The first thing an accountant should do to get out of their own way is to be aware of their own ineffective behavior. Through experience, Michelle Weinstein has observed how many accountants are getting in their own way because of their limiting beliefs. These toxic thoughts often come through from the unconscious mind and they can be sneaky if you’re not cognizant. Paul Ross, a master of neuro-linguistic programming, joins her in this conversation to explain how you can identify what limiting beliefs you have and overcome them so that you can cease to be the greatest obstacle to your own success. In any battle between your unconscious and conscious mind, the unconscious mind is always going to win. There are three magic words you can use to rewire your unconscious mind: “Up Until Now.” Do you want to learn how to properly use this phrase and break your limiting beliefs? Grab your notepad and pen and tune in!
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How to Get Out Of Your Own Way: Defeat Your Limiting Beliefs With Paul Ross
We have a very special guest who is an author, speaker, trainer, master hypnotist, and master of neuro-linguistic programming. He’s taught tens of thousands of people the power of language to persuade, influence, sell, heal, and turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Before we welcome our very special guest, I want to help you end the grind of constantly feeling like you can’t figure out what clients you want to take. You don’t have the confidence to charge higher fees. You want a step-by-step process that you can easily enroll clients and know exactly how to talk to the clients who are willing to pay the fees you want with a proven system.
Maybe you’ve tried a bunch of other programs, you even talk to me in the past or my teammate, or you’re tired of waiting it out and you still aren’t getting the right clients paying you what you’re worth and at the point of being mortified and disappointed. If you’re at that place, I invite you to head on over to TheAbundantCall.com to book your complimentary coaching session with me or Molly on my team. The only thing I ask is that you’ve been in business for at least two years or your firm is doing above $100,000 in revenue and you’re willing to get to the truth of what’s working in your conversations in your accounting firm and what’s not working.
Welcome to the show, Paul.
Thank you, Michelle. It’s always a pleasure to be speaking to you. You are an amazing genius. I always love addressing your audience who are going to recognize your learning so much.
I’m very happy to be here with you talking about a very important topic. A lot of accountants, including myself, get in our way. I hear this a lot from a lot of the accountants who I work with, “I’m the one who’s in my way, my old stuff from my past isn’t allowing me to charge the fees that I want. I feel like I always have to put myself on sale because I can’t afford to turn away clients.” We’ll talk about the radical art of getting out of your own way. Before we start, can you give a real brief 30 seconds to 1-minute bio about you, so they understand your background in sales, NLP, and everything else.
I am an author of an amazing book, Subtle Words That Sell. I’ve been studying and teaching hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming, which is fundamentally the study of how language structures our consciousness, shapes our beliefs, and drives our behavior. We’ll circle back to beliefs because so many accountants are getting in their way because of their limiting beliefs. I’ve been teaching the application of this to sales for years. I’m a former dating coach. I learned a lot about selling through dating because the date is essentially a sale and a sale is essentially a date.
I am so excited to have you here. You’ve been on the show before. If you want to catch some of the past episodes with Ross, you can head on over to past episodes in Apple Podcast or Google, or even on my website, TheAbundantAccountant.com. Let’s dive into this episode by talking about getting out of our own way. Could you even share some personal stories that you’ve overcome when you’ve been in your own way? I know that you’ve had a challenge with that. Myself and all of our readers, because I hear it all the time, we love storytelling. The more stories we can talk about, we will be helping you learn three ways to get out of your own way. If it’s appropriate, I’ll share how I get out of my own way and things that you can implement. Grab your yellow notepad, grab a pen. What would be the first thing that an accountant should do to get out of their own way?
First and foremost, the best way to avoid a trap, whether it’s a trap in your beliefs or a trap in ineffective behavior, is to know that it’s there. I like to talk about a story from my own life from when I was a little boy because it contains a really great metaphor and explains the structure of how people fundamentally get in their own way. I am of the Jewish faith. When I was eight years old, we celebrated Hanukkah. It’s a minor holiday, but the tradition is to give gifts for each night for eight nights.
My sister, Anita, bought my little brother Steve a toy robot. I like to destroy toys back when I was a kid because my way of learning about things and still to this day is to break them apart. I talked to Steve and he said, “I’ve finally got over the trauma and I do forgive you, Paul.” My sister bought him a toy robot. I had to play with it first and break it. You have to understand this was 1966. Back then, robots could do three things. You can make them go forward, go back, and make the lights in their eyes blink. This is a psychological term and it’s in the DSM for the diagnostic and service manual for being what’s known as a schmuck.
I decided I was going to press forward and backward at the same time. The robot started to shake blue smoke came out of its butt as the wires melted and it fell flat over. The robot had an internal conflict because I was giving it two equally powerful yet opposite commands at the same time. I was telling it to move forward and move backward. Often, particularly accountants, when we have patterns of behavior, thinking, and belief, we want to go to change them. The challenge is, the new ones come in conflict with the old ones. We have a part of us that wants to move backward that wants to say, “I’m going to give away a lot of free information.” “No. I don’t believe I’m worth charging this. I’m going to take on every client because I need the money.” These are the pain points and they’re based on your old beliefs. When it comes time to change and you have all these positive learnings as you give them and you give them techniques. You’re a real service to your audience. The challenge is the old stuff is going to come up.The best way to avoid a trap, whether it's a trap in your beliefs or a trap in ineffective behavior, is to know that it's there. Click To Tweet
How do you avoid this internal conflict? As you’re reading this, if you’ve ever felt that changing an area in any part of your life, whether it’s making money, self-actualization, or self-improvement has felt exhausting at times, this is the structure of how it happens, not why it happens, but how. What is the recipe by which we get in our way? Not because you have low self-esteem or you’re a thing called the self-sabotager, you’re simply getting in your way. I would like to break out the structure.
We like to keep it simple here at the show. I love the robot analogy. The fact that the two wires were crossing, you’re trying to go forward, and were trying to go backward is where the wires started to steam and break. A lot of us reading are like, “That happens to me. I want to move forward, but yet I still want to sit on the couch.” “I want to change my firm and I want to bring on higher-paying clients. I want to do more high-level consulting work, tax consulting, and tax resolution.”
Whatever it is, but we’re stuck doing the 1040 work. We’re stuck doing basic tax returns. We’re sick of people asking us, “Is that the best price you got? Is that the best deal you’ve got?” If we can unpack and break down some actionable steps, how do we get our wires not to fry and start steaming? That would be great. What’s the first thing we need to do so our wires don’t start steaming when we have that internal conflict going forwards and backward at the same time?
In order to give it, I need to get one little explanation, then I’m going to give you the exact three words that you can use to stop crossing your wires. Here’s the way it works. I am a hypnotist. I’ve been dealing with the unconscious mind for years with thousands of people. In any battle between your unconscious mind and your conscious mind, the unconscious mind is just going to win. When all these kinds of stuff that’s stored unconsciously comes up, you can’t argue with the unconscious mind. You have to get rapport with it like how you would get rapport with a client. How do we get rapport with our unconscious mind and stop all this negative stuff from coming up? Simple. Three magic words. Those words are, up until now. If you have a belief that says, “I can’t charge my worth or I’m not able to charge my worth,” put the words up until now. “Up until now, it was my experience that I didn’t charge what I’m worth.”
This way, you’re not arguing with your unconscious mind. You’re taking that limiting belief and you’re binding it in time. You’re saying, “It’s not about the present or the future. It’s just the way it was. It’s the way things happen.” “Up until now, it was my experience.” When we make it about an experience, it’s no longer about who we are. We can always change an experience. It’s very hard to change your sense of identity. For example, have you ever had a friend who is smart and you admire them but they don’t think they’re that intelligent and you give them a compliment and they say, “It was nothing?” A friend who’s attractive physically and you’d say, “You look great in that outfit.” They say, “I’m a little fat.” You’ve had that experience. Everyone had that experience.
That’s an example of trying to change someone’s sense of identity. Their identity says, “No, I’m not.” Speaking to you as someone who’s done a tremendous amount of change work with people, it’s relatively easy to change people’s beliefs about their skills and their behavior. It’s incredibly difficult to change people’s beliefs about who they are and their sense of identity. This is why psychotherapy can take so long and often doesn’t work because they’re going after the sense of identity before they go after what people believe they can do.
When these negative beliefs come up like I just can’t charge what I’m worth, I have to negotiate down my price, or I have to give away free information instead of arguing with it and saying, “No, I don’t.” You simply say, “Up until now, it was my experience that I didn’t charge what I’m worth.” That takes the limiting belief. The unconscious mind says, “You’re listening to me. You’re understanding that you did have the problem. Now, I can feel free to release it and not have these limiting beliefs come up anymore or come up as strongly.”
For myself and others reading, up until now, it was my experience that I procrastinated or up until now, it’s my experience that I put myself on sale and gave a lot of discounts. How many times do you have to say this in order for something to start to change that behavior?
Very rapidly. I would say within 30 repetitions. That may seem a lot but 30 repetitions maybe is one day. The second part of that is you have to add something in. We’ve eliminated the negative. Now, let’s put in the positive. Instead of saying, “I am an expert at charging what I’m worth,” that’s a little bit of a stretch. You say, “Now, I claim my skill at charging what I’m worth.” We don’t want to aim at identity. We want to aim at skill because the unconscious mind is a master at learning new skills. You say, “Up until now, I couldn’t charge what I’m worth and now, I claim my skill at charging, what I’m worth.”
We take the limiting belief. We take away its power through up until now, then we tack onto it a belief about what we can learn to do. This is so much more powerful than making, “I am an excellent master salesperson of my skillset,” because your unconscious mind is going to go, “No, you’re not.” If you say, “Now, I claim my quick learning of my powerful skills to charge what I’m worth.” It makes a tremendous change rapidly and quickly in a matter of 4 or 5 days. If you can’t take 4 or 5 days to massive turnaround in your thinking, then you’ve got another problem.
It’s time to get a job. I have an example that I’d like to walk through. Two students in my Sales Master Momentum classes are part of Profit First. A lot of you reading probably know Mike Michalowicz and Ron and the Profit First Community. There’s the thing called Profit First University, where they need to study about an hour or two per week to brush up on the skills, but someone procrastinates and never does it. What would these two students say, who have been putting off profit first, not making it a priority, but they know they want to, and they know they need to, even though they’re so busy? It’s the tax season. There’s so much going on with PPP and EIDL and all their business clients. They’re so overwhelmed. They want to make this hour or two a week a commitment. How would they shift what they say?
The answer is in the language that you used. Our language always contains the answer if we examine it carefully. The word want is a terrible word for moving forward. It’s a great word to torture yourself suddenly. To unpack it and make it simple. I could say, “I want to go to the gym today,” and I could sit on the couch and eat hostess cupcakes and watch SpongeBob SquarePants, meeting that condition of want. I want to go to the gym. Instead, you want to use what I call ownership words like claim. “I claim my studying of this module of Profit First University for my success and my abundance now.” When you say, “I claim my studying of my module of Profit First University for my abundance and success now,” that will drive you forward because claim makes it something that you own. Ownership puts you into motion. Wanting gives you the delusion that you’re moving forward. Stop wanting.
It’s just going to be a little bit of a challenge. You’re going to need 30 repetitions or Michelle’s world and from others, I’ve heard it takes 80 to 90 for some of us who are a little slow learner. For me, it’s that many. We talked about changing and getting rid of the word want and putting in claim. Talking about a skill set and not talking about the character of the person or identity. What would be the third thing that we should be focusing on to get out of our own way?
The third thing is super subtle. I’m going to make the claim that no one else in the world of sales or self-improvement has figured this one out. I’ll unpack it by asking you a question. How many times have you heard the piece of advice, “Just learn from your mistakes?” Have you ever heard of that piece of advice?
All the time. I’ve had my slew of mistakes. I call it my $2 million MBA program that I put myself through for years. I’ve learned from my mistakes.
Does anyone specifically give you an exact process for learning from your mistakes? Do any of those people who tell you to learn from your mistakes give you a process to do it?
No. I think the process is don’t do it again.
That doesn’t give you anywhere to go. The problem here is not confidence or a discipline problem. It’s a crappy learning strategy. What you want to do the third way of getting out of your way is to be able to see what you did without gluing it back to you. When I used to do dating coaching, I would say, “How many guys here have made a big mistake with a lady that they would like to date?” Every hand would go up. “How many of you have dwelled on that mistake at least 500 times?” Every hand would stay up. “How many you dwelt on it 1,000 times?” Every hand would stay up.
“How many have dwelled on this while you’re driving your car or eating lunch?” Every hand stayed up. Humans have a natural twisted tendency to dwell on mistakes. Not because you’re a self-torturer or you hate yourself. It’s simply a bad learning strategy. Here’s a Law of the Brain. The brain can’t tell the difference between what you dwell on and repeat in your mind over and over. What you’re programming it to do is the action you’re going to take.
You need to be able to look at your mistakes without gluing yourself to them. That requires that you develop a little state of what I call witness consciousness which simply means you devote a little bit of your time every day to very simple meditation practice. I meditate. It’s changed my life. When you meditate, you’re able to witness what’s going on without getting absorbed into it. I teach all my clients and students a very simple nonreligious, non-spiritual meditation practice. It’s just paying attention to what’s going on to breathe the sound.
Over time, that will enable you to look at anything that’s going on and see what you did right. I teach my students to always look at what you did right first because we live in a culture that emphasizes what’s wrong. Next, ask yourself this good question which is, “What would I have done differently if I had already mastered the skill?” That context your deep, unconscious, creative mind. Ask yourself these questions. What did I do right? What would I have done differently if I had already mastered the skill? The final question is, how would I have done this if I had the skillset of, then name someone who would like you to mentor you, or what would my mentor have told me to do?
This is why I believe the power of mentorship is amazing. I have two mentors in my business and I have coaches for other aspects of my personal life. This is why I believe that learning from someone like you who’s already walked the path is vital. There’s one piece of advice I want to share with your readers. It has changed my life which is, “Fools seek opinions, wise people seek counsel.” The difference is, opinions come from people who have not walked the path. Counsel comes from people who have walked the path and are getting the results that you claim for yourself. This is why they need to study from someone like you because you walked the path. You’ve been there.
I always talk about that. I can’t work with a handful of you if I haven’t already done it myself. I have proven I can sell bookkeeping and tax plans. I can sell it and not even be the CPA, EA, or accountant because as long as I know that the professional who I’m selling for is credible and will do the right thing for the client. You have to believe in it. I do believe, why seek counsel? I always go to seek counsel because even for my business or anything that I’ve done, I was the fool at sometimes then got some opinions, but why reinvent the wheel? I’ve heard this from a lot of accountants. “I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. I can’t get off this hamster wheel. If I try to do this myself, it’s going to take 5, 10 times longer.” This is a lot to start changing what you’re saying to yourself and start changing those thoughts. The wise seek counsel, and even you, who have been doing this for so long, have two mentors.
I want to add Michelle that you are one of my unofficial mentors because I do know you personally in terms of entrepreneurship because you’re so good at it. You’re also 1 of the top 3 salespeople I’ve ever met in my life. You can sell anything. You’re a genius.
Thank you. I appreciate that. We each have a unique genius. At the end of this show, I’m going to share a personal story about how I’m going to answer these questions that Paul shared with us so beautifully. You can see the process that you need to take yourself through because you can listen to all the podcasts you want, but it’s time to take action. Action is where the change will start to happen. Paul, is there anything else that you would like to add for someone who wants to get out of their own way? They’re sick and tired of how they’ve been going and they’re ready to do the work to make the change.
This is going to be a little metaphysical and woo-woo but my heart has been touched by this subtle practice which is to eliminate envy. When you’re envious of someone who’s more successful than you, you send a deep message to your unconscious that you don’t believe you can have it for yourself. I’m holding $1 in my hand and no one is envious of me because we all believe we can have $1. When you envy someone who’s further down the path, you’re sending a deep, hidden, unconscious signal to your unconscious mind. If you believe in your spirit, then your spirit, I’m not going to get into those debates, say you can’t have it. That will cancel out or make all of your conscious efforts very difficult.
When you see someone who’s further down the path, use your own words just bless them. Be happy for their success and claim mentorship. I used to be very envious of people who were more successful. Through my meditation, my wisdom said, “No.” When you see someone who’s got a Rolls Royce, you’ll bless them and say, “Enjoy it. May you be happy with it.” Bless everyone for their success when they’re further along the path, claim mentorship, and learning from whoever you can.
Envy is the biggest enemy. It’s beyond self-doubt, beyond sabotage, get rid of envy any way you can. Throw it in the trash, write notes, and burn the notes. Anything you can and practice blessing everyone who’s further down the path of prosperity, success, and you are. I promise you, it will open up a gate to something. I believe in life sometimes, we write our own story. Sometimes, life writes our story for us. In order to be truly successful and happy, we have to bless the success of others as well as be grateful for our own.
I talked to a lot of accountants, who inquire about my eight-week sales mastery training or other programs and courses I have. I hear, “I want to have that $500,000 firm or that $1 million firm.” “I want to be able to go travel like another firm owner.” It’s about, as you said, envy is the enemy, but saying how happy you are for them, congrats, and reach out to them for counsel and coaching.Fools seek opinions, wise people seek counsel. Click To Tweet
You can’t do that if you’re envious of them.
No, you cannot. Thank you so much, Paul, for being here with us on The Abundant Accountant Podcast. It was an honor to have you as always. I’m looking forward to having you back for another special topic.
How can they find your book?
Please go to Amazon, look for Subtle Words That Sell: How To Get Your Prospects To Convince Themselves To Buy And Add Top Dollars To Your Bottom Line!. It’s by Paul Ross. You’ll love the book. It’ll fry your brain like bacon in a pan.
Thank you for being here and have a beautiful day, everybody.
Thank you all so much for joining me here on The Abundant Accountant Podcast. It was an honor to be here. I want to recap it with the area that I struggle with. Picking a niche. I had another show that is still there if you want to go listen to all the episodes called Success Unfiltered. I started The Abundant Accountant Podcast in October of 2018. We all learn from our mistakes but it took me another two years to learn from my previous mistakes that FITzee Foods about being too broad. It wasn’t niche enough and Success Unfiltered wasn’t niche enough. There’s no lesson to learn from our mistakes. It’s seeing it firsthand and claiming it. Making sure you own it like we talked about because when people say, “Just learn from your mistakes,” sometimes it doesn’t happen. It takes a lot of time and a lot of mistakes to learn from it.
Meditate. If you need an app, you can use an app called Calm. A bunch of people I know uses that or there’re things on YouTube. We can always learn from our mistakes but at our own pace. Keep that in mind, reflect on it, wipe your hands clean, and keep it moving. Just a reminder, if you want to look at the mistakes that you’ve made with your sales process in your firm and you have fear that’s holding you back from creating the firm and life of your dreams and things are not going as planned. You might possibly see that anything is possible in the next 3 to 6 months.
I invite you to book a call with me over at TheAbundantCall.com. Imagine, if you had the confidence to ask for higher fees, or if you had a strategy to raise your rates for your existing clients, not even new ones, know how to talk to clients and have them be willing to pay you the fees that you want with a proven system. If you’re open to getting to the truth of that conversation then head on over to TheAbundantCall.com to have that discussion. I worked with Kate and she earned back her investment in one week by taking our eight-week sales mastery training. Shauna gained confidence in letting go of her PITA clients.
How many of us fear not only charging and increasing the fees of our existing clients but letting go of them. The ones that aren’t willing to pay you the actual fees you should have charged them two years ago. She also generated $11,500 in additional revenue in eight weeks. Her videos are on the page. Head on over to TheAbundantCall.com. I look forward to talking to some of you. Again, you must have been in business for at least two years or are doing over $100,000 in revenue. With that said, have a beautiful day. I will see you in the next episode.
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- Subtle Words That Sell: How To Get Your Prospects To Convince Themselves To Buy And Add Top Dollars To Your Bottom Line! – Amazon
- Success Unfiltered
About Paul Ross
Paul Ross is an author, speaker, trainer, Master Hypnotist, and Master of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. For the past 30 years he’s taught tens of thousands of people the power of language to persuade, influence, sell, heal and turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.
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