The One Thing That Determines The Quality Of Your Life

The One Thing That Determines The Quality Of Your Life

The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships. The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships. I’m going to say it one more time, and I want you to write it down- the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships.

Now, what do I mean by that? Well, we’ve all been in crappy relationships. And do you know how that affected your life? We’ve all been in crappy work environments and we know how that affected your energy and your ability to produce. We’ve all had bad teachers, and we know how that’s affected your ability to learn, to grow.

And we’ve been in great relationships and we know how we flower and blossom. We’ve been in great relationships where we get unexpected benefits. We’ve been in great relationships where we feel seen and heard and acknowledged, where we feel safe and excited. And then we laugh a lot.

So, how do you improve the quality of relationships? How do you have more relationships, particularly now when we’re so isolated?

You need a list. A list gives you resources. Everything good comes through other people- job opportunities come through. Other people, friends come through. Other people, relationships come through. Other people, money comes from other people.

Clients come from other people. God comes to us from other people. And the thing is, you can’t wait until you’re in crisis to build a list. You need to build a list ahead of time. You need to build your community ahead of time. You need to invest in your relationships ahead of time.

You want to attract people who are into your work, but you also want to attract people who are just interested in your work. They may not want to buy something, but they’re on the same path as you. They’re committed to some of the same principles as you are. They’re in your tribe, they share your values. They might not be good clients, but they might know other people who are.

Maybe you don’t want to sell anything, but you want to have some community around the stuff you do. Maybe you want a list of moms who quilt. Maybe you want a list to help your PTA, to help your school board. Maybe you want a list to help your place of worship, your church or your synagogue.

Maybe there’s a bookstore, a theater company or an arts organization that you want to help support. Maybe you have a cause you want to help- clean up the beach or keep the trail clean- whatever it is you’re into.

You want to connect with other people who love what you love. And the way to do that is with email. I’m going to make this super simple, since there’s a billion ways to market. If you’re going to pick one way (and you should start with one way) email is it.

And here’s why- it’s incredibly cheap. It can be free, but you’re better off with a paid service. Even if you just start with MailChimp, fine- it’s super effective. The ROI on email is still like $44 dollars for every $1 you invest. For every $1 that any industry invests in email marketing, they get $44 back. That’s a crazy ROI.

The reason it needs to be an email list is because you need to own the list. People tell me, Oh, I’ve got this big Facebook group. Great. But if Facebook goes down, which it has, and probably will again, you have no way of reaching those people. Oh, I’ve got a million podcast listeners. Well, that’s great. But again, you can’t reach them. You can’t make them do anything. You can’t. They’re just listening passively. They’re not engaged with you. Emails = engagement. That’s what emails are about is engagement, right? It’s a dialogue. It’s a conversation.

You might have that feeling of, well, I don’t want to bother people. I don’t want to pester people. Well, of course you don’t, you’re a polite person and you have a sense of boundaries. That’s good. That’s important. But, the magic of email is that you cannot bother people. It’s impossible. They are 100% in charge.

They opt in. They choose when to look at their email. They choose what to open, what to click, what to read, what to unsubscribe, what to share, what to forward, what to write back. They are 100% in control of that process. There’s no other marketing tool in the world where the consumer is a hundred percent in control of the process.

I can’t control what ads come up on the TV or who’s sponsoring the podcast I like, or what billboards I see. But the email, I 100% control that process. So, it’s impossible to bother people. And if you are sharing cool content, people are going to be glad to hear from you.

Disconnect From Your Phone & Connect With Yourself

Disconnect From Your Phone & Connect With Yourself

Everywhere you turn, it seems there is some new version of disaster. There is some new, horrible news. There is some new tragedy. There is some new loss. There is some new atrocity happening, and I just want to remind us of a couple of important things. 

One is you are allowed to tune out excess noise. You do not have to read every article. You do not have to watch every news broadcast. You do not have to stay up on every current event. This whole thing of the 24 hour news cycle is a very recent development. I mean, even when I was a kid, the news was a half hour at night. The newspaper came once a day. We were not constantly delusioned by breaking news, breaking news, breaking news. And in previous generations, it would take months for the news to arrive. So it is okay to not be up on absolutely everything. 

Remembering how much control you have over the overwhelm is a feeling you do to you. It is not something that other people do to you. And I think it happens when it feels like everything’s kind of coming at us at the same level of intensity. And you have to remember the news is part of the entertainment industry. Their job is to keep you watching. Facebook wants you to be on Facebook… to stay on Facebook. Buzzfeed wants you to stay on Buzzfeed. Instagram wants you to stay on Instagram. They are doing everything they can to keep you hooked in. I don’t think it’s necessarily malicious- it’s just what their business is. 

So, I just want to give you that permission slip- make sure that first thing in the morning, you are not looking at your phone. Get your phone out of the bedroom, get it off your nightstand. This habit people have of waking up and looking at their phone? It throws you into it. All of a sudden, you’re not thinking about what you’re thinking about. You’re thinking about what they want you to be thinking about. So give yourself some time in the morning.

I would vote the first 90 minutes maybe. And let yourself come into the day in a civilized way. Do your work, spend your 15 minutes a day on your projects that matter most to you. Connect with your spirit, connect with your body, do your breathing– whatever it is you like to do. Give yourself that time.

And even if some of you are rushed or have kids, or, you know, there’s a lot going on. If nothing else, give yourself 15 minutes. All right? Can we do that? Can we take the pledge that we’re going to give ourselves 15 minutes in the morning? No news, no email. Just centering. In whatever way you like to do that. You want to stretch? Stretch. You want  to dance? Dance. Do you want to lay in bed and breathe or daydream- do that. You want to sketch or doodle, do that. 

But do it first thing, because when you stay centered in you, you’re in the middle of the wagon wheel, right? So the world can spin around you. And you don’t have to get pulled out to that outer rim where you’re going to get tumbled. You can stay in the column, the center, just having a coffee in the bedroom.

Finding the Real Problem (It’s Not The One You Think)

Finding the Real Problem (It’s Not The One You Think)

The problem you think you have is not the problem that you have. The problem you think you have is a symptom of the actual problem that you have.

Here’s an example of this: my friend, Ryan Chapman (who’s a CEO of a very successful tech company) was talking about how he’s had a bad back lately. He goes to the doctor and they start poking and prodding, they do an MRI and they don’t really see anything structurally wrong. But, they recommend surgery anyway. And Ryan’s like, well, if the problem you’re looking for isn’t actually there, let’s not solve it with this sort of drastic action. He ended up consulting with another friend of his (who I think is more of a chiropractor) who identified that the problem that Ryan was having with his back is actually a problem in his hips. So, once he solved the problem with his hips, his back got better.

So the problem he thought he had (a bad back) was not the problem he had. The bad back was a symptom of the problem he actually had, which was trouble with his hips. 

Let’s explore another example: The problem you think you have is I don’t have enough clients. The problem you think you have is I don’t have enough sales. The problem you think you have is I don’t have enough traffic to my website. The problem you think you have is, I don’t have enough money.,

But what’s the actual problem you have? The actual problem you have is I haven’t asked anybody to buy today or this week or this month. I haven’t actually made a clear offer. The problem I actually have is I don’t have enough confidence in my own work to talk to people clearly about it.

So, nobody really knows what I do. The problem I actually have is: I let that one discouraging thing that one person said one time, stay in my brain and inhibit me. And now I’m not taking the steps forward that I need to. The problem I actually have is: my imagination makes up a story that says I can’t be successful. Or if I’m successful something bad will happen. Therefore, I don’t take the actions that I need to to get whatever result I want. 

Does this make sense? 

The problem you think you have is no one’s taking out the trash. The actual problem you have is you don’t have a system that lets the person whose job it is to take out the trash, know that it’s time to take out the trash. So, figure out the true problem and you’ll be able to solve the additional ones.

The Key To Easy Sales? Finding Your Ideal Client

The Key To Easy Sales? Finding Your Ideal Client

The ideal client means bringing the perfect person to you. When you focus on the ideal client, a lot of your other concerns will fall away. You might think, I don’t want to bother people. I don’t want to be weird about it. I don’t want to bore people.

If you’re talking to your ideal client, you won’t. It’s a little like if you’re looking for the perfect spouse or partner. When you find your perfect partner, they love how you’re dressed and they love what you’re saying. They’re interested in you. They want to know more. They’re eager to do the things that you like to do.

So that’s the first thing I want you to remember- no matter who you’re looking for, if it’s a team member, if it’s a partner, if it’s an audience or a client, we’re not looking for everybody. We’re looking for the right person, the perfect fit. It doesn’t mean they’re a perfect person- it means they’re a perfect fit.

What are the qualities of an ideal client?

Number one, they need you. Who specifically is an immediate need? And what are they doing? It’s demonstrating that they know they need you. They’ve already done half your work for you, because they’re looking for you.

They’re demonstrating through their behavior that they can pay you. It might be a stretch, that’s fine, but they can pay you. If they’ve come to the point where they’re having a conversation with you or they’re on their website, they’ve walked in the door. They can pay you.

And as I often say to people who are worried, like, Oh, I don’t think my people can pay that much. I don’t think my people will afford that. I don’t think my people can do that. I have something to say a little strongly because I want you to remember this.

Get your fucking hands out of their fucking wallet.

You don’t know how much money they have. You don’t know what they’re spending it on and it’s none of your business in the same way that it’s none of their business what you’re spending your money on. What I noticed is that people find the money for the things that are important to them. And that action of figuring it out, of finding the money, is part of the investment. It’s part of what makes the experience special.

Every time I raised my prices, my ideal clients stayed with me and the crappy customers dropped off. I always made more money with less hassle. There’s a principle called the Pareto principle. You might’ve heard of it. It’s the 80-20 rule.

It’s one of those naturally occurring mathematical phenomenon that say you wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time. And in your business, 80% of your revenue comes from the top 20% of your clients. So you can afford to fire the bottom half of your client list and you will make exactly the same amount of money, probably more, because those lower-end clients tend to be a real drag.

They tend to nickel and dime. They tend to want more than you want to give. They tend to not appreciate what you’re up to.

Nothing is more expensive than a bad client.

I always say sales is a sacred exchange of energy. You are coming with your product, your service, your expertise, your time. The client has to come with their energy, their desire and their money. That’s what makes it an exchange. If you’re giving and they’re not paying, it’s like you’re giving a hug to somebody who’s just standing there.

That is not a sacred exchange of energy. That does not feel good. It doesn’t feel good to you. And it doesn’t feel good to them.

Back to the ideal client. So, they need you. They know they need you. They are demonstrating through their behavior that they need you and they can pay you. And, they share your value system.

Now they don’t need to share all of your values, right? You don’t need to agree politically on things (or maybe you do, depending on what it is you do) but they need to laugh at your jokes because laughing at jokes mean reflects a shared worldview. It means we’re on the same page. So go out there and find the right people.

Ask yourself these questions:

What are the things that are most important to you? What are the things that underpin everything that you do? And when you get a little more public about that, the people who vibe with you will find you. When you are putting out a clear, authentic message about who you are and what you do, you become like the whistle only dogs can hear. The people who love you and need you will find you, and the people who do not love you and do not need you will not find you, which is even better.

Nothing Is More Important Than Your Transformation

Nothing Is More Important Than Your Transformation

Recently, a bunch of the people in Sam’s Pro Club are having huge breakthroughs. They’re all of a sudden making way more money than they’re used to, or they’ve gotten way more people in their classes than they’re used to, or they’re realizing that their marketing is kind of working, cause marketing works.

So, they’re having these things happen, and no sooner does it feel like they’ve made a commitment to doing something differently and everything falls to pieces. Health crisis, financial crisis, car needs four new tires. All kinds of things happen and it can feel like the message is I should change back. I shouldn’t try this new thing. I should step back a little bit. And the fact of the matter is nope, these troubles and these difficulties are the dragons at the gates. And I have a couple of theories about this that I’ve floated over the years.

Theory #1: Shit Happens

My first theory is that in general, life just happens. I am not one of those people who believes like, Oh, you manifested it.

Shit just happens- people get sick, things fall apart. It happens.

But, because you have moved into a new way of being, because you have made a new decision about how you want to be in the world, you’re going to react to it differently. You’re not going to go into your same usual pattern. There’s a crisis in the family, and your pole is to slot right back into that same family role that you always fulfill.

When shit goes wrong, it’s easy to fall back to the comfortable cause that’s where you feel safe. There is a certain safety, even in the behaviors we hate. It still feels safe.

Theory #2: New Pain Is Worse Than Old Pain

My second theory is I think that new pain is worse than old pain. Let me give this example: everybody’s got their physical weakness. There’s some part of your body that if you’re going to get sick or if you’re going to get injured, that’s where it’s going to happen. Mine is my lungs. If I’m going to get sick, it’s bronchitis or pneumonia. Every time. On the other hand, I have a cast iron stomach. I never get an upset stomach.

So, if I start to feel that throaty heavy feeling, I’m like, Oh, it’s bronchitis. I know what this is. I know how to deal with it. It’s not fun, but it’s okay. Upset stomach, however, I’m like what is this, what’s happening to me? Am I dying? I think I might be dying. What is this feeling I’m having? Cause it’s new. So I don’t really know the parameters of the pain yet. I don’t know how long it’s going last or, or how bad it’s going to get.

So when you up-level your life, start to make more money, have more clients, do bigger work in the world, or stand up for yourself a little bit more… and then you get some pushback or you get some fallout or some pain around it, it feels worse. Cause you don’t know what it is yet.

The first troll who comments on your thing is going to devastate you, the first person who asked for a refund, it’s going to devastate you. The first critical remark you get about, Oh, her work is not that great. It’s going to devastate you by the hundred.

And then you’re going to be like, Oh yeah. Some people react that way. Sometimes people ask for a refund. That happens, right?

Here’s what to do: even though the shifts feel really radical, we’re really only making one degree shifts. You are one degree away from everything you want. You are one degree away from everything going perfectly. You are one degree away from being able to bring in exactly the life you want to be leading. And we know that, right? Because first of all, people are pretty consistent. You’re still you- you’re still the person you’ve always been.

But the little one degree shifts- we know this for rocket ships, right? If you do a one degree shift, it’s going to take the rocket ship to a totally different destination. So remember that, even though the shifts feel huge, and they feel huge to tell your family, “Nope, I’m not available on Saturday cause I have to write”… it might feel huge to claim that 15 minutes every day.

One of the ways you want to hang on to who you are is by having a mantra. Having some word or phrase that you can repeat to yourself that you can hang on to when it feels like the crazy town winds are blowing. One we’ve used is that I got from David Nagel is “nothing is more important than my transformation.”

Read the books that nourish you, block out the noises that deplete you, and know that you will get to the other side.

Bouncing Back in a Time of Uncertainty

Bouncing Back in a Time of Uncertainty

Lately, all you hear is “I don’t know what’s happening. I’m so uncertain. I don’t want to commit because of all the uncertainty.”

You know what? This is not a new level of uncertainty.

The world has always been this uncertain. Ask anyone who’s had a sudden life event, positive or negative. It was always uncertain- we just allowed ourselves to believe that it wasn’t. We just put the padding of schedule and ritual around us so that we could believe that, “Oh, yes, I’ll be around to go to an event in November.”

Oh yes, I’ll have plenty of money to do X, Y, or Z, or to go on this trip or to do this thing. And then, a bomb goes off. An illness strikes, somebody has a baby, you get promoted in your job, your business doubles, all kinds of things happen.

I’m thinking about this fact that that everybody’s sort of walking around, wringing their hands about the certainty issue, when there has never been any certainty. And now we’re just being made more aware of the fact that we’ve never had any certainty. Well, we just need resiliency. Right? You need the ability to bounce back.

Put the time in to manage your thinking, to deal with your feelings, to take ownership of your life, to take a hundred percent responsibility for everything that’s happening. You have to respond to it and you are a hundred percent responsible for how you respond to this external thing. I do not believe we create the circumstances in our lives. It makes me kind of mad when people are like, Oh, I manifested that, Oh, you must’ve brought that to you.

I think the question, how am I a match for this? What resonates for me about this? That’s helpful. But sometimes shit just happens. One of the things that all this self-help work, all this personal development work, all this spiritual development work that I’ve spent my entire adult life doing (and even as a kid) has to do with building resiliency.

It’s not that I’m any less sensitive than I was. It’s not that I’m any less emotional. It’s not that I have less depression or less anxiety. I just bounce back from it quicker. It doesn’t drag me down as deep and I’m able to bounce back more quickly.

It’s the same thing in business. You don’t launch a business thinking you’re going to do everything perfectly. You make a thousand mistakes every day- that’s not even an exaggeration probably. But, your ability to bounce back from it, to keep going to move past it, to turn it into an advantage- that says there will always be more money.

There’s an infinite amount of money in the world. I guess if we started to count, we would eventually stop counting, but for our purposes, it’s infinite- infinite number of ideal clients, infinite amount of money, infinite amount of opportunities.

So you don’t need certainty. You need resiliency.

If I were going to give you one piece of advice, it’s cultivate your resiliency, release those old grudges. Do whatever you gotta do to get over your old stuff. You got to grow your bounce back muscles.