How to craft an elevator speech that doesn’t sound like a canned script

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The good news about having marketing & sales scripts and templates is you never have to figure out on the spot what to say.  They are also valuable because they are inherently consistent.  You say this thing.  Then, you say the next thing.  And, so on.

 

This consistency makes it infinitely easier to determine what’s working (and what’s not).

elevator front door buttons

 

The bad news about scripts is, well, they sound like scripts.  Like someone is reading to you.  (Which, in many cases, is exactly what someone is doing.)

 

Elevator speeches (or “pitches”) are like that, too.  Hopefully, no one has literally taken out their 3×5 note card and literally read their speech to you!  (Then, again, if they had, maybe it would’ve sounded better LOL)

They sound “canned” at BEST, and at their worst, after you have heard them delivered, you still have no idea what they do, who they do it for, or to whom you can refer them.

 

Sound familiar?

 

I talk about this challenge in the article “Why you keep running into your professional twin,” and today I want to share with you a fresh(er) script for you to try out at your next networking event or when someone asks what you do.

 

Remember:  The purpose of a script or template is to free you up from worrying about what to say or do.  Its value should be to allow you to relax, not to make you seize up or freak out because you aren’t able say it word-for-word.

 

I share this particular template (and personal example) with you to teach you the components that make it (and you) interesting so that — rather than have their eyes glaze over while they are silently creating their exit plan — your potential clients, colleagues, or referral partners will feel motivated to further engage you in a conversation.

 

Remember the components and the reasons they are important.  Getting it “Perfect” is unnecessary and misses the point.

 

And, “Perfect” makes you sound like a recorded message.

 

Here’s the Template:

 

1.  I work with ____________________________________ (specific audience),

2.  who are ______________________________________ (their challenge, preferably one of their most pressing),

3.  to __________________________________________ (what you work with them to accomplish).

4.  ____________________________________________ (what they get when they enlist your services).

Notes:

(#1)  I’ve written before about the importance of choosing a specific target market and how it translates into more and better sales.  You can definitely have more than one target market, but (in most cases) you should speak to/about only one in any single marketing conversation.
(#2) For this to resonate, speak to what your audience has told you is their challenge, rather than assuming you already know.  Though this may sound obvious, it’s not what people typically do.  When you get it right, it’s magical.

 

 

(#3) Be succinct, specific, and make sure it is related to the challenge or problem you identified and articulated in Step #2.

 

 

(#4) Sometimes Steps 3 and 4 can be combined.  The component we want to make sure is present is to share not only the result your client achieves, but also the value of the result.  The value is often introduced or prefaced by “so that”.

 

For example, if you’re a personal trainer or nutritionist, you might help your clients lose 15 pounds in 60 days, let’s say.  That’s the outcome, the result.  BUT, the value of that result is not the weight loss; instead, it’s the life transformation she experiences through enlisting your help.

 

So, in this example, you might say something like “I help women finally lose those stubborn last postpartum inches so that they can finally fit back into their their skinny jeans and feel sexy again.”

 

Here’s a quick personal example of what I might say, using this template:

(#1) I work with yoga teachers who are

(#2) fed up with students coming and going, jumping from teacher to teacher, always looking for the next Groupon or Daily Deal.  With my simple 3-step process,

(#3) I teach them how to stand out as their clients’ obvious choice.  Where else would they want to go?  When they get this in place,

(#4) they get to sell more services, serve more people, and finally get off the hamster wheel of struggle because their income is more consistent.

 

See how simple and powerful this is?

 

Can you see how once you get the template down  and understand the core components, you can be flexible with the  language so that it sounds like you (and not a canned script)?

 

Now, it’s your turn!

Try your hand at crafting YOUR fresh and interesting new introduction in the comments below.  I’m looking forward to learning about who you work with and the transformation your work creates!

 

 

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image by Chelle via morguefile.com

How to get your perfect prospects & clients to refer to you as “The Best”

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brandsI like to tell the story of when I was sitting in the dentist’s chair getting my teeth cleaned, when I mentioned to the hygienist that I was going to be getting my wisdom teeth removed in a couple of weeks.  (Since then I have had the oral surgery.  This was a few years ago.)

She asked who the surgeon was, and when I told her it was Dr. Wicknick she said, “Oh he’s the best.”

 

Now, I don’t know whether she knew from personal experience that Dr. Wicknick is the best or not, but not only was it reassuring to me, but what an endorsement for Dr. Wicknick.

 

The cool thing is that this didn’t cost Dr. Wicknick one red penny.  And, my suspicion is that the hygienist isn’t the only one saying good things about him.

 

How awesome to have raving fans spreading the news that you’re the best, even if they have never experienced you or even know who you are!

 

This doesn’t come about by chance.  It’s called branding, and successful companies and entrepreneurs are so good at it that they easily magnetize to them their best clients.

They spend less on marketing because their clients not only self-select, but they willingly spread the gospel of their greatness.

 

Every year, CNNmoney.com names the 100 Best Companies to Work For, including a snapshot of each on what makes them great. Each one has a reputation that precedes them that draws to them the best talent (Everyone wants to work at one of these companies) and the best customers (Everyone wants to patronize these companies).

 

This is all very interesting, but how does a spiritual entrepreneur or healing professional build a compelling brand like the Big Guys?

 

The concept of Personal Branding was popularized (Some say invented) by Tom Peters in an August 1997 article, called The Brand Called You, and in 2004 Tom Peters penned a follow-up called the Brand You Survival Kit.

 

These articles illustrate how you and I can design how people see and experience us; we need not (and should not) leave it to others to define us.

In the context of marketing and selling our services, I call this Personal Branding Special Sauce that compels your perfect clients to call you TheBest “Magnetic Distinction.”  It’s how you self-identify and how others experience you when you are fully self-expressed.

 

The great challenge for most of us who inspire and heal for a living is actually being fully self-expressed in our marketing.  Because our emphasis is on serving others, the tendency is to downplay was uniquely amazing about us.

 

When we dilute ourselves, we unfortunately look like every other service provider who does what we do.  It’s hard to be The Best as mediocrity and sameness.  Magnetic Distinction, on the other hand, reveals to your perfect clients that you are the obvious (and only) choice for them.

How would you like to discover exactly what Magnetic Distinction is and how you can easily put it to work for you?  It’s actually a lot of fun when you know what do to, and it’s totally-thrilling when you see how highlighting what’s amazing about you all by itself attracts the clients that are perfect for you.

 

Try on the free Attract Your Perfect Clients 3-Part Learning Series for yourself.  Lesson #1 is titled ” ‘Your Magnetic Distinction': How to Stand Out to Your Perfect Clients as the Obvious Choice.”

 

It’s all about compelling your perfect clients to refer to YOU as The Best.

 

Because to them you absolutely are the Best.

 

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Image by missmac used under a Creative Commons License

 

How to get past insecurity and embrace your value

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So, you’re a new healing professional.  Maybe you’re a massage therapist or a Reiki practitioner.  Perhaps you’re finally certified as a yoga instructor.

Problem is you’re struggling to get clients.

You don’t think you know enough as other, more experienced practitioners.  Maybe you image of a man holding up fingers in an "L" shape for "Loser"feel insecure when you’re around them, secretly wondering whether everyone can see the giant “L” on your forehead for “LOSER.”

Or, it could be you’ve actually been in the biz for awhile, but you’re still having a hard time getting out there meeting people.  You think, “If I just read one more book, or take one more class,  or get a few more letters behind my name, I’ll finally have it made.”

Can you relate?  Sound like you?

Continuing education is important — essential even — to hone existing skills and learn new ones.

But, sometimes immersing ourselves in more books, more courses, and more programs is really an excuse to procrastinate. They mask deeper insecurities or never-good-enough beliefs.

We only have to look at other professional occupations to see how misguided this thinking is.  For example, English graduate students with no prior teaching experience teach English 101 at the university level.  Speech-language pathologists begin actively working with clients doing clinical work right from the get-go well before they complete their education and obtain certifications.  The same story apples to counselors, psychologists, and other professions.

We don’t disrespect or think less of them.  In fact, we gladly pay the fees for their professional assistance.   How are you any different?

Stop talking yourself out of your value.  The deal is those only you are meant to serve are out there waiting for you to pick up the phone or knock on their door or meet them at a networking event or get your postcard or be invited to your seminar or whatever, if only you’d get out of your way.

I remember listening to Joe Vitale comment on this very thing.  He said that success begins by starting some place and owning your own value.  He said “Start from where you’re at.  Then, take the next step, then the next step.”

Doesn’t that feeeeeel a whole lot better?  And, when you feel good, good is attracted to you.

None of us will ever know everything, but the best way to learn is by doing.  And, there is magnetic power in momentum.  So, get out there and get moving!

 

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Flikr Image by Richard Thomas, used under a Creative Commons license

How to be intentional (instead of a slave to habit) about what shows up for you in 2014

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How to be intentional (instead of a slave to habit) about what shows up for you in 2014

I know people say it all the time (I feel like I keep saying it all the time!):  Time’s (see what I mean? LOL) flying right past me with lightening speed.  It’s already the middle of the month!

(How’d THAT happen?)

 

Is your year starting to look an awful lot like it did last year at this time?

 

You might be either panicking right now, or maybe you’ve just given up on anything REALLY changing this year.  Or, you were smarter than most and didn’t even bother to make any silly resolutions in the first place.

 

I just wanna say whatever the case, it really isn’t your fault.  Besides, it’s not even necessarily a bad thing.It’s just human nature. . .  “Old habits die hard.”

 

IF . . . they die at all.  Right?

 

The other day, I cleaned a neighbor’s apartment – specifically the bathroom and the kitchen – quite literally from top to bottom.  He’s getting older and has several health challenges, and the place hadn’t been cleaned for at least 5 years.

The landlord feared liability for any accidents that might happen as a result of the unsanitary and otherwise less-than-safe living situation, so one of the conditions imposed in order for him to continuing living there was to have the place professionally cleaned.

 

What I did I’m not sure even the professionals could top!

 

I spent 8 hours scrubbing the place, and if I do say so myself, it looks like a brand new apartment.  I also did a little (not much!) bit of reorganizing, as I worked.

 

After I got done, I stood in the back doorway as he talked to me.  (He said he doesn’t really get any visitors) I observed the old man — clearly grateful — unconsciously begin arranging things one-by-one as they were before I got there.Hmm.I silently wondered how long it would take the rest of the house to return to its former state of clutter and disarray.

Old habits die hard.

And, who’s to say the man even wanted anyone to clean and arrange his space, anyway?  I certainly didn’t ask him.  And, neither did the landlord.

 

So it often is with our own life and business goals or resolutions.

For one thing, we call habits habits because we don’t even have to think about them.  They’re automatic, and happen without any conscious effort.

(How many times have you driven home and only after you arrived did you wonder how you even got there?  Did the car drive itself?)

 

The other thing is the goal or resolution might not even be what we really want in the first place.

 

What if it didn’t have to be so hard?

 

What if you could achieve what you really want in the New Year (It’s starting not to be very “New”) and not have to wrestle fruitlessly with trying to make Willpower work for you all year long?

 

That’s why I made this YouTube video to show you how (Click the video below).

 

Remember to download and print out your Companion Action Guide before taking the workshop

I want you to experience right now your Best. Year. Ever.  A year that’s worthy of you (and not somebody else).

 

It’s a gift workshop I presented on New Year’s Eve called “Claim Your New Year:  How to Make 2014 Your Best Year Ever,” and it takes you step-by-step to do just that.

 

Completely f.ree.  No opt-in required.

 

Be sure to make an appointment with yourself this weekend (The workshop runs about 2 hours, so maybe take it in the morning before lunch, for example).  You’ll be glad you did!

 

Let me know how it goes, and tell me what you create for yourself & your year.  More than anything, Have fun with it!

 

*** PS I have to tell you about the “bonus” you get right at the start of the webinar workshop:

I spent FOREVER trying to edit out the first 9 seconds of the video and finally just threw up my hands.  So, now you get the bonus of crazy me with the shifting (not shifTY!) eyes. LOL

 

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UPDATE:  Have you seen/read this *totally awesome* article, “The science of willpower: Kelly McGonigal on why it’s so dang hard to stick to a resolution”?

I HIGHLY recommend it.

After reading it, you will be inspired you to schedule time to take the workshop right away (if you haven’t done so already), because I help you implement the strategies Kelly McGonigal suggests for success.

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How to stop running around like a chicken with its head chopped off in your business

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How to stop running around like a chicken with its head chopped off in your business

My mom used to tell us stories about growing up on a farm in a small town called Northport, Alabama. It’s located in Tuscaloosa County, in the west central part of the State of Alabama.

 

From the perspective of a young girl, the stories she told us were always vivid. Larger-than-life. Pungent. Visceral.

 

She’d tell us about how her older brothers wrung the chickens’ necks, and threw their lifeless bodies to the ground. Like stunned, bug-eyed madmen, they’d jump up, scurrying this way and that, until finally — crazed and exhausted — they’d slump to the resting Earth.

 

How’s THAT for “running around like a chicken with its head chopped off”?

EXACTLY what the last couple of months of 2013 has been for me.

 

Thankfully, I haven’t ‘– crazed and exhausted — slumped to the resting Earth.’  HOWEVER, there has been a bit of “scurrying this way and that”, as if someone had wrung my chicken neck! LOL

 

Seriously, though, with everything that is going on in my life right now, I contemplated NOT hosting the upcoming How to Make 2014 Your Best Year Ever Gift Training Webinar this year.

(You’ll see I changed my mind, though!  Go to ClaimYourNewYear.com to claim your seat for this complimentary event.)

 

Then, I watched Derek Halpern’s video on “How to stop being so busy,” and realized this workshop is EXACTLY what I need right now.

(Check out Derek’s video at http://youtu.be/XcpXdY_JgOU, but only AFTER you register for this time-sensitive training:  ClaimYourNewYear.com)

 

How many of the “busy” things that are taking up all of my time are just stealing me from what’s really important and what I really want in my life and business?

 

How many of us are living life by design and not by default?

 

That’s when I decided to “push play” on this workshop, because I know I’m not the only one “running around like a chicken with its head chopped off.  And, it’s definitely NOT pretty.

 

When you attend and implement what I teach you on the Claim Your New Year: How to Make 2014 Your Best Year Ever Webinar Workshop, you will go. . .

FROM: Chaos

TO: Control

FROM: Struggling to keep on top of things and out of balance

TO: Completely balanced and feeling really happy with life

FROM: feeling really frustrated and dissatisfied and working on low value ‘stuff’

TO: feeling motivated, relaxed and working only on high value activities

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to ‘finally, crazed and exhausted, to slump to the resting Earth.’

Can we just leave that to the chickens, please?

 

What will make the difference for you and me is to finish the year BEFORE it starts.  I show you how on this not-to-be-missed free webinar workshop.

It happens Friday, December 31 at Noon Pacific Time.

 

Go now to sign up at http://ClaimYourNewYear.com to get all the details.

 

Then, come back here and share your thoughts or experience with this in the comments below.

When in your business have you felt like you were running around like a chicken with its head chopped off?

What have you done (or wish you’d done) to get back on track with what supports what you REALLY want?

Why you might be having trouble feeling grateful (and what to do about it)

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Why you might be having trouble feeling grateful (and what to do about it)

I’ve dubbed Wednesdays “Gratitude Wednesday” on Facebook.

Every week, my first status of the day on Wednesday is something like “Hooray! It’s Gratitude Wednesday, again.  For what or whom are you grateful today?”

 

A little tardy one week posting this status, I knew people had come to expect and appreciate this question (and the answers others posted) when a friend messaged me with “Uhm, Tshombe?  It’s Wednesday.”

My Facebook friends keep me on my toes!

 

Another friend of mine sent me an article explaining how gratitude makes us healthier.

 

Clearly, there are many reasons to make feeling grateful and expressing gratitude as regular and intentional as eating right, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.

  • But, what if gratitude is eluding you?

 

  • What if it’s becoming too much work?

 

I think there are at least two reasons gratitude can be a challenge for us, one of which is largely unconscious because it goes against commonly-held (but erroneous, in my view) notions of why and how to be grateful.

I specifically wrote about this first reason in the article Why gratitude may not be working for you.

It’s the philosophy behind a statement like “You should be grateful for the abundance of food on your plate because there are starving people in Africa.”

 

This is inaccurate reasoning for at least 2 reasons.

1.  If this were true, then the inverse would also be true:  “If there were not starving people in Africa, you shouldn’t (or wouldn’t have a need to) be grateful,” and

2.  The definition of pure gratitude is acknowledging and feeling celebratory about/toward the good that has already come to you. It doesn’t come out of comparing what you have in relation to what another does not have.

If you’re finding being grateful challenging, inauthentic, or at best temporary, this may be at the root.  Gratitude and guilt cannot coexist.

 

The other reason gratitude may be challenging or feel like too much work to achieve is related to a misunderstanding of what it means to manage emotional states of being.

 

A colleague of mine was doing a series on Gratitude, and she received a comment from one of her followers on Facebook expressing that, although he was well-versed in the “theory” of gratitude, ” ‘Faking it until you make it’ feels like deep lying when the gut is wrenched in anger!”

I can understand that.

Since all of us spontaneously generate thousands upon thousands of thoughts every day, the majority of which we are not even aware of, it’s not reasonable to believe that in every moment we can somehow raise ourselves out of depression by thinking ourselves happy.

 

What can we do to get into a place where we feel grateful when we’re not feeling grateful right now?

 

Try on this exercise:

When in your life DID you feel grateful?  What were the circumstances?  How were you standing?  breathing?

 

How did that feel, then?

 

As you really get into the emotional memory, realize that you are remembering it right now; you are actually feeling that gratitude now.  The key is to presence yourself to it.

 

Whatever that gratitude felt like then, call those feelings forward in this right-now moment.

 

This is just a brief example of a very powerful exercise where you can borrow a memory from the past, “chew on it” in the present, and then call up the associated emotions.

Doesn’t that feel great?

 

(In my view, this is what is meant by the NLP exhortation to “Act as if.”  For more information, read What “Act As If” really means and how to do it.)

 

You actually have practice with this already.  Unfortunately, human beings are quite adept at borrowing bad-feeling memories from their past so that they can recreate those events and associated feelings in their present.

 

Why not use this skill on purpose (rather than by default) to generate the feelings you desire?

 

Later in our exchange, the man offered that it was actually inappropriate to try to change the feeling we are currently experiencing to a “better” feeling, because in so doing, we fail to receive the wisdom ‘The Universe’ is trying to teach us.

 

Sometimes, we “spiritual folk” complicate things for ourselves!

 

Yes, he is correct.  Resistance to any emotion causes it to get “stuck,” even when we might think we’ve managed to think positively in “negative” experiences.

 

Thinking positively may make you more enjoyable to be around, but if you are resisting your “bad” feeling emotions, it is predictable that achieving lasting gratitude is/will be a challenge for you.

 

Contrary to what the gentleman who was having trouble feeling grateful thought, I am not suggesting that you try to change your feelings.  Instead, the suggestion is to allow your feelings, and only after allowing them, to move on to another one (in this case, gratitude.)

 

Emotions are meant to be transitory.  We have a whole range of emotions available to us the remarkable human beings that we are.  The problem is that we not only observe, recognize, and experience our range of emotions, but to varying degrees, we label them as good or bad depending on their level of comfort.

 

We can’t think ourselves grateful, although “thinking” plays a significant role in gratitude.

What we can do is notice we are feeling angry, depressed, sad, disenchanted, or any other so-called “negative” emotion; feel it fully; and even perhaps send love to it, as we recognize it as legitimate as any other good-feeling emotion.

What we’re doing is allowing the emotion to flow through us, not get stuck in us.

 

All that any emotion wants (just like any human being) is to be acknowledged and validated, not ignored or suppressed.

 

I’ve used feelings and emotions interchangeably here, but to make a slight distinction, I offer that once emotions get (and continue to get) stuck because we keep suppressing them in favor of something that feels better to us, they become feelings.

This means we become attached or identified with the feelings, and now they become who we are.  So, instead of feeling angry, we become an angry person.

 

Clearly, holding onto any emotion is not healthy.

 

When we feel a feeling fully, it opens up a clear space to create something new.  Now, we are open to actually see and feel gratitude.

 

When a feeling/emotion is allowed to flow through us, there is little-to-no difficulty moving  to another emotion; no system or formula is needed because (when permitted) flow is the natural order of things when it comes to emotions.

 

However, sometimes exercises can be of help.

This is why I offered the exercise where you borrow the emotion you desire to cultivate in the moment by engaging your powerful brain’s capacity to conjure up the memories when you experienced the emotion in the past.

Does that make sense?

 

In sum, pure gratitude is not dependent on the lack someone else may be experiencing.  You may not have considered this before, but it can very well be the reason gratitude remains illusive or seems “fake.”

 

Secondly, it may appear to be a whole lot of work for you because you have been resisting “bad” feelings.  You’ve been struggling to think happy thoughts because that’s what you “should” be doing, not because you actually feel happy.  Ironically, by repressing what is bothering you, you are setting up resistance to true, lasting gratitude.

 

Being grateful and expressing gratitude doesn’t have to be work or feel incongruent, but it does take intentionality and effort.

 

As you practice being grateful – and perhaps using the exercise here to help you in the process – let me know how it’s going for you in terms of ease and flow.

 

Do you already have a practice that facilitates feelings of gratitude?

How does this impact your life and work?

 

I’d love to hear what YOU have to say on the matte.  Please share in the comments!

 

Want to exercise your Gratitude Muscle?  Join me in the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge.

Register today, and take Day 1 for Free.

 

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image by Rich Dubose

How to make change easy and effortless

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birds eating seedsAre you a Rock or a Bird?

I bet no one’s ever asked you that question before! If you’re looking to influence change in yourself or in anyone else, knowing the difference makes ALL the difference in the world.

As spiritualpreneurs, you and I are definitely change-agents.

 

Listen to this short audio (5 minutes, 53 seconds) I recorded to discover which one you are — Rock or Bird — and its implications for creating change that is natural, easy, and (nearly) effortless.

 


If you’d like a success partner to support you in uncovering how to create positive change in your business, marketing or sales, register for your Better-Than-Free Coaching Consultation.

When you do, you’ll get a valuable free audio-gift to support what you’re up to right away.

_ _ _

Image by Juan Tello, used with permission under a Creative Commons License

Why your business and sales results are scarier than Halloween

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Why your business and sales results are scarier than Halloween

Halloween has never been a truly scary holiday to me.

For one thing, it’s my mom’s birthday, and that’s not very scary :-)

(Happy Birthday, Mom!)

While running errands around town, whether for business or pleasure, it dawned on me that the way people were dressed for Halloween is basically what I see every day in this crazy “Keep Portland Weird” town I live in.

So, no, Halloween isn’t very scary.

Or, even as creative as other get-ups I see walking down the streets every day. LOL

There are situations in which solopreneurs, service providers, and others who inspire and/or heal for a living may find themselves that are definitely scarier than Halloween:

You’re working hard, putting in lots of hours in your business and reaching out to prospects, but no one’s biting

You keep having to explain what it is you do, and still people aren’t getting why they or anyone else need what you offer

Sometimes you ‘get lucky’ and hit a hot streak, but it’s the inconsistency, feast-or-famine cycle that’s getting to you

You go to networking events or leads groups, but you aren’t getting any referrals

You’re thinking you might have to go out and get a “real” job if things don’t pick up soon

You’re feeling desperate because you’re running out of ideas of what to do next to get the cash register to ring

You’re trying to keep your cool, but you feel powerless to (completely) hide your frustration

Not very fun.

It definitely doesn’t feel very good.

And, you’re definitely not alone.

If this resonates with you, and you are struggling in the areas of client attraction or sales, it would be my pleasure to be your sales success partner.  Just fill out this short application to experience a Better-Than-Free Consultation with me.  Just for filling out the application, I will send you a valuable gift that will begin supporting you right away.

The truth is, you CAN make a profit AND make a difference consistently in your life and in the lives of prospects and clients you are meant to serve.

Together, let’s leave the scariness of Halloween and put your current business results back in the nightmares of yesteryear where they belong.

 

* * * Important Caveat: Just a quick note that I do my best work with service-based businesses, specifically healers, bodyworkers, and yogis.  If you fit in one of these categories, you will receive the most value from a Better-Than-Free Coaching Consultation (and from the audio gift you receive when you submit your application).

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image license credit: Attribution Some rights reserved by Capture Queen ™

 

Why gratitude may not be working for you

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Why gratitude may not be working for you

You’ve all heard it before:  To create more abundance in our life, cultivating gratitude for what we already have is key.

I believe this is true.

But, for many grateful people who make it a daily (perhaps many times a day) practice to express gratitude for what they have and what they experience find that more abundance eludes them.

For some, frustration is so great they’ve decided all this Law of Attraction stuff is a bunch of huey and — while they are grateful – they don’t give much thought to how it may or may not improve their lot in life or in their work.

I think this is because their “vibe” is all kinked up.  Their circuits have gone all haywire, such that their inherent magnetic ability to attract the clients and business they want is flowing in the wrong direction.

Some years ago, I attended a Manifestation Workshop.  The facilitator gave a short talk on what Manifestation is, including action steps to deliberately creating what you want in your life or work.

One of the action steps was to cultivate and practice an attitude of gratitude.

In this context, the facilitator asked whether each of us believed we were abundant.  One participant mentioned that she did AND she didn’t; she was ambivalent.

The facilitator offered the thought that if we compared ourselves to Kings who lived even a few hundred years ago, we are far more wealthy and abundant than they.  For example, we can drive a chariot at speeds of over a hundred miles per hour without a horse and we can travel to virtually any place on Earth within a day’s span.

These comparisons are accurate.  We are wealthier than past civilizations.

And yet, comparisons like these just might be the reason why the “Gratitude Vibe” is often kinked.

Remember when a parent told you to eat everything on your plate because there were children in Africa who were starving?

Or, perhaps you were repeatedly exposed to images of the children with bloated stomachs that you could prevent from malnutrition with just 5 cents a day, a sum you earn in 10 minutes that takes a father in the far reaches of China 2 weeks to make?

How did these messages make you feel?

Grateful?

Not usually.

Or, if they did, the gratitude was mixed up with shame and/or guilt because your bounty meant that someone else lacked.  Your abundance meant someone else went without.

How can feelings of joy and abundance flow freely and without restraint when guilt and shame are constant companions?

I was even reading a Law of Attraction Coach’s blog that offered the advice to “Acknowledge that some people don’t even have half of what you do.”

In what way is that conducive to an attitude of gratitude?  It’s no wonder people have such a challenge with abundance and an abundance mentality.

Pure, untainted gratitude might go something like this:

“I am SO grateful for these strawberries I’m eating.  They are SO sweet and delicious.  I love the soft texture and slight crunchiness of the little seeds as I bite down.  It’s the taste of summer and it’s amazing.  What a special treat.”

This is a simple example, but the point is that gratitude for the strawberry has nothing to do with someone else not enjoying a strawberry.  Pure gratitude has to do with what’s happening in the moment, and is grounded in the belief that whatever joy you have or are experiencing is inherently yours.  What others have or don’t have doesn’t enter the equation.

Religions of the world teach prayer as a way to invoke the emotion of gratitude.  But even prayer can be rendered useless if it is simply rote repetition or performed out of a sense of obligation.

Where’s the joy in that?

Besides, the notion that for one person to have abundance another has to have lack is an illusion.

I think of Michael Talbot’s argument for a holographic model of The Universe.  In this model, all that exists in the world is inexhaustible and cannot be depleted – even when it is divided.

Discussion of this is clearly beyond the scope of this short article, but an example of this model is that if a hologram of a flower is cut in half, each half will still be found to contain the entire image of the flower.

In turn, if each of the two halves are themselves cut in half, each of the resultant parts will possess the same information as the original whole.  They themselves are whole, intact versions of the original.

According to Michael Talbot, our entire Universe (and everything in it) is a hologram.

Assuming this is true, it’s absurd the notion that to be grateful is to acknowledge that others go without as a direct consequence of us not going without.

Concern for others and assisting them as we are able are important — essential, even.  And, being grateful doesn’t carry with it condition or justification or contingencies.

Only then, free of binding shackles of obligation or guilt or shame, can we allow abundance to flow to us unencumbered with senseless reasonings and worry.

 Here’s a fun opportunity to exercise your Gratitude Muscle.  Join me in the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge!

What do you think of that assessment of Gratitude?  Can you relate?

Do you have a different definition that works for you?