Monday, February 25, 2013

W09.01 Who Are You And What Do You Want?

My third significant business mentor, Brendan Nichols, often discussed his front end/back end business model. It was based on personal transformation principles, not business principles. For people who go deep into the make-a-million-dollars seminar circuit, there is a surprise waiting for you when you land with the adults…

An adult is a person making many hundreds of thousands dollars a year, up to a million or more annually. Higher than that, and it is a different club. A “baby” in Brendan’s environment is someone earning, say $100,000 a year - it is almost embarrassing to admit you earn so little. The “surprise” was realizing that the only obstacle to making as much money as I wanted was my own idea or, as Brendan put it, my “structure.”

Jeremy Is A Baby Amongst Shepherds
I was definitely a baby when I began, full of ideas that were wonderfully inefficient at getting what I wanted. Money was never what I wanted, but Brendan quickly showed me how it was the measure of what I did want: Alexander's Discoveries being used by people. He convinced me to adopt money as a way to honestly assess how I was doing with my visionary business plans.

With Brendan I realized that without cash as capital, an Alexander Technique teacher is at a severe disadvantage. Our work is industrial: it involves making a long-term investment before any return is realized – who has that kind of money in the Alexander Technique community, and is willing to invest it in Alexander Technique? No-one that I have met. Maybe Dr. Theodore Dimon? His Neurodynamics Training Program is interesting. Like BodyChance, Ted has launched his own brand, based on Alexander's Discoveries. It is a business model you could also follow.

I also learnt from Brendan that it is easy to fool your Self, but money will never lie. My new brand with a wonderful vision meant very little if only a half dozen students were actually being educated in my school: when revenue drops, so do the number of people learning. At BodyChance I watch the money, because that is the indicator of how many of people have access to Alexander’s transformational work.

You Are Your Own Business
Watch your income as a teacher: you are watching your ability to change in ways that make a real difference to how your vision of Alexander Technique is impacting the world. Once I started mixing with rich, successful business people, I was jolted awake by how aware and self-actualized most of them were. To make money – i.e. Alexander Technique career success - the profound step is to know who you are. So business, in the end, comes down to knowing who you are, and being clear on what you want.

The lucky ones start out like that, with no doubt, never wavering off the path. The others, who make it anyway, are more like me – waifs that wandered about for years before settling down to a determined, focused path to self-transformation, using money as a measure of their success at doing that. Of course it is not the only measure, but if your goal is to build a business career, then it is the one to choose above all others.

Financial success is more reliable indicator than any of your friends, who will spit back to you the old ideas that kept you poor and unsuccessful, if they are still your friends. My personal vision of success is that Alexander's Discoveries are accessible to everyone on the planet, but to do that I would have to build a multi-billion dollar company. So it’s pretty sure I won’t get there is this life, but not for want of trying.

Brendan’s Front-end/Back-end consisted of this: the Front-end was all about Business, Marketing and Sales strategies, the Back-end was all about your structure as a person. “Structure” in Brendan’s world is your mind-set, your beliefs, your habits of thought, your friends and environment: who are you and what do you want?

TOMORROW: How one decision popped out both my eyes, ended my marriage, got me assaulted… yet delivered me a peaceful clarity of mind and an income that now leaves me free to write!

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