CBBM #7: An opportunity to grow

CBBM #7: An opportunity to grow

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(To download your own, high-resolution copy of the Coaching Blueprint Biz Manifesto, click the link above.)
 

Coaching Blueprint Biz Manifesto #7: Running a business is an opportunity to grow as a person.

In the first few years of running your business–and even after you’ve started to see the fulfillment and financial success that all of your hard work is leading to–there’s one principle that will help you manage every single challenge.

If you treat running your business as an opportunity to grow as a person, you will always win at this, no matter what your bank account looks like, and no matter what happens.

If a client leaves–you treat it as a personal growth opportunity. The parts of you that feel rejected, or start to take it personally, or that get upset if the client is blaming or angry all become an opportunity to grow.

If you have a sudden cash windfall, and you realize with a sudden and stunning clarity that actually, contrary to a belief you’ve held for years, money doesn’t fix all of your problems, or that a new fear arises–holding on to the money, what if it never happens again, etc.–then all of that becomes an opportunity to grow as a person.

If you’re constantly overwhelmed, whether because of poor organization or taking on too much, this becomes an opportunity to grow.

Whatever happens in your business–and I do mean whatever happens, regardless of how innocuous it seems–is something that can be found in the larger arena of your life. Resentments and fears, as well as whatever excites you and delights you, will show up in the context of your business life. Instead of seeing “life” as this thing that you do when you’re not working with clients or planning your next marketing move, understand that all the attitudes, beliefs, and choices that you make in your business are just reflections of what’s happening in your overall life.

This means that you’re going to find the so-called “good” with the so-called “bad.” That’s fine. It’s this very richness that makes the experience of creating a career that’s based in your heart and your values so exciting and rewarding. This is the good news! Everything you do to work on something, or to enhance and cultivate more of something, in your business is going to translate to your life.

In other words: everything that you do to work on fear in the context of business is going to provide you with rich lessons for working with fear in life, and everywhere that you find excitement and passion in business is going to open you up to excitement and passion in life.

You didn’t leave one job, only to start doing this work and create another environment that didn’t feel good. All of your “stuff” is going to come up as you strike out and make a declaration that you’re going to live on your own terms, in every area of your life, including your work.

Start reframing every challenge in business as an opportunity to grow in your life, and you’re certain to see positive results.

Click to tweet: Use every opportunity in life as an experience to grow. http://clicktotweet.com/70hYn.

 

CBBM #6: You’ve got to have conviction

CBBM #6: You’ve got to have conviction

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(To download your own, high-resolution copy of the Coaching Blueprint Biz Manifesto, click the link above.)
 

Blueprint Manifesto #6: You’ve got to have conviction

I tend to find two major problems behind why life coaches have trouble getting traction.

#1: They don’t have conviction around the values that surround their work,

and

#2: Probably fed by the lack of conviction around their values, there’s a lack of conviction around pushing to make their businesses a success.
 

Having conviction around the values that surround your work–that’s really about the question of who you’re serving and the value you provide for them.

When you know that you’re hard-core about helping women who struggle with __________ to shift from feeling ________ to feeling __________, it becomes very clear what you’re about.

For example, I’m clear that I don’t just want to dole out business advice, to anyone and everyone. I don’t care about “anyone and everyone’s” businesses. I want to help life coaches who are struggling with marketing to shift away from lacking confidence, and towards doing everything in business completely on their own terms, according to their personal values.

I also have a conviction about “how” that’s done: by using growing your business as a personal growth opportunity, and treating yourself the way you’d treat a client.

Other business coaches want to shift something different. They want to work only with creatives, or only with consultants. Perhaps their view is that confidence comes from learning a skill-set, so they wouldn’t talk about shifting a lack of confidence–they’d talk about learning a skill-set. Certainly, for some people, talk about business as a personal growth opportunity just sounds woo-woo and inane.

The point is this: the conviction about how it’s done informs every blog post, every marketing message, every interview.

If you’re a life coach who feels fuzzy on exactly what you want to help people with, and why it’s so important to help people, and how it is that you think the process should look, chances are that your potential clients feel that way, too. They’re looking at your blog posts and knowing that you’re a compassionate and kind human being, without necessarily seeing that you’ve really engaged with a process for what you work on and how you work on it.

I’ll put it another way: If you’re setting up articles of incorporation for your business, do you want to hire the attorney who has experience with LLCs and S-Corps? Or the general, “happy to help you with anything” attorney?

And if you are hiring an attorney for that purpose, do you want the one who says, “The way I work is this: First I ______, then I _____, and then I _____” or the one who says, “I’m so happy to help you; I’m sure we’ll figure it out” ?

Extreme niching isn’t necessarily what has to happen. I’ve never felt aligned with the idea of calling myself a certain “type” of coach, though I support coaches who find success defining themselves as a “dating coach” or a “new moms coach.”

It’s less about an exact niche, and more about a perspective. Even a dating coach is going to need to know what her personal conviction is–her personal values that inform her approach to helping people have great dating experiences. Those values are going to inform everything she shares, whether she’s talking about what to wear on a first date or the top signs that he could be a dud.

Beyond just helping people to live better lives, what is it that you’re passionate about helping people with? What do you want them to realize? What do you hope they understand by the time they’ve finished working with you?

These are bold, beautiful questions. Let them inform your entire business–because however you answer them, that’s you. The more of you that can show up in your life coaching practice, the better.
 
Click to tweet: Get behind your values. Get behind your conviction. http://clicktotweet.com/2ZJr7

 

CBBM #5: Money is a powerful tool

CBBM #5: Money is a powerful tool

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(To download your own, high-resolution copy of the Coaching Blueprint Biz Manifesto, click the link above.)
 
Manifesto #5: Money is a powerful tool–respect it and have fun with it.

The first four parts of the Coaching Blueprint Business Manifesto (see link, above) talk about perspectives around marketing and money. They point to getting the money in the door.

Once you have the money in the door, however? You’ve got to respect it.

There’s an entire chapter in the Coaching Blueprint downloadable program on shifting your money mindset. Part of running a successful life coaching practice means dealing with money, and if your mindset around money is a negative one, it’s harder to keep a consistent flow.

Respecting money looks like:

  • Planning for leaner times (there’s an ebb and flow to working for yourself)
  • Paying bills, and paying them on time.
  • Expecting accountability from your clients, and expecting them to pay on time, as well.
  • Feeling good about how you spend your money.
  • Not over-spending.
  • Standing behind what you charge and the value that you provide.
  • Seeing money as a tool, rather than a definition of who you are.
  • Regularly interacting with your money, such as taking time to balance your checkbook or view account activity.

Respecting money also looks like having fun with money–but there’s a difference between having fun, and wringing oneself out.

It’s fun to have a dinner party with a little wine. It’s not fun to get so wasted at that dinner party that you’re hung over, the next day.

It’s fun to spend money on things that you genuinely appreciate. It’s not fun to binge spend on stuff that doesn’t hold a lot of care for you, and then not be able to pay a bill or feel tight and pinched for a month until you can invoice your clients, again.
 
Click to tweet: Money is a powerful tool. Respect it AND have fun with it. http://clicktotweet.com/AQv5m

If you are creating your life coaching business from the perspective of how you want to feel, and doing it on your own terms, and if you want to run your business rather than having it run you, ask yourself what money behaviors will have you feel most abundant.

Chances are good that whatever has you feel most abundant will be some combination of both respecting money as well as having fun with money. Use money as the powerful tool that it is, and you’ll be building a business that can stand firmly in abundance and in integrity.

 

CBBM #4: Fulfillment over profit

CBBM #4: Fulfillment over profit

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(To download your own, high-resolution copy of the Coaching Blueprint Biz Manifesto, click the link above.)
 

Manifesto #4: Fulfillment over profit.

I want you to get the money in the door. I really, really do. As Danielle LaPorte says: “No money? No business.”

But if you have to resort to doing things that make you feel cheesy and inauthentic, to do it? Or if you are completely burned out?

If that’s what it takes to get money in the door, it’s not worth it–and no, I’m not a trust fund baby. I’m saying that from the perspective of someone who knows what it’s like to have a maxed-out credit card and rent due in a week.

One of the most powerful moments I’ve had in the development of my business was born of pure frustration: I hit a point where I felt absolutely, positively and utterly fed up with trying to get my business going, because I’d been doing everything that anyone was telling me to–giveaways, blogging daily, paying for sponsor spots on high-traffic blogs, going around to various websites and adding to their comments, posting to social media a lot, etc.

Translation: Despite that, the money was not coming in the door.

Now, this is kind of funny, right? At the time, even though I was doing all of the things the experts would have said I should do, none of it felt good, AND none of it was actually paying the bills.

At the time, I would have told you that I “didn’t like marketing.” Because I didn’t like it, I wasn’t consistent about it. I was also afraid of stepping into the online arena with any conviction.

As I recall it, something within me went, “Look, Kate, you’ve just got to focus on what you love to do–and what you love to do is write.”

In that moment, I decided that there would be no more giveaways, no more sponsorships, and while I loved to write, blogging daily was killing me slowly, so there would be no more of that.

I would write. I would write my best work, and that was it. I would guest post, because that was writing and I liked it. I would stop adding comments to websites, because that just took time away from my own writing. I would post to social media only as I wished and in the way I wished.
 
Click to tweet: Let fulfillment lead the way to generating profit. http://clicktotweet.com/cqDkx
 

I immediately felt better. The fact that I felt better was more important to me in that moment, than money coming in the door–because with feeling better, I had a renewed belief in my capacity to create something, anything, some way, some how that would lead to success.

This isn’t just a “me” story. This is a collective story. I chatted up Tara Gentile about this, and here’s what she said:

My business was predominantly blogging–media–for much of its infancy. And having taken over a site for another blogger, I felt I needed to just keep blogging in the same style as she always had and the same style as everyone else in our corner of the internet. I created rapid-fire posts that highlighted products I found intriguing.

But I realized I wasn’t getting much traction. I wasn’t getting the numbers of new subscribers, traffic, or advertisers that I really wanted. So I decided to go a different road and start writing the kinds of articles I really wanted to write. I stopped doing things the way I thought I “had to” and started working to my strengths as a blogger. I wrote in-depth articles, I crafted stories, and I pitched unconventional ideas.

Even though I write at a different site now and blog about very different things, I have stayed true writing what I want to write, the way I want to write it. And it’s become one of the big things I’m known for.

 

I also asked Andrea Owen for her take:

I thought I had to write an article for a WEEKLY newsletter AND a blog (different content because someone told me not to duplicate it). That lasted a month, I HATED it.

Recently I decided to stop doing my Monday Kick-Ass quotes. I did them for 2 years and I got great responses from my list that they liked them and they were easily sharable on social media. It worked for a long time. Then I started hating doing them. I would forget about it until Sunday afternoon and have to tear myself away from my family to go work on it. I was getting resentful. I kept it up because I thought if my people liked them, I had to keep it up for them.

I took the summer off of doing them and felt 1,000 times better.

 

Yes, you want pay the bills.

Of course! I’m not saying you have to choose one, over the other. But you just might find–as have many other people in this industry–that prioritizing one, to get to the other, reaps incredible rewards.

 

CBBM #3: Create your own blueprint

CBBM #3: Create your own blueprint

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Manifesto #3: Learn from others, but create your own Blueprint

There’s a reason why this website, and the program that this website grew from, is called the Coaching BLUEPRINT.

I came to understand from a lot of trial and error that while we might all be in the same industry (life coaching), every business has nuances. Every business has its own Blueprint. There are going to be certain things that each and every life coaching practice has in common–such as providing value for clients or customers–but the way in which that value is delivered will be different.

That’s actually really good news, because it means that you can stop doing what everyone else is doing, and start focusing on doing what you want to do. For instance, you can stop learning about blogging as a content marketing strategy if you hate writing and feel under the gun to update your blog with written blog posts every week (in fact, you can grab the “Better than Blogging” e-book as a Blueprint e-letter subscriber).

Learn from others, but create your own Blueprint–that means that it’s valuable to learn the perspectives that others bring, but you’ve got to do this your way. This is a big reason why I involved so many other coaches in the Coaching Blueprint digital program–I knew that a program that only included my own perspectives wouldn’t really serve life coaches who wanted to do things differently.

You didn’t leave your last line of work, only to enter this line of work–life coaching–and then be miserable because you “have to” do things a certain way.

You’re only winning at this if you’re fulfilled while doing it. If you’re burned out, trying to conform to an image of what you’re supposed to be, or feeling anything less than flat-out ecstatic about your job each day, then it’s worth looking at where you can shift things.

Do it your way. Make this your blueprint.

Click to tweet: Learn from others, but create your own blueprint. http://clicktotweet.com/A8Qnb