1. to pursue in order to seize, overtake
2. to follow or devote one's attention to with the hope of attracting, winning, gaining
"So what are ya chasing today?"
I started saying it some time ago to couple of my entrepreneur friends who all own successful businesses in Metro Detroit and pretty soon they all started saying to each other. It is our way of asking: Are you doing anything worthwhile with your time? In your business and in your life. What are you chasing today? What are you chasing tomorrow?
The line outside my local Weight Watchers branch in the first week of January was outside the door. Today same time but no line. I guess that January 24 is a good day to give up on whatever they were planning to chase back on December 31 for a lot of people; after all that was soooooooooooooo long ago.
To help you get going with your own chasing, here is how I do it:
1. Never ever type up what you want out of your business and life AKA your goals (I hate the word. It is the second most overused word in business. The first being 'relationships'" and the advice about building them.) and SAVE that list in My Documents. That is the folder on your hard drive where your dreams go to die every year.
2. Write what you want to chase on a paper. Write it. There is something emotional and deep that happens in your head when you write it down in your own handwriting on a piece of paper. I don't understand it but trust me on this - it is there and it works. Write not type.
3. Leave that paper somewhere where it stares at you. You cannot chase what you don't see every day. The stuff I want is everywhere around me in my home office. It is taped to the wall. It written on cards. It is on a board. It surrounds me. They are my dreams and if they are not around me all the time then why am I even bothering with them?
4. Should you tell somebody about them or not? Be careful here. They are fragile when you are starting out with them and some people in your life are harsh toward what you want to chase. Their harsh words will effect you more than what you want to believe.
I am careful on WHAT I tell to WHOM. I have friends who are entrepreneurs like me, been free for a long time like me and they get it. I can tell them. Inside Ijlal Inner Circle, my mentoring group for Michigan real estate investors...everybody is pretty open and shares everything that they are working on. Encouragement and feedback are like sun and water for your dreams to grow and take a life of their own.
5. There are days where nothing will happen. Today was such a day for me. I got lots of things done today that needed to be done but none of them was about the chase. So I am a little miserable today as I am writing these lines on 9:54pm but it's O.K. I will get on track tomorrow.
The thing I have in my head is this - make everyday counts or no day counts. Even if I move the needle 1.3 inches everyday toward what I want - that is good day. Anything is better than zero.
And for you in the end it is more about building a habit of thinking in terms of what you are chasing and not just making money to pay your bills. There is a difference between making a living and living a life of your dreams. They are two separate highways.
6. I use the one month Action Plan found here. I built it so I can focus on two things: learning and people as much as getting whatever needs to be done in my business.
If you want dramatic jumps in your income: Go from making $40,000 per year to $140,000 per year.... that jump will not come unless you add new phone numbers to your cell phone and add new knowledge to your head.
I take new people and new knowledge seriously. Most find 4-5 people that they like to hangout with or read 2 books / goto one seminar and then they stop. This never stops in my life. I learned something new today. And I am about to meet 15 new friends this Saturday. Do you count? I do. On paper. My Action Plan template keeps me on track. Make something like this for yourself or use mine. Counting is good habit.
7. Also from the lower half of the Action Plan: there is a terrifying thing about crossing out days on the monthly calendar with a big fat black marker. It chills your blood on how fast time moves. From New Year to January 24. It is a wave that moves relentlessly indifferent to what I do or don't do.
Every night before I cross the day out on the paper that lies on my desk I know that I have to make the next day and the day after count for something. My hands move because of what is in my head. My head moves from what I see. That is why it is important to 'stage' this chase all around you and not just in your head or in our laptop's hard drive.
8. Also a rush to see when things get finished, checks come in and you get to do something interesting with the crumpled pieces of paper with dead presidents: travel, invest, start another business, take time off to make a movie or write a book or read 20 books.
It is THE feeling that only the 20 percent of the population, the ones who made the deal with their dreams to go on a chase only get to experience. So know that if you are chasing your own dreams in real estate investing instead of just going to a job in 2011; it is the best gift you can give to yourself in 2011. You are on a good path. Don't stop.