The Soul Millionaire Journey is Born

The Flight of The Soul Millionaire, Chapter 3. What emerges is a framework that creates empowered people. What’s more surprising is that the same framework improves how leaders behave, how teams excel and how revenue increases. This is how businesses are elevated to levels they previously spoke about only in moments of wishful thinking.

Beware of the Ascot Headbutt

It’s a favourite of mine: scrambled eggs and smoked salmon (on brown toast).
In some parts of the world it’s called Eggs Ascot.

I walked into the Moran Hotel, looking for my host.
She wasn’t difficult to spot; she has one of the most memorable smiles on the financial services circuit.

We settled down, with eggs on order.

“Well, you called the meeting,” she started. “What’s on your mind?” My cue. I waxed lyrical about the possibilities and opportunities of working more closely together.
I stopped for breath as my Eggs Ascot arrived. She smiled at me. That smile. And responded…
“Dave, that all sounds great. Really it does…”

I held my breath. I could distinctly hear a “But …”
I was right.
“But … I don’t think I want to work any closer with you.”

“What!” I blurted out.
“Then what on earth am I doing up here in Chiswick at this ridiculous hour?!”

“It’s a good question,” she calmly continued.
“So, let me explain why I’m saying what I’m saying.”
With a mouthful of toast and smoked salmon, what else could I do but listen?

“The problem with you, Mr Scarlett, is that you’ve lost track of who you are. You’ve become really boring, just like the rest of the consultants dropping into this market.”

And then the neat headbutt followed.

“You’ve gone all marketing-schmarketing in the last few years. And you sound no different to anyone else.
I’ll say it again: reeeaaally boring.”

With a delicate coup de grace to follow:

“Whatever happened to The Soul Millionaire, eh? You know, the spiritual, quirky, interesting guy that people were talking about?”

Finally, the ultimatum.

“When I see you going back to being that guy, then I’ll be happy to talk to you. In the meantime, I need to get to another meeting quickly.
So, I’ll just sip this coffee, pay the bill, and leave you to finish your scrambled eggs.”

And she was gone.

I wouldn’t mind if that was the only experience during that year telling me truths I’d rather not hear.

Within weeks, I’d met marketing consultant Carrie, who said, “Well, I’ve read your Soul Millionaire book. But I can’t for the life of me see what that has to do with your current brand and activity, The Adviser Gym.”

Not long afterwards, my mentor, Andrew, said: “Look, I just don’t see how I can help you further with your current business model, teaching marketing strategies to financial advisers. When are you going to exercise the courage to be who you really are: The Soul Millionaire?
That concept you wrote about is unique in the industry you’re trying to work with. It’s meaningful.”

I’m slow. But even I start to wake from slumber when three people give me the same message from three different perspectives. And all in the same month.

I’ll show you how I finally stopped copying others’ best practices and started becoming what decades in business had prepared me for.

If Moses Had Received an 11th Commandment, it Might Have Been This: “Thou Shalt Have a Revelation at The Most Unexpected of Times”

There I was, a-musing and a-pondering about this Hero thing I’d been studying.

Sleep evaded me, because I’d made the mistake of going to bed with a question on my mind.

The question sounded like this: What exactly is the relationship between the Eight Stages of The Hero’s Journey… and running an effective and exciting business?

It came eventually: that restless sleep.

And when I awoke, I did so with a jolt. My heart palpitating wildly.

I felt like a man possessed. I rushed downstairs, grabbing a pen and notepad from my briefcase. Then started to scribble, demonically. I could scarcely breathe.

I have no idea how long I sat there, arrows and pictures and mind- maps flying from my fingers. But I could see something forming from the manic mess. There on my notepad. Not just something – three somethings.

  • On the left side of the page were the Eight Stages of The Hero’s Journey.
  • On the right side was a summary of results that my coaching clients (mainly financial advisers and planners) had achieved during my previous 10 years of coaching.
  • Slap in the middle was the title of my novel, written just seven years previously: The Soul Millionaire. (It hadn’t fared badly; it had reached Top 20 on Amazon UK for a sliver of time.)

Somehow, in my babbling, excited brain, I knew that my novel held the clue to translating the Hero’s Journey theory (left-hand column) into superb business practice (right-hand column).

Don’t ask me how. I just knew it!

I had stumbled across the Four Stages of almost any successful adventure.

Not just as they applied to myths and legends, parables and fairy stories. But as they applied to life.

And to business!

Come in Close, Then I’ll Know You Can’t See

That’s what a magician does, isn’t it? Gets us to stare so hard at something that we completely miss the something else that’s happening before our very eyes.

Often, our vision is most clear when we step away – not when we peer closely.

(We get so busy on our business trek through each day and week focused on where to put our foot next without tripping or falling down a pothole. Or focused on how to survive until the next weekend break, aching for refreshment and blessed rest.)

I think we all recognise that paradox (stepping away to see more clearly) as gaining perspective.

It’s the perspective we gain atop a mountain or gazing from a clifftop at the might of the sea. Haven’t we all experienced that emotional intake of breath, as we view our world with unusual clarity?

Perhaps seeing our life as we’ve never seen it before?

And that is how I came to understand the business relevance of The Hero’s Journey. I had to step away. I had to allow the confetti to settle. I had to allow the pattern to emerge.

And it did. A day or so later.

Put These Specs On, Do You See
Elegant Simplicity?

Reviewing The Hero’s Journey (left-hand column) showed me the art and science of business through a new set of spectacles. Isn’t that what scientists call a paradigm shift?

Anyway, with that new insight, I analysed every chapter of The Soul Millionaire book (middle column). Somewhere, buried in there, I knew I’d find the clue to why walking The Hero’s Journey would elevate a business to new heights. Not just any clue – a logical, coherent clue.

After a few hours, I sat back with a sigh of satisfaction. My suspicions were confirmed.

Without question, The Hero’s Journey was indeed the skeleton and foundation of that book, The Soul Millionaire.

There it was: the tale of the awakening, mission, adventures, and ultimate financial (and business) transformation of the book’s Hero, Jonathan.

Even the Teacher appeared, as well as the various friends and foes. And, yes, there was the Wilderness and the tough, gritty times for the Hero.

Towards the end of The Soul Millionaire saga, Jonathan realised that his next mission was to be the mentor and teacher for the next Jonathan: the next Hero-to-be.

During this process, the Hero’s personal life and relationships evolved into something vastly more meaningful and enjoyable.
He grew to understand what it meant to serve, rather than to grasp. He also came to understand the real meaning of love, something quite different to the picture portrayed by Hollywood and the media.

Meanwhile, the Hero’s business acumen and financial circumstances didn’t just develop, they leapt and bounded.

It was all there!

The Soul Millionaire book demonstrated that every single stage of The Hero’s Journey had relevance when building a superb business… and then again, when taking it to the so-called ‘next level’.

Something else came to light, while reviewing my book. I saw that I could simplify the Eight Stages of the Hero’s Journey to just Four Stages. More became less. And, strangely, less was substantially more.

Simplicity always does it for me.
And the simplicity I saw looked like this:

The Four Stages of The Soul Millionaire (Book)

  1. The Big Mission, The Awakened Mind, The Ignited Heart
  2. The Preparation, Commitment, Starting the Mission
  3. The Inspired ‘Warrior’ & Friends’ Face Tests
  4. The Hero Returns – Transformed, Ready to Ignite, Lift & Teach Others

The Essence of Those Four Stages

  1. Mission Understanding, Insight, Emotional Ignition
  2. Engage with The Mission
  3. Demonstrate Inspired, Courageous Leadership
  4. An Increase – Elevation – of Capability, Influence & Legacy

The Soul Millionaire book demonstrated that every single stage of The Hero’s Journey had relevance when building a superb business.

The Pudding is Good to Eat

I had my proof.

The Hero’s Journey and the development of a better-than-good business went hand in hand.

Drinking that in, right then and there, I enjoyed another of those serendipitous moments.

Sitting at the edge of my desk happened to be a copy of two books: Good to Great and Built to Last (by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, concluding years of research amongst leading, global Visionary Companies).

Just looking at those book covers reminded me that, globally, Visionary Companies have woven those four simplified Hero’s Journey stages into the fibre of their thinking, planning and actions.

It was also comforting to review the case studies of my recent clients. They had invariably integrated most (if not all) of those four stages during our work together.

Some of their results you’ve already started to see in the stories I’ve mentioned. Others will unfold as you read further.

Good Idea, Now Make it Memorable

With these Four Stages expressed in such simple terms, the truth hit me.

I had stumbled across the Four Stages of almost any successful adventure.
Not just as they applied to myths and legends, parables and fairy stories. But as they applied to life, and to business!

Here was an approach to business that promised more than just increased revenue and profit.

Specifically, such an approach would:

  • Transform the team’s thinking, and their understanding of service.
  • Make a greater difference in the lives of their clients.
  • Generate a desire for excellence in the team.
  • Create an underlying working environment of joy.

I had connected the dots, from left to right.
And I had revealed:

  • The Eight Stages of The Hero’s Journey.
  • The personal and business adventures of Jonathan in
  • The Soul Millionaire book.
  • The in-the-trenches results of coaching financial planners and business leaders.

I’d distilled the whole journey to just Four Stages.

You’d think I’d be satisfied with this, wouldn’t you? But I wasn’t. I wanted a message, a verbal brand, that would be:

  • Easy for the world to understand, and
  • Easy for the world to remember.

So, I embarked on more months of testing – workshops, seminars, client feedback – to see if the discovery which excited me was just an illusion in my head.

After six months I was ready to further distil the essence of those Four Stages.

Here was the rocket fuel for a business which would behave wholly differently from its peers.

And So, The Soul Millionaire Journey Was Born!

The process of Revelation had started for me in the Bleak Midwinter. It reached its culmination under the warm skies of an English summer afternoon.

I sat on my Thinking Bench, surrounded by the soothing sights, smells and sounds of my bee-and-butterfly garden, and saw what I had uncovered.

On my lap was a single sheet of paper, representing many months of hard work. Staring at that sheet, I had one of those “Oh, my word” moments.

Before me, there were no longer four phrases, capturing the essence of everything I’d learned in those six months.

There were just four WORDS and here is my thought process:

The Four Stages if The Soul Millionaire (Book)

  1. The Big Mission, The Awakened Mind, The Ignited Heart
  2. The Preparation, Commitment, Starting The Mission
  3. The Inspired ‘Warrior’ & Friends’ Face Tests
  4. The Hero Returns – Transformed, Ready to Ignite, Lift & Teach Others

The Essence of Those Four Stages

  1. Mission Understanding, Insight, Emotional Ignition
  2. Engage with The Mission
  3. Demonstrate Inspired, Courageous Leadership
  4. An Increase – Elevation – of Capability, Influence & Legacy

The Four-Word Distillation of “The Soul Millionaire Journey

  1. Ignite!
  2. Engage!
  3. Inspire!
  4. Elevate!

It was that simple. Now, I had an understandable, and easily remembered, way of articulating The Soul Millionaire Journey.

  1. Ignite!
    You’ll ignite the spirit and Power of your business to create, and serve, eager, fulfilling, quality clients, who pay you what you’re really, really worth.
  2. Engage!
    You’ll engage those clients, and professional alliances, in such a rich relationship that they become your most passionate advocates, evangelists and marketing team.
  3. Inspire!
    You’ll learn how to inspire your clients, and your team, and demonstrably make a meaningful difference in their lives.
  4. Elevate!
    You’ll elevate your influence, your leadership, your time freedom, your revenue, your enjoyment, your impact, your unique capabilities, creating a powerful legacy in many lives.

Here is the chart from the book:

Now … Come with me to …

The Thinking Bench

I was gazing and pondering.

I was sitting on my Thinking Bench, a cool drink beside me and hypnotised by the bumble and honey bees eagerly seeking nectar from the last of the purple echinacea. The late summer sun was weakening, casting a more golden light on green leaves, and the smell of the air was already changing.

I was thinking …

I didn’t really discover this, did I? The Soul Millionaire Journey, I mean. I uncovered it. Because it was there all the time.

I had written a book, The Soul Millionaire, but I’d been blind to its underlying business message.

I’d crafted that book and re-read it ad nauseam. Yet here I was, compelled to study it once more, and coming to know it fully for the first time. Silly, really.

However, I’m comforted when I understand the way in which greater souls than me have uncovered magnificent work throughout the centuries.

Let’s take Michelangelo.

Legends and myths abound regarding Michelangelo’s sculpting of the mesmerising 14-foot statue of David.

It is said that his method of work was to create a wax model of his design, then submerge it in water. As he worked, he let the level of water gradually drop. Then, using different chisels, he sculpted what he could see emerging. And so, David emerged from the depths of a huge block of marble.

The Soul Millionaire Journey felt like that. It emerged.

Biographers say that Michelangelo slept sporadically, usually with his clothes and boots on. And he rarely ate.

Hmmm. We all suffer somewhat to be worthy of our craft. But I draw the line at boots in my bed!

What Have You Learned?

  • What do you feel is the connection between the first two stages of The Hero’s Journey and your business being given a jolt of pure energy?
  • What exactly is the mission you believe you’ve been called to fulfil through your business?
  • Have you read that book The Soul Millionaire? Did you spot the Eight Stages that the hero, Jonathan, went through?
  • Who do you see as your allies in business? And who, or what, do you believe are your foes and forces arrayed against you? What has been your greatest Wilderness test in the last three years? In what way did you demonstrate courageous leadership during this time?
  • What do you see in your life story that shows you’re already on The Hero’s Journey?

What Will You Do Now?

  • What steps are you going to take to wake your business up – to Ignite! it – in the next 90 days?
  • What is it about your business that most inspires you?
  • And is that where you’re spending enough time and energy? What skills and/or services can you develop this year to better Inspire! your clients to live more fulfilled lives?

If you would like a copy of the book please email David Scarlett