How much of your time is spent consuming vs. creating?

Consuming includes things like eating, scrolling on social media, taking in information about other people’s lives, and buying things.

It is completely normal for us to consume a lot. It’s what we’re trained to do as humans.

However, when we’re consuming more than we’re creating, we run into problems.

In this episode, I share what over-consuming looks like, how we get there, and how to break out of over-consumption by creating more. If you’re tired of feeling stagnant in your life, it’s time to look at your output and start creating a life you truly love.

Plus, in this week’s Examples of Awesome interview, Master Certified Coach Brig Johnson is joined by Dielle Charon, sales coach for women of color. They discuss the thoughts that got in Dielle’s way on her path to making seven figures, and the first thought she had once she made it.

What you will discover

  • The problem with consuming more than you create.
  • Why so many people are in a constant consumer role.
  • Three questions to ask yourself about your own creation and consumption.
  • How to increase how much you create right now.
  • The three thoughts that got in Dielle’s way to seven figures.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode 495.

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach instructor, Brooke Castillo.

What’s up my friends? I just got back from Europe. We had an epic working trip to Europe. It wasn’t even like a vacation because I was working the whole time. I was gone, but it was amazing. It was like a life-altering trip and I feel changed by it.

I don’t know if many of you have traveled to other countries or gotten away from your regular routine for an extended period of time and come back and been confused by everything that’s at your house and what’s going on. It’s really powerful. This is such an interesting time in my life right now where I feel like this reinvention that’s been going on for me has really taken a beautiful course in terms of showing me parts of myself that I didn’t even know existed and changing me in ways that are just magical.

And it kind of applies to what I’m going to talk to you about today, which is creating and consuming. And I have touched on this topic before and I’ve weaved it into a lot of the work that I’ve done, but I haven’t really dedicated a whole podcast to this exact topic, and I want to because I think it is very important in this day and age to check yourself. Many of you need to check yourself.

And I got the idea for this podcast when I was with a friend of mine who I noticed was doing a lot of consuming. First of all, let me help you define what I mean by consuming because you may not think you’re consuming when you are.

So consuming is basically taking in information, taking in other people’s experiences, taking in food, taking in stuff from the world. Basically, consuming is like taking in process. So it’s not an output, it’s an input. I’m just going to Google here real quick what the definition is of consume.

Okay, to eat, drink, ingest, buy, or use up. Consume. We are trained to be consumers in every way. From the moment we are born into, especially America, we are taught to be consumers. Now, a lot of people do not like this about America. They don’t like this about capitalism. And they therefore think that because we’re trained to be consumers that we shouldn’t have a capitalist economic system.

And I understand why. Because when you are focused on the consumption part of capitalism, there is so much improvement to be made. But I like to think about it from an individual perspective, from me looking at my life and evaluating my consumption versus my creation.

And there’s lots of ways to inspect it in your own life and to make a conscious decision about it in your own life. And I want to invite you to do that. So when you are dealing with life, living your life in a consumptive way, you are basically a bystander to the activities of other people’s creation.

So if you think about it, when you eat food, when you’re on social media, when you’re purchasing products, when you are watching other people, you are consuming and of course, all of us, we need to consume. Of course we need to consume in order to survive. But most of us are so heavy on consumption that if you look at the percentage rate, it’s 90% consumption, 10% creation.

And the problem with that is that you aren’t living a conscious life when you are in straight consumption. When you’re born, you are sent to school to consume for the next 18 years. Very little is taught in school about creation. When I think about my education and the opportunities I had to create from my own brain, uniquely from my own brain and not just repeat back and regurgitate something I had already consumed, it is so rare that I had the opportunity to access and learn how to create.

I was trained to consume. And I think it’s just compounded with the use of radio, and then television, and now the internet, and now social media, it is very easy for us to constantly be consuming instead of creating.

And so when I was watching my friend, I was noticing that he was always witnessing other people’s lives, consuming the content of their lives, he’s watching sports, which is basically watching other people win, watching other people lose, consuming products that other people create, consuming content that other people write, and doing very little creation.

Because when you’re a creator, you can’t spend most of your time consuming because you won’t have enough time to be innovative, you won’t have enough time to access your own ingenuity. It’s like you don’t have a chance to break from eating to even prepare yourself your own meal, to even create something for yourself.

And so one of the ways that I like to describe this to people is if you’re thinking about it in social media, are you a person who comments or are you a person that receives more comments? Are more people witnessing your life and your creation or are you witnessing their life and their creation?

This is not to say that everybody should be a creator if they don’t want to. I just think nobody offers us up this kind of framework of thinking about the world in terms of being a creator, and creating something new that has never existed.

I personally believe that we can balance out our consumption and our creation, and by doing that, we expand both of them. If you think about it, the creation that I’ve created in my life, the business I’ve created, the content, the ideas, the classes, the live events, everything that I have created has generated me the opportunity to then consume more if I want. It balances out.

So if you are constantly in a state of consuming, that doesn’t mean that you’re constantly buying things. You may just be thinking about buying things. You just may be looking up buying thing. My friend’s always looking up cars, always looking up watches, always looking up how much money everyone else makes and how they’re doing in their sports. It’s very fascinating to watch how much enjoyment he gets from consuming.

It’s a very full life. It takes a lot of time and a lot of hours. And I look at my life when I hang out with this friend and I think about how little time I spend doing those things, and how much time I spend creating and thinking about my own life.

So for some of you, you’re like, “Well, I’m not an entrepreneur, I’m not creating value for other people.” That is not true. You are creating value with your life by creating your life on purpose. When you live a life by default, when you live a life that someone else has prescribed for you and you're just letting life kind of knock you around as you go and you’re not making conscious choices and conscious decisions about your possibilities, you are not creating. You are consuming a life that has been laid out for you.

And you are consuming what other people tell you is important or relevant to consume. And you can watch this in masses of people. And that’s what’s difficult because our human brain wants to be part of the masses. And you watch masses of people consuming the exact same things in the exact same way.

There’s no conscious creation to their own life. For many people, they’re like, “Well, I’ll just follow this person and what they do with their life,” instead of really thinking about all of what your brain, your desire, your experience could create for you that would be a unique life.

I believe the purpose of our life is to live it according to our truest desires and to allow ourselves to have the 50:50 emotional experience that drives us to create from what would normally be a very uncomfortable space.

So which are you? Let’s talk about it in terms of capitalism. People are very confused about capitalism. People will come to me and say, “Are you a capitalist?” And I’m like, “Obviously. I live in America and I’m an entrepreneur.” All it means to be a capitalist is that you live in an economic system where individuals have the right to own their own money and create a profit with it.

And I can’t imagine a better system to live under. Beautiful to me. But there are many corrupt business owners and there are many over-consuming individuals in our country and there are lots of problems, but that’s not capitalism’s fault in my opinion. That’s because we are not trained to be on the side of creation.

Now, a lot of people will have this argument with me where it’s like the haves and the have-nots and the people that benefit the most from capitalism are the creators, are the people who are creating businesses, creating lives, creating products and selling them.

And the people that benefit the least from it, from my perspective, the clients that I coach, are the ones that end up in the constant state of consumption so they can’t get ahead in their own lives. They’re living passively. It’s not their fault, that’s what we’re trained to do. Living passively, trying to get ahead on someone else’s creation.

And this doesn’t mean you have to be an entrepreneur. You can have your own creation for sure within a business where you’re working for somebody else. It’s just consciously deciding what is your contribution? What is your unique way of showing up in the world and giving to the world that creates value for the people around you?

I want to offer too that when we are in straight consumption, we feel bloated in so many ways. We feel stagnant, we feel stuck. Many of us feel hopeless and bored and frustrated and jealous and envious of other people. And it’s because we don't see that we are the ones creating our lives by consuming everyone else’s offerings.

And it’s so much easier to consume than it is to create. It’s much more difficult to create. It’s much more difficult to have people sitting around commenting on you. It’s much harder to be the one on the stage than it is to be the one in the audience. It’s much more difficult to write a book and put it out in the world or create a business and put it out in the world than it is to sit passively by and comment on other people doing that for sure.

But you have to decide at the end of your life, do you want to be someone who consumed their whole life, or do you want to be someone who created?

Now, most of us, one of the main reasons why we’re consumptive, why we’re constantly in the consumer role in our life is because we don’t know how to deal with our emotions. And we seem to learn how to deal with our emotions from companies that are offering to sell us products that will solve our emotions.

On one hand we have, “Hey, buy this food, you’ll feel better.” “Hey, go on this diet, you’ll feel better.” “Hey, buy these clothes, buy this handbag, buy this vacation, buy this, buy this, buy this, buy this, buy this, and you won’t have to feel the way that you feel.”

And I think that that’s so tempting for so many of us. I know it is and was for me. And so we have to kind of pull ourselves out of not just the massive group think that is someone on the outside of the arena commenting on the creator inside of it, but also we have to become conscious about being willing to show up in a way where you’re creating from your own genius, overcoming your own self-doubt, betting on yourself.

Not because you created yourself and you’re so fantastic because you’re your own creation, but because you were created to create, to offer something. If you think about any country, any world where we only have consumers, there is no advancement. There is no invention. There is no success in the way that we know it. And there’s much less to consume because no one’s creating.

So let’s bring this down to the individual place of where you are and do a little evaluation on yourself and be honest with yourself. When you think about a 24-hour day, how much of that day is creating something new and of value to the world? Maybe it’s your children, maybe it’s in your home, and maybe it’s with your friends. It doesn’t have to be in a big business or on a big stage.

But how much of your life is consciously planning to create value? And you will notice the amount of dopamine that we get from creating value in the world. That is why we get dopamine, by going out there and creating value in the world. That accomplishment, that dopamine accomplishment is energizing.

And notice that the dopamine you get from consuming is stagnating. The only thing it motivates you to do is to consume more. Dopamine that you receive from consuming does not encourage you to create. But dopamine you get from creating perpetuates it.

That’s why you notice that people who create continue to create. People that have offerings continue to make offerings, continue to step out there and be willing to risk with their own life. Being willing to put themselves in harm’s way to make their life matter to them.

So simply answer yourself the question, are you consuming or creating more? Second question, are you actively creating your life? I did a recent podcast called Remember Your Future, and if you did that, if you participated in that and you were willing to create a future in your mind and then live into that by creating your life every single day, you don’t just create a vision, you create your actions every single day to live in accordance to that, then you are most certainly a creator.

I was coaching someone in Get Coached about this and she was saying that she listened to that podcast and it made her freeze up because she doesn’t know what to do with her life. She has options that are available to her and she doesn’t know which one she should do, that she should consume, which life that was laid out before her.

And I told her, I said, “I think you should create five different lives that you could live and imagine that all five of them are fantastic.” And that’s going to take way more creativity on her mind because she can’t just say - the things that she was questioning was, well, I could get married, I could have kids, I could move, I could stay here.

Those are all very generic opportunities that everybody has. But when I asked her, I said, “Why don’t you create five different lives that are about you creating them from a place of a blank sheet?” She was a little bit puzzled by that because she said, “Well, I don’t know.”

I’m like, “But that’s it. None of us do until we start creating. And then when we create these five different opportunities for our life and we believe that we can be happy in all five of them, then we’re making a choice from conscious creation and not just consumption.” When you look out into the world to decide what to do with your life, you miss out on your individual authentic life that you can create from looking internally for the answers, for what you have.

When you think about what you want in your life - this is the third question. When you think about what you want in your life, what comes to mind? This is a really great question for those of you who are coaches to ask your clients too. Because the way that you answer this question will really help reveal whether you’re in consumption or creation.

Because if what you want in your life is a Porsche and a Rolex and a private jet and a big beautiful house and a perfect body, if you’re kind of going through the things that you want to consume, that’s where your radar is tuned to.

But when I ask you what you want for your life and you start thinking about what you want to create for the world, you want to create a beautiful home for your children, you want to create a safe space and a safe relationship with your partner, and with your children, and with your friends and you want to create experiences with your clients and the people that love you, when you really consciously think about creating, it’s going to be more taxing on your brain but it’s also going to be so much more rewarding at the end of the day.

Because you will have lived what I believe is true authenticity. What do you want? You don’t even have to tell anyone. I’m just giving you permission to ask yourself what you want. And if your answer is to consume and to be passively commenting on other people’s lives or watching other people live their lives in movies or in sports, I just want you to ask what is it you want to create?

You’re going to consume, that’s part of the deal. That’s part of the fun of life. It’s when we get into passive consumption and over-consumption that we get into trouble and we get stuck and we feel helpless.

You can literally do anything you want with your life. And it’s not just one thing. You can literally do seven different things with your life, especially if you’re already grown. You can change your mind and you can decide and you can do it. And what’s holding most of you back is, “I don’t know.”

And the reason why you don’t know is because you haven’t taken the time to be creative in creating opportunities and possibilities and visions for what you want because you’re way too busy consuming.

So here’s your homework for the week. This is what I want to suggest each and every one of you do. I want you to go into your next week and try to create as much as you consume. Create visions, create ideas, create possibilities for your life. Consume less and create more. Balance it out, my friends.

Don’t be like my friend. Whenever I look at him, he’s always consuming. And then feels unsatisfied and stuck and very confused about what he wants to do with his life. I know for sure that if he started creating anything, it doesn’t matter, create something, get that creative muscle going, as soon as you start creating, more creation will come from there. And you will end up with a more creative and authentic life.

Go forth, my friends, into the next week and create. I’ll talk to you next week. Take care. Bye.

Hey wait, don’t go. I have another Example of Awesome starting right now. Enjoy.

Brig: Hey guys, it’s Brig Johnson again and I am so excited. I have another feature guest and I’m going to let her introduce herself. I’m excited for this one. So Dielle, introduce yourself.

Dielle: Hello Brig. I’m so excited to be here. My name is Dielle Charon and I am a sales coach for women of color. I help women of color increase their sales and increase their freedom and I recently just crossed the seven-figure mark, so I’m so excited.

Brig: She said seven figure. I want to say, y’all, she crossed over to one million. Just literally two, three days ago?

Dielle: Two or three days ago. It’s been a whirlwind. It’s been so exciting

Brig: Yes. And so when I found out, of course I was like, yes, we got to have you on and talk all about it. But before we do that, I know your pronouns but tell everybody. What are your pronouns?

Dielle: My pronouns are she, her, hers.

Brig: Great. Now tell me your story, your origin story because I think it is amazing.

Dielle: I think it’s amazing too. So I started off as a social worker and I was in six figures of student loan debt. I was making $2500 a month. I couldn’t even afford gas to go to my job, so I took a commuter bus and I had a three-hour round trip commute to my job.

And so I was just in so much despair over money, I was in so much despair over my career choice, I thought about getting my PhD, I was actually accepted into a few programs but I didn’t want to get into more debt. And I just felt so stuck. And I know in life coaching that’s the main emotion so many of us feel is stuck, that we don’t have any option, we don’t have any way out.

And so that’s something that I just kept experiencing over and over again, and then I decided to start listening to some podcasts. A friend actually recommended a podcast to me and it was talking about coaching. And it was talking about the power of getting coached yourself, and also the power of helping other people.

And so I decided to start a business helping other people my age and I was just a general life coach. Since I was a social worker I was already doing that work, and it was more helping women my age or college students navigate their paths since I was able to do that too.

So I started doing that while having my full-time job, and that was a lot to juggle but I was able to do it. And soon after, I was making money, I was creating clients as a life coach, and then all of my friends decided that they wanted to start businesses too and they were asking me, “Dielle, how did you get booked out so quickly even though you have a full-time job? How did you start signing clients?”

And so that’s when I decided to pivot into business coaching, and specifically into sales. And I get the question all the time around what is a social worker doing helping people with sales? I never took a business class before.

But the main thing that I always say is social work is about people. Sales is about people. I’m an expert in people. I know how people think, I know how people make decisions, and that’s the main thing that is driving sales is understanding how people work. So I always say if you understand people, you can understand sales.

Brig: Oh my, I absolutely love this. And I think that’s the value of life coaching in general because it improves your relationship with yourself and when you improve your relationship with yourself, you improve your relationship with others. And relationships are all about business. That’s it, like you said. So good.

Dielle: Yes. And as you, you’re my life coach and I’ve been working with you for a really long time, and so many of the things that you have taught me have been improving my relationship with myself as my business has grown. And so that still core life coaching part of who I am has always been intact, even as my business has grown.

Brig: Yes. And that leads to a question because so many of us, especially coaches, I see us investing heavily in our business but not on ourselves. On that part of us, that general life coaching self. And I get it because it’s like, if I need to make money and I have a pot of money, where should it go? And for the most part, a lot of people think concentrating on business is the answer. What would you say to that?

Dielle: I would say you need both. And I also just believe in being a product of your product. I’m sure we’ve heard that before, where if you’re selling any sort of coaching, having a general life coach as your baseline and your foundation I think just makes sure that you are a product of the work that you are also selling.

So one of my favorite things about just having you as my life coach is I get to bring it all. I get to talk a little business, I get to talk about my marriage, I get to talk about my family, I get to talk about it all. And I think just having that space on your calendar where you know, “Okay, I’m going to take this to Brig,” is really, really important.

And I also say too, it also goes down to capacity. When you’re growing a business or the biggest lessons that I have learned this year had to do with my capacity. How much can I think about? How much can I problem solve? How much can I analyze? And what having a general life coach can do is help me release some of that capacity and grow my capacity so that I’m not carrying so many things. So I think having a general life coach is, again, the foundation, the cornerstone of everything that you do.

Brig: Yes. And I love because I was part of Self-Coaching Scholars long before they had the coaching part, and I was floored when they brought the coaching part in. I’m like, oh my God, such a good value because being able to have that weekly call with someone is amazing.

Okay, so we know why you chose sales. It kind of chose you, sounds like, because you were just a product of the product. But I want to get into as a woman of color, or just a woman in general, what thoughts - because we’re all about thoughts on this podcast. What thoughts do you see that got in the way or that you had to really wrestle with on your way to a million? What were the thoughts that you had to disseminate? Like no, dismantle, nope. Can you think of any?

Dielle: I would say there are three main thoughts I had. The first thought that I had was I’m bad with money. That was one of my main thoughts. And I carried this from why did I go to graduate school, one of the top graduate schools in the country just to have a job that only pays me $2500 a month? Why did I get into so much student loan debt? Why this, why that?

So I would say that was one of my top thoughts, I’m bad with money. And I had to do a lot of work around accepting my debt. I know that we talk so much about neutralizing debt. I had to accept it and how I talk about it now is I had to get to the point where I had to realize that my debt was not going to come off the computer screen and attack me.

It was not going to creep up on me in my sleep. It was just a number. So I had to do so much of that work to be like, if I’m feeling bad about my debt, that’s on me. That’s on my shoulders. I’m creating that. The numbers are on the screen but it’s not coming out and attacking me. So I would say that’s the first thing that I had to really work through.

Brig: That is so good though. That is so, so good, especially as women because we’ve been kind of socialized or taught we’re not good with money. I love that. Thank you. Go ahead.

Dielle: Absolutely. And I would say the second thing, and I would love to know your thoughts about this is that I’m going to have to sign so many people. The quantity was huge, especially when we think about a million dollars. It’s like, that’s a lot of people.

And it has been a lot of people. I’ve worked with over 100 people this year so it is a lot of people. But I think it’s been about trusting myself that I know what I need to say in order to build trust and connection with that person. What do you think?

Brig: Yeah, I love that. I love that it’s a whole bunch of people, but I also - I kind of go towards I have to create this much value. But when I go to how many clients and oh my God, where do they all come from, if I start going in the how, I’m circling the toilet.

Dielle: Literally. Or something that has helped me is I’ve said to myself all the time, “Dielle, you don’t have to see them for them to be there. They don’t have to be messaging you or saying I’m going to join, they don’t have to be there, you don’t have to see them in order for them to actually enroll in your program.”

So I call it invisible paying clients. How many invisible paying clients are out there and we don’t need to see every single person in order for them to convert. I think that’s a little bit of our nine-to-five employee thinking where we’re like, we need to see the actual things in order to believe or trust it, and entrepreneurship, it’s the opposite.

Brig: That is so good. Can’t remember what movie it was, it was some crazy movie y’all, I can’t even remember but the guy said, “I don’t need a yes to know that I’m right.” He was asking a girl out on a date and he was like, “I know you’re the right woman for me.” It was a romantic comedy. But he literally told her, “I don’t need a yes to know that I’m right.” And I was like, now that is good. Because for so many of us, we need yesses to know that we’re right or we can just decide we’re right.

Dielle: Yes. And oftentimes we’re so close to seeing that we were right but we back down, but we quit, but we stop. But it’s like if you would have just hung on a little bit longer, you would have saw that you were right without having to wait for that yes. So important. So important.

Brig: Yes it is. I love that. Invisible - what do you call them now? Invisible what?

Dielle: Invisible paying clients.

Brig: Invisible paying clients. And I think if you’re not in coaching, take this for you too. Invisible vendors that say yes to you, or invisible - they’re there. You don’t have to see the activity because that’s what it is, faith. We say faith is the evidence of things not seen, right?

Dielle: Or invisible recruiters who are trying to give you a promotion. You have no idea who’s talking about you, who’s thinking about working with you, who’s trying to get you a promotion. You have no clue.

Brig: No clue. No clue at all. Okay, give me another one.

Dielle: And then the next one is a flavor of I’m not good enough, and for me, what this looked like, one of the really big jumps that I made in my income, I think this was the difference between $300K and $500K for me was believing that I’m an expert.

And I just think that’s under the umbrella of I’m not good enough. And I think so much, women of color in particular, we’re always questioning do we have enough certifications, do we have enough experience, do we have enough this, do we have enough that?

And I just remember sitting in my little apartment balcony at the time journaling like, what’s in my head is good enough. I’m an expert with what is in my head right now. And from that energy, I was able to develop coaching tools, I was able to develop frameworks for my clients, I started generating all of these ideas.

I tell my clients all the time that identity, expert identity or any sort of identity you want to create, that identity will create ideas for your business. It will fuel your business. And so that’s one of the main things that I teach.

Brig: I love that. Because we talk about the concept of being your future self. You have to be her. Or even there’s a song out now like you have to be her now, be her. So that identity is so important and I think it could be a jump if you haven’t done it because especially in my world, in medicine and anesthesia, everything was evidence based. You couldn’t do it unless it was evidence based. And what we’re saying is the opposite. I create it before I have the evidence. It’s such a mind flip on that.

Dielle: Yes. And it’s thinking about how we say leaders go first. What would just one step forward look like? We don’t have to take down the whole train. We don’t have to believe that we’re Beyoncé. I always tell my clients you don’t have to believe a Beyoncé thought. It doesn’t have to be that big. But what does just one step look like?

Brig: But here’s the deal. I think if you had asked Beyoncé year two, year three, her thought wouldn’t have been what her thoughts are now. Our thoughts evolve as we evolve so yes, totally. Okay, we’re getting ready to wind it up because we don’t want to keep you all too long. But I have one question. It’s just one. You’re not ready for this one so I’m going to tell you.

What’s the first thing you did after you saw one million? Once you saw the amount of money that came in that gave you that one million in a 12-month period, what’s the first thing you did?

Dielle: The first thought that I had was I did it. I did it, emphasis on the I. My brain, we did it. We went to town to accomplish this and so I will never forget that moment. I was looking at my Stripe and I was like, I freaking did it. I did something that I thought was impossible just a few years ago.

Brig: But I want to stop because I think one of the things you said that was so important is you said my brain, we did it. You didn’t fight against your brain. It was like you used your brain and partnered with it, like we did it. It was a part of the journey. And so many times we make our brain - because our brain does some stuff and it’s like we got to get rid of it. No, all of it, all of it comes with it. We did it. I love that. Any last words?

Dielle: I will just say if you are listening to this and you want to become a coach and you have a full-time job, Brig and I, both of us, we both coached our faces off while having crazy full-time jobs. Both of us are just such great examples of what’s possible for you too. You can also have a coaching business even if you’re working a full-time job.

Brig: Yes. Totally. Totally agree. Well, congratulations on crossing over to the seven figure.

Dielle: The two comma club, I’m excited.

Brig: The two comma club, alright. Thank you.

Dielle: Thank you.

Brig: Bye.

Dielle: Bye.

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