Do you tend to downplay your goals? Do you think about them in terms of far away, many years down the road, just dreaming?

In this episode, I share something a coach told me years ago that took my breath away and helped me look at success in a whole different light. Now I’m sharing it with you too. Listen in and get ready to start taking your success seriously!

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Intro: This is The Proofreading Business Podcast with Elizabeth Wiegner. For more, visit TheProofreadingBusinessCoach.com.

Elizabeth Wiegner: When you’re thinking about your big goals that you have, maybe you want to quit your full-time job; you want to start your proofreading business, and you start thinking about them, but you start downplaying them. You think about them in terms of that’s something that’s far away or many years down the road. I’m just dreaming about it.

And, you know, when you start thinking about your goals that way, if you’re honest with yourself, it can really take the energy out of what you’re working on right now. Like those goals for the future that you have, when you start thinking about them in terms of that’s going to be forever -- I may not even make it happen, it can take the energy out of what you’re trying to do right now to make them happen whether you’re just getting started or just in the process of thinking about it or whether you’re in the thick of it right now.

I was having a conversation with Cynthia Garcia. She’s a well-known, very successful life coach, health coach. And we were talking about a private club that she runs for very successful women who make seven, eight, nine-figure incomes a year. And she was talking about the events that they put on for them, these very lavish, beautiful -- they go amazing places, do amazing things together, have speakers come in. It’s just a very wonderful experience. I mean, I’ve never been, but looking from the outside in and hearing her talk about it.

And they get to make amazing connections and have wonderful conversations with each other, and it just sounded like that would be so fun to be involved in, to be surrounded by all these amazing successful women and all these beautiful places that they get to go and brainstorm and talk about their businesses with.

And she was talking about it, and I just joking kind of in passing said, well, that might be me in, oh, 20 years or so and just kind of shrugging it off like that’s never going to happen. That’s never going to be me. That’s for all the people like the amazing Cynthia Garcias out there, not for me living in Oklahoma working in my little office.

And as soon as I said that, Cynthia stopped talking, and she straightened her shoulders, and she looked me right in the eyes, and she goes, well, with that attitude, it really is going to take you 20 years to get there. And as soon as she said it, I could almost feel my breath getting taken away because she didn’t say it in a rude way. She was -- it was just very matter-of-fact.

And her words struck me as, wow, Elizabeth. It is time to stop trying to pass off goals that you think are too big or too amazing for yourself and try to give yourself a pass for not even working on them by saying, eh, it’s going to be decades down the road. It’s time to stop talking to yourself that way and start adjusting your attitude so that you can actually, -- if that’s something you really want, you can make those goals happen for yourself.

And it’s been a few years since I had that conversation with Cynthia and since she told me that. But those words have stuck with me, and I feel like -- those stuck with me -- that doesn’t mean that I don’t have thoughts about that’s way in the future when I have big plans or big goals.

But when I frequently start noticing my mind going that way, Cynthia’s words of, well, with that attitude, it really will take you 20 years, keeps coming back. And I was actually thinking about that today while I was doing dishes of all random things and thinking about goals. And I was like, I have to get on this and make an episode right now so I can share it with you all too because it was so encouraging and motivating for me too. It was a little bit of tough love that I needed to hear, and I thought, well, if I need to hear it, then I’m sure you need to hear it as well.

If we hung around friends -- and friends in air quotes -- if we hung around friends who are constantly telling us that you dream too big; you’re too much; I can’t believe you’re trying to plan ahead that way; I can’t believe you’re taking time to learn a new skill like transcript proofreading so that you can have your own transcript proofreading business so you can stay home with your kids or have extra money to have nicer vacations or pay off your mortgage early or get a better car that you can feel like will drive reliably.

If you’re hanging around people that are constantly telling you that your goals are too big or that you’re kind of crazy for doing that -- why can’t you just be content with the status quo? I mean, sure you’re not happy, but hey, this is how everybody is. Everybody does the 9-to-5. Everybody has to put their kids in daycare if they don’t want to, and everybody has to have huge commutes to get to their dream job, to climb the corporate ladder. If those aren’t things that you want -- if those are things that you want for your life, I mean, that’s your decision, of course.

But if they aren’t things that you want for your life and you’re having people talk to you constantly about, well, it’s dumb for working on that, or you’re working on it, but man, it’s going to be years down the road before you can even make that happen, what does that do to your spirit? What does that do to your energy and your enthusiasm and your excitement about working on your goals? It really sucks the life out of you. It’s kind of like, well, maybe they are right. If you hear it enough, you have people telling it to you enough, you start to believe it because it’s -- constantly you’re inundating yourself with it and hearing.

And the same thing is true for yourself. You don’t have to have people telling you that you’re not going to be successful in so many words, saying you’re not going to be successful or it’s too long or those goals are too big. They’re just pie-in-the-sky ideas.

You can be that way to yourself. You can be the one telling yourself, well, maybe in 20 years, haha, a couple decades down the road, I might be able to join this private, elite club and be able to do these things with the amazing women.

Instead of reassessing and saying, hey, you know what? That is a huge goal, but I’m going to work on making it happen. But if I’m constantly telling myself it’s going to be forever in the future, or I’m never going to make it happen or that’s a lot of work to get there, if I’m constantly telling myself that or if you’re constantly telling yourself that about your goals, then you’re not going to want to work on them.

One of the things of starting my transcript proofreading communities, the private communities that I have for my students and my graduates is one of the things -- one of the rules in the community is positivity, being encouraging, being open to feedback and only focused on your goals. That doesn’t mean that you can’t bring your frustrations or that, hey, I’m really struggling -- I need some encouragement today.

But the overall vibe, the overall purpose is to encourage everyone in their goals on working on their business because it is hard, because you are surrounded by people and yourself who are telling you all the time that this is something that’s too hard or will take too long to do.

And if you’re surrounding yourself by people who are telling you you can’t do it, if you’re telling yourself that you can’t do it or it’s going to take too long, you’re going to start believing that, and that’s going to be your approach to everything. In fact, you won’t even have an approach at all because you’re going to be -- you’re going to give you. You’re not going to want to keep going.

And so surrounding yourself with people who support you like inside the transcript proofreading communities where everybody is supporting each other and motivating each other and rallying around each other, and also changing what you’re telling yourself will make such a huge difference on how you meet your goals.

Now, just having positive -- talking to yourself positively or only having people who tell you only positive things, that is not the only thing that will get you to your goal. It is a huge part of it. I mean, like I said, that’s why I have the transcript proofreading communities to be a huge encouragement.

In fact, people say a lot of times that I wouldn’t even have -- I would have not made it this far if it weren’t for the people in the group, or welcome to your new family or you’re going to make a bunch of new friends here. So that’s the kind of environment you’re in. You need that.

And it’s not just the positive mindset, or I can do this or being around encouraging people. You have to put in the work too. Like my students inside the communities, my grads who have gone through the communities and now are working with clients, it’s not just that they were in the communities and getting a lot of encouragement. It’s that they took the course. They really worked hard. I mean, they put in a ton of practice and took feedback and did a great job and then went out and applied themselves to get clients at the end and then have worked hard to keep their businesses going and get positive reviews.

So it’s not like it’s just all positive self-talk, telling myself I’m going to do it and then snap your fingers and magically it happens. There’s work that goes into it. And if you are always approaching it with the mindset of it’s going to be 20 years down the road, or it’s going to be way -- it’s a lot or work, which is fine to say it’s a lot of work, but in the sense of I’m never going to get there because it’s so much work, then you’re not going to get there. Or if you are, it’s going to take you way longer than you wanted it to.

All of us want our goals to happen yesterday, right? None of us are like, oh man, I would love for this to drag out even further. So an important part of building your business is readjusting your mindset, readjusting who you spend your time around, who is telling you what you can and can’t do. Just like if you were always hanging out with somebody who is negative and pulling you down, you’d want to kind of remove yourself from that situation. Stand up for yourself. Step away. Find new friends. Stand up for yourself.

The same way that you should be doing it when you start telling yourself that too, just like Cynthia had to tell me, hey, Elizabeth, with that attitude, it’s going to take you 20 years and just -- instead of just kind of laughing off my little joke about it’s going to take awhile, she hit pause right then and there in the middle of our conversation to help me readjust my attitude.

And I don’t remember if we -- how the conversation went from there, but just the effect that that had on me and how I so appreciated her willing to give a little bit of tough love because, I mean, even years down the road, that’s still sticking with me. And now, I get to share it with you too so it can stick with you.

If you find yourself -- when you find yourself because you will. You’ll always -- it’s just human nature to come back and even when we’re on a high, and we’re like, yes, I’m going, it’s real easy to let a little bit of imposter syndrome or self-doubt creep in. And for us to say, you know, I don’t know if this is going to work for me, or this is taking too long or this is something that’s just way too far down the road, that kind of conversation that you have with yourself, you need to remove yourself from that situation. You need to readjust what you’re telling yourself.

And tell yourself all the things that you are doing right now to make your goals happen. It’s okay if your goals take awhile. Some bigger goals are going to take longer. But if you’re always telling yourself it’s going to be some day or maybe or let’s just joke about my goals, then your goals will always be some day, never now, or they’re always going to be a joke to you. It’s nothing you’re ever going to seriously take time to work on.

So start to switch your approach. Whenever something seems hard or overwhelming or frustrating and you’re tempted to think -- give up or just to say this is something for way down the road, if it’s something that you really, really want, like you really, really want your transcript proofreading business, then start telling yourself that I’m going to keep working on this. I’m going to work on it because I want this to happen because of this. I want to be able to have my transcript proofreading business so that I can stay at home, work on my own terms, not have a dress code, be able to fix lunch in my own kitchen, not have a commute, any reasons that you have for wanting to be able to work from home.

And then tell yourself I’m going to work on it, and I’m going to work on it hard, and I’m going to get it as soon as I reasonably can get it. I’m not going to laugh at my goals. I’m not going to tell myself it’s some day or 20 years down the road. I’m going to go for it now. And then go for it.

It’s one thing to say, yes, I’m going to go for it. That is your first step. You have to take that first step of telling yourself that you’re going to do it. And then you have to take the actions to match what you’re telling yourself. So as soon as you say I am going to do this, I am going to make this happen, then start taking the steps that you need to, to make it happen.

For instance, if you want to be a transcript proofreader, then sign up for Learn How to Be a Transcript Proofreader and start learning how to be one. And inside the course, I break it down for you so you have step-by-step instructions on exactly what you need to do to get from point A to point B, from point A from I know I want to do this to, hey, here is my business, and I’m making money and I’m being successful and working with court reporter clients.

And then throughout that whole process of working on your goals, you’re going to have to continually come back to yourself and remind yourself that, hey, this goal is serious. I am going to do it no matter how challenging it is or no matter how much time it’s taking me right now. I am serious about this. I am going to make it happen, and I am going to make it happen -- I’m making it happen now, and I’m going to make it happen in the near future for myself as well.

So those two things go together -- having the attitude at the beginning, taking the steps to make it happen, and then continuing to have that attitude of I’m going to make this happen for myself. And when you combine that together, that’s when you start to see results. And sure, those results can last you for 20 years down the road, absolutely. And you don’t have to wait for those 20 years to make it happen.

If you want it, then start working on it now, and you’ll look back in a month, two months, three months, six months, a year, two years, and you’re going to be so happy that you start now instead of giving yourself all these reasons why you can’t, like all the 20 years kind of jokes. You’re going to start working on it now.

So I’m going to leave you with this today. Any time you start thinking to yourself that it’s just something that’s too good to be true, it’s not something -- it’s good for other people, but it’s not good enough for me apparently, put the brakes on it. Tell yourself with that kind of attitude, then absolutely everything negative I’m telling myself is going to be true.

But I don’t want those negatives to be true. I want the positives to be, and I’m going to start working on those too. And you’ll start noticing a difference not just in your approach, you’re going to start taking action on it, and it’s going to feel so much better when you’re telling yourself you absolutely can do it, and you’re seeing the results of the actions that you’re taking.

Outro: Want to learn more about transcript proofreading? Then check out my free workshop: Is Transcript Proofreading the Right Money-Making Business for Me? It’s less than an hour, and it answers lots of FAQs around transcript proofreading so you can decide if this is the perfect side hustle for you. You can check it out on TheProofreadingBusinessCoach.com/workshopregistration.

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Meet Elizabeth

Elizabeth Wiegner is a work-from-home proofreader and business coach who teaches other readers and typo fixers how to build a life of freedom as a proofreader. Her energy, love, and personalized support are second to none in the proofreading world.