25 Jan Ajit Nawalkha + Anne Mandler – Effective Methods to Grow Your Business Now
Anne Mandler talks with Ajit Nawalkha about mentor making – the genius of knowing just where your business needs to grow in Issue No. 3 of ANNE.
ANNE: Thank you so much for being here. Number one, I’m honored to get a chance to talk to you. I’m just amazed at what you’ve been doing over these last months with Mindvalley and your other projects.
AJIT: Thank you, thank you very much. I am excited to be here.
ANNE: I work with a lot of entrepreneurs that are in new and early stages, but I really wanted us to speak to people at all levels and especially on some mindset today. I think that people are really excited to hear about that, but, before we get started, I would like to just do a little introduction of you. Everybody here, if you don’t know Ajit Nawalkha, you need to, because he is really doing some amazing things. He’s well known in the coaching world and certainly in business. I just want to say, you’re kind of paving a way for coaches that I haven’t seen before, and it’s really exciting to watch that happen.
You have been teaching a number of high-level entrepreneurs, after finishing your work with a student- run nonprofit. You really entered the corporate world and asked yourself the question – virtually everyone spends 80% of their lives at work, and why do they live hating it? I thought that was such a great question because I think that’s why a lot of us become entrepreneurs.
Today, I want to talk a little bit about the mindset that goes with that and what you’ve been learning. You’ve moved on to really teach people better ways to run businesses and to be more productive and engaged at work, and to really live fulfilled lives as business owners. This led you to becoming the CEO of Mindvalley Media, and you went on starting Blinkwebinars, which is a webinar automation company, Evercoach – which is one of the greatest destinations for coaches to learn from, and then, Zenward, which is a platform for bringing together some of the most passionate teachers so that they can build a lively yoga practice while having fun. That’s a lot, that’s a pretty big bandwidth in those years, right?
So, right now your genius really lives in growing businesses, and your structure of influence and solutions have helped hundreds of business owners. So, that’s a little bit about you.
AJIT: Thank you.
ANNE: This issue of ANNE Magazine is really geared toward helping entrepreneurs really have a toolbox and a resource to go to for business practices, benchmarks, and things like that, but also as an inspirational tool and guide. As we look forward to the new year, I wanted to talk a little bit about ways to improve mindset. The first question for you is that I know that we have goals and things that we want to accomplish, what can we really do if we’re not hitting those?
AJIT: First of all, I have an alternate view about goals. Before I answer that question, I’d love to share what’s the alternate view that some want to consider. Most of my life I always had goals. Most of my life I said, “Alright, what’s the next thing that I want to get to?” And fortunately, I was always able to hit them. Now of course, I have a set process for it, and I kind of do things which I am going to share later that allows me to hit whatever I set out as a goal. But, here is the biggest challenge with any goal. As you go closer to the goal or as you hit the goal, the only thing that really happens is you have a shot of gratification that tells you, “Oh, great! You hit the goal. Yay! Let’s celebrate.” And then, the next moment of the next morning or next afternoon, you are back to setting a new goal, right? For that matter, when you hit a goal a lot of times it only is followed by emptiness because you all of a sudden feel, “Oh, I hit the goal – now what?” right? So, usually you’re hit by something that is not so fulfilling as you imagined when you were running for the goal.
The conditioning that we have had as human beings is basically – in school we are told to go to the next class, to go to college, and then from college, go get a job. Every time when you do this progressive goal setting, which is the way of life as if there was a destination that we are getting to, what happens is that the destination keeps going forward, there’s almost – in the societal set up, in the way we are set up, the way we are set to do goals, it’s almost always about how do you not be completely happy and fulfilled and always look at the future as where happiness lies, and you must go there to actually feel any happiness for yourself. That’s how goal-setting is traditionally designed to be. It’s almost as if human beings were supposed to progress, and they didn’t know how to progress, so they had to create this staff, this flag, to be able to say, “Okay, when I hit this or get this flag. I’ll feel that I am making progress in life, and then I will set out another flag, if I don’t hit that.” Which is also the challenge that, most of the time, people set out these flags to be really, really far away because they just don’t want to hit it, unconsciously.
I started taking an alternate view about the flag about a year ago, where I was wondering what is the challenge with goals, here, because all I was doing again and again was finding myself in this place and saying. “I hit the goal but …what? And so what?” Right? So, I said, what if the way I approach life is a slightly different way of approaching life. What if I didn’t say, “I will hit the next goal” but I said, “Right now, today, I find absolute joy and happiness – the thing that I seek by hitting the goal, I’ll seek it today. And every day is going to be like that.” While I went into that thought process, I realized that there are certain values and certain principles that we have, as individuals, that are within us. I am not saying that I have discovered all of them, because it probably is a longer journey than that, but some of them are so easy to identify. For example, I sat down and said, “What are my values if every day I have to live in a state of bliss and joy, what is it that I need to experience every single day?” It wasn’t that I needed to experience some fancy meal. It was mostly an expression of some kind of emotion. So, if expressing my love or being loved is one of the biggest values that I have – if I experience that, I would feel a sense of joy and happiness every single day.
I do activities that allow me to see and have that experience every single day. If I feel that I am taking care of my health in some way, it gives me a sense of joy and happiness, so I try and do something every day. It could be walking. It could be running. It could be eating well. Whatever that is, but that would give me joy every day. My conversation shifted from saying, “What’s the next goal?” to saying, “Today is the day. and how do I absolutely make it the most loving, amazing day that I can possibly create?” Right? Every day became a joyful, blissful experience based on a certain set of values that I’m fully aware of that give me joy and happiness. That’s one different paradigm I love to offer the audience. “What if?” I’m not saying that you will be able to do it or will not be able to do it because it’s different minds and different human beings. We operate differently but I would want you to consider, what if you change the dialogue of saying you will only be happy when you hit your goal to saying. “I can be happy in the now, and goals are nice; I’ll have them, too.” That’s just one of the values that you have but there are many other values that ensure that every day you are fulfilled, and you live a joyful life.
Remember the study that happened several years ago – the five things that people regret on their deathbed? Some of the biggest ones are, “I didn’t connect enough.” “I didn’t live my life and enjoy it as much as I could have.” All of those questions, if you think about it, the worst way that probably happened because all that they lived for was the next exciting goal that they had set for themselves.
Now, to answer your question, “How do you hit every single goal all the time?” Here’s how I have been able to hit in both places while I am in this place of living a value-based life or when I was constantly chasing goals. First rule of setting a good goal is to know what’s a good goal, right?
People are unreasonable with their goals. People usually can’t imagine what they can achieve in three, five to ten years but they try to imagine what they can do in one year, and they set something really outrageous. For example, whenever I worked with entrepreneurs they would say, “Alright, this year, I’m going to do this, this, this, then this, then this, then this – like so. That’s six, seven, eight, ten items that they want to achieve and three items that they want to do in a month. But, when I say, “Alright, how does it pan out in the context of three years?” Or “How does it pan out in the context of five years or ten years?” They usually don’t have that set up.
Here’s the thing, even if they have, they altogether have six items to do in three years. So, you have six items to do in a single year and you have six items to do in three years. We usually overestimate what we can actually do in a given amount of time when the time frame is short, which is why we have quarterly goal setting, Let’s bombard my team with 200 items, right?
That’s the first rule of setting bad goals. Don’t overestimate your goals so much or don’t overvalue them so much that you set up unreasonable, unachievable goals in a short period of time. That’s the biggest challenge that I feel with people who are not able to achieve goals is that they just set unreasonable goals.
Their goals are not meant to be done in a year, so you aren’t going to get them done in a year. This is not to discourage, this is for a fundamental understanding of how goals really work. Also, if you understand that, you will also understand how to design your life around it so you won’t be running and chasing a goal that is in any way unreasonable and is not even going to give you the gratification that it is designed to give you.
Because we design these goals also based on what people around us are doing, not necessarily what we want to achieve. It gets you to step out and say, “Alright, what is it that I want to do in, say, five years? Or three years?” Ten years or whatever is a reasonable number for you.
You put that out there, and you will see when you break it down – let’s say that there is something that you want to achieve in five years, and that seems like a really good thing. Most of the people say, “You want to be a millionaire, right?” “Yes, I want to be a millionaire.” I’ll ask, “How much time do we have? Will you be happy if, in five years you become a millionaire?” We lie, we say, “Yeah, I’d be stoked!” So, why are you working today to be a millionaire? If you’re happy to be it in five years, let’s walk it back down and see what needs to happen in five years for you to get to be a millionaire. Millionaire, hundred millionaire, doesn’t matter.
The point is, if you want to get somewhere, and you are okay with the time frame that is there for you to get there, it allows you to reasonably manage yourself and manage your goals, manage your expectations, and manage your results.
Another way of hitting – another big caveat of hitting goals is don’t set short-term goals; set only long-term goals. Long-term goals give you the permission to break it down – break the long-term goal into short-term goals. That will give you a lot more ease in actually achieving the goal because you will be, “Alright, I now know why I am doing everything that I am doing, and why I don’t need to do everything else.” Or else what happens is I have a free day, and I fill it with junk because I’m thinking let’s do this and do this because I have one more hour, and I don’t know what to do with my life. I understand that, because our mind needs to be busy. But if you fill that hour with more, which is the third point, more knowledge and information, you’re more likely to hit the goal, right? The important thing here is that if you – remember that story, I am thinking it was some President of the United States of America who went to chop a tree, or something like that … I don’t remember the name but basically, it was a new guy who decided, “I want to come in and chop the tree before the person who owned that area of the forest”. He goes to chop the tree, and the first day he goes and knocks out two trees in a day.
Next day, he comes and knocks down two trees in a day. The third day he comes and knocks down only one tree in the day. The fourth day he realizes that, well, he’s not even going to get done with one tree. Then he goes and talks to the master and says, “I don’t know if my productivity has gone down – I don’t know what’s happening here but I am doing the same amount of work. I’m working harder, but the tree is not getting knocked down.” The master says, “Well, show me your ax.” He looks at the ax. The ax is all blunt, it’s because, yes, the first two days you have the capacity to roll it all out. You knocked it out of the ballpark when you just got started because you were ready for it, but on day three and day four, you’re not ready for it anymore because you’ve stopped sharpening your ax. You’ve got to sharpen your ax.
That’s basically where the learning, education, and study comes in. Even if, with all successful businesses and all that kind of stuff that I’ve been able to pull off in the past years, still every day I study. Every single day I spend probably as much time studying as I do working. I barely work even if the amount of business is accounted for. It might look like, “Oh, you must be busy twenty hours a day.” It’s not. I have a very balanced lifestyle where I meet my friends, I do the things that I like to do. At the same time, I work hard. It’s not that I don’t work but it’s not much compared to most people. There are a lot of people who are working two or three times harder, trying to get the same results that I’m getting by working much less and the reason is …
ANNE: You work smarter, not harder.
AJIT: Yes. And learn, sharpen the ax. That’s the smart work that I am talking about. It’s basically not only about what. Work smarter can be said for all three things that I said but this is very specifically to say to study and learn. Don’t be cocky about what you know, because you never know. You’ve got to be humble about that. Those are some pointers, I would say, to hit your goals consistently.
ANNE: Thank you, I agree, and I asked you that question because – just knowing how you’ve spoken in the past. I agree with you on goals in general. I think it’s a shift in our thinking as a culture from years of conditioning in the corporate world and other places. I think sometimes it’s a little tricky for people to shift that mindset, but it’s amazing that you’ve been successful with your work, and you have done all of these things over time. It’s proven that you can have a balanced life, and do it. The other thing that comes a lot with my folks is the idea of being stuck. Sometimes we get stuck, and we don’t even know where we’re stuck. My question is a very general question so you can take it as you interpret it, but how – what is your advice for really helping people get unstuck? At any level of business is it different or can you offer some advice that could really apply to you wherever you’re at?
AJIT: It would be hard to generalize that advice. Being stuck is usually a function of, I would say, either lack of knowledge or a lack of ambition. I would assume that that is most of the time, I am not saying that it’s all of the time, but a lot of times it would be either of those.
You have all of a sudden found that you’ve been working on something for a little while, and it’s becoming demotivating or frustrating. The ambition is gone – taken a solid punch in its face. Or it is because you just don’t know what you don’t know, you know? You’re stuck because it’s getting you frustrated. You feel you can’t make the investment that you need to make. You can’t make that progress. That person is so much smarter. That person knows that; this one looks pretty. Whatever the logic that you’re coming up with, but it’s mostly the education that’s probably holding you back in that particular scenario.
Now, there could be many other reasons. that’s why I don’t want to generalize it. But, at the same point in time, these are the most common two that I’ve found – that you lose ambition because you’re frustrated with, again, because maybe you’re not hitting your goals or just because it just didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to turn out, and so you have lost that vision that you had of yourself, even. Your ideal self has kind of taken a hit. You’re down or it’s just that, yeah, you don’t have the skills anymore. SO, to get unstuck, usually what I do – I, personally, what personally works for me is when I feel stuck a lot, I try to do my,“Let’s have another conversation with a motivational person.” What I try to do is call friends. I call colleagues. I call people who are successful and not so successful. It doesn’t matter. Just people who, I feel I can just have a conversation with.
The conversation is mostly me asking questions. I am curious, you can say, in a way. I ask, “So, tell me a little about this, and tell me a little bit about that.” Now, what happens when you do that or at least what happens in my body, is that all of a sudden I get inspiring ideas. It doesn’t mean that the person has to be more successful than me to inspire me. For me, it works for the time that it is an inspiring idea or thoughtful idea.
I go out and ask questions and get curious about – what are you doing? What are you working on? Why are you doing what you are doing?
Questions like these kind of change the paradigm of how you are thinking about your business because all of a sudden two things might happen. One, you might get an inspiring story from somebody who was nowhere and has gotten somewhere, which is great for your motivation because you all of a sudden feel empowered. Your body changes. You can go forward again.
Secondly, somebody might say something that you might not have even thought about, and you get a new reality to work with. For example, sometimes if I would – especially if I would speak to coaches, a lot of times I would find things that I never thought would be a challenge, because you know how you forget your past a little bit sometimes and you forget what your challenges were. Then all of a sudden somebody would mention a challenge, and I would think, “Really? Is that really something that you feel is a challenge?” Because all day – this is what I feel like all the time, and all of a sudden I think, “Huh … I can solve that problem.” I feel that I can solve that problem because – it doesn’t have to be me solving the problem. I know I have the resourcefulness of being able to solve that problem. I think, “Okay, let’s create something that will solve that problem.”
All of a sudden I would remember a different ambition or an added ambition to what I had. My lost fire-power, lost education starts to come back. When that happens, you tend to unstuck yourself. One thing, though, about getting stuck, just as a side note, it’s not necessarily a technique but it’s kind of important to have, is that if you feel you are stuck, you should be okay with that. Because if you can’t acknowledge that you are stuck, you will keep pushing harder. That’s what I feel. That is sometimes the biggest challenge. It is not necessarily the intelligence of getting past.
It’s more about you not being able to acknowledge that you don’t know how to get past. You are stuck, right? If you can acknowledge that, yeah, I’m stuck, most likely your intelligence is so brilliant, and I know that already, because you are doing the work that you are doing.
It’s not just because it’s a nice thing to say, it’s because my trust in human beings, especially those who are willing to take action to change their lives, which are the persons that are listening to this particular interview, is that you are 100% smart enough and competent enough to be able to acknowledge, “Alright, I am stuck” Let’s find out what I need to do to get over it.” But first you have to be okay by knowing, “Right now, I’m stuck, and I could use help.” That help that could be in the form of asking somebody questions. It could be going out and doing a training, watching an inspirational video, whatever works for you.
ANNE: What you’re saying is that. “You are good enough, and you need to catch yourself and where you’re at, and get some inspiration in order to move yourself.”
AJIT: Yeah. And be okay with it. Catch yourself, be ok with it …
ANNE: That’s the key.
AJIT: Yeah, be ok with it. It’s okay that you are stuck. It’s okay that your business is not growing at the pace you’re expecting it to grow. It can be frustrating, and sometimes it takes a day, even for me. It takes a day sometimes. I’ve practiced this for a long time, where it’s like for a day I’m just bummed because I feel I’m not going anywhere with this, and all I have to do is let that be in my body and let that be okay and just move forward with it.
ANNE: Great. Thank you. Another area that I know where people tend to get stuck, and I personally, have also gotten stuck, is the area of brand and personal brands and the motion and the momentum that you need to go through to figure that out for yourself. I’ve seen this a lot. I bring this up because I personally had some challenges with understanding my own audience, first, and then being able to feel like I’m competently marketing to those folks in a way that they can hear me. Sometimes, I think it’s because I don’t always have information coming to me from my audience. I’m wondering if you could give some insight on that process, on how people can actually get some momentum with their brand. How are we able to teach more than one thing while we’re going through the process of figuring out audience and what we want to teach?
AJIT: I can’t speak to the exact situation, because I don’t know enough about it but what I’m going to do is give a general answer which will hopefully help anybody who is asking this question. First of all, branding, especially in the space of education, has a lot more to do with the personality of the human being.
I spoke to a branding expert who helps Victoria’s Secret and all kinds of different companies, Tiffany & Co. and these different companies, and I was generalizing for personal brands you have to be a lot more true to yourself. That kind of stuff. Let me clarify something to you. It’s not only true for personal brands. It’s true for any brand. You just don’t really see the company name on it but if you really dig deeper, and you look at the founder of the company, most of the brands are a reflection of the founder, of the person who is leading the company. It’s a reflection of the person still. I was in the session with this guy who re-branded Tiffany and Co. recently, like the whole overhaul that they did a couple of years ago that they did with the stores and everything. He was telling me the story of saying we went to do a re-branding and went to the owner of Tiffany and Co. We went into his house, and we saw all this beautiful wall art which is there. It was swirls and everything. We thought that is a representation of the artistic style that the person likes. That’s what we want to represent when somebody walks into Tiffany and Co., that they are almost experiencing being in the house of the owner or the founder of the company. If you go to Tiffany and Co., right now, that’s why you see the swirls everywhere. If you see in the stores, any of the stores that have been refurbished already, I think now that they have done all of them, but I don’t know if they have done all of them or not, but before that, it just looked like a jewelry store, now it has its own identity.
The idea of branding is often confused with it needing to be perfect. The idea of branding, if you look at it, especially if it comes to personalities, it has a lot to do with expression and the deeper and the better expression of you.
If you think of you, as a human being, you will understand it’s not perfect. No human being is perfect. I say it in a different way, but it’s not really true in the personal development context but think about it like this: What makes you love another person? What do you remember about the other person? It’s not always the good things, a lot of times it’s actually the flaws that the person has and that matters. It’s the flaws that gets you to love them even more because you know that they need it more.
AJIT: Right? So, what we hide, as brands, all the time, as people who are putting their work out, is that we go, “What is the perfect picture that I can paint for my people?” When you paint the perfect picture, it’s boring as Hell, right? Because it’s just another person, it’s as if everybody’s perfect or at least trying to be, especially in today’s time – Facebook, everybody’s perfect, everybody’s got everything sorted. Doesn’t work.
If you really are looking for it. That’s why a lot of people become internet famous because of their perfect bodies but they’re not able to drive any action. Especially if they’ve never really exposed the flaw that they have actually committed in the process of – if they have not shared their frustrations, if they’ve not shared their cravings, if they haven’t shared all of that stuff while being the perfect body that they want other people to be admiring, they’re not able to drive action. They’re just able to get followers. That’s mostly because they are looking at perfect bodies. They’re just making their feed look good, and that’s all it is. They don’t really think of them as an inspiring person, they can’t drive action. Anybody who drives action is okay, comfortable, and willing to share their flaws as openly as they’re open to showing their competencies. That’s the one rule of branding; you’ve got to understand. It’s not only about the perfect self, it’s about true self, up here.
Actually, coincidentally, literally yesterday, and today also, half of my days are dedicated to building this presentation that I’m creating for a tribe that I’m speaking with from Try A Day. We run this event called A-Fest, and a lot of coaches and entrepreneurs come there. I do a day before A-Fest just helping people through their businesses. That event is happening, literally, on 1st or 2nd of November. There I’m just walking them through this whole process of messaging and communicating, and all that kind of stuff.
Literally the first eight slides of me are showing people what builds connection. A lot of those things are things are things that would make you think. “Holy Cow, that is so imperfect of these people.” And these are celebrities – Ellen DeGeneres, you could about Rock, you could talk about Kevin Hart, anybody – anybody that you feel is a solid, popular personality. They are so open about their things that make them more lovable or loved by people. I mean, that’s a big thing to remember. It doesn’t, of course, in really putting your brand together because then we could talk for days, and I’ll still not be done, I guess. But branding is a big topic. It’s a big topic. It’s a thing that can make or break a brand sometimes or make or break a person. But, if you can, if there is one piece of advice that I can leave people with in this context is if you become more ok and comfortable with yourself, you will most likely be able to create a much more impactful brand without even trying. It becomes easier for you, and it becomes so much easier for people to do it with you.
ANNE: Absolutely. It sounds like what you’re saying is with authenticity, which has kind of been a buzzword for a long time but to really understand it is that like you said about goal-setting or anything else, you’re looking at the long term and what people will resonate with and follow you with through time.
AJIT: Yes. Business is a – the biggest thing in business or the least respected thing in business is patience. Patience is all that really matters in business. I am here. You’ve seen me in the past nine months, but you haven’t seen me in the world before but it’s all about patience. It’s all about patience and being ok with saying that it’s going to take the time, that it needs to take. Because if it doesn’t, it’s going to crash as fast, too.
AJIT: Patience and persistence
ANNE: It’s a virtue. Patience is a virtue. The other thing that I’ve heard you speak about a little bit is the importance of marketing that is deep-rooted in customer loyalty. I just feel like that topic builds a little bit on the brand discussion that we had. What does this mean, really? How do we ensure that we’re doing that? How do we ensure that we are really deep-rooted in customer loyalty. It might be similar to the last answer.
AJIT: No not – I mean, it is similar, of course, being okay and comfortable with yourself, and presenting it out there kind of allows you to have a greater connection with your clients. By customer loyalty what I mean is … I’ll give you two examples so you can understand context of a big company and a small company. I am partners – I am co-founder of a company called Mindvalley which I was CEO of about two years ago. Then we navigated, and I became the co-founder of the company. That’s also the company that partnered and is kind of behind Evercoach, you can say, in a way.
The one thing that we found in that whole industry, let’s just call it the personal development industry generally, is there are at least, twenty to thirty companies that started around the time that we started or companies that started even before we started. The big differential that we had as a company always was that we never had a customer support team, we had a WOW Team.
A WOW team simply meant that when you interact with a client they shouldn’t say, “Thank you for responding”, they should say, “Wow, you guys are amazing”; Wow, you guys are awesome”. That kind of allowed us to sustain in the times when recession hit the country, when everything was okay, and everyone had the portent about how it’s not going to work out. When Google slapped us, when Facebook slapped us, everything that you can imagine has happened in the history of that company, and all of it we were able to sustain it because we just never gave up on our clients. We just never said it’s okay, anything less than an amazing experience between us and our clients. The way we write emails. The way that we communicate with them. The way we do anything with our clients has given us clients that are clients for a lifetime now.
I know personally a lot of these clients; literally I have personally physically met them. We have sat down with them, had dinners with them. If we go to different cities we bring them together to come hang out with us, and all of that kind of stuff. That’s one explanation in a long context of what it really means to take care of your clients.
Here is a shorter context. I was actually hanging out with a friend of mine; he’s a coach. He’s been in business for about eight years or something like that. We were just talking about his business model, and his business model is 100% referral only. He does millions in sales. He doesn’t even have a strong (digital presence). I mean, I look at his digital presence, and I’m like, I’m your friend, it’s embarrassing. He doesn’t really even do anything related to digital.
I did the, “I’ll help you out” kind of thing. I have said things like, “I can help you here; let me help you kind of things”. He doesn’t need that help. Not that he’s saying that he doesn’t need it because he’s also a super-aware person, and yeah, I’m going to do this, whatever. But, generally, in that timeline he could create millions and millions in business because what he just simply focuses on how does he go deeper with his clients is in how many clients he can have.
That’s an explanation of true client astonishment, client delight. Instead of thinking, “How can I get one more client,” you think, “I’ll get two clients this year, and I’m just going to wow the heck out of them.” Five clients, I’ll wow the heck out of them. Here’s what most people do wrong. If your audience is coaches or teachers, they especially make this mistake. They think it’s all about the numbers, and it’s NEVER about the numbers, especially when you’re starting. Especially then, the last thing you should be caring about is numbers. You should be caring way more about quality because you’re finding your product.
As I said, this is a common conversation. I know my product; I’ve done this for so many years; I know the stuff. It works. You have to see it. It works. I know it works – FOR YOU. How many clients have you gone ahead and tried this with? “Well, I’ve given some free sessions, and they loved it.” I said, “Did they pay for it?” “No.” “Did they sign up after that?” “No.” Then it’s not an amazing product because if it was an amazing product they would be saying, “Take my money now!” They’d work with you more. You wouldn’t even have to ask. Sometimes, they will ask you way more, and that’s what an amazing. They will be asking how can we do this more, because this is so amazing.
Especially if you vetted this client really well and did not just started coaching in the middle of the street. Because people do that, too. If you have actually set up a conversation; if you have actually now delivered a product where they went, “Holy smokes, this is amazing”. They will not only sign up themselves … and even if they can’t afford you. What they will do is get you people that will sign up with you. That’s how I built my coaching business …
ANNE: Coaching in the middle of the street – yes.
AJIT: We do that – it happens. It’s the time, also when we are so excited about our passion that we say, “Oh, let me help you; of course I can help you” even if they have not really asked you to. Which is okay, but know that that does not support any process, your client astonishment process.
Because they never said yes, you just did an un-permission- based approach with them in that particular scenario and all they end up thinking is, “Yeah, I got some cool advice”. They had no response to your actual advice. They were not even listening. They were hearing you but they were not listening to you. They had no investment in that conversation. They didn’t set the time aside for it. They were just walking on the street with you. You just had a conversation. They didn’t even see this as coaching. They just saw it as you saying, talking to them as a friend or somebody that they know and yeah, you’re a cool person, great. Let’s get a drink. That’s all that is. It is not a coaching conversation. It is not a business-building activity. If you want to do a business-building activity, you’ve got to make sure that your clients are invested in it, like you are. 100% of my clients are referral. Somebody saying to somebody or invitation, where I say. “Hey, would you like to talk to me on this topic for an hour? Let’s set that hour apart. We will sit down and talk about it.”
We’ll come up with a clear action plan, and then I will make it an invitation, if they want to join me. The I will make it very, very, very, very clear objectivized, clear. Internalize what you want them to do. You’ve got to respect your clients. They’re smart people.
ANNE: I’m so glad that you mentioned, Ajit, referral, because I was teaching in a mastery summit last week, and one of the questions for me was what are the biggest ways that you are attracting and magnetizing and keeping your clients. I talked a little bit about referral, and she said, “Wow!” I think that you’re the first person that’s actually said that. I think that people just forget sometimes the power of someone else putting their trust in you because they’ve put their reputation on the line, basically, and in a very good way. It speaks so many volumes to be able to refer someone and to have someone work with you from that capacity.
AJIT: That is so true. We should all aim to have all of our clients be referrals. That is actually a great measure of saying that you are really doing quality work. It’s amazing. Thank you for sharing that with the larger audience.
ANNE: Absolutely. It reminds me of something you had said, too, about – it was a different conversation but using the example of a real estate agent, and what if this real estate agent – you had gone and said I really want to buy a home and the real estate agent, if I am using the analogy correctly or the comparison, the client goes out and only thinks of you when they’re looking for a home. You’re the only focus. What if each one of our customers and clients was like that? It would be such a different way to look at things and different way to work and cater.
AJIT: And it creates – I know it sounds counter-intuitive that people might feel I am putting such a wasted effort, and all that kind of stuff. But it is true. I’ve seen the best of the people who build businesses or coach people. If you send an email to my Wow Support member, if we don’t have a product, we will recommend you to somebody else’s product or if we feel that our product is not the best serving product for you.
The same is for my coaching staff. This morning the guy said, “Can I sign you up?” I said, “No, your business is not at that place. I can introduce you to people who can help you here, but I’m not going to help you here because I’m not qualified for it.” This was a business that was just starting out. I usually don’t work with businesses that are just starting out because I am too expensive for them. I don’t want somebody to take a loan to hire me to build their business, because to me, in my head, it’s insanity. I didn’t do that and I don’t want anybody to do that. I am there when there business is at a particular stage.
When the business is just starting, they need a different coach. That’s just my dialogue with them. I say I can recommend you people but no, you cannot pay me money, not even if – it doesn’t make – because all I am thinking about is them, more than – yes, I’ll make a good buck but what am I going to do with it if the guy doesn’t get the success that he wants to get? What’s the point of doing it all?
For me, my that’s just how great client service really works. You care about the client, and you will make money anyways. Making money is the easy part. People think that that is the hardest part – that’s the easiest part of it all. You can make money so easily if you really give a shit about people.
ANNE: I agree. And there are a lot of people out there who aren’t willing to, so if you set that standard, you’re actually setting a precedent for other people to follow in that way. Which just builds teams of better business owners and coaches in whatever business you’re in.
AJIT: True that …
ANNE: We’re getting close to being out of time. But I would love to just ask you as a business game-changer, is there something that, for you, that you’d like to leave the audience with? Is there something in all of the work that you’ve done over the years that is just a stand-out? Something that’s really changed business for you? It could be mindset. It could be process. I know we had talked about re-engineering earlier. We’ve talked about goal-setting and brand.Those are all really important things, big things. Is there something that we could leave the audience with that is really “Wow!” If you do this you are leaving our conversation with something to go out into the world with.
AJIT: If I was to leave people with – I’m going to make a big assumption that a lot of people here are in transition – deciding what to do or have to decide what to do, the one thing that I would love for them to remember is that you don’t have to quit your job. Don’t quit your job. Fund your dream. Use your income, your current income source, whatever the heck that is. It’s a job. It’s whatever you’re doing. Use that as your investment in your business.
That’s why most businesses don’t work out is that they get too passionate about the idea, and they quit as the first thing because that’s the romantic thing to do. They get to tell the world, “I’m working on my start-up”. It’s the worst idea that somebody has ever came up with, to quit everything, and do that.
It’s true. It’s what happens. The idea is exciting for the first two months because that’s your savings pretty much. After that it’s frustrating because you’re struggling to even put food on the table. Especially if you have a family. Absolutely do not quit your job.
Build your business to a certain income first, and then quit your job. That’s why I showed up in the past nine months, because what I had built before that, which nobody has seen. To be honest, that’s why the audience has only known me only for the past nine months. My first video that ever came out was February of this year. It’s less than nine months old.
My business now, like you were saying, it’s a pretty big audience already. It’s pretty big in revenue size. All that kind of stuff it’s because I was CEO of Mindvalley before that. I was CMO of the company before that. I was still building on my personality at that time. So, when I showed up nine months ago, I’d already put in three years of work into me understanding myself so that I was much more comfortable sharing what I share than anybody is when they start their business.
I had the funds to be able to say that even if this goes to Hell, for the next six months can I pay myself and my team. I didn’t quit my job just because I fancied an idea. I fancied an idea. I took the time to be able to build capacity, to run that idea, and to build personal capacity inside capacity, build my product in the sense of, who am I? What do I want to create? What is that out there? Can I test it somehow? All of those things were done even before I quit my job.
In my particular scenario, I became the co-founder of the company. But that doesn’t have to be – you can just quit your job, and that’s fine, too. But, at least have that baseline. That’s what most people don’t do, and that’s what I would suggest.
A lot of my entrepreneurial friends quit. We founded, met each other at Mindvalley, then quit Mindvalley to start companies. They are still building their companies, and they are nowhere close to the success I’ve got. It’s because I just never ran out of money.
So, yes, I don’t have romantic story for people when people say, “I was broke and 150K in debt”. No, I was never in debt. I’ve never taken debt. Maybe a SMALL debt, temporary one. But never really a big debt for which I had to be in it for years or whatever. Small, minor debt to just pay off some bills here and there. That’s pretty much it. I’ve never taken a debt. I’ve never been super-broke. I haven’t slept on a bench, nothing.
You don’t have to come up with that romantic story for you to be successful. You can actually do it in a comfortable, easy way where you are happy with yourself every single day. Cool?
ANNE: So beautiful. So cool. Thank you, Ajit. It was beautiful. I really appreciate you and the work that you’re doing and for taking the time. This is exciting because this is some work that we’re doing to gear up for the new year for our magazine. You can find us at ANNEMagazine.com. It’s a digital publication. The other place that you can find out about our work, teaching, and training is AnneMandler. com. I would also love to tell people about where we can find what you’re up to and what’s coming up for you before we leave.
AJIT: You can just Google my name, that’s probably the easiest way to find me. You can send me a message. I usually try to reply to all of my messages myself. Instagram, Facebook, I’m available everywhere. You can also just simply Google Evercoach, and you can also go find us on Evercoach. At Evercoach I share the platform with many other teachers which is our platform to be able to educate the coaching industry in different ways of building their business and becoming better coaches. So, that’s pretty much it.
ANNE: Thank you.
AJIT: Alright. Thank you very much, you have a good day.
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Ajit Nawalkha is the Co-Founder of Mindvalley, Host of Evercoach & Zentrepreneur, angel investor, and business coach. He is a passionate about disrupting industries and creating positive change.