We can all be successful and make money, but when we die, that ends. But when you are significant is when you help other people be successful. That lasts many a lifetime.”
– Lou Holtz, coach
“… everyone eventually needs to scale back their lifestyle…”
Jolie was an entrepreneur. She was creating her dream business…a new service for seniors. Her dream was to help seniors ‘downsize.’ Jolie was creating a ‘downsizing’ consulting service.
It was for those who needed to scale down their life style, reduce their possessions and reduce their responsibilities so they could manage their life. It was usually initiated by their health, their finances or their family dynamics such as the passing of a spouse.
Jolie had watched her own Mom deal with the trauma of losing her Dad, and losing her lifestyle, all within a year. As she assisted her mother in dealing with the emotional and practical implications of her situation, she came upon the idea this could be a valuable service which could serve others in her community.
As she remarked to me during our first consult, “Everyone eventually becomes disabled in some form and everyone eventually needs to scale back their lifestyle in some form!”
Jolie was turning 50 this year. She was a slight, bright, blue eyed, focused individual with a restlessness about her which suggested she knew where she was going, even if no one else did. She had spent her previous years working in the public service.
She had taken an early retirement package and was now designing her next career. She had been in IT before and now wanted to work with people more, and machines, less.
“You aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy.” – Garth Brooks, musician
“I committed to spend a chunk of money…”
When I asked her how I might serve her, her reply was,
“I think I really screwed up! I’m so new at this ‘entrepreneurship stuff.’ I’ve been working really diligently to set up my new business. Ken, I’m calling it ‘Declutter For Freedom’ (DFF). I have a detailed business plan and have been working on my marketing strategy.”
“Jolie, what happened that suggests you have screwed up?” I asked.
“I hired an internet marketer who seems really skilled and experienced. But, she said I will need to invest in marketing my business…to get my service known out there in my community.” she replied.
“Well, I agreed! I committed to spend a chunk of money, just for marketing , every month, until I get the exposure I need to make my business viable.”
“I don’t have the money, Ken!” she said, sheepishly.
“Jolie, I’ve learned there are no mistakes in life, only learning opportunities. You committed to a marketing plan for your new business because it was what you needed to do to manifest your destiny. It sounds like you may have had the perception creating your business would not have these kinds of challenges…that it would be easy because it is such a great business idea. Is there any truth in that?” I asked.
“So, I didn’t really screw up…I just uncovered a blind spot…”
She paused reflectively before saying,
“Well…sort of! I guess I expected, because my business idea is so ‘cool’, so needed in my community and so valuable to my future clients, that marketing wouldn’t be a big deal! I guess I was…kind of naive, eh?”
“Some people call them ‘blind spots.’ But, take comfort in knowing, we all have them. And, their value is in helping us focus our learning in areas we need for our future.”
“So, I didn’t really screw up…I just uncovered a blind spot…is that the idea, Ken?”
“You got it, Jolie!”
“But, Ken, I still have to find the money to meet my marketing commitment costs.”
“That true. How much do you need to meet your marketing cost?”
“I committed to $200 per month for the foreseeable future. So, I’m currently only short by $200 per month.” she said sarcastically.
“Do you think that is a reasonable figure given what you want to achieve with your business, Jolie?”
“Yes, I trust, Jenna, my marketing gal’s expertise, we discussed it in detail and I think I need to do this to develop, ‘Declutter For Freedom.’”
“Nature always balances give and take, at each moment in our lives.”
“OK! Since there are no mistakes in nature and you have a certainty about your decision that suggests when you’re committed to paying out $200 this month on marketing you must have received its equivalent in some form back. Nature always balances give and take, at each moment in our lives.” I suggested to her.
“Really? Are you serious?” she said with surprise surfacing on her face like a 5 am warm summer dawn on an eastern sea coast.
“Skepticism is healthy, it facilitates our learning. Let’s check it out. Go to the moment when you committed yourself to this expenditure.”
“That would have been at the meeting with Jenna, when I agreed to her recommendation. It was about 10 AM, two weeks ago in her little office down town. There was just the two of us discussing it over a coffee.”
“OK! Go back to that moment in your mind, two weeks ago. Close your eyes and relive it.” I said.
Jolie sat back in her chair, closed her eyes and slouched down relaxing into the memory.
I continued, “Recall the rest of your life at that moment, recall what else was going on for you at that very same moment. Look around and notice where you received, in some form, something concrete or abstract, which in your value system, was the equivalent of your marketing expenditure. It has to be there, it is a law of physics…a law of nature!”
“Do what you love and the money will follow.” – Marsha Sinetar, writer
“I found it! It was there all the time…I was compensated perfectly,…”
She was very quiet for a few moments. Her eyes, under her closed lids, scanned back and forth searching.
Then she said, “I remember I was picking up my Mom later to take her grocery shopping. I enjoy that, we have fun. And, I had a dentist appointment after that.”
“What else was going on in your life that day, Jolie? How were you compensated at that very moment for your marketing expenditure of $200 per month.”
Her eyes, under her lids, kept searching.
“Well, one thought which keeps coming up is I decided for the next six months to get the marketing money from my savings account…I decided I was going to invest $1200 in my own business. But…”
She paused here very briefly, then continued with her thought, sneaking a slight significant sniffle, at the same time,
“Ah,…there it is! I found it! It was there all the time…I was compensated perfectly, Ken.”
All money is a matter of belief.” – Adam Smith, economist
“… I was, in a way…creating something that honours her.”
“I realized at that moment, by investing in my business from my own savings, I was acknowledging my Mom and her love for me. Because I was, in a way…creating something that honours her.”
Then, she added, smiling,
“And, my Mom has been trying to hire me to vacuum and dust her place now and then. I told her she doesn’t have to hire me, I would be glad to do it. But, she said it frees her from worrying about it being a burden if she pays me something. So, my income could go up a little if I really need it, eh?”
“Nice awareness, Jolie! So, I’m wondering, if looking back now, were you compensated with an equilibrating benefit to the cost of your marketing expenditure?”
“I sure was, Ken! Maybe over-compensated…is that possible?”
“Nope, not possible, Jolie! You are probably ignoring other downsides or costs occurring at that moment. Any ideas?”
“Sure, how about the worry about after I’ve paid out for six months or what if it doesn’t work what will I do then, and so on…I get it now, Mother Nature is so cool!”
Jolie is still building her dream business, ‘Declutter For Freedom.’ But, her certainty about it, and her decisiveness around it, have grown. She is on track for her future with a new ability to uncover the 50/50 of every moment of her life. As she noted to me one day, she feels, “positively-dangerous!”
“You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset.” – Tom Hopkins, businessman
Until Next time…
Now you know, every second of your life is a perfect balance of gain and loss, support and challenge, pleasure and pain. As you uncover this duality law in critical memories of your own life, it releases your gratitude, certainty and love for yourself and your life! Be skeptical but check it out. You cannot regret such an action.
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Be well…balanced! Ken
Further information: www.kenpiercepsychologist.com