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Archive for April, 2014

The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 44

April 19th, 2014 2 comments

IMG_2873 - Version 2This is the forty-fourth post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

Mindfulness and a life by design.

Those are the two things that have really been on my mind lately.  One of the things that really drives my life is passion.  If you spend two hours talking with me, you get a sense that I’m deeply passionate about the things I take on.  I’ll talk to you about the funk-styles of dancing forever if you want me to.  Ask me about what makes a good angle in boogaloo, and I’ll tell you all of the theories I have, and everything I’ve come up with over the years of getting down.

If you ask me about the nuances of P vs. 2P in Virtua Fighter, I’ll explain the situations where you want to choose one over the other (actually, you don’t even have to.  You can just go and read the blog I used to write about that exact kind of thing here).

Anyhow, that passion really drives me forward.  I’m voracious when I start to love something.  The flipside of that passion can be obsession.  I want something so much that I lose sight of the life that I have around me.  I put all of my focus, time, and energy into what I’m pursuing, and then realize I’ve spent a week working on it.

There’s nothing wrong with that, if it’s a joyful, intentional week, but with obsession, it starts to get dark.  Instead of loving the progress and the journey, I can start to focus only on what I’m not currently achieving.  Then it becomes a treadmill that I’m always running faster and faster along.

This week, I’ve been really taking on a practice in mindfulness.  Because, whats the point of having an amazing life, if I’m not present to it.  I get to do work that I love, but if I’m not taking the time to stop and really appreciate everything I’m creating, it’s only slightly better than a life than I spend with my head buried in a bunch of papers at a deskjob I don’t enjoy.

Mindfulness means doing things like running and really focusing on every aspect of the run, rather than just doing it so I can stay slim.  (I caught myself doing that recently.  Crazy).

The other thing that has been dawning on me has been how important it is to design our lives as entrepreneurs.  I mean, it’s why we get into the work in the first place — freedom!

I’ve slowly been reviewing the pieces of my schedule and life, and determining whether I actually want things to look this way.  If I don’t, then I look at what needs to happen to rearrange them.

That’s a lot different than the space I was coming in to 44 weeks ago, which was “I’ll say yes to everything and find a way to make it fit”.  I know I can be successful under that paradigm, but it’s not what I’m really interested in.

But I have to start somewhere.  If I don’t be a demand for the schedule I want, who will?  That doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will be happy about it, but that’s not what matters.

What matters is that I love my life.

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The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 42 & 43

April 15th, 2014 No comments

IMG_2872 - Version 2This is the forty-second and forty-third post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

That’s right, I’m doubling up weeks again.  The theme this week has been all about the power that designing the life you want to create can provide you.

Most people go through life in the noise of ordinary and what they should do.  Even those of us that can’t see ourselves doing it often show up wowing other people, but always feeling like there’s just not something we’re nailing.

It’s the safe and the ordinary.  It’s comfortable, because there’s a predictability to it.  If we stay on our course, and shoot for a raise at our next performance review, we know that the worse thing that will happen is that we won’t get it.

As an entrepreneur, I know that the same thing can happen.  It’s easy to get some early profits going, and then incrementally increase from there.

But that’s boring.  It doesn’t lead to any breakthroughs.  It doesn’t create exponential results.

I’ve made wild declarations, and then acted so as to get myself there.  In the process of doing so, I’ve come up against breakdowns after breakdowns.  Those breakdowns that have actually allowed me to create something new on the other side of the old that was being discarded.

It’s not until we make powerful declarations and reach for something outside of what we currently know how to create that these breakdowns become possible.  Up until that point, they’re merely problems.

“Oh, my calendar is over scheduled.  Well, I guess I’ll just rearrange things and cut in to my exercise time.”

That’s fine, as long as I’m not holding myself accountable to win a marathon.  Until I make a crazy declaration like that one, this is simply a problem.  A speedbump that I overcome, and then revert to the old way of doing things.

But if I declare winning a marathon, holy crap, I can’t actually let that keep happening.  It’s a serious breakdown if my training keeps getting push out to make room for work.

You can see that the wild declaration and goal I set for myself actually requires that I break things up, and it’s actually going to create breakdowns.  What worked before no longer works.

That’s what I’ve been presenced to these past two weeks.  Set unreasonable goals for yourself, and hire the best coach you can afford to have you achieve them.

It’s that simple.

Speaking From the Heart — Part 9

April 13th, 2014 No comments

There’s a danger to practicing authenticity by posting on your blog and Facebook, and I think that that is the risk of self-indulgence.  If we’re not careful, our sharing can simply become a tedious mess of drama and victimhood, without actually demonstrating power.

It’s an easy trap to fall in to, because it takes courage to share the dark parts about ourselves, and when we do so, we get a response that’s commensurate with that.  The feedback I’ve gotten from sharing where I’m at has been amazing.  People have reached out, thanked me for sharing, acknowledged me for the courage, and provided sincere offers of support.

That’s been great.

The risk though, is that I stop being authentic, and instead shift what I’m sharing so as to continue receiving those things.

It feels good when I share authentically and people respond positively to it, but it’s crucial to remember that the reason it matters in the first place, and the reason it feels good, is because I’m actually being true to myself.  The kudos are simply a side-benefit.

I was reflecting the other day that I hadn’t shared anything recently, and felt like it was time to do so.  Then, I thought “Well, the breakdown has mostly passed, I don’t really have anything crappy to share”.

You can see why that’s funny right?

So instead, let’s continue to play this game, and actually allow people (you) to see all of me.  Not just the crappy bits, but also the great bits.

I’ve been in breakdown for about a month now.  I raised my rates in service of both myself and my clients.  I know that sounds counter-intuitive, so let me elaborate.  By taking on exponentially/terrifying results myself, and really committing to them, I’m actually paving the way for my clients to do the same.  Your coach can only take you as deeply as they’ve gone.  It’s not that I don’t benefit from increasing my rates — it’s moving me in the direction that I want to go as well.

Trust me though, it would have been a lot easier to stay comfortable and not face the fear and breakdown that I have over the last month.

As a result of setting that new goal, I’ve been confronted (rather than rehash it, just go back and read about it here if you’re interested).  My fears have been running rampant, and I’ve been in breakdown.  No fun, no joy.  Things just haven’t been that great.

But this week… This week I generated my breakthrough.  On the heels of a powerful weekend training new coaching and witnessing transformation in the moment, and in tandem with Bay working through her own breakdown, my breakthrough magically popped.  Suddenly, the struggle dropped away.  I asked for support, and I got it.  I got a ton of it.  I got it from all over.

I asked for support from my teammates, and talked with them over the phone.  I reached out via e-mail to one of my favourite authors and coaches, Steve Chandler, and he not only responded, but set aside two hours to talk with me on the phone.  (You know what I definitely wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t set such a crazy confronting goal for myself?  I sure as hell wouldn’t have randomly decided to reach out to one of the world’s foremost coaches and asked him to talk to me on the phone).

I showed up on my call with my coach on Thursday, and things were just… different.  Suddenly, I realized that it didn’t matter, and not only did I have an intellectual awareness of that fact — I actually GOT that it didn’t matter.  Things were going to work out, and I could trust that one way or another, I was going to be just fine.  All I really needed to do, instead of clenching and trying to control everything, was to relax and allow some trust.

“It sounds like you’ve had a breakthrough in trust, Adam”, my coach, Jolynne Anderson, said to me.  She was right — and all it took was three months.  During our call, I told her “You know, I really want a new client now.  I’m ready for it”, to which she replied “Yah, I get that — and how you’re being right now?  It’s time.  You’re going to generate clients from here”.

From there, all it took was one day.  One powerful two hour conversation with someone, and boom, the rest happened by itself.  I didn’t need to push anything on him.  All I needed to do was be with him, and trust that that was enough.  We went deep, and I gave him powerful, high-flame coaching.  We got to the bottom of everything that was currently creating his chaotic hectic life the way it is.  Once he saw what was possible, it stopped being a question of whether or not he wanted to work with me — it was a question of whether or not I was willing to take him on as a client.

And so there it is.  What’s clear to me is that none of this would have come about if I hadn’t made a crazy declaration right at the start.  All of this is based around the power of declaration and commitment.

It isn’t until we actually declare and truly commit to something that transformation can happen.  without a goal you’re really willing to pursue, it’s just easier to turn around and go back to what is comfortable.  For three months, it would have been much easier to go back to my old rates and lived comfortably on them.  But that’s not the game I’m up to playing, and it wouldn’t serve my clients to have me doing so.

This is about more than just me — and it’s about more than just you.

I’m sharing this here, because it’s important to play a bigger game.  It doesn’t just impact you — it impacts the world around you.  I hope that my breakthrough inspires you to create one for yourself, because that will in turn inspire the other people in your life to do the same.

Play bigger.

Please.

We need you to.

Speaking from the Heart – Part 8

April 3rd, 2014 1 comment

Time to put myself out there again.  My intent here is to actually own my own stuff as it shows up — not to be melodramatic about it.  I believe that we all experience these sensations from time to time.  It’s okay to have them, and the more we share and allow them, the more they can flow through us.  So here’s where I find myself today.

I’m bouncing in and out of fear like a pinball machine. I’m in breakdown (so I do declare) and realize I have been here for about three weeks, if not longer.

I need reassurance that I can actually achieve the big goals I’ve set for myself, and have a story that that reassurance ultimately needs to come from within — so what’s the point of even asking for reassurance?

My teammate, Brian, in San Diego, reflected to me that just because I’m on a journey to generate that trust and reassurance from within doesn’t mean that I don’t need some externally to support me as I move forward.

My coaching practice is full, and I’ve never felt more like my client game is in breakdown. I judge myself as not being a powerful enough coach for at least a month now. And, I can own that when I do, I quickly pave over the feeling by finding the things that I’m doing wrong. I set up complimentary sessions with new people, but those people aren’t really interested in powerfully moving their lives forward. They’re tourists — curious about what I do, but not so much in creating breakthroughs in their lives.

I can see the pattern, and yet don’t seem willing to choose something else.

I’m practicing slowing down, and it makes me want to run faster than ever before. “There’s more to do, I’m not doing enough, hurry up and get new clients you useless piece of shit, why the fuck can’t you generate anything, augh!” is how my inner voice rages away.  It’s an all-out war inside my head; a battle between peace and tranquility and my judgments and stories.

I’m sad. I’m sad that I am not experiencing joy. I’m sad that every bit of success feels fleeting.

My projects sit derelict, like half-constructed model airplanes sitting in my room as a child, and my metaphors feel like melodramatic facebook posts.

I’m embarrassed to share this with you — not because I’m having these thoughts, feelings, body sensations, etc. — that’s natural.  I’m embarrassed because I can see that I’m currently unwilling to let go of them.

You know what’s funny?  It’s the judgment about being unwilling to let go that is keeping me stuck.  What I can see is that if I simple let myself be where I’m at, things would start to slide forward.  As long as I hang on to the judgment about where I am and who I am being, nothing can shift.

I guess what I want to enroll *you* in is actually noticing where you do the same thing yourself.  Where do you find yourself in a certain place, and then rather than empower wherever you happen to be, judge and resent yourself for it?

Don’t bother sharing it with me though, I’m going to be over here kicking my own ass for where I’m currently at.