So many of the lessons that I learned at the beginning of my coaching journey I can look back at now and laugh about. There were sooo many times I’ve thought to myself, “If I only knew then what I know now…”
I always tell my clients that we can have or create basically anything we want. The only caveat to that is that sometimes, what we want shows up differently than expected. Another bummer: the timing is largely out of our hands.
“But I want it now”. I know, me too. But, lessons, sister.
Just like any life experience, the lesson comes when we are aware, open and ready to learn (or expand).
I often have to remind my clients when they are “stuck” that when we are “in” something longer than we desire to be, we simply haven’t learned the lesson we need yet.
And so I ask them:
What lesson is still available here?
What can you take from this situation?
What are you willing to get responsible for here?
Here are some of the lessons that it took me a while to learn. If you’re ‘stuck” with these lessons--try answering the questions above in service of moving forward powerfully (lessons learned!)
Say the bold thing. SO many times, my teacher in coach training and my personal coach at the time had to remind me of this.
“Olivia, what did you hold back there?”
“Olivia, say the bold thing--this is what helps create change, moves people forward”
“Olivia, what has you so afraid of getting real?”
Well, fear of course!
I was so afraid as a new coach that I would get fired or something if I spoke very clearly, assertively and powerfully to my clients. I was afraid that my honest reflections would be offensive or they wouldn’t like me anymore if I was “too much,” or asked powerful questions.
Here’s what I know for sure now: my clients hire me for my bold, they’d fire me if I didn’t “say the bold thing” and I probably could have been so much more powerful for my first clients had I accessed my bold sooner. Lesson learned.
2. Stop telling your clients’ stories. I used to make up stories in my head about my prospects and clients. I used to say to myself: “Well he is way older than me and would never respect me as a coach so he probably won’t hire me anyway” before a sales call. Or, “She is only 24 so probably isn’t ready to take on this investment but I can still try to coach her a little or maybe give her a deal”. Even with my clients, “She was 10 minutes late for our call and didn’t do the check-in sheet so she must not think I’m a good coach or that this work is not valuable”.
Pull in the reins Olivia, you don’t get to tell their stories!
So many times I let my fear and imagination sabotage my sales calls and even sometimes try to muddy the waters of client relationships. What was really in the way here were my own fears that I was placing on my clients. My “stories” are NOT theirs and I have NO right to tell them, even if they’re only being told in my head and narrated by my ego.
Not my business.
I know now from my place as empowered coach and leader that if my intuition is telling me something is up with one of my prospects or clients, it’s okay to have the transparent conversation (from love). It’s okay to talk about the “elephants in the room”, if you will; that’s what coaching is for! It’s not okay to make up stories in my head about prospects or clients because of my own fears.
3. Stop doing what everyone else is doing. I started coaching way before I could find any Facebook groups full of coaches. I got my first 10+ clients from referrals, Yelp, LinkedIn and (wait for it!) real life. When Facebook became the haven for coaches and empowered women entrepreneurs, I was obsessed. There was so much to learn! Everyone had the exact 3-step process I needed to get hired, like yesterday. Thank goddess...NOT! I was inundated with information, how-to’s and guides. I was overwhelmed (and still get overwhelmed by too much social media, hello boundaries) and confused.
She’s doing it this way.
She’s doing at that way.
I’m doing it wrong.
Stop. There is no right or wrong when it comes to doing your biz. Yes, there are professional and legal standards but when it comes to some things, especially marketing, sales and online visibility-ain’t nothing more valuable than your own intuition. Please, pause and tune out the crowd. Stop the endless need to “do what she’s doing because she promises it works”. No one has the magic system for your success except YOU. Pick a few things you LOVE and tune out the rest.
Go on, coach. You've got this.