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In this video, Chelsea covers several ways we're holding ourselves back, especially in our professional lives. From best social media practices to setting up a new business, here are some things you should rethink.

Watch more of The Financial Diet hosted by Chelsea Fagan here: The Financial Diet site:

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Hey, guys.

It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet, and this week's video is sponsored by Google Ads Smart campaigns. And today I'm coming to you from a slightly different location in my apartment, because we're doing a bunch of stuff in the room I normally film in front of, so you're temporarily getting to see another angle of my home.

Welcome. And today I want to talk about the specific things you should probably be rethinking in order to reach your fullest potential. Now, a lot of these are really professionally-oriented, and apply most literally to entrepreneurs and small business owners, people who are looking to start their side hustles, et cetera.

But they can also apply to people of all different professional lives, and even who we are outside of our professional life. Ultimately, the most effective professional tips are going to be the ones that have a lot of great application to our day-to-day lives as well. But given that most of us are going to have to spend most of our waking hours in our professional capacities, it's important that we rethink how we do a few of these key things in order to reach that potential, And I wanted to share a few of what those key things are that you need to approach a little bit differently in order to realize the potential you've likely been sitting on.

Number one is having an elevator pitch for yourself. We often think of elevator pitches as being specifically important for small business owners or freelancers who are looking to market themselves or what they do in a really concise way to people who might be interested in buying or investing. And yes, the elevator pitch of who you are and what you do is especially effective for people like this, or freelancers who need to be constantly hitting the pavement and selling their product or ideas to new people.

But really, no matter what you do in your professional life, it's incredibly important to be able to distill what makes you unique and valuable, and the true essence of what you bring to the table into a very, very concise point. This is helpful in real life. It's also helpful for your social networks, or your personal or professional website.

Most of us have probably been focused more on giving a lot of detail when it comes to our professional history. But ultimately, most people have a very short attention span. When you're applying for a job, for example, it's likely that the hiring manager is only going to briefly glance at what you're offering.

Being able to catch people's attention and imagination, and to convey in as clear a way as possible what makes you valuable is incredibly important to making sure that you get seen and remembered by the right people. Essentially, thinking in terms of making a little advertisement for yourself on a professional level. What makes advertisements memorable?

What makes them effective? It kind of has similar logic to, like, if you can't explain something in as clear and simple a way as it would take for an elementary school student to understand it, you probably don't really understand it yourself. You want to make sure that you truly understand the heart of what you, do and what sets you apart.

A lot of what makes us come up short from realizing our potential is not being able to communicate or-- and I know this is an overused phrase, but it's true-- tell the right story. Number two is knowing you don't have to be rich to start your own project. So here's a fun fact about the TFD audience, a.k.a. you guys.

When we surveyed you earlier this year, we found that among those of you who are not currently small business owners, the vast majority of you would like to be one someday. Now, do keep in mind a small business owner means also going freelance, being self-employed, having your own project. And anecdotally, we know that the reason a lot of you have probably not taken this particular leap is because of a lack of resources, which is totally fair-- but to some extent, a misconception.

I've always been upfront about the fact that when we started TFD, I didn't have any startup capital. We've never taken on investment or funding, and aside from an initial $5,000 grant from Hank and John Green's foundation-- which, thank you guys very much for that-- we never raised any capital or had anything beyond our own incomes to work with. Now, I do highlight the privilege that my husband and my co-founder's husband both have stable jobs and we were able to be on their health insurances, but we made the transition to full-time small business owners largely through freelancing and working on the side.

My co-founder Lauren, actually, after she quit her advertising agency job to pursue TFD, cater waitered at night to help pay her bills. And while, yes, starting up a side project or small business is a lot easier with outside funding, it's really not the only way to get it off the ground or to make yourself known. And if you're spending years waiting for the time to take the plunge to even start it as a side hustle, you're probably overestimating the extent to which you need pure capital in order to do that.

What you really need is a more savvy way to market yourself. And when it comes to promoting that business through digital marketing, this is where Google Ads comes in. With a Google Ads Smart campaign, you can reach more customers with simple and effective online advertising.

Smart campaigns use Google's automated technology to manage your ads for you so that you can focus on running your business. Plus, they're a great way to get your business back online, especially after a challenging time. And getting started with a Smart campaign literally could not be easier.

You set a goal, decide where to advertise by location and keyword themes, create your message, and set your budget. You only pay when people click through your ads, and you can even quickly sign up for Google Ads through the Google Ads mobile app. So click the link in our description to sign up or to manage your Google Ads Smart campaigns.

Number three is creating a personal versus professional internet life. So we live in a time where our digital lives are pretty blurred, and it can be easy to feel like your professional life is overtaking your personal one when it comes to how you present yourself online. But using more discretion about having a professional versus personal internet self isn't just about how you're perceived by employers or potential hiring managers-- although, frankly, that is a consideration.

It's also about separating how you use the internet. For example, a lot of us tend to feel like our work lives might bleed over into our evenings and weekends, because we're often logged into the same channels that we'll be using during the workday. So having different accounts for your personal life where you follow different accounts, you're following different topics, you're posting about different things, you're having a different feed in front of you can help give you that sense of, OK, even in my digital life, I've clocked out, and I'm exploring my own personal interests, and can be myself on a personal level, less so professional.

This means making sure that there are some social accounts that are private, that you're curating different feeds and totally closing out certain accounts when you are off work, and even making sure that you have a professional digital hub where people can go to find the right versions of those things. For example, creating a professional website that has everything a person would need to know about you and the links to the right accounts that you want them to be seeing in a professional capacity ensures that you are helping steer people in the right place when, for example, you might be applying for a job. And also, reaching our full potential in this sense isn't just about how we present ourselves to people who might one day want to work with us.

It's also reaching a higher potential of making sure we're getting the most out of how we use the internet in various ways. What we want out of it on a personal level is not necessarily the most effective way we can use it on a professional level. And blending all of those things together recklessly means we can never quite get what we're looking for, or be found by the right people.

Number four is picking the few things you do well and forgetting the rest. I truly believe that this approach is one of the most important things one can do professionally and personally, because often we are exposed-- in our personal and professional lives-- to such a huge array of choices, and it's so easy to get caught in a cycle of doing a little bit of everything kind of badly. And it can feel really, really hard to say no to things, whether it's saying no to a potential social engagement or a project at work you don't really have the bandwidth for.

So in order to reach our potential and make sure the things that we're doing are both fulfilling and being fulfilled, we need to become judicious about what is really worth our time, and what we can actually execute on. Professionally, for example, it's important to take ownership of your full no. Particularly for women in the workplace, it can be really easy to let those boundaries become blurred, to slowly take on more and more from other people, to get in the habit of answering emails after hours or doing extra work to cover for other employees, or to do things totally outside your scope.

It's important to remember that having firm boundaries and making sure that you are able to focus on what is most needed of you is not something you need to be ashamed or hesitant about. This is a really key professional skill, because trust me, if you are constantly letting other things bleed into your professional life, you're not going to be doing everything well. You're suddenly going to be doing everything kind of badly, including your key projects.

But similarly, in your personal life, it's so important to hone in on, for example, the people in relationships that are really worth your time; the projects, hobbies, and activities that you can actually follow through on; and the ways in which spending your time is fulfilling, rather than draining. Saying no can be very hard, and being honest with yourself about what you're not going to follow through on can be even harder. But it's better to just fully and without apology set something aside and say, I can't do this right now, rather than to constantly feel that nagging sense that you should be doing everything at once.

Generally speaking, most of us will be able to reach our fullest potential only in a relatively narrow scope of things. And for example, at TFD, there are more things that we have chosen to say no to than the few things we've chosen to really lean into. There are plenty of ways in which TFD is missing out on important platforms and conversations, but that's because we know that the few areas we're concentrating in we want to be most successful at.

Maybe one day we will have the bandwidth or the team structure that will allow us to do more things really well, but for now, it's important that we narrow our focus of success to the things where we can really deliver. And on that note, please attend our events. Go to

In any case, though you can have a little bit of FOMO in saying no to certain things, you want to have the fulfillment of knowing you said yes to what you could really do. Number five is focusing less on perfection in a single area, and rather focusing on what I'll call cluster talents. So one thing that's very important to consider in your professional life, whether you are striking it out on your own or even within a bigger structure, is not just becoming incredibly good at one very narrow thing, but rather seeing how a few of your best skills can complement one another to become greater than the sum of their parts.

This is sort of the opposite from taking on tasks from way too many different disciplines, because it encourages you to increase your scope just a little bit, rather than drilling down even further. While you still may only be able to focus on a limited number of projects, making sure that you have a few key skills that can enhance one another is key to making you more effective and more desirable in a professional sense. So let's take, for example, how a few skills can really complement one another.

Let's say, like one of our recent TFC guests, you have brushed up your skills on learning to code and are getting pretty serviceable at front-end web development. If you're also brushing up your graphic design skills, and maybe even a little copywriting or photography, you've made yourself into a one-woman show when it comes to web development. Or let's say you're very good at project management, but have decided to add on the brushed-up skill of being very good at public speaking.

This can easily help you rise more effectively in the ranks of a corporate structure, because not only are you able to really deliver on the terms of your project. You're also better at communicating them to senior leadership. Perhaps you're really good at sales.

If you can increase your skills in, let's say, the technology space, you might become on the cutting edge of your team with where the sales tools are going, being the person to introduce new tools and resources to your team, and even potentially teach other team members how to use them, making you an even more invaluable resource. Ultimately, there will always be places in different team structures for people who are just extremely good at a very specific thing. But for most of us who aren't going to get to that savant-level talent in any one particular discipline, finding a few key areas in which we can cluster complementary skills will help render those skills even more useful.

You of course still need to be judicious about what you can and cannot do a la our previous point, but making sure that you're not just a one-trick pony and that you have a few key talents which raise each other up will make you even more unmissable professionally. Number six is identifying very important gaps. Now, this is something that can truly apply to so many different areas of your life, but let's start with the professional capacity.

Here at TFD, when we started as a real media company, we realized that the more narrowly we were identifying our audience, the greater chance we had to build a real following within it. Professionally, there will often be opportunities that teams, or even you individually might be missing out on-- areas of oversight, unserved demographics, tools that aren't quite delivering what the customer might need. And it's incredibly important to get good at identifying those gaps.

When I started TFD, for example, it was because I noticed that at the time-- in late 2014-- there was almost no one who was talking about money in a way that I found compelling and addressing young women like myself. It was a pretty narrow gap as far as media companies go, but has proven to be a niche in which a small, scrappy little upstart like us could make a real dent. But that can be equally important in almost any other discipline.

Being the person who takes notice of when there's maybe money being left on the table, or an area of serious waste, or redundancy, or a missed opportunity with new customers makes you someone that everyone wants to work with. It can be easy, in our professional lives, to constantly focus on what is going right, or notice big trends and want to hop on them. But often, that just means entering into a much more saturated market, or repeating other entities' success, only less effectively.

Narrowing in on small crucial gaps and missed opportunities is an indispensable skill. And even in your own personal life, noticing those little areas in which a small change could make a big improvement is something that will pay dividends for the rest of your life. What's stopping you, now that we're basically home 24/7, from doing a little audit on how you're spending your time?

It's important to do that professionally, but why not do it personally? Maybe you can find one of those important gaps in your own life. Number seven is getting creative about compensation for yourself and for others.

So we do talk a lot on TFD about things like salary negotiation, and that is very important. But it's also important to remember that both at your main job and in every element of your life, there are a lot of more creative ways that we can think about compensation that can yield tons of benefits. Thinking about everything in an extremely strict dollar sense often limits us from getting more of what we want.

Now, don't get me wrong-- of course we need to make sure that we are being compensated in a way that is fair and just. But beyond a certain point, there can often be more opportunities in and out of our careers in which a more creative, dynamic way of perceiving compensation would benefit us. For example, in a salary negotiation, it can be just as beneficial, once you've reached a salary you're satisfied with, to talk in terms of other benefits and perks that make a job worth it for you, even reworking your work schedule to be more suited to your lifestyle-- coming in really early and leaving when your kids get out of school-- but even outside of your job.

For example, there are many valuable ways that you can work in trade. My father is an illustrator, and all throughout his career there have been certain clients with whom he prefers to work on an in kind basis, meaning that in exchange for some of his artwork they give him something that he wants. When we were kids, he would sometimes work with an amusement park in our area to get a summer of free tickets, because he had little kids who loved going to an amusement park.

He's worked in trade with other local merchants, even with carpenters when we needed something in our home. There are entire websites where you can trade items for either different items or a service entirely based on the barter system. Even we as a publication often will work with other publications where we essentially trade promotion, or we trade content.

Whether you are looking for a job in a preexisting structure, you're striking out on your own with a project that's new, or you're even, in your personal life, looking to maybe get something you can't afford, thinking about creative ways that we can compensate one another opens up a lot of opportunity. Yes, there should always be a focus on getting paid what you're worth, but that doesn't always mean in money. Lastly, number eight is networking in a way that actually works.

Now, I know people hate this word. I know it is a triggering word for a lot of us. But I hate to report that when done right and effectively, it is probably one of the most crucial things to realizing your full potential both in and outside of your career.

Creating solid networks isn't just about advancing in a specific industry. It's also about creating the kind of lifestyle that is sustainable both on a mental and professional level. As we've discussed many times on this channel, fewer things are more detrimental to our long-term mental and physical health than social isolation.

Creating all kinds of networks with whom you have relationships, to whom you can go for different needs, and with whom you can share on specific issues is essential. Now, if we take networking just in a professional sense, of course, just harassing people isn't a good way to network, nor is spam emailing people with asks to pick their brain or take them to coffee. But there are tons of other ways in which we can be more creative about how we're creating relevant networks.

I'm in a few mastermind groups, for example, where in addition to having a lot of really beneficial professional advice, feedback, and sounding boards for each other, we also have developed friendly relationships. Asking your personal friends if they might have a friend or someone they can really vouch for in a professional space that is important to you is also another intelligent way to go about it. Keeping in touch with the people you used to work with can also be equally important.

And above all, making sure that you always leave a good impression, not just with the places you work, but with the people who have worked with you. If you're freelancing, for example, nothing is going to be more important than what clients have to say about you. For most of us, our initial business is going to build off of word of mouth.

But again, it's important to think of networks beyond just their purely professional capacity. How can you all teach each other and learn from each other? How can you focus on smaller, more profound, and more nuanced relationships with people, rather than just going to a big event and handing out your card 15 times?

Networking should be figuring out how to make yourself the nucleus of a small, unique, and interdisciplinary network. How can you facilitate for other people? How can you be a joining place for two important worlds?

How can you raise others up the ladder behind you? Ultimately, networking is only a negative thing if we're doing it negatively. If we figure out how to integrate it in a meaningful way with people for whom we can really offer something and get something in return, it will no longer have that negative connotation.

But remember that ultimately, reaching your potential is going to be about how you tell your story. And if you are ready to tell the story about your project or business, you should click the link in our description to sign up or manage your Google Ads Smart campaigns right now. And thanks again to Google Ads Smart campaign for sponsoring this video.

As always, guys, thank you for watching, and don't forget to hit the Subscribe button, and to come back every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for new and awesome videos. Goodbye!