Should You Spend Money to Achieve Your Goals?

August 11, 2011

This is the first in a series of “Biggest Blunders” articles I’m posting about avoiding key mistakes when it comes to getting what you want and achieving your biggest goals. To begin the series, I’m going to make a shocking statement:

Don’t spend your money on coaching!

You heard me right…

Mistake #1: Buying coaching

This may strike you as odd—with me being a coach and all. But that’s what qualifies me to make such a statement.

As someone who has coached very successful entrepreneurs, busy professionals, writers & filmmakers, and stay-at-home moms, I can tell you that I wouldn’t spend a dime on coaching.

BUT… here’s a list of things I would personally (and very happily) spend my money on:

  • Doubling my business in 6 months
  • Attracting a wonderful woman into my life as my romantic partner
  • Getting “6-pack abs”
  • Simplifying my life to eliminate physical and mental clutter
  • Learning how to achieve deeper and deeper states of meditation and quiet my mind
  • Taking my favorite hobbies (like yoga) to the next level
  • Learning how to cook nutritious and delicious food that’s easy to prepare

You probably have a similar list of the kinds of results that you want in your life. And some of those goals are probably important enough for you to spend money on so you can achieve them, right?

Well, here’s my expert advice:

Never spend money on coaching—spend money on getting results.

Better yet, spend money getting the results that are most important to you so you can make your life richer and more rewarding.

Coaching is not bad. But the kind of coaching you get can be, especially when you haven’t first figured out what’s most important to you.

Done right and with a clear objective, coaching is still the most reliable and efficient way to help people achieve greater results.

Don’t believe me? Ask those who are the very best in their field how important coaching is to their success. Every super-successful athlete or business person or super-mom has key people in their lives—oftentimes, coaches—who help them break through obstacles and achieve incredible things. Sometimes it’s a parent or spouse…sometimes it’s a mentor…or sometimes it’s a “success partner” they hired (a tutor, a coach, a trainer, etc.).

But here’s the key distinction: These successful achievers aren’t paying money for coaching. They’re paying for results! And if they don’t get what they want, they move on very quickly and find someone else who can deliver results.

When we get clear on the results we want—and have a coach that understands his/her role in helping us achieve our goals—what can happen?

Here are some examples of results my one-on-one coaching clients wanted in their lives—and got:

  • A business coaching client of mine is an entrepreneur who wanted $10,000 in new sales in 90 days. Instead, he sold $14,000 in contracts in that time!
  • A life coaching client wanted to lose 30 lbs in one year. He lost 32 lbs in just 9 months—achieving his lowest weight in 10 years—and he’s kept it off!
  • Another business coaching client wanted more customers. Together, we more than doubled her clientele (from 80 to 195 clients)!
  • And another life coaching client wanted to eliminate her $15,000 debt. In just two years, she was not only debt-free but she’d saved an additional $20,000!

For these people, it was easy to make the decision to hire a coach…once they were clear on the results they wanted. Clarity made it easy to choose coaching as the best path to their goal—beyond their goal, in fact!

Coaching is the “how,” not the “what.”

People who aren’t clear on the “what” hire a coach too soon, and then get discouraged or disillusioned. Many even jump to the mistaken conclusion that “coaching is useless.” And then when they do get clear on what they want, they miss out on success because they don’t hire a coach who can guide them to their goal.

So knowing how important a coach can be to your success, are you ready to spend your money on coaching?

No! That was a trick question! Remember, you do not spend money on coaching. You spend money on getting results!

As long as you remember that one rule, you’re ready to move on and ask yourself two important questions:

  1. What results do I want?
  2. What are those results worth to me?

If the results you want are worth paying for, then start looking for a coach. I guarantee there’s a coach out there who has a track record of helping people just like you get the results you want!

Got it? Good.  🙂

What do you want, and how important is it to you?

If you’re not clear on the answer to that question, or if you are clear and want to find out how to get results faster and easier than you think is possible, then it’s time to get AMP’d!

Contact me for a free Action|Momentum|Power Strategy Session. By the end of this 30-minute session you’ll have:

  • A clear, written description of your top goal/results
  • A 3-stage plan for achieving them
  • A new awareness of the hidden challenges that slow you down or sabotage your progress
  • A deep understanding of why your goals are important to you, so you can always generate the energy and motivation needed for success

These sessions are first-come first-served, so don’t wait. Click here to schedule your Strategy Session right now, and make your most important goal a reality.


What It Means to Be Rich (A tribute to Uncle Eddie)

May 16, 2011

This weekend I attended the funeral of my uncle, Edward Minicozzi. But before I tell you that story, let me first tell you this story.

I remember really liking Uncle Eddie ever since I was little, but I’d always been a little intimidated by him. He seemed larger than life. My uncle and aunt had a very nice house with lots of nice stuff; to be blunt they were the wealthiest people in our extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. They weren’t uber-rich by any scale, and my parents certainly weren’t poor, but the difference was enough that a child would notice.

As I grew older, I started to understand why he was so successful: He worked hard and he treated people well. If that’s not a formula for success, I don’t know what is. And this weekend, I got to see just how successful he really was.

My personal experience with my uncle was that he was generous—I only asked him for a few favors over the years and he’d say yes without hesitation—but until arriving at his wake yesterday, I had NO IDEA just how generous he was.

The line of people waiting to enter the funeral home stretched around the corner and down the street. Half a dozen fire stations sent trucks to hang a huge American flag from their ladders in his honor. There were five viewings over three days, and each was just as crowded as the previous one. It’s estimated that 2000 people showed up to pay their respects and say goodbye. (2000 people is the size of the student body at the college I went to.) And everyone I talked to or overheard talking about him had some story of generosity or kindness to share.

That’s when I realized what it means to be truly rich, truly wealthy.

To put it simply, I’m inspired. His obituary is amazing. The list of groups and causes that he gave time, energy, money, and heart to reads like a directory of charitable organizations. He did not keep this part of his life a secret, but he didn’t brag about it either. He acted in generous ways because that’s who he was, and those who were paying attention learned valuable lessons in contribution (as his three sons can attest). I wish I’d paid more attention.

My experience this weekend has made me take a good look at what I have to give and how I can give more, how I can be more like this amazing man. The priest at the funeral mass said that maybe he seemed larger than life to some of us because our view of life is too small. Uncle Eddie saw a much bigger version of life, full of possibility.

I share this for those of you who would like to be inspired to see life full of possibility, to be inspired to play a bigger game, to be inspired to become as “rich” as my Uncle Eddie.

Here’s his online obituary:

Hope & Fear (5/5): Shape Your Child’s Future

November 19, 2008

No matter what you think you can DO for your kids or GIVE to your kids, the best thing for them (for anyone in your life) is for you to be peaceful and happy and have a passion for what you do. This may sound like a paradox, and that’s good. There’s lots of wisdom in paradoxes. The reason you experience something as a paradox is because it challenges your old way of seeing things. It’s a sign to look deeper — there’s probably something for you to learn.

Let me confess that I am not a parent. So you might be wondering how in the world am I qualified to tell a parent what’s best for their kids? First, I was a child of two parents, one who was happy and peaceful and loved what she did, and the other who wasn’t.

Guess who I felt loved me more? Guess who I felt safe to be myself around? Guess who encouraged me to try new things? Guess who I have a closer relationship with today?

Guess who criticized me? Guess who discouraged me from pursuing interests he didn’t understand? Guess who I was afraid of? Guess who I hardly speak to today?

It’s obvious, isn’t it? My life was served best by the parent who was peaceful and happy and loved what she did. Now understand, both of my parents loved me. I know that. Yet my relationship with each of them is like night and day. Because love gets distorted by stress and unhappiness.

I see it in other parents, too. And this is the second reason I’m qualified to speak on this subject. I’m an informal student of parenting. I love to observe how parents relate to their children.

I see the parents who are stressed and don’t like what they do snap at their kids over the smallest things. They hurry them impatiently from here to there. In that state, they literally cannot see the wonder and beauty of their children. I see parents who are peaceful and love what they do take time to listen to their kids, to understand what’s important to them, and even — can you believe it? — LEARN from their children.

That’s why it’s so important for YOU to be peaceful and passionate.

Parenting in Uncertain Times

Besides the relationship you create, there’s another reason why you being peaceful and passionate is so healthy for your children. You will teach them (by example) how to be peaceful and passionate themselves.

They will learn that their happiness is not controlled by what’s going on in the world. They will learn that they can choose their state of being regardless of circumstances. They will learn that peace comes from the inside, it’s a choice. And they will learn that productivity — choosing what’s important to them and then making progress in that area — is within their control, too.

They will be empowered to face whatever future they encounter. What better gift can you give your child?

Focus on You

If you need to use your children’s future as an excuse to be good to yourself, that’s totally cool with me. 🙂

Cultivate your inner peace. If it means your child spends an extra half an hour in daycare, or with a family member, or watching Sesame Street, take some time each day for yourself. And increase your productivity. Now that doesn’t mean doing more of what you don’t want to do. That would be self-defeating.

Productivity means making progress on the things that are most important to you. Sometimes that requires some big changes (like a career change) that may take time to implement. Those are changes worth making, but you can also focus on some shorter-term changes that you can feel right away.

Focus on the areas of your life where you can make some changes quickly. Most parents give so much of themselves away to others that’s it’s relatively easy to find something you can take back for yourself. Resign from the PTA or the board of some community organization, or cut your volunteer work in half. Yes, those things are important. But your happiness is more important. Your health is more important. Use that time instead for joyful and revitalizing activities like hobbies or exercise.

(If your life is so maxed out that you can’t find anything to cut back on, then your path is to cultivate peace in WHATEVER you do. Surrender to fact that this is the way life is right now. And when you surrender, that’s when you’re more likely to see opportunities to change your life circumstances — another paradox!)

There’s a reason they instruct you on airplanes to put your oxygen mask on first before you help your child with theirs. Self-care is a prerequisite for caring for others.

Learn more about creating greater passion and peace of mind in this week’s free teleseminar called “Productivity & Peace of Mind — You Don’t Have to Sacrifice One for the Other.”

In addition to being a feel-good hour of self-care, you’ll learn:

  • The 3 steps to increase your productivity
  • The 3 steps to greater peace of mind
  • The 2 paths to Peaceful Productivity
  • And lots more…

The choices you make in your own life play a huge part in shaping your child’s future. Help them prepare for the challenges of life by being the happiest and most peaceful person they know. It’s the best thing for them…and what do you know, it’s good for you too!

Find out more about this free teleseminar, and sign up today:

©2008 Curtis G. Schmitt

This is the fifth in a daily series of five posts on how to respond to this mixture of hope and fear in the world today. Here’s the full list:

  1. Commit to Change
  2. Keep Your Job and Prosper (for busy professionals)
  3. Grow Your Business in a Bad Economy (for entrepreneurs)
  4. Avoid Layoffs and Down-sizing (for business owners & executives)
  5. Shape Your Child’s Future (for working parents)


November 27, 2007

“She and I are soulmates,” my friend said.

Now before I continue, let’s look at what most people mean when they use the word “soulmate.” It’s that one special person in life you’re destined to meet and live happily ever after with.

A friend of my sister’s went even further. He believed that before you’re born, a soul splits in two. One half manifests in this world as you, the other as your soulmate. When you find each other, the soul is reunited.

Hogwash. Utter hogwash, I say.

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Loving & Hating Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2007

Valentine’s Day is peculiar, isn’t it?

I can’t think of any other holiday that triggers such joy in one group and such envy and resentment in another. Even those who don’t care either way are forced to define themselves as participants or non-participants by the oh so prevalent, “So are you doing anything special for Valentine’s Day?”

Valentine’s Day feels like a finger pointing at me to remind me of my relationship status. Last year I was in a romantic relationship; this year I’m not. The break-up was painful, but I’ve accepted it. Still, it feels like Valentine’s Day is that cruel co-worker tapping me on the shoulder to remind me that I was passed over for promotion.

It’s just a date on the calendar! No different than February 13th or 15th. So why can it feel so pleasurable one year and so painful the next?

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Listening 101 – Improve Your Listening Skills

September 18, 2006

Odds are your listening skills stink…

Granted, I don’t know you. So why would I say something so offensive? To shock you and get your attention, of course! Face it, if in fact you’re not a good listener, then I need to do something special to engage you, don’t I?

Not to mention, it’s probably true! (There I go trying to get your attention again…)

Before you get the impression that I think I’m better than you are, let me say…

As a listener, I have my good days and bad days.

The bad days are when I fall into my old habits, habits I developed because no one taught me how to listen. It’s on those days that I focus mainly on MY point, MY perspective, and MY agenda. It’s on those days that I wait to talk instead of actually listening. And it’s on those days that I feel discouraged because of unresolved disputes, bitter arguments, and biting comebacks.

The good days, however, are when each conversation deepens my understanding of the other person and strengthens my relationships. It’s on those days that disagreements are opportunities for growth and progress, that differences are celebrated instead of feared.

It’s on those good days that I follow a few simple listening guidelines which I’ll now share with you.

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Being Present – The Art of Paying Attention

February 1, 2006

For many of us, the phrase “pay attention” conjures up memories of parents, teachers, and maybe even bosses who would scold us for not being focused on what they felt we “should” be focused on. But paying attention has a much deeper and fundamental meaning. Paying attention is the equivalent of being present.

We’ve all had intense moments of presence. For example, someone driving in front of you brakes really hard and you almost hit them. You feel present then, don’t you? But it’s also possible to be present on a more regular basis. Before I explain how, let’s first discuss the rationale for being present.

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Faith and Truth

August 15, 2005

This past weekend I went to church for the first time in many years (not counting weddings, baptisms, and funerals). One of my best friends invited me, and I said yes. I was curious for two reasons. First, this friend is a person I respect, and he had only good things to say about his church. Second, recently I’ve come to recognize the power of faith–not specifically religious faith, but faith in general.

Church was much as I’d remembered. I participated in singing the hymns and receiving Communion, but I was not especially moved by the experience. However, I did notice that I was feeling some resistance at times. Later that day I realized what it is about religion (or to be fair, the way that many people practice religion) that bothers me: The way that the believers tend to judge those who believe differently as being wrong.

And for the first time I saw where this tendency comes from. It comes from the idea of Truth.

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Life Coaching Is for Losers

July 1, 2005

Anyone who hires a coach must be deficient in some way, right?

They lack willpower and motivation. Or they don’t have a support network (family, friends, associates) to help them. Or they are weak or “broken.”

In essence, they must be a real loser if they need a coach, right? Because we all know that successful people are independent. If you’re worth your salt, you should be able to do anything you want all by yourself, right?

I’m being obnoxious to make a point. Unfortunately many of us do operate from this skewed perspective, though to a lesser degree. When I tell people that I have a coach, they often look at me funny. “Curtis, you’re one of the most motivated people I know. Why do you need a coach?” Now, that sounds like a compliment, right? But it’s really a way of saying, “What the heck is wrong with you that you need a coach?”

You see, we are taught the value of independence from an early age, or so we think. In fact, what we are being taught is responsibility, but we confuse that with independence. Yes, your personal responsibility is ultimately yours and yours alone, and that’s why we confuse the two. But personal responsibility also includes learning the value of interdependence.

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