By in Video, Wealth | 12 comments


News Flash; I’m nominated for a Plutus Award in the Best New Ebook Category for my ebook 20 Minute Guide to Personal Finance (download for free on the right)!! Please vote for me here!

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received came second hand from El Carino’s mentor:

If you have an idea, jump in, do it, and figure out the details later.

This may appear reckless and is not meant to apply to irresponsible and dangerous activities. So I am assuming you will use some personal judgement with this advice.

The Backstory

When I was younger, I was plagued with fears; What if I can’t find a career path?, What if I fail?, What if I’m not good enough? etc. These fears kept me from realizing my potential as a young adult. Does this sound familiar?

Now, many years later, I have completely changed.

Ignore Your Fears

Over time, I have learned how to achieve tremendous success by setting goals and ignoring my fears.

Here are some of my recent fears and what I did about them.

FEAR: Wanted to get an MBA, but was scared.

ACTION: Took the GMAT, applied to the University, started by taking one course, and completed the program in 2008 with a 3.9/4.0 GPA.

FEAR: Wanted to start a blog, but was scared.

ACTION: Wrote 20 posts, spent $2.00, and downloaded Building a Better Blog, by Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar. Hired a “blog set up” guy, from that book, and started Barbara Friedberg Personal

FEAR: Wanted to teach Finance at an MBA program.

ACTION: Pulled together a professional vita. Culled the local colleges for professor positions, applied, and was hired.

FEAR: Wanted to start a YouTube Video channel and create a series of videos.

ACTION: Got a video camera for my holiday present. Set the video up on my file cabinet. Shot the video, Have the Best Holiday Ever; Say No to Holiday Spending

After this one, I shot several more and improved the quality of each one.

Obviously, I hit roadblocks along the way, and the process was difficult. But with persistence and diligence, I kept going no matter what.

The Takeaway

  1. Set your priority and decide what you want.
  2. Write it down.
  3. Break the goal into smaller steps.
  4. Write each step down.
  5. Do one step now.

When fears, and reasons not to start creep in, and they always do, ignore the negative voice that is screaming; what if you fail, what if you can’t do it, what if it’s a waste of time, what if it’s a waste of money. Set the goals and get started.

That’s it, no fancy system, just get started.

This is part 1 of a series showcasing my YouTube Videos. Learn personal finance and life skills from these instructional videos. Stop by next time for Part 2

What is your strategy for goal setting and overcoming your fears? Do you have a 5 year plan?


  1. My strategy is to break down huge goals into reasonable pieces so I can achieve them. I use a form of SMART goals and measure my progress weekly, monthly and in some cases yearly. I have been very successful using this strategy adjusting my effort while monitoring my progress.


    September 12, 2011

  2. Congratulations on your success conquering those fears, Barbara. That’s good stuff.

    I am inclined to think that goal setting would work well for some and perhaps not as well for some others. I think it would work well for my wife. If she says she is going to do something, she does it and that’s that.

    I don’t get too bothered if I don’t achieve a goal by a certain time. It only bothers me when I feel I am not being true to myself. The sort of thing that motivates me to do something hard is when I come to believe that I am selling myself or others short by not moving forward. Then I feel I have to force myself whether I see any positive results or not. I have to be able to say to myself that I gave it a shot.

    In your case, goal setting clearly worked and that’s super. Perhaps I just need to try it more. That would certainly make my wife happy!


    Rob Bennett

    September 12, 2011

  3. I think you really touch on something important here, Barbara. It’s the fears we have that often immobilize us. They can serve as major roadblocks to our achieving our dreams.

    Your steps that you outline in the Takeaway part of the post are excellent. It’s a matter of deciding what you want, commiting to it, planning how you’ll do it, and then GETTING STARTED!


    September 12, 2011

  4. Encouraging story. All I have to say is: YOU GO GIRL!


    September 12, 2011

  5. Very good! Setting goals is definitely the key to success. But also taking action on those goals. Be writing them down into smaller steps it makes it easier to focus. That is what I do and its helped keep me on target, otherwise my brain goes in a hundred different directions and then I get nothing done.

    Ben @ BankAim

    September 12, 2011

  6. Excellent advice and great presentation Barbara. I want to learn more about how to do this at FINCON, hopefully there will be some workshops. I have a YouTUBE channel but have not published anything yet.

    Hunter @ Financially Consumed

    September 12, 2011

  7. You have come a long way. Congrats on the many achievements. I will have to look into youtube videos. I don’t think I am at that point yet, but maybe soon. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement

    20's Finances

    September 13, 2011

  8. I love that you “just got started”. That’s usually my approach too — I figure at the very least I’ll learn something!


    September 13, 2011

  9. @Krantcents-If your Yakezie progress is any indication, you are a wiz at goal setting success.
    @Rob- I certainly believe that there is no “one right way.” And I’m a proponent of doing what works for you!
    @Squirrelers-Thank you. I agree that the getting started is the most difficult!
    @Blogette-Thank you.
    @Ben-I totally understand as I am usually filled with tons of ideas!
    @Hunter-Although I did this one completely on my own, my next videos have been improved by El Carino and Jr. Carino’s excellent camera and editorial work.
    @20’s-Thank you. You don’t have to be completely ready to get started!
    @Jackie-Glad to hear I’m not the only one. I figure if someone doesn’t like my work or it’s not perfect, so be it.


    September 13, 2011

  10. Barb. I think that’s great advice for many situations. After a person gets into something they will see what else they need to do to do it better. For many people they worry about something so long that they never do it.


    September 13, 2011

  11. Diving in is what it takes sometimes to get started. But, like Krantcents, I try to break intimidating tasks down to smaller pieces. My current ‘fear’ is doing podcasts – what equipment to use, who to interview, what topics to cover….

    Marie at FamilyMoneyValues

    September 13, 2011

  12. @Maggie-That’s my advice exactly; don’t think too hard or you may not get started!
    @Marie-It’s always something isn’t it! Give it a try and let go of your expectations. Podcasts don’t have to be perfect!

    Barbara Friedberg

    September 14, 2011


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