Exponentials Downunder

Growing You & Your Business

Author: mike60 (page 1 of 7)

Your Heart Deserves a Medal…

Verse I:

Your heart deserves a medal,

Not just because it knows what’s

Right from wrong,


Because you are willing to try…

There’s a story about the Samurai novices,

Who desire to walk the path of the Master warrior,

It centers around a gigantic Samuari sword,

Laid upon it’s side, the job of the novices,

…is to walk the samurai sword.

They climb up on the platform beside

…the mighty Samurai sword on it’s side,

They look down ahead and see,

The Masters walking deliberately…calmly

…and purposely upon the Samurai sword.

With their hearts in their hands, they set off,

Careful step after step…usually after the second

…or third, step, they lose their balance and fall…

Saying “Oh why did I even try?  I’m no good!” as

The more experienced novices urged them to get back up again…

They try again, once again, to lose their balance on the

Second or third step again, falling down to say to themselves

…all manner of self hate, self flagellation, self criticism…

…you know what I mean.

Then, dejected, demoralised, discouraged, they’d wait a couple of days

Before they’d try again…the same result would occur,

The second or third step…and again they’d lose their balance and nerve,

Falling to the ground, swearing at them selves, the pitch, tone

and severity of their language increasing each time they fell off.

They’d try again in a week…the same.

They’d give up for a month, then get up the nerve to try again,

The same would happen.

Sometimes the gap spead out to a year…the same.

But, if they only looked closer at the Masters, up ahead…

Walking step by step, steady determined and focus,

Something to see.  Impressive…

…they would notice, every second or third step,

The Master’s too would fall…

…the only difference being,

They’d get back up on the sword so fast,

No-one ever noticed.


Verse II:

That’s the difference you know,  that’s the path

You follow, when you free yourself from addiction,

It’s a process of continual failure…a process of facing…

Your broken, imperfect self,

Your weak, addicted, hopeless self…

The Catholics have four Patron Saints of ….”Hopeless, Impossible and Desperate Cases”.

Their name are Saint Jude, Saint Rita, Saint Gregory and Saint Philomina, and their gig, I think,

…is the most compassionate and loving one of all.

You see, a lack of self-compassion is what gets you hooked,

What gets you started…

To whatever in the first place – it’s the beginning and end of

A circular lesson, where you have to see the mountain as

…not the mountain, before you can see the mountain, clearly asmountain

…a mountain…again.

Your decision to try again…is an act of compassion

To yourself, it’s you backing yourself, it’s you believing you

deserve better than what you’ve been allowing,

That you have the will power and the strength to

Get back to who you are again…and the irony is…

You have to give yourself the compassion you were

Too stingy to give yourself at the beginning of the circle,

So the compassion  you give, is the compassion you need, that

You stop giving the moment you retrieve who you are again…

It’s the lesson of compassion – the gift you had to give yourself

All the time on the rocky road  you’ve been travelling upon.


Verse III:

A woman was walking along the beach, picking up pippies stranded on the shore,

Doomed to be eaten, by winged, walking and scuttling beasts of prey,

There were thousands…and yet she still kept picking them up and throwing them out past the waves,pipis

Another woman walked up and said:

“Why are you doing this? There’s thousands of them – You can’t make a difference!”

The woman smiled and paused to throw another one back in.

“I just made a difference to that one!”

She replied.

We all aim for perfection,

…a state that doesn’t even exist…except in our minds.

We don’t have the patience…or compassion…

For the realities of the slow, step by step nature of reality.

You can’t become an expert overnight…it takes years of patient development

Yet, this is what we expect.

This is what we demand.

This is what we crave…even though we know it’s a lie.

In our secret lives, we dream of success at every step,

When in reality, we experience failure after failure before we strike success…

It’s our inconvenient truth…that we ignore by pretending

Saints and Masters are above it all, that everything they do is

…perfect somehow.

We use our Saint’s and Masters as our excuse for not even trying,

…that’s just how it is.


Verse IV

So what’s that got to do with you?

How is that going to help you

get…what you really, really want in your life?

How is that going to get you started,

…on your own Samurai sword?

…on your own path of mastery?

…on your own pathway to freedom?pathway-3

You tell me.

Are you willing to try again, even if you know you will fail?

Are you willing to fight a fight you will never win?

Are you willing to accept that this is what its come to…

That there is no cure…there’s no way out…except love…

Loving you. Loving you when you stand, loving you…when you fall…

It’s the self compassion – you never thought it was right for you to give,

The unconditional love, you generously give your children, but you withhold  from yourself.

The patience, the understanding, the reverence, you give them freely,

But refuse to open the floodgates to you…

You have more than enough – there’s plenty to go around,

It’s just the way you are wired, your addiction is the only way you could find to cope…

Your safe cradle has turned into a noose, you feel it tightening round your neck…

So, it’s over to you…

You are the only one who needs to learn,

The lessons of love, the lessons from facing what you fleed from,

Into the arms of your addiction,

Into the arms of numbness, denial and comfort…and comfort is highly overated.


Verse V:

So here’s the plan:

You set yourself up to win…no cold turkey this time …

…that just makes it easy to give up for longer,

…harder to believe you have any strength,

When you wrestle your Beast, with one arm tied behind your back,

…blindfolded and standing on an unsteady plank…

No, that’s not the way to do it.

First you get some help , erect some structures around you,preparation

…get some scaffolding and stuctures in place…

…build up your strength, give yourself a chance for success,

Then…when you are ready, you meet your paper tigers face to face…

Your body strong and your spirit high, you take it on,

Walking your own Samurai sword, walking your own beach,

…throwing the pipis back in, building your self compassion,

…like a new spinal chord, like a new part of you, that will endure,

When you reach your goal, that will interrupt your circular lesson,

So you cease to expect Perfection and you simply enjoy what comes,

So you love yourself like you’ve never loved before – unconditional love,

…the stuff that makes our universe roar and expand, the part that brings you…

…fellowship with your world.

An Acknowledgement from you can be Life-Changing

An acknowledgement is a simple gift of the truth to another person.  It is given freely, without expectation of return, to another human being.


Different to a compliment, which always has hooks, an agenda to get the listener to like the giver or to give some sort of preference or something in return.  You sometimes feel when someone compliments you: “What do you want from me?”


When you acknowledge someone, you do so from three sources: Firstly from what they have acknowledged themselves for…secondly from what you know of them and thirdly from something that pops up inside of you – your intuition.


This is a culturally contradictory thing to do.  Most people in our culture go through their whole lives without ever being acknowledged.  In fact, our society has set up only one day where everyone stands around you and acknowledges you for who you are, what you do and the difference you make.


…and on that day, it’s too late.  You can’t hear them anymore.


When I was 21, I made a promise to myself that I would acknowledge everyone that came my way.


It’s been a long time since then, my life was deeply influenced by this practice. I’ve touched all the important people in my life – they all know where they stand with me.


Not only that, countless strangers, work colleagues, friends, acquaintances – everyone I have met, have been given a gift from me.  I know some of them have never forgotten that gift.

The Person who Asks the Question…has the Power.

It’s stunning how it works.a-question

You ask a question…and people are compelled to answer it.

Even if their guard is up, as mine was when I was being interviewed by an ABC reporter,

She engaged me emotionally and the interview went her way from that point on…

What I wanted to say, was never heard…or shown.

Just the my answer to her question, which is exactly where she wanted me to go.

You ask a question and you interrupt all manner of hallowed, mostly unchallenged processes,

Such as:

Job interviews…question-4

Meetings of all levels…

Sales processes…

Every-day, garden varieties of conversations…

Crucial conversations

So, may I ask you a question?question-3

Thank you.

What is the specific reason you  want to know about the power of a question?

I’d love to know.

Drop us a line at


The One-Way Relationship of the Servant Leader

It’s the trump card every servant leader, coach or consultant has,

It’s the thing that brings out the Best from your clients, your staff and your colleagues.

It’s the thing that makes the difference,

…and its the thing that servant leaders, coaches and consultants have in common with artists,

It’s adding that thing called care.

Not just careful, but caring passionately and fully,

Without any expectation of return or reward.

It’s the fruit of the one-way relationship,

It’s the thing that’s missing with the paycheck mentality,

It’s also makes for a lousy business model, if you don’t manage it carefully,

Drawing the line between the one-way relationship and friendship,

Because, with one, you never cash in your chips,

You never expect a return;

That’s what comes with a two way relationship,

The right to expect something back…

So, if you want to have the high performance outcomes…

Of the servant leader/coach/consultant/artist…

Draw the line, maintain the boundaries and continue to give unconditionally,

Otherwise, prepare for the disappointment, embarrassment and pain of discovering,

You have indeed been playing the one-way relationship game.


Lessons from Bill Campbell

I admit, Bill Campbell is my poster boy coach…Bill Campbell 4

He kept things simple,

…and after a while, he stopped charging,

even though his clients were the big boys of Silicon Valley,

This guy was so amazing, he coached with his being,

He didn’t espouse technique, or complicated structure,

Instead, he opened a bar, where he could talk with his mentees,

He walked with Steve Jobs and met informally with many others,

The Giants of their era, the entrepreneurs of their generation…

And that’s what it’s really all about...acts of selfless love and kindness,

Not a paycheck guy,

Gentle wisdom seeping like osmosis, through every contact, every conversation…

…every meeting, not because of technique,

…but because it could, through the generosity of his listening,

the power of his intention, the mastery of his craft, never self conscious,

never directing, out of his ego, a force of nature, a tool of the Divine,

The guy was amazing…and he never claimed to be.

If you asked him what he did, he honestly didn’t know,

…and if he did figure it all out, that would be the booby prize,

Valued above all by the pundits,empty-shell

But to the masters; an empty shell


You are The Magic – Just Add You!

There’s a part of you, that lights people up,

That inspires, that motivates,

That’s a catalyst some people have been waiting a lifetime for,

There’s part of you that’s beyond the usual signs and symbols of success,

That is absolutely magic – like a tasty instant soup: just add you!

A wealth un-imagined, intangible, impossible to explain.

But the only thing…you just have to get out of it’s way

It’s not what you think it is, it doesn’t conform to any rules, scriptures or manual…

The minute you try to control it…it’s gone, flown away, somewhere else, away from you…

In your business, that part lives in your vision, your intentions and your values…

The magic of you can light up your business if you plant the seeds, set up the structures,

Build it and they will come, hold the unlit lamp to the sky and the flame will appear…

….you just gotta trust it.

Moving from Doing to Being

You know what it’s like.

You’re in the forest, pushing down trees, pushing down trees.in-the-forest

Scoring points, reaching goals,

Getting recognised, being rewarded,

…in the forest, pushing down trees, pushing down trees.

It all becomes a bit meaningless after a while,

You find yourself asking yourself: “…is that all there is?”

That’s why amazing business leaders create amazing businesses…

…that have clear visions,  values and BHAGs.

Because, if all your life is about doing,

If your only measure of success is the dollars you make,

Then you will drown, you will drown in the excrement of your success.

That’s why you create the meaning, the vision and the values

…all intangible, impossible to justify, swimming against the tide…

You set off feeling like you have one hand tied behind your back…

…and then all manner of miracles begin to occur, your blood flows back to  your soul…

…you start to feel alive again…compassion, love and self-respect return…

Light returns to your life.

It’s not about you…it never has been.

You just got caught up in it all, forgetting what is real,

…in the forest, pushing down trees,

in the forest, pushing down trees…

…asking yourself: “is that all there is?”

Finding your own Blue Ocean

Most of the people who read my posts are entrepreneurs or at the very least, are entrepreneurial in their attitude towards work.

And that’s why I’m writing to you.

You see, most of us know what it’s like, swimming in the Red Ocean – you know, the market place where everyone is fighting for market share of a limited market – and you guessed it – it’s called “Red Ocean” because of all the blood shed in the water, from fighting for that market share.

(Of course this is intimately tied up with Digital Disruption, where our competitors can swiftly gain an uncontestable advantage through using technology and the internet.)

Now let’s explore a concept called Blue Ocean.  

Think back to before the iPhone was launched.

You used phones to make calls, text and take photos.

The traditional red ocean was in full blast with Nokia, Motorola and Kyocera were some of the big players of the time hammering and tonging it out to gain market dominance.

Apple changed everything by linking it’s phone with it’s iOS system and created a blue ocean, a market place where there was no competitors, and that would give Apple 3-4 years for their competition to catch up with what they were doing, giving them the opportunity to dominate the market and establish the amazing marketing bonding Apple is so famous for.

CIrc de Soleil created it’s own Blue Ocean at a time when circuses and musicals were struggling to get the crowds in.  They created a whole new category of entertainment where there were no competitors.

SouthWest Airlines created a Blue Ocean when they announced they were going to make air travel as affordable and convenient as bus travel.  They measure their profitability totally different to all the other airlines and they are the only one’s doing it.

So how do you create your Blue Ocean?

Making the effort to understand your customer’s needs and wants by drilling down into data is a good way to start your process.

Check out the Blue Ocean Website and read the book to work their excellent process that helps you think through and create your own Blue Ocean.

Jump in, the blue water is wonderful!




Help Kids Thrive – Coach their Parents!

Last Sunday the NY Times reported on a study that has tracked 129 families for 30 years.

Divided into three groups in 1986, the first received one-hour of coaching per week encouraging the parents to play with their children; the second received a kilogram of milk-based nutritional supplement each week; and the third nothing. It lasted two years, but the children have been tracked ever since.

Notes the article:

The children whose parents were counseled to play more with them did better, throughout childhood, on tests of I.Q., aggressive behavior and self-control. Today, as adults, they earn an average of 25 percent more per year than the subjects whose parents didn’t receive home visits.

Rosie and I have had lots of mentors and support for our boy Ted and thank you all for your support!

Stressed-out and Overwhelmed – You just can’t Think Clearly!

In 2009, I asked my clients to fill out a survey questionnaire.

43 of them obliged me and when their results came in I was flabbergasted.

All of them answered one of the questions with the same answer.

The question was a simple: “What were you doing before you decided to take us on as your coach?”

Standing on the edge of the cliffTheir answer for all of them started with: “I was standing on the edge of the cliff…” and three of them said: “I was getting ready to jump.”

At that pHelpoint, I had to admit that most of my clients were in a pretty stressed out and overwhelmed place when they first started working with me.

I’d always forget that, because their progress, moving forward, was so rapid.

You see, my clients improved their business thinking for the simple reason that they were able to concentrate on what was at hand, without their attention being swept away by pressing business problems, conflicts and anxieties.

By us helping them to change their environment and their planning habits in their business made it easier for them to focus and deal with what’s important.

You just can’t function intellectually when you are caught up in stress and overwhelm.  Your decisions become knee-jerk emotional responses instead of coming out of focused aligned and intentional thinking.

Portrait 3

Want to take charge of your business stress and overwhelm? Email me or call me on +61 (0)439 979 577

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