Archives for March 2008

What keeps you from making the leap to your work life freedom?

Regular readers of this blog know that I compare employment to slavery. Think that’s too harsh?

Look at this dictionary definition for slavery “…the state of being under the control of another person.” Or look at these synonyms for slavery: drudgery, constraint and subjections, or these antonyms: emancipation, freedom and liberty. If the shoe fits…

LeapI’m not writing this for the few of you who truly love your jobs. And, while I encourage your comments, I’m not writing this for my fellow coaches and bloggers who have already seized their freedom.

I’m writing this for those of you who have yet to make the leap.

(Image by brosha on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

What’s stops you from going for your work life freedom and fulfillment? Do you know?
What story do you tell yourself about this?

I’ve recently had the privilege of reading the responses of 110 work life freedom surveys.
One survey question asked this.

What is the number one thing stopping you from creating more freedom in your work life?
Here are the top five responses:

5). Procrastination
4). Lack of self-confidence
3). Not being clear on the livelihood I want
2). Fear of failure
1). Money

The number one thing stopping these wonderful, sincere people from going for their work life freedom is a perceived lack of money or concern regarding obligations that require money.

I understand and I can feel your fear. Money is so highly valued in our society that the lack of it can lead to intense self-judgment. Yet I can’t let you continue to hide behind the excuse of not having enough money. We use the lack of money as a reason to keep us from doing and not doing all kinds of things. But that’s not it – and I can prove it to you. Quit reading now and get a piece of paper and a pencil.

In the next five minutes, as quickly as you can, write down all the things you can’t do because you can’t afford it. Just complete this sentence as fast as you can.

I can’t afford to….

(Don’t read on until you’ve taken at least 30 seconds to try this exercise.)

Okay, now go back over your list and read it out loud, but replace “I can’t afford to” with “I don’t want to.”

Can you now see how you have given so much power to money? That’s right, it’s not the money. What if you could accept this as the absolute truth for everything on your list? How would that change what you think you can and cannot do? When we examine how much we really want something, we invite all kinds of fresh insights. It truly does come down to the degree of our desire.

Perhaps you’ll find that you really don’t want your work life freedom that badly. Perhaps you want to continue being safely miserable in your job. If that’s the case, then at least come to acceptance with your choice. Truth be told, some would have to admit that they enjoy the twisted payoff that comes from being a complaining victim.

What about those of you who truly do want your work life freedom?

Are you willing to go deep within your self-exploration to do the work to find it? Are you willing to commit to the active pursuit of your work life freedom?

What remains when you remove money as the reason why you haven’t made the leap?

Is there really anything stopping you now? I’ve dedicated my life to this work. This is the coaching that I do. There is a way that works and I want to guide you there. How can I help you? What would you have me write about?

For my fellow bloggers, coaches and self-employed professionals, what can you share about that time just before you made the leap? How can you encourage these folks to go for it?


Why Finding the Work You Love May Not Be Enough or Why Doesn’t the Money Always Follow?

Repeatedly, I see talented, dedicated, self-employed professionals who are sure they have identified their true calling. Yet especially within the helping professions and the spiritual community, that discovery does not lead to enough money or fulfillment to make them happy.

What’s missing? Why doesn’t the money always follow doing what we love to do?

Here’s how we make the process of discovering our true calling so difficult.

Often folks will declare themselves to be missing a key element of their makeup. They judge themselves harshly. They plant the seed that concludes that they must be lacking in some way. Once planted, this seed of doubt grows into a tree that’s so big that it blocks their vision.

Know anyone like this? They are often slow to respond to their own call? They hesitate when presented with opportunities. What’s behind this lack of responsiveness? Essentially, it’s a lack of commitment. They think they’ve found their calling but they repeatedly stop short of full engagement. I was once this guy. How about you?

Once planted, the seed of doubt sprouts insecurities and self-judgments. “What’s wrong with me? Is it the work or is it me? No I love the work; it must be me. It feels right, maybe I just can’t earn enough in this work? No others do, so it must be me. What am I not seeing? Why can’t I just stick with something and follow through? What’s missing in my makeup? There must be something wrong with me? What’s wrong with me?”

If you’ve had a similar self-dialogue, then you know the futility of it. Allow me to point you in the right direction. It’s not you – it’s the choices you’ve made.

There’s nothing wrong with you; you have what it takes – rather it’s the way you’ve chosen the work you’re doing. Your process was faulty, so your results can only follow.

Here’s the complete process. There are five essential elements that harmoniously work to bring forth your greatness. In this case, here’s my definition of greatness: as much fulfillment, freedom of choice, prosperity and happiness as you desire.

Doing work that you love is only one of five, and if that’s the only one you align with, then you have only a 20% chance of reaching your greatness. Some of you are much closer so you only need to bring a couple of the elements into alignment. Wherever you are use this true target.

Work Target

From the inside out, are you harmoniously aligning all five essential elements?

Work that feeds your soul

Work that’s aligned with your values

Work that you love to do

Work that engages your strengths

Work that encourages your unique traits

Some folks are so far off the mark that it requires a major life calamity to get their attention. Their target may look more like this.

And some folks really confuse the issue by mixing elements from both targets, so they end up hitting neither.

Just in case you aren’t clear, here’s the way you’re supposed to feel. You fly out of bed in the morning and can’t wait to get to your work. Your work completes you.

Once more, from the inside out, here’s the only test you need. Line up these elements and the money does follow, as does fulfillment, freedom and all things good.

  1. Does your work fulfill you by feeding your soul?
  2. Are you attracted to your work? Is it aligned with your values?
  3. Is it work that fuels your passion? Do you actually love the doing of it?
  4. Is it work that comes easily to you? Does it engage your strengths?
  5. Does your work allow you to showcase your uniqueness? Does it encourage the expression of your peculiarities?


Take the Delightful Work Survey

Business Startup Success

Business startup success is possible for everyone.  But how can you make business startup success more than possible.

Lately I’ve been fascinated with the short, but sometimes challenging, journey between possibility and probability.

Possibility holds the energy of hope. Possible means it could happen.

Probability holds the energy of optimism and a more confident expectation. Probable means it’s likely to happen.

How do you move from possibility to probability?

Planning for business startup success is more about taking a choice when you see it.  Often we aren’t even aware of where we are – so really we are lost. When lost, we fall prey to states of delay, doubt and confusion.  Action always improves clarity because it changes perspective.

Here’s a simple way to locate where you are in any meaningful pursuit.  I’ve dubbed it the Authentic Cycle of Probability.

Cycle of Authentic Probability

We can’t claim we’re lost when we know where we are. Identifying where you are on this cycle will allow you to remove excuses and focus all of your energy on the next obvious step.

We forget that any movement works.  Too often we put our lives on pause because we seek the magical, and elusive, state of certainty.  By staking your claim on this map of probability, you’ll tilt the odds of completion in your favor.

  1. Discovery is going within to explore and unearth your ideal business.  Claim your free Choosing Your Ideal Business guide.
  2. Decision is a bold declaration of intent on a clear and meaningful objective.
  3. Focus is laser-like concentration on that objective.
  4. Massive Inspired Action is engaging a variety of fierce and creative actions to manifest your objective.
  5. Momentum is energy gained by the movement of following through.
  6. Gratitude is the causative energy of appreciation that blesses us with ease and greater flow.
  7. Celebration is self-acknowledgment and recognition for successfully completing every small step.
  8. Completion is the triumphant achievement of our objective and our signal to proceed forward to the freshness of discovery.

At completion we can honor ourselves by pausing in fulfillment, gratitude and celebration – as long as we feel really good about it. We only need rest and relief when we are toiling in some unaligned, meaningless realm. If we are shooting for the right moon and hitting it, then the energy of completion organically causes us to discover our next mark.

For a different look at deciding where you are read: Are You Sure You’re on the Right Path?

So, at what stage on the cycle of probability do you find yourself today?

Are you consciously working on an intentionally chosen and meaningful objective? Or are you toiling in struggle making someone else rich?

If the latter, what are you going to do about it?

If you are really ready to do something about it you can begin here in Career Change and Discovery or here for Business Start Up Success Coaching.

Many in your shoes have found this free resource of the Nine Elements of Authentic Career Discovery a very useful visual aid.

You’ll more surely hit the mark by identifying where you are.  In your comments, please stake your claim on greater work life fulfillment, happiness, abundance and freedom by letting us know you where you are.

Schedule a Confidently Make the Leap  – Free Strategy Session.

In this strategy session you will: 

  • Get really clear about the business you want to have.
  • Discover the number one thing stopping you from moving forward.
  • Plot out the right timing for you to make your move.
  • Identify the one thing that will give you the confidence to take the leap.
  • End the session inspired and knowing exactly what you need to do next to make your move.

Unconditional Support – Ever had it? Want it?

Is it truly unconditional?

Do you have a source of unconditional support and are you tapping into it frequently? If you aren’t receiving such powerful backing in your life, what might you do to get some? In my last post, Seizing Your Greatness, I offered a powerful exercise to discover the true path to work that you love.

But what if you’ve found it and don’t feel strong enough to go for it?
That’s where unconditional support comes in. Support in Rugby

I used to be one of those guys who seldom asked for help. That was misguided. I’ve changed my ways, how about you? Do you graciously accept all support and seek it out when needed? I’ve found that most of us need to raise our willingness to receive. Even though the intention to give first without expectation is wise, we also must be willing to ask when we need the strength of others.

Mothers and fathers sometimes provide this level of support, and even spouses and siblings are capable of it. Beyond that (especially in traditional business circles) it’s rare indeed to find folks who are willing.
(Image by murky on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

Wanting to, and actually following through without a personal agenda, is rare. One of my earliest coaching clients hired me just to listen to his ideas, because everyone else in his life, including his boss and his wife, had their own agenda for him. Have you ever felt that way?

I want you to know that this isn’t just talk. I’m presently testing my theories in a real life experiment by facilitating an unconditional support experience. Thus far, the results are amazing. I’m asking the members of this experience to offer their observations and realizations by commenting below.

What about you?

What could you accomplish, be or understand with a steady stream of support that was absolute, unquestionable and given with no strings attached?

Could this be a case of not knowing what you’re missing because you’ve never realized support without limit?

Observations from the Field

As with team sports, support is more easily given when clear-cut ground rules and a shared objective are agreed upon.

Support is more prevalent when facilitated by a coach who keeps one eye on the rules and another on the big picture objective. I’m finding it to be a challenging and glorious dance.

Even though I’ve coached individuals, groups and teams, those in a group experience receive unconditional support in far greater amounts because there are multiple sources of support that synergize with one another. I wonder if unconditional support could be the key to getting any business or sports team to perform at its best?

It’s certainly making a big difference in the lives of those brave adventurers who are right now participating in this bold social experiment. I’ll let them tell the rest of the story by asking them to comment on their experience.

Well my fellow supporters? What say you?

Can you tell us how differently you now feel while realizing greater unconditional support than before the experiment?

Have you noticed anything different about your decisiveness and/or clarity?

What specific value have you received from enjoying absolute support?

Have you accomplished more or less due to the backing of others?

What would you recommend to those considering a similar experience?

Why would you encourage them to participate?

What else do you want to share about the experience of both giving and receiving unconditional support?

For the rest of you, what could you accomplish, be or understand with a steady stream of support that was absolute, unquestionable and given with no strings attached?