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Insurmountable problem? Stick your tongue out and call it a rude name!

If you face a problem the size of Mount Everest, remember there are around seven lower camps before you reach the summit!

The point here is that you have to make a start.

I coached a guy who was in considerable debt of around £175,000.  And, whilst he was paying the interest, He said of the capital:  “It’s pointless me trying to pay it off – I’ll never do it!”

But he was wrong… here’s what he did…

(And, by the way, he was a merchant banker and could not be seen to go bankrupt or even make a deal with his creditors).

So – during our coaching sessions it emerged he played in a local pop band.  They performed about twice a week and he would get paid on average £50 a gig.  So, why not throw your £50 gig money at your debt? I suggested. Guess what he said? Yup: “It’s pointless me trying to pay it off – I’ll never do it!”

He was helpless, powerless and a victim to the debt.  He as telling himself a story of impossible summits, huge mountains – insurmountable problems.

What he didn’t realise was the power he DID have.  The power to shake a stick at the ‘mountain’… to kick its shins. To stick his tongue out and call it a rude name. In other words, to change the story he was telling himself.

Ultimately, I recommended that he commit to pay just his next six gigs money toward the capital debt.  He reluctantly agreed.

In under two months he called me “Andy, he said, You were right.  I don’t miss that gig money at all and I have started to eat into the debt…”  During our conversation, my client told me that he felt more in charge and confident.  He noticed that his attitude had changed;  “ I’m bigger than the debt and I’m going to kick its (well, you get the idea!).

Remember, his financial circumstances had not changed at that point – but his “Insurmountable Problem” mindset had!  5 years later and he is free of that debt… not because he paid it off £50 a week – but because his attitude towards it changed.  He developed a couple more repayment strategies and started to lump more into paying it off.  He got a promotion which saw more money coming in (along with a couple of nice bonuses).  The final piece was a chunky £50,000 bonus last year.

He said (and I quote): “If that debt had remained at £175 grand, I would not have used any of my bonus to pay it off.  However, it stood at £55,000 and, with a bit of juggling, I am now free”.

And it started by throwing £50 gig money at it.  It put him back in control.  More positive.  More powerful.  He applied himself to the issue by taking the first step… and it led him to achieve what he had thought of as impossible.

 I tell you now the guy looks 20 years younger.

Yoo wisdom:  Whatever you want to achieve, choose to take the first easy step… it honestly has magic in it.  Before you know it, you may not have scaled Mount Everest – but you’ll feel on top of the world.  Who knows what you could achieve by taking that first easy step!

Be your best Yoo


Andy and the team at Yoo

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