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Archive for January, 2014

Speaking from the heart – Part 1

January 30th, 2014 No comments

Two months ago, the CEO of Accomplishment Coaching, mentor and dear friend of mine, Christopher McAuliffe, gave me a charge.  He suggested that I take on writing a heartfelt, vulnerable, enrolling e-mail to my team once a day, for 31 days.

I took that charge on.  I got so much out of it (as did my team), that I decided to continue the practice, and included my team in Seattle on the e-mails as well.

In the middle of the breakdown I’m currently in, it seems fitting that I start sharing these with the rest of the world. My work is around authenticity and vulnerability.  Showing up as ourselves, even, and especially when, it’s not okay to do so (spoiler alert: it’s always okay).

So, starting today, I’ll be posting these e-mails to this blog as well, and sharing them on Facebook.  I hope you enjoy them.  This is as much a part of my journey as my entrepreneurial guide is, and the intention is to give you as much insight as possible into the organ I spent thirty-plus years hiding from the world – my heart.

I want to create inspiration today.

Not because it will fix my breakdown, but because it will provide something to me.  Inspiration is my life’s purpose, and it’s what I want to create in the world more than anything.

Christopher suggested, last weekend, that I focus on creating inspiration, rather than money, and trust that the money will come.

That’s so hard for me.  I care about money.  I love clothes and shoes.  I want to be able to take vacations with Bay.  I want a larger house.

I want.

Underneath all of this, it feels like my breakdown somehow swirls around this.  I know that the hero’s journey involves falling off our horse multiple times.  I know that the difference between a warrior and a coward is not that one has fears and the other does not, but rather what they do with those fears.

I have fears.  Lots of them.  I’m fearful that I can’t generate clients at a whopping rate of $1,500.  I’m fearful that I’m never going to get to the point as a coach, where I’m having my clients generate the results they want.  I’m fearful that it’ll all fall apart, and even though I got my practice to this point, stepping in to bolder possibility will cause it to all fall apart.

Anyhow, none of those fears are particularly inspiring to me, but I think the inspiration comes from having them, owning them, sharing them, and choosing to act in spite of them.

That’s what I’m choosing to do.  I don’t actually know if it will make a difference, to be honest.  All I really know is that I’ve got this video from Rocky IV playing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye8jddRP-bs) and what really matters is continuing, rather than stopping.

I’m just a warrior training.

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The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 32

January 27th, 2014 No comments

IMG_2789 - Version 2This is the thirty-second post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

Mo’ money, mo problems.

Not really.  I mean, I’m not making mo’ money since I last posted.  But the title to Puffy D’s song is an accurate reflection of how things go.  As an entrepreneur, the strive is often for the success that is ever elusive.  Maybe once I’ve hit that funding cap we’re playing for, things will calm down.

Except they don’t, because now you’ve got added pressure from investors, and a team that you have to hire.  But hey, once you’ve hired your team, then you can take a breath right?  Nope, now you have to manage the team.

One of the things that is most profound about the journey of entrepreneurship is that you are continually confronted with your own stuff, and forced to reconcile it.  It’s basically a continual set of opportunities where you can either embrace a breakdown (and then reinvent your way of doing things) or treat it as a problem to reassert control over.

I can’t imagine taking this journey without a coach, because the process would like a lot more like me controlling everything, avoiding breakdowns and ultimately getting to the point of the American corporations that are too big to fail.

If you’re a professional that feels like you’ve got professional success but are hemmed and trapped by that very same thing, you might be in that exact boat.

The economy grows and increases by having businesses succeed and fail.  Humans grow by doing the same thing: by taking on endeavours, having them succeed and fail.

The longer we stave off failure, the bigger the ultimate failure is, because it’s impossible to stave off failure forever.  All you ultimately do is raise the stakes on that pending failure.

Oh, did I mention I’m still in breakdown?  Where I’m failing right now is in creating space for free time, peace, creativity and relaxation.  Business is good.  Busy-ness is bad.  I’ve created both of those things.  Now I’m in the middle of breakdown.

It’s okay — breakdown doesn’t mean I’m broken.  It means that I’m organic.  I’m allowing and in process.

I’ll see you on the other side (provided you too are allowing breakdowns).

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The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 31

January 17th, 2014 2 comments

photo - Version 2This is the thirty-first post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

Have you ever had one of those days/weeks at work where no matter how hard you tried, you simply could not make yourself work?  It’s not that you had bad intentions – it’s that, despite all of your good intentions, you sat down and did big fat nothing.

When I worked at jobs, I would sit there, not working, feeling guilty about all of the not-work I was doing, as well as the work I was not doing.  The guilt was designed to actually have me get over what I was currently up to and start working again, but guilt never actually works that way.

When I started working for myself, I, naturally, assumed it would be different.  I’m working for myself now, this is my livelihood.  Why would I simply not work?  That doesn’t make any sense.

I’ll tell you the reason why — and it’s funny, because it’s exactly the same as the reason why I wouldn’t work at my salaried jobs.

Because I didn’t want to.

Let me repeat it one more time:

I didn’t want to.

A lawyer I was working with at the Department of Justice told me something once that really stuck with me.

After I teased her about zoning out, she said:

“Yah, I really believed in energy management.  When I’ve got the energy to do a lot of work, I do it.  And when I don’t, I try to empower that.”

It’s that simple.

So that’s where I’ve been this week.  Without a tremendous amount of energy to devote to work, and struggling to empower myself as being in that place.

As an entrepreneur, you’re given the gift of having your own stuff reflected to you.  When you’re working for another company, it becomes easy and or seductive to assume the way you’re feeling or being is a result of your environment, or something out of your control.

As an entrepreneur, this is the gift you are provided — all of your stuff is your stuff.  Of course, that’s no different than when you’re working any other job, it’s just that it’s that much easier to see.

So embrace.  Take it as a gift, and roll with it.

Me?  I’m going to go back to disempowering my choices (for just a little while longer).

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The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 30

January 12th, 2014 No comments

photo - Version 2This is the thirtieth post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

The theme for this week has been because I said so.

Why has that been the theme for this week?  Because I said so.

Why would it be possible for someone who has started a new business six months ago to build that business to a place where it’s making more money than I’ve ever made in my life?  Because I said so.

Why would it be possible to go from a career doing something already steeped in credibility, to something that is burgeoning and still regarded with a good deal of skepticism by many people?  Because I said so.

Why would someone hire me to work with them once a week instead of spending their money on a brand new shiny car?  Because I said so.

I don’t mean this in the sense that I say something is going to happen and it magically does.  What I mean is that you can make anything happen if you are committed to creating it.

Numerous times this year, I’ve thought to myself “Adam, how the heck can you possibly make this work?”.  But then I remember, “Oh right.  Because I want it to.”

Just as many times, I hear people buying in to the other side of that coin.  “There’s no way that I could possibly create that position in that amount of time”.  And they’re right, because once they’ve established that fact, they stop committing to create it, and they stop looking for ways outside of what they currently see to generate.

I want to share with you the second phase of Evergrowth.  We are incorporating, and hiring coaches.  With those coaches, I’m enrolling small and medium businesses to retain Evergrowth so as to provide coaching to their employees as part of their benefits package.

The employees get sharper focus on what they want to create, start stepping outside of what is possible and into creating breakthrough results, are more aligned with what they want, and are happier, more productive and more efficient as a result.

The employer gets the benefit of employees that are all those things, as well as weeding out the employees that aren’t a good fit sooner (which will naturally happen as they work with a coach) and organically creating a corporate culture, rather than trying to impose one (“Hey look, we’ve got our values printed on the walls.  Everyone think about what that means to you!”).

I train coaches in two cities once a month, and have a keen understanding and awareness of what makes for great coaches.  Lastly, there are no coaching firms offering this approach yet, which is silly.  Coaching is what’s next, and the world is awakening to that fact.

So, no one is doing this yet, and we’re just starting out.  Why on earth would a firm hire us to provide this service?

Because I said so.

That’s why.  It’s that simple.

When I shared this with my Mum, she asked “I don’t know, it seems like the economy is tight these days, and investing in their employees is usually the first thing that gets cut..  Do you think this will really work”.

There’s nothing wrong with that question, but she’s just forgotten the cardinal rule.  Yes, they will.

Because I said so.

Intelligent cutting-edge companies recognize that, during a downturn, you invest more in yourself.  That way you’re ahead of the pack when the pendulum swings back (as it inevitably does).  If there are no companies aware of this fact in Victoria (which is already pretty unlikely), then I’ll look elsewhere.

The world is abundant.  The solution may not be immediately obvious, but it is there.  Remember, you can make it happen;

Because you said so.

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The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 29

January 6th, 2014 No comments

photo - Version 2This is the twenty-ninth post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

A while back, I wrote about flying on Evergrowth’s blog.  I described the fact that turbulence, for me, was fun, provided that I trusted the engineering of the aircraft.  If I didn’t trust that, turbulence became hell.

Well the past few weeks have certainly been turbulent.  I generated three new clients over the course of about two weeks, filling my practice up to capacity, with one extra client.  Then, two weeks later, two clients gave their notice and another one shared their doubts about being able to pay beyond our first month together.

So, on the whole, I’m even-steven.  But you know what?  It didn’t feel that way.  And my stomach certainly didn’t feel that way either.  Multiple nights, I woke up in deep fear.  At about 4:30 I woke up and just lay in bed.  My head ran through all of the fears it could come up with.  This was the greatest turbulence I’d ever experienced.  And it seriously shook my confidence.

Going into coaching calls, I noticed myself showing up less powerfully.  I was getting attached to my clients working with me and generating results, because if they didn’t, they may fire me, and if they fired me, I would be in even more trouble.

Ooh boy.

None of that is a powerful place to come from as a coach.  Before we go any further, can you see, from all of this, how important a coach’s being is?  If your coach is being fearful, all of the power leaks out of the relationship.  This is why, when we train new coaches, we spend the first couple of months focusing almost exclusively on how they’re being.  The tools don’t matter if the coach’s being is out of whack.

So, I did the work.  I took on my own completion work.  I cleared every day.  Then I cleared at lunch.  Then I shared what I didn’t want to share with my wife and my teammates.  I practiced authenticity when it wasn’t safe to do so, because that’s when it’s most important to be authentic.

And then things started to get better.  I remembered myself as a kid, sitting in my room, playing my gameboy.  I had gotten to level 4 in Solar Striker, a terrible game that I had bought, which I kept playing because back then, games were scarce, and I played whatever I could get my hands on.  My Mum knocked on my door and told me that it was time to go to bed.  Despite my pleas that I was at level 4 and had never gotten there before, she insisted.

“You got there once, you can get there again.  It’s time to go to bed”.

[Tweet “If you got there once, you can get there again”]

I revisit those words often, and they provided me solace towards the end of the holidays.  Hey, I filled my practice up to capacity and then some.  I got there once, and I can get there again.

I keep relating to my success as though it’s a fluke, which is what generates all the fear.  But it’s not a fluke, and we as entrepreneurs do ourselves a disservice when we relate to our work this way.  It’s all the result of my being – my endeavour.  That success is the result of doing the work.  Working with my coach to get clear on how I’m getting in my own way, and then doing what is necessary to take on those fears and work on my blindspots.

Being an entrepreneur means embracing fear and confrontation as part of your life.  It’s the only way to generate the breakthroughs that we really want.  The work brings highs and lows.  When we are in the high, we forget about the lows, and when we’re in the low, we lose our vision of what the high feels like.

Above all, it’s our job to ride those waves, minimizing the time we spend in the low, and maximizing our growth during the highs.

Now, how about that next high?

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