I connect with audiences on social media. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn provide a ready-made outlet to deliver messages, videos, and articles to a pre-built audience, and from those messages and audiences, business naturally develops. I’ve sold courses, books, and even coaching programs on both of these outlets. I’m certainly not the only one. There are many coaches and businesses doing the same thing.
My coaching is certainly not for everyone, just like businesses cannot serve everyone. My business is best appreciated by male leaders who have achieved success and financial health, but still feel that something is missing. The something missing is often purpose, and a purpose – significance coupled with impact – is what most people desire at a soul level. But sometimes you need to attain everything outside of you, and still feel empty, in order to realize the deeper need for more. I had to learn the hard way that you can’t fill an internal emptiness with external achievement, possessions, or relationships.
Fulfillment is an inside-out game. I learned this after my internal emptiness led to a chase for wealth and possessions, and that chase eventually led to alcoholism, near-suicide, the near-collapse of my family, and termination from two executive positions in about 20 months. Every time I felt unhappy, I’d just buy something or go on a vacation, and when I’d outspent my income, I’d look for a promotion or a raise. None of this cured the primary pain I was trying to alleviate – the emptiness and unhappiness inside of me.
Hiding behind my possessions
I lived this way for the first 43 years of my life. I thought I hid it well, but years after my collapse I see more clearly; I was in pain, and I’m sure there were many people who knew it. I waved around my income, possessions, success as if they were my identity. Since they were all I had, I used these to show everyone that I was someone. There was a disconnect inside of me, and without these things, I truly felt like no one. Being a Marine veteran, I intimidated others into submission to try to deflect their attention away from who I really was – lost and afraid. If I could bully, belittle, or judge them enough, they’d think I was someone special. As if.
After my life collapsed and my wife, Angie, and I rebuilt everything from ashes, I began to see my pain. I had had zero self-esteem or self-respect. I recognized the empty feeling that I felt, which convinced me that I had to prove to others what I didn’t feel. It was all a ruse, a magic trick.
New successes began coming at us quickly and powerfully:
- Our family healed.
- We broke our addictions.
- Our health healed.
- Our marriage healed.
- Our business grew.
Paving the pathway for others
Soon we knew that our story was providing the pathway for new levels of professional and financial success. We realized that we had a powerful story that could help people. We even documented our story in my first book, “The Imposter In Charge” (Stonebrook Publishing). Things came fast and furious.
In October of 2018, I recorded an income of $44,000, which was by far and away the most income I had ever witnessed in a single month. In fact, that month put my business in the black for the most money I had ever earned in a year – even in corporate America. I felt like I had arrived. I began to feel on top of the world, and I puffed out my chest like I was the most successful coach in the world.
My social media posts attacked coaches who were not as financially successful as I had been. I belittled struggling coaches, accusing them of having low self-esteem, being lazy, inept, or of hiding from their shadow. That one successful month revealed the shallow person who was still hiding inside. My shallow self was lying in the shadows. Even though I had done a ton of work up to that point to heal the judgment, anger, and pain inside, that single month of success triggered a dormant condition – low self-esteem and low self-respect. For some reason, I still felt like I needed to attack others to be worthy of success.
I had given my away power
November 2018 turned out to be my lowest income of that year, and it took me a long time to recover. It wasn’t until six or seven months later that I even sniffed that kind of success in a month of business. I spent those six to seven months realizing what had happened, and also realizing that I gave money too much of my power. Instead of feeling a powerful sense of self-esteem and value, I realized that I only felt valuable when my income was high. Instead of feeling powerful inside, I gave all of my power to money, and my worth was still wrapped up in external things. That’s when things changed for good.
Seeing myself in others
Yesterday I was scanning LinkedIn and I came across a post by another business owner, and in this post, he ripped on “broke” business owners for not taking aggressive action, and his words were attacking and disparaging. Instead of offering tips or support to help them, he just ripped on them. I recognized his mind-set and heart-set from far away – his value and worth are wrapped up in his results. His business results are his value and worth. He attacked and this made him feel superior. His external results helped him overcome the internal lack of self-esteem he held. How do I know this? Because that was me. I know that guy well.
Lately, I have narrowed down – even further – the picture of those I enjoy working with most, and who are most successful in my programs. These guys are leaders. They are true innovators who not only carve out an authentic path but also look to bring as many people with them as possible. But these guys are unique because they know the difference between internal and external strength. External strength – the need to show off external strength – is just a cover-up for low self-esteem. Internal strength – self-worth derived from internal value – creates heart-based leaders who lead through love. These guys are sharp and powerful in their purpose, but gentle in everything else. These guys are on a mission but have nothing to prove to anyone. I want to work with them because they are real leaders. Together we can make an impact and truly make a difference in this world.
Take a look inside
I can recognize true power from a distance. Instead of forming an identity around their possessions, wealth, family, or their bodies, these guys form their identities around their internal value. They have nothing to prove. If these guys need to prove anything, they try to prove to themselves that they are somebody, and this is what drives them. So they need to flash that they are somebody whenever they feel it. Please understand there is a mental and emotional disconnect in these guys that can be resolved. But first, they might need to take a break from chasing externally to look where they’ve never looked – inside of themselves. If they ever look, they’ll see that they’ve been powerful all along. But since they were so busy showing off their power, they were giving clear signals that they were lost. Why can I recognize this? Those who were once lost can always spot their own.
If you feel lost or are always looking to find your power outside of yourself, connect with me. I can help. If you know you’re already powerful and want to fully experience your purpose and vision, connect with me. If you attack this message because it exposed the low self-esteem you feel, I’ll talk to you later – after you realize you’ve been looking for your power in the wrong place. I hope you find it soon. Once you find your internal power, you’ll never need to prove anything to anyone else again – ever. You are all you’ll need.
I’d love to connect with you! Email me at [email protected] or see my website at www.mikekitko.com for more information about me, my services, or my book, “The Imposter In Charge.”