Mid-Week Live Coaching: Karen Scott Ozeri
Stand in your own desire. In this mid-week live coaching episode, Adam Quiney is joined by Soul-Centered Professional Coach Karen Scott Ozeri as they discuss what Karen and her husband need to take parental leave with her pregnancy. Adam gets curious with Karen as she takes the reins on the conversation and talks about the urgency of what her family needs along with her desires. They dive into it more as Adam reflects what was showing as they talk around creating what Karen’s family needs. Tune in and join Adam and Karen as they explore and dig deeper underneath the surface of Karen’s dilemma.
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Mid-Week Live Coaching: Karen Scott Ozeri
I’m here with Karen Scott Ozeri. This is an interesting conversation. We started with a really concrete thing. You’ll know right out of the gate, there’s a clear like, “This is the thing we’re going towards,” and then as time goes on, I and probably Karen as well gets this sense like, “There’s something underneath this to be explored.” In the debrief, I share that it’s scary for me to go that path. It can be quite edgy as a coach because our client talks about like, “I want this thing. I want to make that happen.” We’re like, “Let’s do that thing,” especially if we are feeling their urgency or the need that they have for that thing.
Karen brings this conversation about creating money leading up to her pregnancy. There’s a part of me that’s like, “I agree. Pregnancy, we’ve got to get you that money.” When what starts to show up in the conversation is more something around her desires and her unwillingness to own them, that’s a little edgy to trust that so I lean out over my fear to support her and go where the conversation is going. You’ll notice that I’m not making it my agenda for us to go there. I’m not pushing us in that direction. I’m just getting curious with her, and then letting her guide us.
We always want to make sure that we’re not, “The place to go is here, so I’m going to lead us here.” That’s not what we do as a coach. What we do as a coach is we notice what’s showing up and we reflect it to the clients that they can then choose. I checked in with her a couple of times to make sure, “Is this the path you see for us to walk down?” The other thing that is worth reading for in this conversation is one of the ICF Core Competencies of actions for your client, which is to do it now. Often in life, we’re like, “I want to feel free to express myself next week.”
We make this proclamation about what we want and then we say, “I’m going to practice this throughout the week or I’m going to do it whenever.” As a coach, you want to read for like, “Where’s the opportunity for the client to do this now? If they’re resisting it out there in their life, they’re also going to be resisting it here.” You’ll catch this point where Karen shares like, “I want to feel free to share whatever I want and to ask for what I want.” I say, “What do you want?” That causes some discomfort.
What’s happening here is this thing that coaching can provide, which is a beautiful opportunity to notice how the client’s being and how they get in their way out there in the rest of their life by virtue of how it’s going in the conversation. I hope you enjoy this. I did. It’s a fun conversation. I’d love to hear from you if you find this of value. If you take value from these coaching episodes, maybe send me a message, write a review, or send me an email. You can send that to PR@AdamQuiney.com. I’d love to hear from you just so that I know because I don’t have much of a sense of calibration.
I think it’s valuable. I want to know from you, our readers, whether or not this serves you for us to have these because there’s a whole wealth of other things we could be doing. I could be doing interviews with leaders. I could invite leaders onto the show to have conversations about stuff like this. I could be breaking down or teaching how one coaches rather than speaking about a distinction or coaching someone. Any feedback that you can provide would be helpful. That’s all I’ve got for you. I hope you enjoy this conversation.
Karen and I met initially because I was quite a little embarrassed and touched as well. I was at a Rich Litvin Intensive and I used to lead his leadership team. Also, he’s active in The Prosperous Coach group, which has now been shut down. He’s created a new group. Initially, The Prosperous Coach is this beautiful group with a lot of people that come to his intensives and then would ask questions and you could do a live.
No one was doing this. People would give advice, so with a background in training coaches and leaders, I thought, “It’s a little edgy but I’m going to go live and I’m going to offer some, ‘Here’s what I see.’ I’m going to acknowledge the person and then, ‘These are the places you might look and it sounds like maybe this.’” I found that I loved that and people have got value out of it. There was what I would call a gap in the market or the gap in that community where that was appreciated and there was no one else doing it.
I was at this intensive and I was walking through the lobby of the hotel we were in. I didn’t know it was Karen, but she came up to me and was like, “You’re Adam Quiney. I wanted to talk to you before a bunch of other people did.” I was like, “What are you talking about?” Maybe I’d correct that, so I’d be like, “None of that’s true.” She’d seen some of those videos and that was probably years ago. Karen, let’s have you come on and you can share your side of that story and then we’ll dive in together.
You’re doing a good job thus far.
How long have you been coaching when that took place?
I started coaching in 2015 and that event was the same year I got married. That was 2018. My husband’s always better at answering the question of, “How long have you been married?” I think it had probably been 2.5 years at that point.
That was a neat encounter and we’ve kept in touch ever since then. For a while, we were like, “We’re going to partner together as coach clients,” and then you broke my heart intentionally, I feel. You’ve been through some cool stuff yourself like travel to Hawaii, been a part of some neat stuff getting created and then having that not yet created the way you thought and shifting and pivoting. It has been quite an adventure it sounds like.
That’s a good summary. To be fair, I hired a woman who was pregnant knowing that that was my goal. Here I am, pregnant and a woman. It’s great.
I want to totally take anything off of you. I hope I affirmed that choice and I was like, “I totally get where Karen’s coming from.” I want to also honor that as part of this work as a coach is that we get enrolled in the possibility for someone. We’re in this conversation with them and it’s like, “This person is incredible. I can see what would be available. I would love to partner with them.” We have to simultaneously allow ourselves to be present and over there with them and to feel the magic that this person contains within them and willing to have some heartbreak through no one’s fault. Simply because that was the choice they made and that was a totally empowered choice. Sometimes, it’s not and that’s even more heartbreaking. It’s a great reminder for me and probably a lot of us like, “You can’t be in work that is about opening our hearts without a willingness to have your heartbroken. It is no one’s fault when that heart gets broken at the moment.”
In one of our sessions, we talked about the idea of heartbreak and the idea of knowing what you want and not avoiding that heartbreak. That has stuck with me ever since in terms of finding ways to remain open and understanding that yes, your heart might get broken and that’s okay. You’re strong enough and resilient enough to move through that but the world is so much better when you show up from this place of, “It’s okay if that happens.”
Someone had set up like this, “Adam, I am going to be in San Francisco. I’m going for lunch with this other guy. He’s a coach. You should meet.” I was like, “Okay. Sure.” The three of us were talking and I was sharing how I’ve learned to let my heart be broken, pick up the pieces, and put it back together. He was like, “That’s interesting because my experience is I get my heart broken, I sob, and then I don’t pick up the pieces too much. I deepen from there.” I thought, “That sounds more right.” It’s not like we’re mending back to get back to where we were. We’re like, “I can be with this and now, there’s a new level of depth I have available to myself. It’ll never feel this way again.” “Here it is again. It keeps falling to the floor.” What are we going to work on?
The thing that’s been the most present is being pregnant. This is the first time I’ve ever looked at my finances with the level of detail that I have as a result of bringing this life into the world. What I’ve been present at is how am I going to create this amount of income that we want, which is $90,000, to cover us through maternity and paternity leave? Allowing us and giving us space to not feel any pressure. My husband’s paternity leave is more or less unpaid. Just giving us that comfort that we don’t need to rush back into anything before we’re ready and allow us that space so that we can be with her in her first three months of life completely interrupted. Ideally, a little bit longer but $90,000 is that minimum that will cover us with what we need through her birth and then after her birth. That has definitely been the most present.
I shared this with you via email, but I find myself holding back in certain situations and comparing what’s going on now to what I did in the past. I do notice this ever-present theme and I don’t think it’s specific to this. I think it’s probably bigger around safety. Is it safe to say what I want? Is it safe to say these things? I shared with you that I do affirmations. I do Morning Pages every morning, so the three pages of writing. As a part of that, I do affirmations. I don’t know where I saw this one that said, “It’s safe to be me.” I saw that and I remember thinking, “I need to add that to my list.” I update the list every month. I have a calming reaction when I can tell myself it’s safe to be me, so there’s a lot of things that are intertwined in this, “Money is never just about money.” There’s stuff intertwined with it.
The amount of money, $90,000, sets yourself up over three months, and then alongside that, you’re like, “Is it safe to say what I want?” It’s maybe an open question or loop or thought that’s present for you, especially when we talk about money. Third, not necessarily something you’re doing in response to that, but something you’ve noticed this come into your morning practice, which is this affirmation that it’s safe to be me. Is that right?
If we were to leave here with some specific thing that you’ve gotten, what would that be?
On a mind-level, I’m like, “I want to leave and know exactly what I’m going to sell to people,” but that’s not it. It’s more about feeling free to just be messy and allow myself to ask for what I want. Those are probably the two things. I know even from having sent you some notes prior about what I was curious about talking about, I have noticed some things shifted. I made some decisions of, “I’m no longer doing this. I’m going to do this.”
I waffled in a conversation, which is totally okay. I feel that things are shifting. Part of this is about me making a decision and choosing. At the event that I met you at, I remember leaving that and choosing to raise my fees when I left there. It was a decision that I had made and nothing was going to sway me on that. Tapping back into that, knowing that I have the power to choose it and choosing it, that would be a beautiful outcome also if that makes it.
If we attain that, what is it you would be asking for or choosing?
I would be asking for a higher fee.
My previous fee was $15,000 for eight months.
People will be like, “I don’t want eight. Give me six.” Maybe halfway through.
It was a factor of when the hiking intensive that I would do with them would fall. Some people would finish a little bit sooner and some people a little bit later. It would be more helpful to say eight months. It would be going back to that fee, asking for the $15,000. I don’t even like saying asking for $15,000 but choosing back into that fee. What was the other part of your question?
If we were able to get you to that point where you were free to ask for what you want, what is it that you would ask for? What would you then be asking for? You talked about what your old fee was and how that’s edgy. My question was, what would you be asking for in terms of a fee?
Would it still be for eight months?
I’m open to shifting some things, especially because part of the value of that offering included that intensive, which is unrealistic with a newborn and I won’t be able to hike 3 to 6 miles with people, at least more immediately. I don’t know that I don’t know the answer and the eight months is excluding any maternity leave.
If everyone reading noticed that the question I asked was, “What does Karen want?” The answer she’s giving me is a function of what she believes is acceptable or reasonable or what is okay to charge. Somewhere along those lines there’s like, “It doesn’t make sense to do it because part of the value is this,” as opposed to just what she wants. What did you get in that, Karen? What did you notice?
The same things you told me before that I don’t need to justify or rationalize or explain what it is that I want. I’ve heard this on repeat from multiple coaches, so it’s not a new topic. What would it even be like to just say, “I want my fee at $15,000?” I feel like I have so much more to say about it.
It’s not even to say that there might not be some enrolling to be done. I could say, “I want to charge $100,000 for a year of working with me,” and then I’ve got to look at, “Once I’m clear on what I want, then I might have to look at, what do I want to provide for that?” “I want to provide this much.” There becomes a question like, “What do I need to do to enroll people in that? What’s the possibility I have to help them see? What do I see that they might say yes to?”
All of that is secondary. Whereas, it occurs like, “What you’re doing is this.” You’re like, “How do I do this and what’s reasonable based on all of this? What’s reasonable for me to want?” I’m inviting you a little bit to be what you’re asking to be. You’re like, “I want to be free to ask for what I want.” We’re in this conversation like, in a way, “What do you want?” You’re asking for it, even if it’s just by vocalizing it. What’s your experience as we do that?
I’m in a little discomfort, but I am also aware of how similar it is to the process of leaving my career and making a change. I spent fifteen years wanting to leave. It was always so logical and rational. It wasn’t until I knew inside of me that I was more scared of things staying the same than I was creating change. It took me a long time to get to that place because I was in the logic of it, the rationale, and what made sense forever. I could never quite piece it all together and at the end of the day nothing made sense when I left. It was just something that I knew inside of me, but I had never been in touch with that up until that point.
The question I asked and I was going to reflect a bit was you’d said, “I want to feel free to ask her what I want.” I was like, “What do you want?” We’re in the practice of it, and then I asked you, “What’s the experience of asking for what you want?” You shared, “There’s some discomfort,” and then you relate it back to how it had been leaving your job and talked about how that was rational and logical. What I noticed was the whole conversation was rational and logical that you were in. Do you notice that? Do you know what I’m pointing to?
To some degree.
As we’re in the practice of you moving towards what you say you want, which is this freedom, this willingness to ask for what you want, etc., there’s some discomfort, and then there’s a whole bunch of rationality and logic. You’re talking about it like it was in the past like, “In the past, I remember I did this thing.” What I’m saying is I even notice right now that there’s a little bit of discomfort and then there’s a lot of rational, logical and analytical thinking about it.
What I’m seeing now too is how this has always shown up in my life. There’s an opportunity to break it right now. It’s also shocking to me to think that my life has been, up until this point, led from this place of rationale and logic.
If we take away that, it occurs there’s the discomfort and then with enough rationality, analysis, and logic, somehow this discomfort can be dealt with or it’s not so strong, or you can make it go away. Is that how it occurs for you?
Maybe. I get to dance around it a little bit without being with it.
It seems almost like giving yourself permission. “Here’s what I want, $15,000.” We use that as an example. “That’s uncomfortable. How do I justify what I want? What do I have to offer them? What’s the value? What is the market currently willing to bear? What about with COVID?” It seems like, with rationality, you can make it okay rather than just be with the discomfort as a way to resolve that. Is that how it feels for you or does it feel different?
Yeah. I cry all the time now that I’m pregnant. It’s not anything bad. I think what I want the most is to have the time with the baby and not have to worry about anything and not have to have my husband be worried. That’s the most important thing. I don’t want to feel like I have to be rushed or forced back into something before I’m ready because I’ve done that a lot. I’m not interested in having that experience when she’s around and I have no idea how it’s going to go.
I get that. Have you voiced that desire much?
I have but from a logical place.
It’s almost like your whole coaching request is the justification for that uncomfortable ask of whoever that ask is to be given to like, “This is what I want. As long as I’ve made the money, then I can have what I want or I can even ask for what I want,” or whatever.
At the end of the day, it’s not just about money. It’s about trusting that we’ll be taken care of in this experience metaphysically and otherwise, especially during COVID and being pregnant during this weird time. If people are going to come to visit, they’re going to have to quarantine. There’s so much layered on top. It’s not just the money. It’s just feeling supported and loved and held on multiple layers as we move into this time where we’ll have no idea what we’re doing.
Where would you say we are in the context of our conversation?
Probably the heart of it.
I can get that desire like, “I want to spend at least three months with my baby.”
It should be more than that.
What would the number be?
Thanks for owning that.
I’m wanting to rationalize.
There’s you voicing what you want and then there’s the rationalizing to resolve something that happened when you voiced what you wanted. What was the experience of saying what you wanted did that rationale was trying to resolve? Let me know if that didn’t make sense.
Can you say it again in a slightly different way?
What happened was you voiced a desire. You asked for what you wanted. To your credit, I acknowledge you, Karen. You’re practicing what you said you wanted to be able to do in this coaching. You’re asking for what you want, even if only by voicing it to me. You said six months and not three, at least. As you said that, there is this need to rationalize it. I’m asserting that there’s something showing up when you voice what you want that the need to rationalize it is like a response, too. It’s like, “There’s a reason I need to rationalize it.” Some discomfort, some feeling, something showed up in the middle right after you said, “This is what I want,” that you were then like, “I got to rationalize it.” Does that make sense?
I’m curious, what is that thing that showed up. When you voiced that, what came into the space for you?
The short answer is probably the fear of failing. There’s the vulnerability piece and then the fear of failure.
Help me understand that. You’re saying, “I want six months with my baby.” If we were to put a voice to that need to rationalize it, what would it have said?
It would have said, “I can’t even imagine how that’s possible.” It would have talked me back into the three months because, three months, I can see how it could happen, but six months feels too big and too scary and too much pressure. Pressure is probably the key. It feels like if I can protect myself from that potential disappointment that that would be much easier than asking for what I want.
You get clear. You open the doors to possibility like, “Six months. Slam that shot.” It’s like, “It’s not possible so it’s better not to get present to it, not to look at it and not to give myself that hope.”
Yeah. It plays into when I don’t know how to do something. It doesn’t show up all the time, but there’s this lingering, underlying thing of feeling stupid that I don’t know how to do it. That shows up in all areas.
That’s a fun one.
It’s a good one.
When you said, “I want to rationalize it,” I get that like, “Here’s why it’s okay for me to want six months,” but it’s more like talking yourself back from it. It pulled it down. “I want six months. Here’s why I can’t have that.” There’s a pullback towards the known quantity, the thing that’s safe to want and ask for. On a scale of 1 to 10, one is almost not expressing your wants at all, and then ten is the complete freedom to express everything you want full stop. Where would three months be? What level of expressing your desire and want would that be?
I’m not sure I’m following, but this is still my witching hour before 11:00 AM.
I’m also being as confusing as possible on the way I’m wording this.
Three feels safe. Three feels like I can ask for that. That’s probably an eight. It feels safe, if that makes sense on your scale. It’s totally fine to ask for three. That’s what society tells us is the norm.
The scale is like, “Never mind the safety or any of that stuff.” It’s more like, “How true of an expression of your own desire is three months?”
What about six months?
Six feels a little more like seven.
What would be ten? Just so that we’ve got a high watermark.
I genuinely don’t know. Part of me was like to never work again, but I don’t think that’s it either. Ten is more like knowing that I can choose no matter what and it’s not fixed.
Ten would be something like you get six months off and you have a choice about what happens beyond that?
It’s like a six to infinity symbol would be a 10 out of 10. Let me provide some altitude because, at this point in a coaching conversation, it is for everyone as well as you and I. This is the part where we can get like, “The thing here is that Adam gets Karen asking for the moon.” “I should just ask for six months plus infinity. How do I create that?” That would be the place to get caught up. That’s a little bit there for me too far. It’s not that I’m interested in one thing or the other, but we could look at, how do we create you achieving a 3 out of 10 in terms of what you want in life?
We could figure out, how do we make that happen? What’s the best way to do that? What you’ll get is reliable at creating a 3 out of 10 in terms of the life you want and expressing your desires into the world. We’re almost setting aside all of, “What might there be to do?” Instead looking at it like, “If Karen can ask for what she wants, that’s probably going to have some kind of an impact.” Does that make sense?
Does that feel like the place for us to be going? Because I’m not attached to that. That’s just how it occurs over here.
The idea of being at a 3 out of 10 and focusing on how to create, that feels awful.
It’s comfortable, too.
When you put it in that context, it sounds awful. It’s not that I would be disappointed, but when you zoomed out, it doesn’t sound exciting to live in that place.
To your credit, you’re a woman with a lot of access to possibility and thus, a lot of desire. Your 3 out of 10 of your own desires is probably maybe a 6 out of 10 for other people. They are like, “Karen goes through what she wants.” Internally, you know what you’re creating and that’s all that we’re looking at. It’s like, “How is this going for Karen?” Rather than what other people perceive or view or think. If we looked at this as a bit of the way it might go when it comes to expressing what you want and desire, how does that show up when it comes to your rates or your coaching practice?
I often find myself thinking one thing and saying something different. It’s easy to let myself be like, “That was okay. We can do it differently next time.” It’s a horrible internal experience to be thinking, “This is what I want,” and then this comes out of my mouth.
Give me an example.
It’s like telling someone a three-month program that it’s $5,000 instead of $8,000. It’s telling someone that for a nine-month program, which includes three months of leave off that it’s $8,000 instead of $15,000. It happens I would say 90% of the time. I’m thinking one thing and I say something different.
There’s what you want and then there’s what you are voicing?
I want to check, do you get a lot of noes based on what you’re asking for?
A lot of yeses?
It’s good for us to have that information because sometimes, people are like, “I want $1 million to work with me.” It’s like, “That’s great, but you’re getting 50 noes and haven’t gotten a single yes, so there might be a different conversation for us there.” It sounds like for you, it’s not so much a function of not being able to generate. It’s that what you’re asking for is below what you want. You can get it, but it’s not what you want. What do you think there is for us to do with this? It was an interesting dynamic.
I start saying what I want, but the logical side of me is like, “How can I stop myself at that moment?” There’s this little thing that turns and then I just say the other thing.
I’m curious about two things, but I want to check-in. Was there anything else showing up at that moment for you?
When I raised my fees in the past, I remember thinking, “I’m going to get a lot of noes. I’m going to have to be prepared.” I raised my fee and I got no noes and four yeses in a row. It was empowering to see that I can ask for what I want and people are going to say yes. It called me forward in a different way as a coach and it was this transformative experience. I’m a little disconnected from that at the moment.
It sounds like in the past, you asked for what you want. I’m curious when you raised your fees, on that scale of 1 to 10, you started asking for this new number. What level of asking for what you wanted was that?
You weren’t like, “I’m going to raise my fees. This is what I want to raise them to but I’m going to raise it here.” You were like, “I’m doing that.”
I was all in on it. There was no question. That’s what I was going to do and I was willing to hear noes and then I didn’t. There’s also this interesting thing that I always expect no. Anytime I say anything to anyone that’s a proposal or whatever, I think that they’re going to say no. Even when I think they might say yes, I’m always preparing for the no.
What do you think that is?
It’s so that I can logically disassociate from the disappointment.
It’s like getting ready for the punch, “Here comes the gunshot. I’m going to clench my stomach, which is great when the gunshot comes.” The rest of the time, you’re like, “My abs are always sore and I have stomach aches. It’s weird. There’s probably a bit of impact to that.
I’m having a horrible mental image with a baby now.
That’s my bad. I apologize for not being a little more conscious there.
It’s not your fault.
I’m learning. It’s a little bit like what you described. It’s another version of, how do I avoid the no? How do I avoid disappointment? I can pull down what I asked for. Even when I do that, I’m still protected against the no. There are two parts I see to this. The one is voicing to yourself, even getting clear on what you want. The other is, it sounds like there’s some fear that makes itself show up as resistance to stepping over that line. For some of these people, you know what you want to ask. It’s not that you can’t voice it in your head. You’re clear on it. What happens is you get into the conversation, it comes to time and you’re like, “Yeah.” You pull that slider down to 3 out of 10 or 7 out of 10. Is that how it is?
I’m curious, do you have anyone that you’re in conversation with where you’re like, “That could be a client. There’s a point where I’m going to propose to them,” or anything like that?
Are you clear on what you want in terms of what you see would be amazing, what you would love, what would serve both of you? Are you clear on a number that you would want to propose to them?
It’s still a little early. If I think about what it is that I want, it would be that $15,000. Regardless of what they’re up to and what they’re working on, that would be the number.
$15,000 for how long?
Nine months would be great. That’s my normal six-month offering with three months’ leave in the middle of it.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how true of an expression of your want is what you put into the space there?
I would say it’s a nine.
I noticed that it’s nine months with three months’ leave instead of six months. What would it have a go from a 9 to a 10? It may not be related to what I said.
What comes up is more about not being in enrollment in a six-month window. It’s not so much about serving people that I already know, love, rooting for and want to show up for.
In terms of the fullness of your expression of what you want.
I feel a little stuck at the moment. It’s a good question.
What has to feel like a nine instead of a ten then?
It leaves room for something. I wonder if this is indicative of the same pattern. I would be psyched if someone said yes to what I outlined to you. It probably would be a ten. I would be thrilled. If I say nine, I get to leave some wiggle room.
You’re not hemmed into saying, “This is the perfect expression of myself. There’s always going to be a little bit more I could express.”
I think t’s a good question that I just don’t have an answer at the moment of what would bring that to a ten.
What do you imagine is predictable? Let me lay some stuff on the table first. The game in life is not necessarily always to ask for exactly what we want and refuse to accept anything less. Some people will tell you that and that’s fine. A relationship doesn’t usually work well when we do that because then it’s all about my desires, my wife, or partner. They either have to wrap themselves around what I’m asking for or tough luck. They have to be okay not getting anything. It’s not that we have to always ask, “What do you want?” We always ask for a ten. We shun people if they don’t give us the ten. That’s not the game.
It is important to ask for what we want because that allows us to get into the conversation with people. I noticed what’s happening for you is there’s no opportunity for what comes next after that part. They never get the generous expression of your desires and then you never get to work with them through what shows up next. Instead, it’s like, “How do I ensure that they’re not a no?” You didn’t get the no but then you don’t fully get what you want and they don’t get to be with you in that intimate conversation where you’re both working through like, “What would work for both of us? How do we get there?” Does that make sense?
It does. I’ve come a long way with feeling encouraged to ask for what I want and then getting into a dialogue based on what comes up for people as a function of that. I have been fluid in my response to that. That has felt good but it also seems like it’s always me who’s compromising in terms of the fee itself if there’s stuff that comes up.
I get that. The other thing I heard you say was that you always think of something and then say something else. How do those two interact with each other?
It’s like I’m prepared already. If I say what I want, I’m already prepared with like, “I could do this instead.” It’s the same thing, isn’t it?
Yeah. It’s like you’re already ready for whatever the letdown is. People fit into the shape of that. It draws that out a little bit.
It feels good because I had already thought of it.
It’s a new and sophisticated way to ask for what you want except it’s still not because you’re not truly standing in that.
I feel like the times when I have asked for what I wanted and been clear in that, people have said yes. There have been no noes in those situations. I could probably count them on one hand, the situations where that’s happened.
My assertion is that if you’re not getting many noes, you’re not asking highly in terms of what you want. If I asked my wife for everything I wanted all the time, I get a lot of noes.
That’s a good point.
It’s a beautiful thing that you’re getting yeses. I’m listening for, “Where is Karen getting noes?” That tells me she’s giving the world the gift of her desire and then the world is responding. If you’re always getting yeses, that’s weird because the world isn’t always yes.
It’s true. If my husband said yes to everything I wanted, I would deem him crazy.
There’s probably some stuff you want that maybe would feel good at the moment to get the yes but then you’d be like, “I don’t want you to be a yes to that. Challenge me or something.”
I respect that he does say no at times. I appreciate it.
Cognizant of our time, where are you at this point in our conversation? Where do you feel you’ve arrived or where have we gotten to?
I’m going to reread this to let some of this sink in about how I engineer everything. If you’re not getting any noes, there’s something to that. I’m at this point in my practice where I could receive some noes and it wouldn’t be the most fun thing. In general, I feel stable enough that the noes could land and it’s not going to make me crumble. It’s this idea of my willingness to hear it and, consequently, to ask for what I want if I’m willing to hear it.
I’d love to create some practices with you. First, I want to point to something you may not be seeing. It sounds like what happens is your client comes to you and he’s like, “I want in. I want this.” You’re like, “Great. This is what it looks like.” He’s like, “I can’t do it.” You’re like, “Surprise, there’s a secret option just for now. It’s not that thing but it’s this.”
This can’t be on Facebook. Take it down.
They’re going to watch this thing and be like, “That’s no longer there.” Imagine this in the abstract. Imagine I’m describing not you so much as them interacting with the world. They go to the world and they say, “This is what I want.” The world says, “Great. This is what it’s going to require of you.” They go, “I can’t do it.” The world goes, “Never mind. I’m going to lower the bar for you.” What would you imagine that’s training them in?
The first thing that came to mind is it’s not going to call them forward. That’s a generalization.
Let’s hang with it. You’ve probably noticed this. As a coach, we’re supporting people to get clear on what they truly want and then confront what that will require of them in that order. What most people do is like, “What’s it going to cost me? Never mind. I don’t want to look at that thing.” As a coach, we’re supporting people. First, look at the pot of gold that you want. Are you clear on it? What would that make available? How would your life change? What would that provide you?
That pot of gold doesn’t have to be working with me. It could be the new car, the house, the promotion, or the charity work they want to do in Africa. What’s in the way? How do we support you not to give up on that thing but to climb over that wall to develop the resourcefulness that is required to get you over it? What do you notice is happening in that context with the way things are going when you don’t give them your full expression when you’re not standing for your race?
That resourcefulness is diminished in some instances.
This is for everyone reading. To me, this is the most sacred part of coaching because it’s before they’ve paid us a dime and we’re willing to put something at risk. This is edgy for you to stand for this and you’re doing it because you trust and know it’ll serve the client. That’s amazing and it’s scary as fuck, at least it is when I practiced this. It’s uncomfortable. I’m like, “What if they say no?” I’m willing because I know this is me modeling for them who I’m going to be with them from start to finish. We’re going to get them clear on what they want in their lives and what will be possible from that. I’m going to stand for them not to demand that the world show up differently but to generate whatever shifts they have to create so they can scale that wall and have the life they truly desire.
It speaks to the clients that I had at that fee in the past. Everything was elevated. In most instances, it wasn’t that they had the money but it was finding the will within themselves to say, “I’m going to commit to this and I’m going to invest in this.” It wasn’t an immediate yes for any of them. It wasn’t me that shifted as a function of a higher fee. It was how the clients were showing up. I’ve lost touch with that a little bit.
It’s beautifully put. Can you see the gift that you, standing in your desire, provides?
Yes. Particularly because I’ve experienced it before.
The trade-off is if we are going to stand in that, it means some people will say no. It has to. Otherwise, we’re not standing in our desire. The world will not always be a yes to that, which we truly want. It becomes a question, “Am I willing to bring the world that gift knowing it means some people will turn away?”
Even as you say that, I remember there were two people that I got noes from in that timeframe that I’ve forgotten about. I was bombed because I was excited about the potential of working with them to bring it back full circle to what we were talking about when we started. It was okay. I got it. I understood.
At least for me, it’s rarely fun. It’s never lovely, “Yay, someone said no.” That’s the selflessness of this work. What do you see in my practice going forward?
I could practice saying in the mirror what I want my fee to be and voicing it to myself. I did that when I was first coaching, saying my big fee at the time in the mirror. It did help. Another practice could be going back to when I did this in the past. I don’t know if it’s even something meditating on it because that experience lives within me. That person who chose that and decided that I was going to do that in the past is still in there but I have a little bit of a disconnect from it. It could be meditating on it. It could be reading my notes from that time, which I have here with me, strangely enough. Those are the things that come to mind at the moment. I don’t know if there’s anything else that you have to offer.
Which of those will you take on?
The mirror one is probably the most important, the act of verbalizing. Looking at my old notes, especially given the coach that I was working with at the time who was encouraging of doubling of the fee, I have a feeling there’s probably some good nuggets in those notes.
You’re going to speak this into the mirror, as a practice, speaking your desire. Is that right?
Yes, and reviewing those notes from before.
I have a couple of things you might practice. The first one is a stand. You used the word affirmation, which, to me, is a little different from a stand. A stand is a place to stand in as you come to the world and as the world comes to you. It doesn’t necessarily change anything. It’s like, “I’m committed to being this stand.” That stand is, “My expression serves. The more I express, the more I serve.”
I relate to that as it pertains to writing. I believe that wholeheartedly. How can I translate this?
There are two other parts to that. The first is your expression in this context is not vocalizing it, it’s a willingness to stand in it. My fee is $15,000, secretly. We’re not calling that your expression. It’s not just in your words but it’s your being. It’s the bedrock. It’s being grounded in that expression and being true to it. That’s the first part. We’re taking away that secret exit strategy. I’m expressing what I want while being willing not to. The second part is to then check with yourself, “To what extent am I serving this person in front of me?” You can do that on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how much you’re expressing and standing for your expression.
Are you suggesting doing that in real-time, on phone calls?
Yeah. You can do it ahead of time too. When you’re in that mirror, you’ve got that client in your mind, you’re like, “I want to serve this person at a ten. I’m going to have to stand for a 10 out of 10 on my expression. It’s $15,000. It’s nine months. We have a three-month leave in there that will serve.” That’s what it looks like. “I don’t know. That’s scary.” I get it. What that’s going to create is the opportunity for you to support them and not being stopped.
That would shift. I’m aware that asking myself that question mid-conversation doesn’t seem like before it would be so much. I noticed I can get a little wobbly at certain points in a conversation. The question to, ‘What extent am I serving the person in front of me?’ is a good check-in to be clear and move forward differently if necessary.
Make sure you’re bringing it back to that stand so that it doesn’t become metaphysical. If we don’t ground it in the stand that your expression is serviced, the risk is your survival mechanism will grab a hold of it and be like, “Don’t worry about it because you’re serving them great. You are serving them. Don’t worry.” You’re like, “I don’t have to that scary thing.” Your intention is that this stand you’re choosing to come to the world from is there to support you in stepping into your fear. It will be a little scary because this is outside of the world you know.
I also know the difference. I know if I’m not serving someone from the place of taking the stand that I take. I know particularly from having done it in the past. That makes sense.
I would invite you to scale it on a scale of 1 to 10. Rather than, am I serving the person? As soon as we do that, our ego loves those dualistic binary things. It’s like, “I got a vested interest in saying yes. Let’s say yes. It’s 51% off the hook, 1 to 10.” You’re like, “In terms of my expression of what I want and standing for, I’m about a six. I’m serving this person at six right now. Do I want to serve them more?” You can even bring this to them. “I had a conversation with this guy and I’m really clear that me standing for my truth serves you. I want you to know right now that I’m standing at about a six because I’m afraid, I’m worried that you might get scared and run away. I want you to know that’s okay. I want to check-in. Do you want me to serve you at a level higher than that?” If they’re like, “Yes.” “Great. Thank you. This is what that looks like. It costs this much money. I believe you can make it happen. I’m happy to support you to get over that hump if you want. Because you’ve asked for a nine in terms of serving you, that’s what I’m standing for both of us.”
That makes sense. It elevates the types of things that I would say and the questions. It elevates all of it.
When we can hold this whole conversation from this lens, it becomes way less anxiety-producing and much more powerful because then our rate is not about like, “Can I have what I want?” It’s like, “How much am I committed to serving this person?” Our intention goes over there and what’s going to open them up and set them free in their lives and our commitment to do so.
That makes sense.
The last practice I would give you is practice asking and getting noes. Ask for what you want.
I hate this idea.
I’m not surprised.
Rich has lots of stuff on this, like, “Go for no.” I’m always like, “This is a horrible idea but I’m listening.”
There’s a risk. Seth Godin calls this failure porn. I’ve seen this a lot when there’s a practice given, like, “Go and get noes.” People go and ask someone on the street for $50,000 or go to a restaurant and ask for a free meal. There are no stakes in it. They get the no but nothing shifts for them. I want to make sure that you’re asking for something you want that creates the no. Have a stake in it.
That’s probably why that exercise of various intensives and other places never lands with me. I’m asking to ask and it’s not because it’s something that I want and it’s not integrity. That makes sense.
The same thing happens when people create impossible goals. They’re like, “I’ve got an impossible goal.” They think it frees them. They’re like, “I’ll set the goal and then I don’t have to worry about it.” They’ve already deemed it impossible. There are no stakes in it for them. They don’t commit to creating it. They’re like, “It would be cool if it happens.” It’s like throwing a penny down a well and being like, “I wish for five wishes. I hope that happens. It would be cool if it does,” but no stakes.
I’ve listened to your podcast episodes on this topic. I found it helpful. It reframed that whole concept for me of why it wasn’t all that helpful to have an impossible goal.
Give the gift of asking for what you want. If you keep getting yeses, raise the bar.
I remember a time where I thought, “I’m ready to elevate this again,” and I then self–sabotage for a few months. Things were going well that I decided I needed to change everything. That was a learning experience in and of itself.
It’s good to be human.
That feels like a good place for us to wind down. How’s that feel for you?
Awesome. Thank you so much for this. I’ve appreciated the journey.
Me, too. Is there anything left for you to feel complete about the conversation?
No. I feel good.
That’s the first thing I want to acknowledge you for Karen is overall, you feel good and there’s a lot of warmth. I’m impressed with how open your heart is throughout the conversation but generally speaking. What I would say is pregnancy looks and feels good on you. That’s awesome. I acknowledge you for that. I acknowledge you for your courage. It takes a lot of courage to let ourselves feel the fullness of our desire and then to go even further and ask for it. When we have a lot of desire, part of what comes to that is a lot of disappointment. One of my teachers and mentors used to tell me that heartbreak exists between our expectations and what is. If we think of our desires a little bit like our expectations, it opens us up to heartbreak. I know you have a big, beautiful brain, but I also know you have a huge heart. I acknowledge you for the courage that requires you to be willing to feel a little more heartbreak in service of getting a little more of what you want in your life. That’s beautiful and you’ve done great work here.
Thank you so much. It’s such a difference from the last time that we spoke when my nervous system was like, “Aah,” after I lost the thing. It was crazy. It’s good to feel grounded and able to receive this in a way that’s not triggering at the same time.
Is there anything you’re present to that surprised you where you’re like, “We zig and I thought we’re going to zag,” or anything else that’s there for you to share about the conversation we had?
In some ways, it went in a direction that I could see it going and what sticks with me the most is being more in touch with that desire of why I even want all of this and not from such a logical place but a heart-centered place because it matters to me.
It’s interesting how you worded that because you talked about being in touch with my desire and why as opposed to the logic. Often, why is a logical thing as opposed to like, “I want sex. I want ice cream. I want chocolate right now.” There’s something potent in trusting our desire. It doesn’t mean there’s not more work. The risk is someone reads this and they’re like, “I got to get 10 out of 10 and I got to demand that from the world and everything will fall into place.” No. There’s a whole bunch of other work that happens but we have to start there because if we can’t even ask for what we want or if we don’t even hear that desire, there’s no way that we can get what we want other than by fluke. If we had a million monkeys typing, maybe they’ll type Shakespeare.
Trust the desire. I need to say that out loud.
That’s a good stance to take. As a place to come from to the world on a given day, like, “I trust my desire.” Notice that’s not like an affirmation. It’s not saying, “My desire is okay,” or, “It is good to desire things.” Instead, someone might show up and be like, “You’re wrong for desiring.” We’re not fixing them saying that. We’re like, “Where I’m standing from now is I trust my desire.” That can be a powerful place to come into our life.
The other thing I want to share is I got scared partway through. It’s not a big thing but I was like, “She’s got this plan. $90,000, three months. It feels like this is the direction we’re going in. Are we going to miss the mark for Karen here?” Usually, when I find that I’m willing to let go of that stuff, I keep it in my mind so that I’m not dismissing it. Trust what’s showing up for you in the space, that’s where the ripest and rich coaching can happen.
I would echo that I don’t think any mark was missed. It’s all perfect.
If people want to know, learn or connect with you, where do they do that?
I see people on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. I’ve tried to do it and I can’t. I can give my attention fully to one thing and I’m not interested in empowering something different. I could probably create some breakthroughs and do that but that’s the place I’ve chosen.
For what it’s worth, you’ve also modeled that to me. I see that you put your energy clearly into one place. For me, it’s also about doing what feels easy. Things don’t feel easy. It’s been nice to let it go. If it feels edgy but so be it.
There is nothing wrong with edgy. I want to plug TBD the course or client creation course or something like that. I don’t have a sexy name for it. I’m putting up a page. If you follow my work or the show or anything, I’ve created a course. It’s a lot of what this conversation has been. It’s less of the coaching around what we’ve looked at with Karen but more of what are the steps? How do we create this experience for ourselves and our clients where creating a client feels like a practice of continually serving someone and becoming more connected with them? Taking away the anxiety, moving ourselves so that we’re focused on the stuff in front of us and all of that juicy stuff.
￼It’s $1,000 US. It’s ten weeks of recorded content. There are about 4 to 5 video calls where we do some coaching like this. If that’s something that you’re interested in, you can reach out ￼to me or you can randomly Google search for whatever I named the course and find your way there. It’ll be on my website, too. You can go to AdamQuiney.com as well. That’s going to be awesome. Mia asked, “In which Get Lit sessions do you talk about impossible goals?” Was it one of the more recent ones, Karen? Do you remember?
I can remember where I was when I was listening to it.
Where were you?
I was walking down this street near where we lived in Lanai. I remember I was right in front of the health center and I was like, “This is the one.”
That’s it for this episode. Thank you for reading. Follow Karen, she’s doing amazing work and puts cool content. She is up to neat stuff. If you like this stuff, share it out. It serves us when you share a podcast with someone. Share this live or invite someone to come check it out. It warms my heart to such an extent. I appreciate that. I love you, everyone. Bye for now.
About Karen Scott Ozeri
For more than 12 years, I worked with Fortune 100 clients, overseeing nearly $100 million dollars worth of digital investments, managing cross-functional teams and coaching individuals across the advertising industry.
I have a two-year certification in Spiritual Psychology and Soul-Centered Coaching, and have learned from a wide variety of master coaches and spiritual teachers.
I can often be found hiking, writing, traveling, wearing yoga pants and organizing the fridge. I’m also regularly on the hunt for good sushi in Arizona.
I traded New York, NY for Scottsdale, AZ, where I now live with my husband, Liran. Liran is a WATSU and Waterdance therapist I met along the way.