There is a reason why people call it the easy way. But is the tougher road the path with most resistance? It can be that, but taking the tougher road is also taking that extra step, going through that extra mile so you don’t need to keep nagging yourself with the what ifs. Taking the tougher road means not cheating your client even if he tells you to. The tougher road can also lead you back to your authentic self. It’s going all or nothing for yourself, your partner or your client.
Listen to the podcast here:
Taking the Tougher Road
On this show, we’ll talk about the concept of taking the tougher road. The tougher road doesn’t have to be the unpleasant road. It’s just the road where you know you’re going for it. You’re taking those extra steps to take your life to the next level and not taking the easy way out. A 23-year-old named Tanya comes on and we talk about her tough road, about her dreams, about traveling the US, to massage coaching and helping people, and what she needs to set her foundation straight..
This show is called Taking the Tougher Road. You’re looking at your life, you’re looking at your experience, you’re thinking about your job, you’re thinking about your relationship. On some level, there’s an infinite amount of roads possible. You’re thinking, “What do I want to take? Which road?” I tend to take the tougher road. There’s pros and cons to this. The tougher road has definitely built my character. It’s gotten me into a lot of situations that I could have done better in my life. The whole process of always going and taking the tougher road has definitely increased my capacity in terms of life, in terms of service, and in terms of expansion. The way this show came to me was I have my book proposal. I was doing a hot yoga class and I’m sitting in that class and I was like, “I’m not taking the most challenging road around this book proposal. As a matter of fact, I feel like I’m skating a little bit.” There’s some part of me that knows that I’m not taking the road I need to take. Whatever reason that was, it flashed to me. In the middle of this yoga class, my mind starts to wander. Immediately, I come up with a concept of the last-minute sprint to build the foundation for my book proposal.
Book proposal is two important things. The first is that you need to write a good proposal for the book content. The second, as important and sometimes even more important, you need to have a solid platform. You need to show to the book publisher that what you’re providing will sell somewhere down the line. The ability to have both things is super important. When I started to think about it, I have enough compared it to others, but there’s just that thing. I’ll always know that I took the easy way out. I’ll always know that I could’ve done more in the final month. I’ll know inside that I could have gone deeper. I could have gone farther. I could’ve taken the one extra step. If I submit the proposal and it’s not taken, which is a distinct possibility, if I don’t go for it, if I don’t really sprint myself, then I’ll always have the question, “Could I have done it? Was it my own limitations that stopped me from having what I want?”I truly want this book proposal. “Will I always know?”will always be a nagging question. The viewpoint I have is I might as well go for it, spend the extra time, spend a little extra money, spend the effort, because then after the deed is done, I’ll know for a fact that I’ve given everything possible I could to that book proposal. I’ve given everything. I’m never going to think to myself, “Could I have done enough?”
On some level, in the world of insanity, you can always do more. There’s always an extra thing, an extra Instagram post, an extra friend request. There’s always something, but there’s this tipping point where you know you’ve given everything you could to it. That’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking for that place where I end the process slightly exhausted, slightly gratified, slightly sweaty, slightly well-used in the experience because I know that it’s going to add a lot to my life. That’s where the concept of Taking the Tougher Road this podcast came from. I want to always live in that place where I’m giving 150% and I’ll know it. On certain projects, I don’t feel this way. There are certain things I don’t think it’s that important. On other places, I truly do. It’s not like this is everything I do, but this is for this particular experience that’s important for me to go. Take a little scan to look at where you know you’re cutting yourself short, where you know there’s a tougher road and you’re not taking it. Where’s the place where you can perceive where you’re selling yourself short? It’s important for you to take a look because we do this often.
I decided to do 70 yoga classes in 80 days, which was insane. It was a slightly insane thing. That meant out of every eight days, I was doing seven classes, with the one day off per week. At the end, I did 60 classes in 80 days, which was only 75% instead of the 87.5%, but I truly did it. The feel of relief on that last class, that feel of relief of checking that, looking at the statistics on my little sheet, was amazing. I knew there were points where I was totally exhausted. There were times where I was so sick of the hot air, the smell of the hot air. I was so sick of the locker room process, that sitting before the class and feeling the heat pulsing around me. Underneath it was my glee. I felt total and absolute glee in terms of the possibility of what this was doing. I know if I need to do this again or something similar, that I could. I do have the capacity and I always know I could go for it.
Second example is a client. This guy I have been working with for many years. He’s a great guy. He’s got a great heart. He has one issue that’s really challenging for him to look at. He runs around the edges of it. He can see the issue. It’s right there in his peripheral vision, but he does everything he can to avoid the concept of it. I had a session with him and I tough love extraordinaire. I dumped him with tough love. He got the full depth of experience in terms of what that tough love was. The guy was crying. I could watch the tough love punching him. He looked like a boxer getting his ass kicked in the ring. I had to give it to him because that’s what people hire me for. You don’t hire me to be nice to you, you hire me to be real to you. I kept giving it to him. I felt it go in. That’s the sign of success. When the third cry came, the evidence was enough that he saw this thing that he was avoiding was there. There was no way he could avoid it anymore. I said, “I have an idea of a proposal for you and where to go from here. Take a couple of days. I’ll email it to you.” I emailed him and it comes down to a pretty intense two-month package. He has to pay for the entire two months ahead of time. There’s no refunds. It’s me saying to him, “This is what I think you need to address this issue.” It’s an intense program. It’s two hours of coaching with me and some homework, so it’s probably a four to five-hour per week commitment for a guy who isn’t doing any work on himself except call me once every three or four months to check in. He wrote me and he said, “There’s no way I can do two hours a week. Can I just buy a five pack? How much would that cost?” My first instinct was I would tell him my rate, and I would say how much it was, and I would send him an invoice, and then he’ll pay for it or not, and then he’ll do the sessions or not. That was my first instinct, to go with the flow, to take the easier road.
I decided that that was a complete and utter disservice to him, that I would be cheating him if I did that. It would be easier for me. I love making sales. I love watching my monthly P&L hit new levels. I love the cash in the bank. The tougher road was the one that I picked. I wrote him back and said, “This five-session pack is a waste of your time, my time, and your money. It’s all or nothing. It’s the intense two-month package or it’s nothing.” The bottom line is that’s the tougher road. The tougher road is when I said to him, “I am not going to shortchange you. I’m not going to shortchange me. We’re going to take this to the next level or you’re going to find something else.” I could do good with this five-pack over probably six or seven months, but it’s not enough. It’s not enough to take the experience of it. That’s the concept. Can you feel the difference of acquiescing in a five-pack versus saying no? Two months is not going to be easy for me. That’s a lot of work for me. He’s going to get his money value. I charge him an acceptable rate, but that’s going to be a lot of work and I have to listen to him whine and avoid and feel his feelings. I’m going to have to feel his feelings. That’s who I am in the world. That’s who I want to be in this world. If I don’t take a stand for him, then I can’t take a stand for myself, and that’s the point.
The last example is our good friend Morgan. I went to a therapy session and I uncovered this little thing that happened and this little viewpoint. It was around me being sneaky. My entire life, I’ve been sneaky. The sneakiness arose from my love of sweets and my mom’s unhappiness around my love of sweets. I still have the sneaky trait inside of me. In the session, I realized that there were some feelings around this. I went home after the session and told Morgan the truth. I told her what I was feeling and what I was experiencing. It led to ten days of mayhem, ten days of bloody, heated discussions. It was pretty raucous there. She tried to break up with me and I kept calling her back. The point was I could have continued on with my sneakiness, and instead I took the tougher road to reveal this part of myself. The result of it is I feel so much closer to her. I feel so grateful for the experience of the mayhem because it’s proven to me that one, I can survive the mayhem. Two, I can survive her feelings. Three, she can survive my feelings and the deeper connection arises from that.
We all take horrible shortcuts. We take these ways of minimizing our feelings and making our partners dumb and minimizing the importance of really being straightforward. That’s the effect of not taking the tougher road. That’s the effect of taking the easy way out. You can look at the results of that. Are you in a job where you taking the easier road? Did you not go for that promotion? Did you not go for that extra degree? Do you remain in a job that you hate because you’re afraid to take the steps? Does your relationship have a big black blob of angst in between it? Are you willing to address it? Look at your relationship with your parents. Do you have really bad habits with your parents that annoy the shit out of you? Are you taking the steps to be honest? That’s something I’m really proud I’ve done with my mom. I’ve been willing to say when this happened this bugs me. The relationship is better and better because it’s worth it. It’s worth it to me, it’s worth it to her. It’s a way that I show love and respect.
The tougher road sometimes is really subtle. Sometimes it’s not so easy to find the details of the tougher road. Sometimes it’s vague and sometimes you have to look it out. For me, there’s times when I am sitting and there’s something bugging me, there’s something on my mind. I ask the question to myself, “Rob, what’s going on?” I scan what’s happening to try to figure out what that thing is, and then I address it. The tougher road is always available to you and the tougher road is always something that might be a little bit scary. If you’re not willing to address it, if you’re not willing to take your life to the next level, it won’t get there by itself.
Meet my new friend, Tanya. How can I be of service? What would you like to talk about?
This topic is very appropriate for what I was going to bring because I have a lot of dreams coming out right now and they seem like the tougher road but also maybe the impossible road. I’m a bodywork practitioner. I’m freelance. I’m 23. It already seems like a lot to be running my own business and trusting that to sustain me. Now, I’m wanting to do that while traveling and while pursuing other dreams and be fully self-sustained. That’s one of the tougher road showing up for me right now.
The challenge you have is you want to build a business and you want to travel at the same time?
The 23 part is irrelevant. I want to take that out of your repertoire as ways to minimize yourself. The 23 is just an excuse, so let’s just excise that. I’ve known four-year olds that act like eighteen-year-olds. I’ve known eighteen-year-olds that work like 50-year olds. You have that power inside of yourself. Do you find it challenging to run your own business?
Do you want it to be a tough road?
No. I have the idea that it should be challenging because I’ve heard it from a lot of places.
That’s brilliant and really important. We think things have to be hard. This is going to sound strange, but the tougher road doesn’t have to be harder. The tougher road just has to be more intense and more sensational and more huge. You might just have a natural ability that running your business doesn’t have to be hard.
There’s the fear that what if everything crashes if I take the tougher road and go a 100%.
What does that look like to go 100% running your own business?
It means to give sessions all over the country. It means to earn enough money to also go to other continents and not always be giving sessions. It means to hold coaching clients from the 4D through technology for periods of time while I’m away.
Is this more than bodywork? Is there a therapy aspect to it?
It’s more than body work. I can also do it from a distance.
Energy work and talking, like you’re doing.
What’s your relationship to believing in yourself?
I believe in myself once something happens that surprise me that proves that I should have believed in myself.
You’re an accidental believer in yourself-er?
You’re looking for external stimuli, external validation for you to believe that you’re a kick-ass bodywork or energy work coach. A lot of people are going to have a bias against your 23-year-old-ness saying, “Why should I listen to you? You’re a young pipsqueak when I’m 35, 40 years old. How are you going to solve my problems when you haven’t been living?” What would you say to that?
I have the experience of having helped people successfully and I have the resources and knowledge.
That was pretty good, but I’ll give it a B or a B-minus. Want to try again?
I want to say, “You don’t have to believe in me if you don’t want to. I’ll work with the people who want to believe in me.”
Do you see what you just did? When you said the first one, it was a recipe of saying, “I’m bringing this to the table. You’re going to bring your viewpoints at the table and we’ll either agree or there’s an agreement.” The second one was, “I know I’m kick-ass. I know I have what I need. If you want it, it’s there. If it’s not, don’t do it.” That is a lack of looking for external validation for your belief in yourself.
How do I know I will have the clients if I raise my prices and if I go by that system of not trying to convince people to come in?
Raising prices and not believing in all those stuff, those are many different levels to this thing. There’s an awful meme in the coaching world where you can charge what you want and expect the clients to come or expect them to get the value. This is the ultimate Ponzi scheme. I’m a very strong opponent of a lot of coaches and how they charge because they’re ripping themselves off and ripping their clients off. The question I would have for you is, “Do you believe in the value you’re providing? Do you authentically know that you can affect change and impact others? What’s the appropriate price for you to charge that they’ll perceive they’re getting their value plus?”
I do believe in the value except when I run into that fear of “what if I’m not supported and I’d rather be sustained.”
Do you know your budget inside out?
First step, if you want to be your own business owner, there are two ways to go about this. One is to know your budget inside and out. The second is to evoke what’s called magical thinking, “It will all work out.” In my experience of being a business coach, the latter works about 7% of the time. Magical thinking is a very dangerous road to take. I won’t call it the tougher road. I call it the easier road. People have this fear around confronting money because they don’t have the skill, they’ve never done it, they’re just going to wing it. The first thing I always tell entrepreneurs is to figure out your budget. When you’re building a business, as a coach, the last thing you want to think is, “I need a sale to pay the rent.” I’m not saying that doesn’t happen all the time. There’s times in my experience I’m like, “I really need this sale.” The point is it’s not the optimal place to be because then your attention is on your own foundation and not on your potential client. Know your budget.
The second is I want to introduce you to a concept that I think is awesome. It’s called Money Project versus Sexy Project. The money project is the one that pays your bills. The sexy project is the one that turns on your soul. Everyone needs to have a ratio of money project to sexy project. For some who are independent and wealthy, the money project might be 0.1 % and sexy project might be 99.99%. For some people who are just starting out, the money project might be 97% and the sexy project might be 3%. It’s really important to always have both because if you give all your energy to the money project, your soul shrivels up. If you put all your energy into a sexy project, then your money shrivels up. You end up without the means and that has cascading effects. When you know your budget, when you know how much money you need, build a money project that takes care of that budget.
If I’m sustained on body work and coaching, which I love, how do I have money project?
Your money project doesn’t have to be not fun. It doesn’t have to be your purpose. Money project just means I’m doing the work that I have confidence is going to take care of my budget. If you know you need $2,000 a month and if I can do $100 body work sessions, that means I need twenty throughout the month to make my budget. That’s your money project. You know what your money number is. If you’re doing twenty massages a month, let’s say that’s 25 hours of actual massaging, let’s say that’s another twenty hours of preparation and another twenty hours of marketing, you’re looking at 60 hours a month of work in massage. Then you look at, “I have twenty hours a month of free time and free energy to work on my sexy project.” Your sexy project could then be something that really turns you on. You want to invest into the future. Maybe it’s your coaching. Maybe it’s some new model. Maybe it’s a new dance movement. Maybe it’s a new massage, whatever it is. You can put your energy into that, and then somewhere down the line that sexy project can transform into your money project. That’s what I’m trying to get across.
How do I know when it turns into my money project?
When it becomes really easy, when it just flows, that’s when you know your sexy project has moved into your money project.
Before traveling, should I have made coaching or something sustainable into my money project? Something that I know will sustain me while I’m doing that?
You’re on step three. I would go back to step one. Step one is knowing your money. Are you going to stay at hostels across the world where you’re spending an average of $25 a night? Or are you going to go to nice hotels? Or are you going to crash at friend’s house? Where are you going to go? Are you’re going on Euro Rail and travel around, which is one set number for a month period? Or do you need to fly? These flights are going to cost $500. Whatever it is, plan out your budget. It doesn’t have to be exact. It can be a ballpark around it. Like, “I think I’m going to go here and I’m going to put this much money. For the next six months I want to travel. I have a budget of $2,000 for plane tickets for the next six months.” If you spent $1,800 of it and you’re only in month one, there’s something askew. There’s a way for you to have knowledge. This is a way where life gets more free, when you have consciousness about your resources. That’s the first step. When you know how much your budget is for six months, let’s call it $10,000,then you have to look at, ”To get to that $10,000, I need to do this much body work and this much coaching.” It brings consciousness and awareness into your process. Where do you want to go? Where do you want to travel?
I want to travel throughout the US in terms of sessions. I don’t know my timeline either, that’s the question. I guess it is a distant dream or it’s just something nearby. To different countries in Africa, Brazil, and South America.
Do you have friends across the United States?
The easiest way to get sessions in other cities is to have word of mouth. Start planning those out. You’re a Facebook Live person, aren’t you? You could announce, “Tanya’s US Tour. Coming to a city near you.” You can start to build up the buzz of your arriving. “Want to be on my Facebook Live, you could schedule dates,” From that, you can talk about coaching. You can talk about your bodywork. You can give value out that will attract people to want to jump on the tour. It’s okay to ask for help. How are you asking for help?
Not so good.
What’s the block or what’s the feeling about asking for help?
That I can’t do it myself when I should be able to do it myself.
Where’d you learn that concept?
High School? College?
Probably middle school or elementary school.
These are childhood experiences. The first thing is you can do it all by yourself. For you, the tougher road is learning to ask for help. Asking for help is so weird. Do you like doing other things for other people? Do you like being of service and helping other people? Do you feel like love inside your body when you do something nice for someone else? When you deny asking people for help, you’re actually denying them the ability for them to love you, which is absolutely cruel. It sounds like there are two tougher road aspects, one is the budgeting. The second is Tanya’s US Tour and asking for help along the way.
There’s asking for help and then there’s asking for help around my business, which is like business is what I should be doing by myself.
I’m making money off of it. It’s like selfish or something.
There’s a point where you’re asking for help around your business can be annoying and not sharing the wealth. If you wanted someone to be your business manager or you wanted someone to get all your clients and not reward them, that sounds a little obnoxious. There’s a point where you can say, “I’m coming to Cleveland on the Tanya’s World Tour. Would you put a Facebook post saying, ‘My amazing massage, energetic coach Tanya is coming. For anyone who wants a massage, she’s having a special rate for Cleveland.’” That will take 48 seconds for them to post. One of their friends is like, “I’m looking for a good massage therapist. Can she come Tuesday?” You give people the opportunity to give back to you for all the stuff you do for them.
Does your sense of your value stay constant all the time? Like you’re, “I’m a great coach and help people.” Does that stay constant or does it fluctuate?
This is where age does come into play. I’ve had 47 years to examine myself and know myself and make horrible mistakes and great successes along the line. When I started this journey, I was completely and utterly at the effect of my external validation, especially women. I was an overweight kid that lost a bunch of weight when I was eighteen and then I judged myself of how attractive I perceive women felt me. I did that and it costs me. It’s a huge cost. Somewhere along the line in my thirties, and through a lot of work and a lot of great teachers and a lot of great reflection, I thought I was just ridiculous. I got to the point of feeling it was ridiculous that I was basing my own internal self-value based on the fluctuating values of others. I morphed out of that and it’s taken a lot of time. I can easily say, “I have a very strong sense of who I am. I have a very strong sense of my value. I do a lot for others, which has me feel good. I give a lot out for free and I give a lot out to the world.” My self-value fluctuates very little. If I do something dumb, if I say something dumb to Morgan or mess up a client and the humanity of who I am, it drops a little bit. In the end, because I know I’m awesome and I kickass, it drives it back up. You don’t have to wait until you’re 47. You could achieve this point in the next minute, the next hour, the next day, the next year. Enjoy the ride of finding this. Don’t rush it. You’re blessed with awareness at 23 that I didn’t have. You are a lot braver than I was.
You just make a decision around your value?
It’s not so much a decision. It’s more you start with a viewpoint and then you start to build up the muscle around it. It’s self-esteem built upon esteemable acts. My self-esteem has been built up because I do a lot more good than I do bad for myself. I make a lot of decisions. Telling things to Morgan that could be potentially charging and lead to ten days of mayhem is for myself-esteem. I know I’m not being sneaky. That’s where I get the muscle. For me, it was going to the gym and doing 60 Yoga classes out of 80days. For me, it was telling this client, “I don’t want your easy $1,000. I have to take the higher road of being honest with you.” That’s where my self-esteem comes from. You won’t know that until you experience life. Celebrate your miscues and celebrate your “mistakes” because they’re going to form you into who you want to be.
It was an absolute pleasure to meet you. Thanks so much.
It’s the universal message, self-esteem is built upon esteemable acts. Do the things that have you feel good, learn from them, and celebrate your mistakes. It’s all that we want.