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There’s a story about a fishmonger, and there’s a very successful fishmonger selling fish, only the finest qualities, and his business was really good. He started specializing in one particular type of fish, and this fish became complacent. They just stopped swimming around, and overall, just got pretty lazy. Now, the quality of this fish started to drop. The flavor profile just wasn’t there. The fish weren’t swimming around, they weren’t getting the exercise they needed, or absorbing the correct amount of nutrients.

He started to see his customer base dying quickly. Then a friend had a suggestion, and said, “Geez, these fish are lazy. Why don’t you put a predator in the tank, to really give those fish an extra push so they’re swimming around, and really being active?” Well, he did this. He followed his friend’s advice, and all of a sudden, the flavor profile went through the roof once again, and his business soared. The fish had something at stake, they had to be active.

The same could be used for you. Now, I’m not saying anything that you need to put a predator in there, but you need a mental predator sometimes to give you that push. Not always, but sometimes. I’m going to share with you a few ways that I’ve done it successfully with clients that I work with.

Now, one is a financial investment, right? If you have a goal or a dream that you’ve had for year after year, and you just haven’t really achieved it. Now, 2018 is coming up around the corner, and many of us have had New Year’s resolutions that we had from last year that we just haven’t hit. I get it, but sometimes making sure you have something at stake, or something in the game really helps give you that extra push.

Something I’ve done with clients, one, is I have them pick an organization or a cause that really triggers them, something they really don’t like. For one client, for example, he really had a problem with the Aryan Nation, right? A racist, white supremacist group, and I understood. I have another client who was a staunch Republican and hates the liberals. Hated democrats. Now, my job as a coach is not to judge. We talk about these issues, of course, but I use these as leverage; little bits of leverage to get people to move.

So for one client, what I had him do, is I said, “Hey, you know what? I need you to write me a check for $5,000. Don’t write it to me though, what I want you to do, is I want you to write it to the democratic party. You’re going to write it and endorse it to them, send me the check, and I’m going to hold onto it.” He just looked at me like I was crazy. “Why would I give them money? That’s ridiculous. I absolutely hate them. They’re what’s wrong with this country, Doug,” and he went on a slight rant.

Once I calmed him down, and I explained. I said, “Look, I’m not going to cash this check, I can’t get anything from it. I’ll tear it up as soon as you hit your goals, as soon as you get progress to where you need to be.” Now, this goal that he had was a six-month goal. He thought that “Yeah, it’s a stretch goal, but maybe I can get it done in six months.” So what I told him is, “Here’s our agreement. I’ll have this check, and when six months, if you haven’t done the desired work to get to the goal, I’m mailing it off to the democratic party.”

Right away, what’d he do? He achieved his goal within three months. He halved his time. Now, you’ve got to imagine, this was a big goal he had, and so six months was a stretch. Knowing in the back of his mind, that to him, what was wrong with America was going to get his money, and his name was going to be listed as a contributor, was an ego blow more than the financial blow.

I did something very similar, although it was a smaller amount. It was $1,000. I did this for a client who had a problem with losing weight. Now, what they were doing, is they were just self-sabotaging. They were going out on the weekends, they were drinking, they were having nachos, they were doing all these things. They said, “Doug, I desperately just can’t figure out how I can lose this weight. I just don’t really do it.”

Now, this was the time when in the news, I think it was the Aryan Brotherhood, I don’t remember the organization, but one of these hate groups, and it was a white supremacist group was in the news causing trouble. He expressed to me how much it really bothered him. He happened to be of another ethnicity, so it really bothered him, because it affected his kids.

When we were talking about it, I said, “Look, this is what we’re going to do. I want you to write me a check for $1,000, and address it to the Aryan Nation.” That wasn’t the exact group, but we actually found an organization on there that listed all of their contributors online. I said, “I’m going to mail them a check, so if you don’t get to the gym six days a week, and follow your diet six days a week, and hit your fitness goals within a one year period, I’m mailing this check. Not only am I going to mail this check, I’m going to do something more. I’m going to go to the website, take a screenshot, and showing you as a contributor, and I’m posting that on social media.”

Is that motivating? Well, I’ll tell you what, it was. He hit his goals in less than half the time. The idea of contributing to a hate group that he believed directly would affect and potentially harm his family and have all his friends see that he contributed, was the motivation he needed. He had a stake in the game. He needed to do it.

Now, I know this might sound aggressive to you, and picking something with hate, and I know a lot of people have different issues with that alone, but it works. You got to pick the right organization, so what organization right now in your mind, just really ruffles your feathers, really just gets you pissed off? For me, it’s any organization that abuses kids or picks on people that can’t defend themselves. It’s easy for me to do any one of those, I’m happy to have. If I had any way of contributing to them, it would hurt my heart, and tear my soul down.

I’ve used this effectively against myself by mailing my check to a friend. It’s got to be a trusted advisor, right? Somebody that you actually trust, who’s not just going to mail it off to be a jerk, but you can actually hand it to a friend, or a co-worker. Somebody who will hold you accountable to make sure you hit your goals, but also somebody who will hold you accountable so if you don’t hit your goals, will take action.

You have to know that they’re going to take action, and mail that check. It’s not to be mean, but they’re going to do that to hold you accountable. When you know that somebody’s going to do something like that beyond a shadow of a doubt, whether it be a coach that you’re working with or somebody else in your life, then you’re going to take action. You’re going to take dramatic action each and every day.

Another option is by making a social declaration, and what this could be is before and after photos. I use this a lot with weight loss. I say, “Take a picture of me right now in your underwear.” I ask them to take a picture of them. Usually, this is somebody that’s 40 plus pounds overweight, they don’t feel good about themselves, so this is a hard thing. Again, my clients are business owners, so they have a lot of pride in their business, but maybe their physical appearance has slipped a little bit.

Do they want a picture going out of them in their underwear? Heck no, so here’s what we do. I have them send me the picture, and again, I’m a trusted advisor to them, so you’ve got to be careful who you’re sending this to, and I have them hit their goals. Now, the same example. “I need you to check into the gym X number of days a week, and send me your food log. I’m going to look over this. If everything looks good, and you followed that plan, that picture gets deleted. Now, if it doesn’t, I’m posting this on social media, I’m tagging you, and I’m tagging your friends.”

Now, most people know, I own two different marketing agencies, very easy for me to get this information out quickly. I’m very, very good at it. I make sure that they understand this, but I also have a relationship with them that they know that I would never deliberately hurt them, and this is really just a motivating factor, so they trust me completely.

With this, now they have skin in the game, right? So now you’re having each and every person for me as a coach, they’re actually diving deep, and going towards their goals because the motivation is there. Now, yes, this is a little bit of a fear motivator, but this is a motivator that gives you skin in the game, right? You could spin this around and make it a positive impact too, right? You can do the same thing and say, “Hey, look. $5,000 if you don’t hit your goal goes to the democratic part, but if you do hit your goal, what do we get to do in a positive reinforcement?” That’s the way that I approach it, and that’s the way you can do it too.

Anyway, just wanted to give you this quick tip. It’s got a lot longer than I anticipated, but it’s about having skin in the game, and you really need to have skin in the game to push yourself forward, because life happens. At the end of the day, if you have a goal or a dream, and you wake up in the morning, and you’re not motivating by it by any means, there’s nothing really pushing you or pulling you … ideally, you’re being pulled towards it, but sometimes we need a gentle push. This could be just the one that works for you.

If you need someone to send it to, let me know. I’ll be happy to be your accountability partner. That’s it for me today. Have a fantastic day. Remember, go over to, where you get the latest tips, tricks, and techniques right to your inbox. Go out and inspire someone, simply by being the Author of Your Own Story.

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