I’ve begun to notice an interesting phenomenon around the “reality” of time and money. Over the past three years as I’ve built my business, I’ve learned some big lessons that have shifted my reality.
Entrepreneurship has taught me so much about myself, and it’s also given me the opportunity to speak with leaders all over the country – whether I’m presenting at a conference, or exploring possibilities on a strategy call.
Through my own experience, and through these conversations, I’ve noticed certain patterns of thoughts and behaviors that seem to come up frequently, especially in the areas of time and money.
Time and money are tangible, measurable, quantifiable resources. We can easily see how much we have and how much we don’t. From our phones, we can see in real time how much money is in our bank account, or how many appointments and commitments we have scheduled on our calendar.
This enables us to make informed decisions accordingly.
Or does it?
What if I told you that some of the most significant transformational moments I’ve observed in my life and in the lives of the leaders I served happened when it appeared like there wasn’t enough time or money available?
Let’s look at a few examples.
Back when I was an employee, I vividly remember a night when I had worked a 10-hour day, and still hadn’t accomplished what I needed to get done. I complained to my husband that my work schedule was way too full.
I honestly felt that it wasn’t humanly possible to do it all!
I felt exhausted, burned out, overwhelmed, and didn’t think I had the capacity to add anything else to my plate.
Then something amazing happened.
Right at that moment, my phone beeped, and I read an email from an arts leader I respected who was asking for my help and collaboration on a project that was going to have tremendous impact.
My heart leaped, I smiled, and without even looking at my calendar, I KNEW that I was going to say yes.
Just like that, “magically” in one instant, I had capacity to do more. I figured out how to make it possible,
But how can this be? Nothing had changed! My calendar still had all that stuff on it!
I remember the very first time I found myself facing a decision on whether or not to spend some big money to join a year-long leadership mastermind.
At first, the conversation in my head was pretty straightforward.
The cost is “x” and I don’t have it.
I can’t afford it.
I remember saying to the transformational leader, “This is NOT a mindset issue – I’m looking at my bank statement right now, and I.do.not.have.it.”
A few hours later, I began thinking that perhaps a more accurate statement would have been “I do have the money, but I am choosing to spend it on other things instead”
A few more hours later, I realized that if I wanted to achieve the work-life future I envisioned for myself, my family, and the people I am meant to serve – I needed to take actions that would create the possibility for THAT.
In my case, the clear choice emerged that I needed to sign up for what would end up being the beginning of my next chapter.
Once I figured it out, and created the payment schedule, “magically” I had the money.
But how can this be? Nothing had changed! My bank account still showed the same number.
My husband and I recently had the opportunity to watch ourselves shift around the “tangible reality” of time and money, when we made the decision to go on a 30-day global world pilgrimage.
To be honest, our initial very reasonable thoughts were:
“We can’t each take 30-days off from work!
“We can’t afford the price!”
“We’re in the process of moving to Santa Barbara, and, and, and…”
Then, we thought about how our son’s successful battle with cancer the past year taught us to live each day. We thought about how grateful we are that we’ve reached a stage in life where our children are (almost?!) on their own.
We knew we would regret not saying “yes” to ourselves.
We said yes. But how can this be? Nothing had changed!
We figured it out. And the process of saying Yes, created many ripples of impact and that choice to go on the pilgrimage has truly transformed our lives.
The power of “SO THAT…”
When you hear yourself saying “No” to something, take a minute to test your assumptions.
“No” may indeed be the right answer, but you may want to ask yourself the following questions to be sure:
- How do I want to make a difference in the lives of others over the next 6 months?
- What will that mean to them?
- Why is that so important to me?
- How will I feel when that occurs?
- What do I need to help me achieve that impact?
- Will this investment of my time or money help me create this possibility?
- If yes, then complete this sentence: “I am choosing to invest my time/money in __________ SO THAT I _________(the impact you will have on others)____________.
And then, watch as – like “magic” – you figure out how to prioritize/invest/create your time and your money in ways that will create the possibility for you to have the success (impact & joy) you are meant to have!
To your success,