228 – August 16
“There can be no rainbow without a storm and a cloud.”—F.H. Vincent
Yum. I can taste it now, that glorious vanilla ice cream, covered with the creamiest hot fudge, foamy whipped cream, crunchy walnuts, and the maraschino cherry precariously perched at the top of the heap, about to make its slippery pink slide down the ice cream mountain. The hot fudge came in its own little silver pitcher, so we could pour it ourselves, mixing fire and ice in our own private chemistry class in a goblet. Of course, we’d spill it, laughingly licking our messy fingers, not wanting to miss one drop of the precious chocolate fudge. We couldn’t get enough of hot fudge sundaes.
We loved those Sunday mornings when the family piled into the red and white ’55 Oldsmobile, dressed in Sunday-best clothes, smelling of Sunday-best smells and met all our friends at the church for prayer and good thoughts. Usually, we’d stop on the way home and pick up a dozen fresh donuts for brunch after the sermon. But once in a while, our chorus of, “Let’s go to Jack’s, please, please!” would be met with a look and a nod between mom and dad and a smiling assent that said, “Yes! You can have a hot fudge sundae!” And we’d drool with anticipation all the way there.
No ice cream sundae ever tasted as good as those. When I grew up and went away to college, I thought, “Yippee. Now I can have all the hot fudge sundaes I want! I can have them every day!” That’s how I found out about the law of diminishing returns. One hot fudge sundae once in a while is fabulous. Two is pretty good. Three and my tummy hurts. Four and I don’t fit into my clothes. When I can have one whenever I want, I don’t want one very often.
In an old episode of The Twilight Zone, a gambler has died and gone to heaven. All of his favorite gaming devices are there, and he is always a winner. The billiard ball always goes in the right pocket, the dice always roll seven, and the ball in the roulette wheel invariably lands on the number he picked. This is fun for about a minute and a half. By then, the gambler is supremely bored. In despair, he turns to the man in the white suit who has been his guide and says, “This is awful. I’d rather go to the other place.” With an evil laugh, his guide says, “This is the other place!”
There is relish in anticipation, in not knowing outcomes, in not always getting what you want when you want it. Enjoy the “I can hardly wait!” of positive expectation. There are many, many more of these moments in life. The actual achievement is the end of the dream. The dreaming of the goal, the striving towards the goal is where the fun is, where the life is. “Waiting for the day when” is the fun part.
“I live happily each day in joyful expectation of positive outcomes!”
Big Business or Small?
“Man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man – for precisely the same reason.”—Douglas Noel Adams, author of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
I’ve been happy as a poker player with pocket aces with my little home-based workshop business (now a teleseminar), helping people, getting kudos, and getting paid. I network online and at local groups, speak, talk with old friends and make new ones. When I teach my 8-week Financial Stress Reduction telecourse, I pick up the phone at 5:00, teach my students, and hang up the phone at 7:00. I love my income, I love my overhead, I love my commute. I love my life.
There are many other coaches and speakers in the workshop business, too. Some of them have a big vision, a big company, and are making big money. They have $20,000 and even $100,000 year-long programs, do big room seminars with hundreds of people in attendance, and have lots of staff and overhead.
I used to look at some of them and think, “Is my vision too small? Should I be doing what they’re doing? (I hate it when I should on myself.) But I got over it. Some people would rather come to me and work in a small mastermind group of 6-8 people, get personal attention and help for their specific issues for 8 weeks than be on a teleclass with 300 other people just listening to information or go to a hotel and sit with 500 people for 3 days. Some will prefer personal attention over mob psychology. I will always find “My People”. Others will always find theirs. You will always find yours. There’s no such thing as competition.
Listen, my hat’s off to the big seminar leaders. (Hand clapping, fee stomping, whistles!) If you want that big picture, go ahead and get it. Have 48 or 4,800 employees. Get 25,000 emails a day. Train thousands of people. If that’s what you want, if that’s what success means to you, then go for it! It’s your movie and you can write the script that way if you want.
For me, I’m rather more in alignment with comedian Steven Wright, who said, “Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy. Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.” The Big Blockbuster Movie isn’t my movie. I am too aware of the big price one pays for the big picture. T. Harv Eker named it in his book “The Millionaire Mind”:
“Are you willing to work sixteen hours a day? Rich people are. Are you willing to work seven days a week and give up most of your weekends? Rich people are. Are you willing to sacrifice seeing your family, your friends, and give up your recreations and hobbies? Rich people are.”
No, non, nein, no, no. Nope. Not me. Not willing to pay. If you want the big goal, good for you. Be my guest. Go read one of the big boys’ books. But make sure you take a good squint at the price tag for that life, too. The big vision doesn’t come cheap. Sign me up for the Small Independent Film, the smaller vision, a smaller goal, and a smaller price, thanks. I don’t have ten workshops, I just have one. One workshop that works is all I need. I say what the price is and that’s the price all the time for everybody. I purposefully did not create a business. I created a job for myself.
The downside is that when you just create a job for yourself, it is totally dependent on you and without you it ceases to exist. So in 2008, I remembered that my friend Michelle Anton suggested that I train other people to lead my workshops, and I started the Financial Stress Reduction® Certification program : http://www.chellie.com/financial-certification-program and started licensing others to use my brand, name, and materials so they could enjoy this lovely workshop and teleseminar business I created and help more people become financially fit and emotionally and spiritually rich, too.
Every time I examine my business and whether or not to expand, I filter everything through my goal within the goal: I want to be small and happy and rich. I want a life full of fun, hobbies, family and friends every day that I’m alive. I want to have dinner with my buddies. I want to play poker. I want to go to the movies with my 91-year-old daddy while he’s still here with us. I want to help plan the baby shower for my niece. I want to be happy every day. I want a business that I run, not one that runs me. I want work that gets me to a life, not work that is my life.
$150,000-250,000 a year sounds just ducky to me. If that sounds good to you, you’re in luck—I have the program for that.