I try not to make clients cry. I’m serious. Most of the time people come to work with me so burdened by their heavy load of shame and their money-baggage, that I’m generally flitting about, keeping things light, gently waving away cobwebs so we can see clearly the landscape of their business. This generally works great. As a client wrote recently, “Ariane's the quiet, yet necessary truth. Her calm demeanor gently nudges you to where you need to be.”
The calm gentleness is deliberate. Most of the time people come to me already having shed tears,
feeling frustrated, isolated, but finally, done with feeling bad, ready to feel better.
So yeah, no more tears. That’s my policy.
Except here’s the deal. This money work is DEEP.
‘Cause yeah, we’re cleaning up your books, we’re improving your pricing, we’re getting you actually PAID and a profit set by. AND, fundamentally, we’re tackling that money story that you brought from your personal life into your business. THAT.
That shit is DEEP.
There’s a point, after the initial flitting and cajoling and wand-waving, when things Get Real, you
know. That point when there’s no more convenient mist hiding the numbers from our ken, when we can finally face them. When we join hands and prepare to take a long look. This is generally the point where new clients start dodging my emails. Where they start serially re-scheduling. Because it suddenly feels a little LOT less fun. I given them the heads-up ahead of time, because I know it’s coming: you know, you’ll want to avoid me. I totally get it. It’s not personal. It’s
just a normal part of the process.
Because this stuff is hard. We start out on this one level – sometimes it’s remediation, sometimes it’s forensic – and then the inquiry keeps going. We start out innocently enough wanting to understand What Does This Balance Sheet Thing in my Business Mean Anyway? Am I really making any money after all this Hustle? and land in, oh crap, do we think we actually deserve things? Do we think we actually get to have money?
Here’s what can happen when we do the hard work, when we’re willing to go that deep.
A CEO is born.
Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I get to see a CEO be born, someone for whom that light bulb has just sparked on, who suddenly sees, Hang on, I CAN do this. This shit that scared me, that I hid from, it’s actually a source of strength. I. Got. This.
And sometimes that birth is accompanied by tears. Like I said, this work is deep.
Recently a newish client with whom I’d only been working for two months, hit that point. She’d been struggling for so long, that lo, struggle seemed like her lot. [And you know how I feel about that.] But then, through her own concerted effort: money in the bank, for the first time. Enough to pay bills. Enough to pay down debt. Enough to choose. Enough. And wow, that enough was so new, so different, that yes, tears. Tears and then: her standing tall in CEO shoes.
That moment: I live for that.
That may be the whole point of everything I do, to help facilitate that passage, from fear to power, from shame to confidence. Seriously, best thing ever.
All I want for you is for you to fully step into those CEO shoes, stomp around, make your mark.
Here’s to tackling whatever is holding you back. Here’s to getting born.