High Profit Thinking Part 5: CARETAKERS
What’s the biggest complaint in the personal lives of struggling entrepreneurs? You want support—from your spouse or partner, friends, and family. What do you get? The opposite. When you’re building yourself up to do big things, it feels like they’re tearing you down. The folks who aren’t supporting you fall into three categories: caretakers, crabs, and cults. Today we’re talking about the caretakers, and how caretaking costs everyone money.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Three ways that high profit thinking reduces risk in your business
- What “fear of desire” is, and why it tends to shows up in women far more than men
- How not to be a “business bridezilla”
- Why making serious money begins at home
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Welcome to Episode 36 of How to Make More Money, a podcast that helps you get seriously good at the game of making serious money. I’m your host Kelly Hollingsworth, and I’m thrilled you’re here because we’re continuing our discussion about high-profit thinking. In this series of episodes, we’re answering the critically important question of what is really involved in using your mind to make more money? If you’ve been with us in this series of episodes thus far, what I hope you’re gleaning is that creating real financial security is an inside job. If you want to create true external security, including big fat stacks of cash that enable you to weather almost any storm life can throw at you, how do you do that? External security in the form of cash that helps you weather almost any storm begins by feeling secure on the inside. Why? Because when you feel secure, when you perceive no risk, that’s when you feel free to get on the field of business and play the game like a pro, and that’s when you win.
Is this how most folks are playing? No. Most people are feeling the fear and doing it anyway. And this may work for some, to some degree, but is this the optimal business plan? No. How do we know this? Because picture this. You can be out there on the field of business with anxiety and panic, or without anxiety and panic. Guess which works better? Running your business without anxiety and panic. What works so much better than feeling the fear and doing it anyway is running your business with absolutely no fear whatsoever. This is where the money is my friends, not just for those of you who are already on the field and playing scared, but also for those of you who are thus far sitting very reasonably on the sidelines and very reasonably saying, “Panic attacks. If that’s where the profit is, no thank you.”
Getting out of fear so you can play like a pro–and win–is key to you making more money, and to us collectively closing the gender earnings gap. And this is why we are discussing a cognitive path away from entrepreneurial fear and insecurity, and we’re heading to a happily ever after a feeling ultra secure in your business. So you can play like a pro with complete security on the field. You can own the field. This sets the stage for winning in business, which is the foundation for ultimate financial security in life. It’s a great place to be.
So now let’s continue our discussion of how you get there. The path is clear. I’ve walked it. How do you do this? Let’s recap. The steps we’ve discussed thus far. First, use your brain logically to eliminate imaginary risk. We talked about this in the first episode on the series in high-profit thing, then what’s left?
Once you eliminate the imaginary risk, it’s time to deal with the real risk. To eliminate or mitigate actual risk in your business, you need mental and emotional engagement. And you create it using the seven-step recipe I shared with you in the last two episodes. This is the recipe you want to employ in using your mind to create serious money, because it creates engagement. And the engaged brain is the best tool for mitigating and eliminating risk to the greatest degree possible. Why is this the case? Think about this. Whenever anything goes awry, is it because you’re really thinking about what you’re doing? Or is it because you’re not thinking at all? Your mind is elsewhere? I’m going to guess it’s the latter. And that’s one of the reasons why, if you don’t want things to go south in your business, an engaged brain is the best protection available at any price.
So how do you get this? Last time we discussed step one in the high-profit recipe for an engaged brain, it’s discerning the problem. This is a challenge, because we’re generally admonished never to think negatively. We’re told by well-meaning civilians around us that any amount of negativity is complaining. More of a concern, we’re told by coaches and “experts in law-of-attraction land” that negativity is an anathema to making money. But if everything around you is neutral or positive, what happens? No one has a problem. And when no one has a problem, no one needs your solution. Misplaced neutrality is what happens when something clearly is not neutral and someone is asking you to think that it is. Toxic positivity is what happens when something is clearly a problem and someone is asking you to pretend and that it isn’t.
And then what happens? When we’re ignoring problems and in the la la land of no solutions, there is no growth. There is no business. And no profits. And why not? Because you staying stuck, right where you are, in the dirty diaper that you desperately want to escape doesn’t create the click. You don’t walk a path to a happily ever after. And when you don’t walk that path, you cannot guide someone else there either. So here’s something to know. Training your brain to think of the stinky start as neutral or positive is never going to make you money. Don’t slap makeup on a pimple. Figure out how to get rid of the pimple!
So the lesson to glean from last time is don’t use your brain to pretend everything is okay when clearly everything is not okay. How do you know if you’re doing this? When something bothers you in life, a vexing problem that persists that’s been nipping at your heels forever, you will know if you are using your brain to tolerate the intolerable if you find yourself thinking or saying, “It doesn’t matter.” You will find yourself listening when other folks tell you that something doesn’t matter, that this is just the way it is. This is what a brain in low-profit mode does, instead of getting to work in solving the problem. Tolerating the intolerable is due in large part to misplaced neutrality and toxic positivity, and it’s cured by what I call “necessary negativity”. At the stinky start, when you are sitting there in the dirty diaper of the problem, discerning the problem and deciding it simply won’t do, is what you must do. This is the first step to creating an engaged brain. When you do it, it’s the beginning of using your brain to make money.
Now, how does this reduce the risk in your business? We just discussed one way: Fewer things go awry when your brain is engaged and you’re paying attention to what’s happening. Another way this reduces risk is that it requires you to focus on the things that actually need your focus. The things that will actually move the needle for your customers, and therefore that move the needle for your business. And this isn’t what most business owners focus on. We tend to think that business is risky, but what’s really going on is that businesses are creating risk with a fixation on non-problems.
How many times have you spoken to someone who wanted to start a business and they told you, “The business was going to do something that no business needs to do”? Something like, “We’re going to open a restaurant where you can choose 10 different kinds of bread for your hamburger.” This, by the way, was what a struggling restaurant down the road from my former house in Idaho did. When you order a burger, you’re offered a dizzying array of choices for the bun. It wasn’t just white or wheat, the list included sourdough, focaccia, brioche. I can’t even remember all the choices, but I do remember that the list of choices seemed endless and felt completely unnecessary.
Upon hearing the list, I was asking myself, “Is this a thing now? Is the lack of 10 different choices about the type of bread that makes up your hamburger bun a problem that needs to be solved by this restaurant?” No. When we order a burger, the problem we’re focused on is this, “Often when I order a burger, it isn’t fantastic. Am I going to have a different experience this time?” When has anyone ever said, “Often when I order a burger, I’m disappointed that there aren’t 10 different choices for the bun???” That’s something no one has said ever. If anything, these days more and more folks are foregoing the bread entirely.
Here’s another example. Before I retired from the hedge fund industry, struggling hedge fund managers would call me up and want to talk about tax mitigation, “What esoteric and complicated solutions were we going to come up with to solve the problem of how to pay less tax on an income of $500 million?” This is an interesting question, but it was almost always ill-timed, because the guy who wanted to solve his $500 million tax problem didn’t even have an income yet. He was focused on a non-problem. That’s never going to make you money. It will only create risk.
I also see this in the coaching world. Among struggling coaches, I see a strong desire to create an endless stream of content in the form of trainings, modules, and worksheets. The thinking here is, “If I just give my audience more and more content, or my clients more and more content, I’m doing my job.”
This isn’t what gets it done my friends. Creating content feels productive when you’re in the coaching business, but it’s a low dollar activity because it’s disengaged from the real problem. Delivering more information in the form of content is not the equivalent of delivering real transformation. If it were, high school would be a life-changing experience. Is it? No. You may learn things in high school because you consume and regurgitate information in endless bouts of intellectual bulimia. But does this process rock your world? Do you transform in compelling in powerful ways through these endless bouts of binge on information, and purging on test day? Absolutely not. This is because information does not create transformation. And so coaches who focus on teaching and creating content generally do not do as well as coaches who create massive transformation. Don’t get me wrong, you will see some coaches who create content like crazy making what seems like a ton of money. Relative to other professions, it is a ton of money. But in the coaching business, these coaches who are churning out content are under earning. Because think about Tony Robbins. His one day rate for private clients is somewhere north of a million dollars. Why? Because his clients transform. They don’t consume information. Tony Robbins is not offering intellectual bulimia that leaves his clients exhausted and wondering what the point is. Tony Robbins offers transformation. The transformation you get in a session with him rocks your world.
So if you are a coach who’s struggling to make money, ask yourself this, “Do my clients need more content?” If that’s really what they need, by all means, create more content. But if your clients need something else–a transformation rather than information–a lack of content isn’t the problem. And creating more content is therefore never going to be the solution. Focus on the problem is key because it prevents wasted effort. It prevents not serving your clients. And this is why the step we discussed last time–discerning the problem–protects you from the very real risk that you’ll grind yourself into a fine dusty powder doing work that takes you nowhere. This happens all the time. And if you want to make serious money, we can’t have it happening to you. This is a real risk that can afflict business owners generally, and it is solved by discerning the problem.
Another risk that’s solved by discerning the problem is the risk that your business will be perceived as a giant cash grab, and therefore feel repellent to your audience. If you’ve spent any time knocking around the internet lately, you have probably heard or encountered a business like this before. The owner says, “My big focus is to make X amount of money.” Maybe it’s $25 million, $50 million, $100 million dollars. Whatever the amount is, the business owner is out there in the public sphere announcing that the big goal is to make a big dollar amount.
Is this attractive to you as a customer of that business? On some level, it is attractive because human growth is expressed in big goals. We are drawn to folks who are on a heroic journey of human growth to achieve remarkable objectives, and something like making a $100 million is certainly remarkable. But in goals like this, there’s also an undercurrent of something that feels not quite right, that feels a bit repellent. The reason it feels repellent is because when this happens–when a business owner is announcing their revenue goal–the business owner is focused not on the problem, but on the profits.
Step one in the high-profit thinking recipe for an engaged brain is to pull your focus away from the profits and put them on the problem. This removes you from the risk that a repellent, indulgent vibe will permeate your message, and everything else around your business, and it puts you in an attractive vibe of high service.
This is where every business owner should be, but this is especially important if we’re going to close the gender earnings gap. Why? Because on balance, we tend not to have much of a problem with men who are in it for the money. They are, after all, supporting families and building empires and creating wealth and becoming billionaires, which in our collective consciousness generally is what we consider that men are supposed to do. We tend to have little problem with any of this. When a man is in it for the money, we find it attractive. There is a reason that “billionaires and babies” is a hit genre in erotic/romance novels. And movies, now that I think about it.
The movie Pretty Woman comes to mind here. Richard Gere’s character, Edward, was definitely in it for the money, and he was one attractive dude. But what of Julia Roberts’ character, in the movie Pretty Woman? Her character, Vivian, also was in it for the money, but Vivian was repellent to many of the other characters that she encountered. Yes, she was in a different business than Edward, an illegal business to be sure, and illegality in any form is not what I’m suggesting for anyone. I’m raising this example to point out that their businesseses, and their roles within those businesses, were similar. So similar, in fact, that at one point in the movie, Edward even turned to Vivian and he said, “You and I are very similar creatures, Vivian. We both screw people for money.” Yet, in spite of their similarities, they were treated very dissimilarly by the folks around them.
What this movie reveals is that being “in it for the money” often is viewed very differently when a man does it versus a woman. This is why fear of desire, i.e. they’re going to think I want money, or they think I’m in it for the money is something that runs rampant in women. Rarely, if ever, have I seen it in a man. Does this fear exist in men too? Maybe. Just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. My friend Miriam once pointed out to me that I’ve worked with the highest earning men on the planet. And so my view of what those men think probably is not representative of what all men think. I appreciate that for sure. But the point of my work in closing the gender earnings gap and the gender wealth gap isn’t to help women earn on par with men generally, but rather to help them earn on par with the highest earning men on the planet. Why wouldn’t we go there? That’s a fantastic place to go.
And what I know for sure is that, “Eek, someone might think I want money,” are words that have never crossed a man’s lips, when I was in earshot anyway. I don’t think this is an accident, because as I was saying earlier, people having a sense that a man may want money generally isn’t scary for the men in question. We applaud men for wanting money. That’s ambitious, it’s driven, it’s desirable. We lust after men when they desire money and act on that desire.
With women, what’s the reaction? Not that. Generally not that. And often decidedly not that. The reaction to female desire to make money often is not favorable. You can do the thing that makes money all day long. Good for you honey. You go, girl. But attach doing the thing that makes money to the desire to make money in exchange for doing the thing, and then what happens? Often, it becomes unattractive, no matter what the business is. And in the case of our fictional friend Vivian’s business, it also becomes illegal.
This is among the reasons that female desire to make money remains hidden. We fear letting others see it because if others see it, we could suffer adverse reactions from them and negative consequences. This is all a big fear that I call the “fear of desire.” I want money, but I’m not entirely comfortable with others knowing that I want money.
Fear of desire is a huge thing. It shows up with you working for free. It shows up with you working for a nonprofit. It shows up with you taking your cash-generating business idea and offering it through a nonprofit that you create rather than a for-profit vehicle. All of this happened so much, I can’t even tell you. This latter case, taking your business and gutting its cash-generating potential by offering it through a nonprofit is a problem that hides in plain sight because never do women who start a nonprofit announced that they are doing so because they’re afraid that someone might know they want money. Women don’t say, “I want money but I’m afraid of what you’re going to think if I do, so I’m going to just set up this non-profit and forego cash in commerce.” No one announces what they’re doing when they’re doing this. Rather they speak in code, in euphemisms.
And if you’re a woman who’s doing this to yourself, here’s how to decipher what’s happening. If you’re at risk of taking a great business idea and gutting its cash potential by setting it up as a nonprofit, you will know that’s the case if you hear yourself–here’s one litmus test,–if you hear yourself speaking in terms of community, that’s one test for this. If you have fear of desire, building a community feels very important, because when you’re focused on building a community–when the importance of community is the big focus of your efforts–then no one can accuse you of being in it for the cash. Building a community feels very safe. Building a business for a profit on the other hand, even if it does exactly the same thing that the nonprofit would, whatever the offer is, that feels less safe. Why? Because if you put it in a business instead of a nonprofit, people will know that you want cash. That’s the part that feels unsafe for many women. If you put your business idea in a nonprofit, people will believe that you want community, and this always feels safe because this is never something we fault women for. We applaud it.
So what’s the solution? How can you make the cash you want instead of turning your money-making idea into a non-profit so you won’t be perceived with disdain and chased with rocks and sticks? Here the answer lies in etiquette. Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior is one of my all-time favorite books ever. It’s amazing. So if you don’t have that book, maybe pick up a copy. But whether you do or you don’t have that book, think about this. Think about a bride. She sends invitations to invite folks to her wedding. People who are coming expect to bring a gift. It’s not obligatory, but it’s what you do. If you care enough about the bride to come to her wedding, you bring a gift. So the gift, in a manner of speaking, is the price of entry to the wedding. But there are some brides who are focused on what’s happening at the gift table. Are the gifts piling up fast enough? Are they big enough? These brides are often termed “bridezillas.” The fact that they’re receiving gifts isn’t the problem. That’s not what makes them bridezillas, and the object of our collective scorn and disdain. The fact that they are focused on the gifts, that they are in it for the gifts, is the problem.
Have you ever been to a wedding where the DJ announces the “money dance,” and the bride stands in the center of the dance floor wanting money, and no one gets up to dance with her? It is so awkward. Oh my word, it is so painful to watch. And the brides who are focused on their guests’ comfort would never put their guests through that. There is not a money dance at a wedding that is entirely focused on the guests and their comfort (Unless you live in a culture where the money dance is obligatory and the guests want to do it, which is rare these days).
What effective brides know, every person in business should also know. When you’re focused on the problems of the people around you and solving those problems and making sure that folks are having an amazing time, and you’re not thinking anything about the gifts piling up on the gift table over in the corner, and you’re certainly not planning a money dance, when all this is going on, no one has a critical thought in their heads about you. The moment you think about the money, your vibe changes from skilled business person to business bridezilla. And that is the moment that folks are, on some level, repelled.
So take a lesson from the effective bride’s playbook. If you want to gut fear of desire like a fish, attract clients, and remove the risk that folks will perceive that you are a giant cash grab, because you are a giant cash grab, take your focus off the cash and put your eyes on the problem you’re solving. With every single thing you do, act out of concern for the problem. Fixate on that. Focus on how much the problem stinks and get to solving it, and let the money pile up behind you without thinking about that at all. When you’re fixated on the problem, and the solution and the money is an afterthought for you, this will be the case for others as well. The money will be an afterthought for them as well. They will perceive you as a person who is acting in service, because you are a person who is acting in service, Even when you’re making a ton of money for what you’re doing. and then folks will say, “And she should make a ton of money for what she’s doing, because look at how she is serving people. Look at what she’s accomplishing in the world. All the good she’s doing.”
This business principle of “don’t be a bridezilla” applies to everyone, and works for everyone regardless of gender, but it works especially well for women, because women often very reasonably fear being perceived of a cash grab far more than men. So if we’re going to close the gender earnings gap, ladies, this is something you need to know: Focusing on your customer’s problems, and not on the cash piling up behind you, is how you are perceived as the business person everyone loves. For all humans generally, and for women especially, this solution is not to forego money, but rather to never be in it for the money. Be in it for the meaning. Be in it to help people. Let the money pile up as an afterthought. This mitigates, or eliminates entirely, the risk that you will be perceived as in it for the money and suffer the fallout from that.
Doing this begins with what we discussed last time, in step one in the high-profit thinking recipe for creating an engaged brain. Focus on why the problem you solve is so stinky. Keep that front and center in your mind. Change lives. When you do this, you will feel very differently about what you’re doing. Even when you are collecting money for changing lives, you will feel that what you’re doing is important and saving the world. You will feel that it’s not about the money, because it isn’t, even if money is involved. When you feel this, others will pick up on the way you feel, and they will feel it too. Emotions are contagious. How you feel about making the money you’re making is the most important criteria for how others perceive what you’re doing. If you’re in it for the money, people will feel that. If you’re in it to serve people, they will feel that instead. This is how you begin to use your brain to reduce risk in your business. Law of attraction nonsense, asking the universe for what you want, i.e. money and wealth, increases risk in too many ways to count, but one of them is that you’ll be perceived as in it for yourself and that’s repellent. High-profit thinking–asking the universe what you can do to solve big problems with real solutions–knocks this risk down to nothing, and it begins by focusing on what stinks about the current problem.
Then what? The next risk that can derail your business comes in the form of a lack of support. Once you’ve identified the stinky start, the next step in the high-profit recipe for an engaged brain is the decision to create a new world in which this problem doesn’t exist, for you and for anyone else who from it, and who wants to avail themselves of your solution. This is the second step because entrepreneurial leadership that stops at discerning the problem isn’t actually leadership, it’s just garden-variety complaining. Leadership and business means both discerning the problem and creating and offering the solution. And this, by the way, is what gets your clients moving towards you. They need to escape their stinky start and they desperately want to get to their happily ever after, engaging your brain in what’s stinky about the unhappy starting-point. And what’s amazing about the happily ever after is what’s going to set the stage for real leadership that has people following you, hiring you and dying to do business with you.
Is this easy, this step of envisioning the new world in which this problem simply doesn’t exist? Is this something that most folks can readily do? No. Why not? Because the moment you say, “I’m not going to live with this anymore, and no one else should have to either!” what happens? Your ideal, your vision for the new world, will be met with resistance from all the humans around you. Why? Because envisioning a new world and deciding to create it necessarily means one thing: change. And change scares the pants off of most folks. They will then suggest that you stay right where you are, stuck in the dirty diaper of your stinky starting point. This is the resistance. The resistance can come from inside you or from external forces around you. And wherever it appears, it will appear just as it does in the movie Legally Blonde. The beginning of that movie shows us what it looks like. When Elle announces she’s going to Harvard Law School to get the love of her life back, what happens? Is there a ticker tape parade celebrating her big idea? Nope. There is the opposite.
She’s questioned by her mother, “You were second runner up in the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Bikini Competition, why would you want to give all that up?”
She’s told by her father, “Law school is for boring, ugly and serious people, and you, Button, are none of those things.”
Her friends also have questions, “Isn’t law school hard?” One of her friends thinks the LSAT is a disease that gives you a rash.
She’s told by her counselor, “Harvard won’t be impressed that you aced history of polka dots. What are your backup schools?”
These questions aren’t just for the movies. They happen in real life, too. And they reveal the resistance that all of us encounter when we announce that we’re headed off into the new world. This resistance happens to everyone, and when it does, here’s what it looks like. When you show up with imagination, a sense of no limits about what you can accomplish, and you feel welcoming about the work that’s involved to get it, that’s when you’ll be met with resistance like Elle encountered. And this resistance will come in three forms: caretakers, crabs, and cults. First there are the caretakers. These are the folks we’re going to identify today. The caretakers are the folks in your life who taught you or demonstrated for you or otherwise communicated that work, or at least certain kinds of work, is to be avoided at all costs and done by the caretakers instead of you. This is a message that takes your income and cuts it off at the knees.
This was not a pervasive message for me in my life. I think this is one of the big reasons that I make money. Work was a skill I acquired at a very young age. So did my sisters. The skill of embracing work as a means to get somewhere, and a pleasure in and of itself, is why two of my mom’s three daughters are currently self-made millionaires. My older sister is a self-made millionaire. I am a self-made multi-millionaire. And our younger sister is on her way. She’s not quite there yet, but she will get there. There isn’t a doubt in my mind.
So how do you get here? That’s what this entire show is about. But in a nutshell, self-made millions from entrepreneurship comes from visualizing a new world in which the problem your business solves no longer exists for you or anyone who is your client or customer.And this vision means you’re setting a standard of what that world will look like, and then you welcome the work it will take to get it. You don’t just welcome the work. You roll up your sleeves and you roll around in the work. You dive in with everything you have and you create your vision.
There is nothing more rewarding in life than this. This is so important that I will repeat it. There is nothing more rewarding in life than visualizing a new, better reality and rolling up your sleeves to make it happen. For a human, this is as good as it gets. We are hardwired to serve, and there is no better feeling than we get when we are serving a vision for a better world and making it happen. And this is the essence of entrepreneurship my friends. Fulfilling your human purpose and experiencing the happy byproduct of an ever-growing bank account as you do.
So now the question is: What’s the problem? If this is the best thing ever, and it is, why do so many of us get stuck, and our purpose goes unfulfilled? Too many reasons to count, but today we’re going to discuss a biggie. The big entrepreneurial risk that we need to solve right now is this? What are we going to do about the folks who try to pull you off your game every time you stand up or otherwise demonstrate that you’re heading towards the field so you can get up and play? The first thing to do is recognize when this happens. The folks who try to pull you off your game are everywhere. We’re going to talk about them today and in the next two episodes. You cannot swing a dead cat around without hitting one of these folks in the head. And they basically come in three flavors: There are the caretakers, there are crabs, and then there are cults. These are the folks to watch out for. And with today’s episode, we begin our discussion of how to recognize them.
Today we’re discussing caretakers. To visualize these folks in action, think back to when you were very young, two or three years old. If you can remember back that far, great, or think of a two or three-year-old whom you know right now, what do they want? Universally, these ambitious, energetic, enthusiastic, young humans want to do it myself. When someone else is doing something, they want to help, no matter what’s going on, they want to be involved. What do they get? The opposite. They get, “Get out of that. Let me do that.” They get, “Don’t touch it. You’re going to break it.” They get, “Let me help you.” And then an adult or an older child swoops in and does it for them. This continues through childhood. It persists in the teen years, it gets a big boost in the young adult ears. Children used to be part of the economic engine of a home. Now, the parents have become their servants and the children, against their own desires, have become the served. This leads to frustration, and then eventually to disillusionment and disempowered entitlement. The process is as mathematical and logical as watching dominoes fall. And it especially happens in affluent homes where parents don’t want things to be as hard for their kids as it was for them.
The desire to make things easy for kids, to serve them and make life easy, is perhaps understandable, but it’s not actually what they want. And it’s not actually what gets you what you want either. Consider what happens when you have the opposite. We had the exact opposite of that in our house. We were engaged, my sisters and I, in what happened in our home. There was no TV to mindlessly occupy our minds. There were books. There were so many books. There were no housekeepers to clean for us. There were chores. Tons of chores. There was no takeout to feed u. There were recipes, stacks and stacks of recipes that we learned to make. We learned to cook food. There wasn’t even a thermostat. There was firewood that we chopped and hauled and stacked ourselves. So much firewood. And this may sound primitive, it may sound disadvantaged, as if we were suffering in all this deprivation, but we weren’t. We were engaged. And when we were engaged, we were happy. Was I happy living in poverty? No. But I was happy when I was engaged in alleviating the problems of poverty. And from that place, I imagined a future that was even better than what I had. I set standards for what I wanted. And I welcomed the work that was involved in getting to those standards. It was exhilarating.
A home environment that created involvement and engagement is a big reason that each of my mom’s three daughters is an outlier in terms of financial success. Our financial results weren’t an accident. They came from, and to this day, continue to be produced by having lived in an engaged home in which each of us was principally responsible for our own care, and also, collectively responsible for running the household. How do you create this? This kind of engagement very naturally bubbles up in a home with an absence of caretakers. The caretakers create a low-profit home of disengaged, uninvolved people. So take note. This is one of the elements of a high-profit home. No one person is responsible for the care and feeding of all other humans. Instead, all humans of every age engage in and share collectively in the care and feeding of the humans and running the home.
This is not what’s happening in most homes today. If we were flies on the wall in most homes today, we would see the exact opposite. Adults, who are the caretakers of children. And many of these children aren’t even biological children anymore. They’re biological adults who are capable of creating their own children. And yet, the adults in the home are caretaking for them, sometimes as if these humans they’re taking care of aren’t even ambulatory.
Why does this happen? Inside Gateway to Seven™, there’s a segment of the program called High Profit Home™. This element of the program exists because one of the big barriers to entrepreneurial success, particularly for women, is the idea that, “I’d really love to do this business and make a boatload of money. But if I do, the house is going to fall down around me.” I can’t tell you how many great pieces of coaching brilliance in the program have garnered this response: “That sounds great, Kelly, and I want to do it, but I feel glued to my chair and paralyzed from doing it because as much as I want to do that, I’m sitting here wondering who’s going to make dinner.” This is a giant barrier to you making serious money, and to women collectively closing the gender earnings gap. And we solve for this problem in the High Profit Home™ portion of the Gateway to Seven™ program.
And in the High Profit Home™ portion of the program, the fundamental problem we’re solving, or one of them anyway, is the idea that kids are incapable. A mom will say, “I just want to know that they’re capable of putting their shoes in the closet.” Or, “I just want to know that they’re capable of filling their own water bottles or packing their own lunches.” Is this really the desire? To know that the kids are capable? No. The true desire is not to know the kids are capable of doing these things, but rather for the kids to actually do these things. But the desire is phrased as “I just want to know they’re capable”, because what happens if we know someone is capable of doing something? We are relieved of enormous guilt if we don’t do it for them. If I’m capable of filling my own water bottle, and you know that, you will experience no guilt if you don’t do it for me, and instead, go out and save the world and make millions of dollars doing so.
But what happens if you’re laying back in your business so you can lean into the task of filling water bottles with the thought of, I’m not really sure they’re capable? The actions that we take are like tofu, my friends. If you cook tofu in ginger, it tastes very different than if you cook it in garlic. And the actions we take are just the same. Whatever you do picks up the flavor of the thoughts you are thinking when you do it, when you take the action. Am I saying, “Never fill a water bottle for your kid”? No. But if you are filling water bottle after water bottle after water bottle (that’s really hard to say, give that one a try if you like). If you’re filling up all these water bottles while you are thinking, “I don’t think they can actually do this,” or, “They can’t do this,” your kids are going to pick up on that.
Another way of saying this is that your thoughts about your kids–and everyone else for that matter–are like secondhand smoke. Everyone else smells them too. When my relatives used to smoke, I would say, “I don’t have to sit here and eat that smoke.” And a few of them would respond, “But I’m breathing it in. Not you. This isn’t hurting you.” As if the human lung is a HEPA filter, which it obviously isn’t. And neither is the human brain. What you think changes your vibe, and everyone around you picks up on your vibe from a mile away. This is why everyone knows what you’re thinking, including your kids. If you’re thinking, “They can’t really do this,” and you jump up to do everything for them, it’s folly to even pretend that this message remains carefully segregated in the confines of your own brain. It doesn’t. It’s just like secondhand smoke. Your kids smell it too.
My mother often asks–I think I’ve spoken about this in the podcast before–she often asks, but especially lately, she asks, “I wonder how you girls got it into your heads that you could do anything you wanted?” And the answer is largely because she thought we could do anything. One big thing she thought about me was that I was a genius. Am I really a genius? Who knows? I can’t find France on a map to save my life. If you want a glimpse into one of my major mental deficiencies, that’s one of them. But I perform as a genius in many of my endeavors, and I can’t help but think that her thoughts on this subject are a big reason why. In most things, no one ever told me I was stupid. They thought I was smart. They told me I was smart. And in my mind, it’s not an accident that in many instances I function as smart. This does not include finding France on a map, or nailing anything to a wall for that matter.
Oh, and here’s another thing. The other day … I can’t believe I’m telling you this. The other day, my husband and I were missing a critical piece off of the top of our Instant Pot and I said, “Maybe it went into the disposal.” And what did I do, to see if it was in the disposal? I turned on the disposal, because I knew if I heard the critically important piece of the Instant Pot rattling around there in the disposal while the disposal chewed it up, then we would have confirmation that the missing piece was in fact in the disposal. So I’m standing there in the kitchen, and as I flipped the switch and turned the disposal on, my husband was watching me with this horror on his face, because I am causing this machine to literally eat up the piece that we needed to run the Instant Pot. And here’s why I’m telling you this story. I know in that moment his thoughts were not, Damn, my wife is a genius. He was definitely not thinking that.
But in any case, here’s what you need to know. Caretaking–snatching work away from someone, especially with the thought that they can’t do it, or they might not be able to do it–is a big impediment to the experience of entrepreneurial exhilaration. And this problem spreads in multiple directions. If you’re a caretaker, you are not going to experience entrepreneurial exhilaration because you’re busy putting away shoes and filling water bottles for people who, in your mind, might not be or are not capable of doing this themselves. And in this process, two things are certain to happen. One: You will miss out on your own entrepreneurial exhilaration. That’s for sure. And you also will set the other humans in your home on a path to miss out on theirs. Because in the process of caretaking, you’re sending them two very damaging and insidious messages. One is that they aren’t really capable. And two–the other thing this will do is equally or more damaging–you will send a message that work sucks and that they shouldn’t have to do it. Work is for the lesser people, one of whom is you. This will never get you to your happily ever after, and it won’t get them there either. It won’t get anyone you care about anything that anyone wants.
So here’s something to notice, we are all born with a desire to envision a better world and to work towards creating it. I was born this way. You were too. Using these entrepreneurial gifts that you were born with is what it means to live an engaged life. If employing your imagination, setting standards and welcoming work to achieve them have gotten missing from your life, there’s only ever one reason. You have been groomed to believe that your life would be better without these things. This grooming begins with your caretakers. Your caretakers mean well, but they tell you, or they will model for you, that a life without work is better and that they will do the work of taking care of you, so neither of you are doing real work. They’re not doing real work, and you aren’t either. And this results in a big entrepreneurial obstacle. Every single time I encounter someone who’s unhappy with something that can easily be fixed but they’re not fixing it, what’s the reason? The reason is, “it’ll be too much work.” “It’ll be too much work” has killed more fortunes in the making than all other forces combined. And where does this idea come from? It begins with the caretakers, and extends to the crabs. Who are the crabs, and how do you recognize them? Join me for the next episode because, that’s on deck for next time. And thank you so much for being here today.`