Lisa Robbin Young

"You can't win if you don't play."

Mom used this sentence to justify a lot of behavior when I was a kid: learning to ride a bike, auditioning for plays, joining the cross country team (I took 11th place in the city meet). And yes, mom played the lottery. She had a winning streak where, with a little help from technology and lottery dream books, she won several days each week for a few weeks. Naturally, those words rang through my head every time I was faced with a risk-reward decision.

Until this week.

I won the lottery, and I didn't buy a ticket.


If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have already heard about how I found this lottery ticket on the ground while I was on a field trip with my kid. I thought it was trash (LITTERBUGS! ARGH!), so I picked it up to throw away when we got to the car.

But when I saw it was a lottery ticket, I figured I'd check the numbers when I got home, just in case.

I won the BIG money, honey! TWO WHOLE DOLLARS! WOO HOO!!

But here's the rest of the story...

Every morning, I sit down to do The PEACE System (a process I created to help clear my head and prioritize my day). Because field trips can be stressful - particularly with a special needs kid - I made a point of setting the intention to look for miracles.

Frankly, a well-behaved child would have qualified as a miracle in my book. I certainly wasn't expecting free money to fall at my feet. But hey, I'll take it!

I asked for (and was looking for) a miracle, and I got it. And the kid behaved, too!

You've probably heard stories about people who say "I won the lottery and it changed my life." Never did I think I'd be one of those people, since I don't play the lottery.

But winning those two bucks most certainly changed my life. If you want to test out your luck as well, you can go to sites like 바카라 사이트, for example.

Mom was wrong (and right)

"You can't play if you don't win" is a double-edged sword. In a way, I did "play" because I picked up the ticket and cashed it in. But in a way I didn't play, because I didn't actually buy the ticket. It wasn't even given to me (in the traditional sense). And the person that dropped the ticket probably thought it was a "loser" because they played $10 and "only" won $2. They lost money on the deal.

But from my perspective, I was $2 richer!

The last 18 months have been arduous and hard for me on a lot of fronts. At some point, I probably faced down some depression, though I was never clinically diagnosed. I've done a LOT of questioning my worth, my value, and why I'm really on this planet in the first place.

Two dollars won't even buy me a soda at my local restaurant, let alone pay my rent, but it was a sign. A clear sign that miracles are there if we are looking for them. I know that sounds kind of mystical and metaphysical, but it's true. I found that money because I was looking for it.

Well, I was looking for a miracle, and I chose to see this "win" as a miracle.

You can't earn miracles.

You have to have your eyes open and show up.

You have to be willing to go for what matters to you - even if it seems unreasonable. Even if it seems impossible. If it's in your heart to have it, you have to be courageous enough to show up for it. And keep showing up consistently.

In that respect, Mom was right: you can't win if you don't play.

But she was also wrong. I won without playing "the game" (by society's rules, at least). That little lottery ticket opened a Pandora's box of questions about the "teaching" that's been passed down through my family for generations. The "lessons" and "stories" that, in a previous era, had to be true for survival no longer serve the person I'm becoming in this era of creative entrepreneurship.

In the past, if you didn't "play by the rules", you wouldn't be taken seriously, and you probably wouldn't even get a foot in the door, let alone win. There were gatekeepers, expectations, and unwritten "rules" that were foisted on you by your industry, society and "the world". These rules were designed to keep certain people out, and to protect the survival of others. You had to play their way, or you simply couldn't play.

Now, you have a lot more latitude to define success on your own terms and not just survive, but thrive. You can create your own career, doing what you love, and make good money doing it - without selling your soul. That's the entire premise of how I help my clients!

Those old stories that once served to protect, inspire, and motivate me, had been holding me back from the life and career I was meant to have. I couldn't see that until I won the lottery.

What thoughts, beliefs, and stories do you hold as true, that might actually be limiting your success without you even realizing it? Untangling those beliefs and thought patterns can be tough, but the rewards far outweigh the risks.

Waiting for miracles? Your results may vary...

But here's the other thing that rattled my brain. I won $2. Winning anything was contingent upon someone else. Somebody else played the game, bought the ticket, left it on the ground. At least three other people walked right past the ticket before I picked it up. In short, I had no control over the outcome. All I could do was be in the right place at the time of the miracle.

Miracles are awesome, and they can feel magical. But they are, in many ways, unpredictable - even if you're looking for them. You don't know when they'll arrive, or in what form, and sometimes it's hard to know if it even is a miracle until well after the fact. Sometimes the worst thing that ever happened to you is actually a blessing in disguise... a miracle you won't see until years later.

In life, we can wait for others to open doors for us, or we can make a plan and get sh*t done. (Tweet This)

Waiting around for miracles is the snail's path to success. Can it happen? Sure! I just won the lottery, for crying out loud! But, I only won $2, because that's all the ticket was worth. Someone else got to dictate the terms of my success. I could only win what they played and paid for.

I don't want someone else to dictate how successful I can be. I don't want someone else to have that much influence over my success journey. I mean, I won't turn away blessings when they show up - even the $2 variety - and I'm not going out of my way to play the lottery, either.

I know I can't control everything - and some might say that control, like safety, is an illusion. But if I set an intention and follow it with consistent action, I'm going to move the ball further down the field more often than the guy standing around, waiting for a winning lottery ticket to fall at his feet.

Will there be setbacks? Most likely. As we all know, the so-called "overnight success" stories usually involve a lot more preparation and hardship than we realize. As Thomas Edison famously said, "opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

I'm no stranger to hard work, although I'd like to be. 🙂

There were other gems of discovery that I'm still unpacking, and I'm sure you could tease out a few lessons of your own from this story, but ultimately, while I welcome all the miracles and blessings coming my way, I'm not going to sit on the sidelines and wait for them. I'm going to keep showing up, sharing my Great Work, and defining success on my terms. Not my mom's terms, or the terms of my ancestors, or even the terms of my fans and clients.

My game is the only game that matters for me. It's a game I'm happy to play, and one I can't lose, because I make the rules.

Welcome to Day Two of the Creative Freedom Challenge. You can catch Day One here.

One of the questions I hear a lot from my clients (and one I've asked myself in the past) is "When is it my turn?"

It's a question we often ask when we think we should be further along than we are. I remember when I was first building my online coaching business. There were several colleagues that I watched "zoom ahead of me" in terms of income, reach, and business growth. I looked at what they were doing (some of them were outright stealing from other people), and I got angry. I let my indignant flag fly.

"I'm better than them. How come THEY are seeing all this success and I'm not?"

What I couldn't begin to know was the behind-the-scenes gyrations that these people were going through that would, eventually, be their downfall. One took out a massive second mortgage to pay for events and "coaching" with self-appointed seven-figure gurus - just before the housing market crashed. Her marriage hit the skids and she had to go back to a day job just a few years later. Another rose quickly in the ranks of social media experts and became a sought-after speaker and trainer in her niche... and now she's back at a day job, too.

And I'm still here, doing what I love. I may not yet be as rich and famous as they got to be in their chosen fields, but I also didn't have to sell my soul to be where I am today.

Your turn comes when you make the decision to commit.

More than likely, you won't be an overnight success. You'll work hard for years, and if you're lucky, it won't feel much like work. Oh, there'll be effort, and ups and downs, and late nights or early mornings sometimes, but you recognize you're building something that's meant to last.

But if you continue to put your hopes and dreams on the back burner, or ignore them altogether, you'll be hard-pressed to find the success you're looking for... simply because you haven't really made it a priority.

That was the error I made for nearly a decade. I was constantly re-prioritizing my career path to "fit in" with the expectations of those close to me. When I had my first five-figure month, I faced an enormous amount of guilt and shame... consequently it was a long time before I had another five figure month. When I had the opportunity to star in two shows back-to-back, I withdrew from the second production because my husband wanted me home with the kids. I didn't even think about hiring a sitter or getting help because I had put his happiness above my own.

I'm done paying that price.

Your turn comes when you make the commitment to quit.

You cut off the options and activities that no longer move you in the directions of your dreams. You walk away from the programs, commitments, projects, and people that are draining your energy and diverting you from the thing that matters most. You get ruthlessly honest with yourself about what really matters.

That's when you begin to feel the success that's been yours all along. Remember success is a destination, and you're already here!

This applies to creative entrepreneurs just as much as people in the corporate world. When a chief executive of a major corporation retires after only a few years, people take notice. Lots of assumptions are made about his health, his qualifications, and the politics of the position. It almost seems unthinkable that the real reason for quitting is because their heart just isn't in it anymore.

When that executive is the Chief Financial Officer at Google, even more people sit up and take notice.

Meet Patrick

Patrick Pichette is a family guy. He's been married to Tamar for about 25 years, and they have three grown kids - all of whom are on the success track. He's got a lot to be proud of, but Patrick's been a card-carrying member of what he calls the "Fraternity of Worldwide Insecure Over-achievers" and so busy at his day job that he couldn't see what was happening at home.

He was vacationing with his wife (here's a photo of them on Mount Kilimanjaro) when she suggested they extend the vacation and see a few more sites. In Patrick's own words:

"I remember telling Tamar a typical prudent CFO type response- I would love to keep going, but we have to go back. It's not time yet, There is still so much to do... so many people counting on me/us."

Tamar refused to play along.

"When is it going to be time? Our time? My time?" she asked him.

Patrick was only 7 years into his tenure as CFO at Google when Tamar dropped this bomb. Tamar was tired of waiting. Tired of being the lower priority. With their children grown, it was the perfect time for them to spend time enjoying each other - before their health and well-being started the typical old-age decline.

"I could not find a good argument," Patrick said, "to tell Tamar we should wait any longer for us to grab our backpacks and hit the road - celebrate our last 25 years together by turning the page and enjoy a perfectly fine mid life crisis full of bliss and beauty, and leave the door open to serendipity for our next leadership opportunities, once our long list of travels and adventures is exhausted."

And with that, Patrick made his announcement to retire and begin the next chapter of his life and Great Work.

Which leads me to today's question:

When will it be YOUR time?

There will always be this perception that someone is counting on you. That's the nature of being in human relationships. For many people, life becomes a series of negotiations - trading work and family time so that every obligation is met. And you can choose to work and live focused on meeting the obligations, or you can choose to listen to the voice that keeps asking "When is it MY time?"

When will you stop waiting on your dreams? When will they become a real priority for you? When will you stop compromising what's important to you and start showing up to your life and work with an authentic commitment to being YOU - fully and completely?

With Tamar's help, Patrick recognized that there had to be a better way to live and be in the world. He stopped compromising and started doing what worked for him - even if it flew in the face of what "conventional wisdom" said he should do.

In my last post, we talked about how owning your dreams and building your Noble Empire begins with getting clarity. Once you have clarity, you need to make a plan. Patrick didn't just leave Google high and dry. He worked with Google to create a transition plan. That way, the new CFO could get up to speed in a timely manner, and Patrick and Tamar could start plotting the course of their next adventure.

A transition plan gives you a map to help you see the steps you need to take in order to transition away from your day job and into the Great Work of your life. Most entrepreneurs skip this step, and just jump ship - which creates the frustration and anxiety that most new entrepreneurs feel around their creative endeavors. Remember Amy? Her transition took about 3 years, from inkling to finally quitting her day job. But most of that time she was stuck in the Artisan trap... which we'll talk about next time.

Today's Assignment

Today, begin building a list of things you need to handle to make a transition happen. Take those non-negotiables from yesterday into consideration. Maybe you need to figure out a way to build your Noble Empire without doing a lot of travel - or maybe, like Patrick, you want to travel a LOT. Maybe you need to figure out health, parent, or child care. Maybe you need to figure out your business model or where you'll do this Great Work. Maybe you just need to get some support and accountability to keep you on track. Don't think too hard. Just start building the list.

Creating the list is an exercise in gaining more clarity. And yes, you'll probably hit a wall with some things you don't even know you need to handle. Remember, you're not making the jump right now. I don't even want you to THINK about making a jump or leap of any kind. We're aiming for a smoother transition than that. We're just starting to line things up.

Take it one step at a time. You can do this. I believe in you!

What's on your list?

Share your thoughts in the comments and let's be a Rising Tide for everyone! You don't need to sign up or the challenge to participate, but if you want email reminders, or a FREE copy of my Raving Fans Toolkit, you'll want to get on my mailing list here (or use the handy opt-in box above).

[Note: This is Day 10 in the Be Your Own Guru blog series. And this is about the time when people start to feel overwhelmed, "behind" or they just feel like quitting in general. Is that you? If so, read on!]

There comes a point on every journey where you need to decide if you're going to stand up for what you say you believe, or quit.

"It's when things seem hardest that you must not quit." is the closing line of Whittier's famed poem "Don't Quit."

That's easier said than done sometimes.

Most of the time, actually.

See, there's a relief that comes in quitting... in letting something unravel so that you can walk away.

  • Maybe it's a difficult relationship with your teenage child.
  • Maybe it's a business that feels like it's evolving at the speed of light (and you can't keep up).
  • Maybe it's a problem rooted deep in your marriage.
  • Maybe your spiritual beliefs conflict with the people closest to you.

Maybe, like me, it's more than one of those things - or all of them at the same time. I've let things unravel a few times in my life. I moved across country when things were too lonely at college. I moved back home, cross country again, when things got too hard and lonely out West. Each time, I left stuff behind for other people to clean up. And don't get me started on the number of houses I've moved out of since I've been back in Michigan. I've left plenty of things behind I wasn't willing to deal with anymore. It was just to much/overwhelming/hard for me to sift through all those old things/memories, and decide what to keep. So I just let it all go.

I've even done it with a business or two. It got too hard. My heart wasn't in it. I was looking for relief.

But now, I'm standing in a space where hard is pressing in on all sides, and it's the kind of hard that tests my mettle. It's a situation (several, actually), where I've been called on the carpet and my beliefs are being put to the test. If I really believe in what I say I believe in, I must behave in a certain way, otherwise, I'm just paying lip service to what I say is my truth.

Ever been there?

This is when things get HARD!

Shoot! It's even hard to just quit - I mean you've already invested a ton of time, (more…)