Work Like You

Or: use only what you truly need to get the job done.

The most common way I see people get sideways in their businesses is by trying to 1) project the future based on the present and 2) locking in a big commitment based on that projection.

Being 6 months into your coaching business and spending several thousand dollars on branding help, a website, marketing materials, and coaching based on your niche…only to realize in another 6 months that NONE of that is who you really are or what you really want to do.

Completing a training program in the discipline you believe you want to base your work on, and immediately committing a lot of time and money to the next level of training…and discover partway through that you really want to do different work.

Being the early stages of your business and believing you need a much more extensive and advanced level of support than you really do (a full-time assistant, an expensive software service with a contract, professional mentorship, a pricey organization membership.)

Ask yourself – what is the minimum I truly need to take the next step towards my goal?

If all you really need most days is to get food from the store, and it’s a mile away, a moped is your best bet. Walking takes too long, and the moped can also get you to your doctor’s across town if needed. It doesn’t cost much to own or run.

What you DON’T need (yet) is a car that requires monthly payments or repairs and mostly sits in the driveway.

And here’s the real problem. What if you decide you need a car, and you buy a Lexus because someone told you no one will take you seriously if you drive anything less…and then you realize what you REALLY want to do is lead Jeep tours in the mountains? Or tour the country living in a bio-diesel VW van?

Then you’re committed to a vehicle that’s actively hindering you. It’s not able to take you where you’re truly headed. You can swap out, but it’s expensive in a number of ways.

Instead, consider this.

When the moped can’t get you to that speaking gig you finally landed, borrow a car, or take Uber, or get a Zipcar membership so you have a car ONLY when you need it. When you’re spending enough on Uber or Zipcar to equal a car payment, you start looking at cars. By then you know what vehicle you need for that next stage, and you can afford it because you’ve worked up to it.

Your dream right now might be the gleaming tour bus full of your roadies, or the limo whisking you from speaking appearance to book signing with your posse. You could very well end up there – but if you do, I guarantee you’ll have built up to it. A moped will get traded for a used Honda Accord. The Accord becomes a used SUV, which turns into a new BMW. And then the Beemer won’t hold all your peeps anymore and the limo will be the obvious next step.

AND…if you realize at the step between the moped and the Honda that you actually want to lead eco-retreats in Costa Rica, or become a florist and live above your shop, or you’ve unexpectedly and joyfully become the parent of twins and need a hatchback wagon, you’ll have the flexibility to do that.

You won’t have a tour bus sitting in your driveway with your name painted across the side, nobody in it, costing you more than your housing payment, getting you nowhere.

Don’t walk if you can get a moped, people. But don’t buy a tour bus when a moped is all you need here and now. You just might end up in Costa Rica instead, completely unforeseen, and you don’t want to have to put that bus on Craigslist before you can get there.

I promise you two things: everybody starts out on a moped, and almost no one ends up where they think they’re headed at the moped stage.

Let yourself be where you are, and dig into it. Keep an eye on the road ahead – but mostly so you can see when that road starts to change to something you never expected, so you can change vehicles to meet it.

In the meantime, love that moped, baby. It’ll get you everywhere you need to go and ask nearly nothing from you. Give it a kiss, put your helmet on, and putt proudly to the store and back. It’s the first stretch of the road that will take you places you can’t see from here.


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