By: Marie Forleo
This has been on a bunch of top books in the personal development genre for a while now. I knew personally that Marie was considerably more liberal than I am. But I was curious about her perspective as an entrepreneur. She surprised me.
She is crass. She uses a lot of four letter words. It was a bit unnecessary at times but not quite a Gary V level.
Marie was raised in a broken home and her mom was a headstrong woman. Her mom had a catchphrase when things got tough. Her catchphrase was,” Marie, everything is figureoutable.” Whether it was fixing the plumbing in their house or whatever, Marie’s mom took it upon herself to be resourceful and figure out how to solve her problems.
Humans have the incredible gift to turn our ideas into realities. We can envision a future and then take action to create that future.
In the late 1990s, after Marie graduated, she had trouble finding her passion. She was smart and resourceful but bounced from job to job. She was an assistant trader on the New York Stock Exchange, ad sales assistant at Gourmet magazine, fashion assistant at Mademoiselle magazine. BUT none of these felt right.
Then she came across an article about life coaching. At 23 years old, she was offered a promotion to go work for Vogue magazine but instead declined to try her hand at coaching. This is where Marie got gritty. She held several jobs at once to pursue her dream of being a life coach. She was a bartender, waitress, and custodian cleaning toilets to name a few. It took her 7 years of this intense focus until she had the finances to focus on being a full-time coach.
Her story was funny and authentic and this girl has grit!
Summary of her main points:
Principle 1: Our beliefs are either self-limiting or self-empowering.
No amount of positive thinking or guru programs make our problems or obstacles magically disappear.
Negative thinking can make our problems seem impossible to overcome. And we can give up before even trying.
In practice, let’s say that your finances are a mess. You believe you can’t do anything about it because you are bad at math. So, you never sit down and try to figure it out because you think you suck at math. Well, surprise surprise your finances don’t get better.
On the other hand, if you believe you can do something, you at least try and wind up making a little progress. That little progress starts a positive feedback loop where you believe you can, then take action and prove to yourself that you can do something. Then, your belief in yourself grows and you take more and more action on things you didn’t think were possible.
Principle 2: The belief that “everything is figureoutable” is a powerful weapon against our self-limiting beliefs.
Everyone has self doubt to some degree. Everyone.
That self-limiting belief can be boiled down to the notion that this or that problem ISN’T solvable.
By adopting the belief that “everything is figureoutable” you then have to believe that this or that problem IS solvable.
You may not know the solution YET. But the task then becomes finding that solution and implementing it. It is that simple.
To rob from Robert Kiyosaki, “Don’t say ‘I can’t afford it.’ Say, “How can I afford it?’” One lets you off the hook and focuses on the problem. The other makes you think of solutions and leaves you responsible for the outcome.
Principle 3: At bottom, most of our self-limiting beliefs are really just excuses.
The truth is that our self-limiting beliefs are a convenient way for us to justify or conceal the fact that we simply don’t want to do something.
Saying “I can’t” is a self-absolving spin on the fact that we won’t.
We have to make the distinction between “can’t” and “won’t”.
If you really want something, you find a way. You become resourceful and tenacious and you figure it out. Period.
Principle 4: The excuses of not having enough time, money, or know-how don’t hold up under scrutiny.
The three most common excuses.
1.”I don’t have enough time.”
Everyone is “busy”! But if a doctor told you that you had a fatal disease and the only cure was to do nothing for two hours every day.
You would figure out how to free up two hours.
If you really want something, you figure out how to make time for it. Wake up early. Stop watching TV. Get off of social media for starters.
2.”I don’t have enough money.”
First ask if you do actually need money. So many new skills can be learned online for free.
If you actually do need money, there are so many ways to get money. Side jobs, scholarships, crowdfunding, garage sales, save money by cutting expenses.
3.”I don’t know how to do it or even where to start.”
You can learn just about anything online. This is the weakest and laziest excuse.
Principle 5: Fear is not our enemy; we don’t have to let it hold us back, and we can even use it to our advantage.
Reinterpret fear. If you feel afraid about doing something, it is often a sign that the task is important to you. With this in mind, fear is a sign pointing you towards what you really want in life.
Fear is never going to go away. If you keep waiting for it to vanish before you pursue your dreams, you’ll be stuck at the starting line forever.
Take action in spite of your fear.
Principle 6: To gain clarity and overcome indecisiveness, we need to take action – even the smallest steps can move us forward.
One of the single largest obstacles in the way of achieving our goals is indecision.
We analyze and fret and plan and overplan in the hope of gaining complete clarity over a decision. Often what is needed is a small step of action to test out an idea.
Taking action gives you clarity.
That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t plan BUT taking action should be a high priority.
Another obstacle is thinking that we have to make this huge all or nothing decision. Life is rarely all or nothing. What if instead of jumping full time into your side hustle, you simply let it be a side hustle and work on it part-time until it supports you or, at least, gives you clarity.
Principle 7: Stop waiting to be “ready” to pursue your dreams; the time to act is now.
The last obstacle is the idea that you have to wait until you’re ready before you take action.
Of course you need preparation prior to action BUT are you ever “ready”?
If “ready” means 100% prepared with all of the skills, knowledge, confidence, and motivation needed to succeed, you will never be “ready”.
We master skills by practicing.
We gain knowledge through experience.
We build confidence by seeing results.
We build motivation through the momentum that comes from taking action.
Doing something creates the desire to do it more – not the other way around.
Take action. However small, just take action.
Marie is gritty. She is the balance of compassion and personal responsibility. She sees people where they are but doesn’t let them off the hook. She is all about dreaming big but also being tenacious and resourceful to take constant action. I found common ground and appreciate her. Recommended.