There is that tension between the inner knowing and the outer circumstances which creates doubt. You have to constantly listen to that inner knowing. It doesn’t mean that you’re irresponsible or reckless or whatever. It’s like the book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I read it many years ago. There are the omens. You have this inner knowing, but there are also these signs along the way. There’s always something that happens which is almost like the universe’s way of telling you to keep going, “Don’t worry, it will work out one way or the other. Your job is to keep going.” To me that’s been an important mindset. I can share to others, but we can start with that.
When did you start the mastermind?
When we first met, it was on a Skype call like this. You always carry yourself with, from the outside, what appears to be this confidence, like you’ve got it all under control. That’s important. It’s easy for everybody to see on the outside that that’s what you’re showing, but we’ve all got this story. I’ve interviewed so many people now. We’re in up to 40 or more people that we’ve interviewed over the last year having this same conversation. Almost everybody has this story of, “I was going to have to take a job but I just kept pressing on.” You’d never believe it with any of them because the outward appearances, they’ve got it all together. It’s useful for people to see that that struggle is going on while you’re maintaining this presence to the outer world.
I know I struggled with this, although I’m certainly getting freer and freer every year. For whatever reason, we all like to believe or tend to believe that the other person has it all together. It looks good from a distance. Maybe you’ve heard this. Maybe your mother told you the same thing, but my mother told me and her mother had told her the old story where if everybody would come together with a sack of their problems and put their problems down, and you had a chance to choose any sack you want to take anybody’s problems, everybody would choose their own sack and go back home. You heard that one?
No, but it’s great though.
It’s true because we don’t know what other people are going through the way we know what we’re going through. We do ourselves a great disservice by assuming that everybody else has it all together. There’s another thing also that it’s a related idea, but it’s different but related, that is that people have to recognize what they want. What do you really want? There are so many people that I’ve talked to over the years and they don’t realize they’re chasing someone else’s dream. When you’re chasing someone else’s dream, you’re not going after what you want. There’s no way you could win. You’re sacrificing everything along the way, the things that you’re going after something to avoid something as opposed to create something.
For example, you mentioned this group that I have. I have a joint venture marketing mastermind group. We’ve got 100 plus people in there. Some of them are doing from mid-six figures up to eight figures. There are few doing eight figures as far as I know, many comfortably in seven figures. It’s not my dream. My goal isn’t to build this seven-figures in scaling and growing my team and so on. I have a small little team. I want to be making mid-six figures with a small team that I can work with and that’s what I want, and time, freedom and the ability to have more demand than my capacity to deliver. That’s what I want two years from now maybe. I’m saying this because it took me some time to recognize that you have to clarify what you want and become comfortable with what you want. What you want is great.
It also connects to another important idea that helps me. Not everybody wants the same thing. Another belief that I’ve learnt over the years and have come to believe, although I still have my moments where I get chicken from it and need to remind myself, is that if I want something, then the means to get it is right in front of me. All I need to do is take the first step and then the next one will start to unfold. There’s always something you could do. Here’s the problem. If you’re not going after what you want, then the means is not right in front of you. I’m not going to make any effort or attempt to explain the spirituality aspects of how the universe works, I’ll leave that to other people. I’m just saying what I’ve noticed.
My wife and I, years ago, I remember when we were struggling, we talked about how I remember saying to her, “The money always shows up after we need it.” I realized that it shows up after we would want it, but just when we need it. It’s important to believe and know that whatever you need is going to show up when you need it. Don’t act out of fear. Ask yourself, “What do I want to create? What do I want to build? What do I want?” I have no desire to be a basketball player. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut, but that’s certainly not to anymore. I had no desire to be an accountant. I’d be terrible at it. There are so many things I have no desire to be, a surgeon, a medic, I’m queasy with those types of things. People talk about broken bones and my wife looks at me and she knows I’m shuddering. There are things closer to what I want that I could still fall into the trap of comparing myself to other people who are much closer. I’m not going to compare myself to a surgeon because the bottom line is that the clearer you are about what you want, the easier it is for you to believe that the main way forward is there. Then look for what is the next step that I can take? What can I do right now to get a step closer? it’s easier to believe that. Over time when you start to do that and live that way, and then you start to see things fall into place often at the last possible minute, often after you would have liked it but right when you need it. You start to realize, “I can’t explain it, but it certainly seems to be true and this is the best way for me to live. I’m performing at my peak when I’m the living demonstration of these beliefs.”
There are a couple of key things that you said there. I’ll start with the first one that struck me. It’s difficult for a lot of people to figure this out, and that is, “What do you want?” That takes some discernment, at least it did for me. It took a little while to understand what I want this to look like without it being clouded by the outside comparison because there’s so much of that right now. I don’t know if that’s new and unique in human history, but certainly with our ability to communicate now we can see into the lives and experiences of other people more than we ever could. You have a lot more comparisons that you can make. It’s difficult to clear away all that clutter and noise to understand what you want and then be okay with whatever that answer is, whether that’s “I’m going to be the guy that puts a settlement on the moon,” or, “I’m going to build a business that helps this group of people do this,” and then understand that if that’s what you want, there’s no judgment around it. There’s no justification needed. The only justification for it is that you want it and then be okay.
I personally believe that we all are here for a purpose and what we want is directing us to our purpose. We will have a special help to get there if we follow it. That fits with what I was saying, but here’s the problem. You ask so many people what they want and they tell you what they don’t want. That’s number one. The other thing is you ask them what they want, they don’t tell you what they want, they tell you what they think they can have. Why did they think they can have it? They’re looking at the evidence on the outside which creates the self-doubt instead of looking to the inner knowing on the inside. If we can shift where you’re looking for your evidence, instead of looking outside and saying, “I only have a $1,000 in the bank. I don’t know how I’m going to make another client and where it’s going to come from,” you don’t have to know all those things. I’ll talk about the only three things you’ll ever need to know, but if we shift your point of reference, what is the foundational information that you’re using to make your decisions, to take your action? If you look at that inner knowing and say, “What do I want? It doesn’t matter that I don’t know how.”
First, what, then how, and then you accept that as a fact that if that’s what I want, then it’s coming from some bigger source than me and that’s where I need to go. That means that the way to get there is right in front of me, and if other people can do well, it has nothing to do with me. Other people can do well or poorly. My job is to do my best to be my best. That’s how you go from where you are to where you want to be. There’s always a challenge because let’s say you say, “I learned to be more confident,” which I’ve certainly learned to be more confident over the years. I was not confident when I started and certainly not as a team.
There are only three things that you ever needed to know. You need to know what’s your ultimate destination. You don’t have to know exactly how much money you want to make. Like in my case, I know that I want to be working with these people making this amount of money when they work in these number of hours a week, more or less with people that I enjoy, a great team, however I define it. There are other things as well, the family. You want to have a framework of where you want to end up. You don’t need every single detail. That’s a distraction. You don’t have to write the entire 700-page novel of where you want to be in a few years. Even that wouldn’t be enough if you get to that level. You need to know where you want to end up.
The second thing is you have to get a clear picture of how you need to be as a person to naturally fit into that picture, into that movie. If you’re imagining your life three years, five years from now, you’re presumably imagining a life that’s different than today, and that means you have to be different to fit into that picture. You have to be a bigger person. You have to be more of who you are meant to be and watch yourself. How does that person deal with an obstacle, deal with the challenge? You need to have a clear picture of how you need to be as a person to fit into the picture of what you want.
The third thing you need to know is what is the next small step? That’s it. You don’t need to ever know anything more than what’s the next small step. Take that next step the way that future you would take it. Be that way today and take the next small step.
The problem is people get all caught up and instead of visualizing and imagining what they want, they spend the majority of their day thinking about what they don’t want. They spend the majority of their day thinking about what they feel they could have instead of what they want. Therefore, they’re never getting this image about how the need to be as a person. Instead of taking the step that’s right in front of them, they’re worried about, “What will I do after this step that’s right in front of me?” I don’t need to see the steps right in front of me because I don’t know how I’m going to take step two or step three. How will that cross the second bridge? How will I cross the third bridge? I’m not even going cross the first bridge, which of course makes no sense. I’m as guilty as anybody about that type of thinking certainly in the past.
What I was going to get to before though is the realization that most of us tend to have certain personality, strengths, or weaknesses. Throughout life, we’re conquering them to varying degrees. It’s a never-ending ladder to climb. Maybe somebody finds it difficult to step up for what they want when other friends or people are more assertive around them. They shrink in the background and don’t say what they think. They’re suffering and the people around them are suffering because they’re not getting the best of this person. You’re going to grow through that to a certain point. Now you’ve achieved a level of confidence or mastery at this level.
Life is not going to let you sit there because that would be pretty boring. Life is going to throw it, put you in a position where you’re going to have very similar challenges in a much higher level. Now you’re going to be leading a thousand people in something, and you’re going to be butting heads with somebody else who’s leading 10,000 or 100,000 or whatever has a bigger thing. Now again, you find yourself being challenged and tested for the same types of things, but with the stakes are much bigger. Who will you be? Be that way today. Take the next small step.