#168: Nine Things I’m Embarrassed to Tell You…

When you’re in a leadership position, the people you lead sometimes put you on a pedestal.

They think you have everything figured out. You have no flaws. No struggles.

I’m in a leadership position in that people often look to me for ideas, advice and mentorship.

But let me tell you … I’m not perfect by any means. I have my own struggles, doubts, fears and quirks.

And I want to tell you about some of them.

Before I do that, permit me to build up my courage by sharing some of things I am good at. For example:

  • Identifying what works and doesn’t work
  • Diagnosing problems
  • Solving problems strategically
  • Understanding how/why people will take action
  • Helping clients get unstuck
  • Giving clients clarity.

That’s why I have a strong track record of helping my clients generate big results in a relatively short time.

But still, that doesn’t mean I’m perfect.

I’m going to prove it to you by coming clean on some of the things I’ve been struggling with personally and professionally.

Amy Porterfield did this a few months ago, and I thought it was a great idea. I wanted to give it a try.

Second, I never get the opportunity to get this off my chest publicly. My show is about helping you earn more in less time doing work you love for better clients. Which means that my struggles take a back seat. Because that’s not about you—it’s about me.

But if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to get it all out in the open so I can move on!

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

#1: I Have Workaholic Tendencies

I love what I do. So, left to my own devices, I’d work 15 hours a day.

How do I know? When my wife and kids leave town on a trip, I just keep working and working!

Fortunately, my family keeps me from doing that. And nothing good comes from working those kinds of hours.

Even though I’m very productive, I often don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much by the end of the day.

Part of the solution is realizing that more hours doesn’t translate into better results. This idea of “catching up” is a losing proposition.

#2: I Rarely Feel Like I’m Doing Enough

I feel anxiety about what I’m NOT doing or haven’t done.

I think about all the things I should be doing to grow my business, and I forget about all the things I have done (and am doing).

This shows up when I’m not hitting OUTCOME goals I’ve set for myself. Yes, outcome goals are important. But you have to be careful not to let them consume you. Otherwise, you’ll start to feel like you’re never doing enough.

Don’t let outcome goals consume you. They can make you feel like you’re never doing enough.

Much of this has a lot to do with how I’m wired. I’m an Enneagram Type Three—the “achiever.” One of the common characteristics of Threes is that we’re always doing things. I love to kick back and relax — I really do! But when armed with a to-do list, I can be extremely focused and unbalanced.

#3: I Worry … More Than I’d Like

I used to worry a LOT. I’ve been that way since I was a kid.

A big part of this is being too future-centric and not living in the moment.

Ironically, going solo and then transitioning into a much bigger business with more moving parts has helped me worry LESS. My theory is that expanding my comfort zone has enabled me to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

But I still worry.

Meditation has really helped. It keeps me grounded, more aware, and more mindful. So has exercise and a better diet.

But it’s still something I cope with.

#4: My Life Roles Are Not Balanced

I’ve gotten away from the belief that you can sustain balance across multiple roles. I don’t think it’s a healthy expectation. For someone with my personality, it could be a dangerous thing to strive for.

But I have to admit that I could do much better. If I had to rank my priorities right now in terms of time and focus (and I HATE to admit this publicly!) it might look like this:

  • Work
  • Physical health
  • Family (needs to be #1!)
  • Finances
  • Intellectual
  • Spiritual
  • Friends and extended family
  • Community.

I need to make some changes here to gain better balance.

The good news is that being honest with yourself is a great way to get feedback. So just by having to put together this episode I’ve gotten greater clarity on where I’m missing the mark.

#5: Impostor Syndrome

I used to struggle with impostor syndrome a lot more earlier in my career. But I still deal with it on occasion.

I’m not the hyper-confident person you might think I am. At least not every day. I struggle with feeling like an impostor sometimes.

Part of it comes from the fact that I no longer have writing clients. But then again, today I have more exposure to what works (and doesn’t work) than ever before.

I also sometimes struggle as a coach, because sometimes I want success for my clients even more than they do. But over the past year or two, I’ve adopted the mindset that I’m responsible TO my clients, not FOR my clients.

I’m proud of my track record. And that helps me reset this impostor thing.

#6: I Don’t Read as Much as I’d Like

I don’t read anywhere near as much as I want to.

I truly LOVE to read! I think the problem is that I don’t give myself permission to read more. The “doer” side of me wants to spend that time on more tangible tasks.

Yes, this is a mindset thing. But it’s also a habit thing. And that means it’s a solvable problem!

#7: I’m Addicted to My Phone (Ugh!)

My phone is a source of instant gratification.

I’m having to play little games with myself to ramp down my usage (e.g. put the phone in a drawer, remove apps, etc.).

But it’s still a struggle. And it’s something I’m going to continue being more mindful about in 2019.

I want to model good behavior for my kids. And I don’t do that when I’m on my phone more than I should.

Our time on Earth is precious. I don’t want to waste that time on my phone.

#8: My Main Love Is Starting and Building a Business

I’ve never shared this publicly before. I was afraid people would take it the wrong way.

But here it is: My main love is NOT writing or coaching. My main love is starting and growing a business.

I really enjoy writing. And I really enjoy coaching. I think I’m really good at both. But I’m even better at starting and building a business.

In fact, if I had to start from scratch all over again, I feel I could build a very different business in an entirely different industry — and I’d be very successful at it.

I’m also confident that I could help just about any business get more qualified leads and turn more of those leads into sales.

Don’t get me wrong — I care about you. And I love writers and the craft of writing.

And this love of starting and growing businesses gives me an advantage as a business coach. It helps me to help you start and grow your freelance writing businesses.

#9: I Often Yearn for a Simpler Business

I’ve gone from a one-person freelance business to a high six-figure business with a team of seven people (all part-time contractors).

Again, my main love is launching and growing businesses. So this is right up my alley.

But I’m also prone to the “grass is greener” thing.

When I was a solo business, I yearned for a bigger business with a team. Now that I have a bigger business, I often struggle with the complexity of all its moving parts.

My team is amazing! I couldn’t ask to work with better people. But when things get hard, I sometimes want to run away to a deserted beach!

Fact is, every business has its complexities and challenges. There’s no perfect model.

So I’m working on developing a healthier relationship with the complexities — because they’ll always be a part of business.

I’m a Work in Progress

Hopefully this episode has helped you see that I’m very much an imperfect human. I struggle with many of the same things you struggle with yourself.

I strive to get better every year. But I also forgive myself for all my faults and shortcomings.

And so should you.

Be honest with yourself about where and how you’re struggling. Take stock every year (or every quarter, preferably). Only then can you begin to start addressing those issues.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year, and a healthy, happy and prosperous 2019!


By the way … whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:

1. Grab a free copy of my new book for writers who are NEW to freelancing.
It’s called “The 3 Magic Levers: How to Get Your Writing Business Off the Ground and Land Your First Paying Client.” — Click Here

2. Download a free copy of my book for ESTABLISHED writers/copywriters.
You’ll discover how to quickly and predictably reawaken dead leads, generate new client opportunities and convert not-yet-ready prospects into freelance writing clients. — Click Here

3. Join our “Get Better Clients Academy”
You’ll get a personalized action plan based on where you are today in your business. Plus all the tools, scripts, checklists, cheat sheets and templates you’ll need to escape feast-or-famine … grow your income … and land clients who love and respect you. — Click Here

4. Get your website DONE!
If you’ve been struggling to get your website done … or if you’re not happy with what you’ve got today… let my team and me build you a beautiful website for your writing business. We’ll do all the hard work! Email me at [email protected] … put “WEBSITE” in the subject line … and I’ll reply with the details.