Pay-It Forward – Coach's Challenge

Tom and I were watching football the other night and, as men and their remotes will do, at commercial time Tom changed channels to see what else might be on of interest. We stumbled upon the movie “Pay It Forward”.  A wonderful heartening story about a teacher and his class of, I believe, fifth graders and the challenge he gave each of them: Think of a way to change our world and put it into action.

iStock_000003834478SmallWe were at first charmed, and by the end, football went by the wayside and became the commercial filler for the movie.  The story unfolded as the young man, Trevor, decided to do nice things for people, whether he knew them or not and whether they asked for it or not.  He felt in this way he might at least make a difference in the lives of others to the small extent he could and that when they asked what they could do in return for him… he asked each of them to do something unexpectedly nice for 3 others and so on…his system: Pay it Forward

Trevor’s system did not always work as he had expected or hoped and at times he was down right depressed that it seemed he was not even able to start the ball rolling.  Several of his initial attempts were thwarted either by the person who received the good deed not responding and paying it forward or other times he ran into people’s inability to deal with their own fears in order to take the necessary steps to enjoy the gift he gave.  Trevor’s determination stayed true and he created enough awareness that eventually a reporter interviewed him on TV about his goal for “Pay It Forward”.  He explained that it takes a person that is willing to be strong and sometimes overcome their fears to really make a difference.  Each person has to choose to go out on a bit of a limb, take a risk, but that the rewards were worth the effort.  He also commented that if you never try anything different, then you may be missing the best life has to offer, you will stay in your comfortable and gray world and miss the warmth, connection and Technicolor that could be.

Trevor learned there were no guarantees with his experiment, but he made the conscious decision to continue to try it anyway. His experiment did not fail with me, as I write this article to share with each of you.

Today, I parked in town and bought a $5.00 parking permit.   When I was ready to leave there was an older gentleman struggling to figure out the parking computer.  I handed him my ticket, which was good for another two hours.  He was delighted and asked if he could pay me for it…. I told him to pay it forward… Thanks Trevor!

To me this story is all about abundance and learning to give unconditionally…Giving of the overflow… it has been called… is all about learning the spirit of money and good deeds (which are often substituted for cash) It is in the spirit of money that we begin to attract abundance. In the spirit of money we discover it’s true value and power. The spirit of money is where philanthropy lives. Have you ever wanted to create a foundation to support a great cause?  Learn the spirit of money and you will soon attract an overflow to share as you wish.

Coach’s Challenge:
“Pay It Forward”. Then, if you accept, I challenge each of you to do something nice and unexpected for 3 people, if they ask how to repay you, tell them: “Pay it forward!” I figure if 100 people read this article and just 30 of you take my challenge …then Trevor, and our world, will have won exponentially!

Posted in: Finance Management

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Key Number One to Successful Self-Marketing

istock_000009218077smallMarketing always seems to be one of the more difficult tasks, and marketing ones self, for many, often becomes insurmountable.  This does not have to be true for you! Learning to market yourself comfortably will go a long way in your life whether you are marketing yourself for a new career, a promotion in your current place of business or to sell your business services.

Key Number ONE is: Learning to Overcome Rejection

I. Overcoming rejection, the ages old concept of rejection and how to overcome that down in the belly negative feeling that comes when you put your talents on the line and they are rejected.

What is actually being rejected?

Try this vision: What is real…At this moment I am OK. I have certain talents and abilities, hopes and dreams, needs and values. I have family and friends that care about me. I have accomplished many things in my life; be it my schooling at what ever level, my employment history and my ability to be a team player and many other learned talents along the way.  The concrete evidence of my existence thus far proves I am capable of tackling the world and what it has handed me. I am O.K.!

You take one small action of opening your email and you discover your business proposal was rejected. What happens?  The air is knocked out of you, you get that lead feeling in your gut, suddenly, the act of reading one email has changed “I am OK” into “I am not good enough”!

Look back a moment…has anything actually changed from the information above? NO, you are still all of those very capable things.  What has changed is your attitude. You have allowed yourself to take the rejection personally. All of a sudden it is about you not being good enough, when moments before you were just fine.  You have given your power away because of someone else’s action. In reality what happened is another person had a stronger set of tools for this particular situation, or perhaps there was a personal contact that was selected or the person making the decision had a bad day the day of your proposal, we will never know.

Getting Over it! We meet rejection every day, whether it is of our dreams, of a new job or a promotion or a sale we have endeavored to close. There are 3 important rules to dealing with rejection successfully: a. Don’t take it personally. b. Use it as a learning tool. c. Quickly take appropriate actions to move on to the next challenge.

The first rule of dealing with rejection is: Don’t take it personally! It is rarely about us, even though our egos seem to try to tell us it is.  Our minds are very creative and energetic and if left alone, are masters at the negative.  I call it my “Itty Bitty Pity Committee”. Replace your old committee with a sensible group of voices: which include your intuition, your heart, your intelligence, your curiosity, your passion, your spirit and your experience.

Your new “Success Committee”, will help you deal with rejection as a learning tool. Which is the second rule of dealing with rejection: Use rejection as a Learning tool. Ask questions when you receive a no.  What did not meet your needs?  What was missing so I might improve? Rarely is a person reluctant to help another improve. Then set up an appropriate action plan to carry out what you have discovered. Choose to learn from the rejection and move on to the next with a greater arsenal of tools for your future success.

The third rule of dealing with rejection: Quickly take appropriate actions to move on to the next challenge.  Take the learning and grow your knowledge base and tool kit.  Create a plan of action to move past the rejection and on to the next challenge. Think of rejection as a tool for learning and improvement and you will soon move beyond it to the realm of success.

Want to see Overcoming rejection in action? Look up the story of author J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter novels. She was rejected by the best of the best printers over 100 times! Aren’t we all glad she kept believing in herself?

Posted in: Marketing & Promotion

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Living in Delicious Fear

istock_000003561487smallCan you remember the first time you did something that was scary to you? Was it learning to ride a bike, or perhaps to swim, or a first day at a new job or at a new school? The amazing part of these moments is that as soon as we push past our fears and give it a try, succeed or fail, we learn something about our abilities and ourselves. We also gain valuable knowledge and understanding of the challenge that faces us, and the tools required to succeed in the face of that challenge. Our brain, our spirit and our bodies are incredible tools.  Each grows proportionately with the risks and trials we encounter. Like exercising a muscle, as we practice and increase our repetitions the muscle grows in strength and facility.

That is what I call “living in delicious fear”.  It is that place when you are out of your comfort zone and teetering on the verge of stepping backwards, but you just gently lean forward and move ahead. This is the discovery and learning zone: “Wow! I can do that, it wasn’t as scary as I thought.” Perhaps: ” I survived, I will do this part differently next time, or “I did OK, if I practice, I will become great at this!” The first step out of comfort and into “delicious fear” is the hardest and also the most exhilarating. Your senses are at their peak and your brain is working its hardest to master the skills required and still maintain control, your emotions are working overtime and you are a mass of nerves and then you’ve done it! Everything lets go all at once and your whole body goes into “I did it!” mode! Then the learning and understanding sets in and our wonderful minds take over. We get better and better at it as we practice and build our muscles of trying new things. Our spirit grows as we discover new talents or polish unused ones and we become more empowered to try again and possibly attempt even more difficult challenges.

I remember learning to ride my first two-wheeled bike.  My sister was the one to teach me, Mom was too worried and Dad didn’t have the patience.  So Barb helped me learn.  She held the back of the bike seat to stabilize me as I struggled to gain the necessary balance to master the task. I was sweating so hard from fear and struggle, my eyes stung from the salt. I kept yelling, “don’t let go, I’m not ready!” Then I realized I was moving way too fast for her to keep up I was doing it!  Then Barb screamed and I fell off!  I yelled what’s the matter? As she ran up to see if I was all right, she looked worried and thrilled all together, as I bled from both knees.  What’s wrong, I cried? “You did it, you did it, you rode all by yourself!” You see, there were two of us living in delicious fear that day.  Barb was terrified that she would not be up to the task of teaching me and that I would fail, she stepped way out of her comfort zone for me.  I must say I was most proud of those scrapes and became a daredevil bike rider! Barb discovered she was a great teacher!

Of course there are set backs, embarrassment, scraped knees, a lost possibility but more often than not they are endurable set backs.  Delicious fear is a wake up call to use your brain, focus and approach the challenge with all of your capabilities and full consciousness. We are not speaking of ignoring your fears, but consciously and thoughtfully moving past them.  Using your skills and knowledge in a way that allows you to “Just do it”.    It is what makes many of us successful business owners or managers or CEOs.  Have you stepped out lately?  We often get too comfortable and settled in our worlds to remind ourselves to step out, take a new responsibility, or a challenge.

Whatever the step is for you, remember the discovery and learning zone is where we as human beings grow best.  Once the challenge has been met and we are delivered to the other side is when our real work begins.  We then can take the time to celebrate our successes and evaluate and learn from mistakes, strategize on how to better meet the task in the future, gather more knowledge or skills we discovered were lacking, get help from others if required. Each challenge is an opportunity to grow.  Each success empowers us to try again. Each mistake or failure is packed with learning to do it better the next time.

You say the fear is too big!  The fear is not worth it! Then try taking smaller steps. That is why training wheels were invented.  My challenge to you is to step out into delicious fear this week, go create a new product for your business, invite your most dissatisfied customer to lunch, speak to someone about a raise or a promotion, learn to ride the bike of your dreams!

Posted in: Professional Development

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Spend Wisely…Take Back Your Time

“You will never find time. You must make it.” —Charles Burton


The two excuses I hear most from my coaching clients for not accomplishing more and greater things and having a life and business that they love are: “I don’t have time, I’m too busy”. We all get the same amount of hours in a day: 24. We all get the same number of hours in a week: 168. Why do some people have what looks like “it ALL”?

A Scenario:

If you sleep a healthy 8 hours a night you have 112 left.

If you take 30 minutes a day for breakfast and an hour each for lunch and dinner you now have 94.5 left

If you drive 30 minutes to and from work, you now have 89.5 left.

If you work 45 hours a week you have 44.5 left in your week to take care of yourself, your family, your health and your spirit.

The problem is not the time. The problem is what we are doing with it. If you spend from 8pm to 10pm watching TV, you now have just 30 hours left. What could you have done with those precious hours? How much of your day and week is being spent on things that help you grow: in your business, your relationships, with your significant other or children, in knowledge, in fun, in health or in spirit?

Take a look at with whom you are spending your time.  Are they people that are supportive and energizing, or do you feel drained at the end of your time with them? Are they people you are striving to emulate and can bring out your best?

Our time is the one commodity we each get a fixed amount of. We do not even know exactly what that fixed amount is.  It makes sense to use it with wisdom, joy and for the growth of ourselves and those around us.  To Life!

COACH’S CHALLENGE: Look at where you spend your time and evaluate if it is truly being well spent on what you consider priorities for your life and your families or are you giving it away unnecessarily?  This month review who you give your time to and how you are using it. Make one change that will take back time from the mundane and help you grow where you believe it will truly count!

Posted in: Business Operations, Time Management

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Coach More Clients…

Earn More Money Make a Difference

Most coaches want to do more of what they love to do – coach! That can mean going from 5-10 clients, building a full practice of 25 clients or shifting from all one-on-one clients to both group coaching programs and individual work. Regardless of where you find yourself in this equation, coaching more clients means building a viable business so you can attract those new clients, and take care of them so they stay with you and invite others as well!

Coach more clients

Coach more clients

Building a viable business means putting in place a myriad of systems and processes to run the business and handle your clients and attract new clients. If you are a Solopreneur Coach, then you need to create all of these systems and processes yourself. This often feels like a daunting task…AND it does not have to be!

Top 6 Tasks to Building a Business

Would you open a retail shop without a store and inventory to sell and a way to handle money and customers? Imagine if you had a retail shop instead of a coaching practice to build. Actually, it isn’t all that different.

1. Find a place for people to come and discover your wares, a place for them to interact with you. In your coaching practice, the place to find you and interact with you may be your web site.

2. Decide what it is you will specialize in selling, women’s clothes, dresses, or men’s ware? In your coaching practice this would be your ideal client (female small business owners, etc.).

3. Buy inventory to sell (your coaching skills are the services you sell).

4. Create processes to manage all of the money. This could be done through a bank account and merchant account combination and perhaps a bookkeeper or VA.

5. Communicate with your customers and prospects to keep them informed of the ways they could work with you and buy your services, perhaps a newsletter, or other vehicle.

6. Create a consistent marketing and sales plan to keep inviting people to come to your store or practice.

You can see that a coaching practice is not so different from a retail store. Yet many coaches start out without the necessary business building processes in place and then wonder why they have few if any paying clients. Would you buy a quality business suit out of the back of someone’s car? I would guess you would NOT!  Many coaches hover at one or two clients and end up leaving the profession due to lack of paying clients. Coaching more clients begins with creating a professional business into which you can invite them.

The processes necessary to create a thriving coaching practice are very similar to a retail shop but we have the ability to run our practice virtually. The great news is that the virtual aspect of a coaching practice gives us the ability to keep our overhead to a bare minimum saving thousands of dollars in rent and employees so we can KEEP more of our earned money!

How do you create systems to run a thriving business?

There are numerous ways to put together a coaching business. You can take pieces from many places, Excel spread sheets and a combination of software products and put them all together to create your systems and processes. As mentioned, this can feel daunting…we constantly ask, “which is the most reasonable, best value and will the pieces work together?” A coach’s overhead and processes can cost from a few hundred dollars a month to thousands depending upon the systems and expenditures they create. You can spend a year just trying to figure it all out. Or you can go the easy and inexpensive route to a professional coaching practice: The Coaches Console. Click this link for more information about this system:

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Earn More Money…

Coach  More Clients Make a Difference

For the coach who is serious about business, they know that earning more money and increasing revenue is critical to having a viable business and to reaching their own personal goals.  This includes both earning more per hour (increasing their rates) as well as bringing in more total revenue by working with more clients, and even expanding their menu of services to include info products, etc.

Earn more money

Earn more money

Earning more money is not only about finances. It is also about self-esteem. What do you think you are worth? I remember when I first started out, I was still in coaching school; I charged $125 for 4 coaching sessions of one hour each. I was at a networking event and a person asked me what made me a good coach…I remember crumbling and leaving shortly thereafter. When I got home I called my coach. I told her how uncomfortable I had gotten and how my confidence eroded in an instant. What could I say to that question…? I was still in school and I was not credentialed.

My coach asked a very pointed question: “What do you bring to the table as a coach?” That’s when the “Duh” bell sounded. I knew I brought a great deal to the table: my 20 years experience as a corporate professional and business owner, my life’s education and travels, my ability to communicate and connect and the list went on…and included my own coach to whom I could bring an anonymous challenge for expertise.

Her next questions were the best: “Now, that you know your value, what will you do to set up your practice like a professional business?” and “What will you raise your rates to?” I made it my business that week to set up systems and procedures to run my business, they were paper and pen, but made me feel like a business owner AND I raised my rates to $250 per month that day. A real Woo Hooo! moment. AND, shortly thereafter I increased my client load from 10 to 15 and no one even flinched about the price!

It is amazing how different the feel of the conversation can be when you are setting up a new client and you say: “The way I run my business is…” and then you explain how the coaching and business relationship will unfold. Clients perk up and listen because they want to be sure to get all that you are sharing…you perk up as well because you have just explained the best run shop in town and you are proud of it! That “perk up” is your self confidence level rising exponentially as you become the savvy business owner you know you are capable of being.

Have you noticed how people pay more for services that are professionally run and executed? Think of a fast food place and a fine dining experience. The difference is in everything:  the quality of the food, the atmosphere, the type of service, and the time invested by client and business owner.

Your coaching practice will be the same. If you invest in your coaching education and practice and professional business processes and systems and use them fully, you will offer expert coaching services and spend less time doing the necessary administrative tasks it takes to run your practice and you will feel confident in charging more for your services AND your clients will expect to pay more as well.

Professional business systems also allow you to grow and expand your services. Perhaps you want to add group coaching to your one-to-one service, an e-book for sale, and/or a product that you may have created. A professional business service can help you accomplish these additions with style as well, again increasing your offerings, and your bottom line success!

How do you create systems to run a thriving business?

There are numerous ways to put together a coaching business. You can take pieces from many places, Excel spread sheets and a combination of software products and put them all together to create your systems and processes. As mentioned, this can feel daunting…we constantly ask, “which is the most reasonable, best value and will the pieces work together?” A coach’s overhead and processes can cost from a few hundred dollars a month to thousands depending upon the systems and expenditures they create. You can spend a year just trying to figure it all out. Or you can go the easy and inexpensive route to a professional coaching practice: The Coaches Console. Click this link for more information about this system:

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Make a Difference…

Coach More Clients •  Earn More Money

What is the passion that drives you to coach? What is the “difference” you want to make? Whether you have a mission of simply doing great work with each client you serve or a mission to change an entire industry or community, the drive to make a difference, think bigger, and to increase your impact through the work that you do is often one of the compelling reasons that coaches start a coaching practice in the first place.

Make a difference

Make a difference

Perhaps we have been coaching all of our lives and now we have taken it a step further and enrolled in a coaching school to hone those skills. Now it is time to take the process even further.

I have seen the value of coaching in my own life. As the founders of the Coaches Console, Melinda and I often have two coaches that we are working with at a time. The difference in what we can accomplish with the help of our coach and what we can do on our own is amazing. With a coach as our partner, we spend so much less time and energy stuck and over thinking things and more energy getting on with it, the differences is exponential, in value, fun, accomplishment, how big a difference we can make and bottom line success that we would never again be without a coach. As a result of this experience, our vision is to get the whole world coached. Now that our coach has us producing so much more we figure we may as well think really big!

Big Thinkers and those folks that truly make a difference all have a few things in common. They are passionate, serious about what they want to accomplish, willing to do what it takes to get there and they are professional in the way they use their resources.

Think of someone you look up to that has made a difference in this world. Many were first professional business people who gave of their overflow of running a successful business to solve world problems. Many have created non-profit organizations (professional businesses) to make a difference in the world around them. The most successful non-profits are those that run so efficiently that the greatest part of every dollar raised goes to fund the programs of their passion “making a difference” NOT the administration of it.

What does it take to make a difference? One ingredient is the ability to give of the overflow… and the more overflow… the more of a difference can be made…A way to do this is to create a thriving coaching business that is efficient and professional. A business that can be scaled to increase revenues and services offered and decrease the amount of your time invested on a day-to-day basis so you can concentrate on making that “difference”.

The bigger the difference made the level of satisfaction and meaning for that coach increases exponentially. The level of positive change the world experiences is also exponential…all because a coach created and ran a professional thriving practice and focused the overflow on making that difference.

How do you create systems to run a thriving business?

There are numerous ways to put together a coaching business. You can take pieces from many places, Excel spread sheets and a combination of software products and put them all together to create your systems and processes. As mentioned, this can feel daunting…we constantly ask, “which is the most reasonable, best value and will the pieces work together?” A coach’s overhead and processes can cost from a few hundred dollars a month to thousands depending upon the systems and expenditures they create. You can spend a year just trying to figure it all out. Or you can go the easy and inexpensive route to a professional coaching practice: The Coaches Console. Click this link for more information about this system:

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