Would you wait ten years to get an increase? Let me tell you about how Michael did exactly that.
Michael was unhappy, depressed and miserable. He was barely getting by in life, working his butt off in a dead end job and his finances were rock bottom. His debt had him in a vice-grip whereby he was facing legal action and possibly jail. “How did it get to this all-time low?” he wondered, as
he miserably contemplated his lot in life. He knew he was smart, that he had potential and that he even owned thirty percent shares in the company. Yet for all his efforts and struggles he just somehow couldn’t seem to make it happen. “If only I could just get a break, just land one deal,” he rationalised to himself. His situation got worse and worse month in and month out. Things between him and his girlfriend (a single mom who wasn’t doing much better and was battling through cancer) were heading downhill rapidly. Besides the financial arguments, that were almost a daily occurrence, they were behind in rental and were facing the possibility of being evicted.
Everything is a mess and life couldn’t get worse than this,” he despaired, and in his depressed state suicide started to creep into his thoughts There just didn’t seem to be another way out of this situation. And to make it even worse, despite the medication he was on, he started to turn to the
bottle. This wasn’t helping things, yet somehow it was the only way he could cope. He knew this was it, unless he turned things around soon, he would either collapse with a nervous breakdown and be admitted to one of those mental care facilities, perhaps never to emerge sanely again, or his life would end, which wouldn’t help his partner’s situation at home in the least.
He had joined a company ten years earlier, bright eyed and bushy tailed with promises of shares, partnership and much money to be made. His
future glowed and the possibilities were endless. “Ten years from now I will be retired and able to be doing exactly what I want in life,” he considered with excitement. Yet as the years went by, despite gaining enriching experiences, there was nothing to show of the dividends and fortune he was supposed to get. He was worse off than when he had started working ten years earlier, and he hadn’t even received an increase since then.
Men (and women for that matter) really battle to ask for help, yet Michael knew that’s exactly what he needed. He just could not continue this way any longer and so he reached out and asked for help. That’s when I met Michael. I could quickly see that he was being paid well below industry norm, and that he wasn’t even building capital value for his thirty percent share of the company. When we met he was quiet at first barely saying
much, yet as I gently probed and prompted him, Michael shared his journey, he unbundled years of frustration, disappointment, confusion, hurt, anger and more, suddenly there was no holding back anymore. It all came tumbling out, like flash flood, spilling from his lips hour after hour he share his torment, his resentment, his shame, his bitter remorse and mostly his deep anguish at having being stuck, penniless and depressed for so long. Having listened to Michael for hours, with the occasional nod of the head, or a gentle question every so often, mostly just listening, I let him know that I see him, that I really heard his pain and that I understood. After what seemed like an eternity Michael finally went quiet. He had let go of a tide of holding back, of procrastinating, of not quite being good enough. He had shared his truth and let go of his shadow side, he was finished, drained, emotionally, mentally and physically.
It was time for Michael to rest, so I sent him home agreeing to meet the next day and to pick up his process. He went home and slept and slept and then slept some more. When we met he was lighter, like there was a weight lifted from his shoulders and when we chatted, he shared that he was
ready to make the change. I challenged him to believe in himself once again, to claim his value and to demand nothing less than his value. I encouraged him to set the goal to double his income within the next six months, to step up to his potential and take responsibility for receiving what he was truly worth in life. To his surprise, he not only stepped up to the plate, but he trebled his income the following month! He was amazed, shocked, flabbergasted that it had happened so quickly. He had achieved this radical turnaround through reorganising the way he was operating, withdrew from a very negative business situation, and stepped forward to start living out his dream and passion.
Within three months of making the change, Michael and I met again and he was a changed person. His finances were on track, his relationship
was on track and he was supporting his girlfriend through chemo (which till then they could not afford) and his life was on track. He started running again and looking after his health and nurturing his girlfriend’s child through her challenging teens. Finally he could be there and show up in the supportive, nurturing role that he loved playing. He looked younger and more energised, and he even laughed a little, something that was completely foreign to his life until now. He was indeed a changed person. We once again raised the bar and he was not only able to enjoy each day fully, but he was able to start the work towards his dream and his financial independence.
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