You’re a brilliant practitioner. You have a gift. You have so much to give. But you’re compromised.
You’re over-giving and under-funded.
When you don’t create money in alignment with your practice, when you don’t fuel your business effectively, you suffer, and I suffer, because I’m deprived of the fullness of your offer.
There have been times when I’ve been so short on money, that I really felt like I needed people to come along and pay me for stuff. I would over reach, over stretch. I’d come across as needy, despite my best efforts. And I came across needy because I felt needy.
Working from that place did not help. I scared people away, who could have been served by me. It toxified my creativity, drawing my attention to need rather than desire. It sucked in my being, so that the world looked like a survival course, rather than a playground.
As I wrote about in this previous piece (along with an examination of the nature of money) I realized something last year. I realized that the anxiety around money disappeared, not when I had ‘enough’ in the bank, or ‘enough’ clients lined up; but when I trusted in my capacity to create money when I wanted it.
And so it is to the nature of that capacity that I’m going to speak. So you too can unlock your own innate capacity to create money.
There are 4 keys that I’ve found fundamental in opening up the capacity.
- Serve the shit out of people
- Charge more than you’re comfortable with
- Learn how to sell (and receive) enjoyably
- Don’t chase the money
There are also many more, but I want to really drill down into these four for you. Think of them as the minimum you need to start unlocking your own capacity to create money.
1. Serve the shit out of people
It all starts here. This is the heart of the matter. Without serving, for the sake of serving, you can’t unlock this capacity. Not truly.
Money is an idea. It’s a measurement device that allows us to swap things more easily. What does it measure? Value. And how do we create value? We serve.
So, at its root, money is an indicator of service.
Go forth and serve. Serve because you want to serve. Give someone a gift, no strings attached. Help someone out, because you care about what they do. Offer someone your undivided presence for an hour.
In whatever way you feel called to; serve.
Service is what happens when we offer our devotion to another human being.
“How can I help? I’m here for you.”
Touch their heart. Open your heart. Serving others feels good. Enjoy the selfish gratification of doing something generous. Enjoy the selfless sacrifice of giving yourself unconditionally.
Don’t serve them because you want something as a result. Don’t serve them so that…
So that…they might hire me for a project.
So that…they’ll like me.
So that…I’m less stressed.
So that…I’ll feel less unworthy.
Service is an offer of the heart. I lay down my own agenda, to open you, to help you, to challenge you, to support you. I care about you.
I was coaching someone a few days ago. She was having some frustration with her business. I’d said to her “you must let me help you.” So she did. I helped her because I wanted to help. I love her work. I love her. There was no other agenda.
There are a whole host of people I like to help. I serve them when I can, because I can. Because I care about them. And then some of these people become my clients. They want to go really deep. They feel called to really invest in themselves. So we work together professionally. They give me money, I give them as much service as I can.
Business is based on fundamental principles. One of them is service. Start there.
Serve the shit out of folks.
2. Charge more than you’re comfortable with
Offering your services without charging money is called charity. Charity is awesome. And it’s also not business, or sustainable (usually). I see a lot of folks afraid to charge higher fees for their service. I see myself do it too sometimes.
“Oh but, that’s an awful lot of money! I’m not worth that yet, and they definitely wouldn’t pay it. I’d rather play it safe, and over-deliver, then maybe I’ll put up my prices when I feel more confident. Anyway, I don’t want to be greedy.”
When I design a new coaching package, I’ll write down a bunch of increasing price points for it on a big piece of paper. Then I’ll centre myself, and look at each price in turn for 20-30 seconds, really feeling what happens in my body when I imagine charging it.
What I’ve discovered (and I’ve done this with clients too) is that the ‘low’ numbers don’t feel good in my body. I’m too relaxed, to the point of actually feeling flat. I can’t feel much vibrancy in my body. It doesn’t feel alive or animated.
And the really high numbers? There’s a LOT of sensation – contraction in my belly, tightness in my throat. There’s so much vibrancy, I struggle to remain grounded and present.
And then there’s this point in the upper middle. It’s the number just before the discomfort starts closing me down.
It’s an uncomfortable number. It stretches me. It will stretch my client. But it feels right, fair, in alignment. It fills me with energy. It fills the imaginary relationship with energy.
That’s my number. The one that brings it alive, and sets the space for creation.
3. Learn to sell (and receive) enjoyably
To create money, you have to ask for money. This means selling. And receiving.
Selling has a shifty reputation. Snake-oil, life insurance, vacuum cleaners door to door. It has me think about pushiness, manipulation, things I don’t actually want.
True selling is simply helping someone to make a decision.
When I started The Realized Entrepreneur, I decided to offer coaching. And that meant I had to do sales. I had to talk, in real time, with a real human being, and tell them what it would cost to work with me, and have them say yes or no. And if they said yes, it meant I’d be in really close relationship to them for months.
At first I felt scared to tell them numbers, so I’d say “I’ll send you a proposal”. Then I’d spent days writing and re-writing these things.
Then I started working with my own coach. He helped me understand the nature of selling when it’s based on service.
Here’s how I sell.
I drop in deep with someone, and I serve them. If I feel intuitively, actually in my body, that I could serve this person further, I’ll offer.
“Would you like to hear what working with me looks like?”
I can serve someone far more deeply, who signs on to work with me for 6 months, than I can someone who spends an hour on the phone with me. But not everyone is ready, or appropriate.
Selling is not about making money. It’s about finding the truth. Would this person be served by working with me? I consider it my job to be to help them make that decision.
“Will I be served by working with Ewan? Am I ready to invest in myself?”
Maybe I’m scared they’ll say no, because I really want to work with them. Maybe I’m scared they’ll say yes, because it’s going to challenge me.
I put my fear aside, and I seek to uncover the truth.
“Yes. Fuck yes.”
“No. I don’t feel called.”
It’s about truth. What’s the true decision? Uncover it.
4. Don’t chase the money
Money, like happiness, is hard to get if you go straight for it.
Happiness opens to you when you live your life according to your own deep principles, when you follow your heart, when you do what fulfills you.
Money’s like that too.
I remember the times when I was really short, and I felt like I really needed money. I’d go hunting for it. Can I make money over here with this person? Can I weasel my way in over there?
It felt tight. It felt desperate. I felt tight and desperate.
It turned into a money grabbing crusade. It wasn’t greed, it was need. And the more I chased it, the harder it was to find.
Remember, money isn’t a thing, it’s a measurement of service. So, when you want to create money, ask not “where can I find money?” but “where can I deeply serve?”
Money is like a lover. Respect her. Caress her. Love her. Invite her. Don’t chase her, and she will come to you, more than willingly.
What would be unleashed if you could create money?
I create money, not because I want to buy shiny things (although I confess, I am excited about buying a new Macbook), but because I want to increase my capacity to create and to serve.
I invested money into a trip across the US last month, visiting friends and clients, spending time with my mentor, writing in new and unusual places. It changed me.
I just invested in a writing coach, and a 5-day silent meditation retreat with my new teacher, and two holidays for my darling woman who really needed some time and space away from the expectations of normality.
I invested in three group coaching programs in the last 8 months.
All these things were investments in the most important asset my business has: my own consciousness.
As I grow, my service grows. As my service grows, the people I work with grow. As the people I work with grow, I grow. Ad infinitum.
I know you have a lot to give. I know you have a lot to create. I know you have a lot of service to offer.
Money empowers the powerful. Money enlightens the light bearers. Money teaches the wise. Money serve the servers.
What would be unleashed, if you unlocked your capacity to create money?