A young lady struggling to pass the PT test to become a Marine was my coaching client a couple of years back. She PM’d me a month or so ago, thanking me. She was in! I am so happy for her, and so grateful to have had something to offer someone who just wanted to serve her country. My very great honor, and it would be false modesty to refuse to accept her thanks.
No. I have the ability to help people. In person. From a distance. On the phone or Skype or email. And although I outgrew that stage of my teaching (I no longer do personal coaching: I’d have to charge the very people who need the most help more money than they can afford) I know what it took to develop a way to help people, make money, and have fun in the process.
But as I said, about six or seven years ago I was curled into a knot on the floor, crying…
Because the entire map of my life, built in childhood and reinforced and refined for decades, had been blown up by a family emergency. For the first time, I lost faith that I could create a desirable future: the best of my life seemed to be in the rear-view mirror.
My decision to try to sell my skills in a different way ran into every “But…” imaginable.
But…who would pay me money for the things I give away?
But…I don’t know how to structure my time and energy to do it.
But…I don’t have the technical expertise to build an on-line business
But…I don’t know enough people locally to build a business
But…I’m in emotional overwhelm. People will smell that desperation on me, and reject the notion that I can help them.
But…I’m too old
All that stuff. And more, that I wouldn’t even write down in public. But I asked myself one question:
If I was thirty years younger, would I pay me money for the knowledge I have? If I could go back and give that younger me lessons in love, or writing, or martial arts, would that younger me be happy to pay for them?
And the answer was…hell yes. IN FACT THE VERY PAIN I WAS IN RIGHT NOW WAS EVIDENCE. I knew how I’d messed up, and some very simple changes would have made a world of difference. (Specifically and most simply? Saving 10% of my income in an investment account. That would have created an enormous safety cushion that would have removed all immediate fear and given me plenty of room for brainstorming.)
Once I realized that I, personally, would pay me for what I knew, everything changed. The truth was that I didn’t need to attract “everyone.” In fact, I didn’t have the TIME or ENERGY for more than about twenty clients a week, and really, I didn’t want more than ten. If I used the World Wide Web, were there ten people in the world who were enough like I had been, who I could reach and present my case to?
With three BILLION people on the web? Yeah, I kinda think so.
It stopped becoming “poor little me” and started being “who can I help? Who needs what I have AND CAN AFFORD TO PAY ME what I need to support my family with integrity? Who would be FUN to work with?”
And that was a different set of questions. It all depended upon loving myself, respecting the time I’d invested. Seeing my own heart and soul in others, and not hallucinating that I was so unique that no one else would want to cook with my recipe.
No: the principles of real success were general enough that I’d profited by studying others, training with others. All I had to do was realize that I was another link on a long, long human chain stretching back to prehistory: one human being teaching another. We are the only animals with more information in our brains than in our genes. As individuals we aren’t much smarter than chimps. It is the NETWORKING and sharing of information that we excel.
In other words…to NOT believe I had something of value to offer, I had to say
- I’d wasted my entire life
- All my teachers had been wrong
- I was so unique and brilliant no one could profit by my life lessons
- Only people with X or Y credential could teach (that certainly hadn’t been true for me! I’d learned from people who had created success in the real world far more than those with “mere” academic credentials. Now…those with a Masters or Doctorate who ALSO created in the real world were often the cream of the cream)
In other words, I had to either put myself WAY down, or put myself above anyone who asked me for help. But if I’m just a human being, flawed and fearful but so focused on what I believe is true about the world, and myself, that I pick myself up day after day after day and work like hell to create the life I love…
I can show other people that path. And for those who want something similar to what I wanted, I can guide them. That’s all I have to do. Not be all-wise, or psychic, or perfect.
Just someone with genuine skills who wants to help, and knows how to communicate value. Who respects himself enough to demand to be treated with the respect I extend to others, and has a sense of the structure of life that says it is right and appropriate to teach…and be rewarded for that teaching, charging whatever I myself would have paid for that knowledge and support.
That’s all it is, really. What have you learned? What have you become? What would you tell yourself thirty years ago?
If you can define that…you have something to offer the world that can build you a career you can be proud of IF AND ONLY IF you are willing to be adult about organization and communication.
If you are…I have something for you, a free gift. Coming very soon.
Share the wealth!
(and if you need to believe in yourself, NOTHING is more powerful than the first step I often taught clients, the MORNING M.A.G.I.C. program. If that’s your stumbling block, please go to www.morningwriters.com and get that handled. Your future will thank you!)