“The pain of what it was costing me not to try. It was more overpowering than just going for it…”
— Chris West

Welcome to the Steve Show today. I have Chris West from Video Narrative here and we’re going to talk about how you can choose your life and design your business around it. Just be asking a few of the right questions, bringing in a new perspective— that can have dramatic effects in your family life, your business life, and your relationships. 

When I first met Chris, I was struck by how big a heart he has, and how much he cares about his clients, family, and people in the world. He always puts his care for others first rather than focusing on the bottom-line.

Working together, Chris let me know he had big dreams about buying land, spending more time at home with his family and being with his kids at least three days a week. However, to do this, he thought he had to work a lot harder and grind it out, “I really bought into the idea that I gotta work really, really, really hard now.” 

Today, he’s about to have another son in September (his second son), and he is able to take a full month off work and know that his business team knows exactly what to do, and his business will continue to do well. 

How did Chris go from thinking he had to work really hard, to working less and having confidence that things will be taken care of? In this post, I share the most IMPORTANT takeaway from the interview:

Don’t Assume, Ask! 

As a video storyteller, Chris was in high demand, flying out to see his clients. And, having already committed some spare time to attend my mentorship programs. Clearly, this was a far stretch from what he wanted: more time at home and the money to buy land. So, I asked Chris, “Why do you do it?” 

Chris told me, “Well, I work with professional speakers, I’m passionate about telling people’s stories, and that requires me to travel to conferences and film them, right?”

I asked, “Why do you have to be the one who travels to see them? Why can’t they come to you?” He responded, “I don’t think they will.”

I told him to try it. Because every business interaction that is win-win has to address the needs of everyone. Not just the client’s, but yours too. But here’s what happened to Chris when he started asking his clients to come to him: 

“So, two of my team’s going to come join you (the client). He said, “I signed up to work with you. I actually want you to come.” I responded, “If you want to work with me, that’s fine. I work in Portland, so you would come here to do a lot of the really deep-dive narrative work.” He was like, “Okay, well what days are available to you?” 

Chris thought he was going to p*ss the client off! But instead, things shifted in his favor. Chris still travels to work with different speakers throughout the country, but those are select trips he goes on because he wants to, rather than because he thinks he has to. 

Instead, for the majority of his clients, Chris rents a beautiful condo in the heart of downtown Portland, and clients come to him numerous times per year. This saves him on travel costs and time away from his family— energy and resources he can now use to improve his service and enjoy his life. Furthermore, when his clients visit Portland, he curates beautiful experiences for them like beautiful food, good accommodation etc. 

But it gets better. Because he can control and prepare the visual curation of his recording and photographing space, his end-products (stills and motion pictures) for his clients were mind-blowing! As a result of having his needs taken care of, his clients were getting MORE VALUE than they were before! 

“We charge more for it, but we get better results.”
—Chris West

Before making this shift, Chris’ cashflow was entirely dependent on other people’s schedules. It was stressing him on time, money, and resources. By making a simple shift, he has managed to spend more time being home with his family, his clients are getting massive value, and he’s making more money by charging his clients more for his services. 

So, where in your life and business can you make a better ask? What is the ‘ask’ that you are most afraid to make? It just might lead to a big breakthrough for you and your business. 

As always, until we meet again…

Choose Gratitude Create Freedom

Steve Napolitan 

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