August has been a whirlwind of facilitating immersive training programs, travel, visioning and preparing for my upcoming trip to Denver. Looking back over the summer, I’m able to notice some interesting and useful patterns with my business and life. I thought I’d share these with you, here.
Since June, I’ve cancelled two events, lost five students and had an online class tank when half the participants didn’t keep their financial commitments and the other half didn’t keep their time commitments. Wow.
In years past, I’d be totally freaking out. I’d have taken it personally. I’d have resented my clientele. I’d have decided to change everything. I’d have looked for part-time work to fill in the income gaps created.
None of that changes anything. It’s a waste of time and precious life force.
So. With none of the old habits driven by resentment and self-pity to fall back on, I made a commitment to go All In with the Trainings, Immersives, Travel-gigs, students and clients I do have. I also made a few tweaks to my websites, started writing this blog, showed up for Heart Talks and gave it all my biggest, brightest and best.
It’s so easy to quit, isn’t it? To say, “I can’t,” or decide, “It’s not worth it.” Whether it’s our personal growth, our spiritual practice, our staying power with a diet and exercise plan, our activism, relationships or businesses –quitting is easy, right?
Not really. It’s not easier to quit, give up, do a half-assed job, or fall into self-pity when the going gets rough. Quitting is hard.
Think about the last time you gave up or only gave some of what you could to your passions. How did that feel? If you felt relief, proud and joyful, congratulations! You made an excellent life-choice for yourself. But, if you felt depleted, defeated, guilty, ashamed, resentful, depressed, worthless and self-punishing — congratulations! You were being given an opportunity to learn something!
When you’re birthing a baby, when you’re bringing something into the world that never existed before (and, it didn’t if it came from inside you), you can’t just push a little. You have to push 100%. You have to push harder and longer and with more commitment than you’ve ever pushed before for anything. You find out, finally what one hundred percent really is. Because when you’re birthing a baby, you know the pain of pushing is not going to stop until that baby is OUT!
I was recently having a conversation with someone who was feeling disappointed in her business. “It’s just not going anywhere. No matter what I do, I’m still not making the money I need. I just feel like giving up. Maybe I’m deluded. Maybe nobody really wants what I’m offering.”
You know that feeling, right? Whether it”s about a business, dating, losing weight, educating people on culture change . . . we’ve all been there.
I drew upon the Olympic Champions as a teaching metaphor. “How did they get to the Olympics? Did they only practice when it was convenient, when they weren’t tired, when it was sunny, when they knew they were the judge’s favorite? No! They got to the Olympics because they practiced every single day. The got up when they fell down. They kept working on their skills until they became some of the very best in the whole world! They didn’t give it everything they had because they had to. They did it because they LOVE to!”
She replied, sarcastically, “I’m not an Olympic athlete. I’m a business woman. I can’t be expected to keep going against all odds.”
Here’s the thing: The odds are already against you! Eighty percent of entrepreneurial endeavors fail in the first eighteen months. Ten percent limp along on sheer will-power without ever turning a profit. The last ten percent become successful.
If you want to be successful — however you define “success” — at whatever passion you’re pursuing, you’re going to need to be as consistent, committed, disciplined and unstoppable as an athlete training toward championship. You need to go ALL IN. And, you need to LOVE it.
If the idea of working that hard sounds awful, then chances are you haven’t hit upon your passion: You don’t believe what you’re doing has value. You don’t believe you have what it takes to be successful. You don’t believe it’s worth the sweat and tears. You don’t want to work that hard. You don’t care that much about it, after all. You don’t love it! If that’s the case, when you give up, you’re gonna feel great! You’re going to feel like you have a brand new lease on life!
Conversely, if you realize you’ve only been giving 40% or even 60% and you need more skills, support, help, money, know-how or chutzpah to make this thing work and get to 100% and that excites you, you’ve got something to work with.
Get the skills. Find the support. Hire an assistant even if it’s only for three hours a month. Find an intern. Take out a loan. Use your credit cards. Use the payment plan. Take a class. Get a coach. Get out of your comfort zone. It’s not easy pushing something new into the world! You gotta give more than you think you’ve got inside you.
Most people believe we’re giving it our ALL when we’re only giving about 40%.
Look. A great coach pushes the client hard. She pushes them to go beyond the comfort zone where they imagine a measley forty to be one hundred percent. When the true 100% it took months to reach become easy, it’s time to raise the bar and find the new 100%. This is how we keep developing as human beings. It’s how we deepen relationships. It’s how we gain expertise, lose weight, complete the project. And, it’s how we keep moving forward with our businesses, our artwork and everything else we care deeply about doing.
I had a few disappointments this summer. It’s okay. I learned something. Then, I gave 100% to the ELFIT , my spiritual students and coaching clients as well as my kids and other important relationships. I put 100% into filling Firewalk Denver and getting people enrolled in Women of Fire. I filled openings for new coaching clients. In the weeks I would have spent teaching those two cancelled intensives, I didn’t lie down and cry. I used that open time in my schedule to solidify The Equinox Firewalk Ceremony and some Firewalking venues here in Florida through the winter. I booked a handful of 1:1 visits with students for 2017 and started planning and negotiating work for next summer when I tour the wild, wild West! In other words, when the 100% I thought I was giving didn’t work, I gave more.