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How I went from Corporate Schmoozing to Internet Success in 6 months

(This shot taken by me on a crappy Sony point-&-shoot at Cardrona, looking back over the McKenzie ranges. Total powder porn.)

The secret to success in corporate consulting is simple: Be everywhere, all the time. Have lunch with as many CEOs as possible and know about all the challenges they’re facing. Be aware of their problems before they are. Right when things are at their worst? Swoop in with a solution and make the sale.

It was that approach that earned me a, “Peter, we need you. Send us the bill,” status with hundred million dollar businesses.

In other words, it earned me a comfortable income.

But one night, I wasn’t comfortable. It was freezing outside, high in the southern alps of New Zealand. The snow was falling, and I had convinced James Chartrand to spend a few minutes talking business strategy with me on the phone.

You see, I had spontaneously decided to drop my corporate consulting business and ensconce myself in a mountain cabin. Date of return, unknown. Having spend the last few years hopping between antipodean cities consulting with investment banks, energy companies and mega-retailers…

I was burnt out.

I was sick of being everywhere at once. I had enough in the bank to disappear into the ski fields of the alps and absolutely zero plans for when I ran out of cash.

I left anyway.

And here was James on the phone, giving me a solution that had me uttering this immediate response, without a moment’s hesitation:

“It’ll never work. I have enormous respect for you, but you’re out of your ****ing mind.”

Little did I know that James’ suggestion was about to be the best business decision I ever made.

That fateful snowy night would be the turning point in having me completely replace my corporate consulting income within six months. James’ advice actually created a business model worth six figures a year in net profit…

And that’s even disregarding any future growth.

I didn’t know that at the time, though. I had to be convinced, reassured and persuaded. James’ suggestion of email consulting?

I swore it’d never work.

You see, I’m the Shrink for Entrepreneurs, working with very successful people and big enterprises. My whole business relies on psychological tricks, unconscious body language, and the inflection and analysis of spoken language. I help people make dramatic and rapid shifts in their mental programming by leading them through mind-blowing psychological exercises.

I firmly believed I couldn’t do that by email. And I was dead wrong.

I’m telling you this story for one important reason: Big innovations and revolutions aren’t some kind of mind-boggling, unsurpassable achievement. We don’t come up with brilliant new business ideas by climbing the Himalayas to ask a guru’s insight.

Often, the win-wealth-and-freedom ideas are right in front of us. We just need perspective from someone with street-smarts and real-world experience to point them out.

My guess is that you’d like to have a few more of those sorts of ideas. And that’s why I’m sharing this story with you. By showing you how my eyes were wrenched open to see the shining, highly-profitable truth…

You’ll open your own eyes.

Oh, I was dead right about the reasons why email consulting couldn’t work. However, in my righteousness, I didn’t stop to consider the other as-yet-unknown reasons why email consulting could be better than face-to-face work.

Thanks to James’ persistence (and her firm belief that anything can be done via the internet), I now know why email consulting with the Shrink for Entrepreneurs rocks, both for me and my clients.

Revolution 1: The language patterns are right in front of me!

As an enthusiastic (if somewhat closet) master practitioner and trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, my work is all about language patterns.

When people speak, every single word has meaning. There are no semantic mistakes, and there’s no such thing as idle chatter. Every word represents a deeper psychological structure.

The training to spot language patterns mid-conversation boggles the mind. It’s so difficult, in fact, that most NLP practitioners never master it. Instead, they choose (erroneously) to focus on convenient “step-by-step” techniques where they talk and the client simply listens.

I spent years mastering the necessary skills to spot linguistic patterns like Comparative Deletion (that’s when an entrepreneur says, “I’m just not good enough,” but forgets with whom they’re comparing themselves) and Nominalization (that’s when an entrepreneur says, “I think I have depression,” but simply failed to recognize that he’s depressing himself) and hundreds of patterns more.

I trained myself to focus every ounce of my concentration on spotting these psycho-linguistic patterns as they emerged from clients’ mouths. And even at the height of my game, I still needed a full tank of caffeine, eight hours of sleep and a clear head to note most of the destructive language patterns my clients used.

Until email came along.

When a client writes to me, no matter if they self-edit or simply rant and hit send, I can read the language patterns. And when I’m done, I can read the patterns again. I can RE-READ THEM! They don’t go away – they’re still on the screen!!!

The ability to “hear” a client’s thoughts, mull it over for a bit, then re-visit them changed everything. Re-reading client dialogue changed everything. In fact, just that shift in format made the most difficult part of my job the easiest.

Revolution 2: My office is now open 24/7

Imagine you’re an entrepreneur all alone in the world. Oh wait – maybe you don’t have to imagine!

Things are tough. You’re worried about sales and bills stacking up. You have big dreams but you’re not sure about how to make them happen. You definitely don’t know what to prioritize or where to begin. And maybe you have close friends to bounce your concerns off. But when you expose your darkest fears to them, you risk their judgment. You’re an entrepreneur – which means you’ve got an ego. Right? So you turn to your spouse, who looks at you with I’m-counting-on-you eyes. You smile and say:

“Everything is going great!”

Entrepreneurs struggle in an echo chamber. They need a wall for the bouncing of ideas, fears and all things in between. And a wall that can plot strategy and unpick your psychology helps too.

I used to be that wall for many people. I kept office hours and worked late to keep up with paperwork. I got tired. Fed up. Burnt out. I felt like I wasn’t there enough for people, but I couldn’t be there more than I already was.

Like I said, email changed everything.

Now my clients wake up in the middle of the night, their head filled with ideas (or fears!), and immediately fire off those thoughts to their highly skilled ideas-bouncing-wall. They can fire a brain-dump from halfway around the world and go back to sleep knowing that someone holding powerful expectations and intentions for their success will read it.

My clients sleep easy knowing the Shrink for Entrepreneurs will analyze furiously on their behalf, and they’ll wake up to fresh insight, reframes and suggestions in their inbox.

This simple format shift, from office to inbox, allowed me to transcend all the frustrations of a therapy business. Rescheduling, cancellations, running-out-of-time and being booked solid…. it’s all a thing of the past.

The best part? Clients confess they find enormous value in simply writing those late night messages, just because they know I’m reading. I always provide detailed, insightful replies, but often the effort of written communication (to someone who’ll kick ass if you have a bad attitude) changes everything.

Just like email changed everything for me.

It makes me smile, because email isn’t a revolutionary format. By internet standards, it’s old hat! But by mixing two unlikely partners – email and entrepreneurial shrinking – something quite spectacularly new and effective is born.

Now I’m dead curious to know what other killer combos are out there, just waiting to be discovered.

Revolution 3: My clients come to me perfectly pre-qualified.

If you want to find out more about what it’s like to work with me, you can try it right now. Many people don’t know this, but I offer a free service called the Next-Step Challenge right on my website homepage.

Fill out a short questionnaire and I provide you with a quick-fire, 100% custom analysis of your business, psychology and goals.

This is one more way that email helps me – because of the nature of the work I do with clients, it’s ultra important that I pre-qualify my target market and work with people motivated to grow, change and reach success faster and better than had they tried alone.

And email in the form of a Next-Step Challenge creates this pre-qualification easily. The pool of people who respond to my offer usually become my clients. Or they just email me outright. I don’t have to find these people or chase after them – they come to me, and once they see what I can do for them, they want more.

Never chasing for clients again and always landing the perfect type of client to work with? Now that’s revolutionary.

None of this would have happened, though, had I not opened my eyes to possibilities I didn’t believe existed. And that’s the cliche moral of the story:

No matter who you are, start looking for the game-changing opportunities that are lying right in front of you. They’re everywhere. Keep your eyes open.

And if you’re an entrepreneur who’s interested in transcending wealth and freedom to create impact in the world, I want you as a client. Get in touch.


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  1. A lovely post that also subtly gives us those strong selling points of your business… 🙂 love it.

    Online has been a wonderful experience for me. I am particularly fond of the delete button and just as soon as they invent one for speech, boy am I going to be uhh…ummm… welll…I guess the things is….suave and ultra confident in person. 🙂

  2. In short – email is awesome 😛

    I knew there was a reason I like communicating through emails. The best thing I like about email? Every time I find myself giving in to a client’s demands (when I really don’t want to), I step back, reread and change my wordings to reflect my position more clearly than saying something that basically translates into ‘Okay, if that’s what you want.’

    I’m so tempted to try out your free service Peter. Not going to though because I would want to work with you and right now, working with you won’t fit in my pocket. Have a few other dues to pay first.

    But in 6 months, I’ll be knocking at your door 🙂

    1. Hey Samar, sounds like you get the format which is awesome. I’m not sure I quite see the logic of waiting six months to get free help… but I look forward to chatting when you do make it happen! 🙂

  3. Hey Peter,

    One of my favorite posts of yours yet. James challenged your “inner naysayer.” Cool. I’m also a big email fan. Have written some amazing prose, just to friends that I then turned into paid essays.

    You’re like a 24/7 ear for folks. Many of our best ideas happen in that late night/early morning netherworld where we are neither awake nor asleep.

    What a great space to occupy! Love it.

    Folks need/want to be challenged. Rubber stamping helps no one in the end. Yet, it’s the nonsense corporations are born of. Your clients probably can’t get an objective answer from their underlings because we are taught to rubberstamp out of fear of being fired.

    (I can just imagine the thoughts going through the second mate’s mind on the Titanic. Should I tell the captain he’s making a mistake going lickety split through these icy waters? Nay, I’ll get fired …)


    Great, perhaps even life-saving opinions become the casualty of the fear culture.

    Many thanks! G.

  4. Great article peter. Once again you were able to get me motivated during a hard day of trial and error. Just the hidden insight between the lines was enough to propel the creative juices into overdrive.
    Thanks again buddy

  5. I’m starting to enjoy email more and more for consulting. I tried it before and didn’t like it, however I’ve got a better structure now and am looking at offering it again. Particularly after working with you and James via email, I can see where I went wrong last time.

    Nice to see you’re wrong occasionally too Peter. 😉

  6. 1. Beautiful sales pitch; I hope you’re getting a commission from MwP 🙂
    2. Sneakily awesome photo caption
    3. I wrote down the open-ended questions on your Next Step Challenge so I can contemplate them during my airplane downtime on Thursday. I might take the leap after that. Maybe.
    4. Totally random: I know I’ve seen you discuss Myers-Briggs types before (I’m ENFJ), but have you done any work with the Director-Negotiator-Explorer-Builder types?
    5. Now every time I write something that you’ll read, I’ll probably over-analyze it. That’s what I’m doing right now actually. Type, analyze. Type, analyze.

    *head explodes*

    1. Haha hey Molly! No commissions from MwP – the results I’ve gotten are all the affiliate bonus I need 😉

      I haven’t done much work with that profiling model you mentioned. There are so damn many models these days… I stick with myers briggs and Gravesian Spiral Dynamics. Also poke around The Enneagram a little.

      And regarding the over-analyzing? Just surrender to it. Communicate with me (and everyone!) intuitively … it’s a lot more fun and you’ll get better, more significant communication done. 😉

  7. Brilliant post Peter and perfectly timed. Piggy backs on conversations I have been having lately with others, the thoughts come from ‘who knows where’ and then this post seems to be the full stop or the underline, something like that anyway.

    Hmmm…my mind is ticking over and I really like it.

    Thanks Peter for your open sharing – a truly valuable gift you give.

  8. Mr. Peter, you hit the point. I found you through the free ebook that was offered as a bonus by a guy I follow. and this post is a bomb!! Once I started reading it, I have done it to the end as with 97% of all from you that I have opened. Now I know why I cannot stop myself from reading. Thanks man.

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