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This episode is for all the perfectionists out there.
Creating and growing your coaching business can be stressful, right?
In my experience, when creative tension ceases to be a positive driver and morphs into anxiety, efforts are counter productive. They don’t produce results because they are guided by desperation rather than strategy.
And you know what I think … strategy is the key to long-term business success.
I have seen coaches under tremendous self-imposed pressure quit their coaching business before they really started or sabotage opportunities. Some drive themselves crazy. Nothing is worth that.
But the solution isn’t to quit.
Instead learn to reduce and modulate stress. I am a long time student of this wisdom and it’s not an easy thing to learn. It is a highly valuable life skill.
If you believe you have to reach perfection — and most coaches I meet are guided by impossible expectations — self-imposed stress is a way of life that could eventually make you ill.
Ten years ago, I drove myself so hard to grow my coaching business that my body systemically broke down and I had to take a year sabbatical. I had been working worked 6 days a week for 10 – 12 hours a day and trying so many tactics that were time consuming and energy depleting.
The break in momentum was a bit sad but if I’d continued to push I would have landed in the hospital.
And that’s why I teach coaches the Simple Coaching Business Model. There are ways to earn well while keeping expenses and labor low. I’m earning almost as much working 3 – 4 days a week for about 6 hours a day than when I was burning the candle at both ends.
And, I am truly content with my clients where I wasn’t before.
Here’s what I learned the hard way: if you don’t teach yourself to reach for good enough and move on you won’t have a lasting and lucrative coaching business and you may hurt yourself.
So, I’m in perfection recovery. I now know that striving for perfection is not only fruitless, but also harmful.
Also I’ve discovered the people can’t relate to perfect. If you appear or try to hard to appear that way, you’ll lose valuable relationships.
Think about it. In your favorite TV series or novels isn’t it the flawed individual who wants to improve more appealing than the plastic person who never slips up?
Getting back to self imposed pressure …
I’ve been podcasting for two and a half years. No other tactic has been more reliably successful at attracting my ideal clients to my VIP program called Coaching Business Breakthrough. And I love it!
I learned from pro podcasters that consistent weekly content delivery is the best way to grow listenership. I’ve compared my progress with podcasters who drop an episode sporadically or less than weekly and my podcast has more downloads.
Since the beginning I’ve only missed one week and that was Christmas Day. That is … until this past week.
I usually get ahead in episodes, but a set of difficult circumstances in my personal life overwhelmed my time and bandwidth. After several hard weeks in a row I sat down to plan an episode for the next week and just didn’t have a useful thought in my brain.
So I blew off the episode and rested. There was a momentary concern that I quickly quelled. And I thought no one would notice.
But one of my favorite past clients reached out by email and asked if I was okay because she noticed I hadn’t put out a new episode. That touched me deeply in many ways. Thank you, Shawna!
And it was a legitimizing moment because I realized that people do notice the rhythm of my podcast and miss it if something fresh isn’t out each week.
Still … no goal, rule or belief is worth getting ill over. Goals can be postponed. Rules can be broken. And beliefs can be fluid.
A week later I’m better and things have been resolved. I can resume my personal goals. And growing a business is a personal goal.
I do encourage my clients to build momentum in their business, to stay the course and hold themselves accountable for their own success.
But I also assure my clients that they are wise human beings and they intuitively know when enough is enough and another thing is too much. And after all, wouldn’t you encourage your coaching clients the same way?