Burned, Stupid, Ashamed

Just writing that title kinda makes me feel icky. "Burned, stupid, ashamed" came up during a convo with a sales coach and I was sharing with her my experience with high dollar "masterminds." You know- the ones where you pay $25k for the privilege of 3 group retreats and then an hour of your coach's time per month.

It's a model that is fundamentally broken. (Do the math- it's basically paying $1000/hour for your coach's time. You'd have to be a DAMN GOOD coach to make that worth my while.)

I entered the masterminds as the youngest participant (sometimes by two decades) and emerged as the high earner and with new clients- my fellow mastermindees!

This is not good. And I felt burned, stupid and ashamed that I had paid that kind of money to someone and didn't feel like I received good value for the investment.

(One noticeable exception was working with Suzanne Falter-Barnes and Jeffrey Van Dyke. We did a lot of work for the $, got video and head shots and a Soul Map out of the deal- so they baked in MUCH more value.)

Still, most of those masterminds weren't really masterminds- the groups weren't the dynamic, living, breathing organisms that lifted up the fellow mastermind members. (That's what I was looking for.)

And my so-so masterminds bummed me out.

More than anything the value of my "masterminds" was knowing I had to make payments of 2k to 7k every month. That got me to hustle HARD.

But at the end of each mastermind, I felt the same way: burned, stupid, ashamed.

I had given away my money and my power to someone else. (And had no one to blame but myself.)

Yes, I could say they used sketchy sales tactics (some did). Or I could say that they are not in integrity (I am pretty sure they're in integrity for them).

But I really need to take full responsibility for my participation in those programs.

I suppose in some ways I was looking for a magic bullet. (This mastermind will change my business FOREVER!) Or I was looking for a cohesive group of peers with whom to share the struggles and joys of business growth. (Eh, this is where the paid masterminds fell short for me.)

I chose to prioritize the high dollar mastermind over some other goals I thought I had: maxing out my SEP IRA, going back to Europe (over and over), even just taking my mom on vacay.

I spent over $75,000 on masterminds instead of doing the things I thought were important to me!

I continued to put money into initiatives that I thought would help my biz and then end up feeling burned, stupid, ashamed about them.

What was that pattern all about?

Here's my breakdown of it:

As an entrepreneur in the media-saturated world we live in, I think we can get utterly and completely blinded to what we REALLY want.

I wrote about this concept in a blog recently, but today I want to talk about it a bit differently.

We get so caught up in getting to the next level (because we are convinced we're Not Enough where we are right now) that we forget about our original vision of Enoughness.

Real quick, Enoughness for me looks like this: time in each day to do things I love (write, yoga, dance, play) as well as amazing work with fabulous clients; money to travel to amazing places and take my fam with me; money to get body work and grooming stuff; a home that I love; saving/investing. Many of those things are FREE to CHEAP. If not free to cheap, they are certainly doable on the money I have made in recent years.

And I can incorporate them into my life no matter what! (For example, I can take mom to Hilton Head instead of Italy, ya'll.)

But what I discovered is that I let the voice of Not Enough drown out my vision of my Ideal Life.

The voice of Not Enough convinced me to plunk down close to a HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS so that I could fill the hole of Not Enough.

Not Enough is crafty and contagious.

Not Enough tells us to spend money we don't have to achieve More. (More what??)

Not Enough whispers that we probably should go to that extra networking event instead of working out because what if a new client is there?

Not Enough makes us think we need to buy new clothes (that really aren't our style) so that we can land new contracts with businesses (that really aren't our style).

Not Enough loves to wiggle into the pauses in our conversations when we're talking to potential clients and tells us that we need this client or else and then we become all desperate-sounding and reduce our prices or talk the client out of the deal.

Not Enough wants us to believe that the reason he hasn't called you back is because we suck and he doesn't want to work with us. (Never mind that he's swamped with emails/on vacay/his grandma died.)

Not Enough helps us make decisions from a place of desperation and lack and fragmentation.

Golly gee. I must give Not Enough some mad props for bringing its A game. No wonder we start to do things that aren't in alignment with our ideal lives! No wonder we tell ourselves that we HAVE to do this training or that event because we're afraid of missing out!

Now, I started writing this post because I'm considering doing another high dollar coaching program. I haven't decided yet. (Thank God she's not forcing me to make a decision on the phone. That's a red flag, people!)

What I do know is that I want to shift my decision making process this time around. I want to come from a place of "I'm making a healthy decision for me and my values and my business." I want to be thinking, "I am whole and complete just the way I am and if I choose to embark on a high dollar journey with another coach it's because it's adding to my Enoughness."

I'm also asking the question, "What would my inner CFO do?"

I'm crunching the numbers!

Because I'm done with burned, stupid, ashamed and I'm so over Not Enough. What about you?

P.S. If you want to create your own amazing and uplifting and nearly FREE mastermind, you can get your kindle copy of my book The DIY Mastermind: How to curate a coterie of dynamic women to grow your business the free and easy way on AMAZON!

P.P.S. If you aren't sure WHO you would actually mastermind with, then please join me for a three part master class Your Ecosystem is your Income.