Want to be different and stand out from the crowd? One of the best ways to do that is to challenge the status quo.
And over at the Business Luminaries’ Roundtable, that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Talking about the elephants in the various rooms of our industries. Tipping sacred cows. And in the process, we’re strengthening the power of our hearts and voices.
Yes, even me.
Last week as I reviewed my email newsletter numbers, I had a teensy tiny freak out.
Why? Because I noticed that new subscribers were NOT outpacing the natural course of attrition (or “list churn”).
Yes, even I get hung up on numbers every now and then.
Then, I stopped and thought, this would make an excellent topic for my next email newsletter.
So I began to write….and it wasn’t long before I got stuck on the bigger question:
HOW do I advise people to build their lists in a safe and sane way?
After all, I’ve made deliberate choices to not chase new subscribers in the last year. I even stopped offering “bribes” to sign up.
STILL. After decades of hearing the mantra, “The Money’s in the List,” it’s hard to turn off that limiting belief.
So I did what any of us do when we’re faced with a conundrum, I reached out to someone whose philosophy and expertise might help me understand how to rethink this particular challenge.
In this case, I called Sonia Miller of Success for the Soul. She’s a friend, colleague, and client. And her gig is the realm of manifestation. (Seriously, she’s written a best seller about it.)
Thankfully, I thought ahead and recorded the whole thing. The highlights from our conversation are below. If you’d like more, you can listen to the whole one-hour conversation here:
Tea: In my head I’ve always said, I really don’t need that many people on my list. I just need enough that are engaged. Because really how many clients do you need, right? Then I started to think well if I do start teaching folks about how to grow your list — without being icky and weird, of course — then I’m just going back to the same traditional space I was in before. And I don’t want to do that. What I need to do is integrate what I know about the Law of Attraction, and the things that I believe about us all being connected. There’s no separation between us in truth. How do I take those things and incorporate them into my business? Then I thought, you know who knows? Sonia.
Sonia: I’m excited to have this conversation. The place I’m going to start is where you said, so if I lean on what I believe. It’s a good place because many of us believe that we are all one. Obviously not in the physical realm though, otherwise we wouldn’t be marketing to each other while we feel separate from each other. In truth, we are all one in the invisible realm. We can talk about that as energy. We can talk about it as consciousness. We can talk about it in the quantum field. The place of power from a manifesting point of view. The cause of every effect that we wish to activate begins in consciousness.
The foundation is we are all one. There is only one and it’s energy. Then how we play, and affect, and influence, and bridge between the invisible world into the physical world of manifestation is by wielding our infinite power which is in our consciousness. Which is what is happening in our inner world.
That being said, now we move into a conversation about cause and effect. There’s different levels of awakening. In some teachings they’ll talk about those different levels as: “to me,” “by me,” “through me,” and “as me.”
When we’re in the “to me” state of consciousness, we’re sort of asleep. We just think things happen to us. Then we wake up a little bit and we experience a certain amount of power like I make things happen. I build email lists, and I write things. When I write things, and when I do these in the physical world then things happen out there. There’s a feeling of power. And we believe that’s how cause and effect works.
But it’s still not completely based in truth because it’s still happening in this illusion that we’re separate. It’s all happening in the physical world. As we wake up even more. We start to realize oh, yeah the place that we are really one isn’t in the physical world. Otherwise we won’t be walking around in these different bodies with different identities and trying to make things happen out here. Where the cause really occurs is in consciousness. That’s where we truly are one.
Then, “Through me.” A power (God, The Divine, etc.) works through me.
“As me” is the God consciousness. Which some awakened mystics experience, or what we experience when we’re not in our physical bodies anymore.
That being said, the first big shift around list building and manifesting new clients is to first make a shift in how we think of cause and effect. The first thing to acknowledge is … that there is no cause and effect in the physical world as we tend to believe.
So thinking, I do this. I write the perfect newsletter. I do the perfect list building thing. I write the perfect copy, and the result is that I’ll get new clients. That’s not actually how it works.
Cause occurs in the invisible world in our consciousness. The effect occurs both in the invisible world (which is your inner state of how you feel) as well as the physical world.
So what that means is we need to redefine action. The question is: how do we take effective action?
I always say that in order to take effective action we must connect energy with action. Action alone is inert. It doesn’t do anything. I’ve been kind of playing around with ways to describe this. Action as most people use it is a placebo. It’s something that we do that has no power, but makes us feel good. It makes us feel like we are doing something. It makes us hope that we’re powerful, but it’s actually doing nothing.
Action is a delivery mechanism for your consciousness. You can think of it literally as a transport mechanism for your consciousness. It’s like the bridge between the invisible world of cause, and the physical world of action. The way I like to teach it is I use an analogy of a truck.
For example, let’s say you want to build a park. You have this big blank lot of land. You’re going to take a lot of action to make that park happen. To manifest that park in the physical world, a truck is going to come in really handy. You’re going to have to go back and forth between the garden center and the warehouse to the park site. You’re going to go back and forth, and back and forth, and take a whole bunch of action. Transporting the tools, and the raw materials, and the plants, and the trees, and the shrubs, and the rocks, and the water features, and the tools, and the supplies. You might even transport the laborers back and forth, back and forth.
Now, it’s not the truck that makes the park happen. It’s what’s in the truck. It’s the cargo.
When you take action, the action isn’t what makes anything happen in your physical world. It’s your cargo. It’s what in your consciousness. It’s what you’re delivering through your consciousness. The big distinction then is that action doesn’t produce an outcome. Action is simply an expression of your consciousness.
When you’re doing list building things, and you’re writing copy, sending out marketing messages, you’re trying to make something happen, right?
But if that action is being fueled and driven by thoughts of I’m freaking out, my list is shrinking, I need more clients, how do I get more clients, it’s coming from fear and scarcity.
You can take a whole lot of action like that and produce minimum results at best. You can even make more work for yourself. Which is equivalent of the truck going back and forth, back and forth. Taking a bunch of action, and then dumping toxic waste at the park site instead of what you really need.
Not only have you taken a bunch of action, but you’ve actually created more work for yourself. Because now you have to clean up the toxic waste.
That’s what people do. They work really, really, really hard but they’re operating from fear, lack, and scarcity. They’re trying to control these outcomes.
Meanwhile not only do they not get their promised result, but now they’re exhausted. They have to clean up some mess that’s been created.
This happens a lot with JV projects that we enter into thinking, this will build my list!
We have to go back and talk to our JV partners because they didn’t do what they were suppose to do. Not only is the project not producing the hoped for result, but now we’re working really hard and it’s taking us away from taking care of our clients.
Conversely, if you check your cargo…if you pay attention first to what’s happening in your consciousness before you even think about an action…and you make sure that whatever action you do take is filled with the right cargo, your action is going to produce the good result. You’re in the flow, and it’s like magical action. You do very little, and things just start to happen that almost seem like they have nothing to do with what you just did.
It’s like oh my gosh I just sent out these thank you notes, because that’s what I was guided to do in action, and the phone started ringing for “no reason.”
The action was simply a delivery mechanism for your consciousness. Which is the consciousness of expectation, and inspiration, and gratitude, and acknowledgement of abundance that you have in your life, and love, and appreciation for your client. You just took this action and it might even seem like it doesn’t have anything to do with marketing, and your phone started ringing off the hook.
Tea: It sounds simple, but the difference between simple and easy is always interesting.
Sonia: It becomes easier when you know how to do it. We’re so hypnotized by the illusion that we need to do something. Manifestation happens in a moment of choice. When you recognize that you’re reacting to the physical world. In that moment when you witness and instead of reacting, you choose to respond instead.
A lot of people think manifestation and the law of attraction is basically mind control. That you need to control your thoughts, control your emotion. That you have to get the visualization perfect.
It’s not about mind control. It’s about training your awareness. You notice your reaction, and then you choose to respond.
The first thing you want to train your awareness to notice is when your mind is asking one or two questions. Either: What do I need to do? or Is this the right thing to do?
As soon as you’re asking what do I do, or is this the right thing to do, you know that’s your reaction to the illusion. You’re trying to fix, change, manipulate, control, manifest something in the physical world.
Instead, use the S-O-U-L approach.
When you catch your mind saying What do I need to do? Stop. Do nothing. It’s just stop the reaction machine. Stop the fixing machine. Turn the truck off. Take the key out. Get out of the truck, and let’s look in the cargo. What’s in there? That’s the very first thing we do. We stop.
Next we Open to infinite possibilities. You want to ask yourself, What do I want? And not get caught up in the how.
We acknowledge that it doesn’t matter what we do, because there’s no power in the action and we just go back to the question, What do I want?
I want to attract three new clients. I want to feel like I’m making a difference. I want to feel confident in my business. I want to feel abundance. I want to feel like the money is flowing.
Then we bring in willingness. We begin to fill the cargo with willingness. I am willing to feel great in my interactions with my clients, and with prospects under all conditions. I’m willing to feel successful in my business. I’m willing to feel guided, and inspired. I’m willing to believe it.
If you’re feeling panicky and insecure, you’d go with I’m willing to feel secure. You really just kind of play with the willingness.
What I like to do with opening to infinite possibilities is look at what’s happening that you don’t want, and just make a willingness statement about the opposite. There’s something triggering you in that moment, and that’s what you’re reacting to.
Numbers do that all the time. They trigger people. Oh my God my list is going down. Right?
Tea: Right, and if the status quo idea is your money in your list, then if your list starts shrinking you’re going to associate that with my money is shrinking.
Tea: Then we have to say well that’s not where the money is.
Sonia: Exactly. That is a great willingness mantra. I’m willing to believe and understand how my money has nothing to do with my list size. I’m willing to understand how money can flow to me from expected, and unexpected channels. I’m willing to understand how there’s no cause and effect between my list size and the success of my business.
Tea: Then I wonder, so why even have a list?
Sonia: Right. Exactly. The more you do this work the more you really, really … I mean it’s such a, opening up to your power, and your success is such a process of deconstructing. Everything you believe about cause and effect.
I’ve been kind of in that question myself. I am in between the old way of doing business, and the new way. Whatever the new is for me.
When I really looked at the question of What if anything was possible? (Which anything is.)
Tea: You said you’re in between the old and the new. I know you have a list. How do you feel about it? How do you feel about the whole list thing?
Sonia: It’s funny because I have not done a consistent newsletter for, I don’t know. I used to be religious about it. I remember hearing numbers of lists that were 5, 10, 20 plus thousands. Like in the old days. My current state of feeling about the list is kind of like you. My intuition says why bother frankly. I feel like who even reads those anymore. Does anybody? I don’t. I mean I’ve been reading your newsletters because I have a relationship with you and your work.
I’m really wondering like where do people go for their information? I know that there are people who prefer to read, and I want to write. I’m thinking about blogging. I’ve had somethings that I post on Facebook, that I get a great response. I heard not too long ago from a former client that I did an interview with. The reason he decided to pursue working with me was because he’s been reading what I wrote. That’s from a time that I was really prolific about and passionate about my message.
As far as a list goes, I don’t know.
Tea: We didn’t finish the SOUL acronym.
Sonia: Yes. Okay, U means Undo limiting expectations. You start to look out what your limiting expectations are about the scenario.
If you want to build your list and you’ve got limiting expectations about how to do that, you start to undo them with more willingness. It’s just another way of looking at what your cargo is and unraveling, and unraveling.
L stands for Let your soul guide you. Once you’ve started to shift into willingness, and you’ve released the cause and effect, then the only thing left to do is do what’s in front of you. Any action you take is now is an expression of you in a much more powerful place.
You just listen. Ask, What action am I inspired to take? That becomes the question. What I’m I inspired to do right now?
You start taking action based on nothing that you planned. There’s nothing that you planned, and it will seem like there’s no correlation between the action and any result that you get. Things just start to manifest.
Change the energy and your actions become an embodiment of your very biggest and best. The physical world rises up to meet that new consciousness.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what action you take. What matters is who you are being, and how you are being in any given action.
To listen to our entire conversation (bonus stories and science fiction analogies!), click here.
Join our discussion! Comments and questions are encouraged below.
on January 24, 2016 at 11:21 am
CASL caused my list to become 1/2 of what it was. But I look at it as a gift – the people who “re-applied” are loyal readers 🙂
I hold a monthly women solopreneur network here in Toronto and I noticed that all last Fall I only had 6 or 7 attendees each time. (Another place NUMBERS SEEM to matter). I moved locations this month and the same thing.
I phoned several “past attendees” a week before the event but that didn’t increase the number either. What it DID do (as I became aware of it after) was it gave me the opportunity to connect with each one. That’s even better than numbers 🙂
Attitude and mindset ARE what matters for sure. And the opportunity (and it IS an opportunity) to reach out and connect with people as individuals is always a beautiful thing. Thanks for chiming in.
on January 25, 2016 at 2:49 pm
I don’t have a big list, I never have. Right now it’s just under 400. So if we’re counting, I lost about 20 in January. I don’t worry about it though. I see it as the list cleaning itself, becoming more targeted. Those who leave are those who don’t resonate with what I write.
It’s about building relationships but I also panic when I send out a newsletter and a dozen people drop off the list. Why? I’d like to know. Then I go to a conference and more than that sign up to receive the newsletter. Years ago a marketing person told me that newsletters were dead. I think not.
just love your blog post and this is my another visit on this blog its truly amazing and outstanding!