August 21, 2016

Beware of statistics.


“Most yoga teachers make less than $22K a year.”

“8 out of 10 new businesses fail within the first 2 years.” 

“If you’re a writer, don’t quit your ‘day job’. It’s virtually impossible to make a living solely through your writing.”

“95 percent of people who lose weight regain it within a few months or years.”

Be skeptical about warnings and depressing statistics. They’re not always true. Even when they are true—who says that what is “common,” “typical,” or “average” has to apply to YOU?

When I started my life coaching practice, I was told (repeatedly) that finding clients is very tough, that life coaching is a “weird” industry that most people don’t understand, and that the average life coach makes less than $30K per year.

12599149_1682113528721929_1639745577_nI decided I would not be “average.” I decided that I would place myself in the top-earning category of my industry. I didn’t know how I was going to do that, exactly, but I trusted that I could figure it out. (And I did.)

I had a similar experience about ten years prior to that, back when I was working as a residential real estate agent. I was told, “It’s a tough industry. There’s so much competition. Only the top 20% of real estate agents make serious money.”

“Fine,” I thought to myself. “Then I will make sure that I’m part of that top 20%.” (And I did.)

The next time someone tells you a depressing statistic about your industry, your profession, or your latest creative endeavor, here’s my advice:

Nod. Smile. Say, “Well, that’s very interesting to hear about the ‘average trends’ for my industry. How charming of you to share that with me. But I assure you: I am ANYTHING but average.”

Then drop your metaphorical mic and move on to a new topic of conversation.

Ignore the stats. Obsessing over what’s considered “average” isn’t helpful. Instead, put yourself out there. Hustle and shine. Write. Share. Create. Give your absolute best effort, not a half effort. Secure your rightful place in the top 20%. (Someone will, after all. Why shouldn’t it be you?)

If you pre-decide that success is statistically unlikely, you will not succeed. Period. End of story.

But if you decide that you’ll rise above “average,” then you will defy expectations.

Enjoy the journey.

It’s seriously fun proving everyone wrong.





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