AMY PORTERFIELD: “If you're not celebrating the wins and coming that far, wherever you started versus where you're at, then you will never want to stay in the game. I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs come and go over the thirteen years, people that were really in the game, meaning they were Internet marketers, they were building their businesses around all these different topics, and they are nowhere to be seen anymore. I'm assuming they went to a nine-to-five job. I don't know. But I think a lot of them lived in the gap. They couldn't hit their goals, so that's all they knew. And they said, ‘I'm not worthy of this entrepreneurial lifestyle. I'm not hitting the goals that I set for myself,’ instead of looking at how far they've come.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY: Let me tell you about a podcast that I'm loving. It's called My First Million. It's hosted by Sam Parr and Shaan Puri. And I say it's the audio destination for business professionals. So My First Million features really amazing guests, like Gary Vee, Sophia Amoruso, and Hasan Minhaj, where they're sharing their secrets for how they made their first million and how to apply their learnings to capitalize on today's business trends and opportunities. So with topics like how entrepreneurs can prepare for economic collapse or controversial business lessons or behind-the-scenes content, the stories of how people become millionaires is fascinating to me, and I think you are going to love it. So you can listen to My First Million wherever you listen to podcasts.
Well, hey, there. Welcome back to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy.
So, you’ve probably heard me talk about the book The Gap and the Gain by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy because this book has changed my life. It really has. And that sounds dramatic, but I'm telling you, it's the truth. And I've talked about it over and over and over again, and I thought, “Well, some of you are not in my digital courses or in my private Facebook groups, my communities, so you don't hear me talk about this.” So for those of you who have never heard me talk about this, buckle up, because this is going to be your next read, and I'm going to tell you why.
But I really want to talk about the concept that I learned in the book. I want to share this concept with you because I think it's extremely powerful for every single entrepreneur. I, then, want to share how I've been living in the gap. I want to just, like, you know I like to tell on myself on this podcast. So I'm going to talk to you about my years of living in the gap and how I moved to living in the gain and, really, how I made the shift. And then, after that, we’re going into some important mindset shifts that you can implement to make sure you're spending time in the gain, which is literally what is going to get you to the results that you want. Living in the gap will not get you there; living in the gain will.
Okay. So what the heck is the gap and the gain? The gap essentially means that you're living your life and aiming for goals in a way that has been determined by someone or something outside of yourself. So something externally. You're not just focused on the external goals, but on how far you are from attaining them. That's where the gap comes in. You look at where you are and where you want to be, and all you see is this big, wide gap of not being there yet. What you've done wrong, your setbacks, your challenges, where you're weak, you just see this big ocean of gap. I am not there. Okay? So that's so easy to look at and so easy to identify, right? We can all identify a gap, like, in our sleep, right? This is not just me; I hope you just said yes.
Okay. Now the gain means you're living life and measuring your success on your own terms. So a self-determined life. Now, when you are looking at the gain, you are looking backwards and seeing how far you've come. So if I'm doing a launch, and my goal is ten million, and—actually, let's put this in realistic terms for many of my students who are just starting out. That's ridiculous, ten million. Who starts there? So if you're doing a launch and your goal is to make twenty thousand dollars with your first launch, and you made ten, you're looking back and you're saying, “Well, I've never made a dollar with a digital course online, and I just made ten thousand dollars. So I have come a long way. Sure, I didn’t get to twenty thousand yet, and I feel kind of disappointed, and I'm bummed. But look how far I've come. What can I do next time? How can I use what I've done here—looking back, what did I just do? How can I use that?— to then double it and hit that twenty thousand next time? It's a mental shift, but, my friends, it's powerful.
So, again, the gain means you're living life and measuring your success on your terms. It's a self-determined life. The reason the gain serves you better than living in the gap is that when you have an internal reference point for your life, for your goals, an internal reference point, you are in charge of making the final call when it comes to what success looks like and how you define it. And that's totally regardless of what other people think or expect, and totally regardless if you hit a specific number or not. You're focused on how far you've come from the starting point. That's powerful, right? It was so, like, yeah, that makes sense, but it's not something I had been doing.
So let's talk about this and how it applies to us as entrepreneurs. I said I have lived in the gap for a long time. It's ingrained in my mind that if I'm not living in the gap or in my weakness or my lack, how the heck will I ever get better? This is deeply ingrained in me.
Like, growing up—you guys have heard about how hard my dad was on me and because—and believe me. I bring up my dad. I love him dearly. I've been to therapy. I'm moving on. But the truth is, that truly was how I was raised. Like, if I didn't get to a specific goal, then I've messed up. There's a huge gap, and what am I going to do about that? And then I just took all of that, and I just became really hard on myself. So it's not my dad's fault anymore; I just do this to myself.
So when I wasn’t hitting a goal—like I mentioned earlier, let's say if the goal was a million dollars and I made eight hundred thousand, all I would focus on is the two hundred thousand.
Now, let's talk about how wild this is. I'm going to take it in terms of bigger numbers, even though many of you are starting out, but this is something to aspire to. A lot of digital-course creators, their ultimate goal is to have a million-dollar launch. I remember I aspired to it for many, many years until I hit it. So a million dollars, something I'd never done in my business. And let's say I made eight hundred thousand dollars, so I'm two hundred thousand dollars behind that goal. Instead of focusing on eight hundred thousand dollars—which, that is mind boggling that we can make that much money in a launch, right? Like, people do not make that in their nine-to-five jobs. It's wild what we can do with digital courses—and so instead of focusing on, “I just made eight hundred thousand dollars in ten days,” I would say, “I was two hundred thousand dollars short.” I focused more on two hundred thousand dollars than eight hundred thousand dollars. When you look at it that way, it seems bonkers, right?
But I just, I would beat myself up. I would stay in the gap. What am I going to do next time? Why did I miss it? My business isn't as good as it used to be, whatever. All of these silly things I tell myself.
And then, the genuine fear was if—and I told Michael Hyatt this. So Michael Hyatt is my business coach. I told him, “Michael,” because he introduced me to this concept, and I said, “If I don't focus on what I missed, I will never push myself hard enough. I'll never move forward, I'll never improve. I'll stay small. I'll never reach my big goals.” And he said, “How is that working for you? How does that make you feel, to focus on the two hundred thousand dollars versus the eight hundred thousand dollars? And how does that actually slow you down?” And he asked these questions, and I'm like, “Oh, well, it makes me feel horrible, actually. And I just spend all the time beating myself up.”
And I said, “But hold on. I have to address, like—” let's say, so I have a team. You all know I have a team of, like, twenty full-time employees. And what I don't like is that if we miss a goal, I don't want to say, like, “But look how far we've come. No biggie, no big deal. We had a goal. We didn't hit it. But look how far we've come.” I said, “Michael, that feels fake to me.” And he said, “Look, you can address your team and say,’ We didn't make it. That's a bummer. We're disappointed. I really wanted to hit that goal. And there's some things we need to fix and tweak in order to make that. And so we're going to do a debrief. We're going to look at our setbacks and how we can do it next time.’ Great. End of discussion.” He says, “Then you say, ‘But look how far we've come. Look what we did. Here's what worked. Here's what I'm really proud of.’”
Because when you're dealing with a team or yourself, if you're not celebrating the wins and coming that far, wherever you started versus where you're at, then you will never want to stay in the gain. I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs come and go over the thirteen years, people that were really in the gain, meaning they were Internet marketers, they were building their businesses around all these different topics, and they are nowhere to be seen anymore. I'm assuming they went to a nine-to-five job. I don't know. But I think a lot of them lived in the gap. They couldn't hit their goals, so that's all they knew, and they said, “I'm not worthy of this entrepreneurial lifestyle. I'm not hitting the goals that I set for myself,” instead of looking at how far they've come.
And so I, too, was in that. I thought that was the way to go. And I know that I'm not alone here. It's very clearly part of our culture and a very masculine approach to goals as well, to keep pushing hard. Go, go, go. Good enough is never good enough. And if you miss a goal, no matter how close you were, you need to do better.
However—and I say it's a very masculine way to do it. But two gentlemen wrote this book, The Gap and the Gain. And I realized that when I look back on how I've approached any goal in my past, big or small, beating myself up never served me. So even though I'm still in the gain—so I lived in the gap forever, but I've still been successful, I think it's because I've surrounded myself with people that have lived in the gain. I really do believe this. I got lucky because I have coaches that live in the gain. I have really best entrepreneurial friends that live in the gain. So I always got a taste of it, kind of to bring me back. Thank God, because I wasn't the person living in the gain for a long time.
Here's something I know: not only has it never served me to live in the gap, it's never served anybody. It reminds me—remember how Dr. Phil, I don't know if he still says this, but he says, like, “How's that working for you? How's that working for you when someone’s like, ‘I'm really upset that she cheated on me.’” I'm thinking about one of his shows, where someone cheated on someone. “And I'm really mad every day. “And he's like, “So how's that working for you?”
And that goes for living in the gap as well. I've had to say that to myself because it just was not working for me. Instead, it felt like me feeling—I felt like I was always behind or always missing the mark or always less than.
Now, why I also got lucky—I like to share really what my truth is in my business is I've been very fortunate to hit many, many, many goals. I think 2021 was a huge shock to me when I didn't hit some goals that I set for myself, because I was so used to hitting those goals. And I often say that I think that the universe, God, did that for me to not hit those goals in 2021 because I had done so well for so long that I could have lost touch with what my students were feeling. And when I didn't hit that goal, a big goal I set for myself in 2021 for one of my launches, I swear, in the moment I thought, “Well, this is how some of my students who are just getting started or been at it for a while and it's not working for them, this is how they're feeling. And I have to be able to relate to that,” which, then, kind of got me on the path to, how could I serve them now that I remember what this feels like? And that’s why I wanted to step up to the plate. And shortly after, I found this book, and it's like, “Oh, this can help me, but I can use it to help my students as well.”
So I hate to tell you that I lived in the gap that long, and I had a lot of blessings around me to help me bring me back into the gain when I didn't even know it. But until I read this book, I didn't realize, “Holy cow, I can create a whole different narrative.”
Now, yes, I can acknowledge that I didn't hit the goal. I already mentioned that. Brainstorm ways to do it better next time. But I also need to give equal airtime—or not even equal. More airtime, more thought time—to the other side. “Look how far I've come. Look what I've gained. I went from zero to however many in this launch. Look at that. That's amazing.”
We recently did a really big launch, and I missed a massive multimillion-dollar goal by a hundred thousand dollars. And I felt like I busted through that goal. I didn't even care. Meaning, I got beautiful, new, wonderful students that are super engaged in my program. My team and I, which I'll talk about this in future episodes, tried some new launching things that worked like gangbusters. During the launch, we pivoted and did something different that I've never done before, and it made a huge difference. So when I was a hundred thousand dollars off from this multimillion-dollar goal, I was like, “Boom, we did it.” It was the wildest thing. The old me would have been like, “Ah, dang it. We're so, so close.” The new me that lives in the gain, I felt like I had hit it already, because all I cared about was how far we had come, and we were a little bit behind in the launch, and we did some new things, and we got it, and my team rallied. That’s all I focused on. I was so freakin’ excited.
Now, if we were millions off, I would have had to really, really work on that gain. “Stay in the gain, Amy. Stay in the gain.” It was a little easier for me to stay in the gain because we weren't that far off. But I really do believe, because I've done the work, that I would have stayed in it, in the gain, no matter what. I made that decision before we made one dollar with our launch. And I think that's a big deal right there.
So again, I'm focusing on what worked well. What can we do more of? What do we want to do next times? And also staying in gratitude and appreciation. I was so grateful for my team during my launch. I was so grateful for the boot camp we did with these beautiful souls that were so freaking engaged. There was so much excitement.
So the concept of measuring backwards is so important. That means you're focusing on where you've been and how far you've come, not how much you've missed out on. And this changes your perspective in a huge way. The more you notice that you're spending time in the gap and pulling yourself into the gain, the easier it becomes.
So for me, I'll notice I'm in the gap. Like, it doesn't go away. I still go to the gap. But then I'm like, “No, let's go back.” And I taught this to Hobie. He didn't read the book, because he's not a big reader. I wish he was, but he's not. And so I explained the concept, and now when he's in the gap or I'm in the gap, we say, “Hey, how can you get into the gain?” So we even call ourselves on it, which I love.
So this powerful shift is enough to get me inspired, like, light a fire in me. And I was hoping that it could do so for you. So, yes, you can totally acknowledge that you didn't reach the goal. You can acknowledge that you're frustrated; you're bummed; you're disappointed. But then, I want you to do your very best to get back in the gain. You take imperfect action when you're in the gain. You don't always have all the answers, but you get into action to get more clarity.
Remember, it starts with courage, you get going, and then confidence comes from doing; often doing, messing up; doing, messing up; doing, and then jackpot, you got it. And that's where that confidence comes from. But once you start taking action, you want to use this concept of living in the gain by just being grateful for how far you've come and what you've learned.
So I hope you loved this Shorty episode. I hope you found it valuable. Thank you so much for spending time with me.
The reason I do these episodes, these Shorty episodes, that are a little bit more personal and maybe with a mindset shift to them is that I can teach you every strategy that I've got that will absolutely help you make hundreds of thousands of dollars. But if your head space is not in a place that supports you versus takes you down, then all those strategies will not matter. So I hope you take these episodes just as serious as you do my step-by-step list-building webinars, digital-course-type episodes as well.
Thank you for being here. And if you've never left me a review for my podcast, would you consider doing so? It makes a big difference. The more reviews I get, the more my podcast is pushed out to people that really need some extra entrepreneurial support, and I'd love to reach them. So if you've got a few minutes, leave me a review. I read every single one of them.
Thanks so much for tuning in, and I'll see you soon for more entrepreneurial goodness, same time, same place. Bye for now.
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