No, this isn't an APP for your iPhone or Droid. This is a post about developing an "Action Passion Plan" (APP) for a new life. Do you need of a little jumpstart in your life? A little self-promotion? I truly believe anyone can utilize public relations tools to help boost self-esteem, confidence, vitality, purpose, vision, clarity and compassion in their life. How can a person use PR to obtain these things? It's fairly simple, anyone can become their very own publicist and change their life. I know, I hear you saying, "Oh I'm not good at talking about myself." No kidding! Not many people are. PR is all about subtleties, you want people to perceive you in a positive light naturally, not because you screamed in their face, "LOOK HOW GREAT I AM!!" Nobody wants that.
Now I've written several posts about finding your passion in life and creating an "action plan" to support it. Most of them had "assignments", which I heard from some of you about (thanks for the inspiring feedback, glad you had fun). Now it's time to take this a step further. I have organize these assignments into one easy post so you can easily begin to build your action plan. Yeah baby! Excited? Good!
Trust me, I know this may seem a like an incredibly daunting task for some of you. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. You don't have to complete all these steps in one day, week or even month. All I urge you to do is make a start. If you commit to one step a month - BOOM - you'll be better off ten months from now than where you are now. Do what you can, just DO something.
As far as how you want to put this APP together, I give you creative license. I suggest getting a dedicated notebook, maybe find one that has meaning to you. Perhaps you can decorate it with a theme to match your passion? If you love Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, go for it. Just try to make it fun. The first three steps help you identify your passion. If you know your passion, go ahead and skip to step four. Ready? GO!
Step 1 - Find Your Passion
Do you have it in you to commit to being your best advocate? To expressing your true self to the world the way you were meant to? To sharing your vision with the world? To showing up in life? To remove fear from your mind and exude confidence? I believe each of us has a primary purpose to share our passions with the world, whatever those passions may be. Unfortunately, most of us get sidetracked.life is too short for that. Make a commitment RIGHT NOW to pursue your passion(s) in life!
Step 2 - Do What You Can't NOT Do
Do what you can't NOT do. I find this statement quite powerful because it's so lost on many of us today. We get caught up in the paycheck, pride, security, etc. Why else would so many people be unhappy with their current job situation? We all have instincts which really drive our passions. Would you do it for free? That's a good indicator for us (the little capitalists that we are). Finding your passion doesn't mean you have to quit your day job. Your passion in life may not be a money maker, and that is a-ok. The most important thing is that you take action and share your talents with the world, whether you make money or not. I know, easier said than done, but just give it a try. What do you have to lose? Download and COMPLETE Bev Barnes Worksheet.
Step 3 - Create Your Happy List
Make a list of things that make you happy. Yes, you can be passionate about more than one thing (and hopefully you are). Try not to let "faux passions" slip in. These are passions you may have convinced yourself you're passionate about simply because it makes the family happy or you can make boat loads of money at it. Only you know the truth. My list would consist of: writing, dogs, food, humor, yoga, educating, meditation, promotion, social media, appetizers, travel, hiking, beach, nature, sobriety, cooking, photography, etc. Take the list as far as you can go. Once you have the list:
Circle the things you do on a consistent basis
Rate them on a scale from 1 (least passion) to 10 (most passion)
Highlight the top three
I'm going to take a wild guess that one of your top three items is a passion area of yours that could change your life, if you allow it to.
Step 4 - Identify Your Critic
If you completed the first three steps, chances are you critic popped up a few times. You know that awful voice in your head that tells you "that's a dumb idea, you can't do that or people will make fun of you, just give it up". Ah yes, we all have an internal critic whether we know it or not. The voice that likes to crush your passion. Some of you may have had parents, teachers or friends that actually said things like this to you. Comments like these may have planted the seeds for who your critic is today. No need to dwell in the past. It can help to think of your internal critic as a loving parent who only wants to protect you, because this is essentially what it is. The key is to become aware and acknowledge your critic. Whether you're trying to rediscover your passion in life of simply trying something new and creative at work, listen for your critic. Can you name him or her? Maybe your critic isn't even human? I feel it helps to identify it in some way.
Step 5 - Research
Now that you have your passion - it's time to gather research! This is a vital step in any endeavor. Research your passion. Dedicate at least one hour, go online, check the newspaper.do what you need to do. Gather at least 1-2 pages of information, more if you like.
Step 6 - Strategy
OK, so it begins. The real meat of the APP is now coming to life. It's time to start writing your Action Passion Plan (APP). The strategy you'll be creating is all about YOU. It's fun because the end result will be benefiting you and YOUR cause. To take some real action we need a plan. Boring, I know. Stay with me. If you're a blocked creative, my guess is you need a sturdy plan.a nudge if you will. Remember, we're dealing with YOUR passion, something you love. Creating an action plan around this should be fun. Go out on a limb. Take a risk. I challenge you to DO LIFE. Take action. Action can be your buddy. Don't let fear of the unknown paralyze you. Even if you have a seemingly "full life" (as many of us do). Ask yourself, is your "full life" spent doing what you love?
Start on a fresh piece of paper (or slide).
Write your strategic statement at the top. For example: My goal is to write a simple book on how people can use public relations tools to ignite their passion in life.
Next list 4-5 goals to accomplish within the next month. For Example: Goal 1: Create an outline. Goal 2: Begin writing. Goal 3: Edit and transcribe writings. See, not so hard. All the research you did on your last step should help you out.
Step 7 - Influencer Engagement
Now the real fun begins. The word engagement can mean different things to you depending on your specific passion and goals. I think "promise or agreement" is an important part of this definition. Do you want to share your talents with the world or just a chosen few? This doesn't have to be a daunting task at all, it can be fun. Baby steps are allowed and encouraged. Next, let's define what an influencer is to you. Are they family, friends or teachers? Maybe they consist of your shrink, priest or rabbi? How about professionals in your chosen career? It could be all of these, one of these or none of these. Who will be honest and supportive of your talents? Who will help you grow creatively?
List at least 5 individuals you feel are potential influencers for you
Write the best way to communicate your passion to each person. For example:
Mom - Call and describe latest pottery and commit to sending her images
Best friend Dave - Email him a link to a YouTube video of my latest dance recital
Mrs. Clatchet (2nd grade teacher) - Send a letter with my latest poems included
Aunt Katie - Plan a coffee date to personally invite her to next play and share plans to act professionally
Create 6 month timeline with dates you plan to check-in with each influencer to give them a progress report, ask for feedback, etc.
Step 8 - Crisis Management
Every great plan needs a crisis plan, unfortunately. Do you have toxic people in your life? Are you toxic yourself? Toxic people in our lives can be in the form of family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, celebrities, elected officials and even the butcher. We can be toxic ourselves, which can be tough to accept. Toxic people can kill creativity. They can also jumpstart it.
Identify toxic people in your life (remember, these can be people you don't even know, maybe a public figure you can't seem to tune out or it can even be yourself).
List how these relationships serve you.
List how these relationships do NOT serve you.
List three steps you plan to take action (healthy conversation, write a letter, end relationship, search for new job, etc.)
Step 9 - Event Planning
Set a date! We've done all this work to get your brain wheels turning, ready to show the world what you have to offer? Don't get too nervous, the event I want you to consider could be a small dinner party with supportive friends you decide to read your poetry to. It could be coffee with your best friend in which you share your latest sketches. Or, if you feel up to it, you could go big and rent a gallery for all your sculptures. See where I'm going? You can have a dinner party and announce your new blog about libraries and what they mean to you. Plan a tea party with your best girlfriends and tell them your dream to change your career to teaching. Maybe your "event" is a mass email to all family and friends telling them your aspirations to return to school to become a doctor. You can go big or small, the key is to make it a noteworthy happening.for YOU. How long have you buried your passion? My guess is long enough. Most likely there is some fear, this is normal. Take a look at it. The fear is there for a reason, maybe to protect you from criticism? Well, nobody wants to be criticized or made fun of, right? That's natural. Overcome it. You can do it. Sure, the fear is there to protect you, but not like "don't grab the hot stove" kind of fear. This fear is imaginary. Like most fears, it hasn't happened. Your passion needs to be expressed. It's been locked away too long. How incredibly selfish is that? You have no idea how much your passion could enlighten someone else. Take a risk, put it out to the universe and see what happens!
Choose a venue
Create a guest list
Write a (loose) script of how you plan to share your passion
Step 10 - Write a Press Release
Can you imagine yourself as a company? Your own organization? Do you feel you have something to offer anyone? Ahhh but you say, "I'm not famous and I'm surely not an organization!" Settle down. This will all come together soon enough, trust me. PR is all about promoting goodwill between yourself and the "public", whoever the public is to you. It may not be the masses, it may just be your small circle of friends or family.
I'm adding this into the process because I feel it really can bring your passion to life. I know not everyone is a writer, but I urge you to give it a shot anyway. This document is for your eyes only. Write a press release on yourself! What the heck is a press release? Well, not to get too technical, but a press release, news release, media release, press statement or video release is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy. Typically, they are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, and/or television networks. This press release will be JUST FOR YOU.hang it on your fridge or by your desk for inspiration. I'm only calling it "press release" so you know what it is.it should really be called "Creativity Release" or something.but I digress.
I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty about HOW to write a press release, there are plenty or resources online (see below). It's easy and only has to be one page (longer if you choose). Remember, this is fun and it doesn't have to be perfect.it's just a way to get your passion out of your mind and into reality (just a baby step, no need to distribute your press release to news media.not yet anyway).