Ep 94 – Maybe You Don’t Need a Coaching Niche

When I help a new coach develop their audience, niche, brand, messaging, web copy and more … part of what I’m doing is helping them to become an entrepreneur – the CEO of their own business.

My goal with helping them niche first is not to limit them but rather to help them leverage and have a powerful springboard to launch. I know that if they stand out in the crowd they have a greater chance of being a financially successful coach more quickly.

There are coach mentors out there that say you don’t need a niche. I have a theory about that. I imagine that those people are what I call PURE COACHES. Hopefully, they have found their own success without a niche before they tell other coaches that they don’t need one.

Which Coach Archetype Fits You?

I’ve published a previous episode called Which Coach Archetype Fits You?  Youcan find that at prosperouscoach.com/12. It’s worth a listen.

By observing successful coaches over 2 decades I cam up with 5 main archetypes for coaches … the Teacher (that’s my archetype), the Healer, the Icon, the CEO and the Pure Coach.

The first 4 archetypes are born entrepreneurs:

The 5th archetype, The Pure Coach, wants to coach anyone about anything. Their goal is to coach and not necessarily to earn well of have a say of how they earn well.

A side point here … I think a lot of coaches that are still in coaching training school or just out have this in mind at first. I know I did. I was enamored about the idea of coaching and I had little understanding of how I’d get clients or earn well as coach.

Like a lot of coaches I tried to sell coaching by the session or by the month to everyone. I didn’t know that coaching is a hard sell in most circles. I had a few clients and my first year I made a total of $5000.

That did not satisfy me and I wasn’t going to give up. So I sought another way.

I realized that I had a lot to learn so I studied my way to success.

Lo and behold I love running my own business. And I don’t even mind marketing because I get to do it in a non-salesy way such as with this podcast where I can teach and provide value while I let you know that I’m here to help you launch your coaching business.

The Pure Coach

The Pure Coach is someone who is not driven by a desire to put their own ideas or messages out there. They don’t care about having creative control of their own business.

In fact, for a Pure Coach being an entrepreneur might be torture.

A Pure Coach tends to become a devotee of a certain coaching model or a certain set of principles taught by someone else.

Think … John Marshall or Tony Robbins.

  • The Pure Coach wants someone to funnel clients to them rather than attract their ideal type.
  • They don’t want to market or publish content EVER!
  • They would be happiest applying someone else’s approach to work with each client for however long.
  • They would be fine with someone else setting their fees and setting the rules.

I don’t know a lot about getting a position as a coach within an organization as I’ve never done it and never had the desire to do it.

However, I’ve had a few Tony Robbins coaches come to me thinking they should “graduate” from that to having their own business so they can earn more. They are being paid a cut of the whole fee and it doesn’t feel like much.

They wanted my help to niche and build their solo business.

For some, we quickly found out with a little coaching that they really did NOT want to be an entrepreneur. It’s not for everyone. It’s a certain kind of risk and reward.

I want you to know that I LOVE entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. I also love coaches. And I want coaches to find their way to financial success and feel proud of their work. It doesn’t have to be my way. And I do have a way that works.

In the Next Episode: Is Coaching a Seasonal Business?

Ep 93 – Bring Your Full Self to Your Coaching Business

Having a coaching business may be the only income-producing role in your life where you get to bring your full personality, values and life experience together to serve others.

You get to be authentic and vulnerable.

Sure, you put your best foot forward whenever you can. But you don’t have to pretend or puff yourself up.

You don’t have to build a persona but rather draw from and OWN all that you are.

Human beings tend to forget to OWN their intrinsic value and earned wisdom.

Truly, if you’ve never had a paying client before you can be honest about that.

In fact, I suggest to my clients to say with their first coaching prospects “I’d love it if you’d be one of my first clients!” It takes the pressure off. And your prospect will appreciate your honesty.

But you say it with enthusiasm for the person you’re enrolling and what you offer, right?

Build Your Coaching Business On Your Values

I took my training at Coach U, one of the first coaching schools, which was created by Thomas Leonard, who is often called the father of modern coaching.

He was known for an abundance of short pithy exercises. I received by mail 10 pounds of notebooks full of his exercises and curriculum!

His concept was that anything you did with a client you should first do yourself. In other words be just one step ahead and make sure your come from is authentic.

One exercise was meant to identify core and business values. Maybe you’ve even seen this exercise or a derivative of it out there somewhere in the coaching sphere.

I’ll never forget that exercise because I learned principles about myself that have never sent me in the wrong direction — that is, whenever I let them guide me.

For example … I realized that money is not in itself important to me. However EARNING is a core value. It’s important to me to deliver great value in exchange for my income.

See I crave independence in thought and action and the ability to choose what’s right for me moment to moment.

Those values made me a perfect candidate for entrepreneurship … for developing my own coaching business.

Sometimes, I’ve gone astray from my values trying to implement something that I saw other coaches do.

Sound familiar?

Through trial and error and a desire to serve myself while serving others I’ve found what fits me better.

Over the years I’ve made adjustments in my business to find my sweet spot – the way I love to work, when I want to work and who I want to work with. All of that is possible by making micro adjustments.

It takes time to find your sweet spot.

With my VIP clients we do much to uncover the clues to their sweet spot. But I also know that it’s a journey that’s worth the exploration.

And this is part of what it means to bring your full self to your business.

I think that being an entrepreneur and running a business is a spiritual journey.

If you have a big message you can put that out in an honoring way that fits your target audience. It could be that you launch your own podcast or get on a stage with that message.

Or it may be in a more quiet way where as it fits, you bring that message to a client in session.

How else can you create freedom in your coaching business to fully be yourself?

Look … you can dress the way you want. Let your freak flag fly. And you don’t need to worry about what people are going to think because the name of the game is attract YOUR people, your tribe.

I’m not a good fit for every coach. And you don’t need to try to be a good fit for everyone in your audience. This is the secret of niching that a lot of people don’t know … you want to become known for serving a micro audience because it helps you thrive.

Decide The Size of Your Coaching Empire

You can morph it as you go. I encourage my clients to start with 1:1 services and then build from there, as they feel called. But you may never need to do anything more elaborate than 1:1.

Beware of doing what everyone else says you should do. Just because there’s an exciting online training program about creating an online training program don’t feel you have to go there.

The reality is you can earn more with less labor and costs with 1:1. It’s the simplest coaching business model. I learned that through trial and error too.

I have adapted my business to fit who I am now. I’m on Prosperous Coach version 6.0 in 20 years.

Some jobs allow for some of that personal growth but most can’t allow you to do that fully because they have a internal structure, a hierarchy and proscribed ways of doing things.

NOW with your coaching business you can make and control all of those decisions.

Bring it! Bring your expertise, work experiences, life wisdom, skills, passions & interests to your business. It doesn’t have to be THE focus or your niche but rather something you bring to your client in the moment.

Consider What’s In Your Coaching Toolbox

Let’s say you’ve studied yoga and meditation. That doesn’t mean you have to be a yoga coach or meditation expert. Instead look for the opportunities with your target audience where that insight or practice will help them achieve their goals. Make those thing part of your toolbox instead of your specialty.

Now don’t get me wrong. I still believe it helps to target a narrow audience, to find out what they want so much they’ll invest in your help to get it. This is your niche. And niching helps you stand out, grab attention and grow your business faster than if you just do the life coach, career coach or wellness coach track thing.

Targeting and niching is about building a pipeline of clients. It’s about EASE and speed so you can earn more and market less.

How you work with your paying clients is up to you. And that’s where your uniqueness, your message and your style all come into play.

And play it is!

So, how will you make your business YOURS?

How can you bring your fully authentic self to this?

For a clue, think about how you’ve been limited in a previous role or business. What are the ways that you chafed against some boundary or rule? 

How could you give yourself freedom of expression while you serve?

Your coaching business is the opportunity of a lifetime to bring all that you are and all that you know to the table.

In the Next Episode: Maybe You Don’t Need a Coaching Niche

Ep 92 – A Sad Preventable Thing That Happens to Too Many Coaches

This is a super short episode with a bite sized but powerful message for all the new-ish coaches out there. It follows on the topic of the last episode called Should You Launch Your Coaching Business at a Better Time?

I was working with a favorite client last week who only has two more sessions in her 5 month VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough program with me. She was super busy with recent opportunities and finding it more challenging to get tasks done in order to launch her coaching business.

I mentioned how important it will be to give her new coaching business enough day to day and week to week time to launch, build momentum and thrive.

It’s like giving love to a new born.

When we met the next week she told me that she took that to heart and was renewing her commitment to her coaching business. I could feel the shift in her energy. Well done!

A sad thing happens to too many coaches … after they spend significant money learning how to coach and then more money on programs to help them launch the business … and more money developing a website they don’t leverage all that hard work.

Instead they fall back into the well worn groove of before … before the calling to become a coach.

Know what I mean?

Has this happened to you or almost happened to you?

You work hard and diligently do many behind the scenes things and then after launch slowly give up or just never take that step into the real world with your business.

This is what I call the Coaching Business Backslide.

It’s not unlike someone who spends a lot of money and time painstakingly losing weight. Then when the program is over and before long they’ve gained it all back.

The shame of it weighs heavy. And with friends and family it can have that “Crying Wolf” effect where people don’t take your big dreams seriously because they didn’t see you follow through.

So, wherever YOU are in the process of building your business, make yourself a promise. Repeat after me:

I will follow through with my dream,

become a well known lucrative coach

and leverage all my hard work and investment!

This is about commitment. It is about integrity and respect for yourself.

You can do it! You don’t have to do it alone though. Want help to get back in the saddle and build up momentum? Schedule a Strategy Session with me.

In the Next Episode: How to Bring Your Full Self to Your Coaching Business

Ep 88 – Watch for These Red Flags About Coaching Clients

This episode is part of a series called Manage Your Coaching Clients, which already has 3 important episodes about setting boundaries clients, the intake process and keeping your clients on track.

Recently in my Facebook group called Prosperous Coach Club, members have started discussions about specific challenges with current clients. And that’s what inspired this series.

The topic of client management is deep. And there’s not a lot of intel out there about how to deal with paying clients. It’s one of trial by fire things. But you know me, I want to bee line you to success so I’m going to cover this stuff!

As a new coach there are certain challenges that will come up with paying clients that diminish as you gain experience.

When you charge highly for your services, clients are more committed and generally easier to work with. So do yourself a favor and charge more. I have a whole series on Money Mastery at prosperouscoach.com/money

This episode covers the red flags to watch for.

And then in successive sessions I’ll dig into what to do if you notice one of these red flags.

Find Your Integrity

Everyone knows what a red flag is. When it flies you as the professional are called to pay close attention and get ready for action. Exactly what you’ll do depends on lots of factors. But when it comes to managing clients the name of the game is find your integrity.

To quickly master client management issues, the first thing to do is raise your awareness … both about your client’s behavior AND your response to their behavior.

The Two Types of Red Flags are About:

  1. Your client.
  2. Your feelings about your client.

Both might indicate issues in the fit between you and your client. Client fit is incredibly important for you to have an enjoyable and lucrative business.

It may seem right now that you should coach anyone who wants to hire you. It’s a point of maturity when you realize and accept that not every client is a good fit for you.

The 7 Parts of the Coaching Client’s Role

The red flags for clients all have to do with ways they do not successfully take on their role in the co-creative relationship.

The client’s role is to:

  1. Show up for scheduled sessions
  2. Show up on time for scheduled sessions
  3. Pay their payments on time (although I recommend you move to a full fee up front policy)
  4. Be communicative
  5. Be truthful or forthcoming about details
  6. Take responsibility for their growth by taking actions and making progress
  7. Be coachable

For the first 6, at the very least you’ll need to bring the issue to your client’s and make a strong request that’s neutrally charged. I’ll explain more about this in other episodes.

The 7th part of a client’s role is fundamental. I know it seems odd but some clients aren’t coachable. Coach-ability is crucial for the health of the relationship and for them to get value out of your services. I’ll cover that soon in another episode because it’s complex.

Right Response To Your Coaching Clients

For now, let’s talk about the red flags in your response to working with your clients. These can be subtle feelings and approaches that are driven by your strong desire to serve and have income as a coach.

For example:

  • You feel drained by sessions with a client.
  • Your coaching approach is driven by a desire to perform well
  • Your coaching approach is driven by a desire to fix the client
  • You notice yourself being inauthentic
  • You feel resentful of how much time or energy this client takes (which may be an indication you’re not charging enough)

Each one indicates a breach in your integrity. It’s a signal that you have an opportunity to fortify your boundaries and stand in your power – not to dominate the client but to be more fully in your integrity with this client.

Coaching people is a huge responsibility. And there’s a tendency to either inflate your responsibility or deflate it. Everyone does this.

And you can teach yourself not to do it. A point of mastery your goal is to stay right-sized. For more about this, read my blog post called 5 Ways to Right Size Yourself to Empower Your Coaching Clients.

When you learn the way to be in power balance with your clients you become a better coach and a better person. You’ll feel more grounded, more certain of your value and less triggered.

In the Next Episode: Do You Shrink or Inflate Your Power with Coaching Clients?

Ep 87 – How to Rise Above Skeptics of Your Coaching Business

This episode is a super short but potent!

Do you ever have the feeling that people in your inner circle aren’t supporting your choice to grow a coaching business?

It can be subtle … family or friends seem not to take interest when you talk about it. Their eyes glaze over or they change the subject quickly.

Or it can be overt … someone directly questions your wisdom in starting a coaching business or taking a bold step in it.

Or it can be in shadow where someone teases you about coaching.

Coaching is misunderstood. The field’s reputation has been damaged by too many people calling themselves a coach who aren’t and it’s been made fun of in the media. It’s one of the reasons why I encourage coaches not to sell coaching but rather target a narrow viable audience and solve a problem. You’ll use your coaching to serve your clients but not try to convince prospects to buy coaching.

Coaching is a toolbox not what people will buy.

For more about this critical mindset shift for new coaches listen to the LISTENER’S CHOICE episode # 7 and also episode #65.

Skepticism Is About the Skeptic Not You

Sometimes, skepticism comes in the form of strong opinions about what you should or should not do in your business.

Sometimes as I’m working with a VIP client to build their business foundation I’ll hear that their spouse or a trusted friend has criticized their move to target a narrow audience and focus their niche. People who aren’t in the know about marketing and business often think niching is counter-intuitive – that’s a amateur blunder.

Narrowing and niching is highly strategic. Counter intuitive moves often are.

Another scenario with skeptic is that you ask directly for support — such as asking friends to share your posts on social channels — but you get no takers amongst your inner circle. Just silence.

And sometimes it’s just a look in someone’s eyes. Let’s say you decide to invest in an expert to grow your business and you get a baleful look as if it’s crazy to invest in your success. It’s not. Investing in business startup is smart, normal and unavoidable.

Whatever the situation, it feels lousy when you encounter indifference or skepticism for your choices. And, it can derail you from your vision.

I call these folks and situations “petty tyrants” – a concept taken from Carlos Castaneda. A petty tyrant is a naysayer. Sometimes they can be downright cruel about it. But most often that person means well.

What’s really going on is that person is concerned for you because you’re taking a risk they would not take.

Or more likely they are envious because you’re taking a risk they wish they had the courage to take themselves.

A Test of Your Resolve

Ultimately, petty tyrants are in your life for one thing – to test your resolve.

To be a successful entrepreneur you need to grow a pair. You need thicker skin because your resolve will be tested many times.

A couple of years ago, my husband was deeply skeptical about me starting a podcast. It was out of love. He didn’t want me to pour energy into something that wouldn’t pay off. But guess what? I stuck to my decision and it’s paying off big time.

Launching my podcast was a lot easier for me because I was part of a few peer groups of podcasters. Support is important and that’s why I strongly suggest to coaches that you create a group of peers and also find a mentor to guide you too.

Finally, give yourself credit for your courage. You’ve taken big steps – to enroll in coach training, possibly to quit your job or to take advantage of losing a position by doing what you’ve always dreamed of doing.

YOU are the hero here. YOU are the one following a path less traveled because you value meaning over status quo.

Square your shoulders, raise your chin and smile lovingly at those petty tyrants. You will prove them wrong and you can do that with grace.

In the Next Episode: Watch for These Red Flags with Your Coaching Clients

Ep 86 – When and How to Stop Coaching for Free

This episode is part of the Money Mastery series.

It’s totally normal to give some coaching away while you’re in coach training school. No doubt your trainer will encourage that because they want you to practice coaching skills with as many people as you can as often as possible.

Practice integrates learning.

The downside of offering free coaching over a long term is that it becomes increasingly difficult to shift from free to charging fees.

Resistance gathers … and soon simply the idea of charging fees looms large in your mind.

That’s why many coaches get stuck in practice or what I call Perpetual Student Mode.

Patterns Become Habits and Habits Become Mindset

It’s critical to cross that threshold from offering free coaching to becoming a professional coach and charging fees sooner rather than later.

You see, our brains have a need for order. Anything you do repeatedly can become habit. Your mind SETS.

That can be a positive thing. But some mindsets make you feel STUCK.

Take a moment here and answer truthfully …

Has your mind set on limiting beliefs having to do with charging your clients fees?

Here are some of things I hear from new coaches:

  • I’m still inexperienced so I shouldn’t ask clients to pay.
  • How can I charge fees when I don’t know what I’m doing?
  • Why would someone pay me for this?
  • I’m a fraud.

It’s time to challenge these mindsets. Let’s look at them one at a time.

Own Your Experience

First, it helps to shift the way you think of coaching. Coaching is a skillset.

Have you ever learned a new set of skills in a job?

Let’s say you are suddenly given a new responsibility at your job. Chances are you showed some promise already and that’s why you were given the opportunity.

There’s always a learning curve, right? But your employer pays you while you learn. It’s a good faith practice that you will integrate the learning by doing.

As a professional coach, you employ yourself. Are you going to require that you know everything before you get paid? That would be unreasonable.

You Brought Skills to the Table of Coaching

Do you know everything about coaching? No. No one does. You’re on a developmental path. But you didn’t start this journey of becoming a coach on ground zero.

When you decided to become a coach you already had significant communication skills. If you hadn’t, you would not have gravitated to this.

You already knew how to listen, ask questions and support or inspire greatness. No doubt, your friends and colleagues sought you out as a sounding board and counselor.

In fact, this zone of genius may have been with you for decades.

Give yourself credit for what you brought to the table. Coach training only enhanced your skills.

People Invest When They Perceive Value

 “Why would someone pay me?” is the wrong question.

The right question is “What does my audience want so much they’ll invest in my help to get it?” See the difference?

That is the question you need to answer in order to strategically attract paying clients.

Which brings up the issue of charging little for your services.

If you’ve graduated from free services to fees but the amount you’re charging is too low to earn well, you’ve got one foot in the professional realm and one in the student realm.

Graduate from Student and Step Fully Into Professional

There’s a kind of trance that new coaches get into of striving so hard for results and yet not stepping back to think things through strategically.

I flopped around without strategy for years when I started as a coach.

For example, I didn’t think about profit until well into my coaching business.

Any coach can earn well in their first year of coaching. The only thing holding you back from that is you.

Sure, finding paying clients requires strategy. And there are many things you can do to make that easier.

That’s my mission – to help coaches launch with confidence. And I help my clients get everything linked up and congruent from their coaching niche to their brand and messaging, their website and content strategy – everything is designed to attract clients who are eager and willing to pay.

But every coach has to act the part to start powerfully.

The longer you hold yourself back in student mode … the longer you deny yourself the right to being a professional … the more likely it is you’ll quit this path altogether.

Everyone and No One is a Fraud

Have you been thinking of yourself as a fraud? That’s harsh.

But for some reason the Imposter Syndrome seems to be wired into humanity. Nearly everyone feels like this.

Here’s the thing I want you to continually remember. You are on a developmental path growing and evolving. Everyone is.

At any given moment each of us is a fraud to the next step, the next level.

But let’s replace the harshness with positivity.

Instead of ‘fraud’ think I’m a trailblazer.

The mere fact that you took the leap to become a coach and an entrepreneur means you have grit, determination and a vision. Hold onto that while you give yourself a big raise and own all that you brought to this table.

In the Next Episode: How to Rise Above Skeptics of Your Coaching Business

Ep 84 – Are You Afraid to Ask Coaching Clients to Pay You?

You may have noticed that many of my recent episodes are about mindsets. It’s a deep topic. Human beings are so good at stopping themselves from success simply by the way we think. I often wonder how my life would have been earlier in life if I’d known about mindfulness and the power of shifting mindsets.

A while ago I did a whole series of episodes called Smart Mindsets and Habits. If you’re feeling stuck and in your own way I recommend listening to those episodes.

Today I want to dig into something that all new coaches struggle with especially as they are launching.

Coaches Often Have Money Money Issues

It’s fascinating because it doesn’t matter how high powered a job the coach had before, how much money they earned, how many certifications or degrees they have or even how confident they appear — I hear the same basic thing from them …

I hate selling and asking for money!

I used to feel like that, but don’t anymore, because I know how to attract clients in a non-salesy way. And also, I’ve discovered the power of investing in the future.

One of my VIP clients wrote in her Session Prep: “I’d rather give it to you than ask for money. I NEED this session!”

We’ve been working together in my 5-month Coaching Business Breakthrough program to build her business. She’s close to launching so I wanted to help her with this mindset shift. And, she generously gave me permission to share some of what happened in that session with you. Thank you, D!

Money is a sticky subject for most people. There’s so much baggage that influences our decisions and actions based on what we learned about money as kids.

Stop Sabotaging Your Coaching Success with Old Money Stories

There’s a wonderful book that was popular when I started coaching called Taming Your Gremlin – A Guide to Enjoying Yourself by Richard D Carson. It’s a thin book full of exercises and wonderful drawings to help you face the part of yourself that sabotages your efforts to grow. The idea is to draw your own gremlin and shine a spotlight on it as it scuttles around trying to squash your courage. Just seeing it for what it is changes you.

Awareness is the tool to overcome that gremlin within.

There was an exercise in there about drawing the floor plan of the primary home you grew up in and answer a set of questions about what you learned while you lived there.

Coaching a Coach to Shift Her Money Mindset

That book jumped into my mind when I read her Session Prep and gave me an idea about how to coach my client.

I began by asking her:

            “What did you learn about money from your parents?”

She responded immediately:

            “In my family you would certainly NOT hire someone for therapy or coaching. It was looked down upon. We didn’t spend money on ourselves and self care.”

I asked:

            “When have you invested highly in your own self care and transformation?”

She said:

            “It’s when I reached a point where my best efforts didn’t bring the results I needed to happen. When I get to that point I’ll do whatever it takes.”

I said:

            “So you’ve invested in your goals and self care when something is important to you. How much would you say you’ve invested in becoming a coach and getting your business launched with support?”

She said:

            “Thousands and thousands.”

I asked:

            “What has investing in yourself to that degree done for you?”

Without hesitation and with passion in her voice she said:

            “It’s changed the trajectory of my life. I’ve grown a new me! I now have a design for living that’s far more effective and far more rewarding. I don’t even think about the money I’ve spent!”

So I said:

            “So … what does that tell you about other people (your potential clients for example) who invest in themselves?”

D said:

            “I would only want to work with someone who is willing to do what it takes to get better.”

Exactly! And because D has, with my help, is targeting a unique and viable audience and her messaging and offers strategically speak directly to that moment of wanting help, I know she will attract her ideal clients.

And then she said:

            “I have so much compassion for someone willing to reach out to me. It gives me a sense of joy to say to them ‘I really think I can help you.’ It makes the money less scary because being willing to invest is a SYMBOL of their need.”

We talked about how Olympic athletes visualize their success before they take action. And I encouraged her to develop that practice before a Discovery Session with a coaching prospect.

At the same time it’s important to develop resilience for ‘no’ and to not make that about you. I wrote about this in a blog called The Coaching Business Backslide: How to Get Out of Your Own Way.

We talked about the idea from episode 82 – to ACT AS IF you are already booked, you have plenty of income and are highly successful as a coach.

At the end of the session D reported that she felt differently about asking for money with coaching prospects. She said:

            “This was so helpful to look at my own experience (of investing in myself) and see the value I offer to someone else.”

In summary I said:

            “Brilliant, D! You’ve broken through your ancestral beliefs about money!”

I invite YOU to shift your mindset about asking for money from coaching prospects so that you pay yourself well and at the same time help your client to reap the rewards of that investment!

In the Next Episode: How Can New Coaches Be Perceived As Credible?

Ep 83 – Overwhelm is a Bad Habit Coaches Need to Break Now

I’m tired of overwhelm. Aren’t you?

Nothing sucks the joy out of your coaching business like that over-burdened feeling:

  • An endless to do list
  • The overflowing inbox
  • Too many learning curves to climb

I know overwhelm. I remember what it feels like to launch. It’s a project with so many moving parts and you can easily get ahead of yourself.

The truth is, most often overwhelm is a bad habit wanting to be broken. Whatever your reasons, some part of you is choosing to feel overwhelmed. It’s a choice. But it’s not a conscious choice.

Like in the story of the boy who cried “wolf”, your brain and body has been trained to perceive challenges as emergencies.

You’re actually OK, but you don’t believe that you are OK.

Now is your opportunity to teach yourself how to be conscious and not choose overwhelm.

There are 4 main reasons overwhelm occurs:

  1. Non-stop stimulation
  2. Chronic disorganization
  3. Scarcity consciousness
  4. Lack of inner resources

And, as this episode is coming out during the 2020 pandemic and the uprising after George Floyd’s murder, there’s so much pain and sorrow, fear and hope about what has and what could happen. That takes energy.

It actually means you can’t do as much as before.

Sure, you can push through but there are consequences to that and it won’t help the sense of overwhelm.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do encourage you to keep moving forward on your business as you can. Be gentle with yourself.

These days I feel done with my day by 2:00pm. It means I’m getting less done than I used to. And with the rest of my day I need to do more to re-source.

Coach, Turn Off the Firehouse of Information

There’s so much coming into our psychic space all the time — we’re rarely without connection to global media (much of it anxiety-ridden especially right now).

So first, to rehabilitate your brain and overwhelm habit, consider a media diet a few times each week. Thoughtfully control what you watch, read and listen to.

You need mental downtime to get ready to effectively learn and grow.

Think of your brain like a basin. Information coming in is like the flow coming from a faucet. If you leave the flow on full, your brain is soon overflowing and you’re in overwhelm.

Do you find yourself signing up on lists, attending lots of free courses, purchasing too many programs?

It’s tempting, I know. But most likely it’s increasing not decreasing overwhelm.

How often are you actually implementing what’s taught in those emails, posts and programs? Most coaches cannot possibly take action on the amount of how-to information they access daily.

There’s this other habit that drives us to think it’s easier to go get more information than to implement what we’ve got in front of us already. Taking in information is passive and seems risk-free. Taking action requires taking risk.

But taking action is like the drain of the basin. It’s what makes the space for more useful information, like allowing learning to be integrated and leveraged.

Turn off your info-jones:

  • Develop the habit of mining your own wisdom, experience and knowledge first.
  • Reach only for information you need right now to inspire or take the next immediate step.
  • Integrate and implement what you learn. Commit to doing this before reaching for more information.

Taking action is also the key to beating those twin progress killers – disorganization and procrastination.

Get Your Coaching Business Organized

The key to a disorganized mind or process is so simple … focus on only one step at a time. Clear the decks. Block out your time.

Procrastination is mostly a reluctance to make decisions and take risk. There may be a place for delaying a decision in your personal life, but when you are faced with a decision in your coaching business, it’s usually best to make it quickly.

Postponing decisions creates a bottleneck which brings on overwhelm.

Here’s a confession. I make half-baked decisions in my business all the time. Mistakes, too.

It can be embarrassing, but train yourself to blow off embarrassment. You deserve to make mistakes. And in the end, the mistakes teach you something you couldn’t have learned any other way.

Is Scarcity Driving You, Coach?

Taoists say that wherever your attention goes, that’s where your life energy goes. Whatever you focus on expands.

Modern life trains us to focus on what is missing, what is not going right. Building a business redoubles that training, demanding that we fill the gaps and fix the problems in order to get results.

But if you allow your mind to become fixated on what is wrong, then overwhelm has you in its grip. Maybe you don’t believe you are enough (not good enough, not up to it). Maybe you believe you don’t have enough knowledge.

My favorite version of scarcity is “It will take so much time to do this.”

If you find yourself running this racket, the most important thing is to catch yourself in these thoughts, and consciously choose the beliefs you want to hold. No one is the master of their thoughts all the time, so be willing to repeat this process over and over. Often it helps to write it down:

  • the old tape you’re running, and
  • the powerful statement you are choosing in its place.

Then (again), move into action – one deliberate step at a time. When overwhelm starts brewing, take a five minute break from whatever you’re doing, and move away from as many sources of stimulation as you can. Do nothing else but move and breathe.

You’ll quickly come back to center, refreshed and resourced.

In the Next Episode: Are You Afraid to Ask Coaching Clients to Pay You?