Women come to me all the time saying they’re ready for change. They want greater clarity on their mission. They want a bigger audience for their message. They want to be pumping out a steady stream of the content that makes a bigger impact.
Whatever their communication challenge, the deep-seated hunger in their souls centers on making change. And at the moment they express this, it does seem urgent.
My first response is, “Fantastic! The first step is realizing you need to make a change.” But after that, I have to ask the question, “Are you really prepared for what making that change will cost you?”
At that point, we have to do a little bit of accounting work.
Nine times out of ten, the answer is “No.”
Wanting change is, of course, a good starting point. But there is an entire Grand Canyon’s worth of space between wanting to make a change, stumbling around on your own trying to figure out how to make it, and (finally) being willing to invest in a partnership with someone who can help you make a particular change smarter, faster and with a lot less wasted time.
For most women who express a desire to upshift their business brand into some form of thought leadership, their desire to make the necessary changes is more like a dream. It sounds great. They might even spend half a day or a few hundred dollars on a workshop that gives them some tools to get there. But to create real, lasting, died-in-the-wool transformation that gets them a completely new, “I-must-have-you” reaction from their target audience … well, we’re talking about a serious investment.
And yes, one (though not all) of those investments is indeed a monetary one. So maybe finances are a good place to start looking at the real cost of making the change you seek:
1. The Financial Cost of Making Change
There’s an old saying, “It takes money to make money.” As trite as that is, it’s also true. You can spend ten years figuring out your message and getting the book written or the speaking engagements booked … or you exchange some cash and a few months of your life to do in business self-improvement what athletes training for a professional event do in the gym.
Good coaches will drop the length of time it takes you to experience results while exponentially increasing the results you get. But of course, those coaches cost something. Very often, we are tempted to look at the price tag and think, “How could anyone possibly do this?” but that very thought itself may be a clue that we ourselves are not yet ready.
I used to think this a lot when I was miserable in my corporate career but too afraid (and too comfortable) to consider starting my own business. When I was finally ready to start making a big change, I swallowed my sticker shock and hired a great coach. It totally changed my life. And it led to my final exit from corporate America, from which I have not looked back since.
Worth the $3,000 I paid her? Every penny, and ten times more. In fact, the more “broke” I have been when I hire a coach, the more radical the turnaround in my finances. But it has taken faith each time to plunk the money down. And my faith has always paid off.
When evaluating the financial cost of a partnership, the only questions you need to ask are:
Am I really so invested in this outcome that I am willing to exchange significant resources to achieve that value?
Am I considering working with a person who is worthy of my trust, feels “good” to me, has proven s/he can help me achieve the results?
Am I willing to create the time, space and energy to make this result happen?
If you are, then allocating the money--or finding it creatively from within your resources--simply won’t be an issue. You’ll be amazed how the universe rises up to meet your intention, whether through making it apparent that you have available resources you couldn’t see before or actually providing resources you haven’t imagined yet.
The bottom line is: you will spend money on what you really want. If you can find money for your next vacation, a new (even used) car or concert tickets, you can find the money it will take to make your change.
Decide what’s important for you, and you will find the money. Always.
2. Energetic Cost
While money may be the most immediate cost to making a change in your life, it’s merely the most tangible. Energy is another massive investment we have to make if the change we’re creating is to last. Each of us only has so much energy to expend and living our life and spreading our purpose into the world. Where you choose to spend your energy is a precious and holy thing: something none of us should take lightly.
If you want to create a significant change--such as upshifting your business platform into thought leadership, or learning a completely new, more confident way to sell yourself--you will have to make a significant investment of energy. It will not be enough to pay money. You must devote a piece of your “life force” to the task at hand. You must focus your mind, will and emotions toward achieving the vision you are paying to achieve.
This is where most of us go wrong with webinar or online course purchases. We’re willing to spend money for the shiny new object, but not willing to discipline ourselves to actually do the work. This is why 1:1 coaching--while considerably more expensive--actually delivers better, faster results. It’s harder to neglect or shirk your work with an individual who is nagging you to book your session!
When you hire a coach, you are buying not only the materials and knowledge, but a real human relationship from someone who is going to hold you accountable to do what you say you will. That is not only an energetic cost, but also a safeguard to help ensure you put in the energetic investment you need to, in order to actually see results.
What we are invested in with our hearts and souls is what we will really create and grow.
3. Time Cost
Closely related to the energetic cost of change is the cost in hours, minutes and seconds. You only have so much attention. When you choose to focus it for a period of time on one outcome, you increase your chances of success in that outcome. But you also limit all the other things you can do.
This is also another challenge of a self-study course purchase. Will you put in the time involved? More particularly, will you be able to discipline yourself to invest the time you will need to, in order to make the change? The higher $$$ cost of 1:1 coaching also accounts for the fact that you will have someone creating the time for you in terms of sessions, getaways, workshops or other structured blocks of time.
One potential pitfall is to start out strong, and then gradually decrease the amount of time you are spending on making the change. Your time commitment, like your commitment of money and energy, must be regular and sustained in order to create the change.
When evaluating if you are ready to take your business to the next level, it’s time to evaluate whether or not you are ready to invest the time involved. Will you get up early to squeeze it in around your busy workday? Will you stay up late, or take a half hour of your lunch to get part of it done? Will you be willing to get a sitter for a night so you can work uninterrupted by your children?
These are all perfectly valid considerations--and if the answer that keeps bubbling up is “yes” despite how inconvenient they may seem, then you may have yourself the motivation it truly does take to create change.
“No” is also a perfectly fine answer, too, as long as it’s honest.
At a fundamental level, making change is not impossible. Whatever you want to shift in your life and business, you absolutely can. But it will require you “spend” in these three major areas: finances, energy, and time. In every instance where I have seen a beautiful women continue a pattern of struggle in her business, it is directly due to an unwillingness to “spend” in at least one of these three areas to get the help she needs.
You can conserve your resources by struggling on alone far longer than you need to, or you release your resources to do work on your behalf: in this case, to help you accelerate change.
Money is the most typical resource we are unwilling to spend, because it feels so tangible. But time and energy costs can just as easily sabotage those who are willing to spend money.
So, my dear sister, you say you want to create CHANGE in your life and business? Then you must be ready and willing to “pay” what that change will cost you.
The higher the cost to you, the higher value you will place on the outcome.
And you don't have to make CHANGE alone.
Working with a trustworthy coach who has walked the change journey ahead of you makes ALL the difference. I struggled alone for years to make change until I finally reached out for the help, support and accountability from an amazing coach. Getting the right CHANGE PARTNER and SECOND PAIR OF EYES (in the form of a great coach) was all it took for me to make my BIGGEST change -- and get real momentum going in my business.
Lisa England is a storyteller, creative director and communication coach helping high-achieving, heart-centered women of influence attract and engage their clients through by finding the right words for their website, social media, writing, speaking and marketing. Though she is a lifelong storyteller, Lisa struggled for years to say what was really on her mind. When she found the courage to speak freely, her whole life and business changed. (Read her story here.)