As a career coach, I spend a great deal of time reviewing the details of people’s lives and careers and making sense of the seeming randomness. With clients who want a new career, I always begin by having them complete my Career Path Self-Assessment, an in-depth survey which leads them to deeply examine their early selves, their previous jobs, and a variety of other important information. From this array of data, I uncover core life themes, roadblocks, unique skills and talents, and lost passions. I put this all together to identify more fulfilling and exciting professional directions.
While it’s very helpful to have a great career coach, the reality is that you can do this on your own. I’ve found after years of coaching that there are five core steps everyone can take to identify new career paths that will align more closely with who you are, and bring you more success and reward.
Why should you take these steps?
Because you have the right to love what you do and do what you love. People like to claim that loving your work is a pipedream – but those who defend that view are wrong. Enjoying your career and feeling there’s deep meaning and purpose in it is not just for a select, fortunate few. It’s for anyone who believes in him/herself and takes the right kind of action.
That week, I literally heard from over 150 folks asking for all sorts of free help and I continue to get requests, including my review and recommendations on: their LinkedIn profiles, resumes, job or career options, potential career changes, interview approaches, how to get testimonials, and on and on.
What I’m stunned about is that in all of these requests for free help, not ONE person offered to pay for my time, or suggested bartering with something of value. They simply wanted help without offering anything in return. Perhaps I’m crazy, but I would never ask a stranger for help in this way.
Further, a good number of these requests for free help were:
1) Urgent – “I have an urgent career decision to make. Can you respond asap?”
2) Disrespectful – These folks didn’t care or consider for a second that I make my living offering career counsel. I’m not a non-profit or a charity; I’m a business owner. And I’m really good at what I do, after years of training and experience. It takes a significant amount of time and energy to review someone’s information/situation and offer tailored recommendations. I deserve to be paid for my time and effort.
(For the record, I do offer my time for free, but on a very selective basis to organizations and non-profits that have a broad reach and help hundreds of people through their services.)
3) Narcissistic – It’s all about them, and what they need and how soon. Never a second thought about what I might need in order to be of service to them.
4) Clueless – It’s clear that these folks hadn’t a clue that theirs was one of hundreds of similar requests, and as such, impossible to accommodate without their becoming a client of mine, and having time scheduled in my calendar.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m truly honored and excited that my writing touched a chord and resonated with so many people, and I certainly hope that trend continues. And I do LOVE to be of service to people, helping them make positive change. And I love hearing from folks about how my writing impacted them.
That being said, I’m tired and fed up with free help requests. It remains shocking to me that so many people all across the globe who want help forget to be considerate and respectful of those they’re asking support from. Come on people! Let’s reverse that trend.
My hope is that going forward, anyone who asks another individual for free help will be more considerate and thoughtful prior to making the request. Think about what the helping party deserves for his/her support, what it will take from them to give you the help you want, and what you can offer in return. If you can’t offer money, think about what you can provide that would be meaningful. NEVER ask without considering these issues beforehand.
One more thing – for every request you make for FREE help, offer someone else free help instead.
Last week, I had the immense pleasure of conducting a coaching training course for the CT Women’s Business Development Council. I shared the day with an amazing, inspiring group of women who work throughout Connecticut and are heart-committed to helping others get on more solid ground with their finances. (By the way, if you don’t know about the Women’s Business Development Council, do check them out!).
In the program, we conducted a number of role-play exercises illustrating the power of coaching, and one exercise truly took me by surprise. In this exercise, each of us explored our intrinsic, heart-felt values – what we care about deeply and what we need in our lives to feel fulfilled and to craft a life worth living.
After the exercise, we evaluated how these values are supporting us, and also how they may be clashing, in fact, with our desire and need to make more money, and to save and invest wisely. Fascinating discussion…
In doing the internal work of this exercise myself, I was reminded that I value the following traits very highly in my work:
1) Helping people make positive, lasting change (value: making a difference)
2) Authenticity and individuality (value: truth-telling)
3) Offering help and insights based on reality (value: realism)
4) Delivering programs informed by research (value: expertise/diligence)
4) Endeavoring to offer something of value that exceeds what my clients pay (value: service)
When I compare my values and behaviors to those of some other service providers, I see key differences. A large number (not a majority perhaps, but many) consultants and providers these days seem to value making money over all else, by:
- Using hard-hitting marketing promises to convince clients about what they can achieve (no matter how likely those outcomes are)
- Accepting clients who are desperate financially, but don’t have the ability to recoup the money they invest in the coach/consultant
- Encouraging clients to put out programs and materials that offer less than high value or strong content
- Making abundant success sound very easy and very accessible to all
- Talking about how they personally made their money, not what the client needs to do in these times to make their own money
- Using fear tactics to scare clients into thinking if they don’t hire the consultant/coach, they’ll fail
On the contrary, when I looked very closely at my own values as well as my outer behaviors, I realized that my intrinsic values have prompted actions that in some ways clashed with my desired outcome of inviting more money into my business. As an example, I tend to give far too much away for free and then feel resentful and angry, and I have a hard time honoring my own boundaries about the type of coaching projects I will and will not accept.
After a long, hard evaluation, I now understand that what I want to change is not my values, but the way in which I express them. For instance, I’m focused more keenly on being of service to people who are in synch with me about what they value and the outcomes they wish to produce. I’m also more committed to working with those who are happy and able to pay fairly for the time and support they receive.
The ultimate goal, I think, is to honor your values fully, while engaging in conscious behaviors that are in alignment with who you really are and what you want in life.
It’s a very powerful exercise to understand exactly what you value, and explore how these values prompt unconscious behaviors that hold you back from achieving core goals such as greater financial success. I’d recommend doing this exercise today!
Question for the day: What do you value deeply in your life and work? And how might these values be (unconsciously) promoting behaviors that hold you back from creating a higher level of desired success. Please share what you discover!
I’ve significantly revised my career numerous times over my 25 years of working, and each time, I’ve learned some powerful, surprising lessons — about myself, my capabilities, perceptions, misconceptions, and about what it takes for me to attain what I want.
Each career shift led me down a new path, and often, the destination wasn’t at all what I’d hoped or planned. Huge mistakes were made, certainly, but what I’ve learned has been of great value and utility, allowing me to focus ever more closely on what matters to me.
As I examine my trajectory, my career paths have involved the following fields, industries, and skills (or a combination of these):
Copywriting and marketing – in scientific publishing
New product development and market research – in book clubs, publishing and membership services
Marketing – professional book clubs
Product Management – in consumer membership services
Marriage and Family Therapy
Women’s Career/Executive Coaching
Marketing Consulting for Entrepreneurs
In remembering who I was as a youngster and young adult, and all the endeavors I loved throughout my life and the roles I’ve assumed, I can now see core, recurring themes about who I am and what I love to do, including:
Understanding human behavior
Helping address people’s needs
Serving as a empathic listener
Discovering and testing new models and creating new solutions
Transforming chaos into order
Identifying compelling messages/benefits and finding well-matched receivers of those products/benefits
Communicating through writing, speaking and performing
Using positive thinking and positivity models to be of help
Connecting people with endeavors they thrive at
Supporting people through dramatic change
I’ve marveled at how my deepest values, preferences, and interests have remained almost unchanged since I was a child, and I’ve seen this same phenomenon in hundreds of folks I’ve coached.
The key lesson I’ve learned through my career reinventions is this– what you loved as a child and young person you most likely still love. And the key to having a fulfilling professional life is to find the right form in whichto honor the essence of who you are and what you love.
As one of my favorite authors, Maria Nemeth, of The Energy of Money says, we’re all happiest when we’re giving form to our Life Intentions in ways that support our lives and help the world.
So what have my numerous careers taught me? Here are my top 10 lessons:
1) Starting over as a beginner is a refreshing, and empowering step that keeps you engaged and enlivened
2) Being a non-expert reconnects you to your humility
3) You need a great deal of help from others to be who you want to be
4) You have core skills and talents that long to be utilized in this lifetime (and you’ll be sick and sad if you deny them)
5) If you’re doing something you love, but the form of it doesn’t fit your life needs and priorities, you’ll suffer
6) You can’t hurry love – you won’t succeed if you’re in a desperate rush to be great at something you love
7) Applying yourself to something new reaffirms your courage, gifts and weaknesses, and what you need to heal in yourself
8) There is absolutely no security or stability except in what you feel inside of yourself
9) There is no perfect career – there’s only the perfectly imperfect journey of applying yourself to something you love and value
10) Embracing a new professional identity changes you because of the new realities you create (which is completely different from dreaming about it from the outside, for all eternity)
I remember being moved after reading this beautiful passage from Viktor Frankl’s powerful book, Man’s Search for Meaning, (a MUST-read book for everyone), and it has stuck with me all these years:
“…The person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest. What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities the young person has, the future which is in store for him? “No thank you,” he will think. “Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I’m most proud, though these are things which cannot inspire envy.”
In the end, it’s about living life to the fullest. If finding new work is something you dream of, all I can say to you is, “Do it.”
What new work do you dream about doing? Do you have the courage to make that dream a reality?
As an empowerment researcher, I’ve studied for eight years what constitutes “helpful” help versus advice or counsel that diminishes and demeans, or sends you in the wrong direction.
The sad news is that thousands of so-called “helpers” in our world today – our family members, friends, service providers of all walks (doctors, lawyers, financial consultants, therapists, coaches, counselors, intuitive, healers, etc.) – simply haven’t done the inner and outer work they need to, to offer empowering, uplifting support. Instead, the assistance they give is the disempowering kind, dragging us down, keeping us stuck at the same problematic level we seek to rise above.
In my therapy training and work as a career coach, I’ve learned (and tell my clients openly) that only they can discern if the help they’re getting is right for them. And they should walk away immediately when it’s not.
Each individual has his/her own unique personality, values, beliefs, traits, needs, and priorities – and these coalesce in a way that is individual and special. So the help you receive needs to honor that individuality – and make you right, not wrong.
My advice to folks seeking help is this – if after the first meeting with the helper you feel empowered, excited, and validated, and if the help allows you to progress in satisfying ways, then it’s a good match. If on the other hand, you feel demeaned or misunderstood, challenged in negative ways, and discouraged, then it’s time to change your helper.
What Kind of Help is the Hurting Kind?
The following are hallmarks of assistance that is wrong for you – and ends up being hurtful not helpful.
You’ll know “bad” help when:
The helper claims s/he is an expert about you (it’s not true – you’re the expert about you)
The help is one-size-fits-all, that applies the same tools and approaches to everyone – it’s not tailored to your individualized case or scenario
The helper assumes you need “fixing” or believes you’re the problem
The help you receive keeps you stuck – you keep experiencing the same the problems over and over
The helper is enmeshed with you – s/he does not support you to grow beyond the help they give (I hate to say it, folks, but there are many therapists, coaches and consultants out there who WANT you to keep you coming back because of the money it makes them or because they want you to need them. I see this in some exorbitantly-paid therapists and consultants all the time.)
Receiving help is a negative experience that drains you of your vitality, hope, and excitement for life. (Or, on the other hand, the help is so overly-optimistic that it doesn’t reflect reality and leads you astray).
My world is about helping professional women achieve their highest visions. As I’ve moved into the leadership arena, I’ve seen a lot out there that calls itself “leadership coaching” for women, claiming that it helps women advance. But what I see instead is a good deal of faulty advice or information that tells women they’re wrong for how they feel and what they want.
To counter this, I’m launching a new yearlong, 12-part Career Enhancement Program for corporate women for corporate organizations, designed to enliven and support professional women to attain the career visions they hold most exciting and fulfilling. I aim to provide the highest form of help I can – assistance that achieves the following goals:
1) Validates you – Makes you right (not wrong); focuses NOT on “fixing”you, but honoring who you are at your core
2) Tailors the help to your specific values, beliefs and needs – not one-size-fits- all
3) Strengthens and stretches you, helping you see your greatest talents and strengths as well as growth areas
4) Takes you to a new level – so you overcome previous challenges and are ready for new ones
5) Encourages you to be more of who you already are – authentically and with integrity, so you can help others
expand and grow as well
6) Fills you up so you want to experience even more of life and work – gives you a deep and thorough understanding of who you are and where you want to go, realistically.
If your organization is committed to inclusion and diversity, and wants to support professional women’s growth, I hope you’ll reach out – I’d love to offer this 12-month Career Enhancement Program to you and your colleagues.
In the meantime, please remember that getting outside your own head and asking for support to overcome your specific challenges is vitally important. But choosing the right kind of help– the kind that allows you to move toward the highest and best version of you – is the most important choice of all. And only you can choose the best help for you.
What kind of help works best for you? And have you ever received help that hurts?
I’ve recently become immersed in executive search work through my new role as Marketing VP for Synergy Partners USA – a specialized executive search firm based in Wilton, CT. I’m loving the new work — it helps me be of service both to individuals who want to enhance their careers, and organizations who want top marketing talent to help them build and grow. I’m also connecting with terrific HR and senior management folks committed to diversity and providing career development programs for their female talent as well, which I love to provide through my firm Ellia Communications. It’s cool!
As a career coach and in exec search work, I’ve spoken with scores of professionals who’ve shared some version of, “I’m really ready for a change, but I’m not sure exactly where to go from here.”
If I’ve heard this message once, I’ve heard it 1000 times now. So many people spend years crafting careers that appear successful on the outside, only to find that at some point, usually in midlife, the career comes up short. It’s missing some vital component (or several) that turns the work into something less than fulfilling, lacking in purpose, unstable, inauthentic, unsustainable, or a combination of all of the above.
Why are so many folks dissatisfied with their work and long for change?
Here’s what I’ve found to be the top six reasons people are dissatisfied with their work and want out:
1. They find it impossible to balance work and outside life
2. The money they earn isn’t enough to sustain them or their families
3. The skills and talents required for their work aren’t are a good fit
4. They feel chronically undervalued or mistreated
5. They experience little positive meaning or purpose in their work
6. It’s simply too hard to keep going with it
In short, they’re saying: “I don’t know what I want, but I know it’s not this.”
If the above describes your experience, read on for some tips to help you create the change you want — away from feeling trapped, toward feeling more confident, courageous and committed to making positive career change today.
1) Claim More Balance
Balance is not going to just fall in your lap. You have to claim it, and commit to getting it. How? First, determine the three most important priorities you are committed to achieving in your personal and professional life. What are the three things that are vital to you to bring about — that matter more than anything else? Formulate these in terms of “to be” statements such as “to be a great parent” or “to be a successful entrepreneur” or “to be a helper of others.” Then commit yourself to these. Stop over-functioning (doing more than is necessary, more than is healthy, and more than is appropriate) in your life, your family, and work, and let go of doing too much and being perfect in the areas that don’t matter as much to you.
2) Power Up with Money
To get out of financial distress, you have to become intimately connected with your money. Create a solid budget with strong financial goals, and stick to it. Understand what you need to survive and thrive. Examine your spending – are you buying things in order to soothe your soul? If so, stop over-spending. Look at your beliefs around money that you learned as a child from living with your family. Are your beliefs about money positive or negative, expansive or constricting? Do you believe you deserve wealth and abundance, or are you ashamed of the money you have or don’t have? Overall, the key to overcoming chronic financial problems is to heal your relationship with money through positive and healthy beliefs, actions, and choices. Develop an empowered money relationship, and you’ll no longer act in ways that create financial distress or drain you of your financial power.
3) Change Your Skills Focus
Do you know exactly which talents and skills are easy and natural for you to use, that give your work a sense of purpose? Do you know what work would represent a perfect fit? Find a way (either in your existing job or in a new field or job) to tap your true and natural talents more frequently and deeply. Take my free Career Path Assessment and figure out what you want to do more of, less of, and never again.
4) Respect Yourself
If you’re chronically undervalued or mistreated at work and want people to change their treatment of you, start with SELF-respect. How? Through courageous action that builds your own self-esteem – action that you know you should be taking, but haven’t found the nerve to take. Don’t wait to become more authentic and real in your work. Speak up about who you are and what’s important to you. Make yourself right, not wrong. If you know something needs to be communicated, figure out a way to do it as soon as possible. Find an advocate, sponsor or mentor at work to help you speak up in the right way so that you will be heard and respected for your viewpoint. Start enforcing your boundaries so that you know exactly what you will tolerate and accept from others, and what you won’t.
5) Honor What Gives Your Life Meaning
It’s a highly-destructive and misguided myth in our culture that we can’t make good money doing what we love. We can, but it takes grit, determination, and courage and flexibility to pursue a path that you love and to make it work for you financially.
Determine what endeavors and activities bring you joy and meaning, and bring these forward. The key is to 1) understand the essence of what you want, and then 2) find the right form of it. To find out if the new path you’re fantasizing about is right for you, research, research, research– interview people in the field, read all about it, get training and education, find a mentor, and determine a way to “try it on’ before you leap. You might discover that earning money following your passion isn’t — in the end — the right thing for you, but you love to do it on a part-time or hobby basis. If that’s the case, step up and volunteer or join a community that lets you honor your heart-aligned passions.
6) If It’s Too Much Struggle, Change
Whether you’re in your own business and it’s simply not working, or the job you’re in feels crushingly difficult, it’s time to make change. Let’s face it, most of us wait until there’s a full-blown crisis (read about the 12 “hidden” crises working women face) before we do something different. I’ve personally lived through all 12 of the crises I write about, so I understand. But I’m asking you NOT to make the same mistakes I did. Get outside your own head, and get help to figure out what you really want, and how to get it.
So, what’s your top reason for wanting out of your line of work? And are you ready to do something about it?
In speaking to many of my coaching and consulting friends in the past few months, I’ve noticed that the folks I’m most connected with — those with whom I share the most emotional, spiritual and behavioral common ground – are all feeling the same way about the trend we’ve seen during the recession of marketers offering promises like these:
- Double your income in weeks!
- Recession-proof your practice!
- Earn six figures now!
- Kiss your money worries goodbye!
- Make money while you sleep!
And so on…
Why do some of these marketing programs make us sit up and pay attention, and others make us press “delete” before we read the tenth word?
As a women’s researcher and a marketing consultant, I myself am offering an ongoing marketing success program for women coaches, consultants and practitioners called Prosperity Marketing Mindset. I believe that this program helps you name and claim greater success and fulfillment on terms that meaningful to you. But I make no promises of doubling your money, making money while you sleep, recession-proofing your practice, or finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I’m careful about what I indicate are the potential outcomes of this program. I feel that I can authentically and with integrity back up what I’m saying are the probable outcomes, with proven results.
Of course, most of us want to make more money, but the key outcome we want in making more money is doing what we love and doing it with more ease. Many of us come from a place of wanting to give what we love to give, and we’re NOT drawn to making more money through constructing empty, inauthentic passive revenue projects, affiliation schemes, programs and partnerships that don’t, in the end, bring us closer to what we love to do.
In the wonderful book The Energy of Money (highly recommended), author Maria Nemeth shares this:
“We are all happiest when we are demonstrating in the physical reality what we know to be true about ourselves, when we are giving form to our Life’s Intentions in a way that contributes to others.
I think that this statement sums it up so beautifully and powerfully. The folks I resonate with want to:
Create in life and work that which reflects what they know to be true about themselves
Honor their Life Intentions (truest visions and goals) in ways that serve others
Make great money doing what they love
Expand themselves in the process of being of service
If we can stretch ourselves to do the above better, more effectively and with greater ease, now we’re talking!
So what makes some money messages highly distasteful and a complete turn-off, and others more authentic, believable and compelling?
Here are five ingredients I’ve found in inauthentic money promises that make us want to run:
1) They talk about shifting yourself to double your income as if it can happen tomorrow – and in most people’s experience, it’s a process that takes a good deal of time
2) They promise that because others have done it you can do it too in the same way – and that’s just not always the case. Financial success is a unique and specialized journey based on the individual’s needs, desires, beliefs, and visions.
3) They focus on money to the exclusion of other factors that go into creating success, fulfillment, reward, and results
4) They hold up money as the ultimate outcome we desire – whereas being of service that reflects our Life Intentions is the true outcome we want
5) They ring of self-service – not of uplifting messages that will help US
Coaches, consultants, practitioners, and others who come from the heart want to be of service in the largest way possible, while earning a living that reflects what we know to be true about ourselves. It’s simple but not easy, and we know it. There are challenging steps involved in clearing and stretching us to be able to give of ourselves in a healthy and generous way, and strike a beautiful balance with the energy of money.
In the end, it’s vitally important to embrace messages that feel authentic and compelling to you. Please don’t worry that’s something wrong with you (or that you’re not doing what you should) if you feel out of synch with these make-money-quick messages and schemes. Make yourself RIGHT, and not wrong!
I’d love to hear from you – Do many of these “double your money!” messages turn you off? Why, exactly? And what money messages are attractive and exciting to you? Please SHARE!
This week, I had a fabulous conversation with Starla Sireno – Founder of www.Fearlessnessinc.com and the Fearless Women Entrepreneur Network – an empowering forum for women entrepreneurs in San Francisco and beyond, providing the knowledge and support women need to become fearless entrepreneurs.
Starla and I both found so much validation and confirmation in sharing our honest and frank views about the coaching business, entrepreneurship, women’s challenges in launching their ventures to great success, and the onslaught of false information that is damaging to thousands of women today.
I realized in speaking with Starla that I’ve officially had it with the thousands of false and empty promises I keep hearing from hundreds of coaching marketers and product developers for coaches, and organizations that train beginning coaches. Their talk is SO full of misleading guidance, that it’s time to speak out.
I’m sharing below what I know to be true about the coaching business, based on not only my personal experience, but also my honest and authentic conversations and connections with hundreds of coaches nationwide and in other countries.
*Note: The following information excludes reference to executive and business coaches who are paid by an organization, not by individuals. There are exceptions to the statements that follow, but not many, and only under special conditions:
What I know to be true about coaching:
1) “Coaching” per se doesn’t sell. People still don’t know what coaching is or what it delivers. To get new clients and continually fill a pipeline to make a good living, you must promote and market the substantial benefits and outcomes you deliver, not sell “coaching”
2) Your delivered outcomesmust be highly compelling. The benefits and outcomes you deliver through coaching must be compelling and highly valuable in the eyes of your clients, not yours. For people to part with their money today, you must address a pain point that has to be resolved, or a benefit that is deeply coveted, in the client’s opinion.
3) Don’t count on workshops for your living. You won’t make any money running workshops, selling passive income products, or engaging in affiliate relationships if you don’t have a large enough community (in the multiple thousands) to sell to.
4) The strength of your brand matters. With the massive influx of data and information today, you need a compelling brand and powerful unique positioning, website and other marketing materials that work, to stand out and help you attract new clients and customers — unless you only want to work only through word-of-mouth.
5) You need a large platform or community in order to sell books. Creating books and e-books in general won’t make you money either – again unless you have thousands of potential customers within your reach. Books (and only well-developed ones that offer something of value) will, however, generate other benefits for you (credibility, recognition, exposure, a new affordable way to reach people, etc.).
6) Hundreds of coaches nationwide are not making it. The median annual salary for a life coach is $30,000 – and many more coaches make much less than that. If you want a bigger income, you must embrace a different business model that includes not just one-on-one coaching but also other high-quality and useful services, products and programs.
7) Publishers will be interested in your book only when you command significant attention. Publishers won’t consider publishing your book unless you have a sizable platform and community (in the many multiple thousands) and can command attention, through traditional or social media, or through others means.
8) Publicity doesn’t have the financial impact you think it does. National publicity is awesome to get, but it doesn’t necessarily move any important needle in your business financials – including in your revenue, clients, customers or speaking fees. Don’t chase publicity for publicity’s sake.
9) Paid speaking gigs don’t come easy. If you want to be a paid speaker, it takes a great deal of training, powerfully-crafted programs, credibility, in-depth experience, and hard-earned knowledge about how to engage, inform, and enliven an audience. All of that takes years. Don’t expect high fees (or fees at all) as a beginning speaker.
10) Coaching is NOT a quick and lucrative way out to your corporate job. DON’T engage in a coaching practice if you think it’s an easy, profitable way to run from your corporate life. And please don’t launch a coaching or consulting practice (or other business) if you aren’t ready to focus on and continually attend to the business-building and marketing actions essential to creating a thriving business. If it’s contrary to your personality to go out and pursue business opportunities daily and promote your business with gusto and energy – then definitely think again.
* * * *
Coaching can be a very rewarding and exciting profession, but it takes time, energy, business and marketing know-how, sound investment, and an ongoing commitment to making it work. False promises about how easy it is to earn six figures, create compelling information products that sell, or attract clients who’ll flock to your door, are misleading at best, destructive at worst.
Some helpful TO-DO tips:
1) If you’re building a coaching practice, seek out reliable and highly respected coaching marketers and business-builders who understand the realities of the business and will share with you the core strategies they’ve used to overcome the inherent challenges.
2) Please be judicious in what you invest in outside help to develop your business.Don’t spend thousands of dollars on outside marketing help if there’s no way you can recoup that money within the year.
3) Find helpers who are strong role models whom you respect, and whose products and programs are of high quality.
4) Believe only the advice of people who want you to succeed as much as — if not more than – they want to fill their own pipelines.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for real-life stories of successful coaches who have navigated powerfully through each of the above realities.
I’d love to hear from you. What else do coaching marketers and schools NOT tell you? Leave a comment!
Hi Friends – happy to share the second installment of my project “My 52 Mistakes” – a social media and research project aimed at providing an open, authentic forum for women to explore, understand and grow from their biggest mistakes in life and work, and to help other women by sharing the amazing lessons we’ve learned from our missteps.
Today, I’m talking about my Mistake #52 – the biggest, most impactful error I made (so far!). This mistake involved my remaining deeply stuck in struggle, sickness, and sadness for years in my worklife, not grasping until I was in my forties that I am special, unique, and powerful, and can make the difference I truly want to, in my life and in the world.
Hope you enjoy it! PLEASE share this link with every woman you know, and please comment – let me know what you think of this mistake, if it resonates, your biggest mistake, what you learned, and where you are today.
Thank you so much for your honest and courageous sharing. It means the world.
Lately I’ve been focusing a good deal on “success” in my writing and workshops, and this month I had a startling realization:
“Success” is a concept and an experience that is utterly intimidating to many women.
In my experience, women view “success” as a label that automatically refers to wealth, power, influence, and control. Rather than success referring to one’s own definition of achieving what you truly want in life and work, it’s become a reflection of how much money you’ve made and what you’ve put in the bank, along with other outer trappings of financial achievement.
Well, I don’t view success that way at all (anymore). To me, success is this…
Achieving what you want — on your own personal terms, and following your own definition – and doing so in a way that is fulfilling and enriching to you.
That’s success to me.
What is success to you?
Turns out, most women fear and shudder at success. While they might say they want it, there’s a chronic lack of readiness for it.
The Secret Sauce to Success
After years of reinventing myself and my life (and unfortunately being overly-attached to struggle), I’m in the process of letting go of struggle and letting in more peace and joy. I’m finding my pathway to success is less bumpy as I let go of needing to struggle.
In doing so, my conceptualization and experience of “success” has changed dramatically. I believe now that “success’ is all about claiming what you want, and doing the inner and out work of creating a joyful, peaceful and exciting life experience.
For me, that includes building a purposeful career, for others it means something else. Whatever it means to you, success offers the opportunity for a lifelong journey of learning, growing, applying what you’ve learned, and stretching to be the largest version of yourself.
My recipe for success – the “secret sauce” if you will, that I help others create — involves both “inner” and “outer” ingredients. Both are needed for optimal success.
The Inner ingredients you need:
Clarity – to experience yourself as successful, you must know what you want and tune out what society and culture and your “tribe” insist that you should have.
Courage – once you know what you want, you can’t have it unless you risk parts of yourself to get it.
Faith – You must believe that success is possible; otherwise it won’t be.
Readiness – While we hanker for success, most of us aren’t ready for it. We fear it, dread it and run from it. To experience success, you must release what keeps from wanting change.
Positivity – If all you see in your worldview is negativity, you won’t have success. You’ll miss vital opportunities and new pathways to your own growth
The Outer ingredients for success are:
Aligned and Inspired Action – We must take action to move forward – but the action needs to feel right and be in integrity, not coming from desperation or anger.
Resourcefulness – If things aren’t working as they are, you must tap into all your inner and outer resources and support to make the right changes for you.
Flexibility – Being overly attached how it must “look” is a recipe for struggle, not success.
Openness – Success involves being open to those who are sent to us to offer just the help we need, and just the right time. (And critique is important and necessary.)
Energy – You need energy, and lots of it, to create what you want.
I’ve observed that my own attention to each of these ingredients in the last year has unlocked me powerfully, and moved me forward to my definition of success.
As a personal example, regarding Courage – I’ve known for a long time that having a speaking demo is essential for me if I wish to be invited to speak more frequently at the national level. But I held back in filming myself in action, for many reasons, including: the timing wasn’t right, the venue wasn’t right, the topic wasn’t perfectly honed yet, etc. But truthfully, deep down, the inner reason I held back was my lack of readiness to launch to the next level, and that I downright afraid of putting myself out there to be critiqued.
Is it perfect? No. But is it perfect for me right now? Yup!
And it moved me forward in a powerful way to put myself out there. Wonderful, aligned gigs, opportunities, partners and clients have come my way because of it. Why? Because I decided “I am ready!” – I got over myself and got going.
What is your definition of success? And do you feel ready for it today? If not, can you muster the courage to increase your readiness and move forward, despite your fears?
Please share your thoughts about what scares you most about moving forward to your definition of “knock- your-socks-off” success.
Thank you for your openness and courage to share – you help others so much when you do.