Ready Or Not – Here I Come

They call me intense.

I think that’s because I go deep and speak up, whether that’s comfortable for you or not.

Admittedly I’m a handful, especially if you think you aren’t ready to face the real stuff. One coaching client described working with me like diving into a cold lake. Our work together can be both invigorating and chilling, in all the right ways.

I like the way I am and I like others who can accept me as I am. Since I like me so much, I’m able to accept and champion you.

If you blow smoke or make flattering, inauthentic comments I’ll call you on it.

Being appropriate is the death of individuality.

I’d rather you express your wild, untamed self and join me in pissing all over cultural appropriateness.

If you want to play the game of appropriateness go work for the State Department or lose yourself in a big corporation.

But if you want to be real and make some money from your realness, you want a coach like me who will tell it like it is.

I like getting down and dirty into the messes of life. I thrive in relationship messes because that’s where all the growth comes from. Everything is a relationship.

It’s my way, to challenge you, with a smile on my face.

I love the way I am and I love the way you are, however you are.

I love how you are, as long as you are the real you. If you don’t know what that means – you’re faking it.

I love how you push my buttons because the resulting understanding is life’s greatest gift.

Happy Valentines Day my friend, May you be deeply loved and appreciated for who you truly are.

Entrepreneurship Interview

Akemi Gaines, of Yes To Me, interviewed me for her Successful and Inspiring Entrepreneurs series.

I share my story and startup realizations. I’d be grateful if you’d visit her blog and tell me what you think over there.

Read interview here, thanks!

Akmei Gaines is a spiritual consultant and entrepreneur with a big vision and an even bigger heart. Take the time to visit her; it’s worth the trip.

Comments are closed.

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

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?


Seize Your Personal Greatness!

Are you willing to stop playing small and get on with seizing your certain greatness?

“I’ve often said that the only thing standing between me and my greatness is me.” Woody Allen

Warning! At the end of this post is a somewhat brutal exercise designed to shock you into uncovering years of garbage so you can see your greatness. Do not read all the way to the end unless you are ready to courageously face what you’ll discover.

Have you always believed that you are destined for personal greatness?Eagle

Regardless of your answer. I’m asking you to go for your greatness without delay.

If you are not yet taking steps towards your greatness – what are you doing with your life? What’s the point in continuing to live safely in mediocrity, fear or confusion?

“People are where they are because that is exactly where they really want to be – whether they will admit that or not.” Earl Nightingale

Personal greatness is a choice – and we even get to choose what it means to us.

Greatness is found by walking down the corridor of your uniqueness; and to realize that greatness, it’s necessary to smash through the door of conformity. Standing at the threshold of that door is when you’ll feel your strongest fear.

Are you choosing your greatness, or are you afraid of it?

When you ponder the idea of personal greatness, what fears arise? Are they fears of success or of failure? Imagining these fears does not allow you to be powerfully present. These fears shackle you as the victim you’ve become, in a future that is yet to be.

“Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great.” Fernando Flores

Consider this. If you aren’t deliberately working towards your greatness, then you are holding it away from you. There is no middle ground here. Your greatness is waiting for you to bring it forth. You either believe that it’s possible to be great in your chosen work or you do not.
You are either embracing your greatness or resisting it.

It’s astonishing that we all aren’t already on a definite path to greatness, because personal greatness is completely subjective. Whatever it means to you is the version of it you get to go for. You might covet the fame of celebrity, or a more personal excellence. Our uniqueness allows us to choose the version of greatness that brings us most alive.

Greatness is found by walking down the corridor of your uniqueness and to realize that greatness it’s necessary to smash through the door of conformity.

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” John F. Kennedy

It’s often our fear of standing out that keeps us from embracing our uniqueness and realizing our greatness. Conversely, the surest and swiftest route to greatness appears most readily to those who are comfortable flaunting their wildness. Not convinced? Then try making a case for being tame and appropriate. How has that served your deep delight and the world’s deep need?

In every aspect of living your greatness, you’d be aglow. You’d feel frequent flashes of personal magnificence while in the midst of your delightful work.

Friends, we all hold back – and as a result we end up far less than we might have been. I wanted to design an exercise that would shock me into rapidly shedding all the accumulated dross of life, so that I could see the gold buried beneath.

This exercise may seem unnecessarily brutal to some. That’s why I warned you. But its built-in urgency makes it highly effective. If you’re ready, you’ll need pencil, paper, a timer and 10 minutes to identify your buried greatness.

Imagine being locked in a room with 32-inch thick stonewalls and no way out other than a solid steel door. A ticking time bomb is set to explode within 10 minutes. It’s counting down giving you an alert every two minutes. There’s a laptop connected to the door lock and it will open if you answer correctly. You get five chances to walk out alive.

If your life depended on your ability to go within, ask for guidance and hold nothing back, what five answers would you write down to this question? Frame your responses to be about specific professions or businesses.  Dig deep for the most radically honest stuff because that’s the only way you’ll save you life!

What could I become or do that would sprout a definite seed to my certain greatness?

Go! Start the timer, pick up the pencil and write your five best guesses now. Then imagine entering them into the laptop to open the door to save your life.

Did you make it out alive? I got so viscerally absorbed in this experience that I hit a winning ticket on all five answers. I must confess that I was not taking action on any of them before this exercise. Three were old dreams and two were new realizations.

Now, what are you going to do with those answers? May I suggest that you select one and pledge to take action on it within the next 24 hours? Then take that action and you will be on the verge of seizing your greatness.

I’m challenging you to do the exercise and then comment on the accuracy of what you came up with. What did you realize as a result of being forced to save you own life?

Actually, by choosing your greatness – you truly will save your own life.