Transcript: Are Unhealthy Attachments Stalling Your Business, Success, & Revenue?

November 8, 2022

AMY PORTERFIELD: “You continue to do the same thing over and over and over again and expect to see different results. And what I've seen so many do and what I've done is that I think, ‘Well, I'm just going to work harder. I'm just going to work this weekend, and I'm going to get it done. I'm going to work long hours into the night. I'm going to outwork everyone, and I'll be able to scale this business.’ Well, I think sometimes that actually can work for the short term until you hit absolute burnout and now you're no good to anyone, and you can't even get out of bed. So just working harder does not work. That is something I have learned over the years.”  

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 Online Marketing Made Easy. 

This is a Shorty episode that essentially is a “part two” to last week's Shorty episode that I did on Tuesday. So last week I introduced you to one of my most favorite books. It's a more recent book, meaning I recently read it, called The Gap and the Gain by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy.  

Now, you don't need to stop this and go listen to that episode right now. But if you did miss the episode last week, make sure to go back after this one—it's also a Shorty episode—and I explained what the gap and the gain was and how it's affected me in my business and in my personal life and how you, too, can get out of the gap and into the gain and the rewards. I talked about the rewards of living in the gain. So it's 1,000,000 percent worth it to go back and listen to that episode after you listen to this one. But they don't necessarily need to be in order.  

Okay. So the concept I want to talk about on this Shorty episode is this concept of healthy detachment versus an unhealthy attachment, so healthy detachment versus unhealthy attachment. So basically, when you're living in the gap, you're maintaining an unhealthy attachment to something externally, something that is outside of yourself.  

Now, to put it into context, in case you missed that episode, the gap is looking at what you do not have, where you have not been, the gap between where you are and where you want to be. So I used the example if you wanted to have a million-dollar launch, which is what many course creators aspire to, and you hit eight hundred thousand, all you can focus on in the gap is the two hundred thousand dollars you did not achieve. Whereas when you move into the gain, you start to focus on the eight hundred thousand dollars you did generate. And with that, you start to look at how you did that, how you could do more of the good that got you there, and really stay in this zone of opportunity. And it absolutely changes your perspective because now you are in control, you are measuring from where you've been to where you are, and you're finding more ways to keep moving forward but by using what already worked, instead of saying, “I didn't do it. I lost. I'm a loser. I haven't reached my goals,” all the negative stuff that we could absolutely say to ourselves.  

So with this idea of staying in the gap, only looking at what you didn't achieve, what you do not have, in the book, they talk about this as being an unhealthy attachment to something external. It's almost this idea that you want to avoid something or you absolutely must accomplish something, otherwise you won't be happy. So you have to avoid something or you have to accomplish something, or else you are not happy. You'll constantly be aiming for something that may be unattainable because you're spending time in the lack. And when you're in lack, we're blocking ourselves from all the opportunities that could happen for us.  

Now, on the flip side, when you're living in the gain, you have a healthy detachment from accomplishing something outside of yourself, and instead, you feel a deep sense of harmony and connection to what you're wanting to achieve, but you know that you don't need to achieve it to feel happy, successful, and complete. Instead, you'll be grateful for the journey and how far you've come. And if you listened to the last Shorty episode, this probably sounds familiar to you, because when you remove the unhealthy attachment, you create a healthy detachment, knowing that you're motivated intrinsically and that whatever you achieve will be celebrated. When we do this, we open up room for creativity and new possibilities and outlooks to present themselves to us.  

But I want to be clear. Just because you're fostering a healthy detachment does not mean that you don't have a strong desire to succeed. You don't need to throw that out the window in order to make this work. Trust me.  

I want to share a little bit about what I talked about last week, but I recently just finished the Digital Course Academy launch, and even before it started, I felt really good about the outcome, and the outcome hadn't even presented itself just yet. And as we got going, I felt at peace. The first few days of that launch—we set daily goals for our launches, and we were behind. So the first few days, like, three, four days in, we were behind in terms of where we needed to be in our goal and what felt like a pretty good stretch behind. Like, I was thinking, “Holy cow, I'm not really sure how we would make this up.” But I still—and I can prove this if you were able to talk to my coach and to some of my team members because I voiced this in the moment—I felt a sense of calm. And I felt that sense of calm because I'd been practicing living in the gain, and I knew that no matter what I was going to end up with at the end of that launch, I was still happy; I was still safe; I was still secure; I still had a track record of success in my business. So no matter what that number was going to be at the end of this launch, I felt a sense of calm and peace. And I know it came from this healthy detachment. I wasn't as tied to that end number as I had been in previous launches. And let me tell you, my friend, that changed everything for how I showed up during the launch, and I believe I showed up as my very best self.  

And I can't say that for 2021. Last year, I didn't learn the gap and the gain yet. I wasn't in a place of gain. I was absolutely looking at the gap. And I struggled to show up during that launch as my authentic self. I felt really defeated and low vibe and just, like, trudging along. I did not feel that at all this time, even when we were behind in our goal.  

So we want to avoid unhealthy attachments, including to numbers that we literally made up as a goal. But how the heck do we do that? So unhealthy detachment can be almost obsessive—have you ever felt that way?—and cause us to hold on to something so tightly, even when it's not working. I did an episode where I talked about white knuckling, and I'll post a link to that episode in the show notes of this one. But white knuckling is holding on so tight that you literally, again, become obsessed with it. And when it's not working, you hold on even tighter, which does not help anything. Einstein said it so many years ago and it remains true that we cannot keep doing something over and over and expect different results.  

And as entrepreneurs we cannot, I repeat, cannot keep doing the same things we've been doing, just harder, in order to scale our businesses. And so when you think about not hitting goals in your business or being obsessed with a number or going after something so hard that you're holding on to it, white knuckling it, you continue to do the same thing over and over and over again and expect to see different results. And what I've seen so many do and what I've done is that I think, “Well, I'm just going to work harder. I'm just going to work this weekend, and I'm going to get it done. I'm going to work long hours into the night. I'm going to outwork everyone, and I'll be able to scale this business.” Well, I think sometimes that actually can work for the short term until you hit absolute burnout and now you're no good to anyone, and you can't even get out of bed. So just working harder does not work. That is something I have learned over the years. 

So I'm going to give you another example. So this example is about how it's looked in my own business. Years ago, I had two programs, Courses That Convert, which was sold separately from another course I had called Webinars That Convert—shout out to my OGs that had either of those programs. And I was proud of these digital courses and had poured my heart and soul into them.  

But there was this big problem. We started to notice that my students would buy one of the courses and always need the other to truly succeed in creating a comprehensive online digital-course business. So with Courses That Convert, you wouldn't know how to launch it; with Webinars That Convert, you’d know how to launch, but you didn’t have anything to launch. 

So I could have certainly just been attached to keeping them separate and done more and more marketing to try to get my students to purchase that second course because the courses were selling well. That was not the problem. It was the feedback I was getting. And I think about my courses—this is so silly, but, like, I've birthed these babies. Like, when you create a course, you know how much goes into it. Especially when you launch it over and over again, it becomes part of you. And I had worked so hard on creating them and bringing them to life, so I felt very attached to these two individual courses. So for years I just went on with having two different courses and having people be very frustrated that they had to buy the other to get the results that they wanted.  

And then I realized, “Wait a second. There's a different way that I could look at this.” I didn't realize I had an unhealthy attachment to these courses, but the healthy detachment would have looked like this. “Hmm. I wonder what would happen if I combined these two topics. I wonder if I could make something even more spectacular. I wonder if I could grow my business if I was able to create a signature course where it was a one-stop shop for creation and launching.” And then I started to realize, “Wait a second. I could simplify things in my business and in my marketing, and most importantly, for my students. They'd have everything they need in one place, not to mention, make it easier for me to organize the course and update the course and market the course in my business.”  

And from that moment when I allowed myself to stop white knuckling, stop putting my foot on the ground and saying, no; these are two different courses. I’m going to stay with this. They're good courses. They're making lots of money. They're getting people results in different ways, but not the way I wanted them to get results: they had to buy the other courses to get the end result. And I didn't like that, and my students didn't like that, so I let go. I was no longer attached to these specific courses, which sounds so silly, I know, but it was very true. And I let go, and I said, “Okay, I'm going to create one course,” and that’s where Digital Course Academy was born, because I had a healthy detachment from the outcome I was going for, but still had a strong desire to succeed.  

Now, what if I had an unhealthy attachment or kept that unhealthy attachment to what I already created in these two courses? What if I just kept doing the same thing over and over again without rethinking the approach, allowing for some new ideas? I probably would be very much struggling in my business because those courses would have eventually fizzled out. With my negative vibe around it and with my students getting discouraged, there's no way that would have allowed me to scale my business, and my revenue definitely would have struggled overall. When we have a healthy detachment, coupled with a strong desire to succeed, we start to welcome new ideas and new possibilities.  

Here's another example. The first year that I ever hit one million dollars in my business, I shared it publicly. What you might not know is that I actually had an even higher goal than that in my business, and we didn't hit it. But I was living in the gain and didn't even know it back then, and I knew that if I stayed in the gratitude and appreciation for what we had made, we could only go up from there.  

Well, I shared that I had hit a million dollars in my business publicly. And Brooke Castillo, who is the creator of the Life Coach School and a dear friend of mine, before I knew her, she had heard me share how I had made a million dollars in my business. And the way she tells the story is she was blown away by the fact that an online business could make a million dollars. 

Now, because Brooke, I think from birth, has been open to possibilities and has a very healthy detachment to all things, she was able to go in and say, “Okay, well, if this girl can do it, then I can do it.” But she didn't stop there, because the last I heard, I think she said she had made forty-two million dollars in her business last year. But she was actually aiming for fifty, but she made forty-two.  

Now, imagine making forty-two million dollars and being really mad that you missed it by eight million, you missed your goal by eight million, and, like, stewing in that eight million versus the forty-two million dollars she made.  

Now, Brooke didn't stew in it. Brooke celebrated every million dollars that she made. But isn't it interesting that I shared something that gave somebody else this idea, like, wait a second, if she can do it, so can I. And then she, like, she blows me out of the water. Like, we joke about it all the time. That's incredible: forty-two-million-dollar year. And I have no doubt she's going to hit that goal of a hundred million dollars. That's her ultimate goal.  

And she often says, like—now that I think about it, Brooke Castillo is the ultimate healthy-detachment example because she talks about this on the Life Coach School a lot, where she says, “Even if I don't hit the hundred million dollars, that is not the point.” Like, going after it and who she's become along the way, and I’ve seen her grow and expand and do really cool things. I actually feel like she's in a new iteration of her business and life, even right now. It's pretty cool to see. But if she lived in the gap, I don't even think she'd ever have hit that forty-two million dollars and well on her way to probably crushing that goal this year.  

Okay. So now it's your turn. Where in your business are you holding unhealthy attachments? Where are you throwing spaghetti on the wall over and over again, and nothing is sticking? What if you shifted your mindset? What if you welcomed new possibilities? What if you let go? What if you let go of that really tight grip you have on something in your business? Like, “I'm going to make it work. I'm going to make it work. I'm never giving up.” I don't want you to give up on the dream. I want you to let go of the attachment you have to it and look at a healthy detachment and instead remind yourself that you are good and you are safe and you are secure no matter what if you hit that goal or not. Sure, you want it, and it would be wonderful, but you're going to let go of that grip and start looking for new opportunities to help you get where you want to go. When you're holding really tight, when you're white knuckling, you're actually cutting off all creativity, all ideas, all opportunities.  

So I want to encourage you to take some time to analyze your business. What's working, what's not working? Where do you have healthy detachments, or where do you have unhealthy attachments? Where can you let go? And I promise you that once you start shifting your mindset and welcoming new possibilities, you'll be amazed at the exciting ideas that come to you. I, for one, cannot wait to see what that looks like for you. So cheers to healthy detachments. 

All right, my friend, I hope you loved this episode. Go get the book, The Gap and the Gain. They'll get into this concept even more.  

And if you would be so kind, will you leave me a review on any platform that you listen to this podcast? It helps me reach even more people who haven't yet found this podcast that can get a lot of value from it. So I'd really, really appreciate it. If you love this podcast, please leave me a review. I read every single one of them.  

All right. Have a wonderful day. And thanks so much for tuning in. I'll see you on Thursday, same time, same place. Bye for now. 

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