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Monday, 19 September 2011

5 Steps to Having People Get Behind Your Dreams

Goal setting and working to achieve those dreams is a trait common among humans. Even Buddhist monks have the aspiration to have no aspirations.

It is probably what separates us from the animal kingdom. Unless their dreams consist of eating, dreaming and mating, in which case they are quite successful in achieving their goals.

But to make our dreams come true, we often need other people to help us or collaborate with us in areas we cannot handle ourselves. This article shares some wisdom I have gleaned over the years from my experience, and from the experience of other successful people I know personally.

These steps are not meant to be used just with people you think may be able to help you, but absolutely everyone you meet. If you follow them when pursuing your goals, you'll be surprised with the results.

1.) Believe in yourself... and be positive.

For most of us, the biggest struggle you'll ever need to truly battle with in reaching your goals has nothing to do with anyone else. It is our OWN belief.

It may seem like a cliche chanted by self-help fanatics who give lots of high fives like the secret handshake of a cult, but belief does actually have a big say in whether you succeed or not.

And it also has a big influence as to whether you'll keep going when fluffy sheep hit the fan.

Having the support of others is great and deserves this article, but ultimately if you have an unwavering belief and passionate desire, you will achieve your goals no matter what.

I've seen it time and time again in my life and the lives of people around me.

"When life throws you a curve ball, you'll catch it and run with it and make a three pointer, on the buzzer, touchdown in overtime while being under par and avoiding penalty kicks. Well, I guess that's cricket for you."
- Daniel Grant Newton (people like quotes in articles to give arguments credibility even when they don't know the person being quoted, so I thought I'd insert one here.)

And guess what? Other people respond to your belief too.

Turn the tables around for a moment and think of the difference between someone telling you about their project with 100% belief in its success, versus someone who talks as though it is a pipe dream and wishful thinking. You'll support the one who instills belief every time.

 Here's a boy who has learnt the secret of believing in himself early on.

2.) Be Your Own Brand.

We all know Adidas stands for the 'Impossible is Nothing' attitude, and Google stands for things like innovation and fun, and a chauvinist stands for no one.

But more than that. All celebrities are a brand. Think of David Beckham, Lady Gaga or Angelina Jolie. They are all their own brand.

You are also your own brand. Think about who you truly are, what qualities you possess, and how you want to be. That is your brand.

I'm not saying don't be genuine and be fake. I'm saying the exact opposite. Be more like yourself than you are now, and you'll attract the people you want to work with, and attract the audience or market that most wants what you have to offer.

There is a niche for anyone, and when you combine belief with individuality, the doors you want to walk through open for you.

Need a visual example. Go to a concert and look around. If you're at a hip hop concert, people dress a certain way. If you're at an indie concert, people dress a certain way. And if you're at a death metal concert, people dress another way.

There is a group of people out there just waiting for what you have to offer.

3.) Encapsulate Your Story.

Everybody loves a story - hence we have books and movies and comic books. And if you can make your story exciting, people will want to follow you and support you because they're on your journey with you.

Your story should be an uplifting story. You know the ones, stories that inspires people to be their greatest, who through that greatness will inspire others to be their greatest, who through that greatness inspire others to be their greatest, who through that greatness ... well, you get the picture.

Kind of like a disease everybody wants. Like Ben Lee's disease.

Wait a second...

Am I asking you to make up stories about your time as a drug addict raised by the ghosts of wolves in a concentration camp in Prussia to finally beat your blindness and become a best selling author?

No, James Frey, I'm not saying that, and stop putting words into my mouth. And stop stealing ideas from my future novel for your new false background.

And, no, you are not an exception Helen Demidenko... if that is in fact your real name?!

What I am saying is to still be genuine, but tell YOUR story. If you look at your life, you will see that YOU have a great story to tell.

We all do, until we get really really old and sentimental and boring. (Just kidding on that last sentence!)

But seriously, on the point about old people, what do you expect from people who lived in gray scale and lived in complete silence. I've seen the video footage, and video footage doesn't lie.

Mind you, they did move quite quick back then. And they did have mobile phones apparently (See below).

"Back to the point, Daniel," I hear the unicorns in my head say.

Okay, okay, calm down you horny horses.

Stories have drawn people in ever since Adam the monkey started drawing on Eve's rock walls with crayons.

Random picture of someone talking.
And so when people hear your story, they will want to support you and be part of your story.

Lesson: Tell everyone your story, make it inspirational and true to the letter, and do not save it for Conan O'Brien or Ellen.

But that brings us to the next critical point...

4.) What people in marketing call 'WIIFM'...

Remember that when you talk to someone about your project they are always thinking WIIFM: What's In It For Me?

Knowing that, try reframing the way you talk about your project in every conversation to include the person listening. After all, what you truly want (I'm guessing) is for everyone involved in your project to succeed, not just you.

So, instead of thinking "I want this person to help me in this way", ask yourself "how can I inspire and help you through my project to achieve your dreams".

Taking that stance, you'll see people magically want to help you. You'll also feel better about the whole project because of the shared goals and desires.

5.) The MOST powerful concept of all - PASSION

Try this test. Tell people about your projects in a very flat, factual way, then tell people letting your passion really come through. You'll soon see that: a) people are more likely to listen to someone passionate, and b) passion is contageous - they'll get passionate about your project as you talk.

I remember testing this myself. I was telling an old doctor about my book. He was very serious and stern, and essentially everything I thought my readers would not be. 

Random picture of a doctor.
In the past, I would have given him a polite summary of what it was about when he asked, and then gone on to talk about what he was interested in. After all, how could he be interested in a book like mine.

Instead I took it upon myself to really talk with the passion in which I wrote the book. Who cares if he was interested or not, I thought, I was going to be excited about my book anyway.

He listened intently, nodding at the right intervals, but I wasn't sure whether he was interested or simply polite... or perhaps thinking about tomorrow's game at the squash club.

Then later on while I was in the next room I heard him literally raving about my book to anyone who'd listen. In a matter of a short conversation he had become a huge advocate for my work.

Never again will I hide my passion away, saving it for those I deem 'interested'.

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