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Erin Pheil, How to Get Out of Your Own Way

In this show, you're going to get to know Erin Pheil. She is a unique individual. Erin built a successful business, a successful agency and had essentially a crisis occurred right in the middle of it.

It's not uncommon to hear the story of people being incredibly successful, whether it's in a career, whether that's in building a business, whether that's in their life, yet they are unhappy. They are unfulfilled. They are not on the path that they want. If that resonates with you, you're going to love this story. Even if that doesn't resonate, you're going to love this show because Erin brings a very unique perspective.

I had a lot of fun doing the show and I know you're going to feel that. What you're going to see is how do you get out of your own way? Whether you're an entrepreneur, whether you're an investor or you just want to be a better version of yourself, she talks about us getting in our own way and what that shows up. Sometimes it's procrastination. It's avoidance or perfectionism. It's anxiety. It can manifest in a lot of different ways. If you're not where you're at, if you're not where you want to be in life, there's a reason for that.

We also talk about our unique ability. How do you discover this? How do you live into it? What are the benefits of actually figuring out what it is and living in your unique ability? We actually break that down in the show.

Something very powerful I want you to look for is the quote where she talks about tying your sense of self-worth to achievement. I know for many of us here in the show, we do that and I know I'm making a big assumption there. I feel like you're here because you want to achieve, you want to get wins and this is a great thing. It's what drives us. It's what propels us to listen to shows, to take courses, to do what we do. Sometimes, if we're not mindful of that, it can prevent us. It can hurt us, it can cause things to happen in our life that don't benefit us. I am fired up for the show. I hope you are.

Dustin
Erin, you're on top of the world. You've got a picturesque home in the mountains and not just in the mountains but on a river. You've generated many millions of dollars of success not only for yourself but for your clients as well through the agency. You're winning awards. You're speaking around the country. You are living the good life and yet you define and you talk about finding yourself like on the edge, on the precipice of sliding into what you describe as the really dark period of your life. How did you get there?
Erin
It started slowly. I got to the edge, that precipice without realizing it and without realizing I was headed there. It started with me waking up and for months and then years, I would be sitting there going, “Something's not quite right. I don't know what it is.” I have everything I want but I'm not happy. I'm not doing what I know I could be doing. I'm not feeling fulfilled, but I don't know what else there is. There was a long period of time where something just felt deeply off. I could not put my finger on it and I didn't know what else I could possibly do because all I had ever done was run an agency. What else could I do? What else could I try? What else was there?
What ended up happening after a few years of this low-level, unsettling, something is not right, but I don't know what it is, I was at the bottom of a mountain bike trail in Breckenridge, Colorado called Jack's Cruel Joke. I stepped off my mountain bike as I had a billion times before in my life. There was this little twinge in my ankle. It was like many electric shocks. It didn't hurt. It was odd and I thought nothing of it, but within a week that twinge had turned into chronic pain throughout my whole body. That chronic pain turned into over 1,000 visits to doctors and therapists and practitioners and me driving around the state of Colorado trying again to figure out what's going on. What's wrong? Nobody knew. Everybody said, "This looks bad and this looks bad."
There were MRIs and X-rays and stacks upon stacks upon stacks of reports saying all of these things that looked wrong with me. Nobody could figure out why I was feeling this way. Just like I had for the past several years, I felt something was wrong but I couldn't figure it out. Here I was again, and I was experiencing it physically. Something was very wrong, but nobody could figure out what it was. My calendar was filled from morning until evening going from one doctor to one therapist to one practitioner to another. That continued for week after week and then month after month and then year after year. I was living a Groundhog's Day life where I would wake up in the morning and go, "I don't want to do it now. I know exactly what it's going to be. I don't want to do it." I'm going to get through it and not get to the end of the day and I'd be like, “Tomorrow's going to be the same.” It went from being on top of the world and having everything to literally no longer wanting to be alive because it got so bad and it continued on for so long.
Dustin
I want to go back a step. The irony is interesting. I just want to check in a little bit because I can appreciate a lot of this story of the entrepreneurship running the agency. I want entrepreneurs who maybe in a very similar path either they're about to head down it or maybe on it. I want them to identify. You say that you woke up everyday and you feel you felt off. You had all the things in the world, but isn't that the plight of an entrepreneur? You crush a goal, you go to the next, you crush a goal and you make the agency bigger. You go speak more gigs. You now speak internationally. Was it like you needed to set a new goal for yourself in business or in life? What do you think was the cause that you're weren't happy now looking back?
Erin
I simply wasn't fulfilled. I wasn't using my unique ability. I realized I wasn't changing people's lives. When I started my agency back in 2002, the web was still new. It was still young. When I was building websites for businesses, it was life-changing for a lot of them. Suddenly these businesses that were trying to compete against the big boys now had a website, now could be found, now they were tripling their revenue, which was allowing them to grow and take care of their family better. It was these amazing relationships. It was a wonderful and fulfilling experience where I got to do something new. I was in a world in an industry that was still new. It was quite fulfilling to me.
As I grew the agency and built out a team and we started serving larger and larger clients, we are working for very big startups, Fortune 500 companies, massive consulting agencies, it became robotic. It became dead. We could finish a six-figure project coordinated across 80 people that took ten months where if any ball was dropped, it could be lawsuits and huge problems and millions of dollars lost. Yet we could do everything perfectly, finish it and we'd be lucky if we got a "Hey, thanks" email afterwards. Here we were doing this amazing work and putting everything into it and there was no fulfillment. There was no sense of bettering the world, of changing people's lives, of making any difference whatsoever.
You throw into that the commoditization of the web industry. You've got Square Space. You've got Wix. You have GoDaddy's "site in a box" stuff. You have cheap overseas labor. There are so many places people can get websites from these days. There's this commoditization. Everybody has a website and the attitude of businesses and who they're looking for in partners really shifted. I found myself going to work every day going,“For me personally, it doesn't really feel like no matter how much I do or how well I do it or what I change in the business or how much money we make, I feel like just a cog in a big machine. I don't feel like I'm making a difference and I want more. I know that I can do more and can contribute more to the world.”That’s what was missing for me was that fulfillment piece because I kept upping our goals. We kept increasing our revenue year after year. We kept getting better quality clients. We kept getting retainers and the outward signs of success were there. For me personally, it felt empty.
Dustin
I want to talk about your path, you helping folks that are in this situation. I want to key in on something you said, which was the unique ability. I'm very curious because you work with folks from all around the world. You work with different entrepreneurs and high performers. Does everyone have to find what their unique ability is? Erin, I want to give you a little context. Somebody who is a stock trader professionally, something maybe robotic. Do we all have to find our unique ability in life to succeed or be fulfilled or for some people, they can get away without doing it?
Erin
I think that people find the fulfillment when they are able to work in their unique ability. They may not even realize they're working in it. You can have someone like a stock trader, but they could still have a unique ability of being able to see patterns before everybody else does and working for a company that contributes in a certain way. There are ways that people can be in any job and use their unique ability. What I found though to be mostly true is that people have unique ways that they can contribute and unique strengths. When they're able to tap into those, the level of joy and fulfillment and productivity and efficiency that they experience, it skyrockets.
I learned about unique ability from Dan Sullivan in Strategic Coach. That was where the concept first came onto my radar. Dan Sullivan describes it as when someone is working within their unique ability, there's a limitless potential to learn and improve. I know that's not the case for so many things I was doing in the agency. When I started out and I was doing design or development, I was hitting the ceilings. I didn't have a passion to keep improving. When people find something that they're like a sponge and they want to keep learning, they can keep improving. They're passionate about it and it feels like time expands when they're doing it instead of contracts. It just feels like everything falls into place. There really is something magical about it and people are able to give. It feels like 10x.
Can people be happy and do they need to work in their unique ability? Absolutely not. I think there are plenty of people around the world who are content and who are happy, who are doing something great or who are doing work that they're proud of. I feel like it really takes things to the next level. Even beyond next level like 10x in terms of that fulfillment, that joy, that passion and that energy when they find what their unique ability is. It's not necessarily obvious or easy and it can take years, but it is a journey that I think is worth exploring because when you get there and you start working in it, it's a different experience altogether. It's better for you as well as for the people around you. That's my take on it.
Dustin
Erin, I've heard other guests. I've heard experts out there explain that sometimes when we feel discomfort and not physical pain, but more of like you were unfulfilled, you were not on the path that you're on now, which I can feel from you is the right path. It's the right move. Are you one of those folks that believethat if you continually battle your destiny or whatever your term you're calling it like the new path in life or living into your unique ability, it will manifest in your body as pain?
Erin
I am finding that when people ignore and suppress their emotions and frustrations and don't acknowledge them, they push them down. It gets pushed down into your body. If you’re not living your own unique ability and you haven't found exactly what you're meant to do on this planet, then you're going to have pain. There are different kinds of discomfort. There's the discomfort like, "This is a big goal. I I'm a little nervous here. Can we do this?” There's that discomfort, but then there's the discomfort where, “Something is not right, something is wrong. This is not the right path. I am not happy.” I think when people suppress that, push the emotions down or they try to numb themselves whether it's through eating or drugs or alcohol or whatever it maybe, it comes out in some way. For some people, I've seen that that is physical pain. I think that may have been the case with me.
Dustin
I'm curious about this because you brought it up and for some reason, I'm keying on it. What does that moment mean for you when you stepped off the mountain bike and you hurt your ankle and that led to chronic pain in your life? What have you made that mean or how have you brought that down?
Erin
It was absolutely beyond devastating. I had been training for eight months to do a mountain bike six-day race. I was in amazing shape. It had taken me a long time to get there. I had come through eight ankle surgeries and overcome all sorts of things. Six months earlier, I had survived a near-fatal car accident. Here I was going,"I've finally gotten through everything. I'm on my way. I'm almost there."It was two months finally from this race that I've been wanting to do and then this happened. It was absolutely devastating. I had poured so many hours of my life and so much of my effort into trying to get to this race. I was two months away and I was stopped dead in my tracks.
I couldn't make it mean anything. Other than I can't do what I want to do and this is awful, that was all that swirled around in my mind for at least a year. The shift changed where I started to realize there's something else. There is some meaning that I can make from this. As I started to get worse and worse and sadder and sadder, as I went to more and more doctors, things got horrific. I was hopped up on nerve medication pills one night and I was laying on my bedroom floor looking at the wall, wishing a big red button would appear so I could just hit this button and I could die. That's what I was envisioning. I wanted to die. I was so done with everything. What happened is people started to go, "Erin, you need to see a therapist. This is getting really bad. Your anxiety and your depression is getting so bad.”
I started to see a therapist and there was one day that I was sitting on her couch and the couch was covered with all of these snotty Kleenex and we had just talked for an hour and she's sitting there quietly. She looks at me and she says,"Erin, do you know why you are so miserable right now?”I looked back at her and just couldn't believe she was even asking me this question. I was like, "Are you fucking kidding me? I'm in chronic pain. Nobody can figure it out. I have a bleak future. I don't want to run this business. What's going on? Are you kidding me?"She sat there and she shook her head. She goes, "No, let me tell you what's going on. You are miserable because you tie your entire sense of self and self-worth to what you achieve. Right now, with this pain, you can't achieve anything. You can't achieve on your bike. You can't train. You can't compete. You can't build your business. You can't sit there and grow the business. You can't achieve. When you can't achieve, you feel like there's nothing." I sat there. I was nodding and I was like, “Yes.”I said yes out loud and it hit me. That's not okay, that's dangerous to have my entire sense of self and self-worth, which obviously was being fed by being an entrepreneur and always being able to build and make new goals and achieve new things. This incident of this pain took that away from me and I was left with less than nothing. I was left with a huge hole in myself.
I realized this is an opportunity for me to potentially change the entire rest of my life as well as my relationship with myself. I don't like it. I still hate this. It hit me like a ton of bricks when she said that, and I realized there's something way bigger going on here because not everybody who has some pain gets completely devastated and wants to end their lives. There's something huge. Maybe this is something I can look into. That was the point when I started to go,"I can make this mean whatever I want it to mean. I'm still making it mean that this sucks right now, but I'm on to something. There's something much bigger at play here." That was the turning point for me.
Dustin
Erin, we're hanging on the edge of our seats. You identified the turning point, but now you’ve got to take some action. How did you climb your way back out of this?
Erin
The very first thing I did is I looked at the therapist and I said,"Let's do it. How do I do this? I have no idea and you’re a therapist, so obviously this is what you do and you're going to tell me and we're going to do this. Let's go."She started into this explanation that included love, faith, healing, patience and having to increase the number of visits you come in. It's going to be an exploration and there may be some things about crystals in there or something. I sat there and my eyes just glazed over. I'm an entrepreneur. I want things to happen. I didn't love this long-winded exploration journey and patience. It was like,“No.” I walked out of her office that day and I stood on the red concrete patio. I made this decision. I'm going to figure this out. I'm going to figure out how to fix myself. I've been looking to other people for the last several years and nobody's been able to do this. I'm going to do this. I'm going to get this. I was so determined, and I had this new goal that meant so much to me.
I set out on my own journey basically to figure things out. I spent many tens of thousands of my own dollars. I flew across the country like up to Minnesota and down to Arizona and out to California. I read every book and watched every training and I basically became my own science experiment. I started trying different things on myself instead of just making appointments with these doctors who would come in talk to me for fifteen minutes and look over the stacks of paperwork I'd filled out and shrug their shoulders and send me to the next person. I became my own experiment. I found a lot of things that worked okay and they worked well-enough or they worked 30%.
What happened is I found this amazing magical combination that when I combine certain methodologies in a certain way, everything worked so well. It did not come quickly. There was a total wake of destruction in my path that I left behind me and I would ask other people,“Can I try this on you?” There are lots of explosions as I was conducting my experiments. I really did happen upon a beautiful combination that I don't think anybody else or I'm not aware of anybody else doing that blends various methodologies together into something that's far more potent and powerful and effective than any of the ones that I tried on their own. That's how my journey ended up happening.
Dustin
Erin, curiosity is killing me because I feel like you're such an open book. You said you were an experiment that lends itself to trying things. What is the weirdest, most unusual thing that surprised you that you tried on your path?
Erin
It's almost hard for me to share this because part of my business is I'm very clear. I'm not on the woo-woo end of the spectrum. I have plenty of friends and life coaches and they're all about angels and crystals and past lives and things. I'm so very much on the opposite end of the spectrum, but I got to a place when I was trying things out. I'll try anything. I can't shut myself off to anything, I have to be open. I was working with an extremely well-known, highly respected business coach. He said,"I've got this gal in San Francisco you must talk to.” This person apparently did in essence, color therapy. I got on the phone with this person who was going to help heal me.
I sat there for two hours on the phone as she would say things like,"I'm envisioning a light blue aura around your head. Now it's turning into a shimmering rose gold around you. Now that's been fully absorbed. What I’m getting next is a sunflower yellow emanating from your root chakra.” I sat there, and she talked colors around me for two hours. At one point, I think I fell asleep. I had already prepaid. I was like, “If this is going to do something, I might as well sit here for two hours.” That was by far the most out there crazy thing that I tried, is someone wrapping colors around me from four states away. I did not share that story with people, but I tucked that in the back part of my mind and you asked that question. There you go.
Dustin
I appreciate you being an open book. You discovered this magical combination and obviously, it works because now you're back on the path. Did you start sharing it with people because you wanted to test on other folks? How did you come to say,"I got to start figuring this out?”
Erin
I had been so focused on healing myself. All I do is I run an agency. That's what I do. That's all I know how to do. I went back to running the agency and as some friends and family members and colleagues started to hear about, “You were able to fix some of these issues. I've got this issue over here. Could you maybe help me with this?”I started getting requests from people that I knew to help them. It still wasn't even in my mind. Some people would say the universe is hitting you over the head with a hammer. You're totally oblivious going, “No, I'm going to build my agency because that's the goal that I set.” I started helping people and their results were so incredible and it was so much fun. Still, I didn't get the message. I went back every time, building the agency. It came down to between a Christmas and New Year's. Even though I'd addressed all of these pain issues and gotten rid of a lot of this self-worth and cleaned up all of these problems that I had been dragging around, I still found myself miserable. I went back to being miserable and I realized it was different. It wasn’t because I was frustrated with myself. It wasn't self-worth, it wasn't this achievement thing. Like what we talked about, I was ignoring the fact that I wasn't happy with my agency because I didn't know what else to do. I didn't even think I had other options.
One day, I woke up and I was like, "I'm just going to start posting about this on Facebook, on my personal profile. I'm going to share some of the stories of the people I've helped. I'm going to share some of the things that I've learned along the way.” Very quickly, I suddenly had people asking me questions and reaching out to me. Within a month, I sat here and I said, “Maybe I could. This was so much fun. This is so amazing. The results that I'm helping people achieve are so phenomenal, what if I just did a little coaching on the side as a little side thing? Maybe I could get a couple of clients a year maybe. Let's try it out.”
I ran a test. I took on two paying test clients. I said, "Maybe I can help them a little bit in ten weeks.”They came to me with their laundry list of problems. Both of them by week five or six said everything that I showed up with is completely fixed,“I am so happy. I have no more feelings of not being good enough. The relationship with my significant other is better.”Everything they came to, their little laundry list of problems was fixed. We didn't even need to go the full ten weeks, so I was blown away by how fast I was able to help them. I took on another round of test clients and I got the same results and finally said, “I am so energized and so fulfilled when I'm doing this work.”
Clients are getting results in a ridiculously short period of time. One of the clients had been going to therapy for eight years. He was out in five weeks or something like that with a couple hours of work a week. Everything is literally just falling into place. I love it. The clients are getting results. People are lining up. I'm on to something here. This is absolutely what I meant to do. It took me it took me a while to get the message, but I knew it. I knew that that is actually what I was meant to do and where I could work within my unique ability. I was waking up every morning going, "I can't wait to do more of this." It was like I had my life back. I fixed the internal problems, but I stillI was on the wrong path. Once I got that message and changed my path and was able to work and do something that was fulfilling, everything completely just fell into place. I went from being one of the most miserable human beings on the planet to one of the happiest and most fulfilled.
Dustin
Erin, I'm curious because a lot of people with what you faced as an entrepreneur, they say it's a lonely struggle. Sometimes you can't talk to your spouse if they're not in the business with you or an entrepreneur themselves.
You can't talk to your employees or team members because it's just a different frame of reference and sometimes you can talk to other entrepreneurs about it. How did you get people to open up or make them realize? There was no one there for you when you went through it for two and a half years?I know you said you posted on Facebook, but how did these people come to you?
Erin
I started telling parts of my story and instead of saying, “Are you X? Are you Y?” I'd share pieces of my story. One of my very first clients came to me after I shared part of my story and how all of the self-worth piece and how I was getting in my own way when it came to athletics. I have competed when I was younger, butI still love to be outside and do sports. I was telling a story about how here I was living up in the mountains, getting to snowboard every day and yet, if I would go snowboard with a group of people, I couldn't even enjoy myself because the whole time I was concerned about,"I must have looked awful on that jump. I should be able to do that because I've been snowboarding for 25 years and that eight-year-old kid just did it and I'm so embarrassed.”All I would do is be right around with judgments in my head even though here I was saying this is what I love to do more than anything else. I told that story and what it was like to be in a day in the life of me being out on the bike or snowboarding and how it might have looked like I had fun and how it was what I wanted to do.
The whole time I had what I call the mean brain judging me, “You're not fast enough. You didn't go high enough. You didn’t go big enough. That person who thought you were okay, now they're going to know that you actually suck.” That was my whole experience. I put up a story about that for example and had the first client right out of the gate going, “That is exactly me.” The more I opened up and shared these little variations and parts and pieces of my experience and what things used to be like as well as how I am now, people were able to identify and go, “That's me and I want to get to what you have now.”It was really by being open that people found it safe to point to little parts of my experience and go,“I can talk to you about that. You understand me.”
Dustin
I resonate for sure with the self-doubt and I'm sure this appears in people's lives in different ways. What are some of the other challenges that the clients go to you with?
Erin
I'm continually working on messaging, but what I found resonates with people is people work with me when they feel like they are getting in their own way. That's a common way for people just to describe their challenge. What that means is another book, another course, another webinar, another training, more information is not going to help them fix the issue that they're struggling with. It's not even that just more information won't help. Oftentimes, it's more action. Usually, people have been trying to get more information and change their actions or their habits, but they're ending up with the same results over and over. They read another book. They work with another coach. They say,"I'm going to do these habits. I'm going to change these actions. I'll work with this person." Three months down the road, they're in the same place. The mean voice in their head is still there or they're still procrastinating.
When someone is stuck and more information and changing their actions is not helping, that's usually when you know you're getting in your own way. That can manifest itself in a variety of different ways for different leaders and entrepreneurs and business people. For some people, it looks like procrastination or avoidance like the gal I just worked with. She had set aside her entire morning to begin working on a training for her clients. Three hours had done everything and yet she knew she needed to do it. It can look like avoidance or procrastination. For some people, it looks like perfectionism.
I had a client where I swear she was spending at least twenty hours a week doing work she didn't need to do, whether it was quadruple checking emails that were short sentences she needed to send out, taking down social media posts so she could rewrite them several times, changing her designs to the point where the shade of yellow is half a shade. To the human eye, you couldn't even tell it was a different yellow, but she would agonize over if it should be 33% or 34%. Perfectionism is another way of people getting in their own way. To some people, it may look like difficulty setting boundaries. I've worked with entrepreneurs where they were getting in their own way because they were taking calls from clients at 11:00 at night or their Sunday is supposed to be for the kids. Their kid is in a soccer game and they're walking away from the game having a business call because they can't set boundaries with their clients. They can't say no to people.
For others, it might look like fears or anxieties. For some people, it might be a fear or anxiety of hurting other people's feelings. I worked with an entrepreneur. She has a Facebook group of 60,000 people and she had just hired another person to moderate the group. This person wasn't doing their job. She had brought this person on and it had been three months, four months or something of them not doing an okay job, but she was still continuing to pay them because she couldn't bring herself to let this person go because she was so terrified. She had so much anxiety about hurting this person's feelings. She literally was hurting her business. It was impacting all of her Facebook followers. She was having to double the amount of work that was causing her stress and headaches, but she wouldn't let this team member go because she was terrified of hurting feelings. Other people may not be able to get on interviews or go on video because they're worried about what other people will say or judge them. I think those are six or seven or eight different examples. It's getting in your own way and that looks different for everybody. You know it when you're stuck in no matter what you try, you end up back with the same pattern repeating over and over, month after month. Does that make sense?
Dustin
Absolutely. I do want to go back to self-doubt because that's a big one I think for a lot. I definitely can resonate with that early in my career. The question I want to ask about this is, isn't it natural to have self-doubt especially when you enter a new territory, a new workout, a new career, a new biz?Isn’t that natural because we're out of our comfort zone in those environments until we learn and get comfortable with the process?
Erin
That's tricky. I think that it's common for people to think it's natural to have self-doubt because they don't realize that it's possible to live without it. There's a difference though. It's a gray area where there's a little bit of overlap. For example, after I've eliminated that self-doubt, if I get into a new situation, I might feel a little bit of nerves or jitteriness or, "What am I going to do?” That might still be there. There's still some adrenaline pumping. I go straight into resourcefulness mode. How am I going to do this? It's all about how do I make this happen?It's this moving forward. If you contrast that to self-doubt whereas five years ago if I had been in the same situation, presented with the same opportunity, you would instantly be like, "You're not going to get this. It's not going to work out. It's not going to happen." I would push through that because I'm going to persevere. I've got hard work and I have determination. I’m focused on that goal.
Those thoughts would be there. I would say they're common and natural but they're not required. That's what a lot of people do. That's what I used to do. My whole life, I would push through them. What happens then is when you're experiencing resistance, it takes more energy, takes more effort. You're trying to convince yourself you can do it. There's that conversation in your head, “Yes, I can do it,”versus,“This is a big opportunity. I’m feeling a little bit nervous,” but there's not that, “You can't do it. It's not going to work out. They're not going to choose you, don't do it.” That's not there. That part of the equation is normal, natural and common. It is not required. I had no idea about that until I did this work.
Dustin
Is there anything stopping us from having what we want? If we want to make a million dollars, if we want to have the body of our dreams, if we want to meet that special person in our life, what's stopping anybody from achieving these things?
Erin
I love this question because this is what I see day in and day out. A client was doing her first million-dollar year after fifteen years of six figures. We were able to figure out the answer to that question for her. It’s the same thing for all of our clients as they show up and they're like,“I know I can get to this, my dream, but there's something in the way and I don't know what it is.” The answer usually is it's ourselves. We just get in our own way and that's a broad answer in general and I'll get more specific. There's a very long-winded detailed answer with lots of nuances. If I have to boil it down to something simple, what ends up happening is we get in our own way and we prevent ourselves from achieving and getting to our dreams in some form of conscious or subconscious self-sabotage because of what some part of us believes to be true.
If someone was raised in a household where they were told that rich people are selfish and evil, can they make a lot of money? Absolutely. One of my clients sold his company for a quarter billion dollars and was raised in a household like that. He walked around feeling absolutely guilty and miserable every day of his life and could enjoy a penny of his wealth. We are capable of achieving what we want, but if some part of us believes something to be true while the rest of us are like, “No, that's silly.” If there's a little belief in the back of your head that's left-over, old programming, old thought loops or belief patterns, those can slam the brakes and act like a ball and chain where you are focused on getting to that goal. You are going to make eight figures this year. You are right there and yet all of the old programmings, the things that you know aren't really true. Just a little part of you believes them to be true. Those are big sandbags you're dragging along the way no matter how hard you work. It's not until you can have somebody help you get rid of those sandbags that you can just take off and go straight towards your goal untethered.
Another girl I worked with, she's going to be doing her first seven-figure year. She had this belief that asking for things meant that she was needy and that it wasn't okay to ask for things. She couldn't bring herself to raise her rates for her existing clients, and she feared that they would leave her even though she knew that was an unrealistic expectation, even though she knew it wouldn't really happen. A little part of her got in the back of her head, some little part of her believe that. That kept her from taking the actions she needed to take for years. As soon as that was dislodged and thrown into the trash, that sandbag was gone from her and she just took off. Within a week, she had taken all of the actions that had been on her to-do list for the past two and a half years. She was on her way. What holds us back from achieving what we want to achieve is old, outdated programming and thoughts that most of our intellectual brain doesn't believe to be true, but just a little tiny part of us does. I'd say that causes a massive amount of the problems that entrepreneurs and business owners and high achievers experience when they are finding themselves not able to achieve what they want to.
Dustin
Erin, I want to move us into WealthFit round. Essentially, it's our rapid-fire question round. What's been your most worthwhile investment in life?
Erin
It’s a large investment I made for myself in business, and that was sales training. I paid $18,000 for sales training and I had never paid even though $1,000 for any coaching or any investment business. This was this massively leap and I worked with one of the most amazing coaches in the world. I started to learn different frameworks about how I could think about my business, how I could set up my own rules and didn't have to be at the mercy of clients. Everything I thought about how business had to be done got turned on its head. I learned sales on top of it and got to work with a coach. That was the best investment. That started my course of going, “When I invest in myself, my business explodes. That was really a big change for me.”
Dustin
Erin, we here at the WealthFit Nation are big into money management and personal finance. I'm curious though, what is your guilty pleasure spend or splurge?
Erin
When I splurge, it usually comes back on mountain bikes or snowboarding or a trip related to one of those. I have some pretty nice gear and have gone on some amazing mind-blowing trips related to those two hobbies.
Dustin
You're big obviously on growth and challenging yourself and living the best life that you can, being the best that you can be. I'm very curious in the last three years, what have you become better at saying no to?
Erin
Interestingly enough, I used to think I was good at saying no. What's presented is the new business with Mind Fix exploding beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I am having more opportunities present themselves than I can say yes to. I used to think I'd say no to everything but back when I was running the agency, I realize I didn't get that many opportunities. I'd get enough and we'd had a great business that could grow. I am currently being bombarded by opportunities for podcasts and in interviews. People asking for advice and help and a quick phone call here and there and people looking for my time. I've never experienced it at that level. I have become very good at politely declining the majority of opportunities that are presented to me and pointing people to alternative resources so that they can speak with someone else or still get the help that they need. Saying no to people asking for my time is something that I have had to quickly develop a pretty good skill for.
Dustin
Any advice for us that maybe struggle the same?
Erin
My formula is to say thank you. Honestly, the big part of it is trying to point people somewhere else and a treating everybody as another human being. This person is looking for help. This person is looking for someone to be interviewed. “No, I can't help you. Thank you so much for thinking of me. I recommend chatting with so-and-so.”That way that person feels honored, appreciated. I'm not putting them down. I'm not going to say,“No, go away,” and I'm connecting them with someone else who would like the opportunity. I feel like that's a win-win. It takes like a tiny bit of extra time but usually, a good connection can be made and some good can come out of it. I find referring and pointing elsewhere takes a lot of the strain and frustration out of saying no because you still are helping the person. It's just in a different way than they thought they might need when they reached out.
Dustin
To achieve at the levels that you're experiencing in life, do you have any special routines or rituals you do
Erin
I am currently heavily focused on taking care of my body actually. For me personally, when my body feels good, I perform exponentially better. I had gone several weeks without getting a massage and I just got one because I've been traveling all over. I walked back into my office going,“I could do anything.”I had not realized how tight and constricted my muscles had gotten from the travel and lack of movement and how much that had been impacting just how I felt, which impacts how I show up, which impacts the emails that I write. I work with a nutritionist who helps me make sure I'm eating the right foods in the right amount of foods every week.
I am doing a really deep incredible mobility program and range strength mobility program to increase both my strength and my range of motion because historically I have been such a muscularly, fascially-type person. I'm doing that every day. I got off the meditation track and I'm trying to simply take a few moments throughout the day to catch up on taking a few deep breaths and not letting the day get away from me. Taking care of my body, massage, nutrition, movements, those pieces helped me feel good. When I feel good, I show up and I can mentally perform and be there for my clients and everyone else so much better.
Dustin
Erin, you’re an athlete, you've built an amazing agency. You're embarking on this new vision with mindsets. What do you want your legacy to be?
Erin
I am going to be buildingMind Fix into something where there is going to be a charitable division. My legacy is to make an impact, not on high achievers and entrepreneurs, which is where the focus is for Mind Fix right now, but as large of a portion of the world as I can. I can see this, and I've already been approached for people to get this type of work into schools, into jails, into juvenile halls, into places where if we can change things before problems happen, the ripple impact could be absolutely massive because so many of these issues start when we're young and they just multiply as we get older. If we can change things early on, if we can change things in populations where there's high recidivism rate, I want my legacy to be that I truly made the world a better place and changed the direction of millions of people's lives.
Dustin
Erin, Itruly we appreciate you being on the show. For those that want to continue the journey with you or see what you're up to in the world, how can they do so?
Erin
First, they could take a look at my site, MindFixGroup.com, and they can take a look at the Results page. There's a form if they want to reach out to me. There are all sorts of information there. There's even free training if they want to learn more about the work how it works, how people can get unstuck. There is a three-hour long video training on there. For people who are interested in keeping up with me and connecting with me, I am currently continuing to be active on Facebook and I'm the only Erin Pheil there. If you type my name, you'll find me very quickly. Between Facebook and LinkedIn, I'm usually there throughout the week and easy to get a hold of and chat with. Thank you for having me.
Dustin
Erin, thanks again for being on the show.

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