I’m sure you’ve heard about the ‘middle-class mindset’ before. We actually just did a replay of that episode on the pod because it never stops being relevant. And you can go ahead and read the full transcript <<over here>> if you’re feeling it, but I also wanted to break it down to give you the most value in the shortest amount of time right here.
When we talk about the middle-class mindset, we’re not really referring to being in the middle-class or making a middle-class income. That’s part of it, but definitely not all of it.
Being stuck in the middle-class mindset is…
➠ Sticking with that unfulfilling 9-5 because it’s comfortable.
➠ Hanging out with people who are fine with the status quo.
➠ Expecting yourself to be a one-man (or woman) band who’s stretched thin trying to get everything done on their own.
➠ Believing that just having a solid job is the key to being a “successful” adult.
If you look back at our parents’ generation, you’ll know what I mean.
But if you really want to make it as a coach—or in any arena for that matter—you’ve got to break out of that way of thinking.
So what’s the secret to getting out of this mindset and realizing your true potential? Well, I think there’s five, and you should probably get familiar with them all.
Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
We all know what it’s like to be in a routine. You know what you’re going to be doing every day and there are no surprises. You wake up, go to work, come home, go to sleep.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Some people thrive in that environment, and that’s okay. But for the rest of us, if we want to make any kind of progress in life, we’ve got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Because that’s where the real magic happens.
There is no growth without change, and there’s usually no change without risk.
And taking risks can be really fucking scary.
But the fact of the matter is that you don’t have to be paralyzed and stuck in that fear. You can use it as a way to empower yourself.
Look at each step beyond your comfort zone as a step closer to your dream, because that’s truly what it is. The more you get used to stepping out of that comfort zone, the easier it becomes, and the farther you go.
Think about something you’ve been avoiding doing because it scares you, even though you need to do it to reach your goals. Maybe you’re absolutely terrified to talk to potential clients on the phone. You’ve got a little bit of social anxiety, and you’re afraid you’re just going to stumble over your words and sound like a dumbass.
In this example, you’ve got two options:
1. You make the calls.
2. You don’t.
Sure…you may stumble a bit and feel like you’re not making sense or choosing your words right. You might decide to do a few calls and get nothing but ‘No’s from people. But here’s the thing: the more calls you make, the more comfortable you’ll get. The more you’ll see firsthand what works and what doesn’t. The less scary it’ll be. And even if you get one ‘Yes’ for every 100 ‘No’s, that’s still more than you would get from not making any calls at all.
As time goes on and you keep being willing to step out of your comfort zone, that discomfort becomes less debilitating.
You know that you’re going to be scared, and you know that you’re going to get through it, because you have the evidence of all of the previous uncomfortable experiences.
You’re working that muscle, just like you would in training, and you’re developing the calluses that’ll make you feel less vulnerable the next time around.
You might even see these uncomfortable situations as opportunities and start looking forward to them. Crazy, right?? It might sound that way at the beginning, but trust me. If you want to go far, you gotta do shit that’s hard.
Evaluate Your Environment
You know that old saying…
“Birds of a feather flock together”
Well, it’s a common saying because it’s true. If you want to give up the middle-class mindset, you’re going to have to take a long, hard look at the people in your life and figure out whether they’re pushing you forward or pulling you back.
Now I’m not saying that you have to go around to each of your friends, ask what they’re making, and cancel anyone below a certain income bracket. You can—and should!—be friends with all different types of people. Especially if you want to have a better understanding of the world around you.
But again, this goes back to mindset. The people you surround yourself with are going to impact you. There’s no way around it.
And if you’re surrounding yourself with those who just see themselves as a victim of their circumstances, with no desire to do or be anything different and better, then you’re likely to jump onto that train of thought, too.
One thing that Erin and I feel really lucky to have is a group of friends who share the same values and interests as us. I don’t just mean being in the fitness space, either. I think about coach Lauren and her husband, Paul, as a great example of this. Lauren shares our passion and drive, and even though Paul’s not a fitness coach, he’s got the growth mindset that we love to be surrounded with.
We recently had a chat with Paul on FSOM to talk about real estate investment—his area of expertise. If you want to learn about growing your income passively through real estate, you should really go check out that episode, but I bring up Lauren and Paul because they’re friends that we can share our successes with without feeling guilty.
If your friends aren’t down to celebrate your wins right alongside you, even if they don’t share your particular passion, then they’re not going to be the ones to help you keep winning.
Some people look at success and get jealous.
I get it.
It’s easy to feel envious when you see someone making 5x the money that you do.
It’s easy to be jealous to watch someone live out their passion when you’re still in that dead-end office job.
But if you see your friends getting bogged down in that scarcity—feeling like they can’t win when you’re winning bigger—they’re just not ready to vibe on the same wavelength as you.
Keep supporting them. Somewhere down the line, they could be ready to vibe with you. But until then, get close with the people who are going to share your drive. Your desire to do more. You’re going to be able to learn from them, and vice versa, and that’s the kind of attitude you want to have when you’re ready to embrace abundance.
Let’s talk for a minute about that scarcity mindset. Because if you want to avoid friends who are in it, you better be damn sure you’re not, either.
If you’re living in a scarcity mindset, there’s no way in hell you’re ever getting out of the middle-class mindset.
Living in scarcity means you think there’s never enough to go around. If you’re going to succeed, that means someone else has to fail, because there are only so many clients to be had. Only so much money to be made.
And frankly, that’s bullshit.
The opposite of scarcity is abundance, and when you’re living with an abundant mindset, you know you’re going to get back every ounce of positivity that you put out there.
When you’re stuck in a scarcity mindset, it’s going to bleed into every aspect of your life. If you’re pinching pennies because you’re living paycheck to paycheck, that’s going to show up in your relationships. You’re not going to want to give because you’re so painfully aware of how limited your resources are.
And it really has nothing to do with income at all. I know people who make $40k who give their time and energy and even money generously.
I know people who make $250k who fear losing it at any second.
Just like with a scarcity mindset, believing in abundance will find its way into everything you do. So much of succeeding in business AND life comes down to the way you look at it. And only you can choose which mindset you’re going to have.
Rich people don’t get rich by taking from other people. They get rich by providing five times as much value as they’ve received. Because as cliche as it sounds, money is going to come and go.
The economy could crash tomorrow and you could lose everything you’ve ever worked for.
But a growth mindset is way more valuable than anything you’ll find in your bank account.
Work to Learn
Here’s one of the biggest differences between the middle class and the rich—and it has nothing to do with income.
Read that again:
The middle class works to earn. The rich work to learn.
If your main goal in life is just to earn money, you might be able to make a decent living, but you’re never going to go any farther than that.
You need to be thinking about how you can become the best in your field, not because it’s going to make you the most money, but because you love what you’re doing and want to hone your skills.
Just think about it…if you have one coach spending all of their time and energy on finding the next client, and you have another coach spending their time and energy learning more about how to be the best coach possible, who do you think is going to end up earning more in the long run?
Which one is going to feel more successful?
Anyone who is pursuing their passion is going to look at the money they make as just a bonus. A prize on top of the prize that’s doing what they love.
The rich understand that working isn’t necessarily about the money, especially in the early years. If you’re just getting started, it’s about developing the skills and traits that you need to later become wealthy.
And that goes straight back to that abundant mindset. If you’re going into every day thinking about what you can do to grow—seeing each opportunity as an asset instead of a hurdle—then you’re going to feel fulfilled, keep giving more, and keep getting more success. It’s really a cycle upwards or down, and you get to choose which direction to go in.
Trade Dollars for Hours
The last point here really comes down to knowing that you’re never going to get to the top of your game on your own. The most successful business people out there have teams supporting them, just like we do at IFCA. We know what we’re good at and we know what we need help with, so we figure out how to trade dollars for hours to make the most out of our time.
I want to give you guys a really simple formula to look at when you’re wondering how you should be delegating your work. The point is to give away the jobs that are keeping you from making the hourly wage you need to reach your goals, but this is a concrete way to figure that out.
First you take your annual salary, and then you divide that by the number of weeks that you want to work in a year.
Make sure that this is a realistic number and not just some pipe dream. I like to use even numbers, so for this example, let’s just say that you’re making $100k, and you know you’re going to be working 50 weeks a year and taking two weeks off for vacation. Once you’ve got those numbers set…
You divide that by the hours that you’re going to work per week.
Now when you’re first getting started, this figure might be a lot higher. Once you’ve created an empire, it could be lower. But to keep it simple, we’ll say you’re going to be working 40 hours per week.
Now, using this formula, we’re going to figure out the dollar-per-hour rate.
$100,000 ÷ 50 weeks = $2,000/week
$2,000 per week ÷ 40 hours = $50/hour
Now look at that dollar-per-hour figure—$50. If you can get something done by someone else for significantly less than that, you should be outsourcing it.
Whether you’re looking for help with graphic design, writing and editing help, accounting…whatever. If you can get it done for less than $50 per hour, then you need to be finding someone else to do that for you.
And part of this comes down to knowing what you’re good at, right? Not every bomb-ass fitness trainer has a working knowledge of Quickbooks. Even if you do, as your business gets bigger and bigger, you need to be finding the areas where you’re just wasting your time and find someone else to do that for you.
You can find perfectly legit people on sites like Upwork or Fiverr, then pay them $10 or $15 an hour to draft some standard intro documents for you. We know one student at IFCA who got their entire packet designed for $15. This kind of resourcefulness is going to leave you free to….
1. Do what you do best, and
2. Build a business that’s bigger than one person could ever handle on their own.
That’s all I’ve got for now, guys, but let me know in the comments below—which point resonates with you the most?
What’s your game plan for getting out of the middle-class mindset, once and for all?
If you’re ready to leave all of the excuses behind and get started today…
If you liked this post, you should check out some of my other blogs and episodes of Flow State of Mind below:
♦ 5 Steps to Becoming ‘Qualified’ As An Online Coach
♦ FSOM: How to Know if You Are ‘Qualified’ To Coach
♦ Smart Money: The Four-Step Formula To Pricing Your Coaching Services