I love a good metaphor. An especially powerful metaphor for me lately has been that of an onion. The Cleveland Method deals with a deep understanding of our core drives and unconscious motivations. When we focus inward, only then can we genuinely understand others. In recent months I’ve noticed a tremendous amount of growth in many of my students who have been applying persuasion techniques not just to business and sales, but to every facet of their lives. One of my students, an adviser who is becoming more and more successful in his business and financial life, was telling me on a recent phone call how these skills have not only affected his “bottom line” but they have meant so much to him in other ways. As a result of one technique, he stopped smoking and some other incredibly positive things have taken place in his life. (This is what I live for. When my students have breakthroughs in all areas.) I have experienced this in my own life as well. After shedding 140 pounds of unwanted fat, and still going strong, I’ve seen the figurative layers of the onion being peeled away in a tangible way. As we peel and change and get to the core of what is important in life, we find even more enhancements and improvements we can make. Peeling away the layers of the onion, shows us what’s underneath. I peeled away layers of unnecessary padding and found another problem that needs to be addressed. A hernia. And now I’m able to help myself even further. Metaphors motivate us to understand the power of our unconscious drives and the ultimate motivating factors in life. While m focus in my programs has become more laser focused on how to persuade our affluent clientle and prospects, I see that the bigger picture is fantastically important. We are our own first project in persuasion. When we learn to influence and persuade ourselves, that is the first brick in the foundation. I can absolutely guaranty you that there’s never been a great persuader on the face of the planet who doesn’t have a degree of mastery over his own life. Before I lost the weight, I had a very conflicted relationship with the thinking, the practice, and the actual doing. Eventually, something clicked. I got it. I understood on another level that as an onion, the first step is to peel away the skin, and to keep peeling through visualization, through tapping, through intention, through coaching, through determination, through the universe system-it all came together as if I were a magician and finally figured out the alchemical recipe for my own self mastery. This is all a process. I will be the first to say that this cannot be mastered. It would be arrogant to say that I have mastered persuasion or self-persuasion. It can’t be done. The minute I feel I’ve attained the highest I can, what point is there in continuing? Continuing to grow and evolve is what keeps us vibrant. My hope is that while I continue to focus primarily on persuading the affluent, that the bigger picture of evolution, growth and persuasion is really what my students come away with.