It surprises me how much success is dreamed about, but the steps required to create it are not taken. If you’re like most people, there is a new level of achievement that you’re being called to—perhaps even in this very moment. There’s something you want to accomplish, create or experience that will bring you greater fulfillment, build your business/advance your career, and/or improve your well-being. You may even know what to do to get there, but you’re stuck. You’re not moving forward. Why is that? Well, the most common answer is “fear”, but fear is not really legit. Sorry, but it isn’t. There I said it. The real reason you’re not taking the steps you need to achieve the success you really want is because you don’t have enough skin in the game to be willing to kick fear square in the teeth, thrust through the confines of your comfort zone and move into the space you need to inhabit to allow success to meet you.
When it comes to making big changes in your life—the ones that will actually launch you into the next level of your success—if you’re anything like me, you need some serious skin in the game. And the best way to create that for yourself, so there’s “no going back”, is to leverage the two best accountability partners most people overlook: Time and Money. When you have a timeline set by which to accomplish something, you’ll do it. When you invest enough money, you’ll expect a return proportionate to that investment in the form of achieving results, and you’ll do it.
Did you know that cigarette smoking is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome, even more than heroine or cocaine? People spend years and years trying to quit with little to no lasting success. Back in 2009 when I was working as a tobacco cessation counselor at the Mayo Clinic, I recall being shocked to learn at a conference that the most effective “means” to quit smoking for good is by getting lung cancer, which has an 80% “quit rate” compared to pharmaceutical treatments (none of which exceeded 30% efficacy at that time). People don’t keep smoking for fear of quitting. They keep smoking because they don’t have enough skin in the game to quit. The struggle of giving up cigarettes isn’t worth going through in order to gain the benefits of being smoke-free…until the variable of Time (and health of course) becomes of the essence. In this case, even Money isn’t enough of a factor for most people to put out the butt and walk away for good. But Time, oh blessed Time….the non-renewable resource. Once it’s gone you don’t get it back. And when the clock is ticking, it’ll drive you invest more in the changes you have to make on the inside to achieve the outer success.
Time happened to be my best accountability partner to get started writing my book The Drama-Free Way. After attending a Hay House Writer’s Workshop, I had the opportunity to submit a book proposal to their publishing house with a deadline of November 16th, 2014, and if I made it by that day they promised they’d look at it (among over a hundred other submissions, but still). You better believe I got my booty in gear and wrote three solid chapters along with the book proposal itself to submit by that date. Once I was that far into the process, and I had an editor I was partnering with as well, I just kept up the momentum and launched my completed book within a year.
Money is also a key accountability partner in terms of how you show up for yourself and the actions you are willing to commit to on a consistent, daily basis for the incremental advancement, growth and courage required to accomplish your goals. In my own process of building my “mindset for success”, several years ago I invested $8,000 to work with a coach for 6 months. You better believe that at that rate of investment, I did ALL the work. I showed up prepared for every call. I stretched myself to do every practice he gave me as part of my “success habits”. I challenged myself beyond what I would’ve otherwise done. And it paid off. Within that initial 6 months, I doubled my income, built up my confidence and became the person I needed to be to reach the next level of my potential at that time…which allowed me to leave my corporate job, build my business, write my book and more.
It is only BEing the success—on the inside first—that empowers you to manifest it in your outer reality. And if this concept of having skin in the game is resonant for you, you probably need an external impetus—like Time and/or Money—that is proportionate to the results you desire, in order to drive your own rising up within to embody the next-highest level of your potential, so the success you’re dreaming of can be fully realized and gloriously enjoyed.
What is the “skin in the game” that you need to invest or commit to at this time to stretch yourself into the next level of your success?