Discomfort Is Necessary For Transformation

Digging deep and really feeling the discomfort of transformational change is the fastest and surest way to business success.   You’ve got to feel the full pain and discomfort of where you are to transcend it.

The slow way to business success is to exhaust yourself on a worldwide search for an opportunity that already fits your current state of comfort.  Quit looking – they are disappearing faster than you can find them.

Well-paying, comfortable jobs with good benefits are rapidly disappearing.  Most of those remaining can be found within dyeing institutional bureaucracies.

If your work is without challenge and without discomfort then it’s already disappearing.

Look at the toll-takers sitting in little tollbooths on the turnpike.  Automated toll collection is far less costly.  These toll-takers have absolutely no uncomfortable challenges in their duties.   Thus they bring absolutely no transformational value to humanity.

If you really want to find work that makes your heart sing – then first look for challenges and value points that make you heart ache.

Look for messy opportunities that make others run because they are uncomfortable.  Only these opportunities matter in providing true transformational value.

If it’s not messy, it won’t hold meaning.  If it doesn’t mean anything, then it doesn’t matter to anyone.  If it doesn’t matter then the money won’t come because the value will be too low.

Why Don’t We Use What We Already Know?

One of the most frequent comments I see on self-development blogs is, “thanks for reminding me.” Often this is followed by the exasperating question, “I know this stuff; why do I forget to use it?”

Why do we forget to use what we already know to be useful for us?

When this occurs, have we really learned it well in the first place?

Perhaps we’ve read something a few times and we assume we’ve learned it because we recognize it when we see it again. But have we learned it deeply enough for it to become a habit?

Particularly in the practice of self-development, why do we tend to slip back into less-than-conscious, default behaviors that don’t serve us well?

Is it a matter of a lack of awareness?

It could be. But I think it’s mainly because we’ve unwittingly fallen under the influence of an outside belief that appears to be strong. As we absorb that outside belief, and as we do, it latches onto other limiting, pre-existing beliefs; before we know it, we are focusing on the lack of what we really want.

For example, take our so-called “troubled” economy. I generally don’t watch national newscasts but I’ve been so excited about having a real choice in the year’s presidential election that I got sucked into all the news regarding the economic bailout. Even though I consciously choose my thoughts, the insidious nature of doom and gloom affected the future I was imagining.

Gratefully, I was jarred back to an abundant reality by reading Slade Roberson’s excellent post, Paper Money Airplane.

Here’s the bottom line when it comes to creating our own reality: garbage in results in garbage out. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known something, you aren’t immune to a fearful collective consciousness with an opposing view. Remain diligent, filter your outside influences, and decide what you know as often as necessary to create the life and business you desire.

If all of this depressing economic news has you down, decide to clear it now by watching this excellent video of Brad Yates using EFT (emotional freedom technique).

I’m interested; in the comments, please tell me why you don’t always use what you already know.

Seize the Freedom of Self-Employment

Fear around the lack of money keeps many stuck within the slavery of employment. I believe more would seize the freedom of self-employment if they truly understood the value of the freedoms they have willingly given up. Most seasoned self-employed individuals joyously place a higher value on their continued freedom and would not give it up even for much more money.

What do we, as free workers, know that employees do not? We intimately understand and are invigorated by the value of the freedoms that come from doing work that we love in our own way. We believe that it’s our sacred responsibility to safeguard this freedom.

I believe that we enjoy three essential freedoms that employees do not.

1). The freedom of autonomy is our independence. It’s our ability to exercise self-government. Answering to the whims and rules of another is akin to slavery.

2). The freedom of self-determination could also be called the freedom of unlimited decisiveness. By enjoying this freedom we get to decide and choose both our day-to-day work projects and over all strategies and objectives.

3). The freedom of self-expression is simply what we are able to say without hesitation or restriction. This freedom is at the core of our well-being and the freedom I want to discuss today.

The ability to speak our minds on any issue, in any setting, to anyone is invaluable because it’s directly tied to the magnificence of our own authentic identity. When you knowingly restrict your identity you have assumed an identity that is less than your core being. This pretense wounds you deeply at a soul level. Identity restriction is a slow deadening process where the individual hides his true feelings and ultimately settles for less of a life then he or she may have lived.

Many employees complain about their work but throw up the money or security excuse as reasons why their hands are tied. These employees know they have settled for something less than they could be enjoying but they have yet to find the courage to make their move.

How can we, the joyfully self-employed help them to seize their freedom? We can help by talking about how wonderful our freedom feels. We can help by replacing money with freedom as the new standard of success. We can encourage them to be bold and let their freedom ring as an example to their children.

If you are happily employed and can honestly accept the accompanying restrictions, please stay where you are. But if you are among the majority of unhappy employees, know this: the freedoms of self-employment can lead you into a life of unlimited prosperity.

Prosperity comes through enhanced awareness so we can see and seize the right opportunities at the right time.

By working on what you want to work on and dearly value you’ll end up producing work of higher value that will make you prosperous. Please trust that everyone wants to support individuals who put their heart and soul into their work. Trust your internal yearnings to be the man or woman you can here to be. Seize your freedom now!

If you are employed but want to seize your freedom – tell us how we can help.

If you are self-employed and would like to encourage others to make their move – please comment on how freeing self-employment feels to you.

The Three Most Direct Ways to Earn More Money Now

Often I’ll begin coaching a self-employed, brand new coaching client who needs to get the money flowing now. When I begin coaching a client who needs to earn more immediately, it’s off-purpose to plant future seeds. This is the checklist I use to get more cash generated quickly.

1). Identify who it is that you want to serve the most.

Who do you really enjoy working with? Serving which demographic most warms your heart? What do these prospects really care about? What problems do they usually have that they must solve soon? What brings them alive? What are they not willing to compromise? Once you’ve answered these questions to the point of knowing exactly who they are and what they care about, then you can express yourself more clearly and they can find you more easily. Read a description here of those who I want to serve the most.

2). Ask for the money.

“All the money you want, someone else has, and you need to ask them for it to receive it.” Egbert Sukop

I’m not just talking about putting things out there on your blog or your website. I’m talking about calling up people you know and asking them whom they know. But ask for referrals very specifically by describing your answers to #1 above. Then, after describing whom you most want to serve, ask. Who does that bring to mind? Who do you know who fits that description? They can tell by the enthusiasm in your voice that you passionately want to serve that person so they are much more eager to refer you. Remember, it’s often not the direct action that brings in the cash. Often results come parallel to action.

3). Work in the now.

It’s very likely that in this moment you and I have enough money. The bills are current and there is gas in our car, a roof over our heads and food in the fridge. In this moment, all is well. So why do we feel like we have so little when we actually have enough? How can we feel like we have so little when something always turns up and it always turns out to be enough? Hasn’t that been your experience?

The now is the only place where we can produce anything. In the present we are powerful and in the future or the past we are powerless. Yet we don’t commit to living in this moment, do we? Have you ever wondered why?

Here is a fundamentally erroneous belief that you may not know you have. If you believe that money will solve all your problems then it will always seem as though you don’t have enough money. Why? You always have problems to solve. Since you will always have problems you will never have enough money to seem like you’re problem-free and that will make you strive for an unreachable future where you are problem free. It’s a no-win game to play.

Our biggest problem is that feeling of future security that we crave. It’s not enough for us to feel good about what we have now. No, we also want a guarantee that we will have more than enough in the future. It’s that focus on the future that creates the stress in the moment and that stress lessens your ability to maximize your earnings in the now. You can’t possibly be there and earn here. It sounds so obvious but that’s where powerless victims tend to take their thoughts.

If you really want to get the money flowing, then run your thoughts and actions by this quick checklist. Make the adjustments you need to make and feel good about where you are and what you have right now. Which of these three do you need to engage to get more money flowing? On which of these three do you tend to lose your focus? Is there a fourth strategy that you would add?

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Get Real about Your Work

Somehow we have lost our way when it comes to our work. Most of us may believe that it’s possible to enjoy delightful work, but how much of our work is actually delightful?

Woman in Field

Some feel that work can all be like play and others feel that some of it needs to be like work. That’s what I examined in this post, Work as Play? I keep changing my mind on that one but that’s not what I want to address in this post. Or do I?

First, I want to ask this question.

Why do we complicate the things that matter the most to us? Specifically, why do we needlessly complicate creating a life of delightful work? (If you’re thinking, “I don’t complicate having delightful work, it’s just that I ________ {fill in the blank}….” then that’s what I mean by complicating it. For example, having reasons why you don’t have a life of delightful work is “complicating” it.)

Is it because we fear the change so much that the complication is a defense to delay it?

Or do we really, deep down, not think that delightful work is possible for us?

Or, are we really that afraid of our own brilliance or of our unique success?

Do you agree that the answer to delightful work is found within? Then why do we look to others for answers? Aren’t we the better source of wisdom in our own lives? What fears arise in you when you examine the possibility of totally delightful work?

That raises another question. Is it really the happiness and fulfillment of delightful work that we want or is it freedom from having to work at all that most attracts us?

For example, I think it’s interesting that so many of us coaches and bloggers seek to develop streams of passive income. What’s that about? We could say that we just want our bliss to be shared with a larger audience, and there could be some truth to that. But let’s get real here. Let’s talk about what we hope to gain.

Do we really want to become Internet info-marketers? Not that there is anything wrong with that. But is that your passion? Are you seeking delightful work or the positional advantage of not having to work at all? If you’re really looking for a way to earn money from not being physically present, is this an objective or an evasion? Is the work that we do so uninspiring that we are driven to develop ways of evading it?

I only pose these difficult questions because I’m asking them of myself right now.

Let’s dig deeper and get real about our work. Perhaps we could take a deep breath and start fresh with our examination?

In our work we ought to experience as much joy as we possibly can. Can we agree on that as a starting point? In my welcoming message I wrote: Delightful work is: amusing, attractive, captivating, clever, engaging, enjoyable, fascinating, gratifying, luscious and thrilling. Captivating, engaging, enjoyable and fascinating! That’s how I’d like to work more often. Here’s a confession. I write about delightful work and not all of my work is delightful. But whose responsibility is that? It certainly can’t be anyone else’s but mine.

I already do enjoy the freedoms that I care the most about, the freedoms of self-expression and self-determination.

The freedom of self-expression allows us to openly say whatever we want about our work. The freedom of self-determination is enjoying the option to be completely at choice as to when, how, with whom, where and on what you work. It is even the freedom of choosing whether to work or not.

Is this drive to develop info-marketing products really our way of seizing the freedom of self-determination? Does this really mean that we want to be free from the obligation of work? Do we really want to be free to choose whether or not we work at all? It’s really interesting to see what remains when we completely remove money and its accompanying self-created pressures from the equation. If you did that, what would remain?

Would your work life look different than it does now?

How specifically would it look different?

What would you immediately drop? Add?

What would you do more off? Less off?

Would you be working more or less? Would you be working at all?

Would you still be trying to build your opt-in list, sell your eBooks and become a successful info-marketer? Or, if money were no longer an issue, would you even care about that anymore?

What would be the central theme of your work? Why don’t we find out?

Excellent, then let’s do an exercise to remove the need for money completely from our work and see what remains.

You’ll need your imagination, a timer, blank paper and a pen or pencil. Set the timer for four minutes and start it when cued to do so. Get that stuff and come back to reading. It will be well worth your while. Ready?

Here’s the scenario. Imagine you’ve received a registered letter from a venture capital investment firm. They represent a large conglomerate that wants to buy the complete rights to an original idea of yours. There is no negotiation. They are offering you 3.7 million dollars. As you read on, you see that there is a catch in the form of some very peculiar terms. The letter will self-destruct within four minutes and the offer will be withdrawn – unless you complete an exercise exactly as instructed. You are being asked to open an envelope and as you do your four minutes will begin.

In the envelope is one instruction. You must write down the whole truth about the work you intend to do once the issue of money is gone. Tell the truth and the money is yours. Otherwise you get zip. Ready? Pick up your pencil and start the timer.

First you may have been tempted to fix a few other things in your life. But after you purchased the home and car, after you traveled the world, after you were generous with charities, friends and family. Now what? What about your work?

What did you write? How will your work be different? I’m betting that your answers are more real than the work you are now doing. I’ll share my answers in the first comment and I’d be honored if you share yours as well.

The bad news is that no one is waiting to offer you 3.7 million dollars. The good news is that you now have a blueprint to follow to do the work you were meant to do. By doing so, you have raised the probability of making your work delightful and of earning your own 3.7 million dollars. The only question is this: Will you use this blueprint or will you go back to following your fears instead of your own inner wisdom?

Will you please honor yourself and do this exercise? Will you honor yourself (and all of us) even further by commenting and sharing what you actually came up with?

In case you’re wondering, I found the writing of this post to be completely delightful.

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?


Seven Things That May Surprise You About Money

These are things I’m pretty sure about regarding money. If anyone speaks with greater certainty on the subject of money – run like hell!
Sometimes it seems like money comes more out of the blue than as a result of the work we do.

I am deeply influenced by the teachings of my friend Egbert Sukop. If you dare, read his groundbreaking book The Money Adventure.

  1. Confidence attracts more money than hard work earns.
  2. When we feel really good, we tend to get more of it. Thus our real work is to do things that make us feel good. What delightful work actions can you take now that really make you smile?
  3. A little financial reserve takes away the stress and causes us to feel better. Even though it may be challenging to build a reserve, nothing takes the pressure off like having a reserve.
  4. Money doesn’t necessarily come because of direct actions, but more often parallel to those actions. Without any action, it seldom comes at all.
  5. Any new movement works. When we take new and different actions, we can see opportunities we were previously blind to. We then, of course, must seize those opportunities.
  6. Just as much money comes by mistake as comes by any intended action. Thus we’d better get over our phobia about making mistakes – and get comfortable making them! When it comes to money, it’s the frequency of attempts that count, more than the certainty of them.
  7. “Money cannot solve money problems.” -Egbert Sukop — Whatever we think we’ll get by receiving more money will not come as a result of receiving more money. Money more often provides more relief than resolution.

If we take into account all of the above, it makes a lot of sense to frequently engage in what I call, Massive Inspired Action.

This theory says that we can increase our probability of success by increasing the sheer volume of inspired actions over a short period of time. The success comes not necessarily as a direct result of those actions, but more as a result of the confident vibes one emits around joyfully taking a variety of actions towards an objective one is passionate about.

I’d like to know. Which of these seven points surprised you? Intrigued you? Infuriated you? Which point will you begin to employ in your pursuit of delightful work?
Stumble It! Stumble It!