Margaret Gill is a coach and mentor who helps people fully explore and accept who they were born to be, give them the knowledge and support to step out from the crowd or break from the norm and instill the courage to bring out whatever is waiting within.
There’s a lot of information available about how to be successful at a small business. The problem is, most of this information is aimed at extroverts who’re in a big hurry to make as much money as possible, and doesn’t contribute something great to the world.If that sounds as terrible to you as it does to me, here are 3 pearls of wisdom from the real-life trenches for how to build business as unusual.
1. Follow the path less taken
As in fashion, being fully self-expressed is going to mean you’re in a category of one. If you find yourself in an ‘in crowd,’ whether that be at mainstream events, or among a gaggle of agreeable others, you’re likely in the thick of a fad or trend.
Legwarmers and Farrah Fawcett hair trends may feel fun to be part of in the short term, but you know that’s not going to make you proud 10 years later. Being an original takes work and one of the easiest measures is if you’re a little lonely on your path. This goes for business as well as your wardrobe or personal style.
Congratulations. If you’re feeling lonely sometimes, it’s just because you’ve chosen, every step of the way, to follow the path less taken and leave the Kool-Aid behind. Keep going.
2. Allow yourself the luxury of time
One of the biggest failures in small business is the rush-job. Hurrying, adrenalizing, pushing….not only leads to poor results, but usually poorer health in the long run.Hurrying is no longer the badge of the well-coached, folks.
Great coaching helps you pick the right process, path or step, be more accurate and precise about your moves, and gives you peace along the way. Don’t expect outrageous success rapidly – it’s unlikely to happen with a newer income stream or idea. Big paydays still happen, but only when you’ve paid your dues.
Keep your expenses low – your bank account will thank you. Allow yourself breathing room to test and fail a lot. You want to win the long game, why? Because what your business offers the world is so worth being patient. Make your plans accordingly.
3. Cultivate your inner scientist
If you think you’re here to build a business that follows another person’s model, may I invite you to try painting by number and faking a Mona Lisa in your mind? Give it time. No matter how many of these replicas you attempt, you’ll finally find out. You have no choice. You must find your one-of-a-kind painting to do because you’re not Leonardo da Vinci.
What is your one-of-a-kind business that only you can do? How do you start? Begin by proving the worth of your work by testing with any clients who’ll let you. Do the best job you possibly can so you can start collecting proof (something you can show) of what only you can do.
When you’re building something one-of-a-kind, you’re on uncharted ground, so you’ll need to measure as you go, and course correct along the way. Soon, you’ll have lots of data – an ecosystem of data that will guide you to what you seek.
Especially for independent thinkers, sensitive souls, and people on the leading edge, the above 3 things are doorways into new paradigm success as a small business. None of them requires you to rush, pressure you to maximize profits immediately, and each step allows you to contribute as much value as is humanly possible.
4. The final word…
Anyone who tries to tell you they know a color-by-number method to sustainable business success and tries to teach you this en masse, is candidly, deluded, or worse, in my opinion, being less than truthful. In the final analysis, experimentation is the only holy ground, and successful entrepreneurs – the ones that last decades in the market – are all scientists at heart.
About The Author
Andrea J. Lee is an Entrepreneurial Futurist with her finger on the pulse of the entrepreneurial spirit and how it can shows up to change the world. Throughout her life, Andrea has done one thing – help those she loves make money. Not once, but twice, she has helped reinvent the coaching industry and knows just one thing for sure: the entrepreneurial spirit is everywhere, looking for a place to make a difference.
In this wild old world of fast moving social media and marketing hype, you and your business gotta be different and the best way to stand out from the crowd is to embrace your weirdness!
Yes – you heard right – all those weird and wonderful things you’ve been stuffing under the covers hoping no one notices are the things that will make your dreams come true.
I loved watching the Katie Perry movie last night. She is someone who has seriously embraced her weirdness and given young women all over the world permission to love themselves for who they are. Weirdness Rocks!
During the last half of 2012 I spent a lot of time in Canada and the west coast of the USA. Since returning to Australia I’ve purposely cut myself off from the world to contemplate the “weirdness” concept. It was taught to me in training I did in LA, where I jetted in from Vancouver just in time to start the training at 2pm and jet out first thing the next morning to San Jose to another speakers event. It was remarkable the I could attend at all but the weird start time of the event made the impossible possible.
I’ve learned over time to really take notice of the events that happen synchronistically ….. they generally carry the greatest messages.
During the training we went through three case studies of women who had struggled to get where they wanted to be in their business even though they were gifted at what they did. They had achieved some success, but no where near what they knew the universe had in store for them. They were frustrated and were struggling to find their big breakthrough.
When they embraced the one thing they didn’t want to tell anyone about and packaged it up properly, the whole thing took off.
This of course resonated well with me because I know there is more and I have always sat outside the square. I’m still waiting for someone to tell me I was adopted, because I’ve been different from birth!
The thing I’ve come to realise over the years working with many clients is that we are all weird! We all have little idiosyncrasies that make us who we are, but in our longing to fit in, we conceal the things that will make us fit.
One of my Reiki teachers had this gorgeous saying:
“we’re all made up of different herbs and spices, and that’s why we’re all so delicious”
In our humanness we never put those weird and peculiar spices out on the spice rack of life. Ironically those are the twists that make the dish so exotic and appealing.
I’ll use mine as an example so you can go ahead and figure out yours
I’ve always been a loner and a back end gal. By that I mean I’ve never been front of house – always in the back office. I worked my way up to financial controller of a big hotel. You will always find the admin office in the most inaccessible part of the hotel so there is no hope of anyone from accounts interacting with guests!
I started my office career doing a hotel’s payroll. You can’t get more back office than that! Back office is never sexy but watch the chaos flow if 100 staff don’t get paid, or even if a kitchen hand, so low in the pecking order that the industry ungraciously call them “dish pigs”, watch what happens if they don’t get paid.
The back end is the back bone of any business and if its not right, things go to pieces very quickly.
Back in the late 70’s I was a musician and again I was always in the back line. Back line is generally bass, drums, horns and keyboards.
One of the greatest examples of a “back line” person is Charlie Watts, drummer with the Rolling Stones. He was a classically trained and highly respected jazz drummer before he joined the band. A weird combination but without his classical training, quiet demeanor and masterful back beat, that wild front line wouldn’t have held together all these years. Back enders tend to be the introverts, but the extroverted front line can’t exist without them.
I watched with delight as Aerosmiths lead singer, Steven Tyler in an interview with Sixty Minutes was asked – do you have LSD? He smiled and answered yes, definitely got “Lead Singers Disease”.
Front of house people have no trouble embracing their weirdness. In the same interview he described how, on his last visit to rehab, someone had told him he needed to be more careful with his grandiosity. His reply was “really ….. that made me who I am”. It was clear he had no intention of changing.
Despite his challenges with drugs and alcohol, he wasn’t going to change because he knew at core level that grandiosity was his weirdness and it’s what bought him fame and fortune. He was also flashing a very powerful lemurian crystal in his hand as he told this story. He’s way more than he appears on the surface.
Through their weirdness, all these ageless rockers have a deep spiritual connection that has allowed them to change the world and touch the hearts of thousands.
It’s the front line that appears to change the world. Front of house personalities are very different to those in back of house, but the front of house can’t function without the back end working exceptionally well. We need both to create magic
I’ve come to realise back end people can be trained to exist in the spotlight, but front enders can never move to the back line. I nearly died when while in some high end training with Brendon Burchard he told us he struggled with public speaking. When you see him today careering all over the stage like a madman, its hard to join the dots. But when I met him and he gave me a hug, I was taken by how gentle his energy was.
With all this introspection, I’ve realised most of the reason why our industry struggles to find the success it deserves and desires is because its a bunch of introverted back end personalities in front line roles they’ve not been trained to succeed at.
Secondly, wellness practices tend to lack back end and struggle along without systems or procedure, which will always make a back ender unconsciously uncomfortable.
All through the training in the USA it was hammered home to us that the money from book sales and events is made on the back end. In fact at the publishing event you could audibly hear a hushed chill run through the room when Brendon Burchard told 300 authors that his profit today would have been the same without his books, all of which have reached the New York Times Best Seller List. What he was saying is, he never made any money from the books – he made it on the back end. So if you have a book or are writing a book, you better get very okay with back end sales if you want to make any money from it.
You might ask what is the back end of a book? No its not the inside back cover 🙂 The back end is when you sell someone a book and then sell that same person a related webinar, a telesminar, a course, and event, an online product, a membership program.
The wise authors write the backend first, then write the book so it all locks together. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a great example, he created the game first, then wrote the book to sell the game. Most write the book first, struggle to sell it, then end up with hundreds of books in their garage and no budget to develop the back end.
So once you have back end, then you need automation to push those products out the back end of the business without you doing anything. And there is my second piece of weirdness – I’ve always been awesome at backend software. I struggled to check a guest into the hotel software, but I excelled when I installed a fully integrated system right across every department, simply because I understood how it all fitted together at the back end. I could program a complex music sequencer quicker than the time it would take the lead singer to open the box!
By embracing my back end weirdness, I’ve stepped into an area where I can really help people. Just this week I sat watching in frustration as a very gifted client of mine struggling to get anywhere near close to documenting policy and procedures, yes a back end must have. In sheer frustration, I said I’d write them for her.
Well guess what happened. As I started to pull the information out of her head, I realised I’d heard these same problems before. She was describing the frustration of not being able to teach others how to deliver the same soul based service and treatment she has naturally delivered for years. She has done such a good job that now too many people want to work with her and she has to train someone else to step in and handle the load.
De-Ja-Vue! I’d already written a program that addressed that exact same problem back in 2005.
It had been written in times of my darkest despair, so I expected it would need a lot of work.
As I read it I realised it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever written and all that rolled off the pages was love.
Broke, suicidal and beyond rock bottom I obviously poured everything I had into that document in case it was my last.
This document from the darkness will be able to create for her not just a policy and procedure document but a Signature System that will change the world.
Just like the old rockers found out, our weirdness will sometimes land us at rock bottom, but rock bottom is the solid foundation of dreams.
How To Identify Your Weirdness
Go back to childhood and tap into how you approached play back then. Me, I was happiest out the back playing in the shed with my dolls house …. alone!
In teenage years how did you make friends? Did you hang out in packs or were you a solitary creature? Me, I was playing in the back line of a rock n roll band.
Still today I’m happiest with minimal people around me.
In your 20’s and 30’s what were you working at?
Look for the common thread in everything you have done.
THEN – look to your darkest moments. They generally occur when you have been pushed out of your magnificence. The key is in how you pulled out of your darkest moments.
Go back to the archives and see if you have something that didn’t hit the spot back then, but might be ripe for success in this new energy.
My greatest gifts are helping people get their back end right and helping people identify the gifts in their rock bottom moments. The best place to find that is at my speaking training Courageous Speaking.
When you find your Signature Story, you are on the way to finding your Signature System.
Once you have that – the world opens up to more potential and success than you could ever deem possible.
Is your head spinning trying to figure out where your business is going and how to get it to the next level?
Well, quite honestly the whole of 2011 was like that for me. Towards the end of that year I was SO close to giving it all up.
It felt like I was walking through molasses.
I had reached rock bottom again with no idea where to take it all. It was a different rock bottom to the early days, but I prayed something or someone would come in to help me, because I knew I couldn’t sustain that feeling for very much longer.
Then on the 3rd of January 2012, I opened an email from Brendon Burchard. I will remember the moment I opened it up and found a video of him dancing all over the stage with the audience going wild. Then it cut to a power shot of him standing in Times Square New York.
In that moment my heart spoke five simple words – “you must attend this event”.
I had no idea how much this moment was going to change the trajectory of my life, nor HOW I would do it because the price tag was $10,000 and the travel was an additional $5,000. I was trapped in a remortgaged house. Whatever I earned went straight back out. But I knew I had to do what it took to go to this event. Turns out it took selling everything I own and hitting the road.
In New York I got to clearly see that I had created most of the exact right things. I just had them in the wrong place. To date that’s been exactly the case for everyone who has created their own diamond. A mess of good stuff, but none of it feeling cohesive.
To be honest, before I went to New York, the drawing of my empire would have looked a lot like someone had emptied a ton of multi coloured leggo pieces on an acre wide sheet of white paper. There was stuff everywhere with no real connection to anything.
In reality it looked like a chucked up pizza but lacked the continuity of diced carrots!
Now I have one A4 sheet with four key diamonds and several “dangles” hanging off the diamonds. Within that simple structure I can see how every product, every domain name I’ve ever purchased (imagine a lot) and all my workshops and programs fit together.
Not only that, when I show it to team members they not only get where I am going, they can clearly see their role in helping me get there. It is SO freeing to have this level of clarity.
The hilarious or maybe sobering thing is that Abundant Private Practices is a dangle. Ten years to achieve a dangle not a diamond! But it will only take 12 months to change that dangle into a diamond, then its one more diamond per year for the next five years.
Each diamond when functioning well, will be worth a minimum of $100,000 each per annum. The magic is though, that they compound, like interest in the bank the longer they run.
I can’t put into words how good it feels to look at the diagram and know exactly where I am going and the sort of results I can expect.
If you would like to get your vision clear, your next steps paved out and the knowledge about what to do next to make the most impact, then I’d love you to join a special program I’m creating to set you on a course to becoming a Quadrant Diamond Star!
This program certainly is not for everyone. You will know if its right for you if any of the following resonates:
Your business is doing well, but you know there is more to come …. MUCH more
Getting clients is no longer the constant challenge it used to be, in fact you now probably can’t cope with the numbers of people you are currently attracting.
You have developed or are developing your own methodology of working, so you are no longer primarily teaching or using someone else’s modality. You will have figured out it would be silly to stop using the parts that work well for you and your clients, but more and more you are working on your own instincts or with your own methodology.
You no longer have a strong need to work one on one with people. You’d be happy to “teach what you do to a larger audience”, rather than “do what you do one on one”
You have some sort of book or eProduct either created or have a strong live event or workshop you have been developing that you have written from scratch (ie – its not other people’s licensed work)
You have been speaking to groups but want to hone your message even more and/or want to develop product that supports your message.
Currently you are probably feeling a little overwhelmed in your business, not sure how the hell you are going to get any spare time ever again and/or you know you need to get even more clarity around your branding and message. You have a distinct feeling of hamster on a wheel, and you have no idea how to get off.
You have at least one book in you and if its not written yet, you know you have enough knowledge in your head to pull one out if you have the right amounts of quiet time to write.
You most definitely want to make a difference for A LOT of people
You may well have desire for “world domination” (I mean that with love, not through control but through the world being able to access your message)
You want to make a truckload of cash to repay all that debt to family members and friends.
You want to be able to afford to travel and spread your message far and wide.
You want to get to the point where your message is supporting you, not you supporting the message. Or maybe you’ve got the whole money thing sorted and now want to start creating an angel fund or something along those benevolent lines
You are prepared to think radically differently about your business and your message
You are at a stage where you want to see a clear path forward so you can simply go out and create your empire over the next five years.
I know these feelings well because it was me this time last year.
It has taken me nine months to learn this stuff with Brendon Burchard. In 2012 I have attended two of his brand new $10,000 “wild, wild west” events and 2 of his flagship events. My mind is FULL to brimming with magnificent new and ground breaking knowledge.
After 170 hours of training over 15 days, I can now draw my entire empire on an A4 sheet of paper.
If you’ve ever tried to gain this level of clarity in your business, you will know how ecstatic I was to see it appearing on the page.
For the first time ever I have a five year plan.
I can’t tell you how much difference this has made to my productivity and my commitment to carry on. To be honest at the end of 2011 I was pretty much ready to give it all away. I’d worked so hard and taken so many body blows that I wondered if I could keep going at that rate. I knew I had created all this awesome work for a reason and set many souls onto the next step in their evolutionary path, but something was a bit NQR (not quite right!)
I ran Grace Ambrook through the program last week and this is what she had to say:
“Thank you so much for your generosity of wisdom, guidance and time. Like all of our sessions and conversations, highly valuable, inspirational and great fun! I have a bit to digest, and lots to learn. But that quadrant diamond chart is a WINNER big time.” Grace Ambrook
Gracie stepped into product generation on a grand scale a few years back, but like me struggled to see where it all fitted together. Since we created her A4 Empire, she can now see clearly where its all headed and what’s more, understands why spirit sent her the information the way it did.
I also ran another client through the process and she got the same result. Its like getting new glasses, the whole world looks brighter and easier to transverse.
I’m seeking more people on a mission, who work from a deep heart and have a connection with the higher part of themselves, and are striving for more.
My new program is called “People on a Mission”.
Its for people who have identified their mission in life and don’t want to waste energy and valuable difference making time taking the wrong steps in the wrong order, ie spending 10 years to get a dangle 🙂
The first part of the program allows you to lay out all the leggo pieces you have created to date and you can elect to stop there and work through it yourself. During the three session we begin the forensic process of going through each piece and seeing where it fits within your vision. To date, nothing has ever been discarded, simply repositioned.
Then we will take a look at what you are truly trying to achieve
Then we place your dream into a mold that will allow you to shape your dream the way you want it, but also allow crystal clear clarity for yourself and others in what you are all about and where you are heading.
These are very private and intimate sessions because of course I’ll need to know what is currently working and what isn’t. This level of honesty can only be one on one and because I’ve been there, I empathise and understand how painful the process of pulling your life’s work apart can be. But for your work to reach its fullest potential and for you to learn how to build an ascension business plan, there has to be a bit of initial pain.
This is a three session program done via Skype
Your first session will be clarifying what you’ve created to date and just how far you want to go with it. If its clear you don’t have enough to build an empire yet, (truly you don’t need a lot but you do need product) then you can transfer to one of my eProduct Expertise programs and dam well get some!
Second session you will receive the dream building theory, which includes the BAM (business ascension model) and the DAM (dangle angle mangle). Its a mangle because to date, everyone has only created a dangle, not an empire. Its like Luke Skywalker trying to find the mothership, with no GPS co-ordinates.
Third session we will start laying out the pieces in the Diamond Quadrant Star and providing you have been honest with where you are in your business, you will leave the session with a completed copy of your “Empire On An A4 Sheet”. I will draw it out for you in an excel spreadsheet and you will simply keep adding to it as time goes on.
I can only take people into this program who are working in their business full time and have products or workshops of their own material already commenced. It doesn’t have to be selling in great quantities, but the cold hard facts are that a practice that relies purely on one on one sessions or teaching other people’s programs won’t allow you to build an empire.
To be eligible for the program you need to have said a resounding YES to at least ten out of the 15 points above and you need to be financially stable enough to invest $995 for the three 90 minute sessions.
But to be fair, this is a new program so I’m going to offer a 50% discount to the first people to sign up – yep that’s a saving of $497.50
Because this is a trial and I won’t know exactly how each person will react to it, so if you need more time, we will stick with it until you get your A4 sheet. Can’t be fairer than that.
Sessions will be held in the morning up to 1PM Melbourne time, because I’m still in the USA. So if you are an early bird, you can do your session before you start to see clients.
Click here to register, then I’ll be in touch to book your sessions in.
I have just finished listening to some free coach training Andrea J Lee is rolling out. On today’s class she spoke of a really simply coaching tool that is so simple it makes it powerful beyond measure.
I thought it would be good for you to use, either personally or with your clients.
The tool is called Transferring Excellence
It is used for clients who are really stuck or are self sabotaging or simply just not taking the actions that will lead them to their hearts desire.
Years ago I braved a chilly grey winters afternoon and went to see my little four year old nephew play his first game of soccer.
Chaos reined on the pitch and we laughed until we cried as these little guys ran in the opposite direction every time the ball came near them and they kicked a lot but rarely ever connected with the ball.
But then the moment of triumph came with much cheering and adulation as he scored his first goal. Only trouble was, he scored it in the opposing teams goal! It didn’t matter because he had at least figured out the purpose of the game, he just needed to transfer the skills he had to his own teams goal post.
So if you are struggling to kick goals at the right goal posts, the transferring excellence tool says you simply need to transfer your skills and point them at the right goal post.
I know myself that I would get an Oscar for some of the theatrics I’ve conjured up over the years to stop myself moving forward due to fear or overwhelm or any of the things that tend to get in the way of our greatness.
I think I could honestly say that every single client I’ve ever encountered has, at some time, self sabotaged their dreams by kicking the ball toward the wrong goal post. The good thing is that they have been wise enough to have me there to turn them around and get them focused on the right actions.
The transferring excellence tool is great for overcoming your “not good enough” drama.
You simply need to recognise the excellent qualities you are invoking to be “not so good” and positively apply them to a dysfunctional area of your life. You already excelling at these qualities, just simply transfer them to another project or action.
The tool simply asks you to look at any aspect of your life where you are being excellent.
In that space of excellence you will have created strong boundaries to give yourself enough time and energy to complete this task. A sign of excellence in any endeavour (positive or negative) is that you will be making progress or have achieved ongoing satisfaction.
If you are in a space of not achieving what you really want, YOU ARE ALREADY EXCELLENT!
You are simply using the right skills to do the wrong things.
Everyone gets the same 24 hours each day it is how they use them that makes the difference
So how can you use your 24 hours more effectively?
Take a look now at the things you do really well – those things that no matter what is going on around you, you still not only want to, but can achieve the task with very little duress.
Hell, you can even use the fact that you are really good at self sabotage as the example for this exercise. Self sabotteurs have excellent resilience skills and form habits really easily. So in being resilient and having an ability to form habits, you already have what it takes to grow a successful business.
A clue here will be in the things you value the most.
So if you value family highly, you will have strong boundaries around the way your family works. If you have strong values on creativity, you will be regularly allocating the right amounts of time and energy to actually creating things. If you have strong values on the environment, you will have created a house like I am living in right now, that is off the grid, but if you don’t get excellent at putting firewood in the stove, you can’t cook or get hot water.
At present after selling up my life and moving in such a short space of time I totally overwhelmed myself and now need a lot of self care and quiet to bring myself back to “normal”. I am struggling to even write a basic email and my brain is so tired I am finding I can’t even write basic sentences.
But because my value is so high on staying in relationship with my people, I find I can still write short newsletter items. Over time, I have developed excellence in that area and now, even under duress, I can still do it with ease. All I need is a topic to get me going and I have found over time that listening to other inspiring coaches helps me find topics.
These are all examples of high focus on an area of excellence.
See I told you it was easy, in fact this is seriously NOT rocket science.
So once you establish where you have strong boundaries set, or where you get things done well, and again that could be a negative thing you are doing well …. like not getting out of bed in the morning.
Take a look at how you achieve that excellence.
For instance in the family example, people with strong family values have reserves of food in their freezer. They just do! So what can you learn from the ability to batch cook items and freeze them off. Well in business, maybe you “batch cook” a series of newsletters so you don’t have to come up with new topics each month. You simply write more than you need on a topic you love.
So say for instance you have written a 1,500 word article and you only need 1,000 words. Cut out the 500 words and keep them stored up for a time when you are busy and just need to reach in and retrieve the excess words to cook up a quick blog post or newsletter item. Or you could “batch cook” dropping off flyers at cafes and met a friend for a beverage of choice while you do it.
How Can You Use This Tool?
Using this example, list the positive traits you have developed in one area, then figure out how you could transfer the excellence you have developed, to the project or actions you are not taking to make your business dreams come true – or whatever you are struggling to achieve.
Many find just recognising an area of excellence and realising you are excellent at something, helps them to move to the next level.
So often we beat ourselves up. That’s why I love this tool because it moves us forward by giving ourselves a pat on the back and allowing us to realise if we can do one thing to the power of excellence, then we can surely transfer the energy and actions to the project that isn’t doing so well.
Start applying your newly recognised super powers to the right goals.
Of course this tool begs to be used with your own clients.
Perhaps your clients are failing to follow the dietary tips you give them and are eating way too many snacks. Simply get them to figure out where the excellence is in these actions. For instance, they are probably very strong minded, they are determined, they are single minded. Then ask them how they could transfer those characteristics from the negative to the positive.
But for me right now, I’m transferring my excellence in being at a computer screen all day, over to the excellence in loading firewood into the wheel barrow and bringing it down from the shed ……… otherwise things are going to get seriously UN-excellent around here very quickly!
It’s Reiki Awareness Week and to celebrate my journey with Reiki, I thought I’d share a couple of snips.
This week sees the final leg of the journey for two of my Reiki Masters in Training. They trusted me to take them on their journey and as always I’ve learned more from them than I could have ever hoped to transfer to them.
They have allowed me to see the true magnificence that humans possess when they decide to raise their standards and take another massive leap in their personal evolution.
Even when every inner saboteur came out to take them off track, they were still inspiring.
In their struggle to master their own self, they expanded into parts of themselves they never knew existed, yet alone thought were possible for them.
It was truly humbling to see one of the students perform her attunements in a highly masterful way, then become totally overcome with the experience and weep in awe at what had just occurred.
Working with people at this level gives cause to celebrate at high intensity, but masters in training also challenge at high level. They have put me in really hard places and have caused me to take harsh actions sometimes, to ensure they learn at a level where they get their lesson forever and never need to do that lesson again.
I remember one such lesson from when I was in training. My buddy and I were early for our appointment with our Master and decided to go and have a coffee before we got there.
We knew way better than to turn up at her door with any other agenda on our mind than being of service to Reiki, so we didn’t do take away, we sat down at the table, with plenty of time up our sleeve.
It was 9am on a Sunday morning and the cafe wasn’t busy. It took forever for our coffees to be delivered, so long in fact, we were now at a point where we were going to be late. In that short moment of time, we forgot our purpose, and we stayed and drank the coffee.
We arrived at our Masters door ….. late! Only moments late, but we were officially late.
Six Words I Will Never Forget
Our master sat us down and told us in no uncertain terms how disappointing our behaviour was, finishing the tirade with six words I will never forget. HOW DARE YOU STEAL MY TIME.
As someone who was bought up to value honesty above all others things, the words hit in a very hard place, because not only had I discredited Reiki, My Master, Myself and My Buddy, I had in fact stolen from her the most valuable commodity on the planet – her time!
I will never forget the feeling I had inside, the deep shame I felt, not for me, but because I had let her down.
No Space For Blame
There was no space for blaming the silly girls at the cafe for gossiping in the corner and not making our coffees. There was no space for “shoulds”. There was certainly no place for the demon voices ragging in my head wanting to shout out – you silly cow its only a couple of minutes! There was definitely no credit to be had from everything else we had done perfectly that week. I had no one else to blame. I had let myself down.
So often in life we let ourselves down and because there is no one to call us on it, we just keep repeating our crappy behaviours.
A good master is able to call themselves on their lapses. A masterful master has an ability to think through situations, even the small tiny moments when things don’t seem to matter, and in that instance make the right decision.
If Your Thoughts Are In The Right Place
Your Actions Will Follow Accordingly
My buddy and I had several things we could have done that day:
Firstly – we could have gone up and asked that our order be given priority over communicating every last detail of the baristas date the previous evening to her work colleagues before making our coffee.
Secondly – we could have chosen not to drink the coffee, even though we had already paid for it.
Thirdly – we could have stepped away from the normal conventions of society and simply decided to wait silently in the car until it was time to go inside. We could have also stopped at the park and prepared for our meeting in silence and showed up totally committed to our learning that day.
I bless my Master for that lesson and I thank her for dressing us down and really putting us in our place that would allow us to have the realisation of our mistake, because it positively changed my path forever.
When you are prepared to go to the hard places and really call people on their behaviour, and ask them to step up further than they ever thought possible, that’s when I’ve seen the miracles occur.
Few humans ever go to that hard place.
Anyone seeking mastery over anything will struggle unless they get their head in the appropriate place first.
Our thoughts rule so much of what occurs around us.
Those who undertake a journey to mastery never really get there. Mastery over anything is a never ending journey, because the further you travel, the more you realise you have to learn. As you master one aspect, another lesson appears. The trick is to ensure the lesson is new, not a repeating behaviour holding you back.
The type of people who seek mastery, seek knowledge and dominion over their actions in every waking moment of their life.
One small slip in our thoughts, or a momentary slip that takes us back into a place where mastery cannot exist, reminds us we are human and allows us to see the greatness held within the imperfection of our actions.
Some of my greatest learnings have come from my greatest imperfect moments.
As I evaluate my not so perfect actions, I am able to see the perfection in every interaction around me. Thanks to that dressing down from my Reiki Master, I still prefer to keep sorry as word exclusively used at funerals.
I am so grateful to Reiki and great-ful from all it has bought to my life. It has shown me miracles of healing and changed and enriched my life in ways I would never have thought possible.
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.”
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)
Many of my readers have a connection to Reiki, so to celebrate Reiki Awareness Week, why not come over to my blog and share some of your greatest learnings from your Reiki journey, or any other journey where your not so perfect actions lead to amazing steps in your personal evolution.
Prefer to listen to the audio version of this weeks article? Click here to listen or download the mp3
Are you Embracing The Power of WHY?
If you’d been standing delivering a two hour talk to 22 holistic nurses in Detroit, on a topic you were passionate about, would you be curious what they got from your talk?
Their answer will surprise you.
How much more curious would you be, if for the first time ever, you’d physically delivered the talk from the other side of the world in your lounge room via Skype?
This is the power of technology and was my reality last week.
But would you like to know what they shouted out when I asked them “what’s the one thing you will be taking away from this talk today?”
I could see them on the tiny screen all light up like Christmas trees as they shouted out “its the apple!” – “its all about the apple!”
They weren’t talking about computers – they were talking about a real apple.
But wait you say, what would a talk on practice building have to do with an Adam and Eve kind of apple.
Well I have to take you into some advanced speaking theory to explain the power of WHY, so you can understand what happened.
In my classic free talk model I teach you to deliver a simple, basic talk that will involve your audience.
In your first encounter with an audience, all you are trying to achieve is some resonance or put another way, you are beginning the journey of making these people friends. In the analogy of the marketing train, at a free talk, you have pulled into their station and you have the door to the carriage open.
No amount of hard sell will get those people on your train if they don’t want to go. You might get them on but they will bail at the next station.
The one thing that gets people on your train quicker than anything else and riding to the end of the line, is to show people the higher vision in whatever they are trying to achieve or in what is giving them pain at this time.
Enter the apple…….
What I asked these amazing nurses to do was simply consider what might happen if during the course of their work, no matter if they had a business or were in a more traditional nursing role, what might happen if they encounter a Mum who hadn’t had the luxury of good education and was currently filling her kids lunchbox with chocolate bars and crappy food that was causing behaviourial issues in the child.
They did that easily of course because every day they clean up the results of people dealing with health issues that could be easily eradicated with the right advice.
Then I asked them to tell me what sort of illness that child would have thirty years on, if they continued to eat that chocolate bar every day of their school life?
That was easy for them too. In fact I had trouble stopping them shouting out the diseases and symptoms that child was likely to develop in latter life such as diabetes and acid reflux to quote some of what was coming back down the Skype line to my living room.
Then I asked them to consider what might happen, if they inspired that Mum to simply put one apple in their kids lunch box every day instead of a chocolate bar? What if the Mum saw instantaneous changes in the child and then went on to learn more about how food effects children? What if that Mum got so inspired she eventually completely changed the way all her family was fed during the formative years of their life?
Even though I was across the other side of the world, I could see them “get their WHY”.
WHY they are so passionate about what they do is not about today’s results, its about the knock on effect the amazing work they do has on the future.
Their WHY also clearly allowed them to see why they needed to stop selling their modality and start promoting the real reasons why people really want to work with them.
Your work will invariably have the same ripple effect
But when I ask people WHY they really want a small business and WHY they got into the natural therapy industry in the first place, most will answer “I want to make a difference”.
Sadly what happens is, things get hard, marketing gets tiring, there never seems enough time in the day and well there are a thousand reasons why we don’t fully show up and make our business a roaring success.
Even the most heart based people will disconnect from the difference when it comes to marketing their business.
Sadly altruism alone is not enough to drive natural therapists over the fear humps, but their WHY will.
Just last week one of my one on one VIP clients knew she was being a bit whimpy and was seeking greater motivation to do her marketing activities and all that dreary stuff that needs to be done to allow your message to intercept with potential clients.
I stepped her through a very powerful WHY exercise, that had nothing to do with writing blogs or newsletters or networking or going out to do free talks to small audiences – non of those mundane things. We simply took a look at what could happen if a potential client missed the opportunity to interact with her because she hadn’t done the marketing activity that was destined to connect her with this client. Clue: the client was going to stay in pain and wasn’t going to be a very good place, nor were hundreds of other people in her life.
My client wept as she realised exactly what she was really doing for humanity when she worked with a client.
If you don’t weep, if your heart doesn’t ache when you consider what you deny people by not showing up fully, if you can’t get to the space where you would openly do whatever it takes every day, simply because you know WHY your work is so important, then you haven’t as yet identified your WHY. Because when you do, you will never hold back the gifts you have been given to share with the world.
That’s the apple effect.
I believe the reason most natural therapy businesses fail, is because most people never encounter their WHY.
Without the driving force of the “apple effect”, they will never be compelled to jump over the fear humps such as learning to speak, and doing talks to small groups that will ultimately get them the clients.
The WHY in your message, is why speaking is such a powerful way to grow your business. But you need to know how to unpack your WHY for it to be powerful.
Most treat the apple effect as an advanced speaking technique, but I believe it is so important and so key to your success that I teach it in my new Speaking Basics course.
If you are ready to further tap into your WHY and find out how you can create the apple effect for your potential people, then I’d recommend you sign up for my one day Speaking Basics training today because the early bird pricing runs out soon – more info here
Once you know your reason WHY – you are compelled, actually you can’t stop yourself wanting to share your message with others …..no matter how uncomfortable it makes you.
This is literally and figuratively my Apple – this is what I saw as I stood delivering to the nurses in Detroit Michigan. If you look carefully you can make the people out in the image on the right hand side of the big screen.
The blankets and towels are to deaden the sound so it didn’t sound like I was presenting from inside a tin can.
The risk factor of something going wrong was extremely high – but Pam Sadler, the President of the Michigan Holistic Nurses Association and I both know WHY it is important that their nurses have thriving practices – its because of the difference they make to humanity.
Even if only one nurse sees one more person next week – the nerves and risks were all worth while. When was the last time you scared yourself witless in the name of making a difference?
You can read this blog post or listen to the podcast recording via the slider below or download the MP3 to your device here: Download MP3 File
What’s the one common denominator within your clients?
It’s not a trick question. But it is one we all need to understand, if we are to find the true greatness within what we do.
I used to be a forensic business analyst in the corporate world. I was constantly digging around in things that were causing great angst for my clients. I worked in many different industries and rarely worked on the same problem twice. Money was hemorrhaging everywhere for the client. In most cases many better qualified people than me, had tried and failed to get a result. It was a seriously negative environment because these people generally only wanted the problem to appear “fixed”. My job was to find the source of the problem, report it and move on and repeat in the next contract.
These days my work is vastly different and I have solved my own problem because back then I hated the negativity surrounding my work and longed to work positively with people.
Now I love what I do. But, ironically I am still constantly digging around in things that are causing my clients angst. In fact the similarities to what I used to do and do now are amazing.
I work in many different modalities and rarely work on the same problem twice. Money issues are generally high on the agenda for the client and in most cases my clients, who are invariably always better qualified than me, have tried and failed to figure out their own problem.
What’s different now is I work in a seriously positive environment and my clients are unwittingly seeking to create something that will create a legacy and live on well after they have gone. My job is to find the source of their current problem and identify it so they can move from feeling stuck, into their potential.
But wait you say – aren’t the two jobs specs exactly the same? Yep, dead right! I just shifted the polarity or energy of the work from negative to positive. Same as in corporate, I was frequently journalling stuff from one side of the balance sheet to another.
So my inquisitive problem solving nature started to reason that there had to be a commonality between my corporate clients and my current clients. As people they are chalk and cheese, dark suits vs bright groovy outfits. But when you look at why they hired me, whammo, there in lies the answer.
The strange commonality between these two polar opposites is they hire me to fix a gnawing problem.
The gnawing problem in corporate was based in negativity and fear. The people who caused the problem generally lacked duty of care, control and integrity in they way they worked.
My current work is highly positive and based in love. My people are highly gifted and responsible in their work. When their problem gets solved, new and innovative healing systems are manifesting, their message becomes concise and clear and results in many more people experiencing their message and healing gifts.
As I work more with people I have come to understand humans come to the planet to figure themselves out. The more they figure out about themselves, the more they grow and the more potential opens up to them.
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive…. ” Oriah Mountain Dreamer
For some, their potential is too confronting and its easier to stay “in the gnaw”.
Some however get so uncomfortable with the gnawing feeling within, that they put their hand up for help. Not as they initially show up to do, to grow their business, but at source, to get rid of the gnawing feeling.
My gnawers are incredibly humble but carry distinct commonalities:
Gnawers carry a strong sense there is so much more for them
Clairvoyants have inevitably told them they have a gift that will help many
They “know” huge crowds are waiting to hear their message
They carry extraordinarily high standards within self and their work
If left to their own devices they can be self destructive in their desire for perfection
In the past, they have found themselves in battles with authority figures to defend their honour, opinions or ways of doing things
The way others do things is not for them
They instinctively know the gnawing is their need to create their own way or path
The gnaw is their deep connection to spirit, to the yearning in their soul to be who they really are.
The gnaw is the uncomfortable message that churns everyday, so as to encourage them to stop playing small and meet their full potential.
Because the gnaw is so connected to their soul, they know what to do innately once we start to identify and then unravel their problems. Just like when I was in corporate I am only there in a support role. It’s never my problem but innately I know how to help others pull the puzzle pieces from within, to bring something highly complex to a simple solution.
What’s weird is, the source of the gnawing feeling inevitably gets exposed at my speaking intensive called Courageous Speaking. It is because that workshop gets people to go into their own rock bottom story. So many therapists discount or hide their story because it’s just too painful or negative. But our humanness puts us in that story so we could learn from it. When the positive gets identified, it balances or heals the negative, releasing the anchors and allowing the person to soar.
What most fascinates me and will be of great help to you is the fact that when you know what gnaws you, you automatically find the common denominator in your clients. From there you will be able to figure out what naturally draws people to want to work with you.
Just as the patterns or bread trails that helped me solve the gnawing problems within a corporate balance sheet, the connection between the rock bottom stories and everything else people have been through so far in their life, allows me to identify and solve the gnawing sense that there is more for my clients.
Rock bottom stories are life changing. So is Courageous Speaking …… it will help turn your gnaw into soar!
The early bird for the March Melbourne event ends tomorrow – if you are gnawing to find your message and help more people – go here and register
NB: I changed of the name of my speaking event from Sore to SOAR to Courageous Speaking – firstly because Sore to SOAR only makes sense when it’s written, when you say it – you have to spell it out for it to make sense to people and secondly because the more people went through the course the more I understood the levels of courage necessary to tell your story for the first time and Courageous Speaking describes the heroic people who stepped up to SOAR!
There is a distinct different between a practice and a business.
A practice sees you treating and charging by the hour and requires you to be in it all the time. Whereas a business (technically) is something that can grow without you being there.
Basically most therapists follow a flawed practice building model right from the start and end up on a hamster wheel that totally exhausts them.
They get qualified and then set about creating a one on one private practice but unless they have set themselves up early to build an abundant private practice – eventually the ability to grow themselves and their revenue will plateau.
The flawed model goes something like this:
Study your butt off
Network your butt off
Convince as many people as you can to come and have a treatment with you
Charge what everyone else does
Work one on one with as many people as you can
Don’t limit who can see you
Charge by the hour for as many as hours as you can till you drop
Don’t be alarmed, its how most therapists start out and it is the exact model many of the clients have followed who show up for mentoring with me to figure out what to do when they end up with too many clients.
So on some level the model works. But the model has limitations.
The main reason the model starts to falter a few years down the track is because there is no encouragement to speak or specialise in the early development of a practice. Encouraging speaking to small groups very early in your existence as a therapist is the one big difference in what my Practice Building Success Systems offers and its no co-incidence that the people who move easily to bigger groups have all done Courageous Speaking, my intensive speaking weekend.
The traditional practice building model is however very safe because you don’t have to get too far out of your comfort zone. Its why therapists love it so much in the early days because it allows you to hide. You simply have to master networking and the customers keep flowing in.
The Abundant Private Practice model goes something like this:
Study your butt off
Network your butt off
Convince a targeted group of people to come and have a treatment with you
Focus on growing a targeted database
Speak to small groups in your target market and build up to larger groups
Regularly communicate and build relationships with the people you treat and meet along the way
Work one on one with a select group of people
Charge what you are worth not what everyone else is charging
Develop group programs early on in your practice (even if only 1 person turns up)
Limit who can see you one on one by having that service priced at a premium
Create packages people buy that offer a mix of your solutions so they commit to their healing and contribute to your cash flow
I know this model has some scary aspects, and yes it limits the number of people who can see you just once. But to become known as an expert, you must create boundaries and limits on how people work with you or you become like everyone else. Having total strangers wander in and out of your practice each day will not build a sustainable nor abundant practice long term.
Yes, in the early days you need to see a lot of “turn and churn” clients, but as soon as you start to be able to pay the bills, you need to start creating a new mindset so you can work with greater numbers of people in the future.
The more you work with people …. the more you want to work with more people.
In a nutshell, every practitioner who wants to build a six figure practice starts to crave to get their message to a lot more people.
That’s when the dilemma begins, because you then have to learn to speak in public, you have to start to develop product and you have to start making sense of all the crazy messages and ideas that are bouncing around in your head.
A one on one model can’t make anymore money once your practice hits capacity.
The bigger dilemma to be overcome with the one on one model is that once you hit capacity and just cannot treat another single person in a week due to your humanness, then you simply can’t generate any more money.
There are three very real reasons for this:
You are too emotionally drained to create new revenue streams
You are seeing so many clients you no longer have time to scratch yourself
You are too buggered to chase any new opportunities anyway
Worst of all you simply don’t have any more hours left in the day that you can charge for and eventually you hit a revenue plateau.
Running a full practice brings many challenges
The burn out rate is often discussed in hushed tones and the busy people are loath to discuss the issue because of those that say we “should” be able to maintain our energy levels naturally, eat well and look after ourselves so we are at optimum at all times.
With the best will in the world, this isn’t always possible for a therapist whose only lunch break is often a few stolen moments between clients to digest the tail she has been chasing all day!
To change something – something has to change
All the clients in the “too many” category have all figured out the same thing. They have hit a revenue plateau that they can’t get over if they just keep seeing clients one one one. They also understand they must get a coach to help them out of their bunker.
This is the part where I come in and firstly help them sort out the chaos they have created.
Many are booked 6-8 weeks solidly plus have clients constantly calling on their mobiles to try and book in NOW. Because most therapists are chronic people pleasers, they start to cram “emergency” cases into spaces that don’t really exist – better know to most as “weekends”. That becomes really stressful!
The reward however is that once all the pre-bookings are served and calm is restored to the diary, then we can start moving into the really cool stuff – honouring the knowledge and wisdom that has been building up in the time they have been working with clients.
Already a pattern is starting to appear in the people turning up with too many clients
Gifts to bring to the world that they’ve known about for quite some time
A natural drive to heal many and they can’t stop themselves pursuing it
Impatience flowing out of every pore and one person at a time is too slow
Walked their talk at a level most can’t even conceive and implement their daily spiritual and coping practices at a depth that most can only dream of doing
Networked and marketed their business hard in the early days and now have a great following of people, but are a little unsure how to serve them going forwards
Never let anything stop them
Frequently given away too much of their time and are rarely ever charging appropriately
Under valued the dollar value of the knowledge and wisdom they have built up over the years.
So having fought all their fears, these gung ho therapists now not only have a diary full of clients, and they have a head full of awesome knowledge …….. but they have no idea what to do with it.
Converting their knowledge to products and working in groups is their next evolutionary step. Bet you never got taught that at therapy school! That’s where I can help.
Working with Clients Gives Back in SO Many Ways
The biggest thing I’ve realised in my journey is that building a business is the best and greatest personal development you will EVER do.
As you work with many more clients, something happens within YOU, that grows and heals you as much as your clients grow and heal. I never dreamed this would be the outcome. But quite honestly – if you are serious about personal growth – get serious about building your business. You will be amazed what happens particularly if you start considering other models before things get out of hand.
I love that I can pull all my skills together to help them make sense of it all. You have already seen two stars Kerry Belviso and Grace Ambrook launch their products and there are a few more waiting in the wings to dazzle you.
Best give me a hoy if you are just starting to grow that client list and want to get it right the first time or if you already have too many clients and need to get off the one on one hamster wheel.
There are many opportunities to get your work published. In fact getting published in recognised media is way easier than you probably think.
The reason why most get knocked back is because they don’t adhere to some simple rules that will help you get published and also help you get media.
You won’t get any argument from me over “free publicity”. To get media what you submit has to match what they want. It’s known as the brief. You might think that is a really easy concept, but you would be surprised how many people get that wrong. They write what they want to write, then wonder why it gets knocked back. Especially in the early days, you need to prove your ability to deliver and once that is established, then you can start writing outside the guidelines.
So find out what the editor wants, NOTICE I DIDN’T SAY WRITE WHAT YOU LIKE. Then write something that meets the criteria. Certainly not rocket science huh!
Here are a couple of hints that will help you get published :
Keep it about the mag and their readers not YOU
Find out the word count – never send more than they ask for
Google how to write articles and inform yourself on what is likely to be accepted before you start to write – include Googling as much as you can about the mag you want to submit to.
Research what is popular in other media at the present time, look for trends
Find a twist on the current trends or a twist on the concept – for instance I got a lot of sea change press when I first moved to the country, but they loved me because I would talk about the dark side of sea change – it was a twist on the story line.
Ask yourself “how can I add value to this story?” once it is finished
Add a top 10 or top 5 side bar at the bottom of your story (those little stories that run down the side of a magazine) – they might not use it with this story but they might use it another time
Ensure the content matches exactly what they editor has asked for
Write your article – leave it for a few days and then go back to it – then rewrite and leave it again before sending it – you’d be surprised how many “mistake worms” get at it during the rest period!
Be prepared for them to edit your story
Be prepared for them to edit your story so much that it bears no resemblance to what you wrote but does match their brief
Don’t try to sell directly – sell by proving you are the expert on your topic by adding a lot of value to the article and by making it a strong informative and useful article
Include some interesting case studies
Make it easy for them to publish you – go out of your way to be helpful
Remember to add all the ways they can contact you – including your website
Add some interesting photos if you have the rights to them – mention if you are willing to release the rights to them if they want to use the photo
Journos are busy people – don’t expect them to do any of the work for you – the easier you make it for them to publish you – the more likely they will be to publish you and not the dill brain who is making their life difficult.
Get several copies of the magazine or publication you want to appear in. Then figure out what they have found acceptable in the past. Most magazines have a format that appeals to their reader – despite what you think of that format – if you want to get published …….. follow the format.
If you are a rank newbie – pay a professional editor to critique your article and give you feedback. Patricia Mackenzie has been invaluable to me over the years, knocking my words into shape. She is not always available so I recommend Kristin Lee to help make sure your grammar and spelling are spot on and that you have answered the brief.
Be professional – sounds a Duh point – but the more professional and together looking you are – the more likely you are to “get a pub”
The biggest piece of advice that I would offer is to START WELL BEFORE DEADLINE.
Give your prose plenty of time for the worms to get at it and submit early not on the very last day of submission.
Remember the golden rule – make it easy for them to put you in print!
Imagine if a well researched, well written professional looking article that meets the criteria and needs very little work done on it, appears on an editors desk a couple of weeks before deadline. It has much better chance of being read and published than the hundreds that arrive on the deadline date.
If you have a desire to be included in a particular publication, you may wish to phone the editor before you start and ask them exactly what they want, including the word count and make sure you download the author guidelines and STICK TO THEM!
What’s even easier?
Get the professionals to write the article for you – here are some examples of articles written about me: