Creating a vision and your unique path
I’ve got it all, but I’ve got nothing.
I’ve heard this same story over and over. Millionaires who thought money would make them happy. Business owners who created successful businesses but lost their families in the process. Professionals moving closer to goals that they are not passionate about. People who set big goals only because the “grind gurus” and “hustle whores” convinced them they were less-than without.
Everyone has a different path, a different direction, and a different end in mind. There is no one way.
By unapologetically and unconditionally creating the path and the destination that YOU desire – regardless of other influences – you give yourself permission to actually do what you desire and find happiness in the outcome.
At the end of the day, only your happiness really matters. Everything in your life either supports or detracts from your happiness, and working your plan, or your “vision,” will help you realize genuine internal power and the freedom that comes with it.
What is a vision?
A vision is a guide that states your intentions in life. Optimally, this document is a single page, but no more than two, containing elements that are of utmost importance to you. Key areas for consideration in a vision are relationships, health, financial state, business goals, hobbies, entertainment, spirituality, and any other areas most important to you.
The vision statement is evergreen – meaning that it can be updated at any time as you evolve, shift, or refocus in life. The vision will not capture every action required to achieve it. But every decision you make must be compared to the vision to see if the decision or option is “in my vision.”
Why is a vision important?
If people, opportunities, or experiences appear in your life and they don’t fit your vision, you must consider declining out of a lack of fit with your vision – your life’s guide.
It is easy to shift your vision to accommodate a temporary desire or the people in your life. Remaining committed to your vision, you will reach your destination without sacrificing in another area.
When read daily, or multiple times a day, you will find yourself approaching your vision steadily and without massive resistance. Even though the document is evergreen, consistency is key.
Can we have it all?
Certainly we can! When you live an aligned life, a life that feels natural; one that creates massive outcomes and never sacrifices well-being and happiness in the process, you realize that life is not an either/or scenario, but an and/and scenario.
You might have been conditioned to feel that you need to sacrifice one area to attain another. But you can recondition your brain to recognize that you do not need to give up something to gain another thing. Those who live inside-out can have it all.
There will be challenges along the way, but as you become more confident, courageous, and clear in your alignment. You will adjust and respond to the challenges to minimize their impacts on your momentum.
The means justify the ends
The process is as important as the outcome.
There are plenty of grind-gurus and hustle-whores in the world who will tell you that the only way to live life and achieve success is through grind and hustle. They teach that relentless pursuit of goals, and attaining wealth will establish happiness and well-being.
I’ve tried this. It doesn’t work. In my coaching practice, I’ve experienced plenty of millionaires who realized later on that there was more to life than just money. Having money is fantastic, however, I encourage you to want all that you can get in a way that doesn’t sacrifice YOU and provides value. Attaining wealth while sacrificing everything else will make you feel empty and incomplete; like you’ve wasted your life on a purposeless goal.
Service-based wealth that has been generated while also maintaining health, relationships, hobbies and activities, and other aspects of a complete life will create freedom.
That’s what having money enables – freedom. I want you to have all the freedom you desire – but not by placing yourself in captivity in the short-term to enable freedom in the long- term.
You can have freedom now while you are creating increased freedom later. You can have it all!
A Better Way
We are all designed in a completely unique way, so there’s likely no single process of goal attainment that is fully aligned with everyone. However, I’d have you consider that you have a better chance of having it all if you honor your differences at the front-end of the process instead of the back-end.
If you dive into radical self-awareness up front by understanding your values, purpose, and vision, you can develop into the person capable of achieving your targets – from the inside- out.
The Journey Begins
Moving forward, my Creating A Vision guide will walk you through the process of creating a vision. Your vision. You will determine what you want and how you want to get it, and then seek accountability and support toward what you want.
The goal of this exercise is to give you a clear destination that feels good for you, then allow you to begin to transform into the person capable of achieving that vision. You will not need to grind or hustle if you establish a solid vision. Your work will not feel like sacrifice.
Once you establish a solid vision and direction, you will get to wake up each day to embrace and create your vision. You will not have the burden of waking up to go places you don’t want to go, to do things you don’t want to do, with people you don’t want to work with.
Your vision should enable, empower, and energize you. If it doesn’t, it isn’t the right vision for you. Be kind to yourself – chances are, you’ve spent half your lifetime living the traditional way of chasing money, chasing goals that don’t inspire you, or living a life of someone else’s dreams. Your vision should release you from those things and inspire you to take aligned action to live radically authentically – whatever that means for you.
My Invitation To You
If you are interested in finding out what coaching with me looks like, schedule some time for us to connect here.
We’ve got some really cool announcements coming up soon, so stand-by for an exciting 2019!
Until next week!
It’s nearing three years since I’ve learned to resolve challenges to power outcomes through a process of self-mastery.
After my second executive level termination in less than 20 months I sat in my home office at 300 lbs. with declining physical health. In active alcoholism, I had no income and a marriage and family on the brink of collapse. Rock bottom. I looked to revert back to the old process I had effectively used over and over: work harder, work more, and try to change myself, my story, and my behavior to fit the needs of everyone around me.
Choosing comfort over growth was my normal mode of operation. I just wanted my familiar pain back instead of the uncomfortable pain I was experiencing. The problem was there was no new income source and relief for my internal struggles in sight. The pain was real, and it was not going away any time soon.
Unless I made some radical changes. So I embarked on a journey of self-mastery.
My Early Journey
I hired a mentor, created a new life’s vision, and committed to physical, mental, and emotional exercises to support my healing and growth.
Over time my vision became clearer and my overall health improved. I recovered from active alcoholism, my marriage healed, and I built an executive coaching business to help other executives avoid the pain I had felt.
During the course of my journey I learned some valuable lessons about how we are conditioned for success. We are taught to ignore the pain we feel, apply more effort to careers, and we expect all of the pain to subside at some point. I found that this doesn’t work. In fact, it simply creates more pain.
As you clear the pain, the rocks in your path, the challenges begin to resolve themselves and powerful outcomes begin to unfold. We often exert effort to achieve results. When we exert effort on resolving internal pain, outcomes become relatively effortless.
From Experiences to Outcomes
Early in my journey I began breathing in new knowledge and wisdom like it was oxygen. One book that connected deeply was ‘As A Man Thinketh’ by James Allen. Written in 1903, this was not new information, but presented the process of creation in clearer terms than ever. After I read this amazing book I studied its contents more, and gained even more clarity.
The process of creation is as follows:
Experiences (from our childhood) create our belief system.
Beliefs create thoughts.
Thoughts create feelings and emotions.
Feelings and Emotions create action or inaction.
Action or inaction create habits.
Habits create character.
Character creates outcomes.
In order to be more we attempt to do more. But most fail to become more because we allow the same painful experiences and beliefs to influence our behavior.
By redefining our past experiences and reshaping our belief systems we can positively influence the entire process of creation. By becoming a more powerful version of ourselves, our ability to resolve challenges will grow to outmatch our challenges. This creates personal power will powers outcomes.
The Impact of Personal Power
Personal power is another term for inner strength, persistence, resilience, confidence, courage, and clarity. These traits serve to influence tangible results in whatever you are seeking to create.
One of my favorite ‘Gurus’, T. Harv Eker says that successful people Be-Do-Have, while unsuccessful people Have-Do-Be.
Successful people become who they need to be, so that they can do what they need to do, so that they can have what they want to have.
Unsuccessful people wait until they have what they feel they need, so that they can do what they feel they need to do, to eventually be who they want to be.
Establishing and consistently growing personal power enables you to be the person who can easily overcome the challenges holding you back from your goals.
Nothing on the outside of you will ever allow you to become a different person inside. The inside creates the outside, never the opposite.
The process of self-mastery goes well beyond my own journey. I have coached many executives to become more powerful in their lives and careers through self-mastery. Title and external success can never dictate internal happiness, fulfillment, and personal satisfaction.
- A Fortune 500 aerospace executive healed the endless quest for income and titles as a source of identity and perceived safety. She once grasped for more external significance because she lacked the internal significance to give her the confidence she mattered. As we worked together and healed her painful childhood emotional traumas she was promoted because her confidence, courage, and clarity increased. This made her even more attractive to her organization. My client then had what she wanted all along through her success – internal fulfillment and satisfaction.
- A seasoned executive chef who was a scholarship graduate of Johnson & Wales Culinary Institute felt completely inadequate in his skills, performance, and ability to deliver high quality food. Every review he had ever received was world-class. By focusing on physical, mental, and emotional health, he gained internal confidence, courage, and clarity. We launched his business. He began working in the homes of active and retired athletes. Then he began traveling as the personal chef for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team. Now he fully appreciates his talents as much as others do.
- A financial fund manager had everything material imaginable, and felt empty and unclear about how to regain the confidence and enthusiasm he once possessed. He had always valued community above all else, and as he ascended in significance and wealth he felt more alone and unfulfilled. We determined that he craved community, and had always expected to find the feeling of increased community through wealth, and found isolation instead. We launched a new venture which would allow him to build a community aligned with things that excited him and made him wealthy. He will soon have wealth and community in alignment with his deepest desires.
These folks are unique, but they are not different. Your story can change just like theirs.
My Invitation To You
I invite you on the self-mastery journey with me. If you’d like to connect to get more information about me or coaching with me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are serious and ready to go, schedule some time with me to connect powerfully. Click here.
If you first want to download some self-mastery guides to get started yourself, you can do so here. Are you an passionate reader? See my favorite self-mastery, business-mastery, and spiritual book here.
Listen to your soul. It’s trying to get your attention. If you desire more, that desire will never go away. Start your own journey now!
See you next week!
“I have too many thoughts to meditate.” This is exactly why I so highly recommend meditation. Meditation is a gift from the heavens – so simple and so easy.
Yet rejected by so many.
For my first meditation session I walked into my home office feeling like everyone was going to laugh at me. I was afraid of judgement and criticism more than the mental chaos I experienced daily. What I didn’t realize is that the fear of judgement was directly because of the mental chaos.
Sitting on my floor, I opened my timer app, set the timer for 3 minutes, hit the ‘start’ button, focused on my breathing, then felt frustrated as I noticed a thousand thoughts swirling in my head.
It was one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever experienced. I’m glad I didn’t stop that day. Because I didn’t stop and I built a solid meditation practice, I feel increased calm, confidence, courage, and clarity daily.
My growing business was built on the foundation of meditation.
Why Is Meditation So Hard?
It’s estimated that the average human being has approximately 60-80,000 thoughts per day. Executive leaders and entrepreneurs are more likely to approach the 100,000 mark due to the level of responsibility and forward-thinking involved in their roles. These numbers are staggering. Mental chaos is the main reason why so many people are medicated.
When beginning a meditation practice, it is important to know that you will not be good at it. In fact, you will straight up suck. It might be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done – especially if you are expecting it to be easy. We all have a tremendous volume of thoughts, and when you sit silently and still and notice your thoughts, you’ll really see the chaos of your mind.
The initial challenge in meditation is to just simply be. When you sit in meditation and just allow the thoughts to come and go without judging yourself or your thoughts…
Then you’ve become good at meditation.
Your brain’s #1 function is to keep you safe and alive. Until now it has done amazing work! Sadly, keeping you alive has come at the expense of internal peace, joy, and happiness. Your mind reminds you of your past failures, and alerts you to future potential problems in an attempt to protect you.
And when you have 60-80,000 thoughts per day and you keep on breathing guess what your brain assumes? It’s natural inclination is to assume that all of the work it has done – all of the torment it has inflicted on your mental and emotional states have worked!
By driving you crazy, your brain aided you in survival, so it gives you even more of what has caused you to remain alive. And in doing so, it increases your brain activity to keep you safer and even more alive. Even if your thoughts are causing you distress!
Meditation reconditions your brain to recognize that you are safe in mental peace and calm. By sitting still and in quiet, your brain comes to realize that there is safety in the peace and calm of nothing. In doing so, your internal state becomes more peaceful, and as your inner world changes so does your external world.
How Do I Get Started?
Getting my clients started is my hardest challenge. The hardest session is the very first session. There is a stigma or even a dogma about meditation that it is woo-woo and for monks in orange robes. Nothing is further from the truth. Meditation is for those people who crave calm, confidence, courage, and clarity above all else.
- Get comfortable wherever you are, sitting or lying down. Position is not important at this point.
- Download the Insight Timer on your phone or handheld device.
- Set the timer for 3 minutes duration with a 1 minute warm-up period.
- Do not choose a background sound – sit in quiet for your first few sessions.
- Start the timer, close your eyes, and begin breathing normally.
- During the warm-up period simply relax and begin paying attention to your breath.
- Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
- When the beginning bell chimes, focus exclusively on your breathing, and notice and feel the air entering and leaving your body.
- When you have a thought – and you will – notice the thought and bring your attention back to your breath.
- Resist the urge to check the timer. Trust.
- When 3 minutes ends, open your eyes when you are ready.
That’s it! You’ve meditated!
Repeat this same process 3-4 times per day for the next few weeks. I recommend extending the first meditation of the day to 15-30 minutes as you get more comfortable with the process. Just do what feels good, but make certain you practice! Long term, you’ll thank yourself.
Why Do I Feel More Peaceful As I Continue To Practice?
Your brain’s left hemisphere is for logic, facts, data, analytical reasoning, etc. – what we can prove objectively. The right hemisphere is for creativity, intuition, beauty, love, peace, spirituality, etc. – or what we perceive subjectively. When you were a child, unintentionally, your parents and teachers conditioned you to respond only with your left brain, and your right brain atrophied. So we are a bunch of walking left-brain beings needing evidence and proof of everything in order to trust. This lack of trust is what creates pain. Meditation re-builds the bridge from the left brain to the right.
When the hemispheres are bridged, we see reality through the context of trust, intuition, creative expression, beauty, love, and peace. Our belief in what we cannot see increases, and we become more peaceful in the present moment.
During this process, brain activity slows, and you begin to feel a greater sense of calm, peace, and joy in the dawning of a quieter mind. Your brain begins to normalize and feel safer as a now quieter mind – capable of relaxing in the present moment.
I’ll again state that the biggest challenge of meditation is actually practicing, knowing that the practice will drive real results. You need to allow your current state and force nothing.
What It’s Like Now
Since I started, my inner critic has slowed, I feel calm and clear, and, I am able to better focus on what is most important. It only took me 43 years to start a practice (tounge-in-cheek). My family and clients recognize my focus and powerful presence, where once I was just chaotic.
My own health, my family relationships, and my income have never been stronger. Focus creates internal and external power. I can’t make you meditate, I just invite you into a better life. Ultimately you either choose your current state or better. But the choice is yours.
The truth is you can’t master your outer world without mastering your inner world.
I have written a meditation guide as well as a guide to achieving mental discipline. They are available for download here. If you have further questions about how to get started, reach out to me here.
If you’d like to schedule a free conversation with me about meditation or executive coaching, schedule 45 minutes with me here.
I hope you choose to build a healthy meditation practice. For me it has been the foundation of self-mastery and business-mastery.
Maybe you’ll recognize the same.
Until next week!
I have radically changed my habits through self-mastery. I don’t show up the same way in the world the way I once did, and my days look much different than they did before I decided to make healthier shifts in my life. The way I approached my journey and transformation is not the norm, but the exception. I went all-in. But I’ve since learned that going all-in is not the only way to successfully bring self-mastery to your life.
A Bit About My Story
I was nearly 300 lbs,, an alcoholic, abusive to my wife and children, with zero self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth. I lacked confidence and courage so I attacked others out of fear.
On April 1, 2016 I felt lost, alone, and suicidal. I had no source of income after losing my second 6-figure income in 20 months. Sitting in the same recliner in which I had once bottle-fed my baby girls, I put down the book I was reading, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, slowly got up from the chair, and headed to my basement to get on my treadmill.
I hadn’t used the treadmill in over 3 years. In fact I hadn’t read a book in about the same amount of time.
I set the treadmill for a half-mile, and began running. 5 minutes later, I felt like I was going to die. My heart was pounding, I was winded, my chest hurt, and my legs felt like they were complete rubber. After a half-mile, I felt like I was going to collapse. I had exited the United States Marine Corps 19 years before at 200 lbs. and capable of running 6 miles easily. Now a half-mile felt like running a marathon.
I had neglected and abused my body, and in the process I had absorbed and inflicted mental and emotional trauma daily. April 1, 2016 was my turning point.
Making Radical Changes
I made rapid changes by completely overhauling everything in my life immediately. I eliminated processed carbohydrates and refined sugar, only drank water, exercised daily, read endlessly, journaled multiple times per day, eliminated all television, meditated multiple times a day, and in the process sent my family into shock because of my changes.
Over the course of the next 2-1/2 years I would lose 80 lbs, kick active alcoholism, rebuild my physical, mental, and emotional health, find spirituality, start 2 businesses, and regain the ability to earn a very healthy income. My life transformed quickly, and it took some time for my wife and kids to get comfortable with my new lifestyle.
When I began teaching self-mastery, I thought my way was the only way. I’ve since learned that slow and steady can win the race too!
Slow and Steady
During my daily period of exercise on October 27, 2018, I was reflecting on what separated my successful clients from ones who struggle. and I received a download of wisdom. It hit me like a bolt of lightning.
“Self-Mastery is not about eliminating all of the things that make you happy from your life, but gradually redefining happiness to include only those things that sustain and promote life.”
I have worked with many executives and professionals who were seeking to transform their lives while in full motion. Early on in my coaching I expected and encouraged them to change all of their habits immediately. I used myself as an example for them, and it created guilt and shame in them when they fell short.
My story is not the norm. It reveals what is possible, and serves as a powerful example of what willpower and commitment can bring when all feels lost. But I was also backed into a corner with no other options.
As I shift my teaching and coaching from radical transformation to slowly implementing healthier habits and choices, more of my students are finding success. In order to successfully transform your life you don’t need to eliminate everything, just begin doing things that serve your health, growth, and expansion. Things which do not serve will eventually eliminate themselves. There is no single way, and no rush to the process. A slow and steady approach will bring the same changes to your life that I recognized.
A Single Step
I’ve found that eventually individuals begin to choose things that serve instead of things that do not. They eventually find happiness and fulfillment in things that serve their well-being instead of things that cause harm.
You can begin a self-mastery journey today by taking a single step. By choosing to hydrate, you will replenish your cells with the life source they require. Eventually you might consider doing more, but start with the basics of life.
Most people are walking around dehydrated, with every cell in their bodies screaming for water – struggling to survive. Their cells’ struggle for survival is definitely having an impact on their overall happiness, wellbeing, and fulfillment in life.
You don’t need to overhaul your day to begin a new chapter. Make a single shift. Eliminate something small that doesn’t serve you, or add something that does. Maybe in a day, week, or year you’ll feel compelled to make another shift. Honor that calling as well.
Simplicity is the path to successful integration.
My Invitation To You
I am constantly evolving, seeking new wisdom and knowledge, and growing in my own life to better serve. I teach and share all that I have learned. The invitation is always open to those who want to learn more about my story, transformation, and coaching with me.
If you are feeling lost, hopeless, and require support – just reach out. I’ll serve you in some capacity even if it’s simply providing you with a reading list and some tools to get you started on your own. Connect to learn more here. Materials and resources to begin your own journey can be found here.
If you are interested in finding out what coaching with me looks like, schedule some time for us to connect here.
I’m excited to expand my ability to serve. If I can support you in any way connect with me. Just remember, it just takes making simple, healthier choices to completely transform your life. Slow and steady wins the race!
Until next week!
It was December, 2010 – about 6 years before I would begin my self-mastery journey. The Kitko Family was in Cancun, Mexico again. Our daughters, Katie (then 8) and Meagan (then 6) had been in Mexico 6 times. International excursions were just a regular part of their lives. So was pain, anger, suffering, alcoholic rage, chaos, and mental, emotional, and physical abuse inflicted on them by my wife Angie and me.
From the outside, it looked like we had it all. That’s what we wanted everyone to see. It worked for a while. But inside, we were each dying a little more daily.
Luckily, in March of 2016, against my will, the charade collapsed. The only thing we had, strong income, dried up when I was fired from my second 6-figure salary in 20 months. Severe abuses finally caught up to us and we were forced to face up to the reality that it was all just a house of cards. Damaged on the inside, I poisoned and abused my body, and attacked my family physically, mentally, emotionally. In my marriage there was even sexual abuse.
Without the consent or support of my family, I embarked on a journey of self-mastery. I kicked my active alcoholism, and began a daily regimen of physical, mental, and emotional healing. Once I committed to a journey of self-mastery, the chaos slowly faded.
We still have our normal teenage and hormonal spats, but nothing like the past. And now we show up in the world truly happy – and our internal happiness actually matches the appearance of happiness.
How It Started
I decided for myself that I deserved better. Unfortunately I’ve learned that when there is a full family in chaos, it’s tough to break the cycle. If one person decides to break the pattern, the rest of the family will try to pull that person back into the fray. When I decided to break free I was attacked – even by my children – because even familiar chaos becomes comfortable. It takes extreme physical, mental, and emotional commitment to oneself to break free. From this commitment to daily improvement, the other members will eventually be forced to choose better, or to remain the same without the evolving member.
The person who decides to break out of the chaos is doing so to empower themselves and the rest of the family to do the same. It is not selfish – it is an act of selfless courage and leadership. It might bring about guilt, shame, and short-term pain, but time will reveal that the individual made the right decision.
Discovering true internal happiness for me required a few foundational commitments: feeling my self-worth, setting healthy boundaries, daily physical, mental, and emotional development, understanding the real role of money, determining and living my own purpose, and making the shift from serving myself to serving others daily. These fundamental elements have led to a beautiful reunification of a once bleeding family.
I didn’t think I deserved what I wanted or needed. I wanted to live a healthy lifestyle, to stop drinking so I would stop my drunken attacks on others, to stop working jobs I hated, to start a business, to stop the madness, to enjoy the prosperity we had built. But the sad fact was that I did not believe I deserved any of that. I had tried for years to break out of the madness, but I just didn’t feel I was worth it.
Looking back, I would have told you back then that I felt worthy and deserving, but I never truly assumed ownership and responsibility for my own life. I felt I owed others more than I deserved myself. I sacrificed myself for the good of others. Their happiness meant more to me than my own. This is not true leadership, its playing martyr, victim, and hero – it’s basically co-dependency and leads to pain, suffering, and resentment.
We each deserve the very best of everything, and never at the expense of ourselves or anyone else.
Setting Healthy Boundaries
The most painful step came with setting boundaries. When I finally decided for myself that I deserved more, I communicated this to my family. Angie, still in active addiction, attacked, ridiculed, and mocked me. In the past when I tried to make changes her attacks worked and I just shrank back into our old patterns. With healthy, unconditional boundaries I now set, I continued with my plan. My decisions were made for the benefit of myself, but I knew that I needed to lead my family to health – and that took setting the example, even while they attacked, ridiculed, and mocked me.
“Dad, you’re making too many changes” my daughter Katie said. Katie is my older daughter, and growing up I was her primary care giver while Angie was unavailable mentally or emotionally. I knew Katie loved me dearly. I knew my decisions caused everyone to be extremely off-balance. My changes caused those who loved me unconditionally to be uncomfortable and want me to stop. They all asked me to slow down so they could regain some balance. In reality we all needed to lose our balance for a while in order to rebuild our lives. I pushed forward.
I created a plan for myself, committed to myself and my family that I would not deter from my course, and waited as my new lifestyle became more comfortable for them. It took time. Over time not only did they become more comfortable, but they began to see the benefits of my new habits, and they learned a new approach – doing what made themselves happy first, so that we could each be independently happy together.
Physical, Mental, and Emotional Development
I realized that I abused myself physically because I truly lacked self-worth and self-love. I would poison myself with alcohol, harmful foods, and excessive sugar because I did not appreciate my body and wanted to escape my feelings and emotions.
I read a book titled The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson, and that single book reframed the way I approached activities which would help me grow daily. I hired a coach/mentor who taught me mental and emotional exercises to begin to quiet my inner critic, and heal the painful trauma from my childhood. I found that everyone has trauma to deal with, without exception.
Daily, I carried out activities and exercises to honor my body, discipline my mind, and nurture my emotions. I stopped poisoning myself. Over time, the intense inner pain began to heal, and my confidence, courage, and clarity increased. People around me began to take notice of my shrinking body and my blossoming personal power and presence.
As I grew I stopped wanting to abuse myself. People who respect, appreciate, and truly love themselves never cause themselves harm.
Understanding The Role Of Money
Money cannot make a person happy. Money can only take away the need to worry about money. I have shifted from trying to find joy in the number in my bank account to finding joy in the process of making money. When you enjoy the process and the activities involved in making money, and those fun activities increase your net-worth, establishing wealth becomes a fun game.
A game. Making money is a game. Increasing my income has become more about being adaptable than being talented.
When I felt that I needed to sacrifice myself to make money – prostituting my time for a wage – it was painful. I often did what I didn’t want to do, going somewhere I didn’t want to go, for someone I didn’t want to work for. I didn’t truly believe I was talented or capable of doing what I wanted to do, so I just lived the lifestyle I was taught by my dad; to trade time for money. He taught me that what I did for that money didn’t matter.
I shifted from making money, to solving other people’s problems with my talents and gifts. Never again would I do what wasn’t fun for me. As I solved other people’s problems, they handed me certificates of appreciation, and my bank account grew.
Then I used that money to serve more people in solving their problems. And the cycle repeated.
Determine and Live Life Purpose
Before my collapse I had no purpose. I just got up each day to survive so that I could look forward to surviving the next day. Life for me was just a daily expression of hopelessness. My role was to just wake up, breathe, go to sleep, until one day I wouldn’t wake up.
As my confidence, courage, and clarity increased from my daily development activity, I realized that I could help other people. I had always enjoyed serving, inspiring, and motivating others to chase their dreams – to break free of the chains they had placed on themselves. I taught this to my employees in my corporate jobs, I just wasn’t practicing this myself. So when I finally built up inner strength, I began to live by my own teachings to never settle and to monetize your dreams. I vowed to help so many people achieve their dreams that my dreams would be realized.
My purpose is to teach others how to feel powerful and successful inside. First I needed to do this myself.
I remember when I stopped looking for a job and decided to go all-in on my current business. I’ll just say Angie was not a believer. She just wanted me to take the easy way out and find another job. But I would not allow anyone to make decisions for me ever again.
And let’s just say, she now believes in me more than ever before. It’s all working out just fine 😉
Shifting From Serving Self To Serving Others
Everything changed dramatically when I shifted from trying to make money to dedicating myself to helping others solve their problems. There are 7.6 billion people on the face of the planet, and each person has something they are challenged with, something they will be willing to pay someone to help them solve. Creating healthy boundaries, developing yourself, and never sacrificing your own well-being for money empowers and enables you to serve others powerfully. When you do, you will be handsomely rewarded.
I am in a spiritual mastermind with two millionaires who are extremely humble and wealthy. You would never know looking at them that they had money. They began their businesses to pay their bills. Once they made enough money to survive they began investing in people. That’s when they had their business breakthroughs.
Serving your own financial interests only creates pain and an endless desire for more money. Serving others’ interests leads to financial prosperity – and the need to never worry about money.
My Health, My Family, My Business
The past 2-1/2 years have been magical. I have lost 80 lbs of body fat, increased my muscle mass, kicked active alcoholism, built tremendous confidence, courage, and clarity, healed emotional trauma from my past, and continue to expand in all dimensions of my health daily.
My family has joined me on the journey. Angie has recovered from active drug addiction, regained her health, and has started two businesses. She cheerleads me and encourages me to live soul-out, never at my own expense, daily. We challenge each other to grow separately, and we grow together powerfully. My children have a coach themselves and are healing the trauma and abuse they experienced. Katie (16) now has a part time job and is preparing for life after high school, and Meagan (14) is a straight-A student preparing herself for a life in medicine.
I am extremely proud of all three of the beautiful, powerful ladies in my life.
By serving others and helping them with problems in their lives, I have surpassed the income from my executive days in corporate America. My ability to reach more people and impact their lives more meaningfully increases daily. ‘The Imposter In Charge’, my first book will be published in June, 2019, I speak in front of large audiences, and I inspire as many people as I can daily to move beyond hopelessness.
It all started with a commitment to myself to live the life that I desire.
My Invitation To You
I invite you on the self-mastery journey with me. I coach and mentor executive business leaders, doctors, lawyers, and even millionaires to feel as powerful and successful inside as they appear outside. We will walk together, create a plan, I will teach you the way, I will hold you accountable, and I will help you make the necessary mind-set, heart-set, and skill-set shifts to create internal and external prosperity. We will build the life you desire. If you are searching for true happiness I’d love to connect.
If you’d like to connect to get more information about me or coaching with me, or to inquire about public speaking opportunities, see the form below. If you are serious and want to schedule some time with me to dive in on your own journey of self-mastery, click here.
If you first want to download some self-mastery guides to get started yourself, you can do so here. Are you an passionate reader? See my favorite self-mastery, business-mastery, and spiritual book here.
If you feel lost, desperate, or broken, that’s just your soul’s way of trying to get your attention. Pay closer attention. There is more to life than just outer pictures of happiness. Trust me, I’ve been on both sides of the fence, and its a lot more fun on the internally happy side.
See you next week!
Everyone Loves to Help
“How many of you love helping people?” the facilitator asked the audience, emphasizing the word love.
A hand from every one of the 50 or so entrepreneurs and service providers in the audience shot up quickly.
“That’s amazing! How many of you love asking for help?” he asked, again emphasizing the word love.
About five hands went back up, while the remainder of hands remained in their laps.
“Take a look around” said the facilitator, pleased with the result.
“How many of you honestly struggle to ask for help when you need it?” he said coming at the same point from a different angle.
Just about every hand in the room shot up again.
“Everyone loves helping people, but no one loves asking for help” he said with emphasis. “So it is up to those who love to help to offer support to those who need it” he closed. He could have dropped the microphone and walked off stage at that point. He had made his point.
I took what I had just observed and put it into motion immediately to build the business and life of my dreams.
I faced the hard fact that I never wanted to enter the workforce again and work for someone else. This was scary and felt like an enormous task. I had some pretty tough decisions to make, and needed to generate some income, but I didn’t know where to begin. When I began the discovery process, my good friend Art Snarzyk asked me three simple questions to help me understand the foundation of a service-based business:
- Who do you want to serve that you would get excited to work with on a daily basis?
- What problem keeps them up at night?
- How do they feel after you finish working with them?
Said differently later by my current coach and mentor Jaramy Eugene Wilson:
- Who are the people you serve?
- What is the problem you solve?
- What is the pain you save?
Once I defined that for myself, everything else began to fall into place. I love serving executive business leaders. They are in powerful positions and often feel alone. Executives are often awakened by thoughts and feelings that something well within their control will unravel – making them feel like they are an imposter or a fraud. I want to work with them to help them feel that they have a handle on their sphere of control. I want them to feel as powerful and successful inside as they appear to those they lead.
Once I determined people, problem, and pain, it all fell into place rather quickly. When someone asks me what I do instead of saying “I am a coach”, I simply say “Executive business leaders hire me to help them feel as powerful inside as they appear to those they lead.” I call this ‘my immediate impact.’
Once I got clear, the rest was a matter of building confidence and social proof that I could actually help them. I did this by consistently informing everyone of my immediate impact.
The Scarcity Mindset
No one needed me, and no one would pay me. Those were the next hurdles I set out to disprove. I offered my service at little to no cost just to attain social proof; evidence for myself that I could actually help them. I found that people who need help are closer than I thought.
There are 323,400,000 people in the United States. Your limited mind might tell you that no one will need you, but trust me that there are at least 10 people – and there are many more – in the 323 million who will be open to support. The gross domestic product of the United States is $18.57 trillion dollars. That means each year, for each single person in the U.S., $57.5 thousand dollars trades hands. There is an extraordinary amount of money available, and people spend it willingly and generously – sometimes frivolously. The right people will certainly spend willingly to solve their biggest problem. For a family of 4, if your income is not $230 thousand, you are leaving tremendous opportunity in the world.
In the beginning, I asked my clients for testimonials as compensation. I found ways to increase my social credibility through social media, posting blogs, creating and sharing content, and by demonstrating results. As time went on I began asking prospects to pay me more. I continued increasing the price of my services as my confidence and social credibility increased.
‘The easiest way to get a higher price is to ask.’ This is so simple, and so true. People will pay for solutions to their problems if they want them solved. The only reason they won’t is because you do not offer your help. Like the scene above – most will never ask, so you need to offer.
Growing My Business
The process for growing my business was simple and effective. It scaled super-quickly once I followed this process:
- Recognize and develop the value I provide – ‘my immediate impact’.
- Give that value away generously – maybe free at first.
- Receive at increasing amounts as your confidence and ability to receive increases.
- Reinvest in your business to increase your strength of message, reach, and impact.
- Keep the flywheel going at increasing momentum and growth.
I have found that there are 3 fundamental issues which will prevent the flywheel from starting or continuing. These three could impact an individual’s ability to create substantial service based wealth:
- Lack of confidence to generate value in someone else’s outcomes and results with your solutions.
- Money shame and guilt, which are tied to poor money mind-set and heart-set.
- WIIFM – What’s in it for me, the ultimate death knell to recognizing and feeling prosperous.
These three are mental and emotional issues, and all can be resolved and healed. My journey was one of self-mastery, and I’ve witnessed and coached many clients through dramatic shifts in outcomes through an intense inner journey.
Building Wealth Through Self-Mastery
Self-mastery is a process of building unshakable confidence, courage, clarity, resolve, persistence, and strength in order to show up in the world powerfully and significantly. The philosophy creates results and outcomes in your physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, relational, and financial aspects, creating momentum daily at increasing levels.
Through self-mastery you will build the inner confidence to not only show up powerfully, but the courage serve others powerfully from a perspective of service and love – which creates shifts and massive outcomes. When you focus on the outside, you will always grasp for more. When you focus on your inner confidence, courage, and clarity, your inner world will become powerful. Then your outer world will easily fall into place to serve your needs and desires.
Self-mastery creates business-mastery.
Are you ready to create massive outcomes and wealth in your life and the lives of others? I invite you to connect with me. We will partner on a journey of self-mastery which will empower you to show up in the world at a level of significance which will enable abundance to flow to you. I will lead, coach, and guide you on your journey. We will build powerful mind-sets, heart-sets, and skill-sets which will create the outcomes you seek.
I will help you realize that your dreams are fully available.
I’d love to connect with you! Reach out here to seek more information about me and coaching with me. If you are ready to schedule a free 45 minute session to define outcomes you seek and obstacles you might face, click here.
Whatever action you take, realize that you are more powerful than you can ever realize. The sooner you realize your power, the more fulfilling life will unfold.
Until next week!
I was sitting at the table with a prospect for my open Operations Manager role. Sitting in front of me was a candidate who possessed all of the qualities I am looking for in a leader to implement my vision: dynamic, forward, and strategic thinking, drive, energy, positivity, enthusiasm, experience leading others, & passion for processes, details, and structure. She had all the professional qualities which would perfectly complement my talents. I hadn’t considered that a great prospect would trigger my upper limit.
In front of us, I had drawn my vision. Scratched on a piece of paper was an organizational chart. The paper contained roles and descriptions, marketing plans, pricing strategies, current financial state of the business, three year financial plans, and many other scribble-scratch notes. Windows to my world were flung open on a single piece of paper.
“Your job would just be to keep me talking. When I’m talking we’re making money” I said with a sideways smile.
She smiled back, and said “I get it. My job would be to continue to make sure your calendar is set. Give you prospects to speak with, make sure we keep project implementation on track, and whatever it takes to grow the business.”
I added quickly “And when the business grows, so will your income. My goal is to make sure you are well taken care of.”
We both took sips from our warm drinks, and I intensely looked into her eyes. “First, can you do what I’m asking? Second, are you interested in a future with this vision?” I asked.
She broke eye contact and moved her eyes back to the paper in front of us. “Yes, I can certainly do this. I’m interested, and I’ll need to process it all.”
“Of course!” I said, secretly excited that she expressed interest.
A rush of adrenaline surged through my body. I have been working on this vision for two years, and ready to make my first hire – the most critical one. My first hire will keep the back end of the business on track while I’m in the world coaching, speaking, and selling books.
The adrenaline rush happened because I finally felt that my vision was fully available and imminent. I know that if not with this prospect – with another. I had shared my vision and there was interest, acceptance, and validation for my dream. My vision was unfolding perfectly.
We agreed on a date and time for a follow-up call.
She grabbed her bag and prepared to leave. I grabbed the paper with my vision and my bag and we both stood up at the same time.
And a sudden lower back spasm sent a shockwave through my entire body – a sudden intense spasm came from nowhere.
I had walked in with no pain, had not felt pain over the past hour, and nothing happened to cause the pain during our meeting. As I stood up I did the best I could to show no outward signs of the depth of the pain I felt. It took my breath away. Gingerly, I walked to the door of the coffee shop. We shook hands, expressed excitement about the future, and parted ways. I could barely breathe.
I put my right leg in the car and sat down on the seat, but I couldn’t lift my left leg without triggering a spasm. It took me 10 minutes to breathe through the pain and stabilize the pulsing. I finally got my left foot in the car, and still gasping for air I drove home. I was excited about the future, but in excruciating pain.
The pain would not let up for days.
The Upper Limit
In Gay Hendrick’s book “The Big Leap”, Hendricks details ‘the upper limit’. Everyone experiences upper limit conditions throughout their lives, and whether you recognize them is a different story. Our body, mind, and emotions LOVE the familiar. So when we begin to approach an unfamiliar, new level of success and happiness, our subconscious mind looks for a way to sabotage our expansion. Our mind ‘helps’ us move back into the familiar, shrunken circumstances we are looking to expand beyond by creating discomfort.
Sabotage could come in the form of financial losses, relationship blow-ups, panic, anxiety, fear, behavior which slows momentum such as drinking, drugs, or other sedating activities. All unconsciously.
We all have dreams and goals which we anticipate will bring us happiness, joy, wealth, and fulfillment. But our mind wants to remain safe in the current state.
In my case, a physical issue appeared out of nowhere. I had reached my upper limit, and I knew it as soon as it happened. I’ve experienced it many times before. Like it does each time I reach a new level of progress in life or business, my body starts fighting back.
What happens when you hit your upper limit? You have choices to make. You can choose to allow your stressors and behavior to halt your progress, and opt for destructive behavior instead of beneficial behavior. Some people choose to ‘celebrate’ by choosing activities which cause short or long-term regression such as chemicals, food, gambling, or other activities which help the individual temporarily escape the stressors – while causing damage.
Or, you can choose to recognize that you have upper limited or are about to upper limit. You can manage through the discomfort refusing to give in to destructive behaviors. After a while, the discomfort will become the new level of comfort, so you will have attained true growth.
Regardless of your title, status, wealth, or health, everyone has upper limits and is capable of upper limiting. What separates successful from unsuccessful people is that successful people feel the discomfort, the pain, the fear – and do it anyway. Unsuccessful people are victims of their upper limits. When things begin to go well – they find a way to allow it to dissolve. Millionaires become broke, marriages end, body parts break, or they opt to shrink back into the comfort of the familiar instead of moving into growth.
Self-Mastery And The Upper Limit
Self-mastery is the intentional process of growing physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually, relationally, and financially each day – incrementally. By choosing intentional growth in daily increments, you learn how to recognize and break through upper limits. Breaking through upper limits constantly, you make steady progress toward your dreams and goals. Unfamiliar becomes familiar. Discomfort becomes comfortable.
Goal attainment is so much more than just grinding and hustling. Success comes from becoming radically self-aware. And learning how to spot your upper limit behavior is critical to your growth.
My Challenge To You
I’d love to help you achieve your goals, and break through your upper limits. When we walk together, I will keep an eye on your blind-spots so that I can call your attention to upper limit behavior. I will ensure you make continual progress, without sabatoging everything you deserve and desire.
Click here to purchase a copy of The Big Leap, and see a list of all of my favorite books. Become aware of how your upper limits have impacted your success in the past. Recognize how they can inhibit your growth in the future, and how they can keep you stagnant over the course of your life.
I’d also invite you to reach out to me here if I can support you in any capacity – even if its just a free conversation about your current state, goals, and how I could help be accountable to and achieve your dreams. Click here to schedule a free 45 minute session with me. Your goals will come a lot easier if we team up to spot and navigate past your upper limits.
Until next week!
Despite being a leader you might lack confidence, courage, and the resolve to feel fully effective in your leadership role. You simply show up each day and hope everything turns out ok. It usually does, and you hope it always will.
Hope is not an effective strategy.
Deep inside, you know your performance would improve if you just felt more internally powerful. You wonder why you continue to doubt yourself and your abilities day-after-day. Second guessing yourself while occasionally shrinking and hiding from challenges, you wonder when it’s all going to fall apart.
At least that’s my story, and I have coached executives and other professionals who felt the same exact things. Regardless of role or title, no one is immune. Sometimes, the bigger the title, the bigger the paycheck, the bigger the self-doubt.
The bigger the level of authority and impact, the harder they fall.
Traditional Leadership Coaching and Development
You stand with your arms crossed, blind-folded. Behind you is your existing corporate team, or even people you’ve just met. They wait for you to fall backward into their arms. Taking a deep breath, you fall backward. They catch you! Everyone cheers! Hooray! You come back to the office fired up! And after the leadership retreat your performance never shifts. Any additional motivation is short-lived and wears off. Your self-doubts and lack of confidence return full-force.
The leader’s character did not shift.
The traditional way to try to overcome feelings of inadequacy or insecurity is by going to leadership training. You read some leadership books, take some management courses, or invest money in programs designed to build trust and your ability to influence people. These methods tool you up and give you new approaches to handling challenges. But they never really focus on the real issue – you.
Personal power does not simply appear because of a title, and it certainly can’t be taught in a classroom.
A Proven Approach – Build From the Inside-Out
It’s never the size of the challenge, or the skills the leader possesses that is the problem. A leader can only get results with external approaches equal to the level of their internal personal power: confidence, courage, and resolve needed to face the challenges. For external transformation, the leader’s internal state needs to shift at a rate which outpaces growing external challenges.
Developing internal power, courage, and resolve builds character. Character creates results.
Feelings of inadequacy and insecurity caught up with me. These feelings led to alcoholism, an abusive marriage and lifestyle, and lack of self-worth and confidence which ended my run. I took a year off to work with a coach to dig inside to understand why I felt inadequate and insecure. My coach and I focused on rebuilding my health, marriage, and family. Reinvented myself – totally transforming from the inside-out. I embarked on a journey of self-mastery, not professional or leadership development which would have just put me back into a similar experience.
Self-Mastery includes aggressively focusing on, developing, and expanding physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and financially – daily. I will teach you how to show up powerfully for yourself. Then you will show up powerfully to lead others. The journey is inside-out.
Character strengthens. Because of internal shifts, any skills and talents you employ will increase in effectiveness as well. When we work together we will shift your self-doubt to confidence, your desire to shrink from challenges to enthusiasm for growth, and your lack of results to extraordinary performance.
The lessons I have learned, practice, and teach allow me to coach executives and professionals from coast to coast to feel as powerful and successful inside as they appear to those they lead. For me its not just a business, but a purpose and a mission.
It’s Your Time to Shine!
If you desire mental and emotional freedom from the imposter in charge, no one can and will serve you more powerfully.
Reach out here to connect and learn more about coaching with me. If you are ready to master your confidence, courage, and build unshakable resolve, or just want to explore even deeper, schedule some time with me here. The first 45 minutes are on me!
Reinvention is possible and certain. I hope you feel the power and freedom I am confident you can feel!
Until next week!