Hey Coach! Got Gumption?

This post has been updated.

I love entrepreneurs. I’m blessed to work in groups full of heartful coaches and consultants who bring their amazing brilliance from different walks of life to the task of building their coaching business. Interestingly, as different as they are, they have the same “garden variety” fears and their beliefs are always the only thing that gets in the way of success.

That’s about being human.

Getting stuck, breaking through, taking a leap of faith, and then… ah… evolving. That’s the dynamic cycle of human life.

For some, it’s like a game and they become facile at the quick leap. So what is it that those people have going for them? Is it super intelligence, advanced degrees, the best connections or being set up financially that results in success?

Smiling Woman Balancing Earth on Finger

No, it’s gumption! It’s having the guts, the spunk, the chutzpah — to accomplish something against all odds.

My mom had good ol’ fashioned southern gumption. It got her through the Great Depression, navigated her through business school, moved her away from dustbowl poverty to a place she thrived near the Rocky Mountains that she loved. She put four kids through college against all odds and gave us all the advantages she never had – all by gumption.

And now I realize that it’s not my degree, certifications, knowledge or confidence that got me to where I am now. It’s gumption. (Thanks mom!) And that’s a relief because I can reach inside myself to draw on that strength over and over.

So… how about you… got gumption?

Powerful Questions for a More Meaningful Life

I’m in awe of the power of loss as a catalyst for transformation. Whether from the loss of someone you love, a chronic or potentially terminal illness, moving your home, losing a job, ending a career — all these things can throw you into an altered state where you naturally reflect more deeply on your life.

AJ Hess
My mom, Alma Jean Hess

My mom, AJ Hess, died in December. The beautiful memorial my brothers and I created to honor her was this past Saturday. l feel matured to have witnessed my mom’s transition from this life.  Somehow I feel released to be more fully myself. And I’m so grateful, not only for everything she did for me, but also for the way she braved her passage as she braved her life. The force of her will, even in the fog of Alzheimers, was awesome.

Her death has also caused me to question what my highest self wants of me now. Evolution is potentially one of the greatest gifts of loss. And I feel in good company. All around me, friends, clients and colleagues seem to be going through sea changes spurred on by tough events in their lives.

In honor of my mom, I wanted to share some of the powerful questions I’ve been asking myself.

How to Attract Clients in a More Coach-Like Way

Some part of you already knows this… it’s a rare person that wakes up in the morning thinking “I need a coach!” That person is “initiated” into the value of coaching because they or someone they know has had a positive experience with coaching. But that’s a small percentage of all the people in the world.

So why are coaches working so hard to convince people to buy their coaching?

I floundered around with this fruitless approach myself in my first three years of my business. Then I realized, that selling coaching is a very sales-like approach and I didn’t want to do it anymore. It takes a lot of energy for little return and doesn’t build much momentum or ease over time.

Each new prospect has to be convinced. It’s like starting over with every sample session. And too many say they can’t afford it because they perceive coaching as a luxury.

It’s not very coach-like is it?

Think about it. We’re taught to work with clients holistically, focusing in on their agenda  — what is it that they want today. And then we use our skills, listening and asking powerful questions, to draw out their wisdom, help get perspective and work through obstacles so they walk away with the outcome they came for.

Coaching is client-centric. But selling coaching is not.

happy people reaching out

So, what would be a more client-centric approach to attracting clients? There’s a tried and true way. Every successful change agent, entrepreneur and professional has done this. They target a specific group of people, find out exactly what they want — that tangible outcome they woke up wanting this morning — and show how they can help them get there.

What Are You Putting Off Now?

Sometimes it’s a good idea to put something off. You make a conscious choice to postpone a task or a project because it’s for your highest good, or the timing will be better later. But I find the main reasons I put things off for my coaching business have more to do with my state of mind.

I looked into this recently because there was an important project I put off all week and then guilty thoughts about the thing occupied my entire weekend. No good!

Have you ever done this?

align-right

Here’s the scenario… you wake up and think about that thing you’re putting off, your mind wanders to it through exercise and breakfast. By the end of the day, you feel like you’ve been royally nagged. It’s almost as if some part of you really wanted to get going on that thing while the rest of you resisted. Big energy drain!

So I created these questions to manage my states and stop wasting energy and it’s working!