Developing business was my first priority when I opened my practice. Ready to begin work with whoever was to be my first client, I was aggressively marketing, networking and looking for opportunities to grow, or more accurately launch, my business.  
 
SecretIn meeting with prospective clients for coaching and speaking opportunities, I answered their questions about: growing their businesses, career transitions/exit plans, increasing revenues and profitability, facilitating team building, improving staff recruiting and retention, enhancing communications, and instructing them on how to become true high performers.
 
I recall meeting a senior VP at an international wealth management firm. We were discussing how I could help him with performance improvement and work/life balance challenges. I was excited about the opportunity to work with him, as well as terrified. Because at the time I had a dirty little secret…
 
I was flat broke, homeless and basically living out of my car. My survival was dependent on my gym membership so I always had a place to shower, my friends, my girlfriend at the time, and my family who allowed me to couch surf as much as possible, and attending networking meetings that usually featured bagels, pastries, and coffee so I knew I could at least have that to eat that day. It was almost laughable to think that there I was, sitting across from a man who was making more money by the minute than I was likely going to make that week or more, suggesting I could help him with anything.
 
You can imagine how I felt and the judgments I held against myself. I told myself I was a failure, a loser, incompetent and a fraud. And only one thing needed to happen for me to make that true; I had to fail to change those thoughts and judgments.
 
The only credentials I possessed was my education. I had no references or track record. But in addition to the above-stated resources I had three other things that would guarantee my success: The ability to do this work with excellence, my belief in myself, and my commitment to success.
 
In that moment I was able to reframe everything. I wasn’t a failure because I wasn’t sitting on my friends’ couches eating Cheetos and refusing to put myself out there. I wasn’t a loser because you can’t lose if you don’t quit. I wasn’t incompetent or a fraud because there I was, sitting across from this stinking rich guy helping him to look at things differently AND looking at things differently myself. I KNEW I was good at this work and that I could be of service to others.
 
Higher education is fantastic. It feels good to have a bunch of letters after your name. But those letters are only as good as your ability to perform. They help provide the confidence in yourself to do the work. But I’m sure you’ve met people who are well-credentialed, but grossly underqualified to perform as desired and/or expected. And even highly experienced people can stumble or underperform as “past performance is no indication of future results.”
 
That VP became my first client. And when our engagement concluded I had my first testimonial. “I got way more out of this than I expected. This has been great and incredibly helpful!”
 
When you think about your goals, there are only three credentials that matter: your ability to do the work, your belief in yourself, and your commitment to your success. Your education, or lack thereof, doesn’t matter. Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, Ralph Lauren and Jim Carey are among the most successful school dropouts in history. But they had the three real keys to success.
 
Perhaps you have had a similar experience; broke/in debt, living on a friend’s couch and judging yourself for said. Maybe you noticed yourself judging me while reading this post. If either is true, I will share with you one other name who was living on his friend’s couch having several failures behind him and trying to succeed: Elon Musk.
 
You have the ability to get what you want. Believe in yourself and commit to your success. With these three credentials, you can’t fail! And if you need support, you know where to find me!
 
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It’s your kingdom. Make it REIGN.

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About the Author -

Executive coach and motivational speaker Chris M. King facilitates the mind shift necessary for professionals and organizations to achieve authentic success and empowerment. Clients experience productivity increases of up to 40%, freedom from burnout and overwhelm, clarity in times of transition, dramatically improved work/life balance, answers to "what's next," creative solutions for innovation, and an overall increase in satisfaction in career and in life. And he does all of this without ever giving advice! Chris doesn't show them THE way. He guides them in finding THEIR way. An emerging thought leader in the men's movement, Chris also works with professional men and women on accountability, vulnerability, and empowerment. He specifically addresses the issues associated with mid-life crises and Peter Pan Syndrome. He is a volunteer for ManKind Project International, a contributing author to The Good Men Project and Elephant Journal, and is honored to be working with Sam Morris as a contributor to Zen Warrior Training®, helping people achieve self-mastery. Chris is also a coach at Project Bully Buster, coaching teens as they navigate the challenges of adolescence. He is honored to work with and support organizations dedicated to the men’s movement, to women's issues, and, as brother to a special needs sister, the US Special Olympics. Chris is currently working on his first book.

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