This short episode is part of the Start Smart Series. I share 4 ways to get relief from feeling alone and isolated in your coaching business. And, I make a plea to all coaches to be good to each other in your peer groups. Let’s help each other grow instead of strutting and competing.
I know… the idea of business planning gets a big groan from most entrepreneurs. What I know for sure is that coaches who do some planning usually do better financially than those who don’t. My first big profit year came for me the first year I planned my business.
Start with a discovery process. The result is a solid jumping-off-place for a more fun and profitable year.
Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself
1. What are your personal goals for the year?
- What is your theme for this year? It could be about the phase of your business or about a mindset you want to cultivate. Mine for this year is EASE.
- What are the best times for your vacations? Always get family and me-time into your calendar first. I like to plan 3 weeks off at a time, even if some of it is stay-at-home time.
- How do you want your work time to flow? For me, Mondays – Wednesdays are open for clients and consults. Thursdays are for business development. I’m off Friday, Saturday and Sunday!
A classic problem for coaches and other service entrepreneurs is that they run out of time to:
- build automated systems that create a flow of future clients.
- create recurring revenue streams like products and membership programs.
- expand their potential by reflecting on their business and making continuous improvements.
The problem begins early on like this…
- Desperate for initial clients, coaches often set low fees and say ‘yes’ to many opportunities that aren’t likely bring a high enough return.
- When a client moves on, the income loss is keenly felt and there’s a scramble to enroll more clients “from thin air”.
- The limiting mindsets become habitualized for the coach, so new clients are also enrolled for low prices.
- Months or years later, it’s hard to breakthrough the ceiling on their income because the belief is that this is the best they can do.
Somethings gotta give.
2 Steps to Break From the Money for Time Paradigm
Recently, I posted 10 powerful questions for enrolling clients and it sparked excitement from some coaches that haven’t found sample coaching sessions effective and concerns from others about the potential for manipulating prospects with the questions. Thanks for the great discussion!
Successful client enrollment is part competence with an enrollment process and part mastery of mindset. I explain in my previous post why, after more than a decade of coaching, I prefer the process of enrollment questions over giving a sample session.
Are enrollment questions manipulative? No, not in themselves. But if the coach asking those questions is attached to the outcome of getting a client the questions could feel manipulative to the prospect. The coach’s attachment to outcome is the potentially troublesome factor.
Perfectionism can be paralyzing. You’re in good company if you get bogged down by it.
But, can you train yourself out of it? Yes!
If there’s a scale of perfectionism I was once a 10. But now I’m closer to a 5. By necessity my coaching business trained me out of it. I realized that if I wanted to earn more and work less that expedience is key. I saved a lot of time and aggravation by relaxing standards where they truly didn’t matter.
What was most eye-opening is that I discovered that perfectionists are not the most financially successful or happiest people on the planet. So why put myself through brain strain?
In a recent juicy conversation with some coaches in my Prosperous Coach Inner Circle Mastermind*, we took perfectionism apart; examining what it is, when it arises, the significant costs and how to move beyond it. Here’s the wisdom that came out of that conversation:
Fear can be a great ally. It puts you on notice that you’re at the threshold of realizing more of your potential. If you step through the threshold, despite your fear, you’re likely to never look back because action replaces fear with inspiration. Your creativity and motivation take over and propel you forward.
Sometimes fear speaks loudly and literally paralyzes you, even though some part of you knows you were meant for this next step.
When I’m afraid, I want to run away! If I slow down long enough to be with what I’m feeling, I realize that what I’m running away from isn’t tangible at all. It’s merely a thought.
“It’s fear of outcome, not the outcome itself that causes pain.
– Larry Crane, The Release Technique
Fear is inevitable. Everyone feels it. So the goal isn’t to stop feeling fear, but rather transform it and be back on your way as soon as you can. Try this quick step-by-step process to get your mojo back on line.
As a coach, have you ever thought “Who am I to…?” Fears like this show up when you take the smart step of focusing on one unique tribe of people — a niche market — and begin to put the word out that you can help them get where they want to go. The underlying thought is: “How can I charge for this if I haven’t accomplished for myself the things my clients want to accomplish!” And then you fall into a spiral of doubt and start back pedaling.
I hear you. But keep moving forward by embracing your beginner’s mind.
In any new job, career or business direction there is the absolute necessity to be new, untried and unproven at first. You are required to be a beginner and learn from doing. There’s no shame in it.
In fact, a fresh perspective is THE POINT of coaching.
We know this: mindset and action are the make or break factors in our success on any given day. The trick to doing well while you do good for the world is a continual improvement of both.
A fun way to evolve and thrive in business is to pay attention to the archetypes — day to day pattern of thoughts and behaviors — you employ. Here are 4 archetypes I see in myself and other service entrepreneurs such as coaches. See if you recognize your current default archetype among these.
The 4 Archetypes
- The Perpetual Student is driven by scarcity to grab each new shiny program, but failing to implement much, falls into overwhelm and paralysis from over -consumption (the in breath) without execution (the out breath).
- The Perfectionist agonizes and second guesses minute behind-the-scenes details holding back from connecting their offers to their target audience and postponing the results they most want.
- The Hasty Executive is fast to action on every idea, but hasn’t thought through what their audience really wants or how they’ll monetize their offers.
- The Brave Heart – is 100% committed to their own success raising courage to implement what they learn even through fear and knowing the value of mistakes. Because they value their time and think through the pathway to the results they want, they reap more rewards, both in joy and income.