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Steve's Life And Business Coaching Notes - March 2010


The flame of inspiration.

Dear Friends,

We have just finished 16 days of Olympic mania in my home town of Vancouver. Prior to the games I was an Olympic humbug - quite sure that there were far better uses for $6 billion dollars. However, as the games played out, I could not help but get drawn into the excitement, joy and optimism that began to flow out of the crowded streets of Vancouver into the larger world.

I have never directly experienced such a remarkable outpouring of good will. The overall excitement certainly wasn't about which country a particular winning athlete came from, or which country was ahead in the medal count. It was more of a collective celebration of how good it feels to be inspired, and feel connected to each other and life. If you were not here, or if you have never been part of something like this, it would be dificult to understand the extent that millions of people have been moved. It was very cool.

I may still believe there are better uses in this world for $6 billion dollars. However, if the lasting legacy of these Olympic games is simply that a few billion people around the world were briefly reminded of how good it feels, and how important it is, to be inspired, to connect, to celebrate, and let your heart show in life - it wouldn't be a bad thing.

It might even inspire us all to find a little more of all that good stuff in our day to day lives.

All the best,



1) Freedom "From" versus Freedom "With". (How to enjoy more joy, peace and freedom, today.)

2) Powerful Testimonials To Help You Build Your Business.

3) Practice Building On A Budget - Summer's Program, The Waiting List is Growing.

1) Freedom From, versus Freedom With.

If you have ever taken more than a passing glance at any of the wisdom teachings of the West or East, you will find a conversation about freedom. Specifically the important difference between “freedom from” versus “freedom with”. 
Many of us grow up in the perspective of acquiring freedom “from” all the things that stand between where we are now, and some imagined, better future – where we have more of the things we want and less of the things that drive us crazy.

So, we assume, if we work very hard to get ahead, create a career or business, acquire the house, earn enough money, find the right person, become famous, etc, etc, - we will get “there” and enjoy far more freedom.  Of course the chinks in the armour of this collective delusion is that very few of our contemporaries who have achieved all these things, enjoy demonstratively higher levels of freedom. The typical experience is that whenever we extinguish one set of challenges - that stand between us and “freedom” - a new set appears.  And thus the “freedom from” paradigm turns into an endless treadmill where there is always something between us and the place we want to be. And life passes by quickly.

In contrast, the “freedom with” approach is based on the insight that it is possible to choose to be free from desire or aversion, wherever you are, now.  This perspective invites us to challenge the assumption that we need things to change before we can be happy. This is a simple yet powerful shift in mindset from the default assumptions of a marketing based society, where the answer is always somewhere out there – usually involving some new accomplishment or purchase.

Now, choosing to focus on finding freedom here and now, and giving up the striving for future fruit, does not mean you have to turn into an aimless, unmotivated slouch. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't be working to better yourself or your situation. It simply means giving up the striving. Give up the assumption that you cannot experience happiness and freedom at every point in the journey.  Gandhi made this point when he said, “He who gives up action, falls. He who gives up only the reward, (i.e. – attachment to some future outcome or freedom) rises. But renunciation of fruit in no way means indifference to the result. In regard to every action one must know the result that is expected to follow, the means thereto, and the capacity for it. He who, being thus equipped, is without desire for the result, and is yet wholly engrossed in the due fulfillment of the task before him, is said to have renounced the fruits of his action.”   

With the equanimity, clarity and peace that come from choosing to first establish a state of freedom that embraces all that is currently present in your life, all subsequent action will be far more rewarding and effective.

So let me ask, "What would you need to accept or let go of, to be free and at peace today?"

"If you want what visible reality
can give, you're an employee.

If you want the unseen world,
you're not living your truth.

Both wishes are foolish,
but you'll be forgiven for forgetting
that what you really want is
love's confusing joy."

- Rumi

2)  The Power of Testimonials For Your Business.

Imagine you are thinking about going out to dinner, and considering which of two equally suitable restaurants to try. One choice comes with a strong recommendation from a neighbour who has been there lately.  With the other choice all you have to go on is the restaurant’s own advertising. Which choice are you more likely to choose?


We are all so overwhelmed by advertising that we heavily discount self-promotion and give a much higher value to independent or third party guidance.  This simple reality needs to be fully utilized in the promotion of your service or products.

Wherever possible in your promotional material (web sites, brochures, ads, programs, etc.) make good use of testimonials from happy clients who can testify to the benefits of working with you.

What are the key ingredients in a good testimonial? In short, a believable statement from a real person. (Their name, picture, and contact information is best.) Ideally, to maximize persuading power, you want the testimonial to mention the specific benefits received and address any common concern.

Finally, in a world full of advertizing hyperbole, it is wise to strike a balance for your audience. In other words it is wise to stay away from any, “over-the-top, it-changed-my-life-forever”, zestimonials that can actually erode credibility.

Happy business building.

"In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker
unless you can also sell what you create. " 

- David Oglivy

3) Summer's 6-Figure Practice Mentor Program Waiting List Is Growing.

If you love to coach but struggle to get clients, and if you are looking for an affordable solution to move past your current limitations and get much better results, check out the new audio description of the Mentor Program I recorded at THE 6-FIGURE PRACTICE MENTORING PROGRAM.

The waiting list for the next (late August) program is growing quickly. If you missed the boat in January, get your name in by emailing me at scmitten@shaw.ca to reserve your spot. 

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