One of my Platinum-Level coaching clients – I’ll call her Sylvia – sent me her coaching form before our call.
My first thought was: “Uh-oh.”
There were exclamation points, capital letters, and no small amount of gloom. It seemed that the IRS had decided to pay a visit to Sylvia to look over her 2006 taxes.
As our call started, Sylvia revealed that she had known all along that her accountant wasn’t very good. (Turns out, it wasn’t really an accountant at all. Sylvia knew this and had hired her anyway.) The “accountant” was belligerent with the IRS guy during the first meeting. A shouting match ensued. Sylvia might owe thousands of dollars due to a liberal deduction the accountant took.
When someone is in a low mood, or is having a moment of drama, I never try to solve anything from that level. The first place to start is to neutralize the emotions, reactions, and translations of the situation so that we can move into clear thinking.
Here’s what Sylvia started to realize:
1. that she has been upleveling her business and her life all year and that she was releasing anything that wasn’t high-quality. This included her accountant. The situation with the IRS was a huge sign to make that happen now.
2. that she needed to find another accountant.
3. that the documents she had to find were available, and it would take her about three hours to gather the information.
4. that there was no way to know right now if she owed money. But if she did, she would find a way to make payments.
5. that in spite of all of this, Sylvia had continued working out (in the past, this would’ve thrown her directly into many bags of Oreos) and had also kept up a (mostly) positive outlook.
Each of these five items – when we got clear and reviewed each one – is pretty neutral. In fact, the last one is downright exciting!
So, I told Sylvia something I’ve learned to tell myself when I want to moan about a particular business task that’s not fun:
“It’s just a little tedious. That’s all.”
We made a schedule, with goal dates for each item to happen – including a proactive call to the IRS guy after she had gathered the necessary documents.
The only thing that made this dramatic or painful was Sylvia’s thoughts about it. But she agreed to stick to her schedule, and get things done.
“Tedium without drama,” I reminded her.
When she understood this, she was fine. “Oh. Okay. I can do that.” Suddenly, she was back to her usual self.
Sylvia is not alone. We all have these moments when our thoughts make something much worse than it is. I experience this in business pretty regularly!
From now on, free yourself by reminding your voices, “It’s just tedious. That’s all. I can do tedium without drama. No big deal.”
Examples might be:
• Sending your songs into the copyright office.
• Adding photos of your artwork to an on-line store.
• One more edit of a document you’re writing.
• Research for a project you’re heading up at work.
• Filling out the necessary forms so you can get a merchant account.
• Taking an on-line drivers license test.
I often wonder if people give up on themselves, or their art, or their businesses because they believe only good stuff should happen, and everything should feel wildly exciting. They pout or give up when “problems” happen, or when they face some of the tedious stuff. Facing and walking through the tedious stuff is actually the place of some of my biggest victories. I am literally a changed person because of “tedium without drama.” No kidding!
Sylvia experienced this same exhilaration. On our next call, she told me she had gotten everything done, that all was moving smoothly, and had even had an exceptional month in her business!
Now that’s worth a few exclamation points!!!