Last week, Sonia, a phenomenal client of mine, sent me the email below. We’ve worked together for four months to transition from the corporate world into her business, where she trains leaders and manages conflict in companies. She’s so pretty I screen-grab her face every time we Skype.
I feel she’s a cross between Angelina and J-lo with her fierce
We ditched corporate speak, broke habits like writing long emails that say nothing, and got her back to BEING HERSELF, the most valuable skill of all. Unfortunately, formal education and the corporate world tenaciously trained her out of that one.
Thanks, “real” world.
Here’s her email (with permission to share):
“OK here’s my update for the week of ACTION!!! Not bad so far right?
1. Wrote a blog on leadership – you saw this on Facebook.
2. Emailed X for advice on coaching – she’s certified and helped me before.
3. Attended X event last night, met entrepreneurs, got free resources to use.
4. I’m listening to Think & Grow Rich audio book on my phone.
5. Reading “You are a Badass,” BEST BOOK EVER. I feel like I wrote it!
6. Journaling about $$, how I want my life to look, getting rid of ugly beliefs.
7. Coaching a friend for a month to get practice, feedback, confidence, a testimonial, AND hopefully sign on as client for next three months :)
I kid you not, it’s 180 different from how she sounded in her first email – here’s part of that email.
“I’m in transition mode, making little money for the work I’m doing and I’m hired on a contract basis. I feel thrown under the rug, they pay me less but want more work done and it AGGRAVATES ME. It’s a good opportunity, but I’m not valued…I know what I want, but I just don’t know how to get there. I’m struggling being ALL in. They don’t get back to me. I’m ambitious and enthusiastic, but why don’t they utilize and pay me what I’m worth?!! I’ve been put under the radar and I’m not sure what to do anymore. There’s so much I could do but when I suggest it, it doesn’t go anywhere. This isn’t a situation I want to be in, I can’t go on feeling depleted and still try to make the rest of my life work.”
Oof. It’s still hard to read that, even knowing that her world is different now.
I take it personally when someone feels stunted and suppressed, especially when you both know how much potential they have. Nothing pisses me off more.
Feeling frustrated, misunderstood, and under-utilized day in and day out, is maddening.
That’s why I’m committed to helping myself and others so that you’re never in a position like this, at least for long.
You knowing your capacity is what allows you to pull yourself in and out of positions in the world so that they work for YOU.
Back to the lecture at hand, as Snoop says.
Now Sonia makes more money than she’s ever made, has strong client testimonials, has contracts with two companies with a new one underway, and she’s no longer depleted, suppressed, or feels overlooked by life; she’s got confidence and pride now.
Let’s look closer at her 180 and see what contributed to the positive transformation; it’s powerful to look directly at what has changed and not to just keep doing business as usual.
- In her original email, Sonia felt like a victim and blamed the company because she felt wronged by them. Now she says, “I’ll send them a contract this week so they can find out how to pay me with company politics.” NO blame. Even existing company politics and drama won’t stop her from getting PAID.
- Another text: “It went well! I’ll send them my rates so they can decide how to pay me.” She’s closing deals because we wanted to focus on money and PRACTICE asking. Making money is a PART of service; it invites dollars into your life in the right way. Saying “money doesn’t matter” isn’t helpful. It does matter, a lot. Money is like a post-it or pen; you need it to do good work. Without it, all the pats on the back are useless. External results matter, especially in moments where action and results have been lacking. Money is a clear sign you’re taking action; because even with sky-high self-esteem, there’s no substitute for real results when you need them.
- Initially, Sonia had given up hope for things to get better, which led her to not take action. This no-man’s land of wanting things to be different, but not taking control, kept her angry, apathetic, complaining. Look at her email now; she’s an action monster! Another text, “Literally everything is exploding! Lol not in a bad way.” The universe is saying, “I see you, Sonia.” All her consistent action magnetizes opportunities and people to her. “People are coming to me now.” They’ll keep coming.
When you pull focus off them and put it on how YOU win in each moment, you become a magnet.
- Sonia wasn’t used to taking personal responsibility, which led to unsatisfying results. Now she’s getting mentored like crazy. She’s not afraid to get feedback – here’s last week’s text: “She’s founder of X company. I asked for a raise before I started working and they thought I was an idiot because I quoted a different rate before. Oops.” Mistakes are par for the course in business and we’ll make 100 more just like it. Even though she’s embarrassed, she’s open to feedback and doesn’t stay in shame. Make mistake, get guidance, course correct, move on. Repeat 1000 times.
- She takes RISKS. Some pan out, some don’t. She knows she’s building courage muscles while falling flat on her face. It’s THE thing you do as a beginner, FALL FLAT on your face. Try it, there’s nothing like it!
- She gets her MINDSET right, always step #1. Skip it and you’ll always be doing stuff without it ever working. Think reflecting on “ugly” beliefs is fun or easy? Sonia’s doing the hard work of consistently motivating herself and re-grooving her brain.
- She gains experience in her craft and hones her skills. Taking clients on for free and feeling weird? Who cares? Call it “pro bono” and do what you need to do to make it work for you. She’s not afraid to get what she needs when she needs it.
Now her texts are a pleasure. She’s substituted giving up power for confidence:
“I *&#$ing nailed it gaha!”
“X agreed that we’d exhausted our current terms and said we would renegotiate our contract.”
“I raised my rates since last time, and the price shocked her a bit, but she’s on board. Just needs approval from X.”
Don’t forget, these winners have a larger context. Most of our texts sound like this, “I feel like such an infant…” “I screwed up the meeting,” “I want to be real, but I gotta retrain my brain to be MYSELF with people professionally because it’s messed up!”
Most of it is uncomfortable and you do feel like an infant at the beginning.
That doesn’t mean you don’t do it.
That means you practice what Sonia and I practice: Are you taking full ownership for your life and how good or dissatisfied you feel? What are YOU doing to get ideal results? How can you reframe it so you WIN, no matter the outcome?
In 2 weeks Sonia will speak on stage with me at a leadership assembly we’re putting on for 200 minority 6th-12th grade girls in Detroit. These girls are taught to nod, smile, be quiet, and have Plan B’s in case Plan A’s fail. “Get your plan B ready in case your Plan A’s don’t work?!” Are you KIDDING ME. Right. Let’s teach these MILLION WATTS of potential that it’s not worth aiming high or even trying, that failure is inevitable, and that we’ve already given up on them. While we’re at it, let’s tell them they’ll never *really* get what they want because the world doesn’t want to give it to them anyway.
UGH. I want to hurl thinking about the power locked inside them that the world is telling them to stuff down. Inappropriate. Totally INEXCUSABLE.
So how great is it that only four months ago Sonia gave up her power, and now in two weeks she’ll teach these girls how to stop doing it and instead feel confident?
It’s crazy to me how the more you access your power, the better rocket fuel you are to help others do the same.
It won’t be easy, but it’s not impossible. You see how Sonia went from feeling like it wasn’t (she sounded like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh in her original email!) to now living a different life KNOWING what she’s capable of.
Wherever you are right now, if you gave up control or played the blame game, look at where you can take your power back. Where could you be rocket fuel but aren’t taking action? I’m not saying it’s always possible or easy to see the opportunity, but more than likely it’s there waiting for you to claim it.