Goals vs. Intuition, What’s Best?

Some people rely on intuition to know what and how to create next.

Others use goals and structure to craft their visions into reality.

I don’t think one is better than the other. A balance of these ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ approaches is what seems most true to me.

Personally, I create structures that serve my heart. For example, I build habits to help me act with consistency on what I am called to create.

You Don’t Need a Coach

I operate under the belief that nobody needs a coach.

At the same time, I use a lot of tools for self development and self coaching as well as having my own coaches, teachers and mentors.

There can be neediness and codependence in the coaching dynamic which does not serve either party, so this is certainly something to watch out for.

For me, coaching is much more than a friendship – a coach is there to serve, not to please.

 

You’re Not Good Enough

It’s true.

You’re not good enough.

You can never be good enough because it’s not about you. Take a break from the ego trip and let inspiration come through you. Whatever this is does not belong to you, it is what you are being asked to give to the world.

It’s impossible to feel anxiety when you are focused only on giving.

Are you willing, for this moment, only to give?

 

 

How Your Solution is the Problem – Removing Allergies

Doctors told me I had allergies when I got to London. They said the only solution was prescription drugs. They said that allergies couldn’t be cured.

They were correct…when looking at my physical body as a static thing instead of a systemic organism interacting with its environment.

It wasn’t until going paleo a few years later that I discovered when my body has sugar in it, I have allergies. When my body doesn’t have sugar in it, I do not.

I didn’t cure my allergies. I changed the environment in which they could exist.

This is an example of how the ‘solution’ sought is often the problem. It puts you in a box.

Where in your work is the solution you are seeking the problem?

 

The Vulnerability Contest

In the same way that ‘authenticity’ became a buzz word in circles of personal growth, so now has the word ‘vulnerability’. At it’s center, I have no problem with this. They are in fact buzzwords because something in society is calling for the essence of these things. At the edges however, both words tend to manifest annoyingly.

As the endeavour to be authentic and vulnerable becomes collectively conscious, the ego inevitably entangles itself into this mission. It is an arms race to wield the most authentic and most vulnerable weapons. Now we have people taking off their shirts and sharing stories of how they crapped their pants at their sister’s wedding.

How spontaneously uninhibited can I be? As if authenticity is the total absence of any pre-frontal cognition.

Vulnerability in particular has become something people like to do from a soap box. It’s as if points are being awarded for how deep of an insecurity one can muster up and share haphazardly into the world. The rougher and messier the better – it must be authentic if it’s unedited. Double points!

The irony does not escape me that vulnerability has become a kind of self-deprecating self-aggrandisement.

“Look how insecure I am! Aren’t I great?”

I posit that the vulnerability contest, while appearing to strengthen one through public atonement, actually feeds the shadow that drives participation.

Most of all it is a cry for attention, which totally misses the point.

I know this when I cry to my wife for her to accept my apology for something stupid I said or did. She can see the needy underlying intention before even I can.

A truly vulnerable moment with her is nothing that happens from a soap box. In fact, it happens much more like a crucifixion, where I volunteer myself to death. It is my willingness to die – in and with my story – that is true vulnerability. She can see this too.

Maybe I’m learning from her, because I see a lot of soap box vulnerability out there. And I feel pretty much the same way about it as she does.

Which can be summed up in a few words…

“Oh, shut up.”

My Top 10 Money Insights as a Coach #10 – Bigger Fees Mean Bigger Commitment (From Me)

From 2012-2014, I had been raising my coaching fees over and over again without changing the coaching program I was providing. One day I got curious about what the equivalent ‘hourly rate’ of the coaches whose fees I aspired to came out to – fees like $50K, $100K, $150K and more.

Upon doing the math, it surprised me that despite the fees being quite different in sizes, the rates all came out at around $1500/hour.

I genuinely had no idea what my equivalent ‘rate’ was because I hadn’t thought about my coaching that way in years. Doing the math…

Well, my most recent client then had paid me $25K for six months. His coaching program included eighteen hours of coaching. $25,000 divided by 18… Damn, that’s about $1400!

How is my ‘rate’ nearly the same as the coaches whose fees is so much larger than mine? 

The answer was obvious – they provided more coaching hours.

The real insight though came from the feeling I got when I considered providing 36 hours, 50 hours, 100 hours or more in a coaching program.

‘Geeze…that’s a big commitment’, I thought.

I felt my gut sink.

The other coaches were committing more to their clients – both in the length of the coaching programs and the quantity of coaching hours – than I had ever been willing to commit to my own clients. And just considering making a commitment that big made me nervous!

It became immediately clear that the edge for me to lean into in creating higher fee clients was for ME to make bigger and bolder commitments.

At that moment, I decided I would STOP raising my coaching ‘rate’ and instead raise my fee by providing my clients with more coaching time and longer coaching programs.

I’m not saying I’ll never raise my rate again. I’m saying that for right now, my fees are going up because my commitment to serving my clients is going up. And this feels really, really good.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • How many hours of coaching do I provide in my coaching programs?
  • Even if I don’t charge by the hour, what is my equivalent coaching ‘rate’?
  • If I want to raise my fees – is it time for me to raise my rate or the time commitment to my clients?

 

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My Top 10 Money Insights as a Coach #9 – Money is Meaningless. Money is Nothing.

In as much as recognizing that money is a measurement has served me (see insight #6 ‘Money is a Measurement’), sometimes even that can be a trap. I once noticed that by becoming too convinced that my income was a reflection of the service I was providing people, that when I didn’t need money for anything – I stopped serving people.

I don’t want my behaviour that inextricably linked to a ‘meaning’ around money. In fact, I don’t want my behaviour linked to any meaning around money at all. It’s too socially and emotionally charged.

The ultimate freedom for me is remembering that money only has the meaning I give it. This is true of everything of course.

I remember when I was a little kid, my Dad showed me how to fold my money with the big bills on the outside so it looked like I had more of it. Twenty $1 bills wrapped in a $20 bill made me look like a millionaire!

It wasn’t until I was 35 years old and challenging my beliefs around money that I realized since that day, I’d always folded my money that way. My Dad’s light-hearted demonstration had made money mean something to me – more was better, looking like you had more was better, etc. These ideas served me in some ways, but they also obviously limited me.

Once I could see the lie, I just stopped believing in it. (I now fold my money with the $1’s on the outside, so I look broke and don’t get mugged!)

To uncover all the lies I’ve grown up to believe about money would take a lifetime. As a shortcut I practice reminding myself that money is nothing. By this, I don’t mean it’s nothing because it’s ‘only a measurement’ or because it ‘only exists as digits in a computer’. That’s a half-ass version of nothing. I still care about measurements and numbers in a computer.

By ‘money is nothing’ I mean that it is like monopoly money. Just some pretend, made up, make believe symbol. To have a conversation about ‘money’ that includes any emotional attachment means I am believing in a lie. It’s like believing that monopoly money is real. It’s not real and if I were to get mad about money while playing monopoly, it would be laughable.

When money is nothing, like in monopoly, I can make offers and take risks fearlessly and without attachment. It’s just a game after all so we may as well have fun playing.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • What does money mean to me?
  • How is this a lie? (i.e. How is it a made-up belief?)
  • What would I do if I were playing monopoly?

 

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My Top 10 Money Insights as a Coach #8 – Lead With Your Fee

When I started challenging myself by asking for higher fees, I worried that saying the ‘high fee’ upfront would scare people away. I kept my high fees a secret while I coached and served them, reasoning (i.e. hoping) that they would be so impacted by my coaching that by the time I finally told them, they’d already be hooked on the experience.

This never worked.

When I finally mentioned my fee, some people were shocked, some said they couldn’t afford it and in all cases, it was a total conversation killer.

I remember one time I had a guy say ‘YES’ as soon as I told him the fee, only to find out a few minutes later that he had misheard me. He heard $3,000 when I had actually said $30,000!

Realizing keeping my fees secret wasn’t working, I stopped hiding them.

Firstly, I was suddenly able to serve people more deeply because I was no longer distracted by what they might think/say when I mentioned my fees.

Something else awesome happened too. I noticed that the higher I said the fees for my coaching programs were, the more focus and willingness people brought to the ‘free’ conversations we were having.

The more people brought focus and willingness, the more we were able to create together – both in them and in their world.

Today, when I tell people my coaching fees range $5K-$100K depending on group or private programs, and that I will block out 90 minutes to create with them, I believe the transformative power of our conversation is greater than if I blocked out the time without ever mentioning my fees.

Not only am I sure to mention my fees early on, but I actually lead with my fee. I put a range of fees up on my website and I make sure to mention them very early on in conversations.

My intention is to create a powerful dynamic that will serve people deeply – whether or not they ever invest a single dollar in working with me.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • Am I keeping my fees a secret?
  • When do I mention my fees?
  • Are they on my website? Am I sharing them early-on in conversation?

 

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My Top 10 Money Insights as a Coach #7 – Don’t lose your grip when talking about fees

One of the primary focuses of my own personal work is to fully remove myself from a coaching conversation. To not exist. To be purely reflective. To be invisible. To be nothing.

What I mean by this is that I don’t want any of my mental, emotional or spiritual energy concerned with myself when I’m coaching. I want the other person – their heart, their life, their spirit – being the only thing in my reality. I’m still very much on this journey, but over the past five years, I’ve made a lot of progress. One of the biggest obstacles has been – and still is when I forget to mention it up front – the point of proposing or offering coaching. As soon as money comes up, I lose my selfless orientation and start thinking about ‘me’.

‘Will they say yes to me? What will they think of my fee?’

The moment I fall into the trap of believing it is about me, I  lose my grip and turn into a bumbling idiot. This makes people less likely to hire me, but this isn’t the only damage it does.

When someone’s confidence in me suddenly drops, everything we have created up until that point is undermined. I can see and feel that they begin second-guessing if what we talked about was possible for them.

In thinking of the famous Marianne Williamson quote…

“As we are liberated by our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I realize the inverse is also true…

“As we are confined by our own fears, our presence automatically confines others.”

It makes me sad to see how my own fear limits others. How dare I come into their life, open them to their deepest dreams and then with that door wide open, reach inside their heart and wrap my own fear around it?

Although it makes me sad to see this, looking at it is actually what gives me the courage to keep my grip throughout the conversation around fees. By not retreating into self-interest and fear when discussing money, I am able to maintain the integrity of everything we have created.

Of course by serving people more powerfully, the likeliness that they will say ‘YES’ to a coaching fee is higher as well.

The way I think about it now is my willingness to have uncomfortable conversations around fees and money IS how I serve people. In that moment I am BEING the fearlessness that through shared presence – will liberate them.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • Am I losing my grip when the money conversation comes up? Even a bit?
  • How might this be impacting the people I am coaching?
  • Who would I be for them if I were to keep my grip when discussing fees?

 

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