Archive for June, 2014

The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 51

June 23rd, 2014 No comments

IMG_3028 - Version 2This is the fifty-first and penultimate post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

If you read through these posts from start to finish, you’ll notice that the photos on the side have gotten more and more relaxed as the year has gone on.  In some ways, that’s kind of what has happened to me as well.

The doing hasn’t shifted — there’s still people to call, sessions to set up, coaching to do, minglers to go to and countless ways I can be of service.  Oh, and of course, e-mail.

It’s my being that has changed.  I’ve gotten a lot more relaxed about what there is to do.  The intensity and necessity behind all the doing has lost a tremendous amount of its significance.  That’s the part that coaching has made a difference in.

I’ve never needed help doing things.  I’ve been a prodigious doer from day 1.  I suspect that when I was in the womb, I had the best organized placenta of any womb.  My mum was probably very proud.

The trouble with doing is that it’s often based in reaction to something external.  Concerns that I won’t be successful, that I’ll fail, that I’ll drop below a minimum required number of clients and everything else you can dream up.  That’s the magic that working with my coach has created for me.  An ability to let go of the significance and the attachment to things working out, and really getting that it really will all work out, even if it doesn’t happen to work out the way I might want it to.

When I just put my attention and intention on doing what I love, the rest of it kind of falls away.

That’s not to say that those fears stop showing up.  They don’t, because I’m taking on things that are deeply important and inspiring to me.  In the face of that much possibility, its inevitable that fear is going to show up.  What has happened instead is that the significance of the fear has dropped away.  Getting scared that I’m going to fail doesn’t really mean that I’m going to fail.  It just means that I’m scared that I’ll fail.  Allow the emotion, be with it, and them move on to whats next when its passed through me.

(Even as a I type about that fear, I’m aware how funny it is that other people’s fears seem so obviously fabricated, while ours seem so obviously real.  That’s the gift of altitude that working with a coach provides — being able to see our own stuff with the same altitude that we see others’.)

See, here’s the ultimate lesson from this.  I’m living my purpose on this planet.  I am here to inspire and empower people to live their lives as their highest and best selves.  Even if I get a dead slump of no one hiring me for a year, I’m still going to coach.  I can’t not do it.  It’s simply too important to me.  So from that place, it becomes easy to see that the rest will fall into place.  Maybe not as quickly as I want it to, and maybe not looking exactly the way I want it to — but that’s okay too.

That’s part of life.  If you want to control and try to prevent that… well, entrepreneurialism probably isn’t for you.



The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 50

June 16th, 2014 2 comments

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

Well, here we are, with three entries left to go.

It’s almost time for a retrospective, but not yet.  I have two more posts to share about this journey and process.

I was reading Teri-E Belf’s book, Coaching with Spirit, and read this:

“Within the coaching cycle, one phenomenon is guaranteed — what I call the ‘dip.’  All coaches and coach trainers should be alerted to expect it.  After learning life purpose and having high expectations about possibilities for succeess, clients reach a point, typically midway when thoughts shift to the future.

Clients begin to fear coaching will not work and results will not be produced.  Everything seems up in the air.  Internal beliefs and external habits have been challenged and called into question.  Clients see no way for “miracles” to occur in the second half; the path to success is foggy.

The dip shows up for coaches too.  Why should clients experience it and not coaches?  We are both in the same learning process — letting go of old ineffective patterns and integrating new effective ones.  So next time, celebrate when you reach the dip phase and remember to remain open to trusting it as a natural part of the learning cycle”

I’ve been in the dip for a while.  Hanging out here, resisting any form of celebration, fighting to create something new and different.  And I’ve been reaching out to old acquaintances, trying on many different approaches.

I can see it from a pessimistic perspective, or an optimistic one.  It’s my choice.  I can be frustrated that nothing is working, and gather plenty of evidence to prove that.  I can celebrate that I’ve served more people in the last month than in many of the previous months.  I’ve created possibilities for people that came into my life simply by way of an unsolicited e-mail.  I’ve coached future prime ministers, financial professionals, leaders in the community of creative professionals, and had one person share with me that in both months after the times I’ve coached him, he’s doubled his income.

There’s lots of things to celebrate, and there are lots of things to find wrong with where I’m at.  Ultimately, I get to choose which way I want to lean, and frankly, I’ve been choosing to lean in the shittier of those two directions.

So here I am.  Humbled, open, and ready to embrace whatever is next.  The universe has a divine wisdom to it that I can only hope to travel along with.  It may not go in the direction I necessarily want it to, but that’s not its job, and it’s not my job either. My job is to be Adam, fully-expressed, as I travel along with that path.


Trust that it will work out as it works out, and embrace the present moment for what it makes available.

(By the way, you can count on this being the scummiest photo of the collection.  Just because I hung up my legal career and took on entrepreneurship doesn’t mean I gave up my love of dancing or the clothes and shoes that source it).


The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 49

June 9th, 2014 No comments

IMG_3009 - Version 2This is the forty-ninth post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

Here’s how my days go lately:

I wake up.

I get scared.

I look at my calendar, see a bunch of appointments.  I get scared by everything I have to do.

I eat breakfast, make tea, clear, and then meditate.

Then I remember that I get to choose to do whatever I want.

And then I choose to serve whoever is next in front of me, powerfully.

That’s all I need to do.

So many funny things have happened on this journey.  One of the silliest, to me, is getting over my ridiculous fear of the telephone.  As a kid, I hated the telephone.  I was always worried about it being awkward (like if I didn’t know what to say), or not being a good enough conversationalist.  I hated calling up my friends to ask them to hang out, because they might say no, and I couldn’t bear for them to hear the disappointment and rejection in my voice.

Text messages and e-mail were a godsend for that part of my fear.  They let me empower my fear totally.  I never had to talk on the phone!  I could just send people e-mails or text message, and then manage the fears however I needed to when we were in person.

Imagine my skepticism and concern when I found out that most coaching is done over the phone.  First of all, I gotta call this jerk I’m paying money to?  Why won’t he meet up with me?

And then second, you’re telling me will likely be using the phone with all of my clients?  Oh geez.

And then it got worse!  All of the training I saw and received screamed to me: “PICK UP THE PHONE”.

My fears were perfectly aligned with the reason that coaching happens over the phone, and why communicating over e-mail or text message really doesn’t work much as a coach.

The phone allows for intimacy and connection.  E-mail and text messages don’t.  There’s no connection with a human being.  Sometimes you get the emoticon, or you know the person in front of you so well that you can get a decent amount of meaning from their e-mail, but even then, with 80-90% of our communication being non-verbal, it’s clear how crappy digital mediums are for genuine human connection.

And it was the connection that terrified me.  I didn’t like connecting with people, because then I was vulnerable.

49 weeks in, and all that has changed.  The first thing I ever tell someone to do, if they’re interested in being referred to me is “call me”.  Call me on the phone.

And when I see an e-mail land in my inbox, the first thing I do is look for a phone number.  I want to get on the phone with that person right away. I don’t want to spend time crafting an e-mail, deleting it, editing it, getting it just perfect (notice, those are all things that actually stand in the way of genuine connection.  Being human is to be imperfect).

There’s some other things that are cool about the phone.  You know what I don’t have?  Call waiting.  Or another line.

If you’re talking on the phone with me, that’s all there is.  There’s no additional calls coming in, there’s no queue for me to get distracted by.  It’s not like e-mail, where I can be crafting my message to someone, and suddenly get distracted by the message I think I need to craft to the six other people that just reached out to me.

So simple.

So I guess the theme for this week has really simply been that business, and life, happen in intimate, connected conversation.  Not in e-mail, not in text messages, but in conversation.

Want to increase your business as an entrepreneur?  Stop e-mailing and pick up the phone.

The 52-week guide to becoming an entrepreneur – Week 48

June 6th, 2014 No comments

IMG_2997 - Version 2This is the forty-eighth post in my epic journey going from lawyer to entrepreneur.  You can read the previous entry here, and next week’s entry here.

What a crazy week.  Nothing has physically changed in my world since when I posted last week, but how I am being within that physical world is radically different.  I’m not even the same person any more.

Transformation really can be that dramatic.  It isn’t always — sometimes it looks like a snake moulting its skin, gradually shifting and growing out, until one day it just slithers away and the skin is no longer a part of it.  Other times it looks much more like a caterpillar turning in to a butterfly.  Caterpillar, bag of goo, butterfly.

I think, in this space, the theme for this week has been service and connection.  Last week was filled with terror, fear and panic.  This week, I woke up with those same thoughts.  Sometimes I would be sitting on my couch and they’d leap out at me and spear me in the ass (or wherever my body chose to manifest terror at that moment).

The difference was that they didn’t seem so significant this time.  Like, the thoughts hadn’t changed, and the circumstance hadn’t changed — but I had.

So what?  I was scared.  That didn’t change the way mustard tastes.  It didn’t change what there was for me to do.  It didn’t change what I could provide the next person in front of me.

And from that place, everything shifted.  I just got into action.  I reached out to people that had expressed some interest in the past and chatted with them.  I got in touch with some previous clients and offered to give them some coaching in the moment.  I looked beyond the fear-based thinking (“What is going to get me a client RIGHT NOW?”) and instead looked at service-based thinking (“Who can I really serve right now?”).

I looked to my existing clients and looked for ways that I could serve the living daylights out of them.  Serve them in a way that would astonish them.  That team you’re managing that you’ve been struggling with?  How about I come in and coach them all for you for a day?  Your companies that are working to integrate?  Why don’t we bring the teams together and I’ll work with them to create a more powerful corporate culture?

Is that going to make me more money?  I have no idea.

But that’s besides the point.

What I know, with absolute certainty, is that it will serve the people in front of me in a way that they’ve never been served before.  And if my clients, as a result of working with me, create breakthroughs in their companies, there’s only so long I can continue making that happen and have people not reaching out to talk to me.

I hate sales, and so does every other entrepreneur.

Instead of selling, turn your focus to serving.

(I promise you, it’s way more fun).