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Escaping Moderate Success


Don Scott

Escaping Moderate Success - Part 4

June 5, 2018


We all have a chance to hit pause - To look up, and redefine our own future. Some choose to wait. Some need a crisis or severe pain to shake them up. Others know things can be better, and are ready to pursue change. I just had an email exchange with someone who isn’t even a client. He said our conversations have been “transformational”. Given that he is in his late 30s, think of the impact on the trajectory of the life he is creating!
So far - This is the fourth of what has become my bi-weekly blog series.
Part I – The trap is a certain level of success so demanding we can’t get through it to the full success.

Part II – That full success is the life that makes us feel so good we can’t stand it. Lot’s more of the good and way less of whatever it is we don’t want.

Part III – Creating more by doing less.

Part IV – The hard way paralyzes us.

It’s Universal

Let’s say you are “the kid” in a family-owned business. Or, the founder. Or, a successful executive making seven digits. When I am helping clients take their personal and financial success to the next level, it really doesn’t matter who they are, where they are, or where they’re trying to go. Everybody is different. Every situation is different. But, the principles, practices, and process apply equally to all.

It’s not like taking a pill

I said earlier we would get down to “how to”. If it were as simple as a sentence or two, how to instructions akin to taking a pill, you’d already have everything. That’s why this is a blog series. I am trying to give you a lot to think about. Questions and ideas that I hope will create real value for you.

The iceberg

You may have heard me use this metaphor. With water representing the “surface of life”. Above the surface, is the small part of the iceberg. That is where we think we live. This is a place of activity. Business, careers, accountants, lawyers, bankers, hauling kids around, and 100 more things. Doing it the hard way, this is where you go to solve problems. If you were to hit pause, and really start looking at the things you want more of and those you want less of in your life, what would you do? You want to make more money. You want less stress. You want more stability. You want to complete some transition. Whatever it is. What have you always tried to do in the past?

This is the place of problem-solving, stress, trying to figure out what to do next. You are in a career that is not working, you go out and interview to try to find the next one. The bad news is, you take “you” with you. All the chasing around in the world won’t get you to that next level. Only to a different version of what you already have. You chase around on the top part of the iceberg. I used the word paralyzed above. That’s what I see, when I hear I am too busy, I need to wait until X happens, I can’t spend the money, I don’t know what to do, and the like. This really says you are not ready to look for what could be more. That’s what I mean by paralyzed. That’s being trapped by moderate success.

The answers lie beneath

Down here, in the massive part of my iceberg metaphor, are feelings, beliefs, judgments, emotions, and much, much, more. This is squishy, unfamiliar, territory for most. About 10 years into my career at Arthur Andersen, I began to understand that this is the good stuff. This is a place from where change and creation are born. In those days, I operated at a fairly superficial level. Way deeper than I had been aware previously, but still only scratching the surface. I now understand how completely everything we are, the business, life, and money we create - everything that shows up in that top part of the iceberg - is a direct reflection of what is going on beneath the surface.

The brown box

Everybody is in the brown box. (Well, the vast majority of the people I meet.) The brown box is not good or bad. It simply is what it is. I use it to visually represent the life, the world, you might find yourself in today. Big heavy iron brown box. Inside of that is you. And, all the “stuff” of your life. There’s a lot of really good stuff in here. There may be tons of money, earning capacity, skills, value, family, good times. But, most of us end up taking a lot of “bad stuff” into our brown box with us. Things that don’t serve. Things that are not what we want. The brown box can be full of money and stress. It holds love and frustration, disappointment, and so much more.
To get the visual, see the guy or gal in the brown box, with all the good stuff and all the not so good stuff, knowing there has to be more. On some level, seeking out more. What do you do? Just see this hard-charger plowing into the inside of the brown box with a strong shoulder, trying to scoot it across the floor. To a place they can’t see, and probably wouldn’t recognize it when they got there!

You can’t get there from inside the brown box

If you want to take your life and financial outcomes to a truly higher level, you just can’t do that from inside the brown box. You are only going to burn up lifetime, and bruise your shoulder.

So, in the interest of “how to”, we have just injected a powerful lesson. This is the first lesson on opening the door to the brown box. You can’t get there from here. But, you can step out of the brown box. The world looks a whole lot different from out here. From this place, you can create anything. You are already a proven creator. If you are with me, we are changing the game right now!



Keep reading. This is not about me. This is about creating the life and financial outcomes you truly want. I don’t presume much of anything. Except, I meet an awful lot of very successful people who… When we sit back and look at all the things they want more of, or less of, it starts pouring out. Life should be fantastic. And, not just a little bit of the time wedged in between everything else.
If you missed any of the earlier blogs, go back and read them. Try and let all of this sink in and just contemplate where it might take you. Visualize having everything you would truly want, and what that might feel like. If it’s money, that’s good. If it’s more peace, that yours too!
If you are serious about taking it to the next level, I am open to a conversation. I invite you to reach out to me by phone or email.

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