don’t settle for the booby prize

I know how the story goes. I’ve lived it.

  • When I finally have more clients, I’ll stop feeling so insecure about my business.
  • If this launch goes well, I’ll know that it means I should keep doing this work–it’ll be a sign from the Universe.
  • Once I have more social media followers, it won’t be so hard to market myself, and I can finally relax.

 

These are the “booby prizes,” the “I’ll feel good about my life when…” head trip that gets just about everyone who’s an entrepreneur.

They happen because you’re looking at other people who are farther along in the process, thinking that if you were making the kind of money they were making, or if you were able to launch as easily as they are, you’d be feeling pretty damned good, right now.

No.

Feeling good is an inside job. It doesn’t happen because you have money or followers or invitations to participate in collaborative projects.

 

Collective Blind Spot

Coaches tend to have a collective blind spot around all of this. We can be on the phone with clients all day, reminding them that it’s not a doting husband, an exciting job, or well-behaved children that will create happiness–it’s what’s inside.

Then we go off and start ramping up our coaching practices and we forget that, hey, this concept applies to us, too.

When we externalize our happiness, we always lose–it just depends on when we’ll notice. Usually, we’ll notice when the externalized thing has shape-shifted.

That’s why it doesn’t work to say “I’ll finally be able to relax when I have X number of followers.” No, you won’t–you’ll worry about keeping them. That’s what happens when happiness is externalized.

That’s why it doesn’t work to say, “When my coaching practice is finally making $X a year, I’ll be happy.” No, you won’t–you’ll worry about how to make that money the next year, or you’ll worry about losing clients, or you’ll have a falling out with someone online and feel insecure that they might have been the reason for your success and without them, you’ll be nothing.

I don’t know what shape it will look like–I only know that when we externalize our happiness, at some point, we always lose.

 

Winning!*

(*But not in a Charlie Sheen kind of way).

We win at this when we don’t externalize our happiness.

So–how do we not do that?

Don’t make it about anything external.

What is it that you love about coaching? What lights you up about it? What’s the best session you’ve ever had, and why was it so great?

These are the questions to hold dear to your heart. This is what you need to be doing, to feed your soul so that you can feed the souls of others. Coach for free, if you have to. Just keep coaching.

Do you love to write? Talk to people? Make videos? Make art? Take photographs?

Then this is how you really need to be marketing yourself. Somehow, some way, there’s a way to do this. If you’re putting a leash on your photographer self because you think that the only way to market yourself is through writing blog posts, then you’re cutting off your own oxygen–slowly, but surely.

 

Your New Mantra

Your new mantra is this: “I might not know how, but I know there’s got to be a way.”

Repeat it when you don’t know what the next step is.

Repeat it when you know you need to change a pattern, but you can’t imagine how you’re going to go about doing that.

Repeat it when you just don’t know, because there’s nothing wrong with knowing.

Instead, commit to finding a way.

Then just circumvent the part where you feel insecure about your business–because if you decide to just start coaching people, and that’s what lights you up inside, that will be enough to get you to your next step.

Circumvent looking for signs to prove that this is the work you’re meant to be doing–you know if it is by how you feel when you do it. Just own that.

And for the love of Christmas–don’t worry about numbers, social media followers, and the like. Just keep doing your good work, looking for opportunities to refine your edge, and keep on keeping on while you bask in the glow of doing what you love.

Don’t wait for money, fame, or numbers to legitimize it.

You’re legit. (Insert obvious joke for the context of this post: You’re too legit to quit!).

If you’re legit, start acting like it–so don’t settle for the booby prize. Do the inner work, no excuses, so that you can rock entrepreneurship the way it was meant to be rocked, with you shining brightly.

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If you are a Coach, chances are great that you’ll love the Coaching Blueprint. It’s 300+ pages of solid, pragmatic, tried-and-true wisdom about running a practice–not to mention behind-the-curtain insider from 12 other coaches spanning a wide variety of niches, telling you what it really takes to run their businesses.

the urge to purge: how to burn, toss, release, let go

To “purge” is to release a lot in one deluge, one fell swoop. If you’re purging, you aren’t picking and choosing one little brick at a time–you’re declaring that a complete overhaul is in order, and it’s entirely possible that a foundation (or two) might come down.

The first (and only) step to not needing to purge? Don’t binge. We binge on easy-come, easy-go; we binge on credit cards; we binge on rich foods; we binge on fast money or fast cars or fast (hot) sex.

Then follows the ubiquitous declarations of repentance and the abstinence-oriented cleanses–and when the cycle starts to repeat itself with alarming predictability, you know you’ve got both a pattern and a neurosis on your hands.

But let’s just go straight to brass tacks–if you’re ready to purge, you’re hopefully past repentance. You’re ready to take the structure down and build it back up.

 

Know What You’re Dealing With
Whether you’re purging clutter, empty relationships, or weight (and we’re definitely talking about purging that is of the “work out and eat better” variety, not the kind that qualifies you for a diagnosis), it’s good to know what you’re dealing with.

Because–what IS up with you that your office is such a mess that you can’t find anything and your husband is (only half-jokingly) threatening to call Hoarders on you? What IS going on with why you’ve surrounded yourself with Stepford Wives and can’t remember the last time that you had a meaningful conversation? Knowing where you’re starting from is important.

Also–have at least one (if not a few) really good, (purging) crying sessions if you’re releasing something particularly heavy.

 

Don’t Get Paralysis Analysis
At the same time–quit trying to figure out all the ins and outs of how the shit hit the fan. Start making choices in the right direction, and don’t futz around (for too long, anyway) with figuring out what the “right direction” is. Just start with the opposite of the one you were on, and course correct from there.

Maybe you’re going through a divorce; maybe your business is crashing and burning; maybe you are looking around at your life and don’t know who you are, anymore. Great. Now get going, even if “get going” means that you finally take up that meditation practice you’ve been meaning to start for aeons. It’s not about cramming your to-do lists so much as it is about making different choices–and making a lot of them.

 

Get Help
Rally the troops. Even if what you’re releasing is a cadre of unsatisfying relationships, you can always hire an ace coach or a hot-shit therapist, start attending support group meetings, workshops, reading more self-help (may I suggest something that’s a little lighter on the b.s. side of things?). Maybe you’ll pray or meditate, more (free, of course) to get through these tough times. Perhaps you’ll take up running or try to sweat out all the toxins (emotional and otherwise) at a Bikram studio. Whatever you do, call up your tribe, or create one of your own.

 

Release It
Don’t try to repurpose it, sell it, trade it, or store it until it goes up in value. Release it.

Have you ever seen an episode of Hoarders? I’ve caught a few. You’ll notice that the hoarder in question almost always says that they don’t want to throw something away because they were saving it for some express reason. Meanwhile, the rest of us can see that they’re never, ever going to find a use for those six cracked ceramic toilet seats sitting in their back yard.

The same principle applies to anything else that we need to let go of, in life. Just release it. Release the relationship. Release the job with the boss that screams at you. Release the paperwork. Release the attachment to an ideal that hasn’t been working for you for far longer than you’d like to admit. I don’t even like the idea of garage sales–just donate, get it out of the house.

Don’t try to repurpose, sell, trade, or store it in the hopes that things will change–just release.

 

Shit Fits are For Three Year Olds

Release–and release with class. Release with integrity for what that relationship held for you and what it taught you. Release with respect–for the environment (you’re recycling all of that paper, aren’t you?), for the people involved (even if you don’t like them, they’re human beings, you know), and for your future karma (what goes around…).

When it comes to things like releasing mental patterns or weight, take a moment to–of all things!–have some gratitude. Letting go of a tendency to lose your temper? Chances are good that that pattern served you well at some point, maybe helping you to survive a childhood. Honor that. Letting go of 200 pounds? Honor the weight–even the pattern that piled it on–because that, too, was a coping mechanism of some kind.

 

Create Something Better

Maybe it didn’t go the way you wanted it to, and you feel like life’s in the shitter–it’s all a wonky mess. Beautiful. Now you have ample information about how you don’t want it to be, and you’re in the driver’s seat for creating something better. You have endless tools at your disposal to do this (if you don’t see them now, start honing that kind of vision–when oft practiced, it does emerge more and more naturally).

How could you bless the situation, the person, the experience? Within the blessing, you’ll pave the way to an amplified new vision for how things can work out, next time. Nothing, short of death, is irreversible (and if you believe in reincarnation, even that involves some level of “I’ll getcha on the next go-around” negotiations).

 

When you release the old, you open up a wide expanse of space to let in what’s new–and this time, with more consciousness and stronger choices. Create something better, something that will make it easy in a few months or years to look back with friends and say, “Remember when it was so tough because…?” with an easy smile.

value, psychographics, and what great launches have to do with great sex

Perhaps you’re new to the online world–so let me introduce you to Chris Guillebeau, who’s known for writing The Art of Non-Conformity blog as well as a book by the same title. He’s the creator of the World Domination Summit, a contributor to The Courageous Living Guide,

chris guillebeau, www.100startup.com–and most importantly, today at least, the author of a new book: The $100 Startup.

A few reasons why this interview is worth listening to:

  1. 1.) Chris has built a massive social media following (as of this post, his twitter following is about to hit the 76,000 mark) and that’s because he delivers value–and in this interview, he talks about finding convergence between passion and value;
  2. 2.) Feel like you’re marketing to “everyone”? Then listen up–the people who are interested in Chris don’t follow a traditional demographic–they come from all walks of life, which is why we need to talk psychographics, not just demographics;
  3. 3.) He’s often referred to as the “gentleman of the internet,” and for good reason–he’s interested in doing business with integrity, and that makes all the difference in the world–which is something I allude to with this whole “great launches are like great sex” metaphor that had us laughing during this interview.

Grab your notebook and a pen and paper, and listen up–the information here is valuable. After that? Click here to learn more.