Pay Them First

My friend Kevin told me this amazing story about a session he did with a client.

He and his client had a walking session together in Austin. When they arrived at a park, there was a woman standing near a picnic table. The picnic table and benches were full of perfectly-behaved dogs.

They were fascinated by what they saw, so they struck up a conversation with the woman.

When they asked how all the dogs were so well-behaved, she had a simple answer.

"I pay them first."


"We've already done all the fun stuff they're excited to do - rolling around in the grass, playing ball, swimming. So by the time we get here, they're satisfied and ready to behave when I need them to."

Are we really that different from dogs?

Opposable thumbs, posture, and all that other stuff aside, of course.

Do we REALLY operate THAT differently?

We force ourselves into this paradigm of work first, reward (or play) later. "Earn it," we say.

Then we impose that paradigm on everyone else around us.

It's ineffective, and it becomes fear-based and toxic.

You have to pay them first - whoever you're leading. That means you've got to extend them trust first.

To do that, you've got to pay yourself first. Trust yourself enough to let yourself play before you work. 

And perhaps - trust yourself enough to allow yourself to do work that doesn't FEEL like work. 

Love, MFH

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