3 Ways to Go Further, Faster

Several years ago, I wrote out a list of “100 Things I Want to Do Before I Die.” It’s really an amazing, audacious list. Whenever I review it, I am both inspired and stunned by how many of the items I have already accomplished. And yet, there is so much more. The list keeps growing.

Two Young Boys Racing Their Homemade Cars While Another Cheers Them On - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/RichVintage, Image #16717070

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/RichVintage

I’ll bet you have a list, too. Perhaps you’ve written it down; perhaps not. Regardless, you doubtless want to accomplish things—probably a lot of things. Really important things. Unfortunately, life is short. I have more to accomplish than I could probably do in seven lifetimes.

So how do you actually make significant progress on your goals? How can you get more things done and squeeze as much juice out of life as possible?

One of the most important things you can do, of course, is to write down your goals. I have written about this in The 90-Day Challenge, so I won’t repeat myself here. But assuming you have done that, what’s next?

I’m going to tell you the single most important action you can take to go further, faster and to make your dreams become reality. I have done this over and over again in my life. To the extent I have achieved any level of success, I believe this is the secret:

Enlist the help of the best coaches and instructors you can afford.

My assumption is that someone, somewhere has already done what you are attempting to do—and done it well. If you can tap into their experience and learn from it, you can get to where you want to go faster and with fewer missteps along the journey.

There are basically three ways you can do this. These are arranged from least expensive to most expensive. However, you can often find free alternatives if you look hard enough.

  1. Read the best, most relevant information.

    My journey into uncharted territory always begins with a search on Google. There is a ton of free information on the web (obviously). This will give you a feel for who the experts are and what they have to say. If I want to go deeper, I then buy the best books I can find on a given topic.

    For example, when I took up digital photography, I bought the three books with the highest Amazon ranking and the best customer reviews. I did the same when I decided to start running or wanted to learn how HTML or CSS. This is a relatively inexpensive way to learn the basics and get a broad working knowledge of the topic at hand.

    But this step doesn’t just apply to new interests. I continue to read in areas where I am already proficient. I want to deepen my knowledge and my skills sharp.

  2. Sign-up for specialized classes.

    I have a short attention span, so full-length, longer-term courses don’t work for me. I get bored. I prefer the all-day, three-day, or (occasionally) a one-week course. For example:

    • When I wanted to figure out my purpose in life and where I fit into the totality of God’s plan, I attended John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart Boot Camp. It was so good that I went back two more times. The last time I took my two sons-in-law with me.
    • When I wanted to learn how to build a great marriage, Gail and I attended several courses on marriage, some taught by Gary Smalley. (A bit of trivia: Gary and his wife, Norma, introduced Gail and me to each other. He actually performed our marriage ceremony.) A few years ago, we attended Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs’ “Love and Respect” marriage seminar. It was outstanding.
    • When I wanted to learn how to create alignment in teams, I took a one-week course from Gap International called “The Alignment Intensive.” It blew my mind. I use the tools I learned in this course almost every day.
    • When I wanted to improve my writing skills, I signed up for an intensive one-week course from American Writers & Artists, Inc. called, “The Copywriting Success Bootcamp.” This was one of the best professional investments I ever made. Recently, I went through the Fast, Effective Copywriting course. It was worth every penny.
    • When I wanted to improve my golf short game, I signed up for a one-day course with Nancy Quarcelino, one of the best golf teachers in the country. Though my game is still not all that great, it’s a lot better since taking this course.
    • When I wanted to learn how to use Photoshop to edit my digital photos, I took a one-day course from Ben Willmore called, “Photoshop for Digital Photographers.” (Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he is teaching this any longer. But he does have plenty of other great resources.)
    • When I wanted to take my Bible study to the next level, I spent last weekend going through a seven-hour video seminar taught by Morris Proctor called “Camp Logos Live.” It was a detailed, excellent course on how to use Logos Bible Software. It was incredible.
    • These are just a few examples of dozens I could cite. Some of these courses were free. Some cost a few hundred dollars. In a few rare instances, the courses cost several thousand dollars. Regardless, you can sometimes find very good, free or inexpensive courses taught by churches or other non-profit organizations or even local colleges. Like I said, enlist the help of the best coaches and instructors you can afford.

  3. Hire world-class experts.

    Next, I enlisted the help of real people who could hone my skills beyond what I could learn in a book or garner from a course. For example,

    • When I wanted to create sustainable work/life balance, I hired Daniel Harkavy, the president and founder of Building Champions. He helped me craft my very first “life plan.” (You can do the same with my free e-book.) He then held my feet to the fire until I got my equilibrium. (He is also the author of the excellent book, Becoming a Coaching Leader.)
    • When I wanted to take my personal leadership skills to the next level and really see how my own thinking was impacting my corporate results, I hired Ilene Meuthing of Gap International. She’s basically did a brain transplant on me., helping me change my thinking and produce better outcomes.
    • When I wanted to figure out why I kept slicing my drives, I hired Nancy Quarcelino for a two-hour session. She videotaped me, so I could see the problem in my swing and fix it for good. Last week when I played, I hit every drive but two into the middle of the fairway.
    • When I wanted to get in the best shape of my life, I hired Tom Gmitter at my local YMCA as my personal trainer. He designed a plan that I could have never developed on my own. He also kept changing up my routine, so I wouldn’t get bored. He worked out with me twice a week for two years.

    In addition, in the course of my life, I have hired nutritionists, counselors, music teachers, accountants, lawyers, fishing guides, agents, and various kinds of instructors and coaches. Some have been short-term; some have been long-term. My philosophy is to use them as long as they continue to provide value.

Note that I said, “hire the best coaches and instructors you can afford.” For years, the most I could afford was to check out a book from the library. Don’t worry about what you can’t afford or do. Focus, instead, on what you can afford and do that.

In the end, you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible. And you can do it faster and with better results if you just enlist the assistance of the right guide and do what they say. I can’t think of anything else that will help you accomplish your goals more than this.

Question: What coach can you enlist today to enable you to accomplish your goals? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Want to launch your own blog or upgrade to a self-hosted WordPress blog? It’s easier than you think! Watch my free, twenty-minute screencast. I show you exactly how to do it, step-by-step. You don’t need any technical knowledge. Click here to get started.

Watch my free screencast

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

    Another bull’s eye–as I said yesterday, I need tech help (with redoing my blog and using all the tools that are available to increase my traffic) and marketing/PR help (with getting my book known). I also would like to have help with public speaking. I’m believing God to give me specific directions towards the people that I need to help me.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Check out The SCORRE Conference for public speaking. (Disclaimer: I am a partner.) It is pricey, but absolutely awesome.

      • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

        Timing, money, and travel are issues keeping me from going to the conference, but I have ordered the dvd’s and workbook along with the book on dynamic speaking. So, I’ve taken the first steps and I covet your prayers that God will make the way for my book and blog to bless a whole lot of people.

    • Shannon Topham

      Public Speaking:  Tony Jeary has a fantastic CD set available on Pubic Speaking called Life is a Series of Presentations.  I went from being absolutely terrified of public speaking to being very comfortable with it by listening to the CDs repeatedly and practicing in the privacy of my own home. It was one of the best $100 I ever spent.

      Low Cost Coaching Options: John, If you write the blog post Michael suggested on low cost coaching, you might include TSTN.com (The Success Training Network) online. It is economical, and viewers have access to interviews with Zig Ziglar, Bob Proctor, Jim Rohn and many more. I highly recommend it. 

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Two areas that I could use coaching in would be writing and public speaking. Copywriting would be another area I could use coaching in.

    The writing and copywriting coaches would help improve how I express myself on my blog. It would also help me express my ideas with more clarity.

    Public speaking is something that scares me. I will stutter or get my words mixed up. This causes anxiety and I start to shut down. Having someone to coach me through these hazards would increase the quality of my public speaking.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      See my comment to Patricia about The SCORRE Conference. Your fear of public speaking is very normal. That’s where the training really helps.

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Thanks for sharing that resource Michael. I will look into it.

        Will it only be held in Georgia or will there be events across the US?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          We will do two next year: Georgia in the Spring and Vail, Colorado in the fall.

    • Jill Farris

      I would also recommend Toastmasters for training in public speaking. Every club is different so you may have to shop around but it will make you step up to the plate as you work through a book and earn certificates. Toastmasters emphasizes positive feedback so it’s a great place to start. I return to TM over and over again when I need to polish the talks I give to women’s groups in my state. It also has good leadership training. The main drawback to TM is that it has an outdated name!

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Jill, thanks for the suggestion of Toastmasters.

        I have been looking into Toastmasters, I just need to find one that will fit with my work and life schedule. Where I live, they seem to happen while I am at work or when I volunteer for our youth group.

      • http://www.FaithfulChoices.com Paula

        oops, I just saw this comment.  What Toastmaster’s group are you part of Jill?

    • http://www.FaithfulChoices.com Paula

      Hey Joe, I don’t know how your finances are, but as much as I’d love to go to SCORRE I can’t afford it right now.  May I humbly suggest Toastmasters as a place to help you build confidence in public speaking.  The cost is less than a  course at a community college and you can speak as little or as much as you want in front of a very encouraging crowd. 

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Hey Paula,

        Thankfully my finances would afford me the opportunity to attend SCORRE yet it is where SCORRE will be held that will most likely hold me back from attending.  Though maybe I could talk the wife into a nice Vail, CO vacation….

        I’ve looked into Toastmasters but the local TMs have times that do not allow me to attend. I am hoping to find one that works with my schedule.

    • Anonymous

      Hello Joe  

      Marcia Yudkin is very good with copy writing. She has a blog and good site.  Good in basic, stripped down, not eye candy.  She get to the issue — fast

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Thanks for the information. I’ll check her out.

  • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

    Michael, I completely agree.  I hired a business coach two years ago and have seen major improvements in my own habits as well as those of my team.  There is no doubt this was one of my best decisions.

    Do you have any advice on determining when to change it up and move to someone else?  You mentioned, “as long as they continue to provide value.”  Any tips on how to assess this?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think it is pretty subjective. As long as I am learning and growing, I consider that value.

  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    Since my area is communication and coaching, I am going for an outstanding communicator and coach with years of experience. Recently I found one and spending time with him was very much helpful. I am seeking more help and insight in this field.

    By the way, Michael, your blog is #1 in my list of best blogs for leadership and social media. Though I am here at Kochi, India, and we haven’t met in person at all, I did learn and apply a lot from your writings within a short span of past 12 months. Thanks for all that you do and be assured that you are indeed blessing and impacting many lives around the globe!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Joe. I appreciate that very much.

    • http://www.FaithfulChoices.com Paula

      Joe, I just finished listening to a wonderful podcast on leadership and coaching by Andy Stanley.  He has wonderful stuff and it’s free on itunes.

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        Thanks Paula. 

  • http://struggletovictory.wordpress.com Kari Scare

    I already read books voraciously to help me learn and to relax. I haven’t taken a class in a while, and I enjoy online classes the most. I should look into another one. As far as hiring someone, I would love to hire a personal trainer. Exercise is something I do regularly, but it would be nice to mix up what I already do and to learn something new. Great ideas! I’m going to pass this post along to my pastor. I think our pastoral staff needs reminded of this too.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Great post, Michael. Three low cost or free coaching opportunities have really changed my life over the years. They are…

    1. Toastmasters. Toastmasters International is a public speaking and leadership organization with over 250,000 members worldwide. They offer weekly meetings where you can practice your speaking skills and also participate in many different leadership activities. Dues are collected every 6 months and with most clubs are very reasonable ($40-$75/6months). The great thing about Toastmasters is the people that attend. It is one of the most diverse and helpful organizations to help you become successful. Most clubs offer a mentorship program to help you get up to speed fast. You can find a club near you by visiting their website at toastmasters.org

    2. Personal MBA. If you want to get the equivalent of an MBA education without spending thousands of dollars to do it, check out the Personal MBA website. They have list of books and lost cost resources that you can go through that mimic a standard MBA course. While you don’t get the piece of paper(degree) you do get some of the best teaching by some of the world’s most influential business professionals. When I did the course, I used audio books, so I could learn when commuting. For under $1500 in books, I learned many cutting edge principles and applications. Even if you are in a standard MBA course this is a great supplement to the standard curriculum.

    3. Church Growth Groups. By far, one of the best ways to get to know people and learn scripture, is to join a small group at your local church. My wife and I have been part of small groups for over 25 years and they have helped us through the highs and lows of life. We meet together weekly and go through a study while sharing prayer time and refreshments together. I can honestly say that I’ve seen more miracles and answers to prayer through our time together than any other. The church we currently attend, North Coast Church in Vista, Ca has over 8000 attenders and over 80% are in growth groups. Small groups give you the chance to build true friendships and really dig deep into God’s word.

    All three of these opportunities are probably available in the area where you live. Why not check them out and see if they will work for you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great suggestions, John. You should write a blog post on “Low-cost coaching opportunities.” Excellent!

    • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

      I appreciate these suggestions, John. Great stuff!

  • Chandler ?=^)

    I have a list too.  I call it my NOW list. No Opportunity Wasted. It was inspired (and used by permission) by Phil Keoghan’s book by the same name.  Good reading. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great acronym!

  • Toyin

    This post is so timely. I am at a point in m,y life where I don’t know what I am doing anymore.  This wouold help me make proper plans for the next year

  • Tracy Hoots Hoexter

    YOU are a coach for so many of us. Thank you!

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      And it’s very affordable! ;)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Tracy. I appreciate that!

  • Toyin

    John, thanks a lot for your suggestions

  • Jill Farris

    Great advice. I would hire the best nutritionist/naturopath I could afford to help me figure out a health issue I am struggling with that affects my mood. I know it is biological because it is tied to what I eat. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Gail and I just watched the movie, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” Also, “Food Matters.” Both are excellent and may set you on the right path.

      • http://www.FaithfulChoices.com Paula

        I never heard of these movies, now I’m going to check into them, thanks Michael.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          They are definitely worth watching.

    • Ussarah

      I love the books Jungle Effect and Spent about wholesome diet/nutrition
      Look into fish oil for mood balancing. It works wonders for me

  • Panzica Susan

    “Don’t worry about what you can’t afford or do. Focus, instead, on what you can afford and do that.” This is huge advice. Changing our focus is the first step we need to take. Without that, there is no change. 

  • http://twitter.com/MuchClearer Sean Sankey

    Marvellous post, driving home the benefit, the excitement and the outright importance of committing to being a lifelong learner. MAkes me think of a speaker I heard who said “Our resources will flex throughout life according to circumstance…  however our resourcefulness is an attitude that we choose, and therefore can grow exponentially.” 

    Love the provocation to never stop learning regardless of the medium available to you. Thanks Michael.  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love the concept of being a lifelong learner. I almost used this in the title.

  • Rob Sorbo

    How do you decide what you can afford? I am currently working on a second bachelor’s degree in a subject that I think will be useful for my future goals; however, I’m needing to use student loans to pay for it. 

    I went back and forth on this for a long time before I decided to go back to school. I’ll certainly be able to afford the student loan payment, but I am not able to afford the actual schooling.

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    I took Piano lessons with one of New Zealand’s finest Jazz Pianists who is currently living in Sydney. The money spent over that hour has revolutionized my practice. I got more then what I’d hoped for and it is still helping me a month on.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The right coach or instructor can REALLY accelerate our learning.

  • Anonymous

    Michael, I’m so inspired by you. You savor every bit of life. 
    Just before reading your post this morning I was in bed talking to my grown daughter on the telephone and we were talking about Gary Smalley. I wanted to mention another great marriage resource: I’m a counselor. In the last few years I’ve come across a tremendous model for marriage counseling, but it’s a difficult model to learn. I’ve spent many intensive weekends and lot of money learning the model, attending supervision, and watching video tapes of couples. It’s paying off. I’m starting to get a lot of couples referred to me, I’m feeling less intimidated, I’m seeing results (70-80% success rate and couples continue to improve over time) and it has completely changed the way my own marriage reacts when we get into an argument.I thought I’d mention the model to you and your readers. It’s called Emotionally Focused Therapy – EFT – developed by a therapist in Canada who has spent decades working with the best and brightest marriage therapists. She wrote a book called “Hold Me Tight” that the layperson would understand. Some of the more trained therapists host “Hold Me Tight weekends. Here an example along with a clip showing Dr. Sue Johnson talking about the model: http://holdmetightleesburg.vpweb.com/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words. I will check this out.

  • John Durkin

    “You can afford…”  As a full time ministry fellow that’s right up my alley!
    I am new to your blog (today).  So, I will begin by reading your free book about developing a life plan.  Thank you for that.  I am sure this blog and that book will be excellent coaching sources.  

    I’d prefer to learning and getting paid for it.  
    Are you looking for a great intermediate to advanced presenter course of study?  

    I got connected with http://www.groupworkcamps.com/  All I had to do was fill out an application, do a short scripted video and I got hired.  The Christian work camp foundation flies you out to Estes Park CO, gives you a detailed training over about 3 days, then you get to learn your script and present for a group of about 400 Sr. high youth and adults for six days during their summer work camp.  All the training is free and the week of service is like a masters course in presenting and serving.  At the end you get paid some (less than $1000).  It’s not for everyone, and it wasn’t enough for me to do it for more than two years, but like I said, it’s a great hands on training experience and they pay you.  

  • Pingback: 3 Ways to Go Further, Faster | Michael Hyatt - octāvity - A Scott Stawarz Technology Studio()

  • Anonymous

    This is the best single post I’ve read yet on how to achieve your goals — faster. It amazes me that I was in the dark for so long when it comes to getting a coach for an area that you want to succeed in. The only ‘coach’ we were ever taught about was the preacher. But the preacher didn’t primarily specialize in accounting, business or fitness. So, we grew spiritually but lacked in other areas. It’s like a person who knows every Bible verse but has poor health. Thank you for this encouragement to pursue assistance. It really does make a difference.

    • John Fajimi

      …And the preacher is not supposed to “specialize” in all those areas either, else he can lose touch with his core mission, rather they can give general guidelines based on the Word of God. It really is so simple – almost shockingly so – to improve in many areas of our lives, just by looking and asking for help! 

      Like the Chinese saying goes “He who asks is a fool for 5 minutes; he who does not ask is a fool forever” (paraphrased). We really don’t have 5 minutes to waste because of pride or fear. 

      I like your time “pursuing assistance”. God bless you.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I love the Chinese proverb. Excellent.

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I decided recently that I would stop being so concerned that I couldn’t afford all these great tools and make use of what I can. It has been extremely helpful. I read all that I can through the blog world, as well as articles I find online by credible sources. I am signed up on booksneeze.com and waterbrookmulnomah.com. I try to get the best books I can find on there to both review as well as grow myself. We are new to an area but the library is just down the street. I really should make use of that as well. 

  • http://twitter.com/josuediaz josuediaz

    Great call to action with this post, Michael. I really enjoy the associated comments with a great post like this as well. :)

  • Nancyq

    Thanks Michael for sharing and including me in your blog.  When I look at my top 100  list, I enlist the help of those who are the experts in their field as well.  This is the best advice I can give to my students who wish to make golf important in their lives.

    I like being a “coach” for my golf students.  Yes I can help them with their games, but I want to be there on their journey.

    I have many “coaches” and Michael you are my favorite.  Thanks for being there for me and for so many others.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are one of the best coaches I have ever had, Nancy. You have the perfect balance of imparting knowledge, skills, and confidence. I loved my sessions with you!

  • Gail Kasper

    Unfortunately, too many people
    seem to attempt life’s goals alone, unaware that help is out there. They think
    they have everything under control, yet as the years pass, they find that they
    struggle to achieve their goals. These individuals don’t realize that a
    critical element in goal achievement is support from others, which can help
    propel them forward. I discuss this concept in my self-help book, Unstoppable:
    6 Easy Steps To Achieve Your Goals.

    Gail Kasper

    Author, Another Day Without A Cage: My Breakthrough From
    Self Imprisonment To Total Empowerment and Unstoppable: 6 Easy Steps To Achieve
    Your Goals

    http://www.gailkasper.com

  • Donschin

    Always love your posts. And this one is very near and dear to my heart. I’d offer that if you are a small business owner not much is going to ‘happen’ life or otherwise until you’re business is operating well and you become a better leader and business peron/owner. So I’d enlist a business coach from a leader in the industry. There are many former business people trying to consult or calling themselves coaches so I’m in 100% agreement with you that you find the best who is with or has a personal track record of success. And again specific to the small business owner I’d go with companies or people  that have that specific target or expertise. Again great post Michael.

  • elise

    Excellent, helpful, inspiring, and empowering. You’re so right, the key is to do what we can with the resources we have and because of the Internet there are lots of experts giving away valuable information. I admit, I wish I had more money to invest in some of these awesome seminars, conferences and coaches, but you can get there by reading and studying and Googling. No question about it. You just have to be a lot more self-disciplined and directed. That’s where developing better habits comes in…and  prayer for some God-support can’t hurt! Thanks. I’m following a number of people’s blogs, such as you, Rachelle Gardner, Behler Blog, Zig Ziglar, Karen Ehman, etc. And I just came across some excellent information on BrandYourself.com.

  • Anonymous

    Michael — Thank you for this timely and valuable post. For what it’s worth, here are my insights into this process:

    1) Your blog is like a caffeine-laced vitamin tablet. Positive, energizing, constructive. Thanks.

    2) For me, “doing and failing” is vital to learning. This doesn’t preclude any of the above, but — again, for me — taking classes and getting coaching is sometimes a ‘stall’ to keep me out of action. Best example — all my life I’ve wanted to be a novelist. I used to have a shelf of books on how to write novels. Last year I finally put them in a box and took them to my local library. I sat down and started writing. I finished, and I learned everything I needed to know through the ‘try and fail’ process.

    3) Most important for me — I have to remember to humble myself. A few years ago, I read a post (I think it was Steve Chandler) that revealed why people of a certain age (like, over 25) have such a hard time learning new media, new ways of doing things, etc. Turns out that learning something new (like, for example, social media) required humility. I sell  myself as an expert in my field. Can I really admit that I don’t know something that a 17 year old knows by heart? Yes, I have to.

    “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.” (Shunryu Suzuki)  

    Hard  —  but vital — to keep that beginner’s mind.

    • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

      Rich, you’re right on the money with doing and failing. Keep doing!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Thanks for the quote by Suzuki. And. thanks for sharing a different perspective.

  • http://www.distractedbyprayer.blogspot.com Shannon @ Distracted by Prayer

    Such great advice!  This is a process that takes humility, but has a great payoff.
    I wrote a prayer retreat exercise for individual use early this year.  Just this month I  enlisted the help of a graphic designer to format it for print and sale.
    Her ideas have re-ignited my passion for personal retreat and my vision for making this discipline accessible.

  • http://allthingsloss.com Kevin Mackesy

    My favorite point from this article was “Don’t worry about what you can’t afford or do. Focus, instead, on what you can afford and do that.”  I am reading “Visioneering” by Andy Stanley right now and between that book and your blog I have really been challenged to quit focusing on what is keeping me from my dreams and focus instead on praying and planning – doing what I can NOW to move me closer to realization.  My favorite quote thus far from the book – “Opportunity plus lack of preparation equals missed opportunity.”  If I’m not doing what I can with what I have NOW, then I’ll never be ready when the opportunity finally presents itself.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.FaithfulChoices.com Paula

    One of my best coaches is my pastor.  He’s an outstanding speaker and our church is growing as proof.  So, occasionally I ask if I can pick his brain.  We meet for about 30 minutes and he points me toward books and gives me new ideas so that I can learn to communicate better. (btw, our church is one of the top 100 growing churches in America)

  • http://www.momentsofgracelotr.com Anne Marie

    I am participating in the 100 Day Challenge from Gary Ryan Blair and also listened to his Everything Counts! book while driving. He’s a great, motivating, inspiring speaker!

    God bless, Anne Marie :)

    • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

      How’s the 100 Day Challenge going, Anne Marie?

  • http://brettcohrs.com Brett

    I created a little personal university type plan at the beginning of the year–based on whatever free and cheap things I could get my hands on to help with various areas I was hoping to improve on.

    I know it’s been helpful although maybe a little too broad.

    Right now, I’m wanting to improve on speaking and presenting, so I’m going to focus on that one thing through hooking up with a Toastmasters affiliate (if any of you around Atlanta are a part of one, please drop a note!)

  • http://twitter.com/r_lewis Ricky Lewis

    Michael, you have no idea how timely this is. I’m am constantly amazed in my life with how God chooses to direct us on our journey…for me He’s using this post from you. Thank you and thank you for reiterating it’s about what you can afford. That makes a huge difference in my perspective and hopefully in others as well.

    Blessings!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Glad to hear it, Ricky.

  • http://twitter.com/yomiolufiade ‘Yomi Olufiade

    Thanks for sharing this. Very helpful. 

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I recognize the value of coaches, whether their advice comes in written or spoken form. Jon Acuff’s “Quitter” and Les Edgerton’s “Hooked: Write Fiction…” both have been recent/current reads that inform and offer sound counsel. I’m moving from no-knowledge-at-all to be-professional as an author thanks in large part to finding answers through the wisdom of others. You fit that list. So do many of those you’ve highlighted like Rachelle Gardner.

    Nothing feels so great as to move from lost-in-the-woods to I-know-where-I’m-going. Thanks for providing some light on the trail ahead.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    By the way, I’d recommend Amazon’s Kindle as an investment (other eReaders may also provide this service but I know Kindle from personal experience) because it accesses a lot of free eBooks. I mentioned Edgerton’s “Hooked” in another comment. I downloaded it free when it was offered. I spent $2.99 on John Locke’s eBook for writers. Both have been extremely helpful. I think my original investment ran around $100. The Kindle has provided resources far in excess of its purchase price.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Thanks Tom ! I am planning to go for Kindle after so much of analysis. Thanks for your wise words

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

        Uma, let me know how you like Kindle. I find it invaluable in so many ways. It’s my daily go-to reader.

        • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

          Tom! It’s light weight and easy portability is a repelling factor for me to choose kindle. And, secondly, it is a great instrument for book lovers to read. (Unlike Ipad, there are no distractions present)

          Subject: [mhyatt] Re: 3 Ways to Go Further, Faster

          • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

            I can say from experience that it travels well. Slim, light, fits into my backpack’s small pocket. I have three different Bible versions loaded on it. Unless you download games, it serves as a reader almost exclusively. You can access the Internet but it’s not, in my estimation, convenient at all.

          • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

            Agreed Tom!

            Subject: [mhyatt] Re: 3 Ways to Go Further, Faster

  • Frank

    Michael, thank you for this. I have a management role at TEAR Fund New Zealand (among other things we are the New Zealand branch for Compassion International whom you may be familiar with). I have had the management role here for nearly 3 years and it’s the first management role I have had after being a radio announcer. I have done ok in the role but recently decided to become a lot more intentional about developing my leadership capacity and skills with the goal of eventually leading a Christian international aid and development agency.

    As part of that journey of becoming more intentional about developing as a leader I have taken a number of steps and had been considering the idea of tapping on the shoulders of a few leaders I admire to see if they would be interested in monthly catch-ups so I can get to know what makes them tick, to learn from them and have their input into my life. This post has cemented for me that such an endeavour would be worth pursuing.

    Keeping up with your blog has become part of this desire to be more intentional about my learning around leadership as well. I found it in the last couple of weeks, so thank you for what you offer.

  • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

    I need ministry coaching. I try to gain it by meeting with my supervisor and church leadership.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You might also check out Ministry Coaching International. GREAT organization.

      • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

        Thanks, Michael. I will certainly look into it!

  • http://twitter.com/dennisbrooke Dennis Brooke

    You’re right that sometimes you just need to dig into the wallet and hire expert help. When I needed help with my novel I hired Jeff Gerke (http://wherethemapends.com/) who helped me figure things out that reading and courses just couldn’t fix. It helped me place third in a contest and land an agent.
    For work (and life in general) I’ve been focusing on change management and found audio books a great way to learn while working out or driving. Influencers by Kerry Patterson and Made to Switch by the Chip and Dan Heath are OUTSTANDING resources for that topic.
    If you’re truly broke (or just frugal) many libraries will have audio downloads or books on the topic you need.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Thanks for the book recommendations Dennis! I know Made to Switch but I need to look for Influencers.

  • Anonymous

    First of all, thanks for providing so much of the reading material, videos and such on this site.  Also, for all the free books over the past several months.  All of this has helped me more than you know.

    It’s also interesting timing with this post.  I was looking at a pastors’ conference that I was thinking about attending.  This may have been the final push I needed.

  • http://www.SpencerMcDonald.net Spencer McDonald

    I have gone to seminars, workshops, both free and paid. Some have been excellent, like Blake Snyder’s screenplay workshop. God rest his soul. He was an excellent teacher and very compassionate as well. 

    I have also gone to Barnes and Noble and purchase hundreds of books on personal development, leadership, sales, and motivation. I have packed those books into my head. They also reside on a bookshelf in my office. Then as the books moved to an electronic platform I began storing them on my iPad.

    Books are quite inexpensive considering the value you get out of the content. I recommend you read a book once all the way through, then go back a least a second time and study the book. Take what you learn and use it. 

    Three of my most favorite books are, Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk, The Millionaire Course by Marc Allen, and my favorite is Failing Forward by John Maxwell. 

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Thanks for sharing your tips Spencer! That was informative.

    • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

      Thanks for the book recommendations, Spencer.

  • Anonymous

    Hello Michael

    Another great “middle of the road” resource within your hierarchy are extended education classes at colleges.  I am very fortunate to live in Austin, Texas  we have many excellent universities in addition to UT.  They all offer a wide range of both compact – one day weekend classes to an entire semester.   The cost is reasonable and you will also meet some great folks.

  • Mark Henson

    Michael,

    It’s posts like these that have turned me into a big fan! Great encouragement, especially about getting coaches. That’s one thing I keep dragging my feet on, but always see big improvement when I seek out someone to mentor me! Thanks for the reminder.

  • Israrhussain Syed

    Thanks you for sending your mails. I am attending the classes of visionaries.pk at our area of Karachi Pakistan and I attained my goals which I was setted and I’ll got my goals which I have set in coming future.

    with regards
    simplefriend/the Visionary

  • http://jackalopekid.com jackalopekid

    It’s always great once we realize that we don’t have all the answers and look to specialists with more experience in different areas life. I’ve used life coaches in the past, but now am looking at hiring a personal trainer. That is the area of life that I need help in most to accomplish my goals.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Any specific difference between life coach and personal trainer?

  • Anonymous

    http://www.ransomedheart.com/store/events/event-detail.aspx?EventID=63 gave a 404 error, try http://www.ransomedheart.com/node/305?eventtype=7 (maybe it requires logging in to see details as I see no link from the summary?)

    http://www.gapinternational.com/schedules/alignment.html gave a 404 error. Try http://www.gapinternational.com/schedule/alignment-intensive.html

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I actually corrected these in the post itself yesterday. Were you trying these from the email newsletter? (Unfortunately, it went out before I caught the errors.)

      • Anonymous

        Yes, from the email. :-) I notice now they were correct in the post.

      • Anonymous

        On Gap International’s Alignment Intensive… could you elaborate on that at some point? Or, perhaps reach out to the organization. It’s a challenge for me to find more about that course, though your brief assessment of it above is intriguing.

  • AJ

    Do you have any recommendations for developing a platform as a speaker?  Googling leaves the list VERY long, and hard to pick through what are actually good resources;  I know you have had some coaching in this area – any ideas on where to start?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Dynamic Communicators, Inc. offers the only courses I know of. (I am a partner.) We will offer two courses in 2012: Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, based on my new book by the same title, and The Professional Communicators Summit, which deals with the business side of public speaking. We have not scheduled these yet for 2012, but I will announce them when we have them nailed down. Thanks.

  • Pingback: Wagner’s Secret School Research (weekly) | Secret School of Business()

  • http://www.facebook.com/ayomide.akinkugbe Ayomide Akinkugbe

    Have I said this before Michael? YOU INSPIRE ME! THANK YOU :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thank you, Ayomide!

      • http://www.facebook.com/ayomide.akinkugbe Ayomide Akinkugbe

        You are Welcome Sir. Was just looking back how my life has changed since I started reading your blog. And that comment about if I want to be read or unique? it pushed me. I’m planning making some Major changes. And Yes, I just got ‘Made to Stick’ and ‘Switch’ by Dan and Chip Heath, they are on my reading list. Thank God He made you and thank you for being YOU :)

  • http://www.chaplainmike.com Mike Hansen

    I am enlisting my coach by regularly reading your blog and seeking out some of those resources you mention. Thanks again for sharing all you do.

  • Anonymous

    You’ve provided wonderful information here! As I had mentioned, seeking help from someone who has already done what you are striving to do is a great help – thank you for your other helpful tips. It’s important to never stop going for your goals!Gail KasperMotivational Speaker and Author, Unstoppable: 6 Easy Steps To Achieve Your Goals

  • Pingback: …a new mindset… | I Count it All Joy…()

  • Pingback: Personal Coaching for Those in Ministry | Michael Hyatt()

  • Pingback: Episode 1: Just Ship It | Michael Hyatt()

  • Pingback: 7 Steps to Launching Your Next Big Project | Michael Hyatt()

  • Pingback: April 30th Whisper: Smile or Die! | Defining Audacity()

  • Pingback: #020: 3 Strategies for Taking Your Life to the Next Level [Podcast] | Michael Hyatt()

  • Pingback: Why you need a coach to keep moving forward — Business coach and accelerator, helping you make your business happen! Whiteboard Business Partners()

  • Pingback: Bringing Sexy Back… | Abigail Hatch()

  • joewickman

    Fantastic. I feel just a bit smarter as today I sat down to get some coaching on how to take my own website to a professional level. Once I was actually in the presence of an expert, I found that my horizons expanded, along with my dreams. As a result, my pen nearly exploded as I scribbled down everything I could. Then, viewing all the next steps ahead of me, my brain almost exploded.
    One step at a time, right? Here we go!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, Joe!

  • http://www.LucilleZimmerman.com/ Lucille Zimmerman

    This is an interesting and encouraging article. This past week I went out with a top Colorado photographer (Jeff Johnson – Soul Road Tours). We spent a week  in the mountains near Ouray, CO. Then we spent a day in his hotel room with computers learning the editing tools. I learned more in the past five days than I could imagine learning over many years. 

  • http://www.coachingreallyworks.com/ Abe S.

    This is great. I’ve always thought it would be so expensive, but there are ways of taking a step towards getting the coaching and help we need to reaching our goals that we can afford. Even if it’s a stretch and costs something I’ve seen it bring in incredible results. Coaching Really Works

  • htowner

    Starting over. Broke. Key word is:  Afford. So, until I can afford more elaborate help, coaching, etc, I’ll be getting up earlier and relying on the free stuff. Merry Christmas Michael

  • http://www.philippknoll.com/ Philipp Knoll

    You can identify a great post when you are pointed to it again a year after it was published and it still holds the same value.

    You are not simply paying a coach. It’s an investment in yourself.

    Classic. Still live your advice!

  • Pingback: Sunday Six-Pack | Wandering & Wondering()

  • Darlene Collazo

    The most difficult part for me is the financial situation. I love how you remind us that it’s not about what you can afford. If reading the books is what you can do, then do that! Good stuff!

  • Nicole Duterte

    My husband and I together with our co-leaders in church wrote our Life
    Plans using Michael Hyatt’s free e-book 3 years ago. We have been
    tweaking it every year since then. It has drastically changed how we
    live our lives today and how we make decisions that will affect our
    health, our children, our finances, our jobs and our church community.
    Michael Hyatt taught us to take our goals to another level…to take
    action and to hold ourselves personally accountable to achieve the
    results we had set for ourselves.

  • Keithra

    Kristi Jackson from Women CEO Project and Mr Michael Hyatt

  • Gene M. Kelly Jr.

    great post. really enjoy your stuff.

  • Robin Swieringa

    Hi, Mike! I hope your laryngitis gets better soon. Thank you for giving your all last night on the “killer blogs” (how’s that for an abbreviation?!) webcast. This is the “podcast” that I looked at instead of the one you couldn’t do today. Great stuff! And thank you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks you, Robin!

  • http://www.roryvaden.com/blog Rory Vaden

    Thank you for your transparency in sharing this with us Michael. The Wild At Heart Bootcamp sounds like a good one!

    I think people are always fascinated to know what things thought leaders like you are doing to learn and grow themselves. I recently went through the exercise of (trying to) document every book I’ve ever read. It was fun and empowering.

    I also once heard from one of my coaches something like “no one will invest into you at a dollar level higher than you’ve invested into yourself.” In other words if you’ve never hired a coach or taken courses for thousands of dollars, you will find it very difficult to get other people to spend that level of money on your services. I’m not sure if it’s true dollar for dollar but it has proven true that the more I’ve invested into myself the more it seems other people have been willing to invest into my services.

    Thanks for your continued insights!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Your point about investing in yourself is SOOOO true. Excellent. Thanks.

    • http://www.WesleyWiley.com/ Wesley Wiley

      I just went to the Wild At Heart bootcamp in May…LOVED IT. Left with 32 pages of new insights in my journal.