How Do I Pay You?

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In an interview with Zane Lowe, Jay-Z talked about improving. At one point he said:

“In anything, you have to take your craft seriously. You work on it everyday.”

The entire interview is so much more than that but it was his first sentence of this exchange that stuck with me the most. And it’s been eating at me ever since.

You have to take your craft seriously.

How could something so on point catch me so off guard?

Do I take my craft seriously enough?
Am I practicing every day or almost every day?
Am I looking into all the certifications and best practices of being a coach?
Am I testing enough?
Am I asking enough?

The slap-me-in-the-face honest answer was…no.

How could I be so oblivious to something so obvious?

For those of us who are self-employed or trying to create that kind of life, success cannot be had until we first make that simple (yet elusive) decision to bet on ourselves…and our own efforts.

Of course, we wish – and sometimes continue to act like – life worked in a more favorable chronological direction, namely…

1) People are dying to pay us
2) We then tell them how the can
3) We then make some money to prove to ourselves that we’re good at what we do
4) We finally can take ourselves seriously

But much to the chagrin of our vulnerability, that’s not how it works.

True Story

A few years back when my good friend and colleague had me review his latest iteration of his coaching website. He wanted to increase his business and was hoping for some insight. I took a look at his site, poked around for a bit and then had this enlightening exchange:

Me: How do I pay you?
Him: What?
Me: If I wanted to send you money right now, how would I do it?

He angrily looked at his website and finally realized what his subconscious had been hoarding from him.

Him: You couldn’t pay me if you wanted to! I don’t even believe in myself enough to tell you why you should pay me and how to even do that!

The reality that he and I learned quite quickly was that you have to take your craft so seriously before you can ever muster up the audacity to ask someone to pay you for what you’re selling.

And then you have to market to them, to get rejected again and again, and to keep coming back because you know deep down that what you are selling will provide solutions, results and piece of mind to them. And maybe one day you will have done such a good job that these people will eventually fund the craft you take so seriously.

You can’t ask someone to bet on you until you’ve proven to them that you’ve bet on you. If you can’t do that you’ll always be a self saboteur, allergic to money and success.

So this Thanksgiving I’m thankful to Jay-Z for calling me out on my own partial bluff.

Who else out there at times feels like they’re not taking their craft seriously enough? What are you doing about it?