Ep. #30: The Best Day Ever

Wouldn’t it be amazing if every day were the best day ever? We tend to think that what we’re doing or what’s happening around us affects our enjoyment of life, but the truth is that showing up as our best selves and making the decision to have the best day ever are all we need to make it happen. Listen to this episode to learn more.

TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome to Rich & Thin™ Radio, the only podcast that helps you get more bank with less bulk. Today’s episode is for every listener who wants to have more terrific days. I’m Kelly Hollingsworth and I’m glad you’re here because we’re going to talk about how to have the best day ever.

But before we get started, I’d like to fill you in on some listener feedback since last week’s episode. If you didn’t hear that episode, it’s the one on Survival, Episode 29, and towards the end I asked for some listener feedback on what the phrase Rich & Thin means to you, and how you feel about it as the name for this show. And one listener said, “Well, it’s perfect because I want to make more money and I want to lose weight, so I love the name of the show, but I’m not sure if I’m the right kind of person to get help from you.” And she went on to explain that she was worried that maybe she can’t afford my prices.

So before we get started today, I’d like to clarify what I’ve been doing with clients who have come to me through the show so far. It’s called “Friction-Free Pricing” and it is a giant experiment but I am having a ton of fun with it, because here’s the thing: I know that my day job is in a lucrative industry where the compensation is high, and I also know that a lot of you are thinking, whatever her hedge fund clients can pay to her, I can’t afford to pay that. So when listeners have reached out for help, I’ve talked to them about what their issues are, what’s holding them back from getting where they want to go, and at the end of the call I’ve just said, “Great. I’m confident I can help you and here are the ways that I will go about doing it, here are my ideas, and I think it will take about this long, and if that sounds good to you, we will work together during that time, and if at the end of our work together you haven’t achieved the results that you want, I’ll just give you your money back.”

I always operate under a no-questions-asked refund policy on my coaching services because I never want someone to feel that they didn’t get the result that they needed, and now they don’t have the money to go out and get help elsewhere. I’ve spent about $30 grand on coaching services in the last couple of years that I felt didn’t quite deliver, and I’m not happy about that. Also, I am the queen of refunds. I shop at Nordstrom because if something doesn’t work out, I don’t suffer for that. They take it back. And, as a former hedge fund manager, I believe in incentive compensation. My fund operated exclusively on incentive compensation. If the fund made money, I got paid some of the profits. If it didn’t make money, I got paid nothing. I think this kind of value proposition is rare in the world, and I offer it because I don’t want anyone to waste their money on something that doesn’t give them value.

When I explain this refund policy, it gives listeners of the show a comfort level, but often it’s not quite enough, because the question they ask after I tell them about the refund policy is, “Okay that sounds good, but how much money is it?”

And what I’ve been saying to this is, “How much would you like to pay?”

And this either leads to incredulous laughter, or stunned silence, but I’m serious. I’ve been letting the listeners name the price and then I say, “Great, that’s what we’ll do this for.” And so far, the clients who have hired me for coaching services under this arrangement through the podcast have been getting some amazing traction in your businesses. I’m still working with these clients so I’m not going to tell success stories prematurely, but I’m excited to see how things are shaping up for them and I’m very confident it’s going to be amazing.

Why am I telling you this? A few reasons. One, don’t discount the possibility of magic. There’s a great scene in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun where Diane Lane’s character is making an effort to buy a crumbling but gorgeous villa just outside of Tuscany from a little old lady who looks like she’s lived in it for 100 years, and Diane Lane’s character can’t afford to meet the price that the other buyer is offering, but then a bird flies through the house an dpoops on the little old lady’s head, and the little old lady looks to the heavens and exclaims, “A sign!” Of course he says this in Italian but that’s the translation.

And based on this, the owner of the villa decides to accept Diane Lane’s lowball offer rather than the higher amount the other buyer was offering. The lesson here is that we should never assume. Often we think that success, and the resources we need to achieve it, aren’t available to us so we do nothing. But those of us who assume otherwise, or who are at least curious about what the universe has to offer, reach out, and at least once in a while, the universe delivers a surprise a to us.

It’s like the joke I talked about in the last episode. You can pray to win the lottery, but you also have to buy the ticket.

The other thing we can glean from this no-friction pricing policy that I’ve adopted for listeners of the podcast, at least right now, is that it’s not always about the money. This is exactly the case with what I am offering through this podcast. When I was injured hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2015, I don’t like to over dramatize the injury or the situation, I was not a quadriplegic or anything like that, but I was laid out. By December 2015, three months after that injury, I was laying on the floor of my living room in the dark watching back to back episodes of Sopranos in an opioid haze. And that continued for the better part of three years. And all that time in isolation caused me to take stock of my life. I have a good business, but I work in my yoga pants from my house helping clients who are scattered around the globe, whom I never see. And I swore that if I started to get well, I would not live in that kind of isolation anymore. I was going to reach out to all kinds of people who are interested in the same things I am, and I was going to make friends with them and serve them and go on retreats with them and we were going to build amazing businesses together, and this podcast is the beginning of attracting those kinds of people into my life. This doesn’t mean that I am going to work for free, but it does mean that there is more involved here for me than mere money. Money is secondary to what I’m doing here. One thing that is really important to me is helpng smart, hard-working people get ahead in life. I watched how much my mom struggled, so much when I was growing up, working so hard and underearning the entire time and it matters to me to help rectify that in the world with what I have learned about money.

So here’s the deal. I have the capacity to work with one more listener between now and the end of the year on a friction-free pricing arrangement. And the client that I’m looking to work with is a woman between the ages of 45 and 55, who is in an advisory business, maybe she’s a lawyer, maybe she’s a coach, but some kind of advisory role, and she wants to spend the next 10 years of her career serving and earning at a higher level before she retires.

Why is this the profile of the person that I’m looking to work with right now? It is not because I only want to work with women, nor is it becasue I only want to work with people of a certain age. Rich & Thin is available to everyone, and this show is for everyone, and I hope to have a ot more offering sin the future that will help all of us on our journey to wealth. The reason I’m looking for a candidate who meets this particular profile under this special pricing deal that I just described is because the other clients who’ve come to me through the podcast thus far meet that profile, and I’m seeing some patterns in how I can help this particular type of client, and I want to go deeper into that work.

And here I want to clarify that this is not group work. I’m working with each woman one-on-one and it’s very in-depth and it’s very individualized. What we’re doing is looking at each woman’s unique background and developing a totally unique offering for her services that integrates all of her particular talents, skills, and interests. And when we’re done, we have something really valuable to offer that no one else could offer because it’s as unique as she is.

And then we’re developing the story that describes that offering in a compelling and resonant way, and then we’re writing that into a keynote or a webinar that she can use to attract clients. At the end, each woman will have a picture of herself earning more money—a lot more money—in a way she finds appealing and totally tailored to her, and the ability to bring clients into that picture via a compelling message to deliver to her prospective customers.

And, of course, as we’re going through this process, stuff comes up. What comes up? Weight. Lack of confidence. Ambivalence about money. Unproductive thoughts about money. Fear. Physical body weight also comes up. Women especially are inclined to say, “I’m just too heavy to get into this business right now.” And we’re working thought all of that weight as we go through the process of developing the unique offer and writing the message that describes it. We have to lift the weight, because if the weight remains, the business will never get off the ground. And I think we’re really doing some amazing work, so if you, or someone you know might want to get in on this, take advantage of this one additiona slot that I have between now and year-end, email me at kelly@richandthin.com and we can talk about whether it’s right for you.

And now with all that said, let’s talk about today’s topic, which is how to have the best day ever. I’m thinking about this because my mom reminded me about a little snippet from Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, in which Pooh asks Piglet, “What day is it?” and Piglet replies, “It’s today.” And Pooh says, “That’s my favorite day.”

A big reason this exchange is so charming is because it reveals that whether a day is a good day or a bad day is a choice. This isn’t something that most of us readily accept. We think it’s outside events that determine whether a day is a good day, or a bad day, or the best day ever. But on closer inspection, it’s easy to see that this isn’t the case.

Think about the movie Groundhog Day. Bill Murray plays a jaded big-city weatherman named Phil Connors who travels to a small town to cover its Groundhog Day festival. And he thinks he’s too good for the goings-on in that town. He is snobbish and short with everyone he encounters, and can’t wait to get back to the city. But the morning after the Groundhog Day festival, he wakes up and he realizes it still Groundhog Day. He is trapped in an endless loop where he has to live the same day over and over and over. And at one point in the movie, he asks himself, why he couldn’t be living a different day over and over and over, such as a romantic day he spent on a beach in Spain drinking sangria with a beautiful woman.

But eventually, as he lives the same day in Punxsutawney again and again and again, he begins to have a different experience of that day. He learns that the way he feels about the day is largely based on what he’s thinking, and the effort that he’s putting into it. In the framework we discussed in episode two, the day itself is neutral; the town where he is, the people he encounters, the things that they say. What colors his entire experience of it is what he thinks about all of that and how he shows up as a human being. And when he finally shows up as his best self, that’s when he has the best day ever.

I think about this every time my husband and I are headed out for vacation. We have a ton of flexibility, and we could travel all the time if we wanted to, and he wants to, and a big reason that we don’t is because I tend not to enjoy vacations very much. I love working. I love where I live. I love my home. And when I’m doing the work that really matters to me, and serving my clients really well, those are among my best days ever. And when I get on vacation, I tend to experience all kinds of negative emotions. I feel guilty. I feel like a slacker. I feel like I don’t really deserve to be there. And of course this all contributes to not enjoying the vacation nearly as much as I could, and it’s a downer for my husband, too, but the important thing to notice here is that it’s not the vacation itself that’s causing me to feel these things. It’s my thoughts about being on vacation that’s causing me to feel this way.

Why am I telling you this? Because I really want to illustrate to you that it is not the circumstance that matters. You can be miserable in Paris, and you can be thrilled beyond belief in Punxsutawney.

It doesn’t matter who you’re with, either. Have you ever heard someone say, or have you ever said to someone, “I’m not going to let you get to me today.” When we say this to someone whom we would otherwise find irritating, what we’re announcing is that we have decided to have a good day no matter what is happening around us, and implicit in this statement is the recognition that it is possible to do that.

When we have a “bad” day is when we let things, or other people, get to us. And when does this happen? When we haven’t made the decision not to let things get to us. When we haven’t made the decision to have a great day.

So an important thing I’d like you to notice here is that, as with everything else that we want, whether it’s the business we want or the body we want or anything else, the first step to getting it is to decide to have it. Lately I’ve been getting up in the morning and deciding to have my best day ever. I have some criteria for what my best day is. I spend time outside. I truly connect with the people I love, and my little puppies Winston and Sheffield. I eat the foods that make me feel healthy, and I do the work that matters to me. I don’t just do it. I’m fully engaged in it, and when I go to bed, I think about my day and I play it back in my head. What did I do that made it the best day ever? What moments did I squander? How was I not my best self? Where didn’t I show up? What did I learn?

One of the most charming films I think ever made is a movie called About Time. On his 21st birthday, a lonely and somewhat awkward young man learns from his father that the men in their family have the ability to go back in time to earlier moments in their own lives. And the son realizes that this means he has the ultimate get-out-of-jail free card. He could use it for money or power or manipulation, but the father says, no, it’s too awesome a power to be used for something that inconsequential. The father chose to use his time-traveling ability to read more books and spend more time with family. And the son decides to use it for love. He’s awkward in his interactions with women, and so once he knows how to time-travel, once he knows he has that ability, he goes back and repeats each encounter until he learns to show up as his best, most confident self. He’s fully engaged and not holding back, and this helps him win at love. And then once he’s got that down, as a young husband and father, he begins living each day normally, the way we all would, and then at the end of the day he goes back and does the day all over again, in a way that’s far more satisfying. And what he learns through this process of repeating each day is that a little levity, exercising his agency about what to make of each situation, and being fully engaged is what makes each day a great day, no matter what’s happening during the day. And eventually he gets to the point that he doesn’t need to go back and do the day over. Although he still has the power to do it, he doesn’t need to do it, because he’s practiced having a good day enough times that he knows how to get it right the first time.

None of us, that I know of, have the ability to do an actual do-over of the exact day we just lived. But to some degree, we’re all living in Groundhog Day. Every day is largely the same, and if we go to bed at night, reflect on the day, and decide on the do-overs, what we would bring to each encounter if we had the chance to go back and get it right, it doesn’t have to be lost in the mist just because we don’t have the ability to time-travel back to the exact day. We can carry those lessons forward into the next day and it will work just as magically then. The way we put these lessons to work is with a decision, to have the best day ever. Then our brains remember that it’s within our power to do exactly that, and all we have to do is sprinkle in the ingredients to make it happen. And the ingredients we sprinkle in are the do-overs that we went over in our heads the night before.

One of the most charming scenes in the movie About Time is towards the end of that movie. I’d like every listener to watch that movie because it’s a treasure, so I won’t share too much about the ending, but there’s a gorgeous scene between the father and the son about the ability to see regret coming, and to avoid it with our actions now, that we know will prevent regret later. This is a huge lesson for all of us in that film. It’s a huge lesson for all of us at the end of each day of our lives. We can look back on today and see the regret that’s in today and take that lesson tomorrow so we don’t have to regret the things that happen tomorrow. And this is an important lesson for those of us who are attracted to the idea of earning more money.

I used to think because I earn a high hourly rate, I had to work all the time. My hours were too valuable to do anything else. But now I can see it’s exactly the opposite. When you amp up your ability to earn, when you increase your effective hourly rate, you can work less, a lot less, and still make the money you need to live now and invest for the future. This ability buys you security, and freedom, and a lot fewer regrets. So what I want to leave you with today is that the clients who’ve come to me through the podcast are learning how to do that. They’re learning to earn more in less time, and this makes life beautiful. If you or someone else you know wants to learn to do the same thing, get in touch. kelly@richandthin.com. Thanks so much for joining me today, and I’ll talk to you next week.

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