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This episode is in the Smart Mindsets & Habits series. And, it’s part 1 about how to selectively and wisely decide where and when to invest your time, energy and money in opportunities that come your way as a coach. Opportunities such as:
- more skills training
- how-to programs that teach a marketing tactic
- offers to send you leads or promote you
- offers to partner with another coach or expert
Today, we’ll dig into the bright shiny object syndrome. That’s a powerful impulse to invest money in training, apps, all sorts of bells and whistles that are supposed to help your business grow.
But have you ever taken expensive training or a mastermind and, though you enjoyed it, you didn’t move forward in your coaching business or you just could apply what you learned?
There’s a simple reason for that … you may not have been developmentally ready for that program yet.
Spending like that is eating up your profits! So I have tips and mindset mastery coming your way here.
Before we dive in, I want to thank you.
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Okay let’s breakthrough the bright shiny object pattern …
Why does this syndrome exist?
When your coaching business is new and you’ve not yet filled your time serving clients, you’re in a vulnerable place.
You’re vulnerable because you are yearning — for more coaching clients, for higher revenues, for recognition that you’re valuable — and you’re looking outside yourself for answers.
So you go surfing and get on a bunch of lists or click a bunch of ads.
All manner of offers and opportunities are dangling like glittering diamonds in front of you.
And your credit card is in hand. Maybe you’ve even memorized it.
I’ve been there. Much less than I used to thanks to the tips I’m going to share, but it still snags me occasionally.
I’m Not Skilled Enough
As a coach, sometimes there’s this voice saying “I’m not skilled enough yet” that has you reaching for more training to learn different types of coaching skills, get more certifications, to pile up credentials.
There’s a learned belief under that, that what you know now isn’t enough for where you are now developmentally. And that’s where the deepest wisdom is — where you are now.
Obviously, there are times when learning more skills will be right for your current situation.
But I wonder … how many purchases for more skills training are driven by a rational decision?
Think about it this way, if you are endlessly in student mode, how are you ever going to succeed in your coaching business?
Learning is a lot like breathing. The breath in is followed by the out breath. It’s a natural rhythm.
But if you breathe in and hold your breath, your lungs start to wither. And eventually the organism that is you forces your lungs to let out the CO2 so you can breathe in again.
So the metaphor is this … Information in needs to be followed by integration and action. That’s a healthy rhythm.
And that’s how we develop … as coaches, as business owners, as human beings.
Kids learn by doing. They are in their bodies and in their spirit, not so much in their heads.
As a new coach, you’ll also integrate learning best by doing.
What I’m Doing Isn’t Working!
Sometimes, the voice inside is saying “What I’m doing isn’t working!”
That might true. Maybe it’s the way you’re doing something that isn’t working. Or maybe it’s how frequently you’re doing it.
I remember saying to my coach in the first year of my business: “Nothing is happening! I’m not getting enough clients.”
And my smarty pants coach said: “Rhonda, what exactly have you done in the last 6 months to make that happen?” Busted!
So when you feel like nothing is working, pause to ask yourself :
Am I doing enough consistently to gain ground, become known, build relationships of trust and enroll coachng clients?
There’s another reason why what you’re doing may not be working and that’s that your business isn’t on a solid foundation. I’ll cover more about this in a minute.
No One Escapes the Developmental Path and Hard Work
In the past, instead of reflecting that way, you might have gone searching for a tactic out there that will save you. Stuff like:
- How to write better email subject lines or Facebook ads that get clicks.
- How to launch evergreen webinars so you can earn while you sleep.
- How to create your own online program to earn passive income.
You read testimonials of amazing financial gains for participants. Stuff like:
“I had my first $25,000 day!”
You hear that and your heartbeat speeds up. You want $25,000 days too. And you’re buying, almost without thought.
The bright shiny object syndrome has you in it’s grips!
But what if instead you stop to wonder about the likely massive investment of time and money the person made before that $25,000 day and whether they will ever replicate it again.
I’m not saying that kind of thing isn’t possible.
We so want to believe there’s a magic bullet and with it you can avoid the hard work.
But any financially successful coach or any type of business owner, if they’re being honest, will tell you the massive hard work that went before their big win.
The bright shiny object syndrome is only powerful if there’s a place of scarcity inside of you wanting, wanting, wanting and believing you won’t succeed without that tactic, without that group, without that panel of experts who are going to show you all their secrets for just $10,000 and a few days of work.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe most programs out there do deliver tips that you couldn’t possibly know without expert support and they are sharing valuable approaches that can work.
But here’s the KICKER! And this is really important …
Few of those programs are geared for new coaches.
Developmentally, new coaches are not ready for what will be thrown at them in those programs.
You are already behind in the program, when you enroll, from the people who are developmentally ahead of you.
Do you get me here?
Everything living thing has a developmental path. It’s unavoidable.
Anything worth learning requires fundamental steps.
Children learn to walk by doing the hard work. They see you walk and they want to. Just like you see these $25,000 days and want it for yourself.
Kids have no option. They have to build muscle strength and coordination before they can walk well much less sprint.
You have to do that too.
Solid Foundation Before Advanced Tactics
If your coaching business is grounded in a solid foundation then you can apply the advance tactics in all those programs.
But if you haven’t done that foundational work, those tactics have nothing to apply to for leverage.
There’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t yet know who your target audience is and what they want and how you can apply your skills and passion to help them get what they want.
And that is the first step in the foundation.
If you spend time and money on those programs before your time, you’ll have to wait until your foundation is in place to integrate that learning.
Stop Spending Your Coaching Profits
Most of the coaches who find me tell me they’ve spent over $20,000 in training, masterminds, and online programs. For some, it’s over $50,000.
That means that even if they had a $25000 day they’d still be in the red $25,000.
And with each new thing they’ve heard in those programs, they don’t feel lighter, they feel heavier. Their belief in themselves is dimmed. Their energy is drained. And frustation is piqued to the max.
That just breaks my heart and it reminds me of my own painful experiences with this …
A couple of years into my coaching business … I had some clients, some income but I had no real sense of direction. No niche, no specific target market. I was selling coaching and few were buying.
And I was regularly investing money and time into everything that came my way trying to breakthrough.
I remember this sense of desperation, trying to figure it all out by myself really because most of the programs I bought into had no personalized support.
The desperation is a big clue. Something is off balance and unconscious. Bring it into consciousness. Choose mindfully and wisely.
Turn Off the Firehose of Information
The best tip to stop the bright shiny object syndrome is … only reach for the specific help/information that you need for your next single step.
And when you do reach out it doesn’t mean you should invest in an expensive program or app unless your higher self affirms it’s a great fit for you where you are now. If you are tempted to buy out of anxiety, don’t!
What is your next single developmental step?
Also, consider following no more than 2 experts or mentors at a time because much more than that will have your head spinning.
Over the years, I’ve turned the faucet of information off many times.
Right now, I’m a newbie Instagrammer. I’m reading a lot of articles and observing what other successful instagrammers are doing. I’m putting things into practice.
Yes there’s loads of training about how to do ads and videos on Instagram. But I’m not jumping for those because I’m not developmentally ready for that. First, I need to put into practice what I’ve learned already about how maximize the profile, the posts, the follows — the beginning stuff.
Maybe next week or next month I’ll be ready for a training program to help me do ads and videos. But I’ll be very choiceful if I do invest in anything.
So, turn down the faucet of information to a manageable trickle. I promise you won’t miss being pummeled by the firehose. And then, reach out for only what you need now then integrate what you learned by putting it into practice. Once you’ve mastered it you’ll be ready for another bite of knowledge.
In Part 2 of this topic, we’ll talk about how to create Success Criteria — that’s a set of guidelines that will keep you from wasting your time on actions and opportunities that aren’t true to your brand and foundation.