This disruption session I thought I would talk about a question that a client had for me this week. And this question was around her financial trouble. Her back was against the wall and nothing was working and she felt like she was out of options.
I thought that is a really, really good question to hand over to you because a lot of the times in business we experience that. We often think it’s a really, really bad thing, it feels bad, that’s for sure, but I look at it in a different way. I look at it as a necessary experience for growth. In fact, I’ve reframed it so much now that I actually get excited and I almost go looking for that type of situation in my own business.
And I encourage it as well especially in small business, like for my Troublemakers going through The Breakout, because this is the time in your business when you can take big risks and get really big gains and make amazing changes without losing anything. As your company gets bigger and more structured it gets a lot harder to be as flexible and the risk-reward ratio shifts around so it’s not so much in your favour so to an extent we force this experience on our clients in a controlled and supported way because if you look at any successful person in any form (i.e. a millionaire, a billionaire, multiple business owner) growth happened for them through crisis.
Growth doesn’t happen when you’re comfortable. It happens when your back’s against the wall.
I mean if you look at a lot of billionaires they will say that they were about to lose everything and then something switched and they got themselves back in the game and at the same time it was a real game changer. They got their mindset rewired to think outside the box or press forward in a way they hadn’t seen before and then they had their billion-dollar idea or solution. That experience is what I call The Breakout. That’s when you get clarity, it comes after you have to fight your way out of a really big challenge and I think a lot of people don’t realize that. They wait for clarity to come and tell themselves that’s when they will take action but it’s the other way around.
When their back is against the wall they will try to wait it out and sit there stuck or continue to play out habits that are ‘safe’ and eventually their funds run out or their motivation runs out and they quit. And it’s not because the business failed, they simply failed to take their business to the next level and push through that challenge to get the clarity that was on the other side of it. They expected clarity to just come along if they wait long enough.
And this is the thing that I teach and I want to pass on because I see time and time again that it works. Business grows through crisis.
So this is how I answered this question:
We need to look at your mindset.
What are the negative thoughts or beliefs coming up for you in this time of crisis? What are you thinking and feeling, because this will affect your ability to respond.
And part of that mindset evaluation is looking at where you are as well. Are you at effect? And the effect is probably showing up if you’re focusing on all the problems outside of yourself. You’re probably thinking of the worst-case scenario. While you’re in that state, you’re never ever going to be creative.
What we’ve got to do is be able to move you to what I call Cause, and cause is where you take charge. You take charge of your internal communication. You take charge of your psychology, the belief systems that are firing, the emotions that you’re experiencing and you take charge of your behaviours. And it’s like I’ve said before, you need to be driving the bus which means you are behind the wheel steering and determining direction and outcomes, not leaving it all to external circumstances and chance.
We want to be able to operate from a physiology and psychology of certainty.
That really is the key because when you’re in that level of certainty, you’re going to come up with new ideas. You’re going to come up with new experiences, and often that crisis will force you to do the things that you’ve been putting off and have been holding you back.
For some of you it could be actually getting out there and contacting your prospective customers and facing that rejection that you’ve been avoiding. For some of you it could be turning off that computer and actually getting out there and networking and doing all those types of things that are actually going to grow your business rather than staying stagnant.
I believe at a deeper level, everybody already knows what to do, they just don’t have the right structure in place and the right leverage to take enough risk. And when your back is against the wall and the risks are right in your face that’s when you have to choose, okay do I step up and actually do this properly? And that’s when you switch on and automatically start to do all the ‘hard’ things you were too scared to face, or, you say, No, I want to be safe, and you go back to what you know and what feels predictable and you quit.
To really get a person into that switched-on mindset I’ll ask them to imagine this:
“Someone has a gun to your head. They’re threatening to blow your brains out. In order to live you have got to make $3,000 in the next week. What would you do?”
And all of a sudden everybody has all of the answers and ideas of what they need to specifically do to grow, because now they have the leverage to overcome the risk.
Now, the threat of not achieving the goal is bigger than possibly missing the mark.
So that to me is number one: mindset because if your mindset is off you can patch up everything else and still find it all falling to pieces because you are sabotaging it or not able to get the clarity or creativity needed to get to the next level.
So we can break mindset down into steps and step number one is COMMITMENT.
And commitment is your willingness to learn. This needs to be 100%. It needs to be 10 out of 10.
What do I mean by that? Your willingness to learn means often letting go of what you think you have already learned and being open to some new information. That might mean that you are okay about being wrong about something in your past.
Bruce Lee talks about this as a cup half full, cup half empty, and this is also something that was demonstrated really well in the movie Avatar. The scientists coming in to study the local community were not able to learn anything, they were only able to teach and dictate to them how to be, yet this character who was thrown into the situation through circumstance, he came into it with a head that was without prior knowledge (an empty cup) and he was the one who was able to connect (literally) and make incredible personal growth. So we’ve kind of got to empty the cup and be willing to let go of our ego, because if you’ve got a belief system that you know it all, then in actual fact you stop learning.
So the information that got your business to this point or the information that got your life to this point is the same information that is going to keep you stuck and prevent you from moving forward.
So we have to be willing to change and to learn and to be flexible. Be open to suggestion from mentors that have been there already and gone through that experience because they will have the winning psychology around risk or will be able to take action around your fears.
If we are not committed what will happen next is we get activated by that risk, which that might seem like a threat, and our ego will pop up and stop us from learning. It’s like this giant stop sign with flashing lights that something really bad will happen if we go any further so we reject the new information and that new opportunity coming to us.
So if your willingness to learn is not 100%, really it’s just a waste of time. Get that right before you do ANYTHING else.
You also need to be open to CHANGE.
It’s amazing to me how many people want things to be different in their life without making any changes. They want things to be better or they want to see results but also want to do everything the exact same way they always have.
Here’s the thing.
In order to change your life, you actually have to change something in your life.
And that means letting go of the safety net, of casting off your security blankets and releasing this idea of rules and structure that are preventing you from doing things differently.
You have to be willing to take charge and actually face those fears and be willing to change something in your life.
So getting committed is the first thing. Commit to new learning, commit to change and be at Cause around how you think and feel and what direction you are taking. All these things combine to create a positive mindset that can get you blasting out of that back to the wall situation.
And we can help you to do that, we can set the game up so people are experiencing that perturbation in a safe and supportive environment so that you can really tap into the full potential that comes from being tested.
And support from me, from my business partner Julian Moss, from your fellow Troublemakers is KEY, because without that structure of support those risks can be really high and that challenge can be overwhelming, so even if you are not part of my Troublemakers group I would say get that support from somewhere so that you can short-circuit that experience of crumbling.
This is the common skill behind billionaires and incredibly successful people is that they are able to put support in place in order to keep them growing at the level that they need to be growing.
What you need is a team. A team that can offer information so you can start to educate yourself based on results or based on the challenge that you’re facing. So it’s a very targeted approach with a laser focus on the problem, and more specifically, the solution. So I will go to someone who has overcome this problem already and has the solution available, like a blueprint that I can study and practice and get really connected with that person as like a field guide.
As well as a blueprint for the solution your team needs to include one-on-one coaching or mentoring. Life is an emotional game and when you increase emotion, you decrease intelligence. An independent coach or mentor is objective and that’s going to mean they’re able to manage your path to your goal and keep you on track when you are emotional and not thinking clearly.
And it’s important to be ready for that because that emotion will happen and you won’t even know that it’s happening so you need someone to help you out of it because when you’re stuck in fear all you see is fear, when you’re stuck in hurt, all you see is hurt, and it’s like a magnet, you’ll keep attracting more hurt.
So a coach or mentor is trained in mindset to be able to get into the unconscious mind and release those patterns that we’re playing out unconsciously on autopilot.
Also in your team you want someone that is trained in strategies or consulting so that you can implement everything you have learned.
So you go through these people in stages, you start with the person who can offer you the right solution, then go to the coach to get your mindset clear and on track to your goal, then the strategist to help lay out a targeted approach to success.
Definite demands create definite results, so we’ve got to get really, really specific on what that objective is.
The next element of your team is to have a mastermind group around you. A mastermind group is a group of people that are doing the same jump as you so they’re experiencing the same things and you can understand and support each other through the process. Often the best way to see your own circumstances is to look at someone going through the same thing, like having a mirror because their challenges and fears are going to be very similar to your own so being able to ‘see’ these and identify them in others helps your mind to consciously recognise your own journey that might otherwise just stay running on autopilot.
And finally as part of your team you need your 5X5. This is your network and your network equals your net worth. So you want to find five people that are five levels above you, and you want to hang out with them socially. And so this is where you can go to networking events or to speaker events and find those people who are already achieving success in your field.
People underestimate the power of the network or they think it needs to happen instantly but this is an ongoing process, the whole process, learning, growing, applying, facing setback, creating the right friendships is all constant and evolving and it needs to be that way, you need to go a little bit further each time to stay in that forward motion and stay with those action steps that will get you to your goal.
And often people will seriously overestimate what they can do in a week or a month and grossly underestimate what can be achieved in a year, or three years or seven years, so I train people to get that big picture mindset so that you are setting up to pace yourself and get those results over a realistic and achievable time-frame, which is going to be much, much faster than you expected. And part of the support I have in place to back you up with that is my lifetime resit policies on most of my courses, so that as you progress and learn and grow you can come back and get new information that you weren’t ready for the first time or you were so overwhelmed with it didn’t sink in.
For business, with each break out that you go through, whether it be the 100K jump, whether it be the $1million jump in your business, whether it be the $10 million, $100 million jump, you have to change your belief systems, your values, negative emotions, you will be triggered, you often will break in two and then come back together in a really powerful, strong way. Most people run away from that and at the same time they are running away from success and self-confidence and from reaching that part of their lives where they can give loads back and that’s a really big thing to run away from. Because as you progress through these levels you get to be a contributing factor to someone’s Mastermind group, or to be that mentor or that 5X5 or that blueprint for someone else and that’s an incredible feeling.
So it’s important, to the world really, that you invest in yourself because there is so, so much to gain and so very little to lose. These structures that you put in place, you have to invest in yourself and they work, they absolutely work.
So if you’re going through a bit of a challenge at the moment, one of the things that I’d suggest that you do is come along to my Live It Now training and do an audit on yourself, it’s a free event, we are raising money for charity, Bear Cottage.
One of the reasons that I run Live It Now as a free event is because I think a lot of people don’t understand how to use their psychology. They haven’t developed excellence around internal and external communication or excellence around their psychology so they are still running negative or unhelpful rituals or habits that are holding them back from being successful.
So when you do these trainings then you learn excellence of the mind and it enables us to choose the emotional states that we want, be able to get rid of limiting beliefs and condition new beliefs and realise how to change behaviour.
This stuff’s not taught in school, so I thought I would give it to the world. I thought I would give the best information I could possibly find so that people get out there and live it.
And from that you can jump to my free Troublemakers group where I help business people take a leadership position and build their personal brands so they are ready and have done the work on their business and themselves to activate and even monetize their creativity.
So take advantage of all of the amazing opportunities that are now popping up because of technology and because of where the world’s at in terms of new business booming and with AI taking over a lot of the jobs from the industrial age, we are really going to see an exponential kind of growth wave that is about to happen for startups and small business.
If you are into small business then I believe that now is the time to get out there and focus on becoming the best version of you.
Keep your questions coming and keep those business ideas rolling and stay in touch!