Success is…

After holding a google hangout to share my process on defining success, and having some lovely feedback, because the hangout recording wasn’t great (and very long!) I decided to put together a very short simple video describing the process. It is now on youtube, and if you try it out and enjoy it, please do let me know!

[youtube https://youtu.be/ovSzXCUZwjg]

I have also created a new page here on my blog, which contains links to all of my videos or videos I have been featured in. You can access the page from the menu or by clicking here. You could use the same process for creating definitions for other things, such as love and relationships, or money and abundance. I hope you have fun with it, there are no rules so make it your own!

Listen to Your Gut – Not the Experts

I should be writing right now, but when the blog post inspiration faerie arrives, there’s absolutely no ignoring her!

Something suddenly struck me today, and I am going to try to explain it, in the hopes that if anyone out there has a similar experience, it may help.

In the last few months, I have had a couple of experiences with people who I have considered to be respected experts in their field, who are worth listening to, and taking their advice. They are very successful, have a lot of experience, and have based their businesses on helping others to achieve the same success.

Earlier in the year, I had the chance to attend an evening workshop with a lady whose book had inspired me years ago, but whom I had never met until then. I had a lot of respect for her because her story was so inspirational, and she was devoted to helping others to achieve their true potential.

I arrived at the event, I was having a good time, and was joined by a dear friend of mine for the evening. As part of the workshop, she was doing some short coaching sessions, and my friend was chosen to take part. When my friend said what her aspirations were, which included self-publishing her books, the lady’s response was – “Bulls**t. You will never make money doing that.”

When my friend tried to explain that self-publishing was quite different these days to how it used to be, the lady was not interested. She said that why anyone would want to self-publish was beyond her.

In that moment, my respect for her began to slip.

I could understand a traditionally published author having that point of view ten years ago, but the industry really has completely changed since then, surely, if she is advising people on their businesses, she would know that?

While chatting later, I spoke to her a little about how different the industry is, and she seemed surprised, but not particularly interested in learning more. And when it became apparent that I was not in the financial position to pay for one of her coaching packages, her response was – “Come back to us when you have the money.”

Wow. Bubble totally popped. In fact, the copy of her book that I had kept for so long, found its way into the car boot stuff a few weeks ago. And when it didn’t sell, it went to a charity shop.

I recently had another experience with someone who I thought wanted to help my business (my book writing and publishing) to flourish and grow, but it turned out that what she wanted was for me to create ‘products’ like video series’ and courses, to sell and make money with. It didn’t even really matter what the product was, as long as it sold. I felt uncomfortable with the concept, and I didn’t get the feeling that she liked me very much, which made me even less inclined to get more involved and put a lot of time and energy into her business. Later on, she even said several times that writing books was not the way forward, it takes too long. Videos are the only way forward. Unfortunately, I am a writer, and that’s not going to change.

When I finally admitted that I didn’t want to be a part of her business, her response confirmed my feelings – she really didn’t want the best for my business at all, and in her opinion, I wasn’t ‘ready’ to be a part of what she was creating.

It was after this experience, that I realised something. When around these successful experts, who are building their businesses around empowering people to follow their dreams – I feel completely disempowered. I feel like a small child who is below them. I’ve been thinking about the reasons for this, and I am fully ready to accept that it may well be my issue not theirs, but I wonder if I am the only one to feel this way?

I’ve been reading The 7 Graces of Marketing recently, and there was a story recounted in there about a coach trying to sell the author a course, that cost thousands of dollars, and when the author declined, the coach tried to make her feel like a failure for doing so.

After reading about the old paradigm of marketing in her book, I have come to realise that perhaps those who have been in business for a long time, are just accustomed to these old marketing tactics – as we, the general population, are conditioned to respond to these old marketing tactics. And when someone says – actually, this doesn’t feel right to me – their response is to make us feel like we will never succeed because we are not doing things their way.

But then it all comes down to your definition of success. If success is having lots of money – then I am a failure. If success is selling lots of products – then I am a failure. If success is being famous – then I am a failure.

On the other hand, if success is helping people to feel a little less lonely in the world – then I am a success. If success is encouraging people to listen to themselves, to really get to know themselves and then to dream big – then I am a success. If success is inspiring others to changes their lives because of your words or actions – then I am a success.

When it comes right down to it – success and failure are just words. It is our perception and attachments of feelings to the words that causes them to mean anything at all. All I know is, whether I succeed or fail, I want to be able to say – I was authentically myself, I followed my heart, I listened to my gut and I did my best.

The Earth Angel Training Academy

A World-Class Success

In January, I met an amazing individual called George Hardwick. I had gone to London for a couple of events, and he was at the first one, which was the Yes Group London meeting. Attracted by the cover of his book, I began talking to him about living life as a creative. He is a spoken-word artist, and one of the first things he’s said to me, was:

“To be successful in your creative missions, you must be world-class in whatever it is you do.”

Now at first, I thought, well jeez, that’s a bit of a tall-order! There are millions of writers in the world, and even if I tried my hardest, I couldn’t imagine being known as a world-class author. It just seemed impossible. I bought his book, The Creative Uprising, because I was intrigued by his message and his ideas, and wanted to know more.

Then at the end of the evening, after listening to two incredible speakers, who indeed both appeared to be world-class in what they did, George took to the stage.

To say I was blown away would be an understatement. He delivered a rap/poem, that encompassed the messages of the two speakers, and the energy of the meeting, and it flowed and rhymed and made us all laugh, gasp and clap. And he had written the entire thing during that evening, while sitting and watching in the audience. He had taken in every word, and then wrote the piece, which summarised the evening in the most poetic and beautiful way.

He was, quite frankly, world-class.

In fact, you can see his ‘wRapping up’ of that evening below. Even if you weren’t there and watched the speakers, you will still get a lot from George’s words.

[youtube http://youtu.be/2BRlg89vuj8]

So how can you become a world-class success? Recently I have been re-reading two books, the first is The Go-Giver, by Bob Burg and John David Mann, and the second is Go-Givers Sell More, by the same authors. The first is a parable, and the second then applies the laws from the story to real life. For anyone who has a phobia of selling, I would highly recommend them. There are five laws described, and the first is the Law of Value, where your true worth is based on how much value you create for others. As they say in the second book, creating value for others does not necessarily need to cost any money. You create value every time you take the time to thank someone, greet someone or call someone to say hello. In business, you create value when you send a handwritten thank you note or in fact do anything where you are putting the needs and desires of your customer above your own.

This is what I think it means to be world-class. George says in his book that we often link success to how much money or stuff we have acquired, but that it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. And that it is more important to be successful in helping others and changing people’s lives for the better, by giving our gift. A while back, fed up with being asked how many books I had sold, because to most people, that is how you measure the success of an author, I wrote the following quote on my Facebook wall:

“Do not ask an author how many books she has sold. Instead, ask her how many lives she has touched.”

To me, I write to help people. I don’t write to see how much money I can make, because that is not how I measure success. The main reason I would like to sell more books, is so that I can help more people. And I am coming to realise that I need to step up my game. I know that I have published books before they are ready, and I have not given my all to making sure they are as awesome as I can make them before I release them into the world. This is due to impatience and an attitude of ‘It will do’. But no more. I will still set myself deadlines, because I know full well that without them, I will never publish anything, but I am making a commitment to myself that my next book is as amazing as I can possibly make it before I publish it.

Oddly enough, when it comes to projects I do for other people, I will work my ass off to make sure it’s as perfect as possible, before the author publishes it. It seems I have no problems with working really hard for other people on their projects, but when it comes to my own, I am more slack. I suppose I fear disappointing others more than I fear disappointing myself, but I need to change that feeling into the driving desire to be world-class in every sense.

As the saying goes – ‘How you do anything is how you do everything.’ And I am beginning to think that in order to be successful in life, and not just in our creative missions or business, we must be world-class in EVERYTHING that we do, every day.

What do you think?

 

P.S. After having a conversation with Bob Burg on Twitter, I would like to add to this post that it isn’t a case of EITHER creating value for others OR making money, it is more of a case that by putting your FOCUS on creating value for others, then making money will be the result. I know I have had difficulty with the idea of being paid to help others or for doing something I love, but I am working on those old beliefs.

Thank you, Bob, for your awesome words and your encouragement 🙂