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The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 20

October 25th, 2013 No comments

IMG_2631This is the twentieth post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

Holy cow, twenty posts already.  That means that I’m over one third of the way through the year.  Fun fact: the days where I’m wearing jeans are usually my travel days.

This week, my lesson was that you’re no longer just working a job when you’re an entrepreneur.

For many people, work is a sense of their identity.  Some people even have trouble leaving their work at work when they come home at the end of the day, struggling to let things subdue in their mind, and let go of whatever struggles and concerns they’re currently dealing with professionally.

What I noticed, when I was working at a job, was that I could separate myself fairly easily from the work.  My emotional state did not dictate my experience of my job, nor the success of the business I was working in.

All of that disappeared when I became an entrepreneur.  If I’m feeling happy and living in abundance, so too is my business.  If I’m feeling upset and clenching at scarcity, my business has a tendency to do the same thing.

Most entrepreneurs go into business for themselves because they want a business that reflects who they are in the world.  They want to work a job that is an extension of who they are, and how they’re being.

Then they immediately forget about all that and work themselves to dust.

As an entrepreneur, we are our business.  How we’re being, moment to moment has a very real and legitimate impact on our business.  And in much the same way, our business has a very real impact on us.  When the business is going well, we’re doing well.

A tough day at work is no longer simply something to gripe about — it’s an indication of how we’re doing.  If you’re not careful, everything can become a reflection of yourself.

With this kind of relationship, I’m learning that it’s no loner an option to plow over my emotions and try to work over top of them.  It’s not working.  When I’m feeling sadness, it is my duty, not only to myself, but also my clients, to actually be with that sadness.  If I try to deny who I am, it will come out in my business.  If I don’t allow myself to be … myself, the impact is now greater than just a shitty evening at home with Bay.

For anyone that’s used to working over top of their emotions and ignoring what’s currently real for them (I’m talking about me), this will seem problematic.  The usual way we’ve learned of doing things is starting to bankrupt.  We can’t just put ourselves on hold and expect things to work out.  It’s not that there’s a problem with the business — the problem is with the strategy I developed long ago to cope with my feelings.

For the first time in my life, I’m being required to actually experience everything that is so for me – my business has simply become the vehicle by which this breakthrough is delivered.

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The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 19

October 18th, 2013 1 comment

IMG_2632This is the nineteenth post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

This week’s lesson was that even though it’s scary, you have to ask for what you want.  AND, sometimes, even though you ask for what you want, you won’t get it.

One of the significant parts of my own vision is that I see myself lecturing and coaching to an audience of thousands.  I am slowly putting together my project around this, but it’s big, it’s scary, and it requires a lot of effort.  This is the vision I see for myself.  Adam Quiney — the next Tony Robbins.

Part of what will make that vision happen is my writing.  I write content for this site as well as our professional site, http://evergrowthcoaching.com.  The trouble is that it’s slow to build readership.  People are fickle, and blogs are a dime a dozen these days.

Simply throwing your hat into the ring and adding yourself to that list of blogs alone is not enough to build your readership.

So I’ve been asking for support.  I don’t normally like asking for support.  I have a few stories about asking for support.  They look like this:

If you ask for support, it’s more trouble than it’s worth

I can solve my own problems, and if I ask for support, then people will either support me wrong (which means I have to fix what they screw up) or they’ll be concerned and then I have to “support” them.

This is a stupid story, but it’s the way I set things up.  It doesn’t serve me much these days, but growing up, it means that I learned that in order to have my needs met, it was best just to take it all on myself

It’s embarrassing asking for support

If I ask for support, it means I can’t accomplish something on my own.  How embarrassing.  I’m clearly weak.

This is a silly story for a number of reasons, the biggest of which being that I’m a coach.  My whole job is based around the concept that people, already winning and great at what they do, can be better at what they do with the support of someone else.

Even if I ask people won’t support me anyhow, so what’s the point?

We all have flavours of this story in our lives.  Maybe not around support, like me, but many of us have it in some capacity or another.

The truth is, I often play “Don’t ask, hopefully get”, because it means I don’t have to risk doing “Ask, don’t get”.

And that’s what I’ve been up against this week.  Sometimes, you have to ask for support, and accept that not everyone can provide it.  I’ve asked many people to support what I’m up to by sharing our blog posts, but many don’t.  It’s not because they don’t want to see me succeed — they just have their own stuff that they’re working through.

Maybe they aren’t comfortable sharing out my writing with people in their network.  Maybe they think it would be spammy.  Maybe they don’t feel like they have time for it.  Maybe they, like I with panhandlers, don’t think it will make a difference anyhow.  Maybe they’re triggered themselves by me asking for support.

Whatever it is, the game for me is to be with how they show up when I ask for support, rather than going back to my old stories and context.

Sometimes — sometimes you have to ask and be okay with not getting.  

The growth comes from asking, not what happens afterwards.

For the record, some people really did show me the support I asked for, and in ways that really filled up my heart.  If you’d like to help, you can do so by sharing our posts over at http://evergrowthcoaching.com/blog.

The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 18

October 13th, 2013 No comments

IMG_2663This is the eighteenth post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

You know what?  Sometimes you just have to throw a bunch of shit at the wall and see what sticks.

For the past two months, I’ve been resigned to the fact that I travel on Mondays and Fridays, twice a month.  That means that booking recurring appointments on Monday and Friday is generally a bad idea, because I will have to reschedule at least two of them every week.

For the most part, I prefer to have things that are recurring and consistent.  I believe in the value of ritual and routine.  There is comfort in routine.  It means that you don’t have to figure out what you’ll be doing at a certain time.  It means that I don’t have to waste time scheduling each month.  I can just schedule once, and be done with it.

Routine is great for coaching as well.  Many clients need help creating routines for themselves, and having a regularly occurring appointment with their coach provides some structure within which they can operate and be accountable.

In order to accommodate my travel, I’ve booked everything into Tuesday , Wednesday and Thursday, which has made for impossibly busy days.  Those days suck.  They’re tiring, I don’t look forward to them, and I am drained by the end of them.  It’s not the game that I’m up to playing.  It’s not why I went into this business.

Up until this point, I’ve been stuck, because there was no other option.  I travel on Monday and Friday, and I don’t want to work in the evenings, so what else was I to do?  I was doomed to have three days a week that were exhausting and no fun.

Whoa is me!

These past two weeks, instead of remaining a victim, I’ve been experimenting.  What if I only ever schedule my travel in the afternoon on Mondays?  If I did that, it would open up two slots every Friday (of course, it might mean that this writing doesn’t get updated until Sunday, but you’ll live with that, right?).

Sure, I get in to town later, and that might mean I’ll have less time to get settled in the evenings, but maybe that would be a reasonable trade-off for some extra space in the middle of the week.

What if, instead of dogmatically insisting that I don’t want to work in the evenings (and then end up spending those evenings vegetating because of the day I’ve had), I release my grip a little bit and allowed a coaching appointment that went from 6 to 7PM?  Sure, it will cut down on some of the things I could do during the week, but it would also open up an hour-long break in the middle of my day when I can go to the gym, play video games, relax, read, or do anything else.

It’s kind of funny, because whenever someone wants to step into the next big thing in their lives, they typically focus on what they would have to give up in order to do so.  As a coach, what I see is that they are already limiting what they want to create in their lives.  Who says you have to give those things up?  Why not play the game where you get what is next for you and get to keep the things you already value?

Up to this point, I’ve been resistant to taking on any of these things, because I’ve held on to my story that it wasn’t possible.  It was impossible for me to work in the evening, because I wouldn’t enjoy it, I didn’t want to, and it would wreck my precious evenings.  But maybe my evenings will actually be more precious when my days are a little more spacious.

Maybe some of this will work and I’ll have a new perspective.  Or, maybe it will be a disaster.  Maybe I’ll hate working my evenings and it really does end up meaning that I miss out on too much stuff.  Either way, it’s positive, because I’m trying something new.

Sometimes, you just have to throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks.

The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 17

October 4th, 2013 2 comments

IMG_2606_2This is the seventeenth post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

This week I realized that I love marketing.

Normally when people want to start working with me on building their business, one of the first things they tell me is how much they hate selling.  I’m totally with them.  I hate selling too.

It sucks, it’s not fun, people don’t enjoy being “sold” to, and it generally feels disingenuous.  (Because it is — you don’t really want to have a conversation with them, you want them to buy your stupid product).

I’ve been treated to a number of terrible sales calls and e-mails this month.  One person called me up from some odd company called “America’s Close Up on Online Business”, asking me if I was interested in doing a radio interview with their celebrity radio hosts (one of which was the interviewer on People’s Court with Judge Wapner).  The only catch was that I would have to pay the $2,500 in costs for the celebrity guests to interview me.

This person told me that she wasn’t going to try and convince me of the value of taking her up on the offer, and then proceeded to spend thirty minutes trying to convince me of the value she was providing me.

That’s obnoxious, and it’s disingenuous.

Five or six months back, Lisa Peake told me “Quit checking in with people, and quit following up.  Start providing service to people”.  That’s what formed the basis for my marketing: I provide as much service as I can, wherever I can.

That’s it.  If I know someone looking for a new website, I refer them to someone I know that does great web design.  If I know someone that might be interested in design work, I refer them to a design expert. If there’s someone struggling or stuck with something, I offer them some coaching.

This works because it’s fun.  It’s fun to give.  It’s not fun to try and get.  It becomes tedious approaching people with the question “What can I get from this guy?”  Approaching someone with the question in mind of “What can I provide this person?” is completely different.

When I’m approaching someone with the intent to get something from them, I have to mask my intentions.  People have enough demands on their time — they don’t need another thing that they have to do.  So then we come at them with a thinly transparent attempt to disguise our true intentions.  It’s icky and it’s needy.  No one likes that.

So these days, I don’t do that anymore.  I just provide service.

And that’s how I learned to love marketing.

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