As a Core Energy Coach, I help my clients use a mindset that works FOR them instead of AGAINST them.  Most of my clients are business owners.  It’s sad that business owners tend to talk themselves into the most self-damaging ways.  To be clear, when I first heard of Core Energy Coaching, I thought, “How can changing your thoughts change the facts of your situation?”  The point is NOT changing the facts; but clearly identifying the difference between FACTS and conclusions…. and then acting out of a place of TRUTH.

I am using this blog post to show you how a plumber can change his business by thinking about his situation differently.

The Situation

Ralph owns a plumbing shop and he’s losing money.  He works from morning until evening trying to do everything himself.  When he gets a chance to do the books, he realizes that he’s making an average of $5 per hour.  He has all but given up with his plumbing business until he decides, “Maybe, I should see if a Business Coach can help.”  Instead of giving him advice, the Business Coach uses a principle called Core Energy Coaching.  He claims that Ralph needs to change his MINDSET about his plumbing business.  The Core Energy Coach gives Ralph a task. He asks Ralph to cast his perception of his situation in five different perspectives…. called Levels.

Level 1 – Victim – I Lose

Ralph is asked to first view his situation as a victim.  This is the lowest level view he can take of his situation.  His view as a victim is that he is trapped as a skilled plumber making less than minimum wage; working 12-hours a day and sees no way out.  He’s doomed to continue in this life because his customers don’t care about him enough to pay him what he’s worth; and he can’t hire affordable help to do the work he wants them to do.  Even if he could find people, he doesn’t have enough money to afford an office to put them in; so it really doesn’t matter.  With this perspective, Ralph is destined for a life of hard labor, poverty and an early grave.

Level 2 – Conflict – I Win; You Lose

Ralph is asked to move from victim and start fighting for what he wants.  Ralph decides he’s going to double his prices and start nickle and diming his customers for trip charges and other additional items so that he can get more money.   He figures, it’s about time he earned what he’s really worth.  If he can keep his customers paying more money, he will hire employees to help him out, but he will pay his new employees as little as he can; and have them clock in and clock out for breaks so that he doesn’t overpay them.  He has decided that he needs to get a little selfish and greedy to make his plumbing business a success.

Level 3 – Rationalization – I Win

Ralph is now asked to reconsider his greedy stance and see if there is some middle ground where he can increase prices, but still retain some of his loyal customers.  Ralph completes a business plan at his coach’s urging and finds that he can dramatically increase his income if he raises prices by 20% instead of doubling.  He believes he can make his business work as good as or better than the plumbing job he left a while ago to start his business.  He feels like he should be able to get to this “getting by” stage quite easily; and then may even be able to grow at some point, if he gets lucky.

Level 4 – Service – You Win

Ralph is now asked to strongly consider and empathize with the customers he serves.  He decides that he will do half price service for those who have trouble affording his full-priced plumbing services.  He wants to offer this discount to anyone who is making less than $30,000 per year in household income. He feels like this act of charity will create popularity among higher paying customers so that he can afford to give a little back to those who are less fortunate.

Level 5 – Opportunity – Win/Win

Ralph is now asked to brainstorm and think about ways that he can leap-frog his competition.  Think of ways that he can improve his business while improving the lot of his customers.  Ralph revises the business plan that he created in Level 3 to think a lot bigger.  He has decided that he will create a plumbing company that is committed to charity.  Instead of simply giving out of his own profits, he decides he will ask his clients to donate funds to a charitable plumbing pool to help others who are less fortunate.  He decides to rename his plumbing business to “Goodwill Plumbing”.  He can now charge his higher rates, make what he is worth, give to less fortunate, and create a differentiation that he didn’t have before.  As a bonus, he can market through many local churches who love his idea of giving to those less fortunate and gain a huge marketing advantage over others in the community.  His idea is so successful that he will create a new office with employees he hires from some of his clients who are unemployed.

Mindset Matters

As you walked through our fictitious plumber, Ralph, I’m guessing that you could identify with what he was thinking and feeling at each different level.  When we contrast levels like this, it is easier for us to see that the way we think about out situation has everything to do with the outcome that will result.  This is not simply about positive thinking, it’s about thinking in a place of Opportunity, instead of Oppression.  It really is YOUR CHOICE!


As a business coach, I help my business owner clients create a mindset and actions that improve their business for themselves and their employees.  If you’d like to create a positive, proactive and profitable workplace in your business, please use the contact form below to set up a free consultation.

Note from the Author
My name is Jeff Schuster.  I am a certified Life and Business Coach serving small business owners, corporate executives and others who want to transition from “expert” to “entrepreneur”.  I have been a small business owner for most of my 30-years in the workplace.  I grew an energy efficiency and renewable energy engineering and construction company from nothing to over $10-million/year and sold it in 2013.  I now help other business owners make amazing progress toward their own dreams of business ownership independence and success.

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