Have you ever found you seem to encounter the same challenges time and time again and wondered why this is the case? In today’s Breakthrough Experience, James Mills, someone who’s been part of our community for over 5 years reflects on his first breakthrough with his mentor Chris Nash. He shares how it enabled him to see what was at the root of his scarcity and lack of self-worth as we worked towards achieving his dream of transforming the education system.
As you read, please consider:
1. Where scarcity may be holding you back from making the progress you want to make in your life?
2. What would it mean to you to have someone guiding you who could help you to see the things you may not be able to see?
Overcoming Scarcity & Learning to Value Myself – James Mills
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” This was a Helen Keller quote that kept me going as a student selling books door-to-door in Davenport, Iowa. Since my teen years I had felt I wanted to make the most of my life; to develop the confidence I envied in others, experience everything life had to offer and achieve great things. So I went through my twenties doing just that; living and working overseas before coming to London to establish myself in my career. Towards the end of my twenties life was going well – I was ticking lots of boxes; forming a successful career in the charity sector, pursuing a variety of interests, spending time with friends and even getting myself on the property ladder against all the odds. There were just a couple of things; I wasn’t in a relationship and I wasn’t really that happy.
Quite simply life had become mundane and I felt like I needed to change things as I continued to remind myself of that Helen Keller quote. I started to really question things and tried various things – pursuing new interests, investing in some coaching and then subsequently training to be a coach. It was around this time that I met Chris – a friend of a friend who seemed to talk a lot of sense.
Every so often Chris used to call me to conduct various surveys and one day I let slip that I wanted to start a business; something I would be reluctant to share with anyone. After attending an event and (skeptically) completing an assessment, I started on a Pre-Startup Program which I eventually embarked on thanks to Chris’s persistence and his seeing through my continual excuses that I ‘couldn’t afford it now’. Through that program I spent time with some amazing people; those who were also ambitious in wanting to start businesses, but also humble (and wise) enough to know that they needed good people around them to do that.
I gained a lot of value from this program and so came to discussing the opportunity to learn about the opportunity to build my Strategic Network. Naturally there would be an investment involved and almost immediately the “I can’t afford that” excuse came up. I was also very busy and so I decided to politely decline Chris’s offer.
After justifying my reasons I will never forget Chris’s reply, “James, I may be speaking out of turn here – but you will regret that decision.” My reaction was, “That’s a bit of a fast ball!” But Chris’s statement had made an impact and I was in touch enough to know there was some truth in it, otherwise I could have just brushed the comment aside. So we agreed to speak again. In between our next conversation I resented Chris for what he had said – how dare he speak to me like that? No one speaks to me like that!!
But in hindsight what we were talking about here were my dreams; from working with Chris and the team I knew they had good intentions and seemed to know better than most about the subject of entrepreneurship. So I continued my journey with the team and continued to build some great relationships with more positive, like-minded and like-hearted people. After some time I started to work more closely with Chris one-to-one on a weekly basis which again I resisted paying for. My default to spending money was saying I was not able to afford it and this was taking away from my beer budget! But after that first session I felt valued and respected for having someone genuinely listen to me about how I saw myself, my life and my dream to make a positive difference in education.