“Can’t buy me love.” The Beatles
I’ve been known to pick up a check after dinner on occasion, and the folks with me will say, “Coach — you don’t have to do that!” To which I respond, “Relax. I’m a millionaire — I just don’t have the money yet …” They’ll laugh, and I’ll have the pleasure of treating people I like. But deep down inside I DO feel like I’m rich. Here are some of the ingredients that make up my Million Dollar Attitude:
Freedom After reading success books, listening to motivational audio programs and going to seminars on personal development for over 25 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you desire a successful life you’ve got to answer the seemingly much too simple question, “What do you want?” Because the truth is: You can have it any way you want it. And I decided that freedom to choose what I wanted to do for a living — coach others one-on-one on a schedule I dictated — was one of my highest values. I didn’t want to work for anyone (except my clients); I didn’t want anyone working for me (I’d probably kill ’em!). And I wanted to come and go as I please. Lo and behold, I’ve got this. Question: Do have a sense of freedom about your career?
No work — just play I also realized that one of my goals is to live a virtually stress-free life, so doing anything that felt like work would be strictly verboten. So I created a business that is like a sport instead of a drag. This coaching bit is the closest thing I’ve come up with to being a professional sports coach: I huddle up with my “players,” diagram plays for them to run and let them quarterback themselves in their business. Sometimes they get first downs, sometimes they fumble or get sacked, but we always review the game film afterward to evaluate their effectiveness and make adjustments. So my “job” is essentially to help my players march down the field, score early, score often and do the “touchdown dance” — I LOVE this game! Question: To what degree are you able to make your work into a game?
Control of my time This may piss you off, but except for my sessions with clients or networking associates, I have NO regularly scheduled meetings. Nada. Zip. None. In past jobs I had regular hour-long staff meetings at least once a week that was like Chinese water torture: Everybody had to show off their self-important blowhard opinion on the issues at hand rather than getting things settled in the ten minutes or less they really required. Starting my coaching business felt like I pulled the “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Question: Have you got control of your time?
Recreation I like to say my best subject in school was recess. So every week I work out at least six times, usually midday. No matter how the morning goes I know I’ve a “blowing off steam session” just ahead. And the afternoon flies by because I’m refreshed, relaxed and fully endorphinated. Question: Is exercise drudgery for you?
Intellectual stimulation It took me until about age 40 or so to realize that the mind (along with other body organs) is like a muscle: Use it or lose it. But now I’m an avid reader of at least 40 books a year related to my profession. How? I make time to read, and start most days at a local coffee shop reading. I also enjoy writing, so I work on articles like this one. I’m continually amazed at the positive response I get from my ramblings, but that just encourages me to write more — I guess I do have something of value to share. Question: What are you feeding your head?
Boatloads of fun Besides my mid-day recreation breaks, I build enjoyment into every week: I swim, ride a bike, cook delicious meals (I make great guacamole), play fetch with my dog by Lake Michigan, jam with friends on guitar, go hear bands and support my Cubs, Bears and Bulls (there’s always time for “sports rap” with other die-hard fans …). Life’s too short to busy myself with a lot of drudgery. Question: Got fun in your life?
Love in my life I’ve got a loving wife and “unconditional doggie love” at home. Got love at the office too — I’m surrounded by positive people who want to connect with me. I’ve got a small circle of friends with whom I share appreciation, encouragement and laughter. In this regard, I’m rich beyond measure. Question: Got enough love?
A sense of spirituality I believe in God, but don’t subscribe to any particular religion. In my version of “God,” all of creation is aligned to help me grow, achieve and prosper. I guess I’m one of those “inverse paranoids,” a term devised by the late billionaire insurance magnate W. Clement Stone (“Mr. PMA”) — I believe there is a vast conspiracy of people out there trying to help me. I often get a laugh from others who ask, “How ya doin’ Coach?” I respond by saying, “Great! But don’t worry — it’ll get better …” Question: Are you Grateful to be alive?
Your answers to the questions above will give you a clue about your real wealth. Although I don’t literally have a million dollars in the bank right now, maybe I’ve got something more valuable. My life is good right in the moment no matter the size of my bank accout. And having a Million Dollar Attitude makes it more likely that my million dollars is on its way.