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John Assaraf on Pursuing Your Dreams

John Assaraf is an internationally recognized entrepreneur and one of the foremost authorities in helping people and companies identify and change the unconscious negative thoughts and behaviors that keep them from reaching their business and personal goals. He is the co-founder of OneCoach, an organization that helps entrepreneurs build world-class companies while enjoying extraordinary lives. Assaraf’s first book, The Street Kid’s Guide to Having It All, was a New York Times, Barnes and Noble and Wall Street Journal best seller. He has built four multimillion-dollar companies, was one of the founding officers of Bamboo.com and served a key role in completing a highly successful IPO on the NASDAQ stock market. Here, Assaraf explains the importance of looking at your dream realistically.

What would you say to someone who wants to give up?

There’s one thing every great scientist and achiever have in common: they never stopped. There’s a story about an Indian tribe that has 100% success in making it rain. Do you know what their secret is? They dance until it rains! Most of us are trying to achieve things that someone else in our industry has already done. Are we prepared to humble ourselves to ask for help? Because someone else has the answer. A lot of people believe they have to do it themselves, but we can’t do it alone. It’s much better to teach your kids those three magical words: “I need help.”

Can people do this kind of work by themselves, or do they need to get a coach?

You can do it yourself, but why would you want to? When you were small, you had coaches and teachers. Why should pursuing your dream be any different? A coach can help you shortcut all the pain, time and anguish that other people have had. Most people won’t hire a coach or consultant because they think it’s too much money. Compared to what? Compared to you taking a year out of your life to learn what someone else could teach you in a few weeks? If you have the right information, it mitigates your risk and saves you tons of time and money. If you are serious about the result, hire a coach.

What are the most important steps for pursuing a dream?

Look for true north. Where are you now—financially, spiritually and in your location, career, health and relationships? Take a hard look at where your past behavior and beliefs have gotten you, with no judgment and without any mention of what you can achieve. Your past behavior and beliefs are just a reflection of the past.

Identify your dreams. Ask yourself: “What do I want to create? What do I want to trade my life for? What kind of income do I want? What relationship do I want with my friends and children? What do I love to do?” The answers will help you identify your dream.

Develop or improve your skills. If you don’t have the foundation of skills and talent, now is a good time to start. In three years you will have arrived somewhere. You can either walk around in a circle and end up where you are right now or learn some new skill. Think about the value of an hour. If you were to practice your skill for an hour a day, at the end of one year you would have practiced for the equivalent of many weeks. After a few years, you’ve practiced to the status of an expert. Make one decision and make no excuses for an hour a day. Then, once you learn the skills you need, take action and apply those skills. Most people fall short because they learn but they don’t do. Information must be backed by application.

Determine your financial value. There are three aspects of planning: Is there a need in the marketplace for your product or service? How good is your service or product in comparison to your competitors? Are you able to serve the market with your product or service? You can stick your head in the sand and pretend there’s no competition, or you can assume there is competition and decide where you want to play. Pros become excellent at what they do; talent is not enough. Think about an athlete, a musician or a top businessperson. Their worth is determined by the marketplace, not by their company. Learn how to take your talents to the market. Then you will make more money.

SIGNATURE QUESTION

What is the belief you personally go to during times of change?

The very core of humanity is change. Anything I am feeling, even though it’s uncomfortable, is normal and good for my growth. A better belief to focus on is “Throughout my life I will be changing and growing. It is for my betterment.”

For more information on John Assaraf, visit www.johnassaraf.com.

Posted: 12/26/07
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