Episode 27 - Will PolstonPaying it forward. Acting from a position of generosity and giving within the law of reciprocity. We're making conversations about wealth count!
Will Polston, Founder of Make It Happen, Helping Entrepreneurs
Making Conversations about Wealth Count!
Making conversations about wealth….and Clubhouse….count!
“We like a bit of woowoo”.
You know you’re in for a treat when you get to write that quote from Wendy Harris in the show notes.
This episode covers a lot of ground.
Will Polston is someone that impressed Wendy a great deal when she bumped into him on the social audio app “Clubhouse.”
In case you’re not familiar with it, this Apple exclusive app allows Apple device users to connect with people around the room, using their phone or device’s microphone.
It’s like being at a conference, listening to speakers and experts from the comfort of your own space, using your phone as the event ticket.
As the Make It Happen CEO, and as an author and coach, Will Polston works with business owners that are stuck in a rut to help them rapidly get clarity, level up a gear and achieve dream results.
Will is a confident, energetic leader that has worked hard to build his own dream life after watching his own peers.
He has not always lived the dream and in this conversation we learn what has driven Will to be the person he is today.
Sharing who has inspired him, who he has wanted to avoid becoming and how that makes him feel today looking back on his achievements.
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Full Episode Transcript
Making Conversations Count – Episode Twenty-Seven
April 26th 2021
Wendy Harris & Will Polston, Make It Happen
00:01:46: How’s Clubhouse?
00:04:26: Make it Happen
00:06:52: Will’s pivotal conversation
00:07:51: Conscious motives
00:09:27: “When, then” syndrome
00:11:07: Look at people that are doing what you want to do
00:12:30: Laws of the universe
00:14:34: Four stages of evolution
00:15:53: Listen to your emotions
00:17:15: Final thoughts
Wendy Harris: Can you remember a time in your life when you’ve never worried about money? No? Me neither. There are always those moments or situations that mean that we have to think about our financial freedom. Today, we’re going to be making conversations about wealth count.
I can’t thank you enough for listening to the special episode that I did with guest host Nat Schooler, it meant that some of our socials were in the top 1% of engagement and I had a great review from Hope & Healing over in the USA. Thank you so much for everybody that leaves a comment. Make sure that you add your reviews by going to www.makingconversationscount.studio/review. You really do make my day when I get those.
Following that episode with Nat, where I shared my story, some of you lovely listeners took advantage of the special discount code on the power up sessions. I’m going to keep that open for you for a little while longer. Make sure you listen to the end and you can get that special code.
Today, I’m joined by Will Polston, Founder of Make it Happen.
Hi, Will, how are you?
Will Polston: I’m very good, thank you, very good indeed. Thank you for having me, looking forward to being on the show.
Wendy Harris: Let’s introduce you first Will. We met in the rabbit hole that is taking everyone by storm at the moment that is Clubhouse, the audio only social media app. It’s the fact that conversation leads the way there that’s really important, isn’t it?
Will Polston: Absolutely, yeah, without a doubt.
Wendy Harris: How are you finding the experience of Clubhouse yourself?
Will Polston: When I first saw about it, there was this bit of FOMO of like, “What’s this new thing that people are talking about that they’re in the club”, and literally calling it the club, “I’m in the club” and I’m not. I was like, “I’m not in the club yet, what’s this thing?” Then I got in it and I sort of played my bit, I saw a phenomenal opportunity, I’m a big fan of collaboration and what I loved was seeing certain people that would arguably be competitors, collaborating and sharing knowledge, the sort of personal element industry I’m in; the industry of sharing advice and wisdom to get people to have new realisations and move forward.
From that point of view, I thought it was fantastic. Compared to something like Instagram which is very visual, great if you’re a fitness trainer or something and you want to show off how good your body is, but not an easy thing for me to do. So, I found that really good.
What I personally found was that it was very easy to have the FOMO, “Oh my God, what am I missing out on?” Not necessarily missing out on new knowledge, but what opportunities am I missing out on by not being on it from a business sense. Then decided, “Do you know what, I’m just going to treat Clubhouse like reading”, I read every day, but I don’t read for my whole day and knowing that I can pick it up whenever I want, I can pick up a book whenever I want and get something of value from the book, I can something of value from Clubhouse by being of value in Clubhouse. That was my approach to it.
Wendy Harris: It’s all about the conversations, isn’t it, at the end of the day? There are many, many rooms with many, many people in them and the fear of missing out really is that for me, some of those bigger rooms, when you go in there, they can be talking about something and you want to contribute. There is something about your own experiences that you want to put your hand up and you want to share. In some of the bigger rooms you really can’t do that because, by the time they get round to inviting you to speak, the conversation’s taken a completely different direction.
Clubhouse is really great, it’s kind of like the background noise; it can be instead of the radio, if you want to listen to the big rooms and the speakers and what’s going on; but it sort of drop seeds and from those little seeds of conversation, inspiration and growth happens. There’s no way of being able to track it, I think, that’s the wonderful thing about it. The conversation happens and it’s over, there’s no going back to it, so there’s no permanent trace, an incredible concept.
Will Polston: Which in today’s day and age with sort of everything leaving a digital footprint, it’s interesting that that isn’t the case.
Wendy Harris: Which is what’s got everybody so excited, I think, isn’t it, in that fear of missing out on what that conversation might or might not be?
Will, your business and your brand is all about making it happen. How do you go about helping people on a day-to-day basis when you can put Clubhouse on silent?
Will Polston: As a company we have a number of different services. I’m a big believer if you think differently, you act differently; if you act differently, you get different results and I’m in the results business. That boils down to, “Right, how do we get people to think and act differently?” In its simplest format that’s what I do, in terms of actual services we’ve got a network that we run, we’ve got workshops, we’ve got coaching programmes, masterminds, we’ve got a training element of our business where people qualify in a modality called neuro-linguistic programming. There are a number of different tools that we use to facilitate that accomplishment of making it happen, to create that change.
Wendy Harris: That’s fantastic that you’ve got something for everyone as well; you’re all encompassing as opposed to specialising, which a lot of people say you’ve got to specialise in this one thing, but you’re sort of specialising in making sure that everybody can achieve it.
Will Polston: In the business world there’s a lot to be said for niching and I get niching; I’ve experienced first-hand the downside of not niching, which is basically traction, how quickly you move into a very noisy market. It’s a lot more difficult to stand out. But equally, I’ve benefited from a lot of the benefits of not niching, some of which are quite surprising actually, but yeah, so it’s swings and roundabouts.
Wendy Harris: It’s being able to have those different conversations on all those different levels to be able to affect the change which I think it was really what stood out when I first heard you speak on Clubhouse. From a listener it’s good to hear that feedback, isn’t it?
I ask everybody that comes on the show to think about one conversation that particularly stands out to you in terms of, if that conversation hadn’t have happened, that you’d perhaps been stuck. Will, I’m really, really intrigued to hear your pivotal moment today, if you’re ready to share with us?
Will Polston: I’ll be really honest, mine wasn’t so much — the biggest one, I call it a lightning moment. The biggest one for me is what I call my lightning moment, so I’ll give you a very brief backstory to put some context to it. So, I grew up with the belief that money equalled happiness. I went off on a tangent to earn as much money as I could as early as I could. I became very good at earning a lot of money very young. At 18, I stumbled across personal development; the more personal development I did, the more money I made and it kind of rippled on like that.
The moment that really stood out for me, it was at an event that I was at and it was a speaker, so again I don’t know how you’re defining conversations, but I was sat in the audience, they were speaking, and she had a particular story. In that moment, I cried my eyes out for about 15 minutes, because what it did was it made me realise that the belief that money was happiness for me was not what it was really about. It was something much deeper than that, to do with my dad; how in my perception, my dad hadn’t achieved what he was capable of, and the impact that had had on my family and me and a whole host of other people. That’s where my desire for money was born.
Wendy Harris: Conscious motives.
Will Polston: Yeah, and I put that down to sort of unpicking that. I’ve got two uncles, one of my uncles is a billionaire, the other’s a multi-multi-millionaire and they’re sort of the life and the soul of the party and they’re really great people to be around. My dad worked hard, it’s not a Cinderella story, we did well, went on holiday every year; there was always food in the fridge, clothes on my back; but my dad used to work in London in a job that he hated.
He used to leave at 5.00am in the morning, get home at 7.00pm, 8.00pm at night; he’d bring the stress and the frustration home with him. Like, he hated his job, and I don’t know if you ever can relate to this of being just in that environment with someone, they’ve just got this tension around them and it’s like —
Wendy Harris: Toxic.
Will Polston: They walk into the room and you just feel the energy and it was like that. One day he quit his job and set up a business with one of my uncles, that didn’t ever properly happen, but he’d left his job. He ended up falling into having significant feelings of depression, slept in a separate room from my mum and all that stuff that’s quite stereotypical for people that are depressed.
That was when I made the decision back then, I was like, “Well, it’s obvious, money equals happiness as Uncle Mark is a billionaire, he’s really happy; Uncle Steve, he’s a multi-millionaire, he’s really happy; whereas Dad, when he works in London he hates his job, he doesn’t enjoy it, but he’s doing what he’s doing now. Well, he’s depressed and not leaving the house; it’s obvious, money equals happiness”. So, yeah, mine was hearing a particular story that gave me that realisation and enabled me to connect the dots.
Wendy Harris: That story of realising that money was not the be all and end all to drive life, what changed? What happened next, Will?
Will Polston: I went home from this event. At the time, I turned up at my parents’ house and my family were all there and I sat everybody down on the sofa and I said, “I’m going to become the world’s best life coach”, that was what I said to them, “I’m going to become the world’s best life coach”, and they were like, “Okay, where you have just been for the last few days? You’ve just come back like this.
Wendy Harris: Who stole Will?
Will Polston: Yeah, what have you done with my son; who is this guy? I sat there and I was so passionate about it and I was so driven and that night I registered the company at Companies House. The next day I went to the bank and set up a bank account and then I did nothing. I said, “When I’m successful, then I’m going to do this”. I had what I call, “When, then” syndrome; and that happened for a couple of years.
I did leave the City at the time, I was running the division of a stock brokerage; I left the City, I set up a renewable energy business, we grew that from a standing start to have 85 staff within a relatively short period of time, growing, growing, growing. Just as we’re about to be doing a £1 million in month in sales, the Government changed legislation, killed that business overnight pretty much. I then tried to do a few other things to make the most of those resources, various good staff and what we had.
I went on holiday and that’s when I had another realisation, what I call my second lightning moment, I was like, “Will, what the hell are you doing? You’re doing it again; you’re just chasing the money. Why don’t you just do the thing that you really want to do and just cut the [I won’t swear] bull stuff and get on with it now?” That’s what started that trajectory of then creating Make it Happen and going off and studying lots of different modalities and starting that process of what we’re doing.
Here’s the real funny thing in terms of the way that this whole process unfolded for me, Wendy, is that I’d had this vision for such a long time that it needed to be this big, grand business, all these different things. I actually started by posting one quote a day on social media. After a week it was like, “Will, you idiot; some people don’t go on social media in the morning, they only go on in the afternoon”, so I started posting two a day. A week after that I set up a website, a week after that I wrote my first blog, three months after that I had a 10,000-strong social media following. That all rippled along the way and I think in that very early stage of that journey, I’m not afraid to reach out to people.
For as long as I can remember I’ve had mentors, albeit indirect and people I looked up to and I would go and meet my Uncle once every year and sit down with him and just talk about stuff. So, I wasn’t afraid to look at people that were doing what I wanted to do, reach out to them, even if I didn’t know them and say, “Hey, look, I’d love to just have a conversation with you. I don’t know how I’m going to be of value to you yet, but let me buy you a coffee, let me do this. I’d love to that conversation”.
I keep journals every year, I journal most days and I’ve got all of them lined up, all of the years lined up down behind me and I’ve got that very first pad where I went and met these people and said, “Look, tell me everything you can. I’m like a sponge. I want to know everything”, and reached out, so those were very valuable conversations that got that going as well.
Wendy Harris: That’s really important. I always say to everybody, regardless of where I meet, it’s great to have a following, isn’t it? That energy builds more energy; but if you’re not involved or invested with those people that are part of that network, then that energy’s really not going to go anywhere. I always say you never know where a conversation will lead.
There’s so much premise put on, “Oh well, if you were inviting me for a coffee and a virtual chat, it’s because you want to sell to me”. “No, it’s not. It’s because I want to get to know who are, what you want to do, how you want to get there, and if there’s somebody that I know that can help you, that’s not me, then I will share that”. There’s too many people that go around holding onto everything that they own and keeping it to themselves.
Will Polston: Absolutely, and it’s really interesting, you and I met via Clubhouse, you reached out to me, we had a great conversation, just finding what you were doing and what you were up to, and then an opportunity within my own business come up and I was like, “Yeah, I could have a chat with Wendy and reached to you”. I’m a big believer in these sliding doors, of how this stuff can happen. Not a day goes by without me introducing someone to someone, and some incredible things have happened as a result of those introductions. I feel that the more that we come from a place of giving, because a lot of people go, “I don’t want to give because what am I getting in exchange?”
Wendy Harris: “What’s in it for me?”, always.
Will Polston: Exactly, right, but here’s the thing where — and I get it, I understand why people might think that. But what we’ve got to understand is that there are certain laws of the universe and one of those laws is the law of reciprocity, some people call it Karma. What you do comes back to you tenfold and if you do those things, that person may not pay — because that is conditional. If you want to do something conditionally, you’re doing it with a view you’re getting something in return from that person.
Here’s the thing that’s crazy, is that you might do something for someone else, that does something for someone, that does something for someone else, that then does something for you. It is the whole concept and the ethos of paying it forward. A lot of people they do stuff, and they go, “Will, how can I possibly repay you?” My answer to them is, “Pay it forward”, because I know that at some point, in some way, when I most need something, someone’s going to step up for me.
When I surrendered to that belief — I’ve got a company called Make it Happen, and I believe that there’s four stages of evolution if you like that we go through. The first is that stuff happens to us and it’s very much like victim mentality, it happens to us; then it’s very much like it happens by me, I create it, I made it happen, it’s all me, it’s all ego. Then there’s it happens through us and then it happens as us. I don’t want to go down too much of spiritual theme with this, but the point is —
Wendy Harris: I like a bit of woo-woo; I think it’s right.
Will Polston: We can go woo-woo, can we? Right okay, cool.
Wendy Harris: I think it’s only right. My dad, bless him, he taught me the tenfold; that was my upbringing. It’s trusting that it will happen for you. It’s going from the, “When I’m successful, then…” to, “Well, I’m successful; what’s in it for me?”. It’s all those stages that you have just described that is important to just trust the process; trust all the work that you’re ever going to do is going to lead you to the place that you need to be.
Will Polston: It’s so clichéd, however, it’s something that I’ve learned with this and the only way you can truly trust the process is if you live congruently. What I mean by living congruently is that your actions and intentions are aligned. If your actions and intentions are not aligned, you fall into what I call the rift. You’ll know if you’re in the rift because you’re stressed, you’re overwhelmed, you’re frustrated, feeling depressed, anxious, unfulfilled; all those negative emotions that nobody wants. Any negative emotion is simply a signal to be thinking or acting differently.
All of those emotions are simply signals to get you back doing what it is that you really want to be doing. When you do that, that’s when you can see the magic happens. We’ve had all had experiences, everyone that’s listened to this right now, we’ve all had experiences where when we look back in hindsight, what was a real challenge was at the time, “Oh my God, that was the best thing that ever happened”.
Rather than living life with hindsight and not experiencing the now, because that’s the only moment that ever exists; the past doesn’t exist, the future doesn’t exist, all there is is the now. If we can get into that place now and look with foresight, that the current situation is actually serving us, and enabling us to step up, then suffering can dissolve and we can be in a position of living that life in the way that we want to be, which is powerful.
Wendy Harris: Super powerful, it’s not often I’m at a loss for words, because you’ve said it all, Will.
I think two great lightning moments, I love that you call them lightning moments. I’m pretty sure that when they struck, they really did hit you to the core and it’s got you to where you are today, Will, just being that generosity of spirit; and I mean that when I say “spirit”. Thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing that with us.
If people want to pick up the conversation with you, where do they find you?
Will Polston: On social media as Will Polston. Obviously if you’re listening to this right now, you’re listening to the podcast, I’ve got a podcast called Make it Happen with Will Polston. Go to Google Will Polston, Google Make it Happen and you’ll find I’ll pop up at some point and, yeah, come and connect.
Wendy Harris: We’ll make sure that all those details go in the show notes for you, as well.
I do hope you enjoyed listening to Will’s story today, I do love the conversations that I have with every single guest. Of course, the reviews that you leave when you’ve listened to the episode are not just great for me, but also the guests to get that feedback. Did you know that when I asked them about that conversation that counted, I make sure that I don’t have a clue what is coming next. Every time you hear an episode, there is brand new material recorded effectively live.
A huge thank you to all of our listeners, make sure you hit the follow button on whatever platform you’re listening to. If you’ve loved something, please do tell us in the review section which bit you especially loved. That can really help other people see the value and the wisdom that is contained within the conversations of every episode. Every guest shares their turning point conversation and I have no idea what’s coming next. I do hope you continue to listen, see you next week.
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I love this podcast. The guests you have on all bring something new to the conversation and definitely thought-provoking.
Sometimes this means I change something I do, or something I would say, and other times it’s a real opportunity for reflection.
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I always enjoy listening to Wendy’s Making Conversations Count podcast and admire her talent for drawing out people’s stories and getting to the heart of things for finding out what makes them tick.
We all have pivotal moments and Wendy manages to find the right parts, showcasing the reasons why someone is who they are.
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Love this podcast series. It’s a great idea to have a theme of ‘pivotal conversations’ and the variety of guests from massively different backgrounds keeps it fresh and interesting.
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