© © 2017 Jason D McClain, World-Wide Rights Reserved.
© © 2017 Jason D McClain, World-Wide Rights Reserved.
I’ve worked with hundreds of people over the years, and one of the common threads - in every case where they were starting their own business - was some version of self-doubt.
It shows up in many different forms: questioning whether they are good enough, whether they know enough, or have enough training. It shows up on how they set their prices, and in the way they have uncertainty about the future. It can also show up as perfectionism (because nothing is ever really good “enough” - and a half dozen other versions I could list.
One or more of these plague most solo-preneurs just starting out. Each of them are simple enough to resolve (and we can - and will - resolve them for you during the webinar on Thursday). Still others - as laid out below - require mindfulness and practice to let go of.
The most interesting challenge clients face - and the most pervasive dynamic I have witnessed among them - is many degrees more complicated.
The story may be familiar to you: you schedule a small talk - an introduction to your work - and let me assure you, these introductory workshops are the engine of your business. Through them, you provide value to the community and assist in building your following, your brand, and it’s an opportunity for people to see you in person so they get a deeper sense of you.
Someone comes up to you and tells you how amazing the talk was, how touched they were by it, and gets that glazed over look in their eye. It’s boom time, baby!
You pack up and go home and when you get home and check your email and there is a critical email from one of the evening’s participants saying that you needed to change XYZ about your presentation and how some of it was inappropriate. Suddenly all the inflation turns to deflation and you feel dejected and start to wonder - maybe this business isn’t for you.
How you actually performed becomes irrelevant because we are now dealing with a creation of your mind:
1) You collapsed two domains - personal and practical - you made a practical matter personal; you make it mean something about you personally when it is a matter of efficacy with the audience
2) Identification with your business or your material in the workshop causing you to react - you *are* your business in this situation. A case of mistaken identity. What’s more though, is these demonstrate an orientation to external validation.
This distinction Personal/ Practical is foundational in the self-esteem concepts I will lay out for you Thursday.
Internal vs External orientations to validation will also make a headline appearance. These distinctions will go a long way toward increasing your freedom and choice and assisting you improve more rapidly.
There are a limited number of spots for the Webinar, so go grab your space now:
In Your Service,
Update: here is the video from the webinar. Enjoy!
When: Wednesday, July 16th @ 6:30pm Pacific
Where: Online Webinar. »Register Here«
Cost: Yep, it's free
What and Why:
The Mythology of Self-Sabotage
Self-sabotage is a huge focus of pop-psychology and in the world and business of personal development. We devote time to workshops, read books, self-examine, consider it part of our necessary shadow-work perhaps, and yet still we are often left confounded by behaviors that seem to undermine our greatest aspirations for ourselves and our highest vision or our life.
We set a goal, or declare some new way of behaving or declare an end to some way we have been behaving and how long does it take to break our "promise"? Anyone who has ever tried to stop an old habit or start a new habit has experienced this--be it the smoke from a cigarette, a fatty or sugary food we should not eat, or the affections from someone we know to be as toxic for us as deeply inhaling cigarette smoke. Or, how about starting to go to the gym? Or maybe it was some New Year's resolution that you resigned from after about a week.
Or ... maybe it was saying you would not yell at people in traffic any more. Or engage with more compassion and empathy. Until that one person who ...
Or maybe it was something bigger with more at stake: a new high-paying position, a new career path, or finishing that book you've always said you were going to write, and yet your behaviors did not occur in alignment with the simple and clear steps you know – consciously -- it will take to accomplish the thing you said you would (or wanted to) accomplish (or be, do, or have.)
So most of us have begun to reduce this to some inner-enemy--some saboteur running around and setting charges on our bridges, and undermining the soiled path we are trying to walk on, having us stumble into those pitfalls.
You know: that part of you that you have probably cursed in your mind, under your breath, or even out loud in frustration.
The idea of an inner enemy is one way of relating to this phenomenon—and it is a valid and generally accepted way of relating to it. But is it an effective way of relating to it? Is it really true? Does labeling it in such a manner give us access to resolving the problem?
Most of us are aware that how we relate to something in our awareness will produce specific and predicable results both mentally and emotionally. And will even shift our "reality". The power of positive thinking and the Law of Attraction are both commonly accepted in personal development communities and among individuals interested in developing themselves. Yet these concepts are often misunderstood, misused – and underused.
Our thoughts do not create reality, because we do not experience reality directly—we experience it through perceptual filters and we interpret—and then we generalize those interpretations making meaning or creating beliefs. However our thoughts certainly create our reality--how we interpret reality will lead to our experience of reality. Objective and subjective; exterior and interior. That is to say, how we interpret what is happening "out there" will create our experience of reality "in here" and it certainly creates our immediate emotional experience and what we make that mean through generalizations and the creations of beliefs about the world, ourselves, people, etc., leads to what I like to call our "emotional atmosphere".
How is this most often done? In language; in our linguistic structures--descriptors and labels.
In this way, while our thoughts do not create "reality" with a capital R, it does--absolutely--create our experience of reality.
As clarifying example, most of us know that we can relate to the same event in one of two ways: as a "crisis" or as an "opportunity". We know that doing so will create different solutions as we will approach it differently.
Circling back to this idea of an "inner enemy", what results does that labeling of this phenomenon predictably produce? It creates a "me vs the other", us against "it" or "them" mentality which leads to tension and separation which in turn produces even greater internal dissonance.
The best thing about this way of relating to the phenomenon is this: it is not true; we made it up. The reason that is the good news is that given we made it up, we can create another way of relating to this phenomenon that is useful; a way that gives us access to resolving the confounding behavior that keeps us from attaining the heights we desire with the velocity and ease we wish for?
The answer is incredibly simple and elegant—both in the mathematical sense as well as the aesthetic. The process for resolution of this phenomenon involves getting into communication and into relationship with those parts of us that are out of alignment, find out what their positive purpose is, take that up to the highest/deepest level and integrate it from that place. It can be a fairly profound experience that is deeply healing, and allows you to create greater and greater levels of inner harmony within your Self.
Simple? Yes. Easy? Well, that depends on the skill of the Guide. That last paragraph above encapsulates and summarizes a process that can take between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on the depth of the problem, but it is virtually always successful at realigning that part of you that is ... well, out of alignment.
Take your "inner-enemies" and turn them into your most powerful allies.
Find out on Wednesday, July 16th @ 6:30pm Pacific
Where: Online Webinar. »Register Here«
A few days ago, a student of mine - a graduate of the Evolutionary Sales course -- asked me if fear could be useful.
Below is my response.
Of course fear *can* be useful. Anything is useful in *some* context.
And in any situation where we are discussing intra-personal matters (our relationship with ourselves) the question is: "do we need to use negative emotions for their usefulness-or is there a way to get the same outcome with a method that creates harmony rather than dissonance and dis-ease?
I think the answer is pretty obvious.
This does occasionally come up with clients around motivation; they are not sure how they will motivate themselves without anxiety. In that situation we have to work with their meta-program around motivation; are they motivated toward vision or away from pain. I have it that it is not a wiring thing (we are "just that way" but a matter of choice, training, and conditioning).
Having said that, if you remove fear and replace it with nothing in terms of motivation, then you will run into problems of ... well, "lethargy" is not quite it, but you get my meaning I trust.
Going into this deeper, let's distinguish what we mean by "fear". I see the following:
1) Fight or flight where your body is in physical danger (rational fear)
2) Fight or flight where we are not in physical danger (irrational fear)
3) Anxiety around not knowing how to do something and we are forced to do it (like land a plane when you are not a pilot and lives are at stake).
4) Anxiety or panic when we imagine some performance situation going poorly (presentations / public speaking, approaching someone we are attracted to, etc.)
#1 and #3 are fine. In fact, #1 is critical for our survival; it can be life saving.
#2 is an invention of our mind and is created by a combination of a lack of facility with self / lack of skill at navigating our interiors and insufficient self-esteem. It is also usually resulting from a gestalt of fear that can and should be cleared out of our past.
#4 is pretty straight forward: it is imagining a future event with a negative outcome. And since that future is a fantasy, imagining it not going well is ... well, silly. It may not be conscious- or it often is. If you imagine giving a presentation and having your notes fall to the floor or everybody scoffing at you, then you will have anxiety (and other emotions). However, if you imagine it going well -- that everything is going to be fine and you make that your internal representation of the event -- imagine that "movie" then you will feel much, much better.
I am not personally motivated away from pain - it has almost no impact on me because of the life I have had; I can deal with pretty much any level of pain. I have also systematically cleared out fear, anxiety, anger, etc., etc., etc. And having worked on my ego structures for nearly 25 years, there is almost nothing that I am not certain I can handle, so it is simply ineffective for me personally. In general, I am future oriented, vision oriented, and "toward" motivated.
I have often found though, that you have to resolve the fear, guilt, shame, etc., before you can take the necessary steps you need to take to get the thing done you need to get done, so how about we skip the negative vibrations in our nervous system, and find ways to motivate ourselves without the blunt instrument of fear? And as we imagine how much more spacious we feel, and how much cleaner and clearer our vessel / channel is, we can live our purpose even more fully because our vehicle (body/mind/spirit/nervous system) does not have dissonance in it that needs to be calmed.
When you realize that you are unborn; when you meet the face you had before your parents were born- the pure Witness, then life becomes lela or play and you can thrust yourself into it with full gusto because you realize that you can't really die.
At that point you have disidentified from that which you *think* is you, but is not really you and you have identified with the ever-present Witness. You have become God.
And in that space, not only do you not need fear for utility, you realize how silly it is to even feel it.
But that's a longer-term unfolding.
Right now, the task is to begin to build and strengthen your capacities to witness and to navigate your own interiors. As you continue to do that the rest will come as a natural evolution; a predictable unfolding. And like a rose in bloom opening to the sun, you will open to freedom.
The Top 6 Mistakes Coaches and Practitioners Make (Part 2)
In Part 1 we discussed the need to integrate money and spirutality, and how to better serve your clients's needs in a sustainable way.
What’s next? More nuts and bolts to build on the philosophical grounding and mindsets we established in Part 1.
4: Having only one stream of prospects
Most coaches and practitioners rely solely on word of mouth and word of mouth is good. In the 21st century marketplace there are hyper-empowered and talkative people. This is good for you. However, it is not enough. Make a decision now to take control–to be the locus of responsibility–for the success of your business. While word of mouth is critical, it is only one of at least three prospect streams the successful coach or practitioner must establish for themselves. What are those three?
•Formalized referral systems [two of them]
•Speaking engagements and free evening talks
•Word of mouth
•An affiliate program with a percentage or fee for referrals; offer to pay a commission – a generous one.
•Write a referral clause into your client contract stating that if the client is happy with your services that they then agree to refer two people to you for a complimentary exploratory session. While you never want to be heavy handed about this, it does set their intention and focus their awareness on a more formal approach to referrals. And wouldn’t you rather pay them than pay for advertising (online or otherwise)?
Evening Talks | Introductory Talks | Speaking Engagements
These are the bread and butter of filling your practice and keeping it full. When you give talk make it explicit in your marketing and in your introductory remarks that you are there for two reasons:
1. To provide value to their lives–first and foremost and;
2. To market your services and/or products, course
Say this at the beginning – in the first three minutes – and let them know you will be revisiting what is available to them at the end. And then at the end of your talk, pass around a signup sheet for them and next – and this is critical – if they expressed interest, initiate contact with within 24 hours with an initial email beginning the sales flow process of your sales system.
Word Of Mouth
Consider this a great backup and occasional unexpected icing on the cake when those unintentional or random referrals occur. And occur they will. Sometimes they come from something you posted online or from a referral you were unaware of or a former client you have not contacted in a while.
If you do this, and you consider them in this order of importance, you will always be in control of your flow of clients and prospects–and they will flow in. Your sustainable prosperity will follow.
5. Failure To Leverage Contact Points And The Opportunity They Hold
First, let me give you a tip – forget about handing out business cards. You don’t really need them except for scratch paper. People will lose your card, become overwhelmed, forget what exactly they talked to you about, etc. It gets lost in the shuffle. If you really want to be of service, you get their information – get their card – and send them a follow-up email within 24 hours.
Teach the people who want to refer people to you – whether they are clients or affiliates – to get the person’s permission to give you their contact information (not give them one of your cards, send them to your website or what have you. Have them get their permission to give you their contact information and then again, you initiate contact within 24 hours and begin the process.
I had a student who was a massage therapist and he doubled his business in two months using only this tip.
Consider any contact point you have with a prospect -- be it an initial session, an email, or a phone call -- an opportunity for you to take control of the situation gently and ethically and move the process forward to the next step. And every step is an opportunity for you to of further service.
Do not give “free initial coaching sessions” (Another contact point to leverage)
Many coaches and many prospects think it is beneficial to give away services or to experience the practitioner directly. I have never found this to be effective in a prosperous business. If you want to turn your practice into a business then offer a complimentary exploratory session–and consider it an information gathering session for you and a sales presentation for the prospect. Let them get a sense of you, but do not give them free coaching. You are not part of a buffet they are sampling. You want them to commit to a more fulfilling experience; a full 3 course meal. Be sure to show them the menu and explain the dishes and presentation–be sure to demonstrate your competence, but be careful you are making sure your contact point is leveraged to its full potential–for their sake in finally having a better life–and for yours in creating a sustainable and prosperous business.
In service of this, have them make a decision one way or the other in that exploratory session – mine are two hours and are complimentary. If you let them “think about it” then they will get less and less clear on what you presented, and therefore less and less clear on what it will make possible in their lives and their fear and limitations kick in; the very habit patters of the mind that they are coming to you to resolve take over. It is your duty to guide them to a choice in that session. Yes and no are both fine answers–but require an answer. I will often ask a prospect who wants to “think about it” if that is the thing that stops them elsewhere in their lives. That is usually all I have to say in those situations for them to sign the agreement in front of them. If they ask why they have to make a choice today, you do something shocking: you tell them the truth. You tell them that if they think about it, what happens is they get less and less clear on the presentation, less and less clear on what it would make possible in their lives and the habit patterns of their minds – many of which they have come to you to resolve begin to take over – and then you have failed your very first test as their coach or practitioners.
Because it is the truth, I have trouble even recalling a time where the response was not agreement. That is what happens to most people.
Be respectful with their experience–set context/pre-frame the session flow–and make sure when you chat with them on the phone for the purpose of setting up the exploratory session that they are aware of the process–that they know you will clarify what they want, then explain your approach, and then if it is a fit–have them review a contract.
Those contact points are critical for your guidance of the client to changing their lives.
Client Emails | Testimonials (yet another contact point to leverage)
When a client sends you an email raving about your contribution–or when they acknowledge you verbally communicating the difference you have made for them–ask them if you can quote them. Turn that acknowledgment into a testimonial for your marketing materials.
You don’t need the ego strokes or the compliments (well, maybe you do, but hopefully you don’t) what you do need is the “social proof” for your marketing channels. Always offer to write it up and/or edit it and send it to them for their approval before publishing it, but make sure you leverage this contact point.
There are more examples I could give, but remember, if you want to have sustainable prosperity and truly be of service to a larger and larger portion of your community, and therefore be an agent of change rippling out to assist in creating a better global condition–consider every contact point an opportunity to serve them or others through them.
6: Considering Your Service a Commodity
There is a reason I do not publish my rates.
My services are not a commodity on the shelf to be price-shopped. And no one else does what I do, really. And consider that you offer something unique that no one else does. In discovering that you will not only feel better about your “fees”, but you will also have take the first step in being able to communicate the value of your services to your clients and prospects in such a way that your fees seems insignificant and nearly irrelevant when measured against the value your service will bring to their lives.
And really–just between you and me–do you really feel that a number, no matter how reasonable or how unreasonable it may seem communicates the scope and richness of the difference your service can provide in their lives? Unless you have nothing unique to offer–you do your prospects a disservice by buying into their mindset that they can price shop.
I have never lost an opportunity or had a client not want to work with me as a result of this approach. In fact, it is one of the secrets of my success–selling from vision and value and having the money be a formality; an afterthought.
The sales system I have developed works so well that we don’t even cover overcoming objections or “reframing” objections in the course. There is no need if you follow the system because you will so clearly be coming from service and you will have fit that objections rarely – if ever – arise unless you skipped a step in the sales process.
Mistake #7: Did I say 6?
I guess there is at least one more: “Healing” that which you need to resolve in your self and in your own life by healing others
I am going to say something harsh here and say that I consider it unethical–yes, “unethical” for coaches, therapist, or “healers” to work on the same issues with clients that they have not resolved within themselves.
While you may still be able to provide solutions–at least be honest with your client that you have not handled it in your own life. And make a choice now to only provide services that you feel competent, resolved with, and apply to your self in your own life.
If you are a relationship coach–have a great relationship, or at least don’t be leaving wreckage behind you. If you are a coach around self-esteem, have a well-developed ego [in the positive and healthy sense]. If you are an addict who is still smoking, drinking, or doing drugs, do not counsel others on that – get sober first. Do not look to heal your wounds through the wounds of others. There is a danger of projection, and even more so–how can you charge someone to solve something you have been unable to demonstrate as being solved in your own life?
Integrate Your Purpose and Your Prosperity | Join us in San Francisco June 20, 21, 22 for Evolutionary Sales. http://evolutionarysales.com