This week, we’re digging into the difference between going for what you truly want versus settling for what you think you can get.
I share a story about coaching a client through a “playing small” moment when she needed to raise her COVID-panic prices for someone who wanted to sign on for another term, and how I helped her lean in and learn from the fears that stood in the way of her owning her value.
We’ll talk about ways you can get your business to move forward even when you have no idea what lies ahead. I’ll also delve into why entrepreneurs choose to play small and give you some keys to opening up to what’s possible for you.
Clarity and focus are vital for growth, discover how being self-aware, and actively recognizing your limiting beliefs are just as important as the strategy track of your business. Your business is territory for your soul’s expansion. Listen in for simple ways to open up possibilities awaiting you.
As an entrepreneur, you want your energy to be directed toward and anchored to the intention or the vision or the desire, the Up-Leveled vision for you and the people you serve.
Welcome to the Soul-SourcedTM Podcast, unconventional business advice for the highly creative secretly sensitive and wildly ambitious entrepreneur. I’m your host, Christine Kane. Let’s do this.
Welcome everyone to episode number 17 of the Soul-SourcedTM Business Podcast. And first I want to say that, um, this is going to be a little unconventional in that this morning, I decided to open all the windows in my house. And so you’re going to hear birds in the background and maybe the river and just nature in general. I just didn’t want to close it all because it’s part of what I love about working from home these days. So birds me, you let’s get going.
I want to start with a quick housekeeping note and that is that a few people have emailed me to say, Hey, wow, it sure would be nice. If you had these podcasts in writing, I’d rather read them. And we do, uh, every one of these episodes is transcribed and the transcription is available on my website. That’s Christinekane.com. And you can click on the podcast link and go find the episode you want and the transcriptions are right there.
So I don’t know if it’s just me and how I coach people, or if it’s simply the fact that I have coached now for 15 years, if you count the time I was hosting retreats while I was a musician. But when you work with people for 15 years, you start to realize that much of the coaching work is about uncovering the very personal and super subtle ways that people sell themselves short. In spite of all the strategies that you teach or share. And that’s particularly true in business coaching. And today we’re going to talk about your vision versus your beliefs, or maybe in more colloquial terms, doing the dance between what you want and what you think you can get.
So many years ago, I wrote a song called “Right Out of Nowhere” and the opening of the song is a young woman. She’s hitting the road to pursue her dreams, and there’s a line in it that says “she’s got a great big dream and a history of playing small”. And I used to, I had only two people in my life who I played new songs for and I played it, one of those was my friend, Steve Suskin, who’s a Nashville songwriter well-known. And when I sang that to him, he ultimately did become the co-writer of that song with me. Steve goes, wait, what the hell does that mean playing small? What is that? That doesn’t mean anything. And I was like, ah, yeah, it does. And in fact, I coached someone through this just last week.
One of my clients, I’m going to call her MJ, she has a very successful business as a consultant and MJ like many of us during COVID made an offer to a client using what she now calls COVID pricing. And now that this client’s term is up, they want to renew and MJ is facing the choice of in her words, staying ridiculously cheap or charging her true prices and standing in what she is worth, especially since this client did so well during their work with her. Now there are strategies for how to do this well and how to have that conversation well, but the thing is what was really up here and what I was really interested in was MJ’s fear that was driving her. It was the fear of losing this client. She really likes them and she loves working with them. And she’d probably work with them for free. I could tell, and I could hear her going through all these little mental machinations around or what if they leave or what if they reject me or what if I lose something here and all those ways that we contort ourselves that keep us bound to our fear rather than our value. And this is what’s called playing small. So Steve if you’re out there, there you go.
So everything we do as entrepreneurs in our business, whether our businesses are big or small revolves around our clarity and when we are unclear or when we are letting old fears hold us back, these can be our biggest blind spots. And when we can hold our ground and take action from clarity and vision, rather than that old fear, the confidence it builds is huge, especially when you can live through the thing you’re so convinced is going to kill you, and given the current climate of noise and uncertainty and scary, scary. When so many people are wondering, what can I actually plan for? Or how do I even set my business up to move forward in such an uncertain environment? It is truly our opportunity to look within and really see what attitudes and beliefs and thoughts and old patterns are dragging you away from that clarity and keeping you from expressing what you truly want and causing you to sink into what you think you can get.
And this is what I want to talk about on this episode, when it comes to your vision or your intention or your value, or creating an offer or pricing yourself, or even choosing an ideal client, this is where the proverbial rubber meets the road. And this is where we start playing a game called “What I Want Versus What I Think I Can Get”. And the late great author and marketing coach, Dan Kennedy, had a name for this game. He called it “Climbing into their wallets and taking a look around”, meaning, Oh my God, this person can’t afford me. I know how hard things are for them, or I know how bad things are in the world right now.
And in my experience, someone who first called this pattern out here for our clients at Uplevel was the wonderful Carrie Cole, who was a client of mine for two years, many years back. And Carrie works with artists and musicians, and she’s built quite a phenomenal empire in her work. But at this time she was a voice teacher. She was charging about a hundred dollars an hour in New York City, which was the going rate. And the thing she most wanted to do was to coach elite-level artists and performers in every area of their music career, how to optimize their voice, their performance, how to optimize their songwriting, and really basically build a full career in the arts. And she didn’t want to just be a voice teacher who did hour-long lessons in her studio. And like I said, this was years ago and our Uplevel mastermind group was sitting around the table together. And my clients were all in the room, setting up new packages and pricing, and they were building their next tier in their business. And Carrie broke the silence and she looked up and she said, you know, I keep trying to find what I want, but then I keep going back to what I think I can get. And everyone in the room had this little aha moment from that.
Now, if anyone knows Carrie’s work, you know, she did indeed breakthrough this what I think I can get moment and has gone on to coach people on The Voice and create online trainings. And she really scaled something extraordinary. But at this point, she just so articulately shared the thing that was on everyone’s mind at that moment. So no matter how you think about desire or intention or strategy in your business, all that has to come from you, the entrepreneur. And if you want to set up a Mastery Track or only work with elite performers, for instance, then your intention and clarity are going to be key, as you deal with the consequences of not doing the thing that everyone including yourself, expect you to just do.
But too often, the minute we think we’re clear on what we want, we get bombarded by our history or our family patterns. And we use all those beliefs and thoughts as ammunition to shoot our vision down before we’ll even explore what action steps we could take. And instantly we sink back to what other people have that they’re willing to pay, like the climb into their wallets, or we sink into what those, like in the know in our industry have told us what we can and can’t do. And this isn’t just in the arts, by the way, this is everywhere. It’s academia, it’s in the healing world. It’s in the legal world, depending on where our influences have been. We tend to adjust our dreams or our intention or our pricing or our business strategy to match the story we most believe.
And now this brings me to you, the key thing in any dynamic, like this, lies in your self awareness, like to be courageous enough, to watch, to observe where your energy goes like Carrie did in that moment. And this is subtle to see where your energy goes. For instance, one of the things that I’ve learned about coaching, especially in groups is that there are so many stories and patterns taking hold when someone is upleveling their business. And even though everyone likes to think that coaching is just telling people what to do and then being done with it, it’s not like that. There’s a part of coaching that is just simply holding the space of possibility for your clients. In other words, you are in some ways, elevating your client to a different paradigm, to a whole new level, to the vision that they say they want. And I think actually, even if you’re not a coach, you’re doing this with any client in your business, but alternatively, and you can check in with yourself on this. If you’re not clear, or if you’re in some kind of unbalanced or tired, kind of a place, your energy or your attitude, your attention will easily plumb it down to the client’s beliefs. And you’ll be tempted to muck around in their version of this whole story. And it’s an energetic thing. It’s an attention thing. It’s an alignment thing. In fact, there are some salespeople who talk about mastering sales from this same perspective. What they’ll tell you is that selling is really about whose story is going to win. They’ll tell you that the prospect will buy into your story of possibility and results, or you will buy into their story of hardship and struggle. And whoever wins is the one who really made the sale.
Now, I am not a fan of the whole idea of looking at the world through the lens of winning or losing. And I don’t think that our conversations, whether they’re sales conversations or client conversations need to be framed as if it’s some weird competition. But I do think the analogy works. When you look at it from the perspective of where you’re sending your personal energy or your attention. If you consider your intentions for your business in the coming year or the new directions you want to take and your energy or attention instantly floods out to all of these imaginary people who will reject you or hate you or never pay that or never do that, then this is what’s worth paying attention to as an entrepreneur, you want your energy to be directed toward an anchored to the intention or the vision or the desire, the up-leveled vision for you and the people you serve.
And yes, I know that this is challenging, especially in these times when it is so easy to allow this attention and energy to collapse into the stories of what’s awful, or what’s not working, or why things are bad or why we must struggle and how the world’s going to hell in a handbasket. It’s not easy to stay aligned with your own clarity and intention, especially if you’ve, if you’re one of those people like me, you’ve got the feels like if you’re compassionate or sensitive or empathetic in any way, but it may be useful to consider a reframe on this idea of compassion. Perhaps consider that when we model a different paradigm for people, one that really elevates them up and out of the paradigm of struggle, then that itself is a form of compassion. And no, this doesn’t mean you fight them or that you have to have some big, strong conviction.
Those are just ego ideas. This means that you, you make your awareness of all your shit every bit as important as the business strategy work that you do. So this means that you include yourself and your energy levels in the ecology of your business. That means taking care of your health. You take your well being seriously. And whether you call it extreme self-care, or you create a meditation practice, it’s imperative that you, in some way, befriend yourself, that you stop being scared of what’s inside of you, that you know who you are. And you commit to that authenticity and integrity. The bottom line is that even the most kick assiest of entrepreneurs has doubts and fears and anxieties. And it’s not that you deny that these things are there. It’s that you make the deliberate choice, which energy you’re going to align with. Like, will you align with your vision and take action toward that vision? Or will you align with the whole, what you think you can get away with or what you might be able to pull off? That’s another, that’s another thing people always say, all right, I’ll see what I can pull off here. It’s not about that.
One thing I want to say about this is, I have noticed something about people who unconsciously aligned with the whole “What you think you can get” is that these people tend to build their entire business from a place of avoidance. So you avoid rejection by never charging enough. You avoid losing clients by never communicating. When a boundary is crossed. You avoid disapproval by never raising your prices. You avoid abandonment by working endless hours. And yes, you can keep doing this. I have met many, a struggling business owner who would rather complain about all the struggles than actually ask themselves to live through the consequences that come from being clear of taking action toward what they truly want.
So in MJ’s case, I asked her to consider standing in her power, communicating her new prices and facing that fear of abandonment, because if she’s able to do that, then she breaks a pattern, which in the short run will hurt, but in the long run, is transformational. So in my book, The Soul-SourcedTM Entrepreneur, there’s a section at the beginning called the new ops manual, which walks through what I call the new rules of owning a business. So it’s set up like a little operations manual for you. And one of the sections of the ops manual says that our businesses are the territory for our soul’s expansion. And when we UpLevel with intention and deliberate focus, the expansion can be huge. It’s not just that we make a whole boatload of money and yes, that is possible and often a very real outcome.
But in addition to that, we’re able to feel more confident and we are operating not from the reactive place where 90% of the world lives. What we’re doing is we’re really setting up our vision and intention from a creative place. I always say that creative and reactive have the same letters and a different spelling and entirely different results. And so you deserve so much more than the reactive stance of just playing small and shrinking into what you think you can get away with.
And that’s it for today, my friends, I’m going to keep this short and to the point, and you can subscribe to this podcast and all the usual ways, as you know, and also if you liked this episode, you can give it a five-star rating. And what you also can do is really watch and witness and observe yourself of all those little ways that you’re tempted to shrink and to go for what you think you can get, as opposed to really letting yourself open up to what’s possible.
So thank you to every one of you who have, uh, left me all kinds of great messages and left all kinds of great ratings. I really appreciate it. And also if there’s something you want me to teach about some burning question that seems to stump you in the Soul or Strategy Track of your business, you can send a note to me firstname.lastname@example.org. And of course my book, The Soul-SourcedTM Entrepreneur comes out November 17th, 2020, and it’s available for presale now on Amazon. And I will see you back here on our next episode of the Soul-SourcedTM Business Podcast. Thanks for listening.