Position Yourself for Success

By Carol Cassara – Contributor & Midlife Wrangler This is #6 in my series on Making Your Dreams Come True.  My dream is to give workshops and I’m working the program right along with you. I’d love to know how you’re doing—hope you will tell us in the Comments section.

Personal FulfillmentSuccess just doesn’t happen to a lucky few. It’s the reward for doing the hard work of creative thinking, evaluating opportunities and maximizing your chance for success.
Once you put your dream out into the universe, opportunities will come your way. It’s up to you to recognize them when they appear. Stay attuned!
But not all opportunities position you for success. You’ve got to evaluate them with a clear head. It’s like a new romance: a handsome stranger approaches. He looks good, but is he right for you? Maybe. Or maybe not.
Writing this series and promoting on social media has actually sent an idea my way. An entrepreneurial-minded reader suggested that I should monetize a similar course with some online workshops. Webinars. Sounded good, right? I could lead webinars from my home office. No need to rent a space. I could recruit from a worldwide audience and reach far more people than in-person workshops. I just needed to learn a little new technology. So, what’s not to like?
For me, plenty. At lunch the other day a girlfriend tried to convince me that online seminars were as effective as in-person workshops. That there was as much energy. And I tried to convince her that I didn’t find them that way. She was insistent and so was I. But we came from two entirely different places. I know myself. I love teaching and the part I love best is the personal, in-class, live interaction with students.  That’s where I get my reward.
Seeing, feeling, hearing the energy of live interaction. I’ve never gotten that from an online workshop. If I were concerned only with revenue, sure, I’d consider online workshops seriously. But I know that I wouldn’t be as happy as interacting live with students.
The reader suggestion was a good one. I evaluated it and knew that it wouldn’t satisfy me, and if I am not happy, I’m not going to succeed. It’s as simple as that. If you’re doing what you love, you’ve positioned yourself for success. Sure, there’s more to it. But you have to start there.
If you’re just doing it for the money? It’ll show. Scratch that idea for me. But what next? A few weeks later a girlfriend dropped off some books, reminding me of a discussion we had about workshops on creativity she’d given. I set them on the shelf to read later. And then, a couple of bloggers emailed me to ask if I’d help them jump-start their blogging and freelance writing careers. Turns out, I’d helped other writers do this and had a mini-program that was short and affordable. I now had two new students to coach, both long-distance, but individually. At the end of our month, they were both happy and so I was I.
Although it was long distance coaching, it was one-on one through telephone and email. I enjoyed helping the writers move closer to their goal.
How could I leverage this enjoyment into workshops? I remembered a workshop I’d done several years ago for one of the big national shopping networks. You know the name. It was a day-long, in-person event meant to stimulate the creativity of their writers. Fun writing exercises, lots of discussion. It got rave reviews. Creativity is a fun topic for workshops—it lends itself to lively, entertaining exercises that get results.
And then, the synapses connected. I saw the books on my counter and remembered the discussion my friend and I had about her creativity workshops. At the time she’d had a partner. But why couldn’t WE partner on a similar workshop series? But first, I had to test the idea against my own personal fulfillment criteria:
  1. Her workshops were in-person.
  2. They were about creativity.
  3. They were lively and entertaining.
  4. She is a creative person and would be a good partner.

A few weeks later, I approached her about teaming up on a similar venture. She was agreeable. Lots of work to flesh this idea out lies ahead; we’ll begin doing that in January.

Two ideas, which, when evaluated, showed me the direction that would best position me for success. Evaluation is the process that gave me clarity. How can you do the same?
  • Determine your own evaluation criteria.
  • How important is revenue vs. personal satisfaction? Are they equal?
  • How does the opportunity rate against your criteria?

I’d love to hear your own experiences with evaluating ideas that have come up for you. And if you liked this post, I hope you’ll share on social media.  

Carol CassaraCarol Cassara is a writer, blogger, college professor and former corporate executive who is busy making her own dreams come true. In 2009, she remarried her first husband after they’d been divorced for 27 years. Naturally, with a story that good, a memoir is in progress. She, her husband and two dogs live in the San Francisco Bay area. You might know her as Middle-Aged-Diva, but she now blogs at CarolCassara.com.

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One Response to Position Yourself for Success

  1. You said it in the first few paragraphs. 99.9% of success is JUST hard work. SO true.

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