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Archive for May, 2014

Breaking Through Coaching Business Myths & Techno Blocks: Myth #5: Failure is bad and to be avoided at all costs!

In this 10-part series, we are exposing The10 Myths that derail start-up coaches and keep them from fully realizing their passions and profits. In this series of articles we will dive into each myth and turn them around with the truth! By embracing the truths you can locate the courage to move through your fears and breakthrough the blocks in your coaching business!

MYTH #5:  Failure is bad and to be avoided at all costs!

When I say the world “failure” or even the phrase “you’ve failed” what do you experience?  For me, it used to be like a blow to my gut or like having the wind knocked out of me. I would sometimes associate words such as “inadequate” or “incompetent” with “failure.” It was certainly not a comfortable feeling and a place I didn’t want to spend much time in.  In my early years as a start up coach and business owner I actually avoided failure as often as I could.  Makes sense right?  I mean we’re all trying to be successful and what you place your attention on is what you get so of course it makes sense to NOT focus on ‘failure.’ Or does it?

As a recovering perfectionist, I totally understand how crippling the fear of failure can be; and also the fear of success as well. It’s like a double-edged sword.

Over the years I’ve come to have a different relationship with failure. For I’ve learned that ‘failure’ is simply an indicator that I have pressed my edges to their max and found my tipping point (which is good news if I want to keep evolving).

One of my favorite statements is from the book “Conversations With God Book 2” by Neale Donald Walsch.  In it he says the phrase which I use everyday in my business and my personal life:

“…to experience the Grandest Version of the Greatest Vision you ever had about yourself…”

And when I’ve failed, I know I’ve fallen into the realm of the next greatest vision of myself.

As you know, I love to snow ski!  When I’m kicking it down the moguls or zipping through the trees I’m always pressing my edges to find out where my skills and abilities can be improved. Without doing this, I would never get any better. I would always stay the same; flat line with no evolution. I would always be on the green beginner slopes, I’d never see new and different parts of the mountain and more importantly I’d never know what I’m fully capable of. (not to mention I’d get tired of the same ole same ole).

The same is true in your businesses. When you press your edges, experiment outside of your comfort zones in the areas of supporting your clients, marketing strategies and managing your business, you can identify places where you can evolve and discover what you are truly capable of.

“Failure” is simply an area in which you’ve pressed your edges and extended beyond your comfort zone so much that you’ve landed in a zone where you have a great deal of information to learn so you can evolve into the next evolution of yourself. Whew, that was a mouthful.  Let’s simplify that:

TRUTH #5: Failure is not an option; it’s a requirement!

So what was something you recently failed at?  Maybe it was a specific marketing strategy, or launching a new program. Perhaps it was learning how to facilitate sample sessions or supporting your clients. Take a look at that failure through a new set of lenses to see what wisdom can be gleaned and used for your greater success.

Failure is not an option. If you want to create a THRIVING (and profitable and fun) coaching business, your failures are your greatest teachers! The more you are willing to make failure a requirement and the more you can actually summons the courage to take such risks in your business, the more successful you will be. I know, you might be thinking “How so Melinda? That seems counterintuitive.”

It’s a requirement for three reasons:

  1. You don’t know what you don’t know. The sense of “failure” (or insert the word “mistakes” if failure is too harsh) is simply an indicator that you are in the land of the unknown. And in the land of the unknown, to use Deepak Chopra’s words, is where the greatest possibilities exist.
  2. It’s your “Yellow Brick Road” to your success. When you make mistakes or experience ‘failure’ you have found the direct path to your success. Why? Because your failure reveals things that were missing, areas that were not yet strong enough and information that you don’t yet have. By revealing these missing elements and missing information you can quickly obtain and implement those pieces to create a stronger strategy or stronger implementation plan.
  3. Failure is learning. And when you’re learning you’re always growing. And when you’re growing you’re always inventing new and bigger ways to support your clients (and reach more clients).  Through your own journey and life experiences you can guide more people through similar situations. This is how you can be of greatest service to the most people.

It takes a great amount of courage, trust and belief in yourself to create this new relationship with “failure” and when you do, the level of success you experience in your business will dramatically increase.

Now that Coaches Console has turned 10, we can look back on our past ‘failures’ and see how they directly enhanced our system, business and team to help create the thriving business we’re all experiencing today.

Too often we see start-up coaches spending so much time, energy and emotion on avoiding failure at all costs. When embraced it can be an igniting factor to your success.

I’ll leave you with one tip for embracing your failures. Do not do it alone!!!  It’s no joke. Have a coach, a community and a group of resources that you can turn to because you’ll need them. There will be days when it’s too much or you can’t locate your own courage and you’ll want to give up. Coaches within the Coaches Console community for example borrow our courage until they can locate their own as they get started in setting up their own business. They have a network of like-minded colleagues, coaches and leaders to reach out to and receive support from. The more connected you are, the easier it is to face and embrace your failures.

So what are your recent failures? And how are they being your greatest teachers?

Remember these two quotes from Thomas Edison as you re-view your recent failures:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

“Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”

Posted in: Business Operations, Professional Development

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