Heart-centred business Archives - Page 2 of 6 - Kara Lambert

Category Archives for "Heart-centred business"

Binary beliefs and business

Over the last week I have seen many conversations, and been in arguments, where people were so bent that their opinion/belief was right and the other person was wrong. It’s made me wonder what has happened to make us so binary in our beliefs. And what has happened to us that we think it’s ok?

While this is mostly a personal issue, it’s noteworthy to consider binary beliefs when it comes to customer service in business. This is where it’s going to cause the biggest problem. The next issue I see is when dealing with staff and then suppliers.

So what do I mean by binary beliefs?

Let’s start with “I’m right & you’re wrong”, that’s what sparked this. (Generally followed up with, “Let’s agree to disagree”.) We are starting to understand that sexuality and gender aren’t binary (male/female, gay/straight). Why is it that we think beliefs are binary?

Ok, so I suppose that my belief is mine and yours is your own, the classic ‘them and us’ scenario. And that in essence makes them binary, what I’m looking for is a discussion on understanding and tolerance. Or even some perspective taking. There’s benefit to both parties if they are willing and want to learn.

When I teach motivators, I use the definition of a belief as assumptions we hold to be true. Beliefs are contextual: they come from learned experiences, from the cultural and environmental situations we face.

Here’s the thing, we forget that beliefs aren’t actually truths; because we hold them as true, it doesn’t mean they are. While they might be true for us, they are not always someone else’s truth. Beliefs draw on our experience, including our culture.

The thing about beliefs is that not all our experiences become beliefs. Generally they have to align with other beliefs we hold before they are adopted. Then, the other issue with beliefs is that we search out information etc to reinforce our beliefs. (Attenuation Bias)

So how is this binary belief a problem for business?

Well if you’re aware of it, this is the first step in changing. Then the next is taking action when you’re aware that you are falling into this binary belief scenario.

Don’t get me wrong (pun intended), there are times where standing by your beliefs is necessary, this isn’t about that. But what happens when you’re faced with a customer who you can’t agree with?

What I’m suggesting is that businesses look at their own beliefs and check in with how beliefs form . Perhaps, it’s that this person has a different lived experience and so their beliefs differ. That doesn’t make them wrong, but different. (And I hope today we are better at embracing differences)

How do you feel when instead of hearing how wrong you are, according to someone’s beliefs, they took time to listen to you. I can tell you from dealing with hostile clients, feeling listened to is enough to calm a customer down. We all want to be heard.

So you’ve heard what they have to say, now what?

Most people would react by telling them how they’re wrong or going back and reinforcing their belief. But this takes us back to the binary belief problem. So what to do?

You reinforce that you’ve heard & understood what they’ve said by repeating it back to them and then you look for common ground. Again, beliefs can change and we are hard-wired for connection. Finding common ground puts you in a position of peacemaker rather than dictator. In business I’d rather have a win for both than one or none.

The beauty of beliefs is that they come from our lived experience. Moving from a binary belief set and having experiences to challenge our beliefs allows us and our beliefs to grow. And I’m all for personal and business growth.

Making the most of the spare time

It’s no secret that I was not happy about being flat out crazy busy during school holidays. I wish I could say it was because I was out having fun with my kids – but it wasn’t. Now they’re back and it’s quiet. Not the, thank goodness I can do what I want quiet, but the where have all the customers gone quiet.

Ok, so the customers haven’t dried up. I still have all the same customers. I’ve also negotiated and outsourced some work I would normally do myself – and it’s all with the contractors at the moment.

But I look down at my plan of what I am doing this week, I think back to what I did last week, and I look up at what I have planned for the quarter… and I scratch my head.

Where has all this spare time come from?

I know, I know, I should be enjoying it – and I am. I am also a little wary of the quietness. The other day I spoke with a girlfriend who has a highpower corporate position and I mentioned the quiet time and she reminded me of something:

“Kara, make the most of it!”

 

I had forgotten this. In my corporate days I knew there would be times where all my own work was in hand and other work was out with other people & I was waiting for it to come back. I used to tell myself the same thing. Make the most of it.

So what do you do when you find spare time on your hands, more than a spare hour or two? How do you constructively fill a few days when you’re waiting on things?

This is where I use my planning tools, in all honesty. What are my aims for this month, quarter, year? I will work my way up to the highest level goals to see what I can be doing in this time to achieve these goals. These quieter times are great to get stuck into a meatier piece of this work.

Re-evaluate

Take some time out to have a look at your numbers. How have you gone? Is there something which could/should be performing better than it is? What can you do about that? Is there something you’ve been repeatedly putting off and this time could be used to tackling it once and for all? Or, do you actually need to do it at all and save yourself some more time?

Tackle an idea

Do you have an ideas jar? You know, somewhere to capture those brilliant ideas that you can do when you get-a-round-to-it? Pull one at random  and tackle that sucker.

Plan

Seems a bit counter-intuitive but big blocks of space and time are perfect times to plan for the time ahead!

Create

Create some content. Create some videos. Schedule some social media. Learn a new skill to help you create. Do those things which keep your business ticking but you tend to run out of time to do. Make the most of it.

Chill

Take some time out for you. While many might think that this should be the first & I have to say that after a busy period it is my go-to option, make sure you take some time out for yourself.

It can be a bit odd when you suddenly find yourself with spare time on your hands, but it doesn’t mean that the world is falling down. This breathing space, when put to best use can catapult you further than your busyness ever could.

Make the most of it!

 

PS. If you’re wondering what I’m doing with my spare time… I will be creating – writing more of my book and I am allowing myself the time to let some ideas come to me and re-evaluating & taking action on them. I’m looking forward to showing you what comes of it..

 

Slow down

Slow down! Don’t push! Don’t hurry! Stop hustling! There’s plenty of time and we deserve your best work.

I’m seeing a number of people talking about burn out. People worrying about deadlines. Business owners lost in comparison with their competitors. And I want to scream, “STOP! ENOUGH!”

Recently my kids were on their 2 week Autumn school holidays and normally I will move work to the evenings and work half-days so that we can have time together. Instead, I had pressing deadlines, clients with work which couldn’t be moved, and events that had zero flexibility. I pushed and hustled and pushed some more. Just to get through. And I hated it. All I wanted to do is slow down.

Contrast that with how I feel on my morning walks. After the holidays I made a commitment to a 45 minute walk, alone, before I start work. I even decided that I will start work at 9.30 on those days, sorry clients – I’m on a late start. No hustle, no grind, just at peace with my thoughts. And you know what happens. The ideas rush at me. I don’t have to push. I can slow down and just be and they will come because my mind is still and I am not forcing anything.

Last year a friend suggested that I run a livestreaming challenge. “Too easy”, I thought. I’d been livestreaming for years and had some great hints for how to improve livestreams and get people using the medium. I thought I could have it up in 2-3 weeks. That was enough time right? Oh how wrong I was. It took me 3 months to get the first round out. Why? Because I knew this was a needed and powerful tool and deserved to be done properly. I had to slow down to do it properly.

Too often I see business owners overwhelmed because they had a certain date set in place to deliver a new product or service or something by. They see it looming and they start to stress out.  I want to remind you of a few things:

It’s your business.
You set the timing.

We survived without this new marvellous creation, we can wait. We deserve your best work, not a rush job. We deserve you at your best, not a stressed out and worn out shell of yourself.

Here’s the other thing… creating for your business should not feel rushed, hustled, a chore, or something you need to churn out or through. Slow down. Savour the process. Delay. Refine. Enjoy. We all deserve it.

Whose opinion matters to your business?

So the other week I went and had new branding photos taken. It had been 4 years since my last ones were done, I was still happy with them, they matched my colours, I was still using them, but I had the redone all the same. Why?

I went to a coffee meet up and a number of the women there, who I had never met before in person, said they didn’t recognise me from my photos. That’s odd, I hadn’t changed, my hair was only a slightly different cut but not colour. Why didn’t they recognise me?

So I stopped and asked my friends, had I changed or did I look any different? They all said I looked the same and these other women didn’t know what they were talking about. Now I could have taken my friend’s advice but I stopped for a second.

In business, whose opinion matters most? My friends who know me, trust me, and recommend me regardless. Or someone I don’t know, who I am starting to build a relationship with, who I need to develop that trust with. If they don’t recognise me from my picture, is there a problem.

You bet there is!

I could have stuck with the feedback which confirmed my belief, that I wasn’t that different from my photos, or I could look at it from my audience’s perspective and have new photos which reflected what I look like now, regardless of how small the change is.

Here’s the thing, we are all built with a perception bias. We will all seek to reaffirm our beliefs. However it’s when we want to do something different or move somewhere new or become someone bigger than who we are that we need to change what we do.

We can not expect different results from doing the same things.

When it comes to business, we need someone who will challenge us and not always tell us what we want to hear, rather they tell us what we need to hear. They hold a mirror to ourselves and make us see things differently. They challenge us and guide us through new things so we can have different results. Even when we want to stay doing the same things and those closest to us are reaffirming that.

Swimming in a blue ocean

For those familiar with the book “Blue Ocean Strategy” by Kim & Mauborgne, you will know what I’m talking about. For those who haven’t read the book, and I have and it’s a slog, a blue ocean is where you are out in a new marketplace/industry. Think of Uber vs taxis and when self-check in came in on flights vs heading to a counter. It’s revolutionising an industry with a new way of delivering the same outcome. I don’t want to regurgitate the book, what I want to chat about is what it’s like to be swimming in a blue ocean, because that’s where I am.

Back in 2014, or sometime before then, it became clear to me that Facebook had psychologists on staff and that they were using social psychology principles on their platform; and I wrote about it. I wasn’t working as a social media coach or consultant then, in fact I was working as a proof reader but I had my qualifications and I was managing 2 of my own Facebook pages. So the psychology of social media was a side interest. The following year I wrote about it more and by then I’d started coaching on some ideas around how to leveraging how psychology works on social media.

I was full of self-doubt about whether niching myself to the psychology of social media was the right thing to do. I turned to a business coach who told me not to speak about psychology because it would just confuse my followers. Try as I might, I just couldn’t. I had to be genuine and transparent to my audience that this was what sat behind it all. That this wasn’t just some other cock & bull, get rich quick scheme and that it was solid science. So I stayed true to me and told my truth my way.

By the middle of 2016 it was clear to me that I was alone in teaching Facebook this way and I got scared.

I was plagued by comparison-itis, where I constantly checked in with what my competitors were doing. It was awful. It filled me with such self-doubt! They were doing so much more. They had more clients. They were successful and I wasn’t. They were making money and I wasn’t. I sucked! Or so I believed.

I told myself that it was ok, I was a relatively new business and it was just the fact that people didn’t know me and that it takes 7 years for a business to really take off. But my competitors weren’t 7 yet either?! I looked at their messages and saw glaring holes in what they were teaching. I saw the same bad advice being passed around by various coaches. Heck, I even got on a webinar on how to be a social media coach to be told, “all you need to do is follow Social Media Examiner and you can do this”! I was a failure!

I have to be honest, up until 2016, I had a constant internal battle between the pull of having to teach people what I saw about psychological theories being manipulated and used on social media platforms and the need to get a J.O.B to help pay the bills. The pull to expose and teach the truth was too strong and the needs of my family came first. I kept treading water in my blue ocean.

Now I’ve told you that in 2017 I hired a business coach, not the one I mentioned earlier. Now one session I was in tears over this and she told me that I had to let go of the shore to cross the sea. I had to stop looking at competitors, stop worrying that what I was doing was different, stop trying to sell what I think my clients wanted but didn’t align with the path I needed to take in my blue ocean. So I let go and swam, not drifted, deep into my blue ocean.

It was lonely.

It was stormy.

Occasionally I saw a distant boat or shore (customer).

But I was living my blue ocean, true to myself and my message.

Here’s the thing. The blue ocean is exactly this. Nothing worth doing is ever easy! When you’re out sailing, all alone, no landmarks, out in the middle of the ocean, you’ve got to set your course and stick to it.

 

The other thing to remember and to research is diffusion of innovation theory by E.M. Rogers. The theory sits that until you have at least 16% reach into your marketplace, you will be in the blue ocean. That doesn’t mean that your idea or market isn’t worthwhile, it just means that they’re not ready for you.

You have to be patient and persevere. It pays off. The world will catch up to you or your market saturation will hit 17% and it will start to tip and like a boat with wind in its sails, you will take off.

You will take off, at first it might be a small breeze, but it will make those landmarks close in & that is good. I am taking off, unfortunately it has been as a result of some pretty shocking revelations around Facebook & Cambridge Analytica, all the same I am grateful that these things have opened people‘s eyes to the fact that psychology is part of social media. It has meant that I have needed to speak on how this can be done ethically and I worry that when the majority marketers catch on that there will be a flood of them teaching the psychology of social media without truly understanding the mechanism or more importantly that they are talking about people and not technology. I can see that this will become my new blue ocean, but that’s ok as I’ve now become accustomed to being alone & I’m ok with that.

To hear more about how businesses have succeeded, or failed, because of the law of diffusion of innovation, I suggest watching this video from Simon Sinek.

The shoulds of marketing

Oh I love them! You should have an email list. You should email your list daily, weekly, monthly. You should run Facebook Ads. You should have a Facebook Group. You should do Facebook Lives. You should do webinars. You should scrap free consultations. Should. Should. SHOULD.

Ok, so some of those things are smart business. Some of those things are good marketing. But they miss a few key points. (and I’m sure I’ve missed plenty of shoulds)

Here’s the thing. If you do/don’t want to do something in your business. It’s your business. No one can tell you what to do.

I’m a firm believer that our businesses are extensions of ourselves, we put so much blood, sweat and tears into it! Why wouldn’t it be deeply connected to us.

I’m one to buck trends but I have to be honest that I still get the wobbles. Here’s an example.

I keep seeing Webinars announced. Don’t get me wrong some people get great results from using webinars as part of their marketing funnel. Personally, I can’t stand them. I know it’s going to be a few minutes of personal history, a tiny bit of learning, then a lot of pitch. Generally I can’t attend due to time zone differences and there’s no recording because they don’t want you to skip to the meat. So I’m stereotyping and there would be great ones out there, don’t message me the links, but they all follow the same formula, and it’s a formula.

So I asked my audience if they liked webinars and they said they loved them. Great! My audience loves them and I don’t. What to do? Honestly, I’m still stuck in webinar purgatory not knowing what to do. I don’t want to have another one of ‘those’ webinars.

That’s the thing! I don’t have to. Just because I should, just because some of my audience have said they like webinars – doesn’t mean I have to.

What I do have to do is acknowledge that by not doing them, there is a lost opportunity and associated cost. By doing them my way there’s a risk that I won’t get the return I would have had I followed the formula. If I do one according to the formula, there’s a risk it will be ingenuous and I will lose out.

That’s what I want you to know. You don’t have to just because someone else tells you to. You do have to realise that everything comes at a cost, action as well as inaction has a cost. I just know that if you do something not aligned with who you are, people will see through it.

What I don’t teach about aligning motivators

I talk about aligning what motivates people when teaching businesses about social media. I use it because at the end of the day, social media is about influencing a person to take action through a form of technology. It’s not about the technology first and foremost.

Aligning motivators helps you talk to the people you want to work with and to inspire them to take action, but there’s another thing it does is telling you who not to work with. I’ve seen in the past weeks that people are worried about difficult clients and how to work with them.

The thing is that aligning motivators makes you distinctly aware of what your motivators are, one of which is your values. So there is strength there. When we get clear on what our values are and what motivates us, not only do our most aligned clients appear, but something else happens.

We repel those we don’t want to work with.

Imagine this, you’re talking about what motivates you, you’re clear, you’re out there with your message. You will draw people to you who resonate with this. The brilliant thing is that you will also push away those who don’t. They might think it’s all crap. They may think that you’re woo woo and wishy washy. They might think that you’re not a serious business owner (I was called that once, meh). Brilliant! Perfect!

Don’t waste your time.

Move on to those people who are drawn to work with you, who align with your motivators. Why? They will light you up. They will remind you why you do what you do. They will be easy to work with. In fact, working with them won’t feel like work at all!

Don’t you deserve that? Doesn’t that sound nicer than dealing with difficult clients?

Now if you’re tempted to take anyone because funds are tight…. DON’T! They will take twice as long and end up costing you. Stick to your motivators and your message and magic will happen.

Lies we’re told about running a Facebook Page

So often I hear business owners, especially women, saying that they feel lost marketing their business online. They feel overwhelmed by all of the information out there, especially if they have a Facebook presence for their business (and this is where I will focus).

Perhaps it’s the benefit of having had some time off over Christmas/New Year and that they have had time away from social media and realised that there’s more to life out there. Perhaps they’ve made a resolution to spend less time online, or to model the behaviour for their children. Perhaps they feel like it doesn’t work. Perhaps they feel like it’s always changing. Perhaps it’s none of these. Perhaps it’s something else. Perhaps it’s all of these and then some. Regardless, people are realising that something is wrong with how they manage their social media for their business and it’s not working for them.

In the main, the biggest complaint I hear is not wanting to be online 24/7 and not knowing how to market to their clients without feeling salesy & ‘slimey’. I seriously believe that this is a sad gap in the messaging that’s out there about social media. So much information is out there about the options. There’s also the overt hustle mentality along with how the vast majority of successful business owners portray their laptop lifestyle. It’s hurting small business.

Here’s the thing about social media. We show people what we want them to see. We curate our lives for online. While FOMO might be real, what is driving it generally isn’t. I admit, I curate what people see of my life & that’s because I don’t want to show my family to the world, but I also want to ensure that those who see behind the scenes are in the trenches working with me. But my methods are left of centre and I’m not afraid to show how hard things are, this blog is testament to that.

There’s a sentence in the last paragraph that stands out and it’s for a reason other than what it actually means, a deeper insight.

We show people what we want them to see.

But what I want to point out isn’t the message on curating what we post, it’s about ‘we’ and ‘people’. Instinctively we post on social media, particularly on Facebook knowing that a person will see it and they might even react to it. And that, although intuitive can seem at odds with all the other information out there.

That’s where there’s tension in their minds, especially with women who are more likely to want connection to their clients. Most of the information out there is about the technology and sizes and buttons and video and platforms and websites. It’s all depersonalised and so far away from what they crave instinctively.

Then when I tell them that they actually need to focus on their customers and people it seems too easy. Especially when terms like algorithm and engagement are bandied around. The thing is that these exact terms actually rely on people to make them happen.

Think back to the corner store of your childhood or the local baker/butcher/grocery store. What do you remember most? It’s probably more about the person and how they made you feel than the store itself. In our rush to curate our lives, we’ve removed our personability or even our personality. We crave connection as humans, it’s necessary. It’s why premmie babies thrive when touched. We need connection and business success is just as needy of this.

So lately I’ve spent a lot of time with business page owners who are feeling overwhelmed and disconnected teaching them how to reconnect with their client on Facebook. It saddens me that the marketing industry and marketers have swung the pendulum so far that businesses feel out of touch. The other thing this does is that they are given too many options and feel lost about not only who to connect with but how.

The thing is that if you put the right thing in front of the right person at the right time, you will win. So how do you do it? It’s a matter of knowing where they hang out (Facebook in this instance), when they hang out, how you fix their problem and selling your solution.

Some will call this whole-hearted or heart-centered selling. I call it smart marketing and understanding your target market.

If you understand these things you can then target (schedule) your efforts and forget about feeling utterly overwhelmed.

I’ve created a little book that outlines the keys to how to kick some of this overwhelm & I invite you to download it over here (in exchange for an email address).

Why I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions or Word of the Year

So it’s coming to the end of 2017 and people are looking towards 2018. New Year’s Resolutions are sooo 2010 and over the past 3 years I have been setting a word for the year.

Guess what!

They’re about as useful as Resolutions.

I totally understand the appeal of the word. Resolutions take a lot of thought and they’ve gotten a bad wrap over how they don’t work unless you continuously reinforce them through repetition and inspired action.

So this is where the word of the year comes in.

The idea is that it’s an overarching theme for your year. A theme to inspire action, to drive activity, and to move you through 2018.

Yup.

Not enough for me.

I need something a little more tangible.

I need to see facts and figures.

I need concrete milestones to drive concrete action.

Sound familiar to you?

When I spot and think about it. I spent 5 years working in Quality Assurance. Essentially looking backwards and reviewing action. We had concrete targets to achieve, but our main function was to learn in retrospect and to use that to improve the business going forward.

And here was I wondering why Resolutions and Annual Theme Words weren’t working. It’s no wonder when I have been programmed to look retrospectively and use concrete data to drive progress.

And I know that I can change behaviour. But humour me for a moment as I explain why and how this approach may suit some more than the 100% forwards projecting approach of Resolution and Theme word setting.

In my business, I project my income. I have a projection out for 10 years (now down to 7 as I haven’t made it rolling). It’s based on the first 18 months of growth in my business and now 3 years in, it’s still working. It’s planning for forward growth based on past performance.

I track my income against these projections. I know how much my expected income will be for the remainder of the current year & I know that I will exceed my growth target for this current financial year. You see, I’m a big believer in the saying, “What gets measured gets managed”.

This is planning based on concrete evidenced performance.

In fact, I’m now planning out my income for the following financial year, taking into consideration my expected growth.

So how does this impact on my ability to set a Resolution or Theme Word? Surely I seem strategic enough that I can find a suitable one.

Seems not!

Looking back, as you can see I do, I’ve found that they’ve not been effective. I’ve achieved, I’ve grown, I’ve evolved but not because of a Word or Resolution, but because of activity.

So what am I doing in 2018 and forward instead of yearly Resolutions & Theme Words?

I’m planning more. Through my coaching, I am conducting quarterly planning and projecting and part of that is a word that summarises the activity for that quarter.

So for the first quarter of 2018, I am launching the online version of my Organic Facebook Course. Something I’ve wanted to do for 2 years now; taking my successful face-to-face course and making it available for people outside of where I live. I’m also headed to a Social Media Conference in San Diego, another thing I’ve wanted to do for 2 years.

So my first quarter 2018 is about ‘Action’. Moving on things that I have wanted to do and for various reasons, I haven’t.

Now some will say that this is just the same as setting a Yearly Theme Word or New Year’s Resolution. I would say that it’s retrospective. I’m looking at what I will be doing first to achieve my financial goals and then considering a word which fits that activity. Not a guiding principle to drive my activity.

I think this is key.

For these to work you need a key motivator first. Personally, it’s my financial goals. (Don’t worry, money is not my only motivator, it is a tool to achieve my life I am setting for myself.) For me to achieve the flexibility and family balance, increasing my income is key as it reduces the pressure on my husband and gives our family the flexibility we desire.

So I hope this has helped some of you who may not resonate with New Year’s Resolutions or Yearly Theme Words.

If this is you & you have no idea how to get to this place, then I’d like to suggest the following:
1. If you don’t know what your dream business looks like, read the following blog and download the free workbook for it; then
2. If you don’t forecast & track your financial position, read the following blog post and download the Excel sheet I use; then
3. Grab a sheet of paper and write the months for the quarter you are about to head in to (at writing that would be Jan-Mar 2018) & then write what your top 3 business activities are for the period, what your financial goal is for the period, and the one word that represents those activities. Stick it where you can see it while you work.

I have to be honest, popping this up in my line of sight helps. It helps keep me accountable. However, the main thing that helps is having someone to be accountable to – for me that’s my coach. If this sounds like your missing link, then please book a complimentary discovery session with me where we can chat about how I can help you achieve more in 2018.

What I learnt from hiring a coach

At the start of 2017 I knew there were a number of things I ‘had to do’. One of them was to go on a business retreat and get some focus and direction on my business. So I did. I took myself to Sydney for 3 days and I retreated. At the end, the organiser mentioned their coaching program. I didn’t have the money for group coaching, but I knew that I had to have it. I had invested time in my business and I wanted to get things going. So I signed up, this is what I got…

So each fortnight I jump on a group call with my coach, and 3 other women, we listen to the coach’s wisdom and we support & solve the issues we each have faced and plan for the coming week. But that’s what we do, you want to know what I got out of it.

The big one…

I doubled my income the month I decided to start working with my coach. Remember how I said that I didn’t have the money when I made the decision. Well it appeared, and then some! And it kept coming. I’ve gained and lost clients but I haven’t lost income. It keeps coming. I learnt that if I made a commitment to my business, then I would be provided for.

I was held accountable

I do this with my clients but I’m not good with myself. Well guess what, when you’re paying someone and every 2 weeks you have to front them and tell them what you’ve been up to and why you didn’t achieve that really important thing from last week… you better have a really good reason behind it.

I was called on my BS

Now I need this. And it was done with all love and care. But the first few sessions I went into them unprepared. I didn’t know what I wanted help with for the coming fortnight and I rattled off a grocery list, and then some, of my achievements. But I actually wasn’t progressing with my business. I was called out! I then realised that if I was to make the most of the investment, as I had intended, I needed to get real and get honest. You know what happened? The next session I cracked, I cried, I exposed my fears to the group, and from there I grew.  At the end of our sessions for the year, I was thanked for opening up a space where we could be honest and vulnerable. I had lead the way.

I got my shit together

I used to think I had time under control. I was kidding, and let’s face it I still have work to do. My coach told me that ‘my brain isn’t a filing cabinet’ and that I needed to work out a better way to organise my time than my ever growing job list. It was true. Things were slipping by and I was missing client tasks. It wasn’t good. So I found my weekly planner pad and I used the jar/rocks/pebble/sand/water philosophy for my time. Guess what? I had more time than before! I could achieve more.

I could help my clients more

My coach gave us carte blanche to use what we learnt in the sessions with our clients. So I did. What it meant was that I had clients who were able to grow their businesses and secure their family’s financial freedom within a short period of time. Clients went from juggling debt on credit cards and debtors to having all the bills paid, closing off credit card accounts, and having money in the bank.

I learnt about me

I learnt that it was ok to have a niche where no one else was, that was emerging, that being different was ok. Seems odd, but I was always looking to fit into the industry but I wanted to do it differently. I was confounded. That day I was in tears, I learnt that I really only needed 2-3 people who I knew were in the trenches with me and had my back no matter what. I used that, I drew on that. When I went to the US, I discovered just how different I was but how I wasn’t actually alone. There were 3 of us I found, amongst the 21000 people there, who spoke the same language (1 was a keynote & 1 I met in the audience). The more people I spoke to, the more I realised that not only was it ok to be different – I was actually of interest to others in my industry and that being different was my strength.

Good things come

I learnt that with time and space, what I need will come.  I ‘needed’ to move to more coaching and less managing. I was scared. I liked the security of the consistent income. I learnt that I didn’t have to give that away to move to where I was drawn. I could do it incrementally, but I had to let go of it. I had to show up the way I wanted to be seen and offer myself as that. So that is where I’m headed. It has only been since October that I have decided, it’s slow, but the shift is happening. I have been tested by the draw back, but I’m serious in pursuing this passion and I seriously adore what I get out of coaching. So good things are here and more is to come.

Did I expect this outcome? Well I hoped for it. I know that I had seen it in my own clients, but that was ‘different’ in my eyes. I had hoped for the accountability, I had dreamed about the income growth, it was the personal growth that came in 6 short months which has me excited. I’m excited for the year to come, I’m excited for my clients, and I’m excited for me.

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