Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Shooting For Gold

Today is exactly seven months since I began this blog. The purpose was to follow the processes in Jacqueline Harrison's book How To Create A Business From Nothing, and see if I could go from being $12k in debt to becoming a millionaire blogger.

The journey gets more interesting every day…

Whether you've read one, some, or all my blogs you'll probably have a sense that I go pretty deep. And that launching a business has actually been a path of immense self-discovery for me. In that process I have revealed sides of myself that had been hidden under a blanket of shame or a coat of grief and/or anger.

There's been more than one day when I've pondered as to why I'm putting myself through all this. Why wouldn't I just throw in the self-help towel and go and get a job like a normal person?

Um… maybe because I'm not 'a normal person'…?

I can totally understand why the majority of the population prefer not to delve into their psyche and instead, choose to carry on with day-to-day stuff and strife, and leave the idea of personal development to 'new age hippies' like me. Digging up this amount of dirt is painful and leaves you with a sore back. It's no bed of roses.

Until it is.

Someone said to me recently that they felt the self development movement was huge and that I'm not in such a minority as I believe. I have one response to that: Hay House (which is the largest self-help book publishing company in the world), regularly hold events at various global locations. They can draw crowds of three or so thousand in Sydney alone. But let's look at what else is going on. Such as the footy. AFL crowds are in the tens of thousands on a weekly basis, for months, in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide simultaneously.

That's tens of thousands weekly versus three thousand a few times a year. For me that sums it up. Generally speaking, we prefer watching men kick a ball around than learning techniques that can change our lives for the better.

I'm not saying going to the footy can't change your life in a good way; it's great fun and it's a wonderful environment for friends and families to come together and unite. But going deep into who we are and understanding what drives us is not on most people's agenda. And I'm not surprised, because rather than the tens of thousands who go the footy to watch; the 20 or so blokes who go through the gruelling physical training sessions know that the hard work is done on the pitch, not from a seat in the stadium.

It's the same with anything, we can spectate and speculate on the world around us, or we can take part. One is much easier than the other, but the level of reward generally relates to the effort we put in. It's a choice.

Having just kicked a few balls from my unconscious and landing them on the playing field of my conscious mind, I definitely understand the need for a post-match ice bath and a massage. I feel as though I have spent a lifetime chasing the pain from my past, and can totally relate to why these sport stars earn the money they do. It's not easy! The great thing is, having spent all this time training hard, I have created opportunities to kick some of the best shots I could have hoped for. In doing so, I reckon have scored the goal of a lifetime.

The golden cup I just won is self-love, self-esteem and a deep knowing that nobody can ever knock me over without my consent ever again.

In practical terms, when I began this blog I was a spectator in Jacqueline's book. I was touched and moved by what she had written and I chose to write this blog alongside her writing her book. I was a bit like a sports journo I guess. I was more involved than a regular spectator because I was 'interviewing' the celebrity so to speak. But I wasn't running a half marathon in 90 minutes on the pitch. I was still in the comfortable zone of interpreting what was going on albeit with a seat in the VIP box. It was pretty good.

But earlier this week, something shifted.

One of the goals I'd set with my business mentor was to find someone to co-author a book with by the end of June. As a book editor I know quite a few authors and there were a number of them who I could have approached. But the team I really wanted to be on was Jacqueline Harrison's.

Jacqueline has colours that I want to wear. That I've always wanted to wear. Her colours are the stripes that stand for Success, Integrity, Resilience and Absolute Self-Expression. In a word, she is a person I aspire to be like. Yes, I thought, if this was the FA Cup she's the team David Beckham's playing for.

And I want to learn how to kick the ball from an expert.

So, on Monday, I plucked up the courage and asked if she'd be open to talking about me coming on as a co-author of her book How To Create A Business From Nothing.

"Agreed," she said.

I don't even think a split second passed between my asking and her conceding.


I metaphorically just got a job playing for Man Utd with David Beckham as my coach and teammate. What will come of the book is in the hands of the Universe, but as with any team, there is a certain energy that comes with collaboration. And in my eyes, the very fact that I just got signed is as good as winning the medal itself.

I'm finally taking part.

Life has so many metaphors and sport is a good one because we can all relate to it. When we're born we are like a freshly laid cricket pitch. Lush and green, pure and perfect. But as the players (our life experience, thoughts and beliefs) run up and down, they churn up the soil allowing seeds that have been carried on the wind to implant themselves in the ground. Simultaneously the ball becomes worn down creating a spin that a new ball cannot achieve. The more usage (or life experience), the more the bowler can spin the results. But only if he can feel how the ball has changed, and knows the character of the player he's pitching against. All of this comes with practice and a commitment to being the best.

Some people, like Shane Warne have an innate ability to play their game well. But no matter what our genetic disposition, with hard work and tenacity any of us can score a win.

Just as with every sport, the game is not just about the players we see on the pitch (the conscious mind). There is the ground to tend to, there are the tools or equipment that we need to score the goal and in the background there is a coach. Winning takes a team. When it comes to the Self, the background players are all on the bench of the unconscious mind. It's up to us to call them out on the field.

If I have learned one thing it's that whatever form of playing field we choose to enjoy, the more time and effort we put into understanding the environment, the different types of soil and the weather conditions that affect our land, the more fantastic the results. So if it's a smooth run you're after or a healthy glowing inner self, just be sure to get up early, understand your game and tend to your weeds before they take over.

And if you're really up for it, stand back and stand tall and keep your eyes on the goal. And when you're ready, take a deep breath and shoot for the stars.