I had a lovely woman message me after my last email. She thanked me for my message and let me know however that my typos took away from my credibility. I had to pause and thought 'oh shit, I hate typos, that IS so unprofessional.' and then I thought "eft you, who cares?'. But neither response was the one I wanted to send. I know there was a message here so then I let it sink into my heart. This was my response...
"Thank you xxxxxxx... as far as the typos, they don't really concern me. There was a time in my life where I'd labor over my emails. It was a whole production with drafts and double checking that I had the right offer and so forth. I had a red pen permanently attached to my hand.
And then I released it.
I open up Mailchimp and I write from my heart. And when it FEELS right, I hit send - mistakes and all.
I've been emailing my list for over a decade now AND I get the most heart felt responses and dialogue when I simply don't care about the mechanics or the shoulds. That makes it worth while for me. This isn't a business tool - it's a tool for my expression in the world.
I honor you for calling these mistakes to my attention - and if you stay with me on the journey (and I hope you do), I expect you'll see more. And while I do give a cursory glance, my most powerful messages may be rife with little mis-wordings and places where my hands just weren't agile enough to keep up with my stream of consciousness.
XOXO Big Hugs."
It really got me to thinking about where I no longer hold myself back behind the mask of perfection. The first name of my coaching business was Living ImPerfect... and was my first avenue for myself to release my own perfectionitis. As I (and my business matured), I went through varying stages of release, little bits of shoulds dropping off into the ether. I show up as me now, typos and all. And in that releasing, my business has grown immensely. While I may offend people by typing my instead of me whatever, my people so to the intention and emotion and core of my message and don't care that it's not perfect. I don't care that it's not proper or well thought out.
I care that I show up.
I care that I KEEP showing up.
I care so much that I choose to not stop myself behind the rules of what 'professional' looks like.
It's just me, my message and I.
Where can YOU simply let it go?
Got an email this morning about how to use emotion to sell more coaching.
It talks about a widely accepted and used technique and step-by-steps people through how to use it. It makes it sound terribly supportive and deep to do it this way. Get to a clients emotions under their dreams and then provide them with you as a solution.
I promise you... this will NOT work for you in the long run "...making the client come to the conclusion that they need you to guide them through it."
No client needs you.
"if they want guaranteed results your coaching package will get them there most effectively"
Don't leverage someone's emotions against them to create a sale.
It's smarmy. It smacks of used cars and swampland in Florida.
I don't need to leverage pain or hope. I'm not here to promise you more business or self growth. You don't need me. You may decide you want more support, you may want more learning, you possibly want to be held in a sacred space. I'm totally up for that.
"bring them back down to where they currently are and show them the pain that they feel right now. How much they really do dislike the situation that they’re in, and that it’s not good for them to stay there."
I've been sold to that way. It feels horrible. I felt disempowered. I felt small and weak and looked to the other person to help 'save' me, like if I didn't sign up I would be forever stuck. I don't ever want to make another person feel like that. EVER.
I don't want to be treated as someone who needs their emotions to be leveraged so that I can be sold to - and IF I DON'T WANT TO BE TREATED THAT WAY, WHY WOULD I TREAT OTHERS LIKE THAT?
Do the techniques work? Absolutely. Done properly you can get your sales-person of the year award capitalizing on peoples fears & dreams.
I choose not to. There are other ways. Ways that are more supportive. There are ways to not be formulaic about how you approach other living human beings with real life dreams. There are ways to support and uplift, to be more focused on serving them than selling to them. I've built a very successful practice without ever manipulating someone else's soul.
Rise above this please.
It's possible. I promise.
Yesterday, I read a book that had nothing to do with self growth, inspirational blah-blah, goddesses or expansion and would not be trending amongst my friends.
I cuddled and napped with my granddaughter.
I warmed up dinner instead of cooking it.
I took a shower and didn't shave (tmi?).
I didn't turn on Facebook or check my phone except to read my book on it because it was lighter and less work than my iPad.
I didn't return messages or even acknowledge that I had any.
I didn't write in my book.
I didn't schedule appointments or have deep conversations.
I watched 2 recorded episodes of S.H.I.E.L.D. and at least 1 of The Voice.
I checked out and it felt great.
I allowed myself to just be irresponsible & unresponsive, cocooning was the most restorative action I could take.
I just had a massive energy output in my business AND I have new really awesome projects emerging. And sometimes I forget to pause. To allow the full expansion to really settle into my bones. To celebrate and NOT do. I rush from one creation to the next without fully appreciating what I've done and who I had to become to be able to do it. Always in a cycle of 'NEXT' instead of appreciating a moment of 'NOW'.
That's where the breakdowns are triggered, when we don't allow the contraction to be easy, When we don't slow down enough to really notice, we suddenly wake up, look around and shock the hell out of our egos who then decide to run the stories that don't need to be replayed.
I remember my first assignment from my coach, July 2013, when we were about to hang up. He called me a tinkerer - always tinkering with something new or reworking something existing. Said it's holding me back from really truly creating something powerful. He assigned me the challenge to do nothing in my business for 2 weeks (other than serve the people who were already on my calendar). To shut down everything for 2 weeks.
The inactivity was more painful than childbirth.
AND it allowed me the space to really analyze where I was and recognize where I was out of alignment, on a path that wasn't the one I wanted to be on. I was so filled with 'next' that I was just nexting my way out of my own message. Those 2 weeks of nothing changed everything for me and opened the doors for my internal world to take over the shop. I needed space that I had never allowed myself to actually take.
Can we all allow ourselves the space to enjoy what we are so in a rush to create?
Today perhaps my clients & friends need permission not to do... more flow, less force, more being, less showing. Today perhaps is a day for profound leaning in. Expansion, contraction. Breathing in and out. Marinating under the covers and then savoring the flavors we have cooked up in our lives and in our businesses.
If we slow down enough to notice where we are it becomes so much easier to know who we are on this moment...
I read this excerpt to all of my clients at one point or another... It's about turning pro, which is really easy to see in our business but it's also about turning pro in your life as well. Who you are being and who you show up as makes a difference. What are you willing to sacrifice to create the life you really want?
This morning I woke up after having very little sleep, about 3.5 hours broken up into little interrupted naps. All I wanted to do was to hit the snooze button.
With some language not appropriate for sharing I dragged myself out of bed at the very last moment to toss on my workout clothes and arrive exactly on time to my exercise group. Exhausted and dehydrated, I worked through a headache and a pinched lower back.
In that moment, I turned up as a pro in my own life.
I was willing to give up the warmth and comfort of my own bed so I could honor my body and create the health I truly desire. I hate working out. I hate that I can't have a leisurely cup of coffee while writing on the computer.
AND I want what I want MORE and am willing to drag my lazy out of shape but to fulfill a commitment to myself.
Where are you willing to turn up as PRO in your life? In your business? What needs to become a new non-negotiable for you to be able to succeed? Where does your own discomfort be less important than the potential of you you can be?
What if I dedicated myself to only one project in 2015?
I was talking about this in iCoach Network today and realized that it feels almost impossible. I KNOW which project would propel me the furthest, internally and externally... I felt ME shift dramatically as I filled my first UnTraining Program. Who I needed to be to hold space for 10 coaches for an entire year. Where I needed to come from to truly mentor them in a way that would be expansive and supportive, without the formulas and without the mass produced structure.
I grew. My business grew. They will grow.
As I more forward into 2015 I am expanding that and inviting one group of men to experience the same kind of growth, in learning to play powerfully with vulnerability and grow their business from a deep connected space instead of from their heads.
If I concentrated on nothing else this year, how much could I expand the world?
But here's the thing - I have other impossible things I want to innovate and create. Can I limit myself to just the one?
Then I realize it's not limiting. By allowing myself to really dive into this one thing, it frees up time and space and energy to create in other places. If I can be clear about my mission this year then everything else becomes frosting...
ONE PROJECT. Shall we dive in?
Want to know why inviting someone to work with you is called a proposal?
Because at the core it's nothing more (and nothing less) than a beautifully drafted love letter. From your heart to the potentiality of theirs.
Reworking my book and reading the part about my Inner Leader. She's been coming up a lot this week, I've been seeing her call me into greater and greater things, greater aspects of myself. I've been allowing her to take the reigns and inspire others as well.
"Great Leaders LEAD others towards the vision, they inspire and allow for course corrections, they take input from others and allow the project to evolve and grow. They see the biggest possibilities and they break them down into next steps. Great Leaders don't control their resources, they enhance and lift them up. They call out to the greatness within others and hold them to that higher vision... "
And I can see where I lead others in this way... but it's even more powerful to see how I lead myself.
It's so easy to lead outwardly, but to surrender my control and allow my heart to run the show? To allow my Virgo brain to simply stop and allow the higher voice of my Inner Leader to really truly call me into my greatness? That's the juicy stuff. That's where I don't just lead, I become a leader. I embody what leadership truly means to me.
"She doesn’t manage control of self or over others. She manages my soul over the ego and leads me into a new way of being fully present. She demotes the stories in my head and helps polish my inner glow to a high shine. There’s no attachment to proving those stories wrong or shaming myself for having them, nor is there an attachment to listening to them either. The stories aren’t her right-hand-man in all decision making. The decisions that my Leader makes are those that are always for the highest and best. Want to get shit done? The biggest stuff only gets done when my inner leader has been released. This is the stuff that propels me to my greatest purpose, a purpose she is fully invested in, stock options to the max."
Inner leadership... yum
SLOW DOWN TO ONE
I've written this post before in many different ways. I will continue writing it over and over and over again because it is THAT important to really get.
I got a message from a guy who was at Rich's Intensive last weekend. He's committed to building his coaching practice to $150,000 this year so he got home to write a list of 10 people he knows so he can invite them into a conversation.
He got to 3.
And I told him that was too many.
I just filled one of my programs with 10 people. Every time I thought of how many conversation I'd have to have to fill 10 spots, doubt crept into my mind. I started worrying into the future. I started to go up into my head, listening to my ego and how it was never going to happen so be happy if I got 3.
But then I'd remember to slow down, take a breath. I didn't need 10 people, I needed 1. Every morning I woke up and concentrated on ONE person. I ended up making only 11 proposals and all but one were hell yesses. The 11th just couldn't swing it financially and is currently working to save the fund for the next group.
I remember Rich telling me in our first conversation how he and Steve filled their first intensive. It was one person at a time. One invitation, one conversation.
I thought he was nuts.
It'd be so much easier to broadcast and reach hundreds of people rather than one.
Don't we need huge numbers in order to build a profitable practice?
So I experimented. I experimented with this whole 'one' thing. I doubted it would work. I felt energetically how much more powerful it felt for me. How much more connected. How much less stressful it was to find one person to talk with.
My ego felt like I was lazy and underachieving. This was no way to build a business.
AND I kept at it. Even when it was painfully slow, even when I KNEW it was all wrong.
And here I am, the coach who can fill programs time and time again. And not just fill them, but fill them with ABSOLUTE 10's, not 9.5's, not just with people who might say yes, but the perfect wonderful hell yes clients I've always dreamed of. I have a 90% turn around rate for yesses because I've learned to slow down and be fully present to the one person in front of me, not on the numbers but on one at a time.
So as I messaged that guy back I congratulated him on overachieving with 3 and encouraged him to just focus on one, the one that is the 10. Because that's where you will find your most powerful community and connection.
And my hopes is that every time I write this in Evercoach that you will sink a little further into it, that you will experiment over and over and over again. That you will notice what happens in your mind and in your heart.
You only need ONE.