I’m sure you’re all familiar with the saying ‘We teach what we most need to learn’. Regardless of the service we provide – whether we are teachers, insurance executives, or massage therapists, we can often get so caught up in the “service part” to others that we forget to do our own work on ourselves.
If you’re not practicing what you’re preaching you are going to find yourself in a lot of hot water. Before you go trying to sell anything that you do, you need to be sold yourself. Remember the last four letters in enthusiasm – IASM – I am sold myself! Use your own product – walk yourself through your service steps – are you happy?
Customers are like blood hounds when it comes to sniffing out authenticity. You need to believe in what you’re offering when everyone’s behind you but you definitely need to believe when others are laughing at you in your face.
I saw the movie “Wall Street” recently and in it one of the main characters – a young broker – is fully committed and betting on great things from a start up clean energy company. He talks about it in meetings, he brings it up any chance he has to, he’s telling other brokers about it and in the end almost loses much in his life because of it. He was willing to put his own money behind his recommendation. How many of us believe in what we’re doing to the point of being charismatic?
But this is not just about believing in your product or service, – sometimes you need to use the very thing that you’re recommending on yourself. At that point you must stop teaching and do the work.
For example – young lawyer Alex Neely was quite successful. She had her own law firm but avoided the issues around legal, insurance, finances and taxes – just a little too long. According to her not having her legal stuff set up right, and having the wrong insurance in place, messed up her financial systems and poor tax planning cost her nearly $800,000 plus stress, worry and heartache.
While we are busy recommending that others should get their taxes in order with our new XYZ software that makes filing income tax a breeze our own tax situation is horrific. Why don’t we do the work on ourselves? Well we think that if we keep our mouths shut and deal with our stuff quietly AND privately we won’t have to seem negative and maybe not have to admit just how painful whatever it is we’re going through really is. We are ashamed.
What we don’t realize is that we are not alone. There are others suffering just like us simply waiting for us to bring the truth into the light so that they can learn and perhaps find a solution to their trauma. These problems don’t have to bring us down but we must be willing to confront the shadows, quit avoiding it and transform it by bringing it into the light.
If you focus all your energy on making more and more money so you don’t have to deal with your own stuff and stuff that perhaps your own products or solutions might solve, then you’re in big trouble because no matter how much you work and how much money you make it would never be enough — not when what you’re doing is really a distraction to avoid looking at the things that are hard for you to look at – like in Alex’s case – the legal and financial parts of her business.
From ever since I first started to work, I’ve been studying how and why some people are successful in life – and why some people are NOT. It’s interesting the answer because it all comes down to a few key principles and techniques.
One of the most important things a person can do to make themselves successful – both personally and with money – is to access opportunity. The thing with opportunity, according to Robert Collier in “The Magic Word” is that the door to it is never ajar. Always closed we have to knock, we have to seek, we have to be persistent. Alex Neely created a LIFT foundation System and Toolkit – LIFT an acronym for Legal, Insurance, Finance and Taxes – showing others how to do business with their eyes wide open so they wouldn’t get taken – as she did.
Think about the nuggets you might find if you only stop teaching and start doing the work you’ve been avoiding – perhaps far too long!