Coach`s Corner - Billy Sparkle

What Are You In It For?
January 2011
Are you in it for the money? Or are you in it for the game?
I ask this question on the heels of an interesting experience I recently had while riding on a
subway car.
A Mexican Quartet had boarded the train and began playing a lively tune. No sooner had they
begun their song, than one of them removed his hat and started walking through the car
requesting donations. Then, long before we reached the next station, they all stopped playing,
sat down and just started talking with one another. I found the whole thing quite odd and I’ll
tell you why. I enjoy subway performers. I think it’s a terrific part of our City’s culture. And I’m
eager to give them money when they’ve given us a terrific performance. The thing is that when
they take their hats off so quickly and are already asking us for money when we’ve barely gotten
a song out of them, it’s like watching one of those videos on CNN. I’m watching the band,
listening to the music and meanwhile there’s this annoying stream of words fluttering across the
screen saying “We’re out to get your money…. We’re out to get your money…. We’re out to get
your money….” And while what I want to do is enjoy their performance, I can’t seem to get past
the thought that they’re really not in it for the performance. They’re only in it for the money.
Meanwhile, that’s not what I’m in it for.
You see, I’m in it for the performance. And I – like many others that I know – will gladly pay
money as a way of appreciating them for the performance. But if when I give them money, it
actually stops the performance, that starts to unconsciously train me to NOT give them money.
Because each time I’m giving them money, the performance stops. And since my entire
motivation for giving them money in the first place rested on the fact that they were giving me a
performance, well I don’t want to stop their performance.
I wonder how often we do this in business. I mean, look I understand that we’re playing the
game of business to generate money, but aren’t we also doing it because we like what we’re
doing? I mean, we could be making money doing a number of different things, but we happen
to be doing the thing that we’re doing because presumably, somewhere along the line we said
that we enjoyed doing this particular kind of work.
I say presumably because, like this four-man band, some people seem to be walking around like
they don’t really enjoy what it is that they’re doing and they’re only doing it for the money.
It would be like if I’m playing a video game and each time I feed quarters into the machine, the
machine shuts down. Well, that’s not the way arcade games work. The way they work is that
every time you feed them money, they actually *do* something. So what I want is that when I
feed you money, I want you to actually do something for me. I want you to at least give me the
opportunity to think that something’s going to happen like a slot machine does. Where even if
it doesn’t actually land on three lemons or three cherries, I think that that might happen, so it
motivates me to keep giving money to it (Like your *next* song *might* be a good one, or your
next rendering of service *might* be favorable to me, etc.).
But if every time I put money into the machine, and the machine just STOPS? Well, guess what’s
going to happen to my money? That’s right. It’s going to stop too. So here’s my coaching: I
understand that you want to make money. In fact, I also want you to make money because I’m
going to be in it for the performance; and I’m going to be giving you money to encourage you to
keep performing… to keep giving me (and my referrals) the kind of service that we keep coming
to you and your business to receive.
So what we’re inviting you to do is become ‘present’ to the performance; become ‘present’ to
the game. And if you’re going to be in the game, we’d love it if you’d get all the way into the
game. We’d love it if you’d get so far into the game that it occurs to the rest of us like you’re
not even there for the money. Then we could all show up for the performance and watch how
quickly we will fill your bank accounts up with our money.
A great man once said, “Light yourself on fire with enthusiasm and people will travel from all
over the world just to watch you burn.” So here’s my question: Will you get into it for the
GAME? Will you be there for the performance? Will you light yourself on fire with enthusiasm?
If you do, and you allow us to watch, we promise we will shower you with appreciation. We will
fill your hats with MONEY. And that’s money that you can allow to continue to fan your fire
rather than having that money be used to fire your fans by taking you out of the performance.
If you’re going to be in it, be in it for the performance. That way we can all play together.
Coach Billy works with highly committed men & women to produce unprecedented results in
their businesses and their lives. Learn more at or contact Billy directly at
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