My Top 10 Money Insights as a Coach #6 – Money is a Measurement

Over the past five years of being a coach, I’ve had a number of insights into how I think and talk about money that have made it easier for me to create what I love (money) while doing what I love (coaching).

Recently I began listing them out for my apprentices and this list quickly turned into ten separate articles.

I am sharing them here in case you too love money and want to make more of it. If so, I hope that thinking and talking about money in these ways will help you like they have helped me.

You can use meters to measure the height of a person or the distance to a place. You can use litres to measure water, blood or gasoline. But what do you use money to measure?

Does money measure how much you’re worth? Does it measure how much you’ve achieved?

Is what you’re using money to measure serving you?

Or might it be better if it measured something else?

My coach Rich considers income to be a measure of the impact he is having on the world.

What works for me is using income to measure ‘how many people I’ve served lately’. I like this because whenever I want more money, the action is immediately obvious.

Want more money? Serve more people.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • What is the primary action I take that creates results in my business? (Serve people, connect with people, etc)
  • What if money measured that? (How many people I’ve served, connected with, etc)
  • What else could I have money measure?

 

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My Top 10 Money Insights as a Coach #5 – “Maybe” is a Gold Mine

Over the past five years of being a coach, I’ve had a number of insights into how I think and talk about money that have made it easier for me to create what I love (money) while doing what I love (coaching).

Recently I began listing them out for my apprentices and this list quickly turned into ten separate articles.

I am sharing them here in case you too love money and want to make more of it. If so, I hope that thinking and talking about money in these ways will help you like they have helped me.

Maybe I’m just a wimp, but I’ve never really been able to require someone to be a ‘Hell Yes’ or ‘Hell No’ to working with me.

Not a problem though, as I found an approach that works well for me.

When someone is a ‘maybe’ for coaching, I now get excited that we have uncovered a new place for us to do some exploring.

I actually tell people that I’m OK with them being a ‘maybe’. I also tell them that indecision is a great place to dive in and explore what might be going on beneath the surface.

To begin exploring the maybe, I ask questions like…

  • What would you need to know to make a decision?
  • What would make you a YES?
  • What would make you a NO?
  • What might you need from me before deciding?
  • What might you be worried about?
  • What will you create as a return on your investment?

These questions always open up further dialogue. It’s the best kind of dialogue too, because it takes place at the fulcrum of our relationship. There is lots of heat in that place, so it’s a great opportunity for deep alchemy.

If we do end up working together, having such an open and honest conversation makes the foundation of our relationship so much stronger because EVERYTHING was brought out at the start. No secrets. No expectations. Just vulnerable conversation and clear understanding.

Through exploring the maybe, I find people eventually settle into a clear YES or clear NO all on their own. If they aren’t, then I assume I’m missing something. There is still some gold in the mine we haven’t found yet.  In these cases I just keep diving in and exploring the maybe until we find it.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • What ‘maybe gold mine’ could I be exploring right now?
  • How might exploring that mines serve the person who is a ‘maybe’?
  • How might exploring that mine grow me as a coach?

 

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My Top 10 Money Insights as a Coach #4 – Spending more helps me make more.

Over the past five years of being a coach, I’ve had a number of insights into how I think and talk about money that have made it easier for me to create what I love (money) while doing what I love (coaching).

Recently I began listing them out for my apprentices and this list quickly turned into ten separate articles.

I am sharing them here in case you too love money and want to make more of it. If so, I hope that thinking and talking about money in these ways will help you like they have helped me.

I’ve noticed I always seem to have ‘enough’ money to get by. At times it’s a struggle, but in the end, the mortgage or rent gets paid, the flights get booked and the groceries get bought. Life goes on fairly uninterrupted with no major catastrophes.

The funny thing is, this happens to be true no matter the standard of living I’ve committed to. Whether my expenses have been $100/month, $5,000/month, $10,000/month or more – there’s always been enough.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that if I have a bunch of money sitting around and nothing to do with it, I tend to stop creating more of it. When I don’t need money to keep what I have created and committed to doing, I don’t have any reason to make more of it.

‘If spending money drives me to make more of it – then maybe when I have a desire to make more money, I should just spend more money?’

I know this seems like a dangerous and irresponsible idea – maybe it is – but it seems to work for me.

Committing to monthly payments that are a financial stretch for me, has me motivated to make more money.

There are two things to watch out for with this approach:

1. Don’t become a hamster on a wheel. I don’t want to perpetually spend more money to make more money just for the hell of it. For me, it has to start with a desire to create something in the world that more money could be used for.

2. Don’t use this approach if I’m in scarcity and feeing ‘needy’. There is a balance point between not needing anything (which has me unmotivated) and being too ‘needy’ (which has me unable to serve people). This approach is for when I’m outside of scarcity and wanting to drive some new growth.

I know I said “I love money”, but I suppose what I really love is what I can do with it. Money itself doesn’t motivate me. Needing it for what I want does though and spending it is how I create the need.

Dancing at the edge of the scarcity trap keeps me feeling alive.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • What am I waiting to buy until I’ve made more money?
  • What living expenses am I waiting to commit to until I’ve made more money?
  • How much closer can I get to the edge of the scarcity trap without falling in?

 

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My Top 10 Money Insights as a Coach #3 – Lowering My Fees is How I Raise Them

Over the past five years of being a coach, I’ve had a number of insights into how I think and talk about money that have made it easier for me to create what I love (money) while doing what I love (coaching).

Recently I began listing them out for my apprentices and this list quickly turned into ten separate articles.

I am sharing them here in case you too love money and want to make more of it. If so, I hope that thinking and talking about money in these ways will help you like they have helped me.

One of the traps in service businesses is thinking that your ‘fee’ has something  to do with you. Entangling your fee with your self-worth is a great way to limit your earnings.

Knowing not to associate my fee with myself isn’t always enough to stop me from doing it though.

Lots of people use the phrase ‘he/she is a $X per year coach’, as if a coach’s fee is a benchmark of who they are. This way of thinking is a trap that i’ve fallen into enough times.

The way I free myself from thinking my fees are about me is to lower them.

When the fee is lower than I think I’m worth, the dissonance quickly shakes loose the idea that the fee is about me.

As a bonus, lowering my fee also makes it more likely someone will say YES to coaching with me.

For example, I’d be more likely to sign my first $20K client if I’d lowered my fee from $10K to $3K and signed 3 people up in a short span of time than I would be holding out for my first $20K client because I’m trying to convince myself “I’m worth it”.

My friend owns an online donation sharing platform that works on the principle that it is not the amount of a donation that inspires others to give, but it is actually the *act* of giving that inspires.

In this same way, I’ve found it is the number of people who hire me – not the amount they invest – that gives me confidence in my ability to deliver real value.

I don’t want this confidence so that I can boost my self-worth. I want this confidence so I can make smart business decisions about how much impact I can deliver and how people might value that.

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • Am I making my fee about me in any way?
  • How low would my fee have to be for me to KNOW “I’m worth more than that”?
  • Am I willing to be paid lower fees to prove to myself that making my fee about me is BS?
  • How many clients have I signed up lately?
  • Do I want the confidence that my work has impact and adds value?
  • How low do I have to make my fee to have a bunch of people quickly saying YES to working with me?

 

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My Top 10 Money Insights as a Coach #2 – Security drives scarcity. Capacity drives service.

Over the past five years of being a coach, I’ve had a number of insights into how I think and talk about money that have made it easier for me to create what I love (money) while doing what I love (coaching).

Recently I began listing them out for my apprentices and this list quickly turned into ten separate articles.

I am sharing them here in case you too love money and want to make more of it. If so, I hope that thinking and talking about money in these ways will help you like they have helped me.

Scarcity is kryptonite to human connection. If you’re worried you haven’t got enough money, you may as well piss all over yourself before you offer someone coaching. They’re just going to want to get away from you.

When facing the problem of scarcity I used to look for a way to ‘feel secure’.

The most obvious path was to make some money so I didn’t feel broke. When I was first starting my coaching business, I continued taking side projects through my web development company to keep the bills paid.

A more subtle path was realizing that I didn’t actually need what I thought I needed – that I could survive and be happy on little to no money at all.

An even more subtle path, popular amongst spirituality enthusiasts, was focusing my mind on the idea that the universe is abundant and all of the things I want and need will come to me if I just have faith.

What I see now is that ALL of these paths share a common thread – they all exist to solve the ‘problem’ of scarcity.

Paradoxically, any ‘solution’ to the problem of scarcity actually sustains it. Seeking security – in any way – actually perpetuates scarcity thinking.

By believing in ‘abundance’, making myself able to survive with less or even just making more money on the side so that I can continue, I am saying ‘YES – scarcity is a problem that needs solving’.

I’m not suggesting these paths don’t work. They have for me. What I am suggesting is that there is another path that doesn’t emerge from scarcity at all. In fact, it’s another way of seeing that makes the problem of scarcity go away completely.

The trick is seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty.

Allow me to be more specific before you discount this for being too simple.

When I’m in scarcity, my focus is on what’s NOT in the glass – the half-empty bit.

“Shit! I’m missing all this! I can’t survive without it!”

When I go make more money doing something ‘on the side’, I’m acting based on what is NOT in the glass.

When I remember that I can survive with less, I’m saying “It’s OK it’s half empty – I don’t need the other half”.

When I believe in abundance, it’s OK my glass is half empty because the universe will fill it for me.

However, when I shift my attention to what’s still in the glass, at first I’m seeing my ‘security’ . The power though is in deciding that what’s still in the glass is not for me, but for others.

When I look at what’s in the glass as being the resources I have to serve other people, I essentially shift my focus from security to capacity. From what I’m not able to have for myself to what I am able to do for others.

For example, there was a time when I had barely enough money to get me through the month. I was freaking out. Once I switched to a capacity perspective, it blew me away that I had almost an entire months’ capacity to serve people. Even if I didn’t make a single penny that month, I had enough money to be free to spend the ENTIRE month – all 30 days – only serving people!

Sure, at the end of the month I’d have no money, but that was only true when I was looking at the empty part of the glass.

Notice what I’m saying here:
– It was only true that at the end of the month I would have no money if my attention was on what was NOT in the glass. –
By shifting my mindset from security to capacity, I went from being gripped by fear to ELATED with how free and able I was to be of service in the world.

Today, when I look at the money I have as a resource that empowers me with the freedom to serve others, I am automatically oriented towards serving people.
And that’s a good orientation to have if I want to make money.

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • How have I been solving the ‘scarcity’ problem?
  • What resources do I actually have?
  • What capacity does that give me to serve people?

 

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My Top 10 Money Insights as a Coach #1 – It’s OK if They “Can’t Afford It”

I like money.

No, screw that…

I LOVE money!

Oooohhh…that feels so dirty to say. Especially in this world of coaching, where we’re all supposed to care so much about people that money doesn’t matter.

We’re supposed to just show up and serve and somehow money will magically float into our life.

Except that it doesn’t actually work that way. Disliking money, or even just not caring about money, will stop it from reaching your bank account.

You can’t create something you don’t care about.

I love money in the same way I love time. I can spend my time and my money doing so many different things. What makes money even better than time is that I can create more of it. Money is like infinite time!

Over the past five years of being a coach, I’ve had a number of insights into how I think and talk about money that have made it easier for me to create what I love (money) while doing what I love (coaching).

Recently I began listing them out for my apprentices and this list quickly turned into ten separate articles.

I am sharing them here in case you too love money and want to make more of it. If so, I hope that thinking and talking about money in these ways will help you like they have helped me.

When I started my coaching business, I thought I needed to find people with the ‘disposable’ income to afford a coach. As I raised my fees, I looked for people who had more money. This didn’t work very well. The more I looked for people with money, the less I was able to connect with them. Essentially I was being a ‘gold digger’. Having my focus on what they could do for me was (rightly) getting in the way of me serving them.

Now that I have clients who invest large amounts of money to coach with me, I can see that at all levels, for most of them it is a STRETCH to do so. The money they invest in coaching with me is not money they just have lying around. It’s not easy for them to make the investment because in their mind, the money was going to be used for other things – like paying the bills, going on holiday, buying a home or going back to university.

You’ve heard the idea that it ‘serves’ people to have to stretch. It’s true, but this is not my point here.

The insight for me was that I don’t need to look for people who have plenty of money – I only need to look for people who are willing to stretch.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • Am I being a ‘gold digger’?
  • How might I be doing a disservice to people by allowing ‘affordability’ be an obstacle?
  • What would I do differently with people if it were OK that they ‘couldn’t afford it’?

 

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The Joy of Reckless Abandon – Sucking at Sports

As a kid, I completely sucked at all ball sports.

In baseball, I batted last and was always put in the outfield.

In basketball, I was the 11th player on the team. I only got put in when we were ahead by about 50 points.

In tennis, I never won a match.

Looking back as an adult, it has often perplexed me as to why I’d stuck with playing balls sports throughout my childhood. I’d dropped them once I got into things like BMX, skateboarding and martial arts, but why had I stuck with it for so many years before?

My parents didn’t ‘make’ me play sports. There was a genuine joy in it for me. But, I’ve often wondered, why did I enjoy it if I sucked so bad?

Recently, in conversation with my colleague and friend Simon Crowe, I accidentally rediscovered my joy for ball sports.

We were speaking about doing our work as coaches playfully. About having a sort of reckless abandon in our acts of creation.

As we spoke, I remembered being on the basketball court and the feeling of throwing the ball from the three point line.

I remembered that in basketball, I loved the feeling of magic and mystery as to what might happen to the ball once it left my hands and completed it’s arc.

In baseball, I had enjoyed the remote possibility of hitting a home-run or making a game saving catch BECAUSE it was so unlikely.

In tennis, I was mostly enamored with hitting the ball as hard as I could. What if it bounced off someone’s head? What if it went over the fence and into the road?

What struck me is that ball sports had filled me a spirit of freedom. I enjoyed the magical experience of uncertainty. When a ball left my hands or my racquet or my bat, I was dancing with destiny and I loved that dance.

I didn’t care so much about what happened, I was just enamored with the fact that SOMETHING was going to happen. The anticipation and the surprise of it was the part that gave me joy.

My joy in ball sports came from the reckless abandon.

After speaking with Simon, I drove straight to the sports store, bought myself a basketball and then walked down to the court in my neighborhood to shoot some hoops.

It felt amazing to reconnect with joy of reckless abandon. The joy of not knowing what was going to happen. The joy of doing something simply BECAUSE I had no idea what the result would be.

The act was about the mystery and magic and I loved it.

After a few days of going down to the court to shoot hoops, I also saw that the more I slowed down and focused on the end result of the ball going through the hoop, that sometimes the ball actually went in!

The trick was when I focused on what.

If I focused on the ball going in anytime AFTER it left my hands, then the joy of reckless abandon would begin leaving my body.

Standing at the line, holding the ball, getting ready to shoot – that was the time to focus.

The moment the ball left my hands, I returned my focus to the magic and the mystery. I returned to the joy of the dance with destiny.

I’ve found that being in reckless abandon at all times results in me being filled with joy, but also not creating any results.

Being focused on end results all the time gets me some of those results, but with little to no joy.

When I’m in the sweet spot – when I’m oscillating between focus on end result and a reckless abandon – I get to be filled with joy and create better and better results.

Where could you bring more reckless abandon into your life?

What would you do if you cared more about being surprised by the result than you did what actual result you would get?

What would your ‘Hail Mary’ shot be?

 

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Feeling Overwhelmed? Everything is Awesome!

When I get overwhelmed, I like to go out into nature and remind myself / be reminded that nothing actually needs to happen.

To remind myself that everything is perfect just as it is.

Lately I’ve been singing the theme song from The Lego Movie, because no matter how cheesy the lyrics may be, they just nail this truth in such a spirited way.

Not only is everything perfect just as it is, but actually…

Everything is awesome!

What is overwhelming you right now?

Does any of it actually NEED to happen? You may very much want it to, even as a necessary condition of other things you want, but does it really ‘need’ to?

When you accept that it doesn’t (because nothing truly does), do you see the perfection in what is?

Do you see how everything is perfect?

And isn’t that literally awesome?

 

How to Go with the Flow – Spirit vs Circumstance

Lately I realised I have two different ways of thinking about ‘going with the flow’.

One way of thinking about it is to go with the flow of things happening around me.

  • Someone calls to hang out, so I go meet up with them.
  • A bird shits on my car, so I wash it off.
  • My wife wants to go for a walk, so I drop work and head outside with her.
  • Someone emails me about coaching, so I email them back inviting them to speak.

This is what I’d call flowing with ‘circumstance’. It is an outside-in approach to flow.

Another way of thinking about is to go with the flow of things happening within me.

  • I suddenly crave the feeling of grass on my feet, so I go out for a walk.
  • I get a vision of working with inspiring leaders, so I reach out to someone inspiring.
  • I’m thinking of a client and wishing I’d said something I didn’t, so I email or call them and say it.

This is what I’d call flowing with ‘spirit’. It is an inside-out approach to flow.

I don’t actually think either of these are better or more noble than the other. In fact, the separation I am creating between them isn’t even real. Everything on the outside and the inside is one giant unfolding.

Although the distinction may be illusory, it is still something I experience. I find that if I flow too much from ‘circumstance’, that I feel disconnected from the world within me and if I flow too much from ‘spirit’, I feel disconnected from the world outside of me.

Swinging like a pendulum from one to the other is how I am creating a sense of balance in going with the flow of both spirit and circumstance.

Do you go with the flow more from spirit or from circumstance?

What might it be like to swing the pendulum and flow from the other?

Where would you apply this first?

How to Be Present – Forever, Right Now

Sometimes a simple idea can shift an entire experience of being. I don’t remember where I heard someone say it, but someone said something to me recently and it was the perfect time for me to hear it. Taking the words and using them has been like a turbo charger for deepening my presence.

The more unattached I am from the past or future (and for me, my distraction is almost always ‘future’), the more fulfilling my experience of everyone is. I’ve been working on deepening my presence in my relating to people, especially my wife.

The words I heard someone say were ‘all the time in the world‘.

Before that moment, I’d always heard those words as a single phrase that meant ‘I’ve got time’. But this time I heard them as meaning literally all the time I have for the rest of my life on this planet.

I asked myself… “What would it be like if I actually committed ALL of the time I have for the rest of my life to being with someone, just listening to them?”
I tried it on while my wife was chopping some vegetables. I chose to have all the time in the world to just watch her. The experience was overwhelming. I saw her in a way I’d never seen her before. I enjoyed watching her in a way I’d never enjoyed it before.

So I’ve been playing with this idea a lot lately. I’ve been CHOOSING to have ‘all the time in the world’ for people. When I make this choice, it’s as if I’m deciding in that moment right then to be with them forever. I’m essentially clearing the slate of anything and everything that was ever supposed to happen in my future. I’m saying…I give up on ALL of that and I choose to be just here right now instead.

Being with you forever, right now, has me see you in ways I was never able to see you before. Before when I was in the future instead of right here with you right now.

And having ‘all the time in the world’ for you is the only way I ever want to see you.

Forever, right now.

What or who would you like to have more presence with?

What might it be like if you chose to have ‘all the time in the world’ for that or them?

What if you actually decided, in a particular moment, to be with that or them forever, right then?

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