As we close out the final weeks of the year there’s a lot to think about; the amazing relationships you’ve built, people you’ve met, opportunities you’ve had, bad decisions you’ve made and so much more. As you reflect on the last 12 months and goal plan for the next 12 months take a moment to acknowledge who you’ve become and how far you’ve made it.
Looking back on the last year of my life I realize there were many things I thought I knew that I didn’t know at all. This year can be summarized in one sentence “you’re either all in or not in at all.” I’ve been blessed with amazing clients, a great coach, an incredible network, an unbreakable support system, a partner who pushes me and believes in my potential and most importantly a never ending belief in myself.
I just want to take a moment and share with you 1 of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in hopes that you’ll use this to learn from my mistakes and shorten your learning curve.
Be Open. Be Honest. Be Upfront.
This is by far the most important lesson I learned this year because it has not only changed my mindset but it’s also dramatically changed my results. Sitting across the table from a real estate mogul at Starbucks in Chicago, the middle of summer, with only one thing on my mind how to make more money. I was already proud of what I had accomplished but if I was to be truly honest with myself the reality was what was in the bank wasn’t equivalent to the hours I had dedicated to building my business. Now nearly 3 years in I was at a breaking point, dis-satisfied, unhappy, and drained. Yes I had clients, yes I helped people, yes I even had made millionaires but that wasn’t enough, that wasn’t fulfilling for me, I wanted more.
I came to the point in my business where I knew that what I was doing wasn’t serving anyone and it certainly wasn’t serving me. We all get in business to make money, serve people, make a difference, impact our communities, and change the world but that will never happen when you give more then you have. I started with a post on FB that read something like this “I am coming to Chicago on these dates, I’ve cleared the week and would love to meet up, if this is something that you’re interested in let me know, no sales nothing more than conversation and coffee.” Then I tagged a lot of connections I had in Chicago, now people were connected to me but didn’t really know me, they didn’t know what I did, they didn’t know the value I had, and they didn’t know the real Melissa, the Melissa that wasn’t computerized. I met a lot of really amazing people, and had more responses then I had time to meet, but it was the Starbucks experience that changed my life, and business forever.
Running late because Chicago is so large I meet with Matt at 8 pm on a Thursday as I am getting ready to go back home, we chatted, BSed, and told stories, got to know each other, offered to help one another and parted ways hours later. We then stayed connected regularly though FB. A couple weeks later I’m in Chicago again and I need his advice on a million dollar real estate deal a potential client of mine was considering so the first person I called was Matt. Matt was a basketball player so he’s like 6’ 7 and built, he’s worked with Chet Holmes, wrote books with Jack Canfield, paid thousands to be in Masterminds, lost more than a million with the real estate collapse of 08’, and has access to the best of the best of the best coaches, speakers, and trainers material in the world while he has also built relationships with many of them. Now while many would be intimidated I wasn’t, I’ve been in Forbes, on CNN, WSJ, been called one of top 10 Leadership experts in the world under 30, been ranked #4 for top power players under 40, been on the front cover of Evolution Magazine and had many more accomplishments I was proud of.
But my ego was standing in the way of real success.
Success I would truly be satisfied with. I needed to extract info. from Matt that could help me get to the next level of success in life and business however my approach was weak and Matt catches on fast. The questions I was asking he could tell weren’t about clients but rather me looking for answers to my own problems. So, he said “How bad do you want this? You and I both know I can give you free information all day but that isn’t going to change the fact that you are unfulfilled because you have no skin in the game, and because you have no skin in the game you aren’t going to change the habits and disciplines or implement the systems and strategies you need to increase your game.” He continued using analogies, and stories to drive home the point that I was in A LOT of pain. And then asked for a commitment, a commitment I didn’t think I could make. He asked for basically half of what I then had in cash which was $50 in addition to 20% of my revenue. I then and still do own 100% of my company so 20% didn’t seem like a lot. Not feeling like I had another option because I knew it was crunch time I literally went to my car, came back threw a $50 on the table and said let’s do this. Not amused or impressed that I threw money but knowing my potential Matt has invested time, effort, energy, resources, and most importantly invested in building our relationship which has since led to thousands in revenue, clients that pay premium prices, less work and more profit.
If I knew then what I know now I would have put skin in the game a hell of a lot sooner, I would’ve hired a coach so much earlier, I would’ve stopped telling bullshit stories to myself about how awesome I am and how I have everything I need to do it on my own, I would’ve given up what little money I had so I could have more money because there is no greater feeling in the world then doing what you love and getting paid what you’re worth. Many coaches, professionals, and executives think they have their life figured out, their business under control, their investments creating great returns but reality is when it truly comes down to it the best investment you can make is the investment in yourself.
Having a coach has been the most rewarding, fulfilling, revenue and confidence boosting investment I have ever made and regardless of the cost, the time, effort, energy, and money I spend I am all in not just all in financially but all in mentally, physically, emotionally, and psychologically. I am much happier, healthier, and wealthier than I’ve ever been and while I would love to say it’s possible to do it on your own it’s not. Give up the power play and remove the ego and all you have left standing between you and success is the story you keep telling yourself and letting yourself believe. I want to leave you with this thought when it comes to playing the game “You are either all in OR not in at all.”