We all had those moments when we’re on the brink of a meltdown because of the chaos around us. Whether it’s in your work or your personal life, chaos is inevitable, and we must accept that. Author, speaker, master sales trainer, and hypnotizer, Paul Ross is the CEO and Head Trainer at Subtle Words That Sell where he teaches salespeople how to find success. He is also the author of Subtle Words That Sell. Join Michelle Weinstein in this lovely conversation with Paul about maintaining realistic expectations and informed enthusiasm in the face of overwhelming chaos.
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How To Maintain Realistic Motivation & Informed Enthusiasm In The Face Of Chaos With Paul Ross
We have a special guest on the show. Our special guest is an author, speaker, trainer, master hypnotist and a master of neuro-linguistic programming. For years, he’s taught tens and thousands of people the power of language to persuade, influence, sell, heal and turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. I will also give you information on his book, too. Before we dive into this episode, I want to end the grind where you feel constantly frustrated and stressed having no control over who you are working with or even knowing how much you can charge for your services.
I’ve got a question for you. Imagine if you had the confidence to ask for higher fees or a strategy to raise those rates for existing clients without them having to bat an eye and get paid what you are worth. Imagine if you never had a feeling that you had too much on your plate and that you didn’t have enough revenue to hire another person. If you have tried other programs, maybe you have even talked to me or my team in the past, you are tired of waiting it out and you still aren’t getting those right clients. I invite you to schedule a call with me and my team for our eight-week Sales Mastery Training to go into more depth. You can do that by going to AbundantCall.com. There’s a video there.
You will see that Ross tripled his rates and his reoccurring revenue is up to $4,000 per month. Marian and Jody did $25,000 in additional fees and revenue this past December in 2020 when typically, they don’t have any revenue. Once again, head on over to AbundantCall.com to book your complimentary call if your business has been around for at least two years or you do over $100,000 in revenue in your firm. I look forward to connecting with some of you there. Let’s welcome, Paul, to the show.
Welcome to the show, Paul.
Thank you, Michelle. It’s always a pleasure to be speaking to a brilliant mind like yours. Of course, addressing your audience is always an honor.
I and all of the accountants reading are excited about the discussion because it is extremely chaotic. A lot of accountants are not only dealing with regular tax stuff but PPP, EIDL, clients coming to them with eight million questions, forgiveness, new tax laws and 2021 top issues. We are going to talk about how to maintain realistic motivation and informed enthusiasm in the face of chaos. Make sure you have your yellow notepad, your legal pad that’s sitting in the stack of papers right next to you and a pen or a pencil. Paul, before we start, can you give everyone a little bit of your background?
I am a speaker and author of an amazing book called Subtle Words That Sell. I am interestingly enough a Master Hypnotist. I put thousands of people in a trance. More importantly, I have helped thousands of people awaken from their trances of impossibility, can’t-do, despair, envy, and taught them to create their states of mind that serve them better. I am a Master Practitioner and trained in NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming. If you follow Tony Robbins, you will have a good idea of what that is. I’m also a pretty good healer using NLP and hypnosis. I like to cure phobias like stage fright, fear of public speaking and social anxiety.
It sounds like you’ve got a lot of experience. We are going to talk about one specific thing. If they are interested in your book, Subtle Words That Sell, where can they find that?
They can grab it on Amazon. I have an entire rapid sales acceleration and training that they can get for free. Go to PaulRossBook.com. It’s got a 23-minute audio training, the first four chapters on my book and a special report on crushing objections.When you run your own business, you're either sailing into the storm, in the storm, or sailing out of the storm. Click To Tweet
Let’s dive into this episode because it is chaotic. For those of you that don’t know, I work with accountants. I always hear about chaos. Let me read to you a few things I hear, “I have no time to work on my business while still working in my business.” I also hear this, “I’m the owner, the CPA. I have three employees. I have too much on my plate and not enough revenue to hire another person at the moment.” They are in that chicken and the egg situation equaling chaos.
This one is good. “I’m the person in charge. I don’t have any clue what’s going on in my sales process.” The final one I want to share with you is good. This is one that when I hear of chaos, I’m like, “That sounds pretty chaotic to me.” It goes, “Michelle, the whole sales process is overwhelming. We have learned much. We have done upwards of $30,000 in revenue but I feel like I need to hire a salesperson to take all this over.” They are in such chaos. They are two firm owners. A husband and wife on the firm. That’s what we are going to talk about.
For all of those examples, what do you think is the first thing an accountant should do who owns the firm who finds themself in chaos? Think about a tornado. You are in the middle of the tornado and it’s spinning around. If you are down in South Florida, you are probably thinking, “Michelle, I have hurricanes down here.” You are in the middle of the hurricane spinning around and you have no idea how you are going to land on the other side.
You used that metaphor of weather because a mentor of mine once said, “If you are an entrepreneur running your own business, you are either sailing into a storm, in a storm or out of the storm,” which is true. Let’s make a distinction between overwhelm and chaos. Overwhelm and chaos are closely related. One is virtually overlapping the other. We need to step back and have a look at some of the false expectations about the sales process, motivation and what it means to have an informed motivation and intelligent enthusiasm.
Are we going to define overwhelm and chaos until we get to the bottom of that and the differences?
Yes. Overwhelm means you simply have too much on your plate to do. Chaos means that you do the right thing and the predicted results still don’t happen because of factors that you can’t foresee and that are outside of your control. Let me unpack chaos. I will keep it simple and non-technical because I know when we have multiple discussions, you tend to pull me back from my technical nerd boy wanting to dive into jargon. I appreciate that about you.
It needs to be in Michelle’s speaks. Talk to me like I’m in fourth grade so we all get this.
Michelle, you are one of those brilliant human beings I have ever had the privilege of calling friends. Let’s have none of that. Let me give you a metaphor. Too many people are in the world of sales. You are always selling. I don’t care what you think you are doing, you’ve got to sell. Even if you have employees who are selling for you, you’ve got to sell with them on the notion that they can do the goals that you set for them. In any case, too many people have what I call the vending machine theory of selling.
You put in your $0.50 of consistency, $0.50 of asking the qualifying questions and $0.50 of doing your clothes. You push the button and out comes the candy bar, the sale. The problem with that model is it’s too linear. Oftentimes, your factor is way beyond our control that we can’t foresee or predict. For example, the person you are selling to got into a fight with their spouse the next day and the spouse says, “You never share anything with me.” They are emotional. You can’t overcome that. They might get hit with a huge tax bill. Ironically, they can’t afford your services or so they think.
The bottom line is, in selling, there are going to be factors outside of your control. That’s first and foremost. If you fail to recognize that, then you are going to consistently be disappointed because you are going to think, “I could have made that work.” When in fact, sometimes you can’t. It’s the way it works. If you study under a great mentor like you and you learn your processes, it will work more often than not but you have to accept that sometimes the process is chaotic. There will be times when you don’t even understand why that deal didn’t close.
Instead of beating yourself up and constantly asking questions that can’t be answered, you have to learn when to let go. The antidote to chaos is number one, recognizing that it’s an inherent part of what you are doing. It doesn’t mean you are failing. Second, having the ability to say, “I don’t need to control every outcome. I don’t need to have things always go my way.” There’s a difference between control and influence. We can never fully control what happens but we can sure attack and have a strong influence. Does that make sense?
That makes sense. Do you have a real example for us that you can share that you experienced chaos? You learned to let it go. You recognized the inherent output of that and you were able to say, “This is an area I don’t have control over,” so we can have a tangible example.
I like to say I’m the most expensive coach and trainer you can’t wait to hire because it’s true. You have to open a pretty big check to work with me. I had a client who was ready to sign on for $50,000 for six months of coaching. A nice paycheck. I could use that paycheck to pay off some debt and some tax debt, etc. He was ready to go. He gave me the first third of what I require. The next day, I kid you not, his wife served him with divorce papers. His world crumbled. He called me and said, “I can’t do any training with you at all. My world has been turned upside down. I’m going to have legal fees. I don’t know what she’s going to get from me. Can you refund my first payment?” My policy is if I can’t help people, then I don’t want their money. Conversely, when I help people, I deserve what I’m paid. I was upset. I was already counting what that $50,000 could do.
It took me a while. I had to sit and meditate with it. Experience all my feelings of frustration and confusion. This may sound hokey, I brought him up in my mind and I said, “Thank you for showing up as my teacher and my guide. I bless you and send you on your way.” I took the person who sent chaos into my life. I thanked him for showing up as my teacher, blessed him and sent him on his way. That sounds woo-woo, new age and mystical but I’m telling you, it allowed me to recover from it instead of moping in it and dwelling in it for a week to ten days. I’ve got over it in a matter of an hour and a half. Imagine when you face a deep disappointment if you can get over it in about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
That’s the part of letting it go. You walked through a little process. That sounds easy but in reality, I don’t think it’s that easy. I had a student that dealt with something similar. It was a $40,000 engagement. He performed all the services. The client wanted a refund and he did it. We had a goodbye party for that client in our group. We wiped our hands cleaned. We said, “What do we learn from that?” I know that you talk about learning from your past but sometimes there wasn’t anything. In this case, that was a bad apple. When you don’t have control of the outcome at times, that’s like a random baseball that came out of the left-field if you are sitting in the baseball stands.
There’s something else embedded in your story. They had the advantage of having you as a trainer and also having a masterminded people who could support you, which is why so many people are reading this. They need to get that having a mentor like Michelle, having a mastermind, and a group of people who can share your situation is valuable. I belong to multiple numbers of them. I have invested $350,000 to $500,000 during my lifetime in training, coaching and masterminds. That’s why any accountant, CPA, tax preparer or any of them would serve them well to inquire about having you train them and join your program. Having an expert and a group of people to hold you up is important.
You all can find something. If you don’t have a support group or a mastermind, there are a lot of accounting Facebook groups. Jackie has one, Accounting Firm Influencers. I know that even those Facebook groups can be supportive. What is the second thing that you think is the most important thing we need to do in a time of chaos? How do we have real motivation and informed enthusiasm in chaos?
When I’m thinking about the weather analogy that you said, we are either sailing into the storm or in the storm or sailing out of the storm. When we are thinking about sailing out of the storm, we want to go plop on the couch with a Netflix, a beverage of choice and a not-so-healthy snack to eat our emotions away in dealing with chaos. It could feel overwhelming. You don’t even know what you are dealing with possibly.The antidote to chaos is recognizing that it's an inherent part of what you're doing and that you don't need to control every outcome. Click To Tweet
In the face of all this, how do we maintain informed enthusiasm and realistic motivation? Have you heard of the phrase vision quest?
I have not.
Indigenous people do this where they go out into the desert and have some painful rituals. This is extreme. They are tied to a tree for seven days without food and water and they are seeking a vision. We all are told, “Let’s find our vision for our business and our lives. Write it out. Do a vision board.” You first have to have a values quest. You have to know the real values that are driving you in your business. If you say, “I want to make $500,000 so I can have financial freedom.” You need to ask what would that bring for you. What are the underlying values that drive your vision of success? Once you get clear on your values, then that becomes the anchor to be motivated and keep you enthusiastic to say, “These are the lessons that I have learned.” I know that because I take a stand for these values, whatever they are for you, that supports my vision and my vision pulls me ahead. To have a vision that pulls you ahead, you have to have a foundation of values. Know exactly your why. Why are you doing this?
We have talked about values, your why and all that. Your real-life examples and stories are the best ways to learn. Paul, what’s your value quest?
My whys come down to something my mother taught me. One of the greatest teachers in my life was my mother. Whenever I would have questions, my mother would point to the set of encyclopedias. I come from a Jewish family. For Jewish families, oftentimes, books are sacred. She pointed to the encyclopedias and she would say, “Look it up.” If I couldn’t find the answer, she would take me to the library. If the library didn’t have the answers, she would say, “Paul, you be the one to go make the answer.”
One of my values is to find answers where other people give up. Through my creativity, I create answers for people so that they can move forward with their life. Take ideas that people have never considered and offer to people in a way where they change their lives. For me, it’s using my creativity to be the best possible teacher that anyone could ever encounter. What I hear time and again from my students is that I’m the best teacher they have ever encountered.
We go through this process in the eight-week Sales Mastery Training. A lot of the whys are, “I’m good at what I do. I want to help business owners have the life of their dreams.” They are not this in-depth. How could you help everyone reading? I know the accountants when I asked them their why, they were like, “I love what I do. I’m good with numbers. I want to help businesses be profitable and not go under.” It’s like, “No, that’s not the real why.” When you ask why, that’s not going to drive you forward. What are some things that they can do to get below the surface? For you, your why is that as a kid, you’ve got to make the answers and you create answers so people can move forward in their life. That’s pretty powerful.
I had a great mom who is a great teacher. I’m going to give you a mic drop. I normally only do this to people who are VIP clients who are paying at least five figures. You know that I admire you much. You are a genius. I’m going to give it to you as a service to your clientele. Michelle is a super genius and the best salesperson I have ever met. Here it is. When I do change work with people and they are stuck, I say, “Let’s do what I call the miracle question.” If you woke up tomorrow and you achieved all your goals, everything you have always wanted and all your negative patterns were gone, how would you know? That requires you to envision it. I then ask a real question, “Why would it be important to you? Why would it be important to the people you love? Why would it be important to the world at large?” That is a deep-level question.
In hypnosis, this is called a transderivational search. It simply means that the unconscious mind will activate on all levels and seek out every possible meaning to the answer to that question. What’s the difference between saying, “What would you like to achieve is your goal and If you woke up tomorrow, and all of your goals and desires have been achieved? How would you know? Why would that be important to you? Why would it be important and matter to the people you love? Why would it be important to matter to the world around you?” One question is a factual one. The other one creates a deep search in the unconscious mind.
As a hypnotist, I also know it taps into the power of your unconscious. The power of the unconscious cannot be underestimated. That one question, write it down and journal it, “If I woke up tomorrow and I would achieve all my dreams, my desires and my goals, what would that look like? Why would it be important to me? Why would it be important to the people I love? Why would it be important to the world at large?” One of the things that stand in the way of your accountants, if I can be bold, is they don’t believe they deserve to be paid what they are worth.
Every single person reading will say true. If you think that’s true, I want you to write a review about how great this show is. You can write, “That statement that Paul said was true. We should be paid our worth.” It’s true for every accountant I have ever talked to.
Here’s another value bomb mic drop. I want everyone reading, in their little notebooks, to write out the word deserve and then cross out the D and E. What do you get?
What you deserve is equal to or greater to the degree to, which you serve. When we ask ourselves that third question, “Why would it matter to the world at large?” That requires us to think about how we would be of service. The minute your unconscious mind gets to how much you are of service to others, it makes that equation and says, “I do deserve it.” That will immediately wipe out that whole thing that you don’t deserve to be paid what you are worth. That’s one of the pain points. You don’t believe you deserve to be paid what you are worth until you are giving out information for free. You are taking on clients who are price shoppers. Once you get this deservedness down, that stuff is going to disappear. Also, follow what Michelle tells you to do.
This is the crux of it. I’m going to bring this to the next class, too. This is what I talk about for one whole class. If you don’t understand the problems that you help solve for your clients, if you think you are solving how to manage their paperwork and expenses, that’s not the root cause. We are not going to talk about that. We are talking about you, chaos, maintaining realistic motivation and informed enthusiasm in the face of chaos. Maybe you can talk a little bit about that.
The world is chaotic. This is probably the most chaos in the accounting industry that I have seen since I worked at Moss Adams back in 2000. With the laws changing and everything I shared, that’s a lot to tackle. Those are like baseballs coming at you from every direction. Where do you even begin? I always hear from my students, like you were sharing earlier, “What’s the difference between overwhelm and chaos even though it seems like the two cross paths closely?” What do we do about having informed enthusiasm?Most people don't believe they deserve to be paid what they're worth. Click To Tweet
Let’s look at the first word there. Let’s parse it, informed, this is the key. What does it mean to be informed? As we would say in NLP, “Informed about what and how?” We need to be informed, first and foremost, that enthusiasm is not something that’s going to be at the same level all the time. The idea that you are always going to be super enthusiastic all the time is not realistic. We have been sold a shoddy bill of goods about motivation and enthusiasm. The idea that we have to be super pumped up all the time that we can never get down. I don’t want to offend anybody so I’m going to tread lightly, we have to be a fan of some of these super coaches who have huge followings and filled-up arenas. We are always saying, “Yes.”
The problem with being in these pumped-up peak states is they are exhausting. Also, Michelle, if your client is not in that state, you are going to fry their circuits. Instead, we have to be informed. That means to accept the fact that your enthusiasm is simply going to wax and wane. It’s not a fixed quantity of stuff like porridge that they dole out in an orphanage. Instead, it’s a neurological response that arises in your body and your brain. It’s going to get bigger. It’s going to get smaller. At times, it’s going to flood through you. Other times, it’s going to be subtle.
The real linguistic trick is a semantic distinction is simply to be aware and be informed that your enthusiasm is not going to stay at the same level. You don’t even have to be particularly enthusiastic to do a task well. You have to be thorough, have a little bit of perspective and a sense of humor about it. One of my greatest mentors, I would say he’s the third-best mentor of my life, said, “You can be thorough without having to be serious and invested.”
What you need to do is to take on a process-oriented frame. I will unpack that. In a breakfast of bacon and eggs, one animal is invested and the other one is interested. We have to be interested in our results but invested in our process. That is how you maintain your enthusiasm. You have a process orientation rather than the outcome. You want to be interested in the outcome, of course. You realize that enthusiasm is not some fixed quality of something like porridge they give you in a bowl and you don’t get any more once you have consumed it.
It is a process that you do inside your brain and body so it’s going to get bigger and smaller. Don’t expect it to be there all the time. You are going to have disappointment and confusion, and that’s okay. As long as your enthusiasm can come back on some level, then you don’t have to believe that it always has to be there and be at a high level. You can function perfectly well staying neutral and doing what you need to do.
I have a question because a client of mine who finished up my class said that she was paralyzed by fear. Her business firm was a sinking ship. Now, she has the confidence and the ability to dream again. She has a dose of enthusiasm. She said she feels re-energized to where she was when she first started her business. How do you create that change on your own? I helped her but some people need some tools.
I would say you can do it on your own. To do it, you need to learn a process of self-hypnosis, which I teach. I’m not trying to plug myself. I’m being serious. You can go find out courses on self-hypnosis anywhere for cheap. You can go on Udemy and do it. You also have to learn to meditate. Probably a simple ten-minute, non-religious, non-spiritual, simple mindfulness meditation. That’s all the rage these days. I have been doing mindfulness since 2006 when my mother was dying of cancer. I couldn’t survive and that practice saved my life. It saved me from jumping in front of a train, metaphorically or maybe even literally. Have a meditation and a self-hypnosis practice.
I’m sure that YouTube has something on the meditation side. There are good apps like Calm and all the other apps. Thank you, Paul, for sharing that. Is there anything else that would help an accountant who’s dealing with the chaos that we haven’t touched on yet?
Learn from someone who has been there. Take on a mentor or a guide who’s got the results that you want to get and walk the path of someone whose footsteps are already there. Once again, I encourage all of you who are not a member of Michelle’s program or training, take her on. She’s taught me things and I haven’t even paid her. She’s super awesome.
Thank you, Paul, for the plug. We weren’t trying to plug that but I do teach sales. When you work with me, you are going to learn how to plug yourself or have other people do it for you gracefully. That’s how we do that here on the show in a way where you are not feeling like a nag, being bothersome, not doing it being too pushy, sleazy and all that other nonsense. We are being upfront and honest. With that being said, thank you again, Paul, for being here. One more time, how can they find your book on Amazon?
Even better, if you want my Rapid Sales Accelerator Course, go to PaulRossBook.com. You will get the first four chapters of my book, which are all about mindset.
Thank you again for being here with us on the show. It was an honor to have you.
It’s my joy, my pleasure and my honor, my friend.
Thank you for joining Paul and me on the Abundant Accountant podcast. It’s always an honor to be here. Remember to think about your true why. This is one of the areas that I see as the biggest challenge for accountants to figuring out why they do the work they do. Remember to ask those questions to yourself. If you didn’t write them down, I recommend rereading this. Remember, his why is creating the answers so people can move forward in their life. He figured that out when he was a kid. His mom would say, “You get to figure out the answers.”
If you have read a previous episode with him, he talks about when he was a kid, he would play with robots, try to break them, and then realize that when you twist the wires together and try to turn it on again, it starts to steam, break up and blow up. For me, I’m here because my why is to end the grind where you constantly are frustrated and stressed out, having no control of who you are working with like getting the reins on who you want to work with and who you don’t. How can you gain the confidence to let go of those pain-in-the-ass clients? I hear this from many of you or getting the ARs under control.
If you have accounts receivable and you are an accountant, no must. You should not have ARs. I worked with a woman, Amani. She collected $80,000 long-term outside-standing AR in eight weeks. That’s my commitment to you and my why because I see it on the other side. As I was sharing earlier in the episode with Diana, she was paralyzed by fear. Now, she is re-energized and she’s able to dream again. When I started the show, I was also re-energized. I was in the slumps before. When you can dream and be re-energized, life is a lot more fun.
With that being said, if you want to explore what it would be like working with me and our eight-week Sales Mastery Training if you have tried other programs, nothing is worked and you are tired of saying, “Now is not a good time. I’m tired of trying things out and I’m sick of reinventing the wheel.” If you want help and you are ready to commit, head on over to AbundantCall.com as long as you have had your business for at least two years or you are doing over $100,000 in revenue. I look forward to talking to some of you. I will see you in the next episode.
- Paul Ross
- Subtle Words That Sell
- Amazon – Subtle Words That Sell
- Accounting Firm Influencers – Facebook group
- Episode – Past episode
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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