5 Hustle Questions That Could Save Your Life

To be successful you’ve got to hustle right? I mean that what separates the truly dynamic and successful people in any industry, Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg, Gary V, Tim Ferris, etc. etc. they ALL HUSTLE.

So if you want to know if you’ve got what it takes to be successful answer the short 5 question quiz below

  1. Are you more committed to working and making it happen than close relationships, rest, etc?
  2. Do you take work to bed? Work on the weekends? Do you find time to hustle on vacation?
  3. Do you prefer to talk about your hustle more than any other topic?
  4. Do you get impatient with people who don’t get why you’re so focused on hustling?
  5. Do you think about hustling while driving, conversing, falling asleep, or sleeping?


If you answered yes to most or all of these questions then you are truly aligned with hustle culture. But you might also be a workaholic.

That’s because these questions are actually adapted from the workaholics anonymous website. They’re 20 questions to help you see how you might be using work as a way to avoid your feelings, fill a vast and empty hole inside of you, and generally give you a sense of self or worth.

But Hustle culture isn’t all bad.

It’s based on a simple idea: Anything is possible with hard work and determination.

And this idea at its core is a good idea. Too many people believe that they can’t create the lives they want because they lack the education, connection, skills, or background to create what they want. This fundamentally isn’t true. In fact, it’s something that I work with clients on regularly.

But hustle culture also ignores the fact that being white, male, having a good education, and access to good credit or sources of funding all have an outsized effect on your ability to make hard work, work for you.

It also ignores the fact that overworking as a way to create identity is dangerous, because if your identity is all about hustling then you can never stop hustling even after you’ve achieved success.

The danger of endless work.

About 3 years ago I identified myself as a workaholic. Of the 20 questions on the WA website I answered yes to 12-15 of them. It was a wake up call; it helped me see that work had not only become problematic for my health and well being, it had become the center of my identity.

I realized that life wasn’t supposed to be just about work for work’s sake. I also realized that my health, especially my mental health, wasn’t worth the rewards of overwork. Yes I liked making good money as a coach, but I didn’t love the hours of stress, the outbursts of emotion, the fights with my cofounder, and the endless sense of anxiety and pressure I felt.

I realized that life isn’t worth overworking through. So I changed my business. I slowed down. I took more time off. I figured out how to be more effective while working fewer hours. And now I work 4 days a week and make the same amount of money.

I sometimes still feel left behind by hustle culture. I feel like I should be working harder, especially when my partner stays up till 7pm finishing her own work, or when a friend of mine completes a big project after working long hours and nights… I wonder if I should go back.

But then I remember that it isn’t worth it.
YES I need to work hard.
YES I need to serve my clients.
YES I need to be on purpose and generous with my time and efforts.

But that doesn’t mean I need to go back to hustling so much that I lose myself.

You can be successful by applying yourself, working hard, and being persistent as all get out. You do need discipline and endurance to be a successful entrepreneur.

What you don’t need is to be shamed for taking care of yourself. It’s why I always have a coach that pushes me to work harder when I slack off or I’m avoiding what needs to be done, but who also advises me to get rest when I push too hard.

So get supported, stay focused, and when the noise that you should be working harder enters your head, check to see where it might be right, and let the rest of it go.

How To Get Coaching Clients When You’re Just Starting Out

New coaches often ask where to find new clients.

The short answer is you find clients everywhere.

The long answer is a bit more complicated. Most coaches get their first clients from their personal network. The people they have known, connected with, and built trust with throughout their lives. If you’re just starting out as a coach this is probably the easiest place to get your first clients because you don’t need to establish your authority with people.

But it is possible to build a network to find clients quickly and you can do this even if you’re not 100% sure what clients would be the best ones to coach.

My first few clients came from my Buddhist community. The next few came from the Start-Up community I’d been a part of before I became a coach. Then I started getting clients through referrals and connections I made all the time.

At the core all coaches find clients the same way:

  1. They find places where they can show up, be of service, and make an impact.
  2. They start showing up making a difference, connecting with people, and helping out.
  3. They deepen those connections and begin to share their coaching skills with others.
  4. They serve people powerfully, sign clients, and build a reputation for being able to serve others in their community.
  5. They rinse and repeat.

While this may seem like a formula most coaches don’t even know where to start. They tend to stay at home, publish some blog posts, build a website, and hope people will find them, but this almost never works.

You have to get out there and make an impact on the world. Results almost always follow impact and it takes courage to show up this way without any promise of results. There’s no single way to do this, but being willing to do it is what matters.

Inside the Embodied Mastermind I’m AMAZED at how quickly people start signing clients when they simply become willing to show up, connect with people, make an impact, and create commitments with the people they’ve served.

The clients are almost always closer than you think. They are literally everywhere, but you have to start by showing up somewhere and being a leader when you do.

Should I charge this client more than that client?

There’s this weird idea in coaches that you have to charge all your clients the same amount. Sure, if you found out I sold you a t-shirt for $20 that I normally charge $10 for you’d feel ripped off, but the comparison is a bad one. 

Coaching is more complex than a t-shirt and the price you charge has more to do with the level of commitment than the specific work you do or even the outcomes they’ll create. 

Having said that, there are 3-4 good reasons why you might consistently charge clients a different rate for coaching. I’ve laid them out in this video with a summary below:

 

1) They have different profiles – 

(job titles, income streams, positions, types of work)

I sometimes charge CEO’s a different rate than I would charge a new coach. And I’m certainly more willing to work to get a yes with a really talented coach than a CEO. Partially it’s because the type of person is different and often the portion of income they are investing is different. 

That’s certainly the case with the nun I coach who runs a hospice. I charge her less because I believe in her work and also because she’s a nun. 

 

2) The perceived value is different –

I’ve paid $40k+ for 1-1 coaches but I can’t imagine hiring a trainer for that same amount. Not because trainers have less skill but the value of that is less in the market. If you coach CEO’s and you coach career transition people the CEO might be seen as more valuable. Whether or not that’s true, it means you could decide to charge differently for career coaching. 

I’d rather have you create a better explanation of the value of your career coaching instead, but sometimes the perceived value or going rate does have an impact on what you can charge. 

 

3) The work is different – 

I have a client I only work with twice a month and she pays less than another client who I work with every week. I charge $5k to do a strategic planning session which is a little less than my hourly rate for coaching. And the mastermind group I run costs 1/10th of what working with me 1-1 costs. 

I charge different rates because the work is different. Sometimes I do different work and charge the same rate. After all, time doesn’t always equal value, but if the work is different you might charge something different. 

 

4) The entity you’re serving is different – 

If you’re being hired by a company vs an individual you might charge something else. Usually, this means the work is different but it may not be. It could be the same work, but since the client is the company you might charge more. This is similar to #1 but not exactly the same. Because it acknowledges that Business to Business sales can be different than when you sign a deal directly with a client.

 

 

The 3 Stages of Energetic Leadership: Become A Great Leader

If you can learn to master and move on to the following stage you can lead more people and live a life of deep purpose. Stopping at any stage will slow your growth and limit your impact on the world. 

The first stage is not knowing what you’re doing. 

You feel awkward and unsure. Everywhere you step is like quicksand and your mind is wrapped in doubt and confusion. Many people get lost in fear. They believe the whispers of doubt like they were the truth.  The whispers aren’t true at all. But the only way to find that out is to keep going. 

The second stage is false certainty. 

You know what to do. You are a great leader. You are decisive, clear, powerful, determined, and aligned. Sometimes you dip back into the first stage but again and again, you return to this solid foundation of knowing what to do. People respect you for your confidence and power. You achieve and excel until you begin to notice that there’s something missing, something that still feels unsolid. 

The third stage is not knowing what you’re doing. 

You realize you’ve been making everything up all along. You don’t really know what the future holds. You make vows and plans but they are art and practice. Nothing is certain. What’s next comes to you in small insights and hints about which direction to go. You listen to your intuition and begin to distinguish when you’re coming from fear vs. love. You stop needing to know all the answers. Your achievements don’t matter, but you still keep working to create incredible work in the world. Purpose and joy become your guides. You relax more and more. 

You must experience each stage in its time. If you’re unsure, stay with it. Be unsure. Practice, improve, learn to find and create certainty. Discover how to trust yourself. 

When you’re certain, be certain and decisive, make plans and execute on them. This stage has incredible power and rewards don’t skip it. Immerse yourself in it fully. 

Then when it comes time to let go again, let go. Realize that you never knew in the first place. It was all an illusion even if it was a pleasant one.

Keep going. That’s what matters. Even when you’re stuck. Especially when you’re scared. Just keep going. There is more leadership out there for you. The world is begging for you to grow. Just. Keep. Going. 

Managing Upset

The difference between breakdowns and problems

A problem is something wrong with the world. A problem happens to us, they land on us, and we have no choice but to complain about them and how unfair they are.

A breakdown is something we can declare. It’s something that has interrupted our commitment to something. For example I may be committed to waking up at 9am. A party might happen outside my house the night before, I wake up late and complain about this problem. Or I might notice that I had an unrealistic expectation (“nothing will get in the way of me going to bed”) and so I declare a breakdown in my commitment by acknowledging that something is occurring to me isn’t the way that it should be.

Once I declare my breakdown I can acknowledge my upset, I can record the facts about what happened, and I can get into action around my commitment.

Very often the breakthrough is on the other side of the breakdown I’m avoiding. For example I might want a breakthrough in intimacy with my partner, but I’m afraid to talk to them about it because they might get upset or defensive. This would be a breakdown. One that I’m avoiding. So I survive the problem. Once I’m willing to be with the breakdown (the difficult conversation, my partners feelings, etc) then I can get access to the breakthrough created by having a conversation around intimacy.

Breakthroughs are a creation of something beyond the context of what I currently see is possible. They are something that get created when I expand or deepen my context through declaration, commitment, being with breakdowns, and revealing blindspots.

Part of why breakthroughs follow breakdowns is because it’s in the breakdowns that our blindspots get revealed.

Black and White Thinking — A Common Problem With New Coaches

Often when I talk to new coaches they get caught in black and white thinking about what good coaches should and shouldn’t do. 

– You should never ask a client why? 
– You should only ever ask questions. 
– You should never teach a client.
– You should never give advice. 

These guidelines are helpful when you’re starting as a coach.

– It’s easier to talk at a client than explore with them. 
– It’s easier to give advice than be curious. 
– It’s easy to ask why when you can’t think of something better to say. 

But these guidelines are simply guidelines and too often they become a religion for new coaches. Soon enough they are zealots preaching the gospel of pure coaching and the ICF standards. 

The best coaches I know push the boundaries of coaching while acting with a high level of integrity. Sometimes from habit but more often with conscious choice. Generally, they abide by the principles of what makes coaching work, but they aren’t bound to them. 

They see all the gray in between the lines. So if you’re new to coaching YES listen to the guidelines, try them on, if they feel hard to implement GOOD! That means you’re getting better as a coach. 

But don’t fall into black and white thinking. There are no rules to coaching and that’s the best and worst part about it. Your clients need you to be flexible enough to help them while maintaining enough integrity not to get lost. And learning how to make your way through the gray is essential is you’re going to truly become a masterful coach. 

What To Do When You Want To Quit Coaching

At least a couple times a year, I want to quit coaching. 

The clients are so annoying, they don’t want to do the work, they don’t want to change, and I start to feel like being a coach is pointless. 

The money (while good) is unreliable, it feels like I’m always just a few canceled contracts away from being stressed about money. Sometimes I’ve got plenty of prospects other times it feels like I only have a few. 

The work (while rewarding) is super difficult. I have to be the constant stand for deep possibility for each one of my clients. Even when those clients are being asshats. I have to do this even when I feel like I’m not present to much possibility in my own life and in the world in general. 

Wanting to quit is a normal part of life. 

During my marathon, I wanted to quit. 
During most of my long term relationships, I’ve wanted to quit. 
Hell even while writing this post, I wanted to quit. 

Stepping into anything worth doing creates tension. 

There’s the desire to complete the task, to keep going, to do the work, and the desire to get out of the tension, to take the day off, and do something easier or more enjoyable.

Getting out of the tension always feels pretty good. At least for a moment. 

Before the desire to quit shows up I feel this pressure to execute, then a thought occurs to me I could quit! and a wave of relief comes over me. I could be free of this whole thing if I just walk away. 

But of course, whenever I do this I eventually look back and wonder, “Why did I quit?” If I had just kept going I would have:

  • Written that book
  • Learned something about myself
  • Created something I was passionate about

So while the tension is uncomfortable, removing it as a strategy rarely leads to lasting satisfaction. And yet in the moment, it feels so tempting. A temptation I’ve given into so often I can hardly imagine listing all the things I’ve quit, though I can start with a sample:

Acting
Singing in groups
Writing my first book on coaching
My last engagement
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Rock climbing
Salsa
Learning german
Learning Spanish
Powerlifting

I could go on . . . and on. . . and on. . . 

This brings me to my desire to quit coaching. . . or anything else

Coaching as a profession is all about sitting in tension. 

I sit in the tension of my client’s desires. 
I sit in the tension of conversations around commitment.
I sit in the tension of a client having paid me and a sense that now I owe them some form of transformation. 

Like I said. A lot of tension. 

And if I think of that tension as a burden. If I come from a place of needing to prove myself then it’s not worth it. 

There are a lot of easier ways to make money. A lot of easier ways to prove myself. 

But when I let all of that go. When I just remember what it’s like to be with someone as their life and the way they think about the world changes. My desire to quit fades. 

And that’s because I’ve found my calling, a practice where my purpose can fully manifest, a path that demands everything from me. 

My desire to quit is a part of that. A human part. And it’s a part I’ve learned to love and accept. 

So when I want to quit I remind myself that the reason I love coaching is because of the tension, the pressure, and the possibility. 

But you’ve got to decide if that’s enough for you or not. 

So my advice for you. If you want to quit sometimes is this:

First, let go of any idea that you’re a failure if you quit. 
Quitting takes courage and commitment. So let the shame go, it will just cloud your judgment. 

Next get really clear on why you’re quitting. 
Maybe it’s because you’ve decided that you feel called to a different kind of work.
Maybe it’s because you actually prefer working for someone else (which by the way most people secretly prefer).
Maybe it’s because coaching asked you to become someone you don’t want to become. 

The reason doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get clear on it. 

You were creating yourself as a coach. Now you’re going to create yourself as something else. Not because creating yourself as a coach is hard, but because you feel called to create something else. 

OR

Don’t quit. Even a little bit. 

Go outside, take a walk, and remember why you started this. 
Feel the tension of what it means to be a coach. 
The annoying, hard, challenging, tension of it. 

Feel the heartbreak of clients who resist change (just like all humans do). 
Feel the discomfort of asking people to commit to something. 
Feel the challenge of declaring you’re going to help someone change their lives. 

Feel it all and choose it. 
Shake off the excuses. Love yourself. 
And choose it. 

The whole big ball of wax of it. 
And get back to work. 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to quit. 
It’s normal. 
Expected really. 

It’s why you need a coach. 
It’s why you need a community. 
It’s why you need other people standing up for who you are. 

If you want to quit, do it. 
And if not, choose back in. 

It’s this simple act of choosing back in, that separates those who make it from those who don’t. 
It’s an act I do every day and have to do in real earnest a few times a year. 

Every path worth walking will give you the desire to quit. 
It’s what you do with that desire that matters. 

Whatever you choose. I believe in you. I hope you remember to believe in yourself too. 

Love, 
Toku

Humbled or Humiliated?

It’s normal to be humbled by something new. It reminds us that no matter what we do life can be challenging, that we always have new horizons to learn from and deepen. To be humbled is good and powerful and a sacrament. But humiliation is different. It’s an experience of becoming less than, of discovering ourselves flawed while at the same moment having those flaws exposed to the world. 

Humiliation is humbleness mixed with shame, self-recrimination, and with self-abandonment. It’s something done to us when we’re young that we learn to do to ourselves before the world ever could. 

It is good to be humbled, but bad if we turn this into a subtle form of self-abuse in the form of humiliation. If instead we can be gentle and kind to the parts of ourselves that feel humiliation the most, and offer a form of acceptance they so long for, regardless of success or failure. You can learn to absorb the barbs of humiliation and transform them into humbling lessons that help you grow stronger on your journey. 

Conditional vs. Unconditional Leadership

Conditional leadership means I’m a leader if you follow, if you do what I want, if you treat me right, if it’s fair, if it’s fun, if it’s easy, if it feels like it should.

A conditional leader can only lead when the conditions are right, sort of like a fair weather fan.

An unconditional leader chooses to stand as a leader, chooses to stand in a place of leadership, chooses to be their commitment in the face of all conditions. It doesn’t mean the conditions don’t impact them, they certainly do. Conditions can motivate, enrage, confuse, frustrate, inspire, distract, and compel an unconditional leader, but the unconditional leader keeps returning to the place they look from.

It reminds me of my favorite GB Shaw quote:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

I would love for you to consider what your stand is as a leader? What is your vision for how you interact with the board? What is your vision for the possibility of that relationship? How might you start being that? What would it look like to be that in the face of them showing up exactly how you expect them to show up?

You Don’t Have To Be An Expert To Be A Great Coach

How can I help someone build a multi-million dollar business if I’ve never done it?
How can I help someone with their law firm if I’m not a lawyer?
How can I help someone have a dope relationship if I’m still single?

I hear this kind of thing a lot from coaches. I get it. I mean I wouldn’t want to learn how to cook from someone who couldn’t make toast. I wouldn’t want to learn guitar from someone who can’t play basic chords.

But coaching isn’t like cooking or guitar.

To be a good cook you need to do cooking. Because you have to learn the nuances of making food in order to teach it to someone else.

With coaching you’re not teaching someone a skill. You’re using a totally different set of skills to help them improve their skills.

Skills like:
– Observation
– Curiosity
– Contextualization
– Empathy
– Analysis

Just to name a few.

But even more important than those skills… you’re being someone for your client.

You’re being a stand for possibility. Which just means you choose to stand in a place where you can see that so much more is possible than your client realizes.

In the movie, a Star is Born the famous singer sees a young singer with talent performing somewhere and takes an interest in them. The famous singer is standing in possibility. They see that so much more is possible for this young singer then they even realize. More so, they have the ability to draw it out of them.

THE MOST VALUABLE THING YOU DO AS A COACH IS THIS!!!

And you don’t need to be a famous singer to do it.

What you need is an intimate understanding of possibility. What you need is an experience of someone standing for your possibility.

What you need is practice in the art of being with someone, finding out what they want, figuring out what’s in the way, and supporting them to take on the steps and beliefs. It’s a whole different set of skills than building a million dollar business or running a law firm.

And it’s why I coached a CFO at Nokia.
A CEO of a digital marketing agency in Peru.
A writer with work in the NYTimes
without ever doing ANY of these things.

The skill they needed to do their job was irrelevant to the skills I needed.
I never let a client’s desire for something I can’t do, stand in the way of what I see as possible for them.

If you’re wondering how you can help these people.
PRACTICE HELPING PEOPLE.
The deeply felt confidence you get when you realize you can choose to stand for anybody’s life, and possibility is irreplaceable.​

Love,
Toku

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