“I am saying that outside influences are not responsible for where you are mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, or financially. You have chosen the pathway to your present destination. The responsibility for your situation is yours.”

--The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews

In case you haven’t noticed, Millennials and younger generations are all about side hustles. Not sure what that phrase means? It means they’re all about finding ways to expand their horizons; they don’t hesitate to pick up extra work on the side. It’s not necessarily about the extra cash, it’s about the challenge – and making something of themselves, gaining new skills, and new opportunities. To be the best at what you do, you have to learn from the best and connect with the right people. You also have to hustle and work really hard.

I recently realized this isn’t just tied to one single generation. I know quite a few people in the restoration industry who have their hands (very successfully) in a number of different things, sometimes completely unrelated to each other. For example … what about being an inventor of things completely unrelated to our industry, and a flooring expert? Or … owning a co-working space in a bustling downtown district and a marketing company. 

Many of us also have side hustles that are a bit more logical – like being part of a local hospital board of directors or working with a local school district to educate students on the trades. The list goes on and on.

To find the level of success you want (not what others want for you!), you have to be willing to make sacrifices, and not be afraid to get involved in things that matter to you - or take chances on new opportunities. You need to learn how to focus more during the working hours of the day, and how to play harder when you’re off the clock. You have to prioritize in everything. You also have to ditch things that are, quite simply, often a waste of time – like TV. You also have to continue to educate yourself. For me, this was a difficult one. The thought of reading non-fiction leadership-type books on my own time made my head spin. But, I’m forcing myself … thanks, in part, to a new book club. We recently read Andy Andrews’ book from which the quote at the top was pulled. It’s a quick, fascinating read. I highly recommend it … and recommend you have a highlighter or pad of paper ready when you do.

Here’s my personal challenge to you in 2018: take a step outside your comfort zone. Dare to get involved, and dare to take a chance on yourself and your dreams.

Wishing each of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!