Storytelling: The #1 Way to Create Rapport with Your Prospects

Written by Carla Rieger on . Posted in Build Your Expert Business, Free Stuff, Network Marketing, Public Speaking, Storytelling, Success Stories, Upcoming Events

The #1 way to create rapport and emotional connection is…..to become a GREAT storyteller.  It’s one of the most powerful communication tools to grow your business quickly. Whether you present your offers 1-to-1 or to groups, and whether it’s online or offline, a story will capture attention like nothing else.

Here’s an example

One of my clients, Patty, was a financial planner and mindset coach. She was feeling burned out by her marketing efforts. They weren’t working and she was waking up wondering if it was all really worth it. Do you ever get like that?

She was close to calling it quits. Then we worked together to explore her purpose, her mission and her WHY for doing her business.  Through questioning and introspection we were able to dig down to her core purpose. That alone revived her motivation. Then we explored her “back story” on her purpose that she could share with prospective clients.

Her mission, purpose and WHY was to free people from worrying about finances so they could enjoy their lives and relationship so much more. Then I asked her to tell me her “back story” on that. I asked such questions as,

  • What happened to make that true?
  • Why have you chosen this business focus over all the other ones you could have chosen?
  • What happened in your childhood, or during your formative years?
  • What was a challenge you overcame that made you passionate about this?

She started telling me about coming from a family that argued when money was tight. Sound familiar? When money was good, they were happy together. Her parents got along, the kids got attention, and they did outings together. When money was tight they argued, the kids felt neglected and they didn’t do anything fun together.

As a child, she made a strong decision that she would grow up to be financially free. That way those negative experiences wouldn’t happen to her. Guess what happened? When she started her own family, she noticed a similar pattern. Arguing when money was tight, and happiness when money was good. She then realized that it wasn’t so much the money, as the feeling behind the money. That was about feeling secure, and like she could live the life she wanted.

A mentor taught her that in addition to learning how to run a profitable business, she needed to learn how to run a prosperous mind. Patty learned how to generate feelings of security, choice and abundance and noticed that helped attract the actual life of prosperity she wanted. It was such a revelation to her that she taught this principle to her family. It made a difference. Then she taught it to her clients, and it became her differentiating factor. Her tagline became We help families become financially free inside and out.

Patty wrote out and memorized a version of that story, and started telling it to people individually and during public speaking opportunities. She also used it on her website, in blog posts and in her social media profiles. Instead of being just one more financial planner, she was not highlighting this unique focus. It attracted like-minded people, so her business filled up with people who had similar values and were open to mindset expansion. Her passion ignited a passion in others, and her client base exploded.

 

3 benefits of WHY Stories

#1 – Prospects like, know and trust you more: Because your WHY story includes your mission, values and purpose, they tend to like, know and trust you more. That is, of course, if they are a good fit for your offerings.

#2 – Stories help bypass people’s objections: Stories bypass the discriminatory, judgmental mind. Most people have their guard up when listening to offers from salespeople. When they listen to your story they listen from the imaginative part of the brain. That way they are less likely to overlay a previous bad experience with someone else, onto you.  In addition, it makes them more open to new possibilities for their life.

#3 – Stories make you more memorable. Have you ever been to a business presentation that was all facts and theories — boring, right? People hear facts from the logical part of their brain, where the short term memory resides. They hear stories from the imaginative part of the brain, where the long term memory resides. Your prospects don’t need to know every single fact and feature. They want to know WHY they should take an interest. When you tell them your WHY story, it stirs their imagination so they can see themselves getting the benefits of your offer.

 

How Can I Create a WHY Story?

Here’s some first steps. By the way, you can create a WHY story on more than one aspect of your business, such as one on a particular product or service, and one on your overall business mission.

 

Ask yourself 3 questions.

 

  1. Why do you love the products or services you offer so much?
  2. What made you choose to focus so much time and attention on this business as opposed to all the other possible things you could be doing with your time?
  3. What is your ultimate vision that this business is helping you achieve? What is at the deep core of what drives you?”

Make notes, and then pick one of those WHYs: the one that has the biggest importance for you today. Now this is still in concept form and my question to you is “what is your backstory on that?”

  • What happened to make that true?
  • Why have you chosen this business over all the other ones you could have chosen?
  • What happened in your childhood, or during your formative years?
  • Was there a challenge you overcame that made you passionate about this?

Are you now excited and can’t wait to start telling people your WHY story?  Or, is something is holding you back? Maybe you are afraid that your story won’t be good enough.  Maybe you have never done anything like this before and you just need more help to get it done.

No worries, help is on the way. Check out my FREE webinar on:

Storytelling in Business:

7 Tips for Increasing Your Referrals, Income and Success

Here you will find a step-by-step process for creating your WHY story, and how to use metaphors, examples and anecdotes to magnetize ideal prospects.

You can do this! Learn how to reach people’s heart with your story and your business will flourish. Choose today to create one new story, and you will be so thankful you did.

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Do you already have a great WHY story? If so, how do you use it and how as it helped your business grow? If not, what questions do you have about this topic? Feel free to add your comments below.

 

 

 

Do You Ever Have Fear of Failure as a Presenter? 3 Ways to Break Free

Written by Carla Rieger on . Posted in Free Stuff, Mindsets for Success, Public Speaking

Break Free From Fear

My first speaking engagement was in front of 1400 students. It was at a campus in New York City. The gym was steaming hot and packed to the brim with skeptical 18 year olds. I’d never spoken to more than 12 people at one time. I had sweaty palms, shaking hands, a pounding chest, and adrenaline coursing through my veins. On top of that, I completely forgot what I wanted to say. I had memorized my whole script, but where was it when I needed it?

I had almost the exact same physical reaction the first time I led a webinar, 20 years later, even though I’d been doing public speaking for years. The truth is, the first time you do ANYTHING that’s important to you, there’s a natural fear of failure. You tend to make more mistakes the first time you try something rather than the tenth time. Most people don’t like to fail. They associate it with danger. For example, losing face, losing friends or losing a job. All those physical and mental symptoms are a sign you’re “triggered”. You survival brain is being overactive. The trick is to know how to change how your brain is operating in those high pressure situations.

 

Whether you give presentations online or live, to one person or to many, anxiety is a very common experience. There are several reasons for this, and those reasons will be different for different people. Usually, however, the top reason is a fear of failure. Typically people will run stories in their mind from their past. They will hone in on times when they were criticized, invalidated or deemed unworthy of people’s attention.

In 25 years of public speaking and 15 years of coaching people on public speaking and researching this subject, here are what I consider to be the top 3 ways to transform a fear of failure:

  1. Actual Rehearsal: Practice not only to become more comfortable with your material, but to experience the range of emotions that come with giving presentations. Rehearse in front of colleagues or a coach who will give you constructive feedback. Steve Jobs reportedly became a world-class presenter through massive rehearsing.  Few speakers rehearse more than once. Consider rehearsing your presentation 5x as much as you think you need. Carmine Gallo writes in his excellent book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs (McGraw-Hill 2010). “His preparation time is legendary among those closest to him.” Gallo’s book shows how Jobs began preparing weeks in advance, and typically spent two full days rehearsing, asking for feedback, making adjustments, and tightening his flow.
  2. Mentally Rehearsal: In Small Message, Big Impact, author Terri L. Sjodin recommends visualizing how you will feel during your presentation and afterwards. By visualizing a job well-done, you replace negative self-talk and put the whole experience in perspective–as one event among many. If you join my Presentation Prosperity Facebook Group, you’ll find a free Mental Rehearsal audio MP3 you can download for free. Listen to it right before you give a presentation and it will calm you right down and increase your confidence.
  3. Rewrite Limiting Subconscious Beliefs: Often fears of failure are based on past experiences. Here is a powerful way to assign a new meaning to those experiences. It’s a timeline audio MP3 process to help you Overcome a Fear of Failure. Usually, people fear failure in an area where they made a mistake in the past and suffered negative consequences. Then they are afraid to try again. Often, the way to transform that fear is to go back to that incident, with a wiser perspective, and a more forgiving heart, and free yourself up from the bonds of that fear. Try out this free MP3 audio, which is a short self hypnosis guided meditation. You can either listen lying down, or, you can actually walk the timeline as you listen. Find a place in your home where there’s room to move.  People often say, that was amazing, I felt so much more free and a deeper sense of peace and confidence to move forward like never before. I wish I had this technique years ago.

What have I missed? 

Here are other things the experts say that help overcome a fear of failure:

  • Get enough sleep for a few days ahead
  • Thoroughly check out the technology you’ll be using a day ahead
  • Lightly exercise a few hours before the presentation
  • Never, ever drink alcohol before your appearance
How have you managed the fears of public speaking?

 

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FREE SELF HYPNOSIS PROCESS: Try the timeline audio MP3 process to help you Overcome a Fear of Failure. It’s a free MP3 audio, a short self hypnosis guided meditation. You can either listen lying down, or, you can actually walk the timeline as you listen. Find a place in your home where there’s room to move.  People often say, that was amazing, I felt so much more free and a deeper sense of peace and confidence to move forward like never before. I wish I had this technique years ago. Enjoy!

 

 

Top Presenters Use “Mind Stories” to Engage and Activate Their Listeners

Written by Carla Rieger on . Posted in Free Stuff, Mindsets for Success, Personal Growth, Public Speaking, Storytelling, Success Stories

presenters

story-book-pages-flyingA “Mind Story” engages listeners at the level of values and core beliefs. As such these kinds of stories can activate people in positive ways. By contrast, a regular story told by a presenter might be interesting but doesn’t change people at a core level.

For example, you may remember the book series “Chicken Soup for the Soul” by Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield. These books included stories that touch people at the level of soul, heart, emotions, values. You may like some of these stories and not others. It depends on your values and personality. However, stories that just appeal to the linear, logical, analytical mind tend to not stick with people in the same way.

Mind Stories are metaphors, anecdotes or stories that reprogram people for good or bad. Therefore, you must use them responsibly. They work much like software in a computer and are a universal language everyone understands at the subconscious level. Therapists and counsellors have been using Therapeutic Metaphors for decades. For example, if a client is dealing with the untimely death of a spouse, the therapist might tell the story of a rose garden with two roses. One gets dug up and removed to another location, and what transpires because of that. In hearing the story, often the client will find a new and more helpful perspective on their situation that they might not otherwise be able to see.  You can use Mind Stories to help students solve problems, help coaching clients transform an issue, and even sell products and services that your prospects need.

Mind Stories are usually better than common sales talk.  In a Mind Story you relate real life instances to real people, thereby showing them how the benefits might play out their life. They see the product as a solution instead of simply a commodity. They make the buying decision it’s the right fit for them versus feeling manipulated. As a result, there is far less buyers regret.

Mind Stories also show us how to change our perspective at will, and break us free of programming that’s keeping us stuck. That’s why using a Mind Story as a speaker at a live event, on a webinar, in a video, with a coaching or consulting client and in a sales conversation, is good for you and for the listener. As long as what you’re teaching or promoting holds value for the listener, these kinds of stories will help clear up misunderstandings and objections.

You can also use Mind Stories for your own personal and professional development. The stories we tell ourselves can make or break our success. For example, I had two coaching clients who were both speaking at the same event. One was telling herself a story about how she wasn’t ready and how the audience wasn’t going to like her talk. The other client was telling himself a different story. It was about how he WAS ready and how the audience was going to love his talk. During our rehearsals the first client fell to pieces and the second client did very well. The story you tell yourself greatly affects your performance.

With my first client we worked on two new Mind Stories. One from her past, where she relived a public speaking success from the year before. I also helped her mentally rehearse how she wanted it to go, thereby creating a new story for her future. As a result, her performance on the actual day was 10x better and people got tremendous value from her talk.

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If you’d like to check out a free process to build good Mind Stories for yourself, check out The Memory Imprint Journal HERE.

 

 

 

 

The Speaker Marketing Course – 5-Step System to Skyrocket Your Income and Influence through Speaking

Written by Carla Rieger on . Posted in Public Speaking, Speaker Marketing, Upcoming Events

STARTS TUESDAY, MAY 9, 2017

This is a LIVE online course that is once a week for an hour on Zoom.

It’s for 5 weeks, plus you get access to a 5-Module membership site that includes—videos, audios and fill-in-the-blanks templates.

Plus you get access to a Facebook Group where you can hear about opportunities.

THE SPEAKER MARKETING COURSE is 5-Step System to Skyrocket Your Income and Influence through Speaking

https://courses.carlarieger.com/speaker-marketing-course-197

Join our community of speakers and emerging speakers as we go step-by-step through a 5 Module online course, to get you booked. You can live anywhere with internet.

The more you are out there speaking, the more you can make difference with your message AND having the income and lifestyle you most desire.

It’s a certificate program for how to promote both professional and platform speakers.

On special now until Monday, May 9th
Instead of $1350, it’s only $497 USD

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?

  • If you are just entering the world of speaking this will help you get the kind of speaking opportunity to launch you
  • If you’ve been on the speaking circuit for a while you will discover insider secrets that even some top speakers don’t know.
  • If you are an author, coach, consultant, business owner or network marketer – then public speaking gigs will grow your business exponentially
  • If you are wanting to make your living as a motivational speaker, this course will show you how to get those keynote gigs
  • This course is also good for agents and speaker assistantswho want to become certified in Speaker Marketing

DON’T YOU NEED TO BE A CELEBRITY TO BE A SPEAKER?

There are 1000’s of meeting planners everyday looking for speakers. Only a fraction of them have the budgets to pay for celebrity speakers. Even a local celebrity in their niche, like a top performing realtor, can easily charge $10,000 or more. A well-known actor, might charge $50,000. The rest of those meeting planners are looking for NON celebrity speakers, so that’s 90% of the meetings industry.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE LOTS OF CREDENTIALS?

Some people think you need a PhD or lots of credentials to be a speaker. If you’re speaking at an astrophysics conference, then maybe. But, again, those kinds of events are only a small fraction of what’s happening in the meetings industry. Many top speakers don’t even have a college education. They haven’t been the president of a multi-national company, nor appeared onSurvivor. They are everyday people who figured out a problem people have and their topic helps solve it. For example, a parent who raised a child with autism and now helps other parents with a similar challenge.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A SPEECH WRITTEN YET?

This is a common question I get. People think they should write a speech BEFORE getting a speaking engagement. But the opposite is true. Most people who launch themselves as speakers, create a description, get booked, and THEN create the speech. Otherwise people back burner their speaking career forever. Without a date, there is no urgency, no specific audience in mind to create it for. If you book a speaking engagement then you have a deadline to get you into action and a specific time period, focus and audience in mind when you create it. MUCH easier! Usually meeting planners book speakers 3-6 months in advance. So, if you take the course now, and book something 4 months from, then you have all that time still to get ready for it. Think what you might be missing out on in terms of income, credibility, confidence building, referrals, and career growth if you keep waiting until you. If you are looking at this program, you are more ready than you think you are. You can start small and easy. For example, doing a small lunch and learn for 12 people. It will galvanize you into action in a wonderful way.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A BOOK WRITTEN YET?

Similar to the answer above. Many people make the mistake of waiting until they write a book, thinking this will help them get booked. Again, the opposite is true. Only 3 out of the top paid speakers of all time ever had a book when they first started out. I was a full time paid speaker for 10 years before I had a book. Books take an enormous amount of time, energy and money to create. Instead, get a speaking engagement, write a speech, give the presentation many times over. Improve it based on audience feedback. THEN, write a book. Most people write a book without any audience or reader feedback, and then wonder why it doesn’t do well. Speaking is one of the best ways to do market research and really serve people.

HOW DOES THE COURSE WORK?

The course is virtual so you can access it anywhere in the world as long as you have internet. As soon as you register, you will get login details. You can start right away or you can get it now and wait until you have have free time. You can watch videos online, or download and listen via audio. It will get you excited with ideas. Then take 30 minutes where possible to do the fill-in-the-blanks handouts for each module. It’s a step-by-step formula for dramatically improving your income through speaking, without being salesy or inauthentic. This simple, step-by-step process will help you magically move meeting planners from “interested” to “ready to invest in you”.

WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS AS I GO THROUGH THE COURSE?

There are several ways to have those questions addressed. You can ask questions under each video using comments. When you do, you earn points and get incremental rewards all along the way. If you get up to 250 points or more you win individual coaching. Secondly, there is a Facebook page for the group, where you can ask questions and get feedback that others can also contribute to. Thirdly, you’re going to be invited to Facebook live calls. If you miss it, you’ll still be able to catch up with the recording later.

WHAT’S MAKES THIS COURSE DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS?

This program tends to get a lot more results for people, because of our points system and Facebook lives. It keeps you focused and prioritizing what’s important you. In fact, this is about taking the small, regular steps that lead to success. If you’ve done any programs before that don’t help you get into action, that’s when you can get frustrated. This will help you get the ball rolling, and then the whole journey will take on an exciting life of its own. This is a tried-and-true system based on the expertise of many people who’ve been earning an excellent living from speaking for several decades now.

HOW DO I REGISTER?

Click HERE to get it at 63% off the regular price.

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Here’s the bottom line…

If you’re reading this, I know you have a message share, and you want more income as well.

I know the pain of having people say the “you should be out there in a much bigger way—your message is so important!.”

I know the daily discomfort of KNOWING your work SHOULD be out there in a big way, and it’s not.

I’m laying this at your feet so that if you’re ready to go BIG, you can. And if you’re not, you can use this as an opportunity to be honest about that and move forward in another direction, with what DOES light you up!

Let me show you how to move from ONE-ON-ONE service to ONE-ON-MANY being a speaker who is highly sought after and highly compensated for making a difference in the world.

I’m offering for the very first time 63% off. If you use what I teach you to get JUST ONE speaking engagement, you can recoup your investment many times over. Join us and take a step closer to your dreams.

The Mindset of Top Speakers – 3 Illusions to Avoid so You Can Be Your Best Self

Written by Carla Rieger on . Posted in Making a Difference, Mindsets for Success, Miscellaneous, Personal Growth, Public Speaking, Videos

Carla Rieger Private Coaching

Here are 3 common myths or illusions that cause people to suffer on their journey as a speaker, and how you can transform them.

By definition, if you have your own business, or you are an independent sales rep, you ARE a speaker. Whether you’re  speaking one-to-one, or to groups, it’s the same psychological process. If you think of life 200 years ago, most people’s daily activities would be physical labour – building cottages, washing clothes, working in the fields. Today, if you have your own business, it’s often about SPEAKING, writing and thinking….such as tapping away on devices, talking to video cameras, conversing at meetings.
 
That’s a radical shift in a very short period of time in how humans spend their day
The evolution of our brains is still catching up with this change in daily activities. All this to say, SPEAKING is a huge part of what pays the bills. The thinking behind that speaking or writing ….is therefore a huge part of your success. Yet, many people are not getting the training necessary around that THINKING. For example, you’ve probably seen this phenomenon. One person can get on the phone and totally win a person over with how they’re being. And another person, expressing the exact same thing, to the same person, can leave the person feeling flat, uninterested or confused. What’s the difference?

What makes one person able to win people over  and another can’t?

You might say it’s the person’s skill level or their experience. Sure, that can help. But I remember years ago, the very first personal development course I ever did was called, The Mastery of Self-Expression. It had such a profound effect on my life that I went on to take their leadership development program and learn how to teach it myself. Here’s the premise. It’s a weekend workshop. Before you arrive you have to memorize five minutes of something: a poem, a monologue from a play, something you wrote. Then one-by-one during the weekend, each person gets up on stage and delivers it.  If the audience was moved, inspired, excited, responsive to you, you would get the thumbs up from the teacher and you could sit down.

However, if you left people confused, uninterested, or turned off, you had to stay up on stage and do it over and over again until you got that enlivened response . Have you ever done a program like that? The workshop would sometimes go until four in the morning. Some people would be on stage for hours with the instructor coaching them past all the layers of identity and programming that blocked them from just being real in the moment with people.

People with the most public speaking experience often have the most trouble being ON

The irony was that often the people who were stuck on stage for the longest time unable to connect, had the most public speaking experience. They were trained actors, university professors, or Toastmasters. They had developed a public speaking persona that was blocking their true self. Conversely, sometimes a person who’d never done public speaking, would do their piece and get a standing ovation.

Being connected to your true self AND having public speaking skills is the best combination

That’s not to say technique, experience isn’t necessary. But who you are BEING, that raw truthfulness, COMBINED with skill and strategy is the way to go. The problem is that it’s so easy to lose that essence. There are many things in our society designed to squash it. Many people picked up programs as a child that are looping in the subconscious mind, blocking that real connection.

What is it that frees you enough to make a real connection with a person?

Here’s an example. It’s my turn on stage at The Mastery of Self Expression workshop. I memorized a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning called, How Do I Love Thee? I had just finished a degree in English literature and she was my favourite 19th century poet. In fact, I had just spend the 4 years leading up to this point embroiled in my studies at university, head down, cloistered in libraries, no social life, working all the time. The poem starts:

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways. 

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach,

I recite my poem putting as much expression into it as I can muster. When I’m done, there is silence. No applause. I see a few people yawning and checking the time. The instructor says – how was that for you? That question was the kiss of death. You know you bombed when they ask you THAT question.

It was okay.

What made you choose that poem?Have you ever loved someone in that way?

Although I had a boyfriend at the time, both of us had been studying so hard at school we rarely had a chance to see each other. Did I love him in that way? I thought…no. I shake my head.

Would you like to love someone in that way?

Silence.

Yes.

I could feel the tears start rolling down my cheeks. The truth was, I’d completely ignored my emotional life for years in favour of building my logical, analytical, academic mind. My emotional self was an abandoned child in a dark room, shut away for bad behaviour. In my family, there was no room for emotions. They were very academic and goal oriented, Any time I was emotional as a child, I was made to stay in my room until I could to behave properly – no sadness or anger, no boisterous, happy laughter either. An UN-emotional state was the only state that was allowed in our household.

So there I am, tears running down my cheeks in front of an entire room full of people, which to me felt very dangerous. To the childlike self, that meant I was going to get shut in my room for a very long time, exiled from the family, made to feel ashamed of my feelings. But in this environment, for the very first time in my life, that emotion was welcomed. It was a very bizarre experience for me.

Start the poem again from that place.

And I started the poem again – How do I Love Thee? Let me count the ways. And as I did,  I realized it wasn’t a poem I wanted to share to a lover, it was for my emotional self, that child locked in the bedroom who was feeling so unloved and unappreciated for who she was. By the time I finished that poem, the entire room of 83 people were on their feet applauding, cheering. They were cheering not only for me, but  for themselves, for their own journey. Because every time you watched someone on stage go on that journey, you went on that journey with them, too. The people who went up on stage at the beginning of the workshop did a lot of the hard work for the people near the end.

No matter where you are on your journey of speaking, we all need reminders

We all need a place to come where we can get permission to be our true self, to have compassion for the ongoing struggles of trying to have  an authentic connection with people in a world that tries to shut that down over and over again. I have workshops, courses, coaches and books I go to regularly to re-inspire me on that, and you might to. The person I was before I did that workshop and after is a totally different person. Yet, I know other people who did that workshop and felt that it was a waste of their time. What’s the common denominator?  It’s the person taking it, the meaning they give it, where they are in their life at that moment and what they are open to. I took that workshop when I was at the end of my tether.  I was feeling so dead inside, and was desperate for a more vibrant experience of life. I was ready. Now, does this mean you need to cry on stage when speaking? Absolutely not. In a professional speaking environment you want to a find that balance where you’re emotionally present for people, but not overcome with the emotion. You are in partnership with the emotion rather than owned by it. Therefore, a workshop environment where it’s safe to explore that, is the best. For example, we off that for speakers and emerging speakers in our Inner Circle Mastermind VIP Program.

Accurate Thinking

Accurate Thinking  allows you to be emotionally available for people so you can build your business and income in a way that feels on purpose. You may have heard that term. It’s from Napoleon Hill’s book – Think and Grow Rich. The basic premise is that a lot of things we think to be true about life, are actually not true. Even universal laws for living a “right living” somehow get distorted through history. Let me give you a few examples.

Illusion #1 – I can get through life without being vulnerable

I did a diploma in international conflict resolution, and then these skills in various companies and organizations.  Often they were multicultural work environments, so I had to learn the values and perceptions of different cultures when it came to resolving conflict. In one company there were many people from Japan and they were all in a leadership role. They had the concept of needing to save face. It’s a strong value in other cultures, too. It’s the idea that you must avoid having people see your shortcomings, failures and mistakes. You must at all times appear perfect. I was listening to the great philosopher-poet David Whyte, who spoke recently at the  Conference.  He says, to be a leader is to lose face constantly. I think that’s so true. I remember saying to my Assistant, “What can I improve on as your boss?”  This look of relief came over her face. I said, “You might need some time to think about it.”  She didn’t need any time, she had a big list of things. It’s the same with being a parent. Especially when your kids hit their teenage years. They know your every vulnerability. Another common situation is with your spouse or life partner. Have you ever shared a big insight you finally had into a flaw in your character, something that was in your blind spot? And your partner says to you, I could’ve told you that years ago.

It’s very hard to be successful if you’re always trying to “save face”

You especially can’t save face if you’re going to share your offers with the world, or speak about them individually or to groups. Because people are smart, they can see all your issues etched across your face, in the way you crinkle your eyes, in the way you breathe, in the slight tonality of your voice changing in the moment. We are experts, and maybe not consciously but unconsciously, we know what’s really going on for a person. That’s why a lot of people get so nervous public speaking, because they know that listeners are going to really SEE them. Your self doubts are going to show. The places you don’t believe in yourself are going to show. Therefore, the best defence is to go right into the heart of those places and own them completely. Once you do that, you can use Accurate Thinking to break you free. Which brings us to the next common illusion that seems to trap a lot of people.

Illusion #2 – Everything should always be growing in a positive direction

This is one of those Law of Attraction, or Universal Laws, that easily gets distorted.  Then, it can start working against you instead of for you. If you look in the natural world, especially if you live in non-tropical areas of the world; there are seasons. Half the year things are growing, there’s sunshine, there is progress. And half the year there’s death, decay, destruction, coldness, maybe lack of sun. Of course, that’s true in all areas of life. Sometimes your finances are growing, and then there is an ebb, a tightening of finances. Then it comes up again, and goes down and comes up. Same with your business growth. If you’ve been in business long enough you see that there is always a natural ebb and flow to your health, to your finances, to your relationships, to your mood. Yet when things go down, there’s this inner conflict that can happen. Where you start fighting with reality.

This shouldn’t be happening!

There must be something wrong with me!

I must change it as soon as possible.

But sometimes, it’s just the natural ebb of life, and during those times, just take advantage of it. You can do things in times of “ebb”, that you can’t do when the tide is high, and things are flowing.  I was talking to a friend the other day who grew up her whole life in the Bahamas, and just moved a few years ago to Vancouver. People always say to her, you must miss the sun, because it rains here a lot! And she says, no not at all. It can be oppressive to live in sunshine all the time,. For example, I was never able to wear a coat, or wear boots. I lived my entire life in a summer dresses and sandals. All year long. I still get to do that part of the year here, but part of the year I love bundling up and going outside with an umbrella. It’s different. It makes me go inside myself more. The “winters of life” are a time of reflection, breaking down of the old, going into periods of fallow ground where nothing much is happening. That way, come springtime, you can have a true creative reemergence. If you live in summer all the time, you never take those times to regroup, to let go of the old, to get back to the zero point, fallow ground of yourself where all creativity is born. On top of that, you you can stay stuck in a stagnant place creatively if you never let yourself go to that ground of your being.

A sense of humor is a powerful spiritual discipline

The Dali Lama says that developing a sense of humor is a powerful spiritual discipline; to be able to laugh at yourself and life, when things don’t go as planned.  In fact, the root of the word humor is the same as the root word for humiliation. It’s the word “humus” or soil. To be humiliated, is to be taken back down into the soil of your being, the ground, the fallow, zero point, of yourself. That is the birthplace of all true innovation and the type of creativity that comes from the soul. To be able to laugh at yourself and life, in the face of humiliation, in the face of making a mistake, looking like an idiot at the front of the room, not achieving a goal you vowed to achieve. The gift of that experience is to have all your egoic illusions stripped away in one swift motion, so that you are only left with your true self. At first it can be uncomfortable as you fight with that present reality, but if you allow it and let go of how it “should” be, ironically you can feel relieved. It’s just back to simple old you, your truest self. From that place, you can create again, and feel more congruent and at peace, as a result. Think of a situation going on now that is bothering you in some way. How might you transform it by laughing at the situation, letting go so you can rise above it all and get back to YOUR true self?

2 types of innovation

I’ve been teaching innovative thinking in work teams for a long time. When I first started studying the subject, I realized that there were two kinds of innovative thinking. Mostly people were teaching on the first kind. Type #1 comes out of the linear, logical mind. It’s about being tricky. It’s something lawyers are taught to do through abstract reasoning processes in the courtroom, to get their client from going to jail. It also can look like analytic problem solving, brainteasers and riddles. But there’s another type of innovation that comes from the imaginative mind, that’s connected to your true self, your soul, your heart, the embodied self. The only way to access that is to go to the ground of your being, to have all preconceived ideas, programs, egoic notions of grandeur, stripped away from you. Only then, can you truly see the path you are meant to take in the moment.

Illusion #3 – I should see my life path in total clarity all the time

That brings us to the third and final illusion that people drive himself crazy over. It’s the notion that you should be able to see your life path in total clarity all the time. If you can’t get clarity of your vision, there’s something wrong with you. Of course, I’m a big advocate for knowing your deep why, your vision for why you do your business. It’s what can get you out of bed in the morning, because that’s obviously going to be a big motivator when the going gets tough. But, have you ever noticed, you hit times in your life where you lose your vision? What you thought was your vision, doesn’t feel compelling anymore?  That is a natural part of life. For example, have you ever hiked up a mountain and been unable to see the path clearly all the way to the top? Rarely. It winds around the bend, and you can only see it for a few steps in front of you. Maybe in the desert you can, but even then once you hit the horizon and the earth curvature comes into effect, you don’t see the path anymore. The only place you can see the full path, is perhaps from a satellite, as if you are a Google Earth satellite. Often, the only time you can rise above it all to see your true path, are those times when you’ve been brought back to the ground of your being, when you’ve let go of all the programs, preconceived ideas, and deep attachments to having things go your way. When you just let go of it all, you can float up above the clouds and see your path again. While you’re on the ground, often you can only see a few steps in front of you.

People often know these illusions intellectually, but need to practice them in life

I’m not inventing the wheel here, but I find most people need to be reminded of common illusions over and over and over again. People need to hear them in different ways and be given practical daily tools, in order to grow. You may speak of these things to the people you help, too, which is very important. If you’re not helping people at the mindset level, no matter what you’re area of expertise, you’re not truly helping them. The truth is, mindset is 80% of your success in any endeavour, whether it’s public speaking, marketing, yoga, career transition, healing your body, or having a productive work team.

Why telling someone to “just be yourself” doesn’t work

Many of our clients don’t include “mindset” because they don’t understand how to teach about it. Alternatively, they keep it shallow with comments like “You should just think positively” or “Just be yourself”. People don’t change their mindset through suggestions like that. It’s a much more involved process. For example, to “be yourself” at the front of the room took years of training for me. I had to build my self esteem, remove years of limiting programs in my unconscious, learn how to share a vulnerable story without falling to pieces emotionally, protect myself from detractors, upgrade my self image, and feed myself regularly with the kind of nourishing thoughts that could sustain my spirit. In other words, please don’t expect a miraculous change in a person after you say “Just be yourself!” Give them tools to get there. Our company  mission is to see as many people in the world talking about these kind of things as possible.

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In fact, that’s why we have a program called Confidence Gold: How to Master the Inner Game of Giving Presentations. It’s to really support people giving one-to-one or group presentations to be their best self. It’s a program where you can on-goingly access and nurture that deeply creative part of yourself, so that you make a bigger difference in the world, and get more results and attract more income.

What have I missed? What are common illusions you find entrepreneurs get lost in?

 

 

 

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