#103 The Acorn In The Armchair
Updated: Dec 7, 2019
The Ugly Business Podcast Episode 103
The other day I was thinking a little bit... Actually that's a lie. I was thinking a lot about potential, right? And as tactical as I am, and those of you who have been following me for a while, or have listened to some podcasts, or have taken some of my training courses, maybe enrolled in Freedom Frameworks, you know that I get pretty tactical at times, right?
And as tactical as I can be, I do spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the higher level things. For instance....I believe that ultimately we are spiritual beings. We're gifted with an intellect and we're operating in this physical body.
And it's not a religious thing necessarily. That depends on your perspective and your upbringing and your worldview. But I do believe we are these beings that are just more than physical. We're obviously gifted with an intellect, each and every one of us, and we obviously operate within a physical body. But I spend a lot of time focusing - when it comes down to business - on the tangible things.
For example, those of you who are in Freedom Frameworks™ program know that we talk about three main things. We talk about setting up a coaching business model, we talk about marketing for coaches and we talk about group coaching mechanics.
And I know that everyone appreciates getting into the details, and rolling up your sleeves and really thinking about what it is that you need to do today type stuff, right?
And, and I really love to deliver it, but if you're listening to this, if you're a coach, you know that there's more at play, right? And we all know as coaches, that those three pillars, the model, mindset, and mechanics have to be built on a foundation of the coaching mindset.
It's kind of like if you're looking at a house....this big house and it's got these three pillars out front, right? Those three pillars are holding everything, right? And underneath the pillars there's this foundation, right?
And if that foundation crumbles, what happens? Everything else starts crumbling too.
And so I think about this stuff all the time and I'm sure you do as well. And if you don't, I hope that maybe we can start to think about this together, you and I, and we can hash through some of this mindset stuff. Because I coach around this stuff all the time...it's critical stuff. And so I was thinking about potential, right? And when I think about potential, I think about how intangible it is?
I have an inside skeptic. And I like to talk to the skeptical mind, and everything that I hear and everything that resonates with me kind of runs through this filter of BS, right? And after it runs through this filter of BS, I can kind of pull out the stuff that's super, super valuable.
And so when I think about potential, I think about how intangible it is. And as it runs through my filter, what I always end up thinking about is this idea of potential, and how you can't touch it, and yet you can't hang it on the wall, and you can't really feel it. Right?
And I think that that's why so many people kind of pass it off. And the skeptic will think of talking about and thinking about potential as kind of this fluffy BS type stuff, right? And it's because they can't touch it. They can't feel it. But I think about it on a different level as well. And I think one of the reasons why people don't voluntarily just dive in and really start to reach their potential is because you can never really achieve it. And the more that you think about it, the more you realize that you can't achieve it, right?
Why? Because your potential today is based on who you are today. I mean, that's the bottom line, right? If you think of the max that you can do at anything, it's based on who you are today. But if you're engaged in growth and you're coaching, or you're being coached...tomorrow, you're going to be a different person. Right? Tomorrow, you're going to be a different person, and then your potential is going to be different. And so this idea of potential is always this moving target! I have a very good friend of mine, we grew up together in high school. And actually I knew him since... I've known him since I was probably six or seven years old. Very, very good friend of mine.
Now he's a different type of egg. This is a guy who's very, very smart. Very, very smart. Very, very hardworking. He's the type of guy that if he has a task in front of him, he's like a bull dog and he will get it done. And he'd give the shirt off his back for you, and whenever he does something, he does it right. He's just a hard worker. Right? But when I look at him, I see someone who has so much potential. But if you were to look at what he does today with his life and what he did when he was 17 years old, it hasn't changed. It hasn't changed because he just hasn't seen it in himself.
And I will love this individual till the day I die. He's a great, great person. But when we talk about potential, he just can't see it. He doesn't believe it as much as the outside person looking in sees his potential.
And so his growth in terms of personal development growth, it's stunted at this particular point in time, right? Because he can't see it. And listen, you know people like this, you've seen it. A lot of the people that are probably perfect clients for you are just like my friend, right? But they've gotten a spark, right? Something set off in them that they seek out your expertise to help them get to the next level. Right? Sometimes even if they can't see it, they believe that there's something on the other side of their current place. Right? But for them it's intangible. They sometimes can't see it. But here's the funny thing about potential, and this is what I was thinking about...
And I know that all of you know somebody just like my friend. And as coaches, we try our best to kind of pull them along and try to help them along, and we get frustrated because they're not seeing it, and we can see their potential. But why can't they just strive for a little bit more? Right? But it's kind of predictable, isn't it?
I mean, we all know people who have it. This ability to strive, to make great strides towards their potential and waste it, right? It's predictable.
We can see people who just always work towards their potential, and we see people who never take strides towards their potential. We can even predict a lot of times when people are going to sabotage people from reaching their potential, or sabotage themselves from reaching their potential. Right?
So, for something so intangible...it is so predictable.
And so here's the thing I want you to think about, as a coach, just think about everything that I've said to this point - about potential being intangible and you can't feel it, and you can't hang it on the wall, and you can't really see it. But you know when people are doing it, you know when people aren't doing it. Right? As a coach, I'm sure you've seen all of it and you agree with all of that stuff and that's great. But here's the thing, I want you to kind of reverse roles here and I want you to think of yourself, and yourself as an entrepreneur, and yourself as a coach. Do you see it in yourself? As entrepreneurs, we often don't see in ourselves. And as a result, we find ourselves stagnant in our efforts, in our business, right?
We can see it in others. I can see it in my friend. You can see it in that friend that you're thinking that's similar to my friend. You can see it in your clients. But can you see it in yourself as an entrepreneur?
Eric Hoffer had a great quote. Eric Hoffer says,
"No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and our transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are." I could probably spend an entire day just talking and teaching and coaching on that quote right there alone.
No matter what our achievements might be. Right? And I have some clients who are million dollar coaches. I have clients who are just starting. And you know what? They both share this mindset at times, in different ratios maybe. But no matter what our achievements are, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments.
Right? It doesn't matter what scale you're on. Right? We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps a book on our shortcomings, and that's so true, right? We can probably remember every single failure that we have, and we keep score on ourselves, and we use it against ourselves to protect us from going further and further and further. Right? If left to our own devices, we constantly remind ourselves of the last time that we tried something and it didn't work.
And I know that you've heard this voice in your head, right? Maybe you maybe wanted to do a Facebook Live, maybe you wanted to do a video on Instagram. Maybe you wanted to write your book. Maybe you wanted to start your mastermind group, and there's this voice in your head reminding of everything that didn't work from yesterday, to the time where you were in fourth grade, and froze when you were standing up in front of the class giving your first speech, right? So, then we need people to convince us that we're not quite as bad as we think we are. And this is one of the most challenging things for coaches in this business because it can be crippling when we don't take huge strides.
When we don't take these steps, these big moments.... When we collapse under our own doubts and fears, and we don't take strides to reach our entrepreneurial potential, that can be crippling, right? But if we can see... Right, ourselves, if we can see clarity of our current potential, and what's stopping us from being, doing and having more, everything then becomes achievable. Everything becomes doable. Right?
"No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and our transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are."
And I just want to talk about what we can do, what mind frame can we set ourselves in, so we as coaches and as entrepreneurs don't kind of struggle with this phenomenon, right? Right? And the first thing I always think of is this concept that I truly believe in. And that is that it's never the what that wins, right? It's never the what that wins. So many people get stuck in the what, what am I going to do? What do I need? What am I doing? What website builder should I use? What email program should I use? What course should I take? The what, and the what never wins, right? Listen, the "what" is already there. You know what you need to do. The problem isn't the what. We all have e a list of things that we know we could be doing to help our business move forward that we're not doing.
There is no shortages of what. We all know at least three, five, ten things that we could probably be doing right now that could truly move us forward. Forget all the bells and whistles and all the distractions and everything else, we know.
I know that you can list three things right now that you could be doing in your business. I know that I can! Listen, I'm not immune from this either.
We can all list three things that we know that we should be doing. So, it's not the what. The what is a seed. It's there, right? It's just not exposing itself. It's just not growing. It hasn't presented itself to the world. And the reason we can't yet see it sometimes is because we're focused so much on the fruit and not the seed.
We're so focused on the outcome. We're so focused on what that distraction can bring to us, or what this distraction can bring to us, or what this tool can do, and what our website can do, and we lose track of the seed. We focus on the outside first and not the inside first. And I think of this quote all the time, and I cannot for the life of me remember exactly who said it, but I picked it up one day. And by the way, if any of you can remember before I do who said it, please by all means, send me an emailS!
"If you fail to grow from within, you will surely live without."
And so we have to understand that what we're dealing with here when we talk about the what, or when we talk about potential in-depth, what we're talking about is a seed. Right? It's a seed. And like any other seed, it has to be nurtured, right? And it has to be planted in soil.
I see so many coaches and consultants and service providers, when they're delivering or they're taking a course, and they just engage in this sort of knowledge transfer, right? And it's probably the most grotesque waste of time in our space, right? Online courses, right, in and of themselves are knowledge transfer. And knowledge is not power. And that's why 70 to 80% at least of people never finish a course that they start.
"If you fail to grow from within, you will surely live without."
And I know that you can relate to this. I know that you've engaged in a course and even spent thousands of dollars on a course that you've never finished. Because knowledge transfer isn't enough. People are looking for more. They're looking for a transformation, not a transfer of knowledge. And if you think about a seed.... It transforms, doesn't it? If I take a seed and I put it on a table and I talk to it....and I read a book to it, nothing's going to happen. It's not going to transform. But what happens to a seed in its natural environment? It transforms, doesn't it?
When does it transform? When it's put in nurturing soil. Right?
And here's a great thing, and please, I hope that if you're listening to my voice right now, you tune in, right? You tune in here. Why is it that so many people white knuckle their business, they're holding on so tight and they're working so hard?
We've almost taken the working 14 hours a day thing, and we've almost put it on a pedestal, so it's this trophy. Why is it that we work obsessively hard?
Think of what a seed does.... Think about the transformation that a seed goes through when it's put in nurturing soil. It doesn't really work that hard does it? The seed doesn't wake up at night, and go on a secret scavenger hunt for nutrients. Right? It attracts everything it needs. The seed doesn't work obsessively, It attracts every thing that it needs. It just absorbs the nutrients from the soil and it attracts everything from the environment around it. Right? The transformation lies in the reaction, right? The reaction between the seed and its environment it's placed in. And stick with me here.... When that transformation happens, the seed turns into what it was made for, what it was destined for. And this happens by Universal Law... by law the seed grows into what it was meant to be. Listen, if you take an acorn and you place it in nurturing soil, that acorn is not going to grow into a rosebush. It's not going to grow into a pine tree. It's not going to grow into a cactus.
It is going to grow into an oak tree. It has to by law.
But if you take that same acorn, and you fail to put it in a conducive environment, what happens? Now what happens if I take an acorn that I find in mass quantities here in Northwestern PA. What if I take an acorn and I take it, and I go into my living room here, and I toss it into an arm chair here in my living room. What happens? Nothing!
And I see it all the time. I see so many entrepreneurs. And when I see their struggles, it's like an acorn in an arm chair because they're working in an environment that has them doing it all alone, or maybe doing it with others, but with others who are throwing doubts and fears at them. And they're just aren't creating an environment that is conducive to their growth, which means they might as well have been doing it by themselves. Right? If you have a seed as an entrepreneur... you have that thought of what you want, and where you want to go....it's a seed. And you take that seed of thought - and you put it in nurturing soil, that seed must, must by law grow into what it was made to be.
And so, what do we mean by nurturing soil?
Well, the truth is that nobody can do this thing alone. Nobody can do it alone. If you've heard me or you've read my blogs, or been in my course, you know that I'm a true believer in masterminds, right? We have the Workroom mastermind, and I invite all of you to join along, right? And if you don't know what a mastermind is, they're these relatively small groups, right, who house the power of like-mindedness, and support, right? They're kind of where one on one equals three, right? You can put out there what your problem is, or what issues you are, and what issues you're facing, what challenges you have, right? And you take your problem, you put it in this mastermind group, and you have several other people who are like-minded helping you through it, right? You don't have to do this thing alone.
I mean, there's a lot of online forums where you can post questions and stuff like that, but basically at the end of the day, you're still alone. At no point in time does anything become all about you.
But true masterminds are like the soil of growth for entrepreneurs. I remember, and those of you who have listened to earlier podcasts, I think I've covered this and I told this. But I remember when I was first starting in the coaching business and I was going to quit because things were getting a little bit tough. And by a little bit, I mean a lot. And I remember going to this mastermind group and this gentleman helped me out. And I just unloaded my whole story. I unloaded my whole story to him, and I told him that I was thinking about quitting, and that's when he told me, hey, are you in, or are you out basically. He's like, "You can't have two beliefs at the same time." And at this point in time, I believed that I could start a coaching business. But I also believed that I wanted to quit the coaching business. And he said, "You can't hold two beliefs at the same time. Either you can do it or you can't do it, and you have to pick which belief that you're going to nurture, which belief that you're going to place in the right soil, and if it's going to grow." And at that point in time, I made the decision. But if I wouldn't have found a place where it was comfortable. If I wouldn't have found a place where I felt like I could just unload all this stuff that I was feeling and thinking in a safe environment. If I wouldn't have felt that. If that seed that I had to succeed and to grow my business wouldn't have found a nurturing place to land, you and I would not be having this discussion today. Right?
"You can't hold two beliefs at the same time. Either you can do it or you can't do it, and you have to pick which belief that you're going to nurture"
And I remember when I first started, I was like, "Ah, this is way too much money." I think this particular mastermind group was like $2,000 a month.
I'm like, "I'm going to give it a few months, and we're going to see what happens." Because I'm one of the people that truly believe investing in myself is the best investment in my business. And it did prove in fact to be true, several times as a matter of fact. But then I always look back on that time, and I think how much time did I waste searching around, and scrambling around for best practices, and all the what's? Right? How much money did I waste in trial and error, right? Which also just fed into this thing, this toxicity that I was putting in the soil, trial, error, fail, trial, error, fail. And it just started to be depleting. And that's why I talk about mastermind groups so much. But listen, even if you don't join Workroom, if you don't grow mine, what I'm trying to tell you today is to make sure you're not putting your acorn in an arm chair. I think that mastermind groups like the Workroom and others just happen to be the easiest and fastest way. But certainly there's other things out there. I'd be lying to you if I told you that it's the only way to succeed. But what I want you to walk away with today is this understanding that it's not about the what. You have the what. Now it might not have risen to the surface yet. It might not be as plain as day, but as soon as you step into a nurturing environment, it will, right? We have to step away from this knowledge transfer, this shiny object of this online course, right? And by the way, you guys know I have the Freedom Frameworks. It's an online course, but that's why I built coaching around it. And coaching calls, and a community around it, right? So, it was more than just an online program. Right? I built coaching sessions and learning sessions with me around it. I built live sessions, live events around it, so it wasn't just this knowledge transfer. But I needed to create something even more for those who wanted to even immerse themselves even more in this nurturing environment, and that's why I had to create Workroom because I know, I've experienced it, the difference between the two. When we step away from thinking about just the what, and we look within, that's when things start to change, right? You don't have to take these steps towards your potential alone. A matter of fact, you can't. Eventually, you are going to have to have someone else around you. A team around you, a support group around you, other entrepreneurs around you. But you absolutely can one hundred percent do it.
But you have to remember it's not enough to see it in others, right? You could be a great coach right now, one of the best. You could be the best right now, and you can recognize these things in others. You can recognize these things in your clients, but when you look in the mirror, you see something different. Right? Remember what Eric Hoffer said, "No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to be bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we're not as bad as we think we are." You're not as bad as you think you are. You're way better than you think you are, I promise you. And I'm not saying that if you're hearing my voice right now, that you have low self-esteem, or you have a low self-image. That may or may not be true, but I guarantee you, you are better than you currently think that you are. You're better than you think you are. And just to leave you with a another quote, and this is a quote from Napoleon Hill, and he wrote the book Think and Grow Rich. And listen, I don't recommend too many books because I think that too many people get sucked into reading books without executing any of the things that are written in the books. But Think and Grow Rich is a masterpiece. And Napoleon Hill says... He says, "Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to think and act on building the life you desire." And I'm just going to leave you with this quote today. If you don't want to be an acorn in an arm chair, and you want your seed to be placed in a nurturing environment, then this is the quote that I want to leave you with today. "Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you, who influence you." That means that you might not want to do it right now, but they will influence you. They will influence you to think and act on building the life you desire because we're going to try to back away from it. It's human nature. We are going to try to back away from building the life that we desire. We're going to let doubt and fear take control of the steering wheel. Right? We're going to let them drive the bus, and we need people around us who are going to influence us. Lead us at times to think and act on building the life that we desire. And I just want to challenge everyone who can hear my voice right now, do that today. Seek the company of others who are going to influence you to think and act on building the life that you desire. Think about that today, right? Contact us. There's a link here. If you're listening to this while you're on the webpage, there is a link on the page, the Coaches Roundtable has link in there. There's a link on the website. Just go and check out the Workroom mastermind group, right? We will be your nurturing environment. We will help you grow. We will influence you to think and act on building the life that you desire, right? So, with that, I want all of you guys to take strides towards your potential. Know that your potential tomorrow is going to be different than your potential today. And that's the great thing about it. That's the great thing about it, right? People who don't see this, people who don't embrace it, they have to wake up every single day knowing that they're not going to be any better today than they were yesterday. And I don't want that to be any of you. I want you to take the strides that I know that you can take. I want you to have the life and the business that I know that you can have. And I work every day to do the same, and if you need any help, we are here for you. Listen to this episode of this podcast again and again. Okay?