Coaching Session: Is the Cost of Achieving Your Goals Too High? - Rick Mulready

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Coaching Session: Is the Cost of Achieving Your Goals Too High?

June 3, 2022


In the first four years of my online business, we were able to hit seven figures. I don’t say that to brag, but as more of a cautionary tale. I really thought that was what success looked like because that was what I was told. You aren’t successful until you hit that mark. 


I’m here to tell you that is a bunch of crap. I hit that mark and felt empty and like I didn’t know what to do next. My mental and physical health and my relationships all suffered in pursuit of this goal. 


After a while, my revenue actually dipped. Along with a friend’s help, I figured out that it was because my brain was self-sabotaging my success. I had convinced myself that the success I wanted would come at the expense of my health and relationships. It wasn’t until I worked through that limiting belief that I was able to increase my revenue again. 


In today’s episode of Art of Online Business, I am sharing a coaching call with one of my members inside of my Accelerator program. This student had begun to associate the idea of hitting her goals with the feeling of burnout. She associated the feeling of calm with lower revenue.  She was hitting her goals but she just wasn’t happy. 


I know that so many people can relate to this topic here so I knew I had to share it. By listening to this coaching call between one of the Accelerator coaches, Neill Williams, and one of my members, Gloria, you’ll get some truly valuable insights and tips to help you work through this kind of blockage in your business as well. 


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Different ways to achieve your revenue goals without feeling burned out
  • The limiting beliefs that people have around hiring and costs
  • How your thoughts impact your business
  • How to rewrite the definition of cost
  • Tips for looking at the costs in your business in a different way


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Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy:

How to Create a High Converting, High Ticket Funnel for Coaches, with Neill Williams

A Masterclass in Storytelling to Make More Sales, with Jude Charles (Part II)

Standing Out from the Crowd Through Storytelling, with Jude Charles (Part I)





[00:00:05] Speaker1

Hey my friend, welcome to the Art of Online Business Podcast. My name is Rick Mullaney and I’m an online business coach. I’m an ad’s expert, and most importantly, I’m a dad. And this show is where we help established online course creators and coaches create more profit, more impact with less hustle. All right, let’s get into it. Hey. Hey. What’s up, my friends? Rick here. Back with another Friday. Quick tip episode here on the show. Now, I’ve shared this story on the podcast here before, so I’m not going to dove into it too deeply, but I’ll give you the high level version of it, and I’ll this is going to all make sense here in just a second. So essentially, in the first four years of my online business, we were able to hit seven figures. And I don’t say that to brag or anything like that. Quite the contrary. It’s more of a cautionary tale. And I thought that was what success looked like because that’s what I was told. You don’t make it until you hit seven figures, which is a bunch of crap. But anyway, I remember hitting it and I was like, I felt so empty. And I was like, Wait, what’s next? Now what? And I it was really I went through a very, very dark time in those first four years. Again, I’ve talked about it here on the show, my mental health, my physical health, my relationships, my relationship with my wife, everything suffered in my pursuit of this goal in the next couple of years. After hitting that in like 2018, 2019, my revenue dipped and I couldn’t quite figure out why. It wasn’t until I was working with somebody, we figured it out. 

[00:01:42] Speaker1

My brain was subconsciously self sabotaging my success because subconsciously my brain was saying, Well, wait a minute, in order for you to have the kind of success, quote unquote, that you’re looking to have financially, it comes at the expense of your health, physical health, mental health, your relationships, etc.. And so I was like, oh, like it just like, blew my mind that my brain was doing that subconsciously. And it wasn’t until I unwound all that and worked through all that, that that’s when things took back off again. You know, go figure. I tell you that story because on today’s Quick Tip episode, I’m sharing with you a clip from a group coaching call that we recently had in my accelerator coaching program. This particular call is with one of our accelerator coaches, Neil Williams, who is a regular guest here on the show. She’s a master life coach who specializes in business mindset and productivity. And one of our members here, Gloria, that you’re about to hear, came into the call with this challenge. And she has begun associating, achieving goals in her business with the feeling of burnout. Meaning, in order for me to hit this goal, I have to work, just hustle. And, like, this has to come from this intense hustle kind of energy. And she was hitting her goals, but wasn’t making her happy. She was burning out. She wasn’t feeling good in the process of it. She also started equating feeling calm. On the flip side of everything, when she’s feeling calm, that means revenue is going to be down. You know, and I could totally relate to all this, and I know that so many people can relate to this exact topic here, which is exactly why I’m sharing it with you here on this episode. 

[00:03:29] Speaker1

I thought it would be really cool to give you sort of an inside look at a little piece of one of our coaching calls here within Accelerator. And again, because this is a topic that so many people either have experienced or maybe you’re currently going through, but maybe don’t realize it. And that certainly was me. Like I was going through it, I didn’t realize it, and I was like, Holy cow. And it wasn’t until I unwrapped that and works through it that things really started to take off again. So hopefully the same. This helps all that with you as well. Before we dove into that conversation, speaking of accelerator, we accept just a few people each month. It’s application only. We work with established online course creators, coaches. Maybe you have a membership and you’re looking to take things to the next level, right? You’re looking to have a bigger impact. You’re looking to increase your revenue and your profit, but without working a whole bunch more hours. Right. Our whole thing is to achieve the success that you’re looking for in 25 hours a week or less. Is it possible? Yes, it absolutely is. So if you’re interested in getting one on one coaching, group coaching and a mastermind experience, that’s what it’s accelerator is all about. Go to Rick Mul four accelerator to learn more and apply. Grab one of those few spots that we have available each month. All right, without further ado, let’s dove into today’s quick tip. 

[00:04:52] Speaker2

Gloria. Boom. What’s your question, sister?

[00:04:55] Speaker3

How are you? I’m great. How are you? Right. So I’m on a phase now where it’s like Q1 busting my ass. Very unhappy. Achieved my goal. And now I’m just like, I almost don’t want to set a goal or revenue goal. So now I’m like, completely on the opposite side where I’m just like, Oh my. So I don’t know how to find a balance between like, I want to set a goal, but I’m so like, I learn how meeting my goals didn’t make me happier. So I’m just finding myself, like, wanting to work less and less and less. But I’m also like hiring right now. Like I’m hiring content manager. I’m gonna hire like another VA. So I’m like, Oh, I got to pay for this too. So I don’t know how to find that balance. And it’s so much easier for me to just be like, Oh, I don’t really want to do any of it and just keep procrastinating. Like, I’ve, you know, I have a really good job description, but I just haven’t posted it yet. I’m just somehow, like, procrastinating on that, too. 

[00:05:45] Speaker2

Yeah. Okay, so here’s the thing. You know how to go in and create, you know how to achieve goals from a really intense hustle energy. We know that, right? It’s not the only way to achieve goals. So I’m wondering for you, is it that we set a goal or is it that we work on how you feel in going after a goal? 

[00:06:12] Speaker3

Yeah, but I did notice that now that I’m more chill and calm, like the revenue is not coming in as much, which I’m okay with because I have a little bit of a cushion. But I do I do notice that unless I’m pushing really hard things that they don’t get closed as much. So yeah, it’s hard for me to think otherwise. 

[00:06:32] Speaker2

This is I know this is the thing. Hustling works, right? That’s why we do it. Like we’re pretty smart and that we just do things that work. And so we’re not saying that hustling doesn’t work because that has worked for you. Gloria, what we’re considering is, is there a different way for you to achieve your revenue goals that isn’t hustle involved. So right. 

[00:06:54] Speaker3

Now, hiring onboarding. 

[00:06:57] Speaker2

Is already going to like, oh, revenue is down and I’m feeling calm as if the reason why revenue is down is because you’re feeling calm. 

[00:07:06] Speaker3

Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:07:07] Speaker2

How is that true? How does feeling calm have anything to do with your revenue being down? 

[00:07:11] Speaker3

Well, I’m just I’m doing less is I’m doing a lot less. 

[00:07:14] Speaker2


[00:07:15] Speaker3

So I’m not like doing a lot of the revenue generating closer activities I normally would do. 

[00:07:21] Speaker2

Okay. So it’s not the feeling that is the reason. It’s just that you’re doing less selling, maybe. 

[00:07:29] Speaker3

Doing less in general about everything. 

[00:07:31] Speaker2

Okay, so what do we want to do here? Do you want to make money from a different energetic place? Do you want to focus on the team? What is like? What do you want? Maybe the next 30 days. Let’s think of a 30 day goal. 

[00:07:43] Speaker3

I learned that making the money and hitting my goals didn’t make me happy. So now I’m trying to do something different. So I am taking the time with this VA to sit with her every day to like. And I’ve noticed a drastic difference, right? This has gone so much better, but I can’t help but notice that there’s not really revenue coming in. So it starts to make me a little angsty. But I also knew that this is what I set myself up for. Like you want. I was just like hustling. And this these few months, I want to really work on the back end of the business. Okay? It still doesn’t feel great to know that, like. 

[00:08:14] Speaker2

Look, I feel great because. 

[00:08:16] Speaker3

Because I feel like if I want to do all this hiring, it’s going to come at a cost, right? And so.

[00:08:25] Speaker2

Yeah. So doing that hiring comes at a cost. That’s what you’re going to find. 

[00:08:31] Speaker3

So it does come at a cost if I want good people and not just oversee all overseas contract work. 

[00:08:37] Speaker2

Okay. How does that idea feel to you that hiring comes at a cost? 

[00:08:41] Speaker3

I think on many levels, factually true. Like they always say, you know, you can’t really skimp on that. Like if you want to hire good people like skill set and like said, you need to also invest in them. 

[00:08:53] Speaker2

Yeah, maybe we could make it a fact. It’s not a fact right now. It’s your thought about hiring. But I just want to know how it feels to you to believe that that hiring comes at a cost. I just want to know if it’s helpful to you or not. 

[00:09:05] Speaker3

No, I don’t. I don’t think it’s helpful because I feel like I make up the cost somewhere and and I want to hire in a way that I can see the ROI from it, which logically is true, like everyone’s hiring because you would like to see an ROI. I don’t think people are hiring just to hire. Right. You hire this person because there’s going to be ROI later on. 

[00:09:24] Speaker2

Maybe. Maybe something you said earlier is really important that I want you to see. So you said achieving my goals in quarter one didn’t make me happy. 

[00:09:34] Speaker3

It made me feel like or I guess able to let go of this quarter. So I think that’s good because otherwise I would still be grinding. 

[00:09:40] Speaker2

But achieving goals is never going to make you happy. How do I know that? 

[00:09:45] Speaker3

Because I achieved them, I guess, and I was quickly burnt out. 

[00:09:49] Speaker2

Yeah. So if we think about the model, where does the where does Happy. 

[00:09:53] Speaker3

Go feeling. 

[00:09:55] Speaker2

Exactly so smart? What creates your feelings for you? 

[00:09:59] Speaker3

Your thoughts? Yep. 

[00:10:01] Speaker2

So achieving a goal is I would give it to you, like as a fact, like I hit this revenue number. I’m thinking, I think that’s what you’re saying. When you said you hit your quarter one goal, your thought about that will determine whether you’re happy or not. So if you have happy thoughts about it, then yeah, you’re going to feel happy. But if you have other thoughts about it, then you’re not going to feel happy. You’re going to feel whatever those thoughts produce for you. 

[00:10:27] Speaker3

Well, definitely physically came out of physical cost as well, right? 

[00:10:31] Speaker2


[00:10:32] Speaker3

Then we have burn out. 

[00:10:33] Speaker2

Your idea was it came at a cost. So I’m guessing that’s probably not a happy thought. 

[00:10:39] Speaker3

No, it’s just factually true that that helpful energy. It’s not just the thought, though, it was the physical toll. 

[00:10:47] Speaker2

So interesting that your mind has the idea that there’s costs associated with things. Do you see how achieving your goal had a cost higher? A team comes at a cost. What do you think costs? What do you think that’s about the costs?

[00:11:01] Speaker3

Well. Well, I mean, obviously, like physical ailments, like there was that cost. So that’s undeniable. So burn out or not? Yeah. Like actual physical toll. So I don’t want to feel that again. Right. 

[00:11:17] Speaker2

But why the focus on costs, do you think? Because you have that idea about the achieving the goals and hiring the team? 

[00:11:24] Speaker3

Well, I think I think I think when we make decisions, we allocate resources. There’s always some give and take. I don’t think you can just expect to work 25 hours a week. We’re always where I am right now and do all this hiring and still expect the revenue to be the same. 

[00:11:41] Speaker2

But why do I’m just super interested. I want to know like what the idea of cost, how does that feel to you? Just that there’s costs in your business. How does that feel? 

[00:11:52] Speaker3

Like pressure. Like I. 

[00:11:53] Speaker2

Have to keep. 

[00:11:54] Speaker3

Balancing that, you know, like the checks and balances, which I also think is based based on truth because we have like panels. We have like a it’s not a charity. So. 

[00:12:05] Speaker2

Yes. So what I would give you is, yes, there’s a pal, but if you if you’re associating cost with any of those things that are in your business, whether it be the team, whether it be the pal, whether it be hitting revenue goals or anything, the idea of costs for you creates pressure. 

[00:12:23] Speaker3

Mm hmm. 

[00:12:24] Speaker2

So I’m wondering if we could look at it in a slightly different way that didn’t create a pressure experience for you, like hiring the team. How would you like to feel about hiring the team this quarter? 

[00:12:36] Speaker3

Well, I think I can have both. I think I’m definitely learning a lot from it. But of course, it comes at a material cost as well. So like, I’m we’re. 

[00:12:44] Speaker2

Not going to use the word cost if we could come up with a way to think about hiring that didn’t involve the word cost. What might that be? 

[00:12:53] Speaker3

Many people call it an investment. 

[00:12:55] Speaker2

But do you believe that? I do. Okay. How does the investment feel? 

[00:13:01] Speaker3

Investment feels good, but it also comes at a cost. It’s not like you can just invest without giving something. 

[00:13:10] Speaker2

Tell me about costs. This is where I think this is what we have to break in your brain, I feel like is the idea of costs. So where does costs come from? Like there’s something in your history that had told you that costs meant pressure or angst. 

[00:13:27] Speaker3

Will cost to me is probably the more like physical, tangible, quantifiable things. So like our spend dollars, things like that, the hours spent training and the dollars it costs which can turn into an investment, obviously. Which can turn into investment, of course. 

[00:13:43] Speaker2

Yeah, but cost is like time, money, energy expenditures. 

[00:13:48] Speaker3

Yeah. To me, it’s like anything that’s measurable. 

[00:13:51] Speaker2

Measurable. Okay. So how does this create pressure for you?

[00:13:55] Speaker3

Because when I when I put that out there, I expect to get it back. Right. Just like when you invest in something, you expect to get that get that investment back and then some. I don’t think want to invest in something and thinking it’s not going to appreciate. 

[00:14:08] Speaker2

So what is the expectation about getting it back? Is there like a certain time frame? Is there a certain like order ally? 

[00:14:15] Speaker3

Yeah. I mean, obviously I would like to have it in a shorter amount of time frame. It’s always going to be shorter than like I feel my expectations are going to be shorter than what it is because I just expect things quicker than probably should. Yeah. 

[00:14:29] Speaker2

So I would love to be able to like change the idea of costs in your mind. In your mind. Like, who told you that costs were time, money, energy expenditures. Where do you think you picked that up from? 

[00:14:43] Speaker3

I think society and experience. 

[00:14:46] Speaker2

Okay. If you could think about this any way that you wanted. Like if we were like rewriting the definition, we’re like scratched out Webster’s definition of cost. That’s in your mind. And you could rewrite it. How would you write that definition? 

[00:15:01] Speaker3

For me, it’s something that has to be given prior to seeing an ROI. So something that you give first before you start to see. It’s like planting seeds. You have to do it before you can so you can get the benefits of it. 

[00:15:14] Speaker2

How is it that it. 

[00:15:15] Speaker3

Happens before. 

[00:15:16] Speaker2

It it happens before you get the return? 

[00:15:19] Speaker3


[00:15:20] Speaker2

Okay. And how does that feel to you, that idea? 

[00:15:22] Speaker3

I mean, it feels like I need to have patience and I need to have a lot of trust because there is no timeline or definitive amount that I would get back because it’s like you never know what you’re going to get back. 

[00:15:32] Speaker2


[00:15:33] Speaker3

So it feels to know that. 

[00:15:34] Speaker2

Yeah. Feels uncertain. Yeah. So this is why I’m thinking that cost is an unhelpful idea for you is because it creates a feeling of uncertainty and you’re trying to action your way to certainty. You’re like, well, if I just if it’s faster or I can somehow create some sort of guarantee or I can make sure that this will work and kind of like rushing to it, then you get through the uncertainty phase and you can get to the place where you feel the return is happening and that feels better to you. Do you see that? 

[00:16:08] Speaker3

Yeah, that’s what most people write. So I don’t know. How. How would you recommend me to look at it if it’s not that? 

[00:16:15] Speaker2

Yeah. So, I mean, there’s lots of different ways to look at it. I probably wouldn’t even use the word costs for myself if I had. If I saw this connection that I had in my mind. It’s just like I don’t even use the word launch anymore. Student All how emotionally charged the idea of launches for so many people. Yeah, so angsty, so stressful, so pressure filled. I just call it open doors and closed doors. It’s like, Oh, we’re opening it up. Oh, we’re closing it down. 

[00:16:44] Speaker3


[00:16:44] Speaker2

So I think for you one of two things here, Gloria, because what’s happening is what you’re doing is you’re constantly creating the experience inside of your business and for yourself of paying for the costs, whether it be your time, whether it be your money, whether it be your energy in terms of like the burnout. Everything has a cost. So you’re creating the experience of always living in the cost of something. So I’m wondering if we can think about it in a different way entirely so that we’re not even using the word cost anymore. Yeah, I love that. Yeah, I think this would be helpful. So I’m just looking at the chat box investment and getting your time back and increased revenue. Help you work less and make the same or more. 

[00:17:30] Speaker3

I mean, does anyone else feel this way or do you think this is kind of an extreme way of looking at it? 

[00:17:34] Speaker2

It’s not. 

[00:17:34] Speaker3

It’s to me seems totally normal. 

[00:17:36] Speaker2

But yeah, I know. But it’s just not helpful because it creates a sense of uncertainty for you. That’s the only reason why we’re looking at it. So like, I would be like, this is the way that I go into any investment that I make. I just decide I’m getting my money back. I just decide I’m getting a ten times return on this. And then I just that’s what I. Live in. Like I’m constantly finding the return, constantly, constantly. So that’s what I’m building now. That’s just my example. But Hunter. Yeah, what do you want to offer to her? 

[00:18:05] Speaker4

And inevitably you’re going to get a return because even if even if you even if you invest and the results from that investment aren’t good, the lessons that you learn will eventually get you a bigger return because you needed to learn that lesson to grow and learn what you needed to get out of your investment. 

[00:18:28] Speaker1

All right. I hope you got a ton out of this coaching session here that I’ve just shared with you. This is just a little glimpse of the types of conversation and the types of coaching that you get inside our accelerator coaching program. If you’d like to apply, if you want to learn more, if you want to go hear from current and past members, head over to Rick Mul Forward slash accelerator and you can check everything out right there. Thank you as always for tuning in today, my friend. I appreciate you. And until next time, be well. We’ll talk to you soon. 

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