution).

Where you can put those three together involves doing some research. Look around (starting in your zip code) for industries, companies, nonprofits, etc. where you might be able to do work within the intersection of what you do best and what you love to do most. By the way, I call that intersection your sweet spot.

Once you’ve got a list that includes these four things, get feedback and confirmation from three to five people who know you and will be honest with you. If these talents and passions are seen by others in your life too, you’ll know you’re headed in the right direction.

2. Get Qualified

Once you know what you want to do and possible places where you can perform that role, you’ll need to get qualified to do the job. Maybe you already have the education and/or experience you need to do the job you want to do—that’s incredible. Feel free to skip this step and move on to stage three.

If that’s not you, no sweat. It’s not as hard, scary or expensive as it seems to get qualified to work in your dream job.

First, you’re going to put your research hat back on. Based on potential job opportunities you found, what qualifications are necessary to do the work? Make a list of anything—from certifications to supervised hours—you need for the job.

Then, find out how much it will cost to get those qualifications. It doesn’t have to be exact—just come up with a rough estimate. Finally, based on your budget, create a realistic timeline for when you think you’ll be able to cash flow getting the qualifications.

There’s something really important to remember when you’re in this stage: Don’t assume you need a degree—even if the job posting says you need one to get hired.

Now, there are some career paths that absolutely require you to have a degree (think doctor, lawyer, registered nurse, industrial engineer, etc.). If you want to pursue one of those degree-dependent paths, just know that you don’t have to spend a fortune to earn that degree. Adjust your timeline to fit your budget—because you should be cash flowing this degree, not taking on debt for it—and look for affordable options like community college and state schools over expensive, private, out-of-state universities.

If you find out you can land your dream job with some experience and maybe a few certifications, that’s the ideal situation. If that’s the case, there are so many creative ways to get qualified:

  • Take an online course or workshop.
  • Find a boot camp or crash course you can take in the evenings or on weekends.
  • Ask someone in the field if you can intern or shadow them for a few months.
  • Borrow books from the library and download podcasts on the topic.
  • Attend a local conference where you can learn and make connections.

You’ve got zero excuses. In our day and age, there are endless opportunities to get the skills, knowledge and know-how to do the job you want to do.

3. Get Connected

This is arguably one of the most important stages in the whole process, and it’s where The Proximity Principle starts to make magic happen.

The Proximity Principle says: In order to do what you want to do, you need to be around people who are doing it and in places where it’s happening. It’s not hard to do—you just have to be willing to seek out people and experiences that put you in close proximity to your dream job.

What does that look like?

Take someone to lunch. I know the introverts reading this are getting queasy right about now—but hold on! It’s just a conversation, like any other you’d have with a friend or colleague.

Ask your friends and family if they know of anyone who has a job that’s similar to the one you want. Mutual friends are the best ways to make connections.

Then, simply reach out to that person and ask them if they’d be up for grabbing a cup of coffee or lunch because you have some questions about their career path. You’d be surprised how many people want to help others step into a career they love.

When you meet with them, ask them questions like:

  • How did you get to where you are today?
  • What qualifications did you need and what did you learn on the job?
  • What do you recommend I do to land a job similar to yours?
  • What does winning look like at your company?
  • What do you like and dislike about your position?
  • Who else should I connect with? Will you connect me with them?

You never know where that relationship could take you—I’ve talked with many people who’ve gotten job leads and interviews after a one-hour lunch!

Entry-level positions: Sometimes, you have to take on a role that’s in close proximity of your dream job, even if it isn’t ideal. This is what people like to refer to as “getting your foot in the door.” But if you knock it out of the park, this role will lead to bigger opportunities.

Job shadowing/internships: Shadowing someone in your field or taking an internship at a company you might be interested in working at might feel “beneath you,” but that’s the wrong attitude to have.

This is not only a learning opportunity, but also a chance to get in close proximity to lots of people in the industry you want to transition to. So, while you’re job shadowing or interning, keep your focus on the relationships you’re building. One day, those relationships might turn into personal recommendations, referrals, or even a dream job offer.

Volunteering: There’s so much value in having an attitude that says, I don’t want anything. I just want to learn. If you have the time and financial ability to do so, volunteering is a great way to gain experience in your field.

When you get around the right people and in the right places, the right timing will happen on its own.

4. Get Started

Making the right connections will be your launching pad to the right stepping-stone opportunity. What I mean by that is: The job you land in this stage might not be your dream job, but it should be a stepping-stone in the right direction.

While you’re in this stage, make sure you upgrade your resume so that it actually gets noticed. A recent study found that the average amount of time a recruiter spends on a resume during an initial screen is 7.4 seconds!1 Folks, that’s crazy. But it’s exactly why you have to create a resume that’s going to get a recruiter’s attention.

Now, if you have the entrepreneurial bug, then this is also the time you start the business you’ve been dreaming about as a side hustle. Launch your website, start asking around for clients, and get practice under your belt. These are important baby steps that will help you launch and grow a business without debt and with less risk.

 

It’s time to rethink everything you know about writing a resumé. Follow this simple guide and get noticed before you even walk in the door.

 

5. Get Promoted

This is an exciting stage because you’re seeing the results of winning in your role, which gets you closer and closer to your dream job.

You’re winning because you:

Know your role: This isn’t about your job title. Knowing your role is about having complete clarity around what your leader expects from you. Sit down with your leader and walk through your job description bullet by bullet so you know exactly what success looks like in each area.

Accept your role: It can be challenging to accept the role you’re in today when you have your eyes set on a “better” job. But it’s important to see where you are today as that stepping-stone we talked about earlier. You never know how important this role will be in your next role. Focus on winning in the present and have an attitude of gratitude toward the work in front of you today.

Maximize your role: Maximizing is all about the effort you put into executing your current role. You get noticed by your leaders, your peers and your customers by going above and beyond your role. Help a colleague in another department or step in to help a big project get across the finish line. Don’t wait for an opportunity to go above and beyond—make one.

6. Get Your Dream Job

As you keep rising in rank, you’ll eventually land your dream job—and let me tell you, it’s an incredible feeling to actually get excited about going to work every day. When you get here, you’re officially “living the dream!”

But your work is far from over. Growth shouldn’t stop just because you’ve achieved this accomplishment. You should keep learning, keep developing yourself, and keep growing in your industry by taking on new challenges. Continue looking for ways to increase your knowledge and sharpen your skills—and keep this up until the day you retire.

7. Give Yourself Away

Remember when someone took the time to give you advice, connect you with an opportunity, or share their learnings over lunch?  Now would be a great time to do that for someone else by giving your time, talents and resources away! Become a mentor to someone coming up in the ranks behind you and help them land their dream job.

When your work has meaning, it should never really be all about you. Your gifts are given to you with the purpose of helping others. So, how can you keep using your talents and passions to serve as many people as possible? This world will be a much better place once we’re all living and working like no one else.

Folks, I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you: Finding your dream job isn’t easy, and it’s not going to happen overnight. You have to want it badly and be disciplined enough to get up every day and work toward your goals.

But I know you have what it takes. And when you do reach that place, there’s nothing like the joy that comes from doing the work you were put on this earth to do. Press on!

 

About Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman is the bestselling author of The Proximity Principle and national radio host of The Ken Coleman Show.

Pulling from his own personal struggles, missed opportunities and career successes, Coleman helps people discover what they were born to do and provides practical steps to make their dream job a reality.

Listen to The Ken Coleman Show on SiriusXM, your local radio station, or wherever you listen to podcasts—and connect with Ken at kencoleman.com.