I was inspired by this question on Facebook from coaching colleague and Intuitive Wealth Coach, Ursula O’Connell to answer it here on my blog.
If you won the lottery tomorrow, would you still continue to do the work you do? Would you do something else? Or would you stop work altogether and just hang out?
Its three questions really, isn’t it? So let’s attack them in that order.
1. If you won the lottery tomorrow, would you still continue to do the work you do?
Funnily enough, I was discussing this very issue yesterday or the day before with another colleague, Marion Ryan. The short answer is yes.
The longer answer is that I asked myself a variant of this question earlier in the year and my life took a new direction precisely because I asked myself this. My version of the question is “If money were no option, what would you do all day long?” And my answer came that I would provide free advice and coaching and mentoring to entrepreneurs. And so I set about doing that and it led me to growing my coaching practice again, quite considerably. It was on my mind to revamp my coaching business, but not at that precise time and not in that way using free advice as a way to attract clients. But that’s precisely what happened to my surprise and delight.
And although I would like to continue to do this, it does present some issues. I love helping for free but it is not always the best way to help. If people get free advice that tend to either not value it, or not action it. Some do, some don’t; I can point to examples of both. And that’s just the way that it is and that’s fine. So provided I didn’t get hung up on whether or not people pay any attention to my advice, whether paid or unpaid, I would continue to do this work which I love, yes.
It occurs to me that there are other ways to do it for free too. About ten years ago when I was early to this coaching business, I was at the point where a coach has to learn how to go from free to fee as the saying goes, to get over the hump of charging for what we do. Free has its drawbacks as I’ve explained. It attracts freebie hunters, the skint and the scarce; not exclusively so, but often. And so you have to invent ways to get value from and for your freebie clients en route to charging.
I invented a barrier to entry. If someone would write me an email pitch explaining why I might take them on as a client for free and I decided that they sounded like the sort of person I would want to donate my time to for whatever reason – I thought I could really help them, or they needed a leg up/a lucky break, or they demonstrated they were determined enough to leverage my time and expertise to great value, then I would donate it. I am thinking of one woman as I write who made an excellent pitch. I gave her 12 weeks for free, next we did a skills swap (of which I am not a fan, by the way, and perhaps I will write more about that another day) and then we went on to become friends. So my instincts about her original pitch were all good. She sounded like a woman worth investing in.
if I won when I win the Lottery tomorrow, I would have to bring back the “pitch for it” system and invite would-be clients to tell me why I should invest my time in them. When it goes well, there’s nothing I’d rather do, not even my three favourite things of reading, writing and swimming in the turquoise water.
2. Would you do something else?
Yes, I like to think I would write more (and read, and swim in the turquoise water).
3. Would you stop work altogether and just hang out?
I don’t rule that out, honestly. I haven’t worked very hard for the last three years and I have found it deceptively easy. If money were no object, again, then relaxation would be even easier because the only thing which has marred my last three years off is ongoing concern about my under-performing investments in the current global financial circumstances.
I enjoy my leisure time more than I could possibly have imagined. I’ve enjoyed learning to meditate and having time to explore and dwell in and get to discover the quieter, introverted parts of myself. I’ve loved creating peace and quiet and exploring new writers, going to the cinema in the afternoons and a little bit of gardening. And I’ve developed my new green juicing hobby and even written a book about it.
Stopping work altogether and just hanging out with myself has given me an incredible opportunity to get to know myself better and love myself more and given that the resource I share with others, whether friends, family, clients – paying or otherwise – is myself, the more I invest in that, the happier we all have the potential to be.
Free ways to work with me include: