Over the last couple of weeks we've been chatting with different business owners that are part of our personal mastermind groups.
These people are just down right smart folk.
And nice people to boot.
This little group consisted of a couple very sharp marketers who control hundreds of thousands of clicks a day.
Two guys who have started a fitness chain in the U.S. that is re-defining the concept of a gym ...and it's exploding.
A huge newsletter publisher.
And an ex-magician.
Quite the group.
We found ourselves talking about the purpose of being in business ... of being "self employed".
Different people have different reasons.
Our own personal reason is to live life on our terms ... not to have to answer to "the man".
As we enjoyed a few glasses of great wine the conversation evolved further.
We began sharing stories of how we all started out and some mistakes we made along the way.
Some not so much.
It was interesting that everyone in the group had had a close call with "selling their soul for money".
And luckily each of us dodged it, but the experience definitely sharpened our awareness of what our true business purpose should be.
Our first experience with almost selling our souls came about 24 months into starting Rock Star Inner Circle.
We were approached by a real estate "coach" in the U.S. who wanted to sell a high-priced program to our members.
Members who we truly feel are part of our own extended family.
This gentleman came highly recommended.
We were on a conference call with this person and he was explaining that we would have to "back up the trucks" to collect all the money we would make.
In a few shorts hours we could have one of the biggest pay days of our lives.
We hung up on the conference line ... and felt the entire conversation was rather demeaning.
What he was selling just didn't feel right.
It wasn't in line with what we believed in.
We got upset with ourselves for even getting on the call with this gentleman. The entire experience felt dirty.
We promptly called and declined the offer.
We just said NO.
We're not spending our lives trying to help people to wash it all down the drain for something we don't believe in.
Just writing about this experience, right now, is giving me the creeps.
We don't know if we'll get sucked into conversations like that again - I mean, we're far from perfect - but we hope to slay them each time we encounter them.
It seems in business, everyone has had a moment like this.
A moment where the future of your business depends on your answer.
Back to our little mastermind group.
We began trying to decipher why some businesses wind up doing things they truly do not want to do.
Many live to regret their actions and lose the trust of the people they work with.
It's fairly obvious that many businesses and many self-employed people do things they'd rather not do ... "just for the money".
And the only logical thing we could conclude is that these self-employed people do not have other options.
They get into a situation where they need cash and they forget their true purpose for a moment.
It's easy to get into that position.
We're not blaming anyone by the way - this is a problem we all face at some point or another.
Temptations are everywhere.
As the quote goes, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
So what's the best way to protect against ourselves?
If you're self-employed or about to be self-employed one of the biggest assets you can build for yourself is to have options.
This is something we learned from one of our own business mentors, Dan Kennedy.
Create opportunities to make money in multiple ways.
Create real equity in what you're building.
Keep the purpose that you began with front and center.
Question yourself, a lot.
Just say no.
Saying no to the wrong things opens up space for the good things.
We look back on at least 5 or 6 other "opportunities" that we said no to - which was somewhat difficult to do at the time - as some of the best decisions of our entire lives.
And we were able to do it because we had other options for making money to support us.
These other options weren't making us as much money, but having them saved us ... from ourselves.
Take the time, in your life, to always have options.
Living life on your terms is about having them.
We're constantly trying to add more to ours.
Until next time ... YOUR LIFE! YOUR TERMS!