I want to talk about two clients who figured out what they really wanted in life and business – and how they made what they wanted real.
Client #1 Jane.*
Jane looked despondently at me. “Why is it so hard to figure out what I really want?” And this is from a very successful, usually decisive wealthy business owner.
Jane had come to me about a year ago, already hitting her sales income goals. “I want and need more free time honey – can you help me get that?” she said in her Southern drawl.
Six months later, she had that – about 20 hours average of free time per week (weekdays – mostly half days of free time) plus enough structures and systems to take a month completely off.
But towards the end of that six-month mark, she found herself getting really sad – almost depressed.
“There is something else I need… and I don’t know what it is.”
I heard a chair creak in the background – it was her shifting in her chair, trying to figure out a quandary – almost a mystery to her life. I thought “How lonely that sounds – her alone in her office trying to figure this out?”
Client #2 Dana.
Dana had been in business for about 2 years. She called me for a discovery session and I could feel her ambition oozing out of the zoom screen, hitting me in between my eyes. She had stable results for income – enough to make ends meet and build reasonable savings.
She showed me her financial reports and I said “Looks like you are doing pretty well… Why call me?”
“Something is missing … I am following my previous coach and a marketing program and I knew it would work and I put in the work, but I feel hollow, not victorious … whenever I make a sale. You know what I mean?”
The Hollow Victory vs. Something More Juicy?
I get these kinds of calls about every week. Men and women who want to exceed expectations, and create breakthroughs and they do that and then discover that something else was needed to really make them happy and satisfied and they did not know – had no clue in a sea of blue water – what that was.
I tell them the following – it is the same spiel that my mentor told me in 1992 when I started hitting results.
“That thing that you feel is missing – that thing is inviting you to a whole new game – it is the game of transformation. But I warn you – you will have to work even more deeply and with even more honesty with yourself than before. But the return on investment .. The payoff is huge. Huge investment of your deeper reflection implying higher returns and bigger payoffs both in quality and quantity… in other words, bigger breakthroughs that are more meaningful to you. Are you ready?”
Some people shrug and fight me on this. I respect that; I back off. This is not the kind of work for the squeamish or the resistant.
Now to be honest with you, when my mentor posed that question to me “Are you ready?” – I hesitated, hemmed and hawed. I had already gone through a lot of work to get to my current sales numbers, but I knew that there had to be a more seamless and qualitatively better way.
Seamless and qualitative are keywords here for you to understand and appreciate.
Both Dana and Jane had separately looked at me in the zoom screen and said “Yes. I want that.”
I said “You are a far better woman than I could ever have been.” That always brought out a chuckle to help dissipate any unnecessary significance or seriousness or drama about their choice.
I told them the following as I told other clients who were about to take this transformational journey “I fought with my coach for a week on that question! But I knew that I wanted it – and my coach knew that too, so he gave me a week. I am so glad I do not have to wait a week for you.”
A Breakdown Resolved = A Breakthrough Coming (aka Break out the Champagne!)
“This is an internal battle. Not an external one.”
I remember Jane smiling at me when she heard that. “I think I know that Sunil.”
I’m not one to skip a beat (who says coaching has to be boring?). “Well, that is about all you know now. You are hitting the walls of something in your psyche that has made you successful and at the same time, put a strong set of limits, rules and boundaries on what that success could be, look and feel like.”
I know the game of coaching is partly intrigue and mostly substantive but mischievous encouragement – to explore the outer boundaries of what one considers possible.
This is both an art and a science – requiring years of deep inquiry, struggles, breakthroughs and breakdowns – which is why there are very few coaches like me left conscious enough to meet clients like these head-to-head, heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul.
The first step is to say “Yes, I want this.” The second step is to take a stiff drink, preferably Champagne, to celebrate your choice. If you don’t drink much like me, just have a sip of your tea, to let the profundity of you making this choice seep in.
Here is a shortened checklist of what I went through with Dana and Jane. You may want to go through these questions for yourself to start your own journey. Be fair warned, you cannot do this yourself. You will need a pilot or a co-pilot – a coach – this is indispensable in a serious transformational journey like this.
The pathway involves you discovering your true self, as opposed to your super-ego or the part you developed in order to survive through childhood and early adulthood.
You have seen that true self from time to time.
E.g. when you spoke the truth to yourself or others (even if it was potentially embarrassing to yourself or others) and that freed you and mostly everybody up.
E.g when you followed your intuition wisely and you produced results which surprised everyone pleasantly.
E.g. when you spoke with insight to someone you were having difficulty getting through to.
E.g. when you took a stand, made a clear decision and moved with speed towards a breakthrough goal.
E.g. when you took bold action.
Here is the summarized checklist of questions.
THE AWARENESS STAGE:
- Itemize what you think makes you successful – what are the strategies, beliefs, rules, ideas, principles? E.g. Working Hard e.g. Giving up time e.g. Being hard on yourself e.g. Pushing the prospective customer’s face into their pain so hard that they will buy. E.g. Cramming your schedule.
- For each of these items listed in number 1 above, answer the following:
a. Where, when and from whom did you learn this?
b. These strategies or tactics are not necessarily bad, but they are probably based on something that you learned in the past. What do you think caused you to decide to use this as a winning strategy?
•To compensate for something you find wrong, not good, weak, insufficient or disgusting about yourself. (Yes I know, very heavy. But transformation does not come cheap.)
•What does this winning strategy buy you i.e. what are the benefits to using this strategy?
•What are the downsides to this strategy?
•When you developed or decided this strategy, was it to
- Counterattack someone or to prove something or someone wrong?
- Placate someone or some inner judgemental thought?
- Justify to someone some point that you believed you were right.
- Some other reason?
- What do you think is missing right now from your life and business? For each of these, rate how much you have an experience of that item on a scale of 0-10?
a. Joy – on a scale of 0-10, how much joy do you have on average right now?
b. Feeling sexy and acknowledged – how much again on a scale of 0-10?
c. Having abundance – financial or otherwise?
e. Appetite for more in life?
f. Well-Being, Health and Fitness?
g. An amazing relationship with loved ones and a special one(s)?
h. Anything else?
THE NEW FUTURE STAGE:
- What are some of the things that you want to start putting into your life from number 3 above.
- For each of these items, write a paragraph or more about what that would look like to have in your life.
CREATING NEW STRUCTURES, SYSTEMS & ACCOUNTABILITY MACHINES:
- What are the current systems and structures (e.g. your financial management system, e.g. your marketing systems, etc.) that you use in your business?
- For each one on this list, to what degree is it working for you? How does it work for you? How does it not work for you? Are these systems designed to increase the items you identified in The New Future Stage section above?
WHAT IS NEXT AFTER THESE QUESTIONS:
- Dialogue with a coach – on your answers. This is not a conversation to have with friends unless they know how to listen and put together a jigsaw puzzle in their heads of what the solution could look like for them.
- These dialogues occurred weekly with Dana and Jane. It had to. There is no way that you are going to get a solution in one webinar or mini workshop. Not going to happen.
- Each dialogue moves that needle further and further. As time progresses and you do the assigned homework at each meeting weekly, you will start seeing faster acceleration and clarity in getting to where you need to go. Each dialogue also results in a better design for your systems, structures and accountability machines (how you manage and make your promises real and fulfilled.)
- This is nonlinear work which requires you to work in spurts every week, allowing the natural brain wiring in your head to put together solutions that work with you and fit the guidelines I suggest.
HOW TO MAKE THIS TRANSFORMATION REAL
– Moving from “Wow. Great Article” to “How do I get this in my life!”
To set up a time to talk with me in more depth about this process and how it could move you into the Breakthrough Zone, please go to www.MeetupChat.com and schedule a time to talk with me at no charge. You will need to fill out the form in detail, so I can prepare for our conversation. If you do the work rigorously in filling out that form, I promise you a conversation you will never forget (in a good way 🙂 ). Also please do email me the answers to the questions above in this article – email me at Admin@SunilBhaskaran.com .
*Names of my clients are changed here to protect their privacy and confidentiality.
Since 1991, I’ve been reflecting on, designing, and implementing methodologies and systems for bringing a transcendent, creative and innovative approach to critical aspects of entrepreneurship.