Marianna and I arrived home from our trip to China just two days ago, and I am still recovering from jet lag, not to mention adjusting to my new life as a father. Our newly adopted daughter, Tiana, just had her first birthday and she is a total sweetheart. She already has me wrapped around her little finger. If you are interested in seeing pictures or reading about our adventures in China, go to www.procoachsystem.com/tiana.
No matter where I go, my fascination with what it takes to become successful never ends. China's dramatically different culture reminded me of what genuine success is and how most people are looking for it in all the wrong places.
In Beijing we saw evidence of rampant consumerism everywhere. The lavish lifestyle of the affluent reminded me more of New York and Las Vegas than a communist country. Designer label outlets and advertisements for luxury products were abundant and the streets were filled with BMWs, Porsches and other exotic cars. Even though the prices for these goods were as high as, or higher than we pay at home, business was booming!
How can this be in a country where the average income for city dwellers is a mere $2000 per year and it is less than half that in the rural areas? It does not make sense.
My suspicion is that the Chinese are buying into our Western belief that appearance is more important than substance and that success is measured through the accumulation of wealth, social status and possessions. The prevailing philosophy in North America is that the more money and possessions you have, the more successful at you are. Unfortunately pursuing this kind of "success" is leading our society to the brink of financial, emotional and spiritual disaster. Now it appears that China is following our example.
Whether it is taking place in China or here at home, the root of the problem is the same. It stems from a lack of self-esteem and the mistaken belief that we can validate our worth through external means: "If I have enough and look good enough, I will be enough." This misconception is a destructive force that leads us to strive relentlessly only to end up feeling burned out, empty and dissatisfied.
The first step to escaping this treadmill is to recognize that success is an inner experience. What you are really seeking is the deep contentment that comes from being at peace with yourself and your environment. In order to achieve this you must know, regardless of your current situation, "I am enough, I have enough, and I belong". When this is missing, no amount of external accumulation can fill the void.
Another deadly trap associated with seeking success externally is the belief that "more is better". Our entire society and economy operate as if this were true. But, in fact, it is a huge trap. Because if more is better, no matter how much you have it is never enough.
Here is an example from my own life. Currently ProCoach has about 180 members and the results they are getting are fantastic. Obviously we should expand, right? Everyone, including me, automatically assumes that having 200, 500, or even 5000 members would make me more successful. But would it really? Sure, I would have more money. But some of the things I value most are my freedom, time with my wife and new daughter, good health and time for recreation. Before buckling down to grow my business I need to ensure that my business plan is in synch with my priorities; the ones that nurture me and lead to feel truly successful rather than the "more is better" thinking I am conditioned to believe.
Take a moment to examine your life. To what degree are you seeking wealth, social status and other external possessions in order to prove your worth? Where is the belief that "more is better" pulling you away from genuine success rather than towards it?
By the way, it is perfectly natural and healthy to want more. The desire for improvement leads to progress individually and as a society. But the question to ask yourself is this: "What is my motivation for wanting more?" To the extent that you are seeking to prove something to yourself or others, you are undermining your success rather than enhancing it.
Our consumer society is based on the false promise that if you have more you will automatically be successful and feel great. Don't take the bait. Decide for yourself what experiences will fulfill for you and pursue those.
With best wishes for your journey to success,
Andrew Barber-Starkey, Master Certified Coach.
In This Issue
ProCoach Free Evening Seminars
During September and October, Andrew Barber-Starkey will be conducting a series of free evening seminars in Vancouver, Alberta (Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton) and Seattle. We will not tell you what the seminar is about yet, but we guarantee you will not want to miss this one! Standby to receive full details in the near future.
Right now we are asking you to help us contact people who would get value from hearing Andrew speak. We are specifically trying to reach people who have an interest in personal growth and are either self-employed, in sales or involved in small businesses. Here are some ways you can help ProCoach, help your friends, and earn some money for yourself:
||If you have a database of people who fit the above description and you would be willing to notify them about our events, please contact ProCoach for details of our Affiliate Program. We will show you how you can earn money simply by inviting your friends and associates to our free seminars.
||If you belong to any networking groups, contact us and we will send you tickets to the free events in your area. Hand these out to members of your group. They will learn about our seminars and you will get a chance to earn commissions.
||If you have participated in any kind of personal growth work or education and you think the organization involved might be willing to notify their group about our events, please put us in touch with them. We will reward you appropriately.
Keep in mind that when your friends and associates are notified about our events, they can choose whether or not to attend. If they do not know about our free seminars, they lose the opportunity to choose. They lose, ProCoach loses and you lose.
Member Success Stories
By day, Winnielee Chuus works as an accountant at an insurance company. However, her real passion is real estate investing. She has been a ProCoach member since July, 2004.
ProCoach: What prompted you to get into real estate investing?
Winnielee: I enjoy my work as an accountant, but I am very committed to achieving financial freedom and real estate is one of the best ways to do that. Over ninety percent of millionaires have made their fortunes in real estate.
ProCoach: I understand you are not just investing your own money in real estate. Tell us about that.
Winnielee: These days most people know that real estate is a good place to invest. However, few people have the time or expertise to find, purchase and manage a successful real estate portfolio. I put together joint venture partnerships where other people put up the money while I handle locating, purchasing and management of the property, then we share in the profit. I am following a proven system I learned from the Real Estate Investors Network (REIN) and it works extremely well.
ProCoach: So you were using a system to get results in real estate, and you decided to use another system, ProCoach, to accelerate your overall success.
Winnielee: Yes. I was handling so many things that I started to feel like I was going in circles. I wanted to increase my results and knew a professional coach could help me achieve my goals. When I started asking friends and colleagues for suggestions, several people mentioned ProCoach. I felt the program offered exactly what I was looking for and now, one year later, I am very glad I joined.
ProCoach: How has using the ProCoach Success System helped you?
Winnielee: The ProCoach program has helped me to achieve an amazing amount of focus. Every week I open up my Weekly Planner and it tells me exactly what I need to do. Within two months of joining the program, I closed on my first two properties just because I identified my priorities and followed through with them. Now I own seven properties worth close to one million dollars.
ProCoach: Other than setting your priorities and taking action, what else changed to make things take off like that?
Winnielee: Once I got focused I started attracting the right people. A year ago, the people were there but I was not ready. Now I have an amazing team of experienced and highly supportive people working with me. They go beyond way what is expected to make sure things work, and I am learning a great deal from them. This time last year I was having a hard time finding deals to invest in. Now I have numerous deals to choose from, and people are coming to me with money to invest.
ProCoach: Why do you think you started having such great results?
Winnielee: For one thing, I started putting all of my attention into real estate. Prior to joining ProCoach, I was working on developing several businesses simultaneously. It became clear to me that I needed to narrow my focus in order to get more of the right things done. My successes and my undivided focus on real estate have moved me forward and also helped me to attract investors.
ProCoach: What parts of the ProCoach System have you found most useful?
Winnielee: Overall the thing I like most about the ProCoach System is its simplicity. Anyone can use it and get results. The private Laser Coaching has helped me a lot; I try to get a session in every month and I always feel clearer after we talk. Having a good Success Partner makes a big difference because it ensures I complete my workbooks every week and that I do the things I say I will. Plus, the Weekly Planner breaks things down into small achievable steps. Before I was trying to do everything at once which made it difficult to complete projects and tasks.
ProCoach: Based on your experience, what tips would you give to someone who wanted to become more successful?
Winnielee: I have found the key to building momentum is to start by taking small steps and then be patient. In my first year I put together one deal, but in my second, I added six more properties to my list. I had to start small or it never would have worked.
ProCoach: You have two more years before you complete the ProCoach program. Where do you think you will be by then?
Winnielee: Two years from now I expect my monthly cash flow needs will be met through my real estate investments. That will allow me to choose the work I do and only get involved in projects that really appeal to me. I love my work, but I definitely want to reach a position where I work because I want to instead of because I need to.
ProCoach: Thank you for sharing your story, and good luck!
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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.
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