Happy New Year! To kick off 2012, here’s a critical thinking question for your consideration: are you expanding or contracting? The answer will be a key determining factor in your success in 2012. Watch this short video I shot in Palm Beach, Florida, and I’ll look forward to your comments.

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Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

27 thoughts on “Are You Expanding or Contracting?”

  1. Happy New Year to All. I’m pleased to say expanding! Retirement is near, just months away. So I am relaunching my speaking business and am exicted about being able to do what I love full time – very soon!. Wish me success.
    Denise Fowble,
    The Tailored Speaker

  2. Hi Steve!

    Great blog and points for us all to remember! Expanding our creative consciousness is what truly brings us happiness in life! I resigned my position as a licensed insurance agent in September to pursue a career in motivational/inspirational speaking. Here is a link to an article I think you will find inspiring! When we learn to let go of fear and live a life without limits…..then we are truly living!

    Thank you for your insight!


  3. Steve – fantastic to have you back again. Perhaps too personal a question but I’d be interested to learn more about why you are selling the dream house now. Has a different dream replaced it?

    Businesswise – things are expanding well. Not quite reaching my goals yet but definitely going in the right direction.

    Jobwise – well there’s plenty of learning to be had here too. A few obstacles coming up but I don’t see they’ll be insurmountable.

    Lifewise – I still continue to grow through activities to expand my mind and make tweaks to improve my health.

    Relationshipswise – this is going to be the year I really try to make a difference for other people.

  4. Brother Steve,

    ‘I AM’ digging this question.
    ‘I AM’ expanding in love by judging my results not myself
    ‘I AM’ contracting in time spent with relationships (on all levels) not based in love
    ‘I AM’ expanding in adding value to people’s lives through products and services
    ‘I AM’ contracting in emotional knee-jerk responses to words
    ‘I AM’ expanding in gratitude for taking the Bill Gove Speech Course. It changed me 4-ever.

    Continue to walk with purpose Steve! Say hi to the first Lady for me. Dawn is beyond special.


  5. Happy New Year Steve!
    Thanks for the post/reflection. One of the lines I use in my speeches is “the univesre is constantly expanding, are you, & I don’t mean at the waistline.” 🙂
    Yes, I’m expanding with my first book out, finally self -publised. How Good Do You Want IT!? (Various Aspects of Your Life) Developing Positive Mindsets for Every Day in Every Way! (Please don’t mind the plug) We all have to challenge ourselves daily with due diligence & discipline to expand, be encouraged and encourage others to keep working on the “best version of oursleves” -Mathew Kelly. Wlat Disney quote as well. “Keep moving forward” Happy New Year everyone on the Blog! Blessings & Expansion! Edward Michael Raymond

  6. Jeannie: I would not say that you are contracting but rather that you are managing your energy and making priorities in life. Cutting unnecessary expenses in one area gives you more to spend, and thus to grow, in another.

  7. Steve,

    I feel like I’ve contracted in alot of areas, but with the intention of opening space and allowing an environment to expand. I’ve looked to “cut back” on all ancillary expenses and space in my career, in an effort to put me in a better position to take advantage of opportunities. I left a 10+ year relationship (which may be looked at as contracting) because I felt, based on our 10 year track record, that I ultimately would not create the life that I want in it. As part of my goals to take my fitness to the next level, I’ve now incorporated juicing and fasting, which is contracting in terms of volume of food, but its in an effort to expand my vibrant health to the next level.

    Is it possible to contract to expand? Is that what you did with your Florida house?

    Regards, J

  8. Dear Steve:
    i’m expanding; signed up to go back to school at age 69. Now enrolled in the Keiser University Graduate School (on line) Doctorate program / if it works out, will have Ph.D in Business in two years!
    it’s a great program…
    warm regards
    Bill Kent
    Fort Lauderdale

  9. Honestly Steve my mindset has been contracting and my results from 2011 show it! I just blew the dust off your book “How Rich People Think” and have pulled your Mental Toughness CD’s off the shelf to start playing them again because I know it’s time to expand and opportunity is all around me right now. Thanks for the reminder…and I am sorry to hear about your dad, just know the love you share keeps you connected forever! My very best…David

  10. Steve, it is always great to here from you.

    I…we are solidly in expansion mode. Attitude is all important today. Some of my clients see opportunity and some see only struggle.

    Experience proves, you usually get what you expect. There is much opportunity if you look for it. And you make a good point, we need to be expanding not just in business, but in other areas of life… several areas on the plate for this year.

    Wising you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012

  11. Theron and I are definitely expanding and finally taking steps to work on our vision statement together. 2012 is going to be a great year for us.

    Happy New Year to everyone!

  12. Hi Steve,

    A newcomer to your site …thank you for your good 2012 wishes and mine in return…expansion is my answer in every corner of my brain and busy preparing this year’s Triathlon season…looking forward to meeting you in Orlando in February…best regards to you and Dawn….V

  13. Hey Steve,

    Happy New Year!

    I’ve been following you for just about a year now and I have to say I have expanded my consciousness, my aspirations and my confidence in my abilities to achieve my vision all thanks to you and the philosophies you have shared with me on this blog and in your books and cd’s. So based on that I can proudly say that I am definitely expanding. It’s times like these that there is more opportunity then ever because everyone else is in hiding waiting for the fear of the crowd to blow over. I am clearer with regards to my aspirations then ever before and it feels just great. I may not achieve everything I intend but as the saying goes “Shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”. I am healthier than ever, more confident than ever and more focused than ever and I am hitting 2012 on the ground running. Is there any other way? Not for me! The chronic pessimism that’s become the “normal” mentality of the majority of people seems like such a cliche to me now, if only more people studied mental toughness!!!!

    I really hope you have a happy and rewarding new year Steve, because you deserve it.

    Respect as always

    Nigel from Ireland 😉

  14. Wow I’m excited about 2012. Talk about expanding and/or contracting! I have to say the last few months have been very consciousness-expanding for me, and that came about by my being able to be of help in some way to a lot of people for a lot of different reasons, both personal and professional. Some of my advice and suggestions that made a difference to people was/were voluntary, and some were within working relationships. But all made me feel good about what I do and that some semblance.of wisdom is rattling around in my head ready to reveal itself, more than before.
    And contractions are good – I took myself off a board of directors and a few volunteer positions because too much of a good thing was making me function less effectively in other aspects of my life that needed my attention. I contracted and became stronger in my remaining pursuits. I also took a hard look at control issues within me. Learned a great deal about myself thinking about that topic! I’ve been able to pull back on my need to control situations. Now that I have been able to no longer allow momentary emotions to grab me and compel me to react (most of the time anyway) – I am much happier. So is my husband

    And with all that has come an expansion, though sort of late in life, in a much better understanding of a lifelong eating disorder. So now it’s been much easier lately to comply with a healthy eating plan and regular exercise. That alone seems miraculous.

    So on a very personal and professional level, 2011 has prepared me to know when to hold back, when to move forward, how to expand , and how to contract and when. I’m SO grateful, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!
    Happy New Year everyone!


  15. Yo Steve!

    Man is it good to see you back at the microphone and bouncing back. I could read between the lines in those cryptic chuckles why you would be so happy to have that home sold. Boy can we relate! I sold mine in 2009 and everyone told us we were nuts to try to sell our home in this economy. Well, we tried some new things, and then–we sold it for full market value–made a killing, and then bought our luxury dream home from a contractor who was within days of foreclosure and he let us have it for what he owed on it, knocking a healthy 6 figures off the price. We also snagged a deal on some investment property that is climbing in value. I have always firmly believed there are opportunities in any economy.

    This is a key point and something you have been saying several times last year when you brought up the fact that speakers are dropping out of the business like crazy. You always said you saw that as an opportunity for newcomers to get in. That’s the way Warren Buffet thinks as well.

    Last year I interviewed a CEO of a large company and he said that during the boom time back in 2006 they had more business than they could handle. Then, during the economic downturn they “contracted” as you put it, but they discovered they were surprisingly more profitable and it caused them to re-think their perspectives as to how they run their business and made a dramatic turn-around. Hence, my platform really got a boost of information to launch from because we discovered ways to expand despite the fragile economy.

    Tonight we listened to Bob Proctor and he said something I’ve known all along in nearly 30 years of self employment. Paraphrasing, he said the ups & downs have always been there–it doesn’t really matter what the economy does–it’s how you learn to CREATE. He hit the nail on the head. I’ve had to re-invent and develop new ways to diversify in all the ups & downs I’ve had & it has paid off.

    I can honestly say that I know of know other force that has such profound paralysis on the creative mind than that of unemployment or loss of business and believe me, I’ve had my share. I started my business with $12 in 1983 and we were poor. I lost almost everything and almost died in 1997 from a catastrophic illness and had to find a way to research my own cure, then rebuild the business from scratch. After being in the hospital/doctors offices 114 times over two years, I went on to prove 46 doctors and health providers wrong and built the business back even bigger over the next few years. I know what lack of financial resources does to the mind and it took me a while to realize that the mental effect from the circumstance was really most of the battle. Our emotions are not always our best friend.

    Yet, that’s the time we need creativity the most. Although the past two years are the worst I’ve had in gross revenue in many years, we were still able to use what we had to create new opportunities and go after them with feverish determination and we are pulling through okay, even expanding. I’m also working on a patent. I collect news articles of other businesses that are doing the same and study what they are doing. Recognizing that economic downturns have the emotional effect they do, is the first key in building a viable strategy for comebacks.

    I call contractions and expansions the ebb and flow of riding the waves of the economy and to be honest, I find there’s a rhythm to it. I came up with a “mathematical equation” anyone can use in any hardship that will help do that; I’ll tell it on mainstage in Atlanta. The economy will always expand and contract. Those I’ve come to admire throughout my life are those that seem to catch on to it, and flow with it, using that force to propel themselves forward.

    Good to see you man!


  16. Just over a year ago we strategically changed our brand and are just now starting to see the rewards of our move. Basically we were a stronge mid market brand and moved up scale. In the last 30 days we have signed our largest listing ever $29,000,000, have been asked to list a large gold country ranch, and have a meeting with 6 new agents in and expansion high end market this week.

    We obviously see this as opportunity time, but our opportunity is based on our brand decision which was made a year ago. The Risk was therefore taken 12 months before. Rewards seldom come without risk, Thankfully it has worked out for us. Our expansion will be a result of previous actions versus what we are doing today.

    2012 The Year of The Dragon,

  17. Middle class perspective of my life would say I am contracting. The bottom line of my business is less then 2 yrs ago.
    I am using 60% of my time growing knowledge, systems, experiments, in developing my passion, (expressing the mysteries that happen when we risk honoring what our true values are).
    I perceive expansion, I am stretching outside my comfort zone to reach out to people and places with what I know works, risking disapproval, judgement, rejection. Because I experience the “feedom” that comes with fallowing “principles above personalities” (addiction to caring what people think).
    I’m going in!! Cover me!!

  18. Dr. David Hawkins’ Power vs. Force alludes to the fact that our level of consciousness determines our level of success in life.

    Emotions like fear and anger are contracting states of being while joy and peace are expansive.

    If we’re not careful, we can allow external events and circumstances to control our dominant level of consciousness (expansive or contracting).

    In order to be successful in business (i.e. attract more clients/make more money), it’s vital to be deliberate in choosing how you feel (fear/faith) at any given moment.

  19. Steve,

    without a doubt expanding as a person, in my family in my outlook in life. Financially contracting a bit, but that’s just money, it will come back.
    There are plenty of problems out there ready to be solved and to be rewarded for that.
    Despite everything going on right now, I am still convinced that Americas best times are yet to come, both economically but also emotionally. We are more and more reflecting back on the basic values of America and that will all make us stronger.
    2012 will be even better for me.

    Thanks for all you have done in 2011!

  20. Good points, however, the message is diluted by Steve’s goofiness. A bit more sincerity, if warranted, would be more in line w/his initial comments re: his dad’s passing. Perhaps it’s difficult to conjure up passion in a short message like this A bit longer in length would not cut it off so abruptly. I do appreciate, however, the message re: f.e.a.r. (false evidence appearing real) and abundance/prosperity. It’s good to bring this to people’s attention so they realize if they’re caught up in this web of negativity and there ‘isn’t enough to go around’ mantra.

  21. expanding – my/our choice. creating, desiging and generating all areas of my/our lives.

    Thanks for your time and Happy New Year in 2012.


  22. I’d say during the last three years baby-expansions, but expansions. During economic tough times for me to expand at all, I realized, was because of the foundation I laid years earlier.

    Through the 80’s and 90’s I’d read and study anything I could on Jack Nicklaus’ mental toughness. I worked with a sport psychologist, I read books by Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Tony Robbins and the last couple years Steve Siebold, just to name a few. Not really knowing what I was doing it for, but I liked the subject more than anything else. Looking back I see something happened along the way … I got mentally tough. This prepared me for the storm.

    These are tough times for a lot of people, there are a lot of people hurting, contracting. It gives me (us) an opportunity to help those who are contracting to expand, to keep them moving forward. To encourage and let them know there is hope. To help them lay a mentally tough foundation for the future.

    Is it easy expanding when times are tough, no way! I often find myself contracting (in all areas) but I also find myself fighting through it. It looks like it’s what I trained myself to do.

    Stay strong, expand.

    Ward D. Lyon

  23. In a woman. My understanding of what is important to me is expanding and what I will except is contracting.

    Business. The potential of my business is expanding rapidly, which should be very exciting. The funny part about this is I have become much more tempered and my ability to get excited before execution, has contracted dramatically over the past few years.

  24. Our busy season is the winter and all last summer we worked on marketing and expanding the experience of working with us. That translated into the best season in three years and we intend to continue systemizing the experience. We realize our business is creating the experience for our very affluent clients and our product is high end renovation of beach houses and condo’s. As a result we expect to dominate our market in 2012.

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