Archive for November, 2010

Are you a Hobbyist, or a Business Owner?

Do you even know?

Do you even realize how this one, single insight can impact the level of success you have in your business and with your coaching?

If you don’t know this answer or don’t even realize the importance of this distinction, then you may be hitting upper limits of your level of success and not even realize it. If that is the case then no matter how great your efforts, no matter how impeccable you implement the best strategies you will not be seeing the results you desire.

There are two potential levels at which you can participate in being a business owner as a coach. That of a Hobbyist. That of a Business Owner.

Hobbyists can articulate a general direction for their business. They grasp the idea of business discipline, but tend to think it’s too early to get it fully under control — or feel they don’t have time.  Hobbyists’ planning, goals, priority-setting and sense of business purpose also tend to be less focused, more difficult to understand.

Business Owners, on the other hand, can clearly define how they will make a difference in the world, and who they will serve. They know it takes a thriving, profitable business to create that difference. Far more than Hobbyists, they have practical, well-grounded faith in the discipline and the systems that build greatness in any business. Because they are clear and specific, Business Owners’ strategies, articulation, priorities, choices, goals and even words have more impact.

Are you a Hobbyist, or a Business Owner?

How The Hobbyist Will Experience The Business of Coaching:

  1. Business and client support is reactive versus proactive. They figure out the answers as they go.
  2. Jack of all, master of none.
  3. Provide the support to their clients on a situational basis. Things are unique to each client and situation and often done differently each time. There is customization in how they support and work with their clients because the hobbyist only coaches when they want to coach.
  4. Run their business manually with limited technologies and support resources.
  5. Coach few clients and continue to dream of having a deeper impact on the world.

How The Business Owner Will Experience The Business of Coaching.

  1. Build a strong foundation up front for their business.
  2. Collaborate with great people to leverage their own time.
  3. Use the right technologies, tools and resources to simplify and automate tasks that don’t produce new business directly.
  4. Use effective internal systems.
  5. Use their systems consistently.
  6. Coach more clients, make more money, and make a far greater difference in the world.

Both types are great coaches. And in our five years since founding The Coaches Console, we have also learned that Hobbyists share the dream, but not the discipline. Business Owners are different; they take disciplined action to make their dreams, and many more clients’ dreams, come true. It’s vital to your success to know which approach you desire and which approach you are taking each moment. Otherwise growing your business will seem like you are pushing a boulder up a hill.

It’s understandable if, as a Business Owner, you feel overwhelmed sometimes. There’s so much to learn, such an array of new skills to master. You’d be less than human to feel otherwise! Hobbyists feel that pressure too. The difference is in how they respond. Hobbyists think they need to learn every single thing, as in everything. They never will, of course, but they beat themselves up for not knowing it all, and even for having just “average” skills.

Really, the Hobbyist’s response to pressure is a kind of perfectionism: Like all forms of that Holy Grail, it’s not reachable. Not on this planet, anyway. Still, on and on the Hobbyists go, endlessly expecting what amounts to a long list of daily miracles, then blaming themselves for endlessly falling short.

Business Owners don’t attempt the impossible. Their outlook is a lot more useful, and healthier, especially on two points:

  1. They’ve learned to be comfortable with the stress that accompanies life as an entrepreneur.
  2. They focus on their greatest strengths, and find systems, tools and experts (assistants) to help them with the things they don’t do as well. They don’t waste time trying to learn things they’ll never be good at. Instead, they “leverage their community,” surrounding themselves – from the outset — with experts and resources.

Every single part of the Hobbyists’ business carries the same weight. They haven’t identified specific actions that bring new clients, business growth and income. Stress and pressure drive Hobbyists back into their comfort zone, where they keep on spending all their time and energy on the same things – the activities they know how to do and/or love to do. Business Owners, on the other hand, understand that running a business means wearing many hats, and that some actions help build your income a lot more than others. They know how to choose which hat to wear, and when.

Hobbyists know they need to market. They do learn specific strategies and try them out, here and there. But they don’t do it consistently enough, and they don’t create a system to help them market and sell. Business Owners take a different view. They know marketing is the lifeblood of a healthy, vibrant practice. To them, “marketing” is a description, just a header referring to a more specific idea that they find far more important and exciting: Marketing is a conversation. It’s a way of helping others by sharing a great tool with them. And wanting to tell them!

Business Owners think differently, choosing a “One-to-Many” mindset. That means they realize that, to double their practice, serve more clients and charge higher fees, they must leverage their relationships. So they build strong networks and partner with like-minded colleagues.

So are you a hobbyist or a business owner?  The real question is: are you reaching the level of success you desire?  If you are, then exactly where you are – hobbyist or business owner, is perfect. If not, take a closer look at the distinction to identify where you are and where you want to be. Then place your attention on closing that gap. As you do you will begin to have the desired impact you wish to have on this world.

Are you ready to become the Business Owner you know you can be?  If your answer is yes, we invite you to join our Business Success Inner Circle of coaches, growing their businesses, and making a big difference and money too!  We so believe in this business growth program we are offering the first two months FREE! Try it out, you will soon know if you are a Hobbyist or a Budding Business Owner!

Posted in: Business Operations, Marketing & Promotion

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I’m A New Coach. How Would a VA Assist Me?

This is one of our most common questions and one of the biggest problems that new coaches have to face. Throughout coach training, you have heard that you need a VA to help you with your new practice. However, you didn’t understand what that meant. Maybe the following questions crossed your mind:

  1. How do I get my coaching business up and running with a VA? Or without?
  2. What would a VA be looking for from me? Am I ready for a VA?
  3. What do I want from my VA? What should I be looking for?
  4. What other systems, applications, or processes do I need?
  5. Will a VA be worth my money and time investment right now?

In this article, we will explore Question #5.

Will a VA be worth my money and time investment right now?

The simple answer to this question is, “It depends.” We could all use a VA to help us from the very beginning stages of our business planning, while still in coach training, and to implement strategies for marketing our web presence. An extra set of hands and “two heads are better than one” rings true whether you are “building the road as you drive down it” or moving to the next level of your product funnel.

A Coaches VA should know how to help design a marketing strategy to generate buzz and get your face in front of your market. Truthfully, you have to decide which market you want to serve and have evidence that they want the services you want to offer. Your VA can help you find where they live, work, and play online and locally. How much of your time could be spent on introducing yourself to various online communities, meeting face-to-face with local business owners, or reaching out to those who are in your inner circle? Your VA will be able to help you create a plan to make the best of these connections with a reply to, “so what have you been up to lately?”

When I work with coaches, we develop a marketing plan that includes opportunities for prospects to come and learn more. I heard it said early in my business to “always have something to invite them to”, and it has been one of the best strategies for planning. Imagine entering a virtual room or networking event knowing that your systems are in place for those who are curious or interested in knowing more about you. The right virtual assistant can help you put all these pieces together.

Working with a Coaches VA at the early stages of your business will help you to focus and create a series of tasks to complete for your marketing plan. If you are clear about your target market and willing to do some of the work, you can save money by working with a VA for only 5 hours a month. However, as you start to bring on clients, you will want to delegate more to your VA so you can do more of what you love – helping others achieve their goals.

I do hope this 5-part series has answered many of your questions about how a VA would assist you. My closing advice is this:

  • If you are still in coach training, wait until you finish your first level of certification before working with a VA. You will be in a much better position to talk about your passion and market at that time.
  • Be sure to find a VA that works with coaches on a regular basis and is savvy in the areas where you aren’t. You want your VA to be a complement to your business, someone who has been there and can be proactive.
  • If you are still employed and launching your coaching practice, find a VA that is willing to help you transition into your full-time coaching practice. You may need her to be flexible and available outside of your work schedule or during your lunch breaks for meetings.

Posted in: Business Operations

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