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Archive for November, 2013

The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 25

November 29th, 2013 No comments

IMG_2716This is the twenty-fifth (almost halfway!) 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 a very simple one: ASK

One of my very good friends, Steve Parr, has the word tattooed on his wrist.  When I asked him why, he told me that it had ultimately become something of a philosophy for him.  Ask.

If you’re curious, ask.  If you want something, ask.  If you need support, ask.  If you want someone to stop doing something, ask.

ASK

The theme this week with my clients (and therefore, presumably with me a well) has been that asking is too much.  It makes you appear needy, weak, like a failure, or like you simply can’t manage on your own.

You know what?  Maybe you can’t.  I mean, you probably can manage on your own, but I would assert that you really can’t achieve everything you want in life without support.  I’m not talking about the stuff that you’re allowing yourself to wish for because it’s “reasonable” (I hate that word).

I’m talking about the really juicy stuff.  The stuff that you don’t really talk about until I’ve asked you “Yah, but what would you create if there was nothing in your way” two more times after the first.

It all starts from asking.  Until you begin asking, you’re stalled.  You can take the long route, and hopefully someone will provide you what you want or need without you having to ask for it in the first place, but where’s the power in that?

Powerful people make requests.  Powerful people ask.

And I am committed to being powerful.

Susan Campbell’s book, Getting Real, is a must-read for anyone that wants to create more authenticity, connection and communication in their lives.  One of my favourite pieces from it, tucked away in the corner of the page, reads

Continue to express yourself, even when it seems you have little chance of getting what you ask for.

We must ask for what we want — not because we might get it, but because it’s a genuine expression of who we are.

So that’s it for this week.  A bi thank you to everyone that has been reading these posts up to this point.  Please share with your friends and in your networks.  It’s really hard to get exposure all by myself.

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The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 24

November 26th, 2013 No comments

IMG_2711This is the twenty-fourth post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

This post is late, because I went away on a vacation with my closest friends to this place.  What I’ve taken away from that trip, and the past week, is the importance of integration in your work as an entrepreneur.

We typically create silos in our lives.  We’ve got our version of work-Adam, who behaves differently (probably more professional and reserved) than party-Adam, who behaves differently (probably more outgoing and authentic) than-meeting-someone-for-the-first-time Adam (probably really interested in hearing everything about you – so as not to have to share anything about me).

I create those silos all over the place, and I notice that over people do as well.  As entrepreneurs, we’ll often tell you that the problem is that we don’t have enough separation between our work and our daily life.  We need more work-life balance, we exclaim, but what that really means is that we feel like we’re spending too much time working.

The real problem here is a lack of integration.  If we have to keep our work lives separate from the rest of our lives, it becomes really difficult to have it all.  We can spend X amount of hours working, and then we need to stop and change our focus.  And, if work makes a demand on our time, it comes at the expense of the rest of our life.

Integration means that my work is just a natural part of my job.  I meet up with people for minglers — not necessarily because I have to, but because I it’s just part of who I am.  I generate clients this way, but I also just get to go out and have fun.  I’ve integrated work-Adam with have-a-few-drinks-Adam.

The more we can integrate the parts of our lives together into one whole, the more we can have our cake and eat it too.

For entrepreneurs, the challenge is to actually have your work be a part of your daily life, but to also be intentional in creating time for yourself, and to do the things you love.  If you’re allowing work to take over every aspect of your life, you’ve the stop of integration and are now back into silos — the problem now being that you’ve let one silo grow far too large.

So there you have it.  Integration.

The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 23

November 25th, 2013 1 comment

IMG_2710This is the twenty-third post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

I’m not really sure what lesson I learned this week.  I think the big take away has been that you never really reach any real kind of destination as an entrepreneur – the scale just shifts.

I know a lot of people fantasize about how different their lives would be if they won the lottery, or get that new job they’ve been after, or change careers, or finally get the boyfriend they’ve been pining for.  But I also know that that isn’t true at all.  Things won’t be any different, because you won’t be any different.

As an entrepreneur, the things that overwhelm me out or that I cannot be with don’t change simply because I’ve started bringing in a certain amount of income.  Just because I’m making X amount of dollars a month doesn’t mean I’m any less concerned about money.  The only that that has really changed is the scale.

The funny thing is that stuff happens when you give yourself and the universe the space to allow it.  For me it’s so easy to get caught up in the sheer amount of doing that I can step right over the opportunities for peace and tranquility that I’m looking for.

I’m trying to create flexiliby and dynamism in my life, but locking that out by continually doing more and more stuff because I’m entertaining the fear that I will fail if I stop.

Yesterday I woke up in the middle of the shitpit.  Everything was wrong and I was frustrated and grumpy.  Rather than try to fix it, I just chose to be a stand for authenticity.  Whenever someone asked me how my day was doing, I shared with them what I was going through.  Not from a place of victimhood and complaint, but from a place of having it distinguished that I just woke up feeling shitty and grumpy.

It was amazing what it allowed.  Instead of resisting it, trying to pave over top of it, or doing to remedy the problem, I just let myself sit in it, and shared it when it was appropriate.  By the end of the day, I was feeling fantastic, and had accomplished more than any other day that week.

So I guess what I’m taking away this week is that the real work isn’t what you think it is.  It’s not working 12 hours a day and converting your blood, sweat and tears into widgets, product releases and dollar signs.  The real work is actually about creating space for you to not do those things.

Today, I stand for stillness and space.  Give yourself room to expand.

The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 22

November 8th, 2013 No comments

IMG_2686This is the twenty-second post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

Two big victories for me this week.  First, my coaching practice filled up.  That’s right.  It’s full.  I have the number of clients that I set out to create.

Second, I qualified for the position I’ve been acting in as a leader in training with Accomplishment Coaching (“AC”).  AC is, in my opinion, the finest coach training program in the world, and I’m honoured to be working with them and sourcing this work.  There is a tremendous amount of awful training programs out there, and I am committed to training coaches that are truly excellent (spoiler: that requires more than $650 and 48 hours).

The lesson this week is in the face of those victories.  In my work, I’ve had many team members hit a goal that they set for themselves, and then stop.  They needed a certain amount of clients to qualify, hit that number, and then stopped applying themselves.

Entrepreneurs are sharks.  We eat what we kill, and we need to keep moving.  If you have stopped, your business is deteriorating.  It’s that simple.

Now this alone would sound like fairly miserable news (or at least like it’s coming from a workaholic).  But what I’m advocating is not that you never take a break, but rather that, as an entrepreneur, you must make generating clients, or business, a part of your daily routine.

Even though my practice is full, I continue to connect with people and provide complimentary sessions.  In part, I do this because it’s what keeps my business going and my pipeline filled.  The bigger reason, though, is because I love providing the service that I can to people.  It doesn’t matter if the only time I ever interact with someone is in that complimentary session I provide them.  I know that I can change the way they are currently looking at their lives in that moment.

That is why I do this.  It’s not about the money, and it’s not about what I can get.  It’s about what I can give.  And by making sure I always keep my focus on that, I simultaneously continue to build my business, and get to do what I enjoy.  By devoting time to both building my business, working with my clients, and breaks and fun, I get to have my cake and eat it too.

So, in short, the lesson for this week?  Create the both/and, instead of the either/or, and keep on moving.

The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 21

November 1st, 2013 No comments

 

IMG_2677This is the twenty-first post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

 

Today’s post is short, because this week’s lesson can be summed up very quickly.

 

That lesson is that entrepreneurs need breaks too.  We avoid it because we have stories about the our empire crumbling around us if we aren’t there to save the day.

This week is my break.  See you all next week!