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The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 12

August 30th, 2013 No comments

IMG_2576This is the twelfth post in my epic journey of going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

This week has had a few cancellations in my schedule, and let me tell you, that bonus spare time has been A-MAZE-ING.  The lesson this week is all about creating spaciousness.

When I have spaciousness, in my schedule, in my social life, in my spare time – then I’ve got spontaneity, freedom and, mostly importantly, creativity.

First, I’ve currently created my schedule so that I work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  That’s not too bad – having Monday and Friday wide open is one way to create space.  But, there’s not a lot of spaciousness on those three days.

What I notice is that by the end of those days, I am draaaaaaawn out.  There’s not a lot of me left.  Up until this point, I’ve been staunchly opposed to working evenings.  I don’t want to work them.  But, now that I’m exploring outside of what is predictable, maybe I’ll find myself a little more nourished and sourced if I include breaks inside my days.

People want to help me and provide a lot of support, which is great.  And, like every entrepreneur probably experiences, I have a desire to work through the problem on my own.  I notice my resistance to people suggesting resources and places I could look, even after all of the work I’ve done with my own coach and on myself as part of my training.  Our survival mechanisms are insidious things…

My job, as a coach and someone that is growing and pushing outside of my comfort zone, is to open up and allow that support.  It’s another way to create spaciousness.  What if I didn’t have to figure out everything on my own?  I know, I know – if you’re an entrepreneur and you just read that, you probably want to tear my “Entrepreneur 4 Life” badge off my shirt, throw it on the ground and stomp on it.

But here’s the thing I’ve learned these last three months: the key to being an entrepreneur is not doing it all on your own; it’s asking for, receiving and allowing support.  Doing it on your own is a bankrupt idea.  It’s the tainted version of the american dream that people buy in to because it seems courageous and allows them to operate without delving outside of their comfort zone.  There is something infinitely more powerful when someone is actually willing to get outside of their own ego and humbly ask for support.

Stoic statues make great monuments, but we don’t identify with them.  We identify with humans.  Fallible humans, working to overcome our limitations and create something outside of what is predictable.

So… what was I talking about?

Oh yah.  Spaciousness.

How does that look for me?  I don’t know yet exactly – and I have a feeling it will stay that way until I allow the support being offered.

 

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The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 11

August 23rd, 2013 1 comment

photo-5This is the eventh post in my epic journey of going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

The focus of this week has decidedly been trust.  I operate in the absence of trust.  Because I can’t trust that I will succeed, I need to hedge my bets and choose everything.  Because I can’t trust that I will succeed as an entrepreneur, I need to say yes to everything, blowing through my spare time and making my days into one long arduous slog.

When you’re operating from this mindset, you can sometimes feel like you’re sitting on the runway forever.  I’m running, running and running again, and flapping my arms furiously as a I charge down the runway.

The funny thing is that you can reach the point where you’re flying, and never even realize it.

That happened to me yesterday.  Suddenly, my practice was full.  I had reached my destination.  Suddenly, I was making more money than I had in my previous two careers.  There was no more runway – I was in the air.

Weird.

I want to make clear that none of that really matters without trust.  Without trust there will always be a reason that things will fall through.  All of my clients will die of scurvy, or I’ll get mind scurvy, or the coaching profession as a whole will die of scurvy (obviously scurvy is highly correlated with trust).

By the way, you should tweet that.

[Tweet “Obviously, scurvy is highly correlated with trust.”]

The hard part about trust for people like me is that it requires trusting.  Like, when you tell someone that is driven to perform because they have a story that they will fail if they don’t, to trust, their natural response is going to be to point to all of the reasons that they can’t trust.  That’s the definition of trust though – trusting that things will work out in the face of all that.

Thing have always worked out for me.  Things have always worked out, and they always will.  The universe is an abundant place.  There are ways to create what you want.  It is possible to generate the life that you want.  It is all possible (either that or none of it is possible… you decide).

This journey started while I was working with a brilliant coach in San Diego, who pointed out that my issues around money actually sounded a lot like issues around trust.  If I can’t trust that things will work out, I’m probably never going to have enough money right?

So, that’s the area I’m playing in right now.  I think is a significant part in every entrepreneur’s journey.  We learn to continually struggle and hustle, but until we start to practice trust, we’re doomed to repeat that, regardless of how well we’re doing.

If only there was more evidence to support that I could trust… right?

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The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Weeks 9 & 10

August 17th, 2013 No comments

photo-4This is the ninth and tenth post in my epic journey of going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

It’s fitting that this post condenses two weeks into one, because that’s entirely reflective of the way I’ve been doing things these past two weeks.

Here’s the skinny: My schedule is a disaster.  If you came and looked at it, you would likely conclude that it is highly organized, and that I am highly busy.  Both of these are correct.

In fact, my schedule is packed to the gills with things, and every time someone makes a new request, I’m a yes to try to fit it in.  And miraculously, I do!  You need support?  I’ve got your back.  Somehow.  Oh shit… who’s got mine?

No one can get my back, because getting supported require even MORE precious time, and goddamnit, I just want to sit and play video games for fifteen minutes rather than spend one more second doing something.

I realized this week that I’ve got a duality inside me.  On one hand, there is a highly-professional, extremely efficient genius.  He’s dressed very sharply, he’s appropriate, he’s articulate.  On the other hand, there is a funky, stanky, awesome dancer, who is hilarious, great to party with, and reckless.  Ne’er the tween shall meet.

I have a story that the partier is dangerous to me.  He is unhealthy, destructive, and he gets me in trouble.  I fool myself into believing that if I apply enough control (and the professional is exquisite at doing that), I can manage that aspect of my personality.  The thing is, no amount of control is going to be able to kill that side of me.  And so, like a blade of grass, my awesome party side breaks through the concrete.

Both these parts of me are fine, but I have not yet figured out how to integrate all of me.  What I realize is that my clients – those highly efficient professionals that are actually brilliant and have a wild side as well?  This is the same thing they are struggling with!

I’ve been trying to “solve” this problem with my old paradigm, but the more I grow, the more that paradigm bankrupts itself.  Here’s an example of me trying to solve it with the same old paradigm – see if you can see the humour in it:

  • I get frustrated because I drank too much the week before
  • I notice that my rigidly controlled allotment of drinks leaves no room for spontaneous partying
  • I create a new “drink allowance”, this time with the option of having a “free day” once a week.

I’m still using control to try and manage things!  Partying inside of control is still control!  

I’m starting to drop balls, and things aren’t as easy to handle as they were before, because I’m up to bigger things.  Somewhere, somehow, I’ve got a breakdown coming my way.  Things cannot continue going as they have.

The really scary thing is that it might mean getting fired.  If I really want to create my life, my practice, and my career the way I want it, I have to be willing to die before going in to battle.  I have to be willing to lean into the breakdown, instead of avoiding it.

Or maybe I’ll just rearrange my schedule one last time and that will fix everything…

The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 8

August 2nd, 2013 No comments

ImageThis is the eighth post in my epic journey of going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

This week started with me kicking off a new year-long training program in San Diego.  My team is incredible, and the participants we’re training are as well.  Seeing people exposed to powerful coaching for the first time in their lives is always an incredible experience.

Imagine watching person after person show up, put up their defences and survival mechanisms, and then have their true selves not only exposed, but revealed to them.  People getting to see a side of them they have never before truly been present to.

I assert it’s almost impossible to imagine what this is like, unless you’ve had a similar experience yourself.  For some people, that looks like near-death experiences.  Perhaps seeing who they are in the middle of a crisis, or right after someone on their deathbed reveals it to them.

Absent a skilled coach, most people spend most of their lives shielded from glimpsing their purest nature.  It becomes available to them only in moments of great vulnerability, as it’s those times that they are actually open enough to accept what is available.

Sound a little fluffy?  A little frou-frou?  It did to me as well, until I experienced it for myself.

The message inside this last weekend was the importance of reminding myself why I’m doing what I’m doing.  Entrepreneurialism is a heavy game.  It feels like a big weight sometimes.  If you’re not careful, fear slips in easily, and it can lead to overworking ourselves, which becomes a sysphean task.

You know that voice that says, “Maybe if I just work hard-enough, I will finally get out in front of all this stuff”?  Well you won’t.

The things you can do for your business are endless.  What matters is understanding that, and remembering why you’re taking it on in the first place.

So, there it is – pretty simple really, but an important reminder, because it is so easy  to lose sight of what I’m doing.  When I feel the overwhelm and the unbearable urge to work harder, faster, better, strong – my job is to get back to why I’m doing this.  Get present to my “What For”.

So… what for?  For me, this game is about impact, influence, and inspiration.  I truly believe in the power of coaching, and the possibility of people everywhere fully expressed and acting in as their highest selves.  To people doing the difficult work so as to truly be the person they are on this planet to be.  I want fame, yes, but only as a by-product or indication of what I am committed to creating.  I want to take the national stage; to be the coach that people say “Oh, you have to talk to Adam Quiney – he doesn’t see a lot of people, but I know someone who can get you an appointment with him.  He’s amazing!”.

That’s the impact I’m playing for.  That’s why I’m doing this hard work now.

What are you playing for?

[Tweet “The things you can do for your business are endless.  What matters is understanding that, and remembering why you’re taking it on in the first place.”]