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Can You Control Your Future?

(Flickr Photo by Genn Williams pdx)

When I was in my early fifties I was sitting in a goal-setting seminar put on by my then current employer. The presenter asked us to list our five-year goals. Sitting there staring at that blank paper, I saw my future. It was blank. I had nothing to write — at that point in time, I had no future.

Since that time I’ve created a 400 page web site, written three books, one a college textbook at two universities, presented workshops and seminars all over the country, been internationally published, and write and blog for national magazines and publications, and do a weekly radio show.

Did I see all those things coming? Not in my wildest dreams. But in hindsight, I find that I did have some control over every aspect of it.

 You Can’t Control What You Can’t Recognize

It all started with a lunch. Mike Reilly, a Marketing Professor at Montana State University, suggested I write a book. We had been presenters at a meeting of Montana Educators and I was telling him about some business ideas I was thinking about. I found a niche idea, marketing to small town business owners, and that started it all.

The point is that all of us are exposed to ideas disguised in innocent conversations that have the potential to change our lives. I thought about self-publishing my first book but the cost of having them printed was out of reach. A friend suggested selling them as ebooks as a start.

If you have an idea, start sharing that idea with people. Few are out to steal your idea and just because you think it’s good and you are passionate about it doesn’t mean everyone will. You will be surprised at the good suggestions people will make that can speed your idea along.

It’s a Step Building Process

In my case my articles lead to a web site, that lead to books, that led to speaking, that lead to radio. Once my book was on the market I started getting calls to speak to chambers of commerce and small business associations. Magazines starting asking me to write small business articles. Each part of my business lead to something else. But it all started with that one idea over a casual lunch.

Some Final Thoughts

We all have the potential to do great things with our lives. It’s easy to become complacent with our day-to-day lives. Someday my opportunity will come. Why wait for it to come to you? Why not go after it — NOW?

Almost everyone, at one time or another has said, “Gee, I should have thought of that.” Why wait? Think of it now and start doing it today. It’s amazing what you can do with a single thought. You don’t need education, and you don’t need a flush bank account. You need a dream and an overwhelming desire to make that dream a reality.

The history books are filled with entrepreneurs who started with nothing more than an idea and went on to greatness. All those people had one thing in common — they went for the brass ring instead of sitting on the sidelines waiting to be invited into the game.

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