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What an African Safari Taught Me About Creating Magic in My Life and Business

by: Melinda Cohan, October 2016

This month’s newsletter is going to be a little different than what you’re used to.

Why?

Because I recently returned from a South African safari, and while I was there, I experienced several lessons, as well as an incredible “aha” moment … one I can’t wait to share with you.

When a business colleague invited me and 8 other women to join her for a girls’ trip to the safari, I was SO excited.

The Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa was nothing short of amazing; in fact, I now consider one of the days the second most epic day of my life (next to my wedding day!).

Here’s what happened:

Every day, we went on a morning AND afternoon safari.

On the second day (aka the second most epic day of my life), we tracked lions. Yes – LIONS!

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I was like a kid at Christmas! I was practically bouncing out of my seat as we started out in the open-air safari truck.

That’s when I asked Africa, “What medicine do you have for me today? What gifts?”

Within minutes, the universe answered.

We happened upon a cheetah. WOW – I can’t even put into words the beauty and grace that animal exhibited.

In fact, I was so blown away, I looked up the animal totem of the cheetah, right then and there. I learned it’s about reacting in a quick and flexible way.

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Lesson One:

When you’re open to the magic of the universe- when she delivers exactly what you’re wanting, desiring or needing at the time right to your feet – you must be ready, willing, and able to respond in a quick and flexible way.

You must be totally alert when you receive what you’re asking for, to follow her lead.

Just a bit later, we happened upon a leopard. This was totally unexpected. The guide shared with us how it’s actually quite rare to see a leopard in the wild, let alone in such close proximity to the cheetah, and I was just blown away.

No really … it was like I couldn’t believe my eyes, or good fortune!

Suffice it to say, I was more than “fulfilled” by the time our morning journey ended. I thought “Wow … this has been an incredible day. How could it get any better?”

Fast forward – we head out for the afternoon safari. Despite the fact that my day had already kicked ass, I made the conscious decision to open up to wisdom.

So I asked Africa again: “What is the gift or medicine you have for me this afternoon?”

And guess what?

Minutes later, we came upon an entire herd of elephants (which, by the way, I learned is actually called a “trumpet” of elephants).

There were about 10 or 12 of them, all of 30 yards away from our truck.

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We watched them for a while, engrossed in their behavior and majestic beauty … until suddenly, the female that had been at the very back of the group (along with an old “grandpa” elephant) beelined straight toward me!

(Do you remember that scene in Jurassic Park, where the T-Rex starts chasing the jeep, and Jeff Goldblum is in the back with eyes as big as plates as he watched it racing toward him? That was ME!!)

This elephant was HUGE!

She kept right on at me, as the guide continuously reassured me that everything was fine – that she didn’t see us as a threat.

Still, I was freaking out. I mean, was he an elephant-whisperer?? How could he KNOW??

My entire body tensed up. I could hear each of her steps and see the dust “poof” as each giant foot hit the ground.

Soon, she was so close, I could have reached out and touched her.

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She approached the truck, inquisitively.

I looked into her big, beautiful, graceful, delicate, dark eyes.

She looked right back into mine.

Breathless, we looked into each other.

I marveled … she was SO big, and yet SO gentle.

It was probably only a minute or two, but it felt much longer.

Then, just like that, she turned away. (And the group collectively exhaled!)

That’s right when we realized the bigger grandpa elephant was following the same path the female had taken, heading straight toward us!

He was even bigger than she was. His ears flapped as he ran, and I had no idea if he was happy.

(Yep – I failed to breathe for a few moments, again!)

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And just like the female, he came straight toward me, right up to the vehicle.

The guide must have been a little nervous at that point, because he started the truck.

The elephant, right next to me now, paused. He stared, and I felt like he was looking beyond my eyes, into something much deeper.

Then he turned, brushed along the vehicle, and off he went.

Again, so immense, yet so delicate.

Lesson Two:

“Bigness” can co-exist with gracefulness, simultaneously.

I can be a big, powerful being and make a huge impact, while remaining delicate and graceful.

WOW.

As we headed away, I took a long, deep, grateful breath and thought, “My day is done. Complete. I’ve seen a cheetah and a leopard, and I’ve had a close encounter with elephants. This really IS the second best day of my life!”

But then something hit me.

I stopped right then and there and thought “Wait, we’re only 30 minutes in to this safari! Who am I to say I’ve had enough?”

You probably know what I did next, right?

I said, “Okay, Africa. What else have you got for me?”

And that’s when my amazing day became EPIC.

We saw a herd of giraffes. We saw a family of rhinos. We saw warthogs. We saw zebras.

We saw lions, and water buffalo, and wildebeests … “Oh my!”

We tracked lions, found a family of 4 females, and were able to get within about 20 feet of them.

Much to our surprise, we watched as they enjoyed a recent baby giraffe kill.  Yes, it was of course sad, and we experienced a mix of emotions. But the reality is that we were watching the circle of life … and despite the sadness for the baby, it was a sight I’ll never forget.

***

My friends, the entire experience was beyond my capability of describing adequately. It was CRAZY – crazy amazing!

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I had a Big 5 Day.

I saw all Big 5 predators that are so hard to hunt, and so rare to see – especially all in one go.

Unbelievable.

Later that night, we were sitting at dinner, and I thought again, “Wow. What a day. I am done. Fulfilled. Complete.”

And then again, I stopped myself.

There was still time in that day! It wasn’t over yet. So why was I putting a “cap” on my experience?

I shared my insights right then with the girls in our group, and it began a discussion in which we all expressed the same feeling: “Who are we to put a lid on our abundance … on what we’re here to receive?”

Who, indeed?

Great food. Great company. Great discussion. The experience just kept getting more and more amazing!

Soon, one of the women wanted to head home, so we dropped her off. When we heard a lion roar off in the distance, it was like a collective light bulb went off as we all had the same thought:  “It’s still going! The day is NOT done. Africa still has more to give!”

So we embarked on a night safari with our guide, and it did not disappoint.

We came upon a huge, gorgeous male lion standing right in the middle of the road. Our guide echoed our thoughts when he said, “Well, we’re not going home now!”

We followed the male lion for about 20 full minutes. All of the sudden, he stopped.

We stopped.

Our guide turned off the truck and its lights. It was pitch dark.

We knew the lion was less than a car-length in front of us, but we couldn’t see him.

Then he absolutely shattered the silence, as he let out this gigantic, loud, reverberating roar that hit me right in the heart!

Deep and guttural, I could literally feel my cells vibrate as the sound bounced back and forth between the hills.

Chills, everywhere.

I’m telling you, I was a different human being after hearing that lion.

And to think, I’d tried to put a lid on my day after the leopard!

So I broke into tears. Grateful and humbled, I couldn’t believe all I’d received and experienced.

Lesson Three – My Big “Aha” Moment:

Who am I to say, “I’m done”?

Who am I to put a lid on my abundance?

If I’d “given up” that morning, after we saw the cheetah, the leopard, and the elephants, I would have missed SO much.

I would have effectively shut off my ability to receive.

Instead, I opened myself up for more.

And I received more.

So I want to ask you:

Where are you putting a lid on your abundance? Where are you cutting off what the universe wants to give you?

Be grateful for what you have, absolutely.

But I want you to stay open to MORE.

Surrender to receive the magic the universe wants to give you.

Because it’s always willing to provide it. You don’t have to worry about the how.

In South Africa, we didn’t try to script anything or bring the animals to us. We were simply open to receive, and the universe took care of the magic.

So, every morning, I want you to ask the universe, “What do you have in store for me today? I am open to receive.”

Then, wait to be dazzled!

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Your Niche Is NOT a Person: How to Nail Your Niche So You Can Grow Your Business and Make a Bigger Impact

by: Melinda Cohan, July 29th, 2016

You’ve heard it a million times before: “Choose a Niche.”

It’s common—and solid—advice. I know, it can be so annoying when you hear it. In fact, that advice used to make me want to punch someone in the face! But when I changed my perspective, I began leveraging the power of the niche, and I was able to grow my business and make a bigger impact.

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Why?

Choosing a niche allows you to fine-tune your marketing, to make it laser-focused and effective. It enables you to support your clients on a deeper level.

But …

So many new coaches misinterpret this advice and believe that choosing a niche means they’re confined to supporting a certain type of person; that they’re forever limited in how they can use their coaching gifts. Further, it may seem like choosing a niche forever limits your revenue. (I know, I’ve experienced this mindset, myself.)

As a result, many new coaches decide not to select a niche, believing their passion is bigger than that. (Incidentally, this is a Hobbyist’s mindset, which doesn’t work once you’ve moved up to the next rung of the ladder on the entrepreneurial scale.)

The root of this problem is in how people define “niche.”

So often, coaches mistakenly come up with a client avatar, and call it a niche (for example, if you’re a relationship coach, you may believe your niche is 30-year- old men on the brink of divorce, who earn a certain amount and have 3.2 children).

If that’s not a niche, then what is?

The dictionary defines “niche” as a specialized but profitable corner of the market.

To take it one step further, we consider a niche a set of challenges a common group of people face … and the results they desire.

When it comes to nailing your niche, then, you must identify a specific set of challenges your coaching can overcome, and results it can achieve. Then, you must find the most common collection of people who face these challenges and desire these results.

From this perspective, you can focus on a select group to make your marketing laser-focused, but you can still attract different types of people from many areas.

For example, TCC helps people overcome these challenges: not making money, struggling to get clients, and overwhelm. The results they most want: to get more clients, earn more money, and make a huge impact. When we look at all the people in this niche, we zero in on coaches. Our marketing is geared toward coaches, but we also attract many others in this niche, including nutritionists, personal trainers, consultants, massage therapists and more.

Let’s go back to the relationship coach example.

It’s your passion to support people in relationships. But your niche is not the men, or the women, or the couple. Your niche focuses on the top 3 challenges those men, women, and/or couples face when they’re in relationships … and the top 3 results they desire.

Make sense?

What’s really awesome about defining a niche in this way is that it actually frees you up to work with more types of people.

You’re not tied down to marketing to men, OR women, OR couples. Instead, your marketing focuses on all the people experiencing the top challenges and desiring the top results you previously identified.

In other words, may actually have the chance to work with men and women and couples!

Here’s where it gets even better: when you can clearly articulate your niche according to challenges and desired results, you can create more effective marketing copy for your website, sales pages, program descriptions, email campaigns, and more.

Because you’ve dialed in on those challenges and desired results, you can use the same language your ideal clients use. This conveys the message that you understand what they’re facing and can help them.

Your marketing becomes laser-focused. And when your marketing is laser-focused, it attracts, engages, and converts potential clients.

So, yes – nailing your niche is a must! It’s a key foundation to your marketing success, no matter which marketing strategy you use. (And, as a huge benefit, it will help you avoid failed marketing attempts that cost you time, money, and energy!)

How confident are you that you’re able to deliver what you’ve promised in your marketing … that you’re able to help your clients solve their challenges and achieve the results they desire?

If you want to pinpoint critical issues and identify steps you can take NOW to feel more confident about setting up, marketing, and succeeding with your coaching business, take our free Business Confidence Quiz now.

The quiz delves into the 5 critical keys to a successful coaching business: attract, convert, engage, support, and refer, and when you complete it, you’ll receive personalized tips to help you become super-confident, organized, and professional in your coaching business. It takes just a few minutes, and it’s free. Take the Quiz here, now.

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Hobbyist vs. Business Owner – Understanding the Distinction

by: Melinda Cohan, Jul 25th, 2016

Are you a Hobbyist, or a Business Owner?

Understanding the distinction is a crucial step in your entrepreneurial journey. This single insight can seriously impact the level of success you experience in your business, and with your coaching.

Failing to understand it may cause you to hit the upper limits of your success without your even realizing it … and no matter how great your efforts, you will not see the results you desire.

Over the past two weeks, I published a 2-part series on The Evolutionary Scale of an Entrepreneur, in which I described the following 5 rungs on the ladder:

  1. Technician
  2. Hobbyist
  3. Business Owner
  4. CEO
  5. Shareholder

In case you missed those posts, a Technician is typically someone who secures a job doing something she’s really good at, and that she truly enjoys doing.

Most coaches/entrepreneurs have the courage to move beyond Technician, and become Hobbyists … and that’s where they often get stuck. They fail to move on to the next rung: Business Owner.

Why?

Because while they set goals and intentions as Business Owners, they operate from the mindset and commitment levels of Hobbyists.

Here’s the great news:

When you can bring your mindset and actions into alignment with your goals and intentions, you can finally move from Hobbyist to Business Owner … and reap the rewards, which include increased cash flow, greater fulfillment, and more FUN!

As a quick note, neither Hobbyist nor Business owner is good or bad, right or wrong. They’re just 2 different ways of running a business. The point here is that to achieve the level of success you desire, your mindset must align with your goals and intentions. When you create this alignment, you experience peace, results, and happiness.

Take a look at the following chart, which outlines the distinction between Hobbyist and Business Owner in several key areas of a business.

 

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Thanks to all of the above, Business Owners coach more clients, make more money, and make a far greater difference in the world.

Now, both Hobbyists and Business Owners can be great coaches.

They just have different mindsets, actions and goals for their business.

So let me ask you an important question:

Are you reaching the level of success you desire? Are you making the impact you want to make?

If you are, then exactly where you are is perfect, whether you’re a Hobbyist or a Business Owner.

If you’re not, take a closer look at the distinction between Hobbyist and Business Owner to identify where you are and where you want to be.

Then, place your attention on closing that gap, and as you move up to the next rung of the ladder on the entrepreneurial scale, you’ll start experiencing the level of success you envision for yourself, while having the desired impact you wish to have on this world.

Stay tuned for next week’s article, in which I discuss the truth about defining your niche. Here’s a hint: your niche is not a person! (Gasp! I know – and I can’t wait to share this information with you!)

Why is this an important part of this 5-part series? Well, when you move to the Business Owner rung of the ladder on the entrepreneurial scale, you absolutely must create a clear foundation for your marketing, just as you do in the back end of your business. Nailing your niche is critical, before you can even begin getting “out there” and landing clients.

Meanwhile, if you are ready to be the Business Owner you know you can be, so your business can make its biggest impact, start by pinpointing critical issues and identifying steps you can take NOW to feel more confident about setting up and succeeding with your coaching business! Take our free Business Confidence Quiz now.

The quiz delves into the 5 critical keys to a successful coaching business: attract, convert, engage, support, and refer, and when you complete it, you’ll receive personalized tips to help you become super-confident, organized, and professional in your coaching business. It takes just a few minutes, and it’s free. Take the Quiz here, now.

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The Evolutionary Scale of an Entrepreneur: Where You Really Are, and How to Step Up to the Next Rung on the Ladder! Part 2

by: Melinda Cohan, Jul 20th, 2016

Note: This is the second article in a 5-part series designed to guide you in aligning your business mindset, actions, and goals, and therefore supercharging your productivity and success. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here: Part 1 (part 3, part 4, part 5)

No matter how you envision your “success” you can follow specific steps to climb the ladder rungs of the Evolution of the Entrepreneur.

As promised, this week I’m outlining the 4 rungs of this ladder, and how to move from one to the next, so you can run your business AND live your life with the success and freedom for which you work so hard! (There is a fifth rung, Shareholder, but we’re not covering that, here, since the vast majority of coaches work their way up to the fourth rung, CEO, and stop there – this allows them to still participate in their favorite activities while their team members take care of everything else. On the other hand, a Shareholder usually views their business as an investment, and doesn’t work in it or on it at all.)

For each rung—Technician, Hobbyist, Business Owner, and CEO—I’ll list mindset (outlook), self-identifiers (this is how you’d introduce yourself at a networking meeting), common thoughts, biggest commitments, biggest fears, and driving motivations.

As you read through them, you can begin to identify where you really are in your own evolution. (After all, you have to have absolute clarity as to where you are now, so you can identify your current mindset and actions and ensure they align with the mindset and action of the rung where you want to be.)

Here we go!

TECHNICIAN. The simplest way to define a technician is someone who is getting paid to do the work she loves. In Part 1, I defined a technician as someone who is inherently gifted at something, and who may even consider this a calling. When she is doing “that thing,” she dips into the ‘zone of genius.’

Most technicians stay in a job, working for someone else, getting paid as much as they can for what they do.

Mindset:“Just let me do what I love, what I’m really good at … so I don’t have to worry about anything else.”

Self-identifiers: “I’m a do-er and have extreme focus on the task at hand.” (In this case, that task is coaching.)

Common Thoughts:

  • “I just want to {coach} my clients.” (NOTE: “coach” can be replaced here with whatever service you provide.)
  • “I can’t believe people pay me to do this {coaching}! I love it so much, I’d do it for free!”

Biggest Commitments: Safety and steady cash flow.

Biggest Fear(s): Having to get a job doing work she hates just to make money and take care of responsibilities. At the core, we can further define this as sacrificing happiness to take care of responsibilities.

Driving Motivations and Desire(s):

  • To find a great job making great money doing “that thing,” while creating a decent lifestyle around it (again, safety is at the core).
  • Financial security.

 

HOBBYIST. A hobbyist is often exploring her talents in her off-time, working for fun beyond that 9-5 J-O- B. She almost can’t believe she’s getting paid to have so much fun! That’s pretty much where it stops – FUN!

Mindset: “It’s safe to explore my talents as a {coach} in my off hours, and people payme to do this! They pay ME! I don’t have to work for another company to do this!”

Self-identifiers: “Right now, I’m just dabbling in the world of coaching. I fit this gift or calling of mine into my existing world—which means my real job, my family, and other responsibilities take priority. Still, I love getting paid for doing work I love, and this brings me great joy.”

Common Thoughts:

  • “If I can help someone, great! If not, that’s okay too.”
  • “I have a job that makes me decent money, and I’m stable while I also get to
  • “I love helping people and making an impact.”
  • “I wonder if I could do this full time as my only job and sole source of income?”
  • “I hate marketing and don’t like sales; I just want to coach.” enjoy the fun of doing this work that I love and that lights me up.”

Biggest Commitment: Safety.

Biggest Fears: The hobbyist is afraid she won’t get to pursue her calling and greater purpose because of her job, her family, and other responsibilities – at the core, she is afraid that she has to sacrifice her professional happiness and fulfillment to take care of responsibilities. She loathes marketing and sales, and hates the thought of feeling like a pushy salesman. She’s afraid she’ll run out of time, energy, money, and/or passion before she realizes her dream, or of having to get a “real” job if she fails at her passion. As a result of these fears, she often ends up stuck between being a Technician and fully going for it as a Business Owner.

Driving Motivations/Desires:

  • Actually making money doing the work she loves while making – and witnessing – the difference and impact she has on people’s lives. (At the core: being of service to others.)
  • Financial survival: because it’s “safer” financially, she maintains “real” job so she’s sure to pay the bills, and coaches on the side.

 

BUSINESS OWNER. A business owner does the work of the technician while taking consistent action to overcome the fears of the hobbyist. In other words, she gets to work in her genius zone while finding ways to make great money AND a big impact, doing what she loves.

Mindset: “I’m creating a well-oiled business machine that generates consistent results in terms of clients and cash flow, so I can do the work I love while getting paid for it AND making a big impact.”

Self-identifiers: “I have a nice lifestyle business doing the work I love while making great money and working with amazing clients!”

Common Thoughts:

  • “I feel like I have a ‘real’ business.”
  • “It’ll take too much time to delegate tasks. Besides, I can do it more quickly … I’ll just do it myself.”
  • “If it’s got to be, it’s up to me.”
  • “There’s not enough time in the day to do everything that needs to be done.”
  • “I can’t believe I get paid this much to do work I love doing!”

Biggest Commitments: Steady cashflow and scaling the business.

Biggest Fears: The business owner is afraid that in order to grow her business, she’ll have to work long hours, which will take away from her family and other important things in her life. She fears burnout as a result of doing everything herself, and wonders whether she’ll overcome her fear of marketing and sales. She doesn’t know whether she has what it takes to “do this” consistently, and isn’t sure whether she’ll be able to pay herself what she wants to make.

Driving Motivations/desires:

  • Accomplishing more while doing less.
  • Working smarter, not harder.
  • Creating a “lifestyle” business that keeps her in the lifestyle she’s become accustomed to or desires.
  • Consistent cash flow and financial stability.

 

CEO. The CEO is all about scaling her business so she can work less, earn more, and make a huge impact in the lives of her clients and her team members.

Mindset: “I will inspire my team so it becomes their passion to fulfill my passion.”

Self-identifiers: “As a visionary leader, I’m a source of inspiration.”

Common Thoughts:

  • “What people, resources and technologies do we need in place in order to reach our goals?”
  • “Is this the right direction for the business?”
  • “In what other ways can we scale?”
  • “I can’t believe that other people’s passion is to help me fulfill my vision!”

Biggest Commitment: Creating a well-oiled machine that runs better without her.

Biggest Fears: The CEO worries about whether she and her team members have what it takes to implement the goals she has for her business while providing exquisite support and delivery in effortless, fun ways … or, whether they’ll kill themselves trying to implement everything! She wonders if the decisions she’s made, the risks she’s taking, and the direction she’s going will turn out to be wrong, and cause the business to close down. She worries about being able to pay her team members and herself.

Driving Motivations/Desires:

  • Scalability.
  • Wealth.
  • Creating an inspiring culture that helps people be their best.
  • The tantalizing questions: Can I really do this? Can I create a team that handles everything and that runs better without me?

 

SHAREHOLDER. As we mentioned earlier, a Shareholder usually views her business as an investment, and steps away from the running of it. The vast majority of coaches don’t become Shareholders; they still want to be involved, especially with the activities they enjoy.


Whew!

So … now that you know more about each rung of the ladder of the Evolution of the Entrepreneur, which rung are you actually on?

So often when I talk to start up coaches, their goals are in alignment of that with a Business Owner.

However, their actions and mindset are in alignment with that of a Technician or a Hobbyist. This disconnect keeps them stuck. It’s like a vicious tug of war!

On the one hand, they still desire the financial safety of being a technician where someone else pays them to do a job, or that of a hobbyist where they have the freedom of maintaining a full-time job while enjoying coaching.

On the other hand, at the heart-and- soul level, they know the only work they want to do is that which fulfills their higher purpose.

They have just enough courage to step out of the safety zone to go for it—pursue their calling—because their heart is speaking so loudly. Yet they move forward into business ownership while keeping the mindset of the hobbyist.

Here’s the thing:

As a coach, you simply have to do the work that comes naturally to you—your zone of genius. As a business owner, you have to not only do the work of the technician, but you also have to think about and plan for all those pesky (but necessary!) business details. You have to attract, engage, convert, and serve clients, get paid by them AND get referrals from them.

Being a business owner is no joke! But when you adopt the mindset of a business owner and have that outlook, things become much easier.

Alignment of your mindset, words, actions and goals creates an internal shift, and you become more committed than ever to doing whatever it takes to succeed.

Stay tuned to your inbox for next week’s article, in which I dive deeper into the Hobbyist vs. Business owner discussion, to help you understand the distinction and identify where you are (and, if it’s not where you want to be, how to reach your goals).

Meanwhile, if you want to pinpoint critical issues and identify steps you can take NOW to feel more confident about setting up and succeeding with your coaching business, take our free Business Confidence Quiz now.

The quiz delves into the 5 critical keys to a successful coaching business: attract, convert, engage, support, and refer, and when you complete it, you’ll receive personalized tips to help you become super-confident, organized, and professional in your coaching business. It takes just a few minutes, and it’s free. Take the Quiz here, now.

 

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The Evolutionary Scale of an Entrepreneur: Where You Think You Are Versus Where You Really Are

by: Melinda Cohan, Jul 7th, 2016

Note: This is the first article in a 5-part series designed to guide you in aligning your business mindset, actions, and goals, and therefore supercharging your productivity and success. (episode 2, episode 3, episode 4, episode 5)

Do you remember the first time someone referred to you as an entrepreneur?

I’ll never forget the first time someone called me that. It was like a badge of honor—one I didn’t deserve.

I didn’t consider myself an entrepreneur; I was a coach. I thought: An entrepreneur is someone who takes big risks, does their own thing and is SUPER smart and savvy. I don’t know anything about business! I’m not business savvy. Sure, I’m a good manager and great at the work I do, but to own my own business? No way!

After all, at that point in my life, I had been fired from my job and had decided to turn what was then a fun hobby—coaching—into something that could support me financially.  And that was exactly how I thought of it: coaching was something I was really good at and loved doing; I consider it my higher purpose, even – and I also got paid for it. (Which of course, is just awesome, right?)

The thing is, I was a “technician” (or as some would call it, a “practitioner”), getting paid to do something I was good at – and something I loved.

That’s a FAR cry from being an entrepreneur.

For me, the technician mindset was all well and good, until someone else saw me as an entrepreneur… and that was the spark that allowed me to begin to see myself as one, as well. That’s when things really changed for me. In fact, that’s when I was able to achieve rapid growth and success with my coaching.

What does this mean for you?

If you’re in the “I’m a coach,” mindset, you may set goals and intentions as a business owner, but you still take action as a coach – as a technician.

Therefore, you don’t grow your business as effectively as you could.

If you can get into the business owner mindset, your actions will align with it, and you’ll supercharge your productivity and success.

That said, let’s talk now about the evolution of the entrepreneur.

Imagine, for a moment, a ladder.

The Evolution of the Entrepreneur starts at the Technician Rung.

The next rungs are Hobbyist, Business Owner, CEO, and Shareholder.

I want to ask you to take a moment right now to decide which of those rungs you are currently on, in your business.

Don’t think about your answer too long—just throw it out there.

Now, I’d like to invite you to answer a few questions to help you determine which rung you’re really on. 🙂

Then, in my next article, I’ll outline the specific characteristics of each rung, and how to move from one to the next, so you can run your business AND live your life with the success and freedom for which you work so hard.


 

The Quiz:

  1. When someone asks you “what do you do?” how do you respond?
    1. “I’m a coach”
    2. “I help people” (or some extended variation of this)
    3. “I own my own business where I coach people”
    4. “Through my products and services I help people accomplish XYZ”
    5. “I’m invested in businesses”
  2. When it comes to being an entrepreneur, what are your biggest fears?
    1. “Will I have to get a j-o-b so I can make enough money?”
    2. “Will I hire the right people?”
    3. “Will I be able to scale my business and leverage my full team?”
    4. “Can my team members and Directors really do as well as me, and take care of this business as if it were their own?”
    5. “Will this bring me my expected return on investment?”
  3. When it comes to being an entrepreneur, what are your greatest desires?
    1. getting paid to do something I love
    2. helping clients, making money, and having a big impact
    3. working smarter, not harder
    4. leveraging a team to scale the business so it runs without me
    5. creating consistent passive income
  4. When it comes to marketing, which is the most accurate?
    1. You get furious when someone tells you to pick a niche.
    2. You dabble in different approaches, rather than having a consistent strategy for bringing in a steady stream of clients.
    3. Your marketing is effective and you see a steady stream of clients and cash flow as a result of your efforts.
    4. You have multiple marketing strategies in place, and they’re all generating steady streams of clients.
    5. You’re researching vertical markets you can serve.

 

The Analysis:

If your answers are mostly A’s: you’re operating from the mindset of a Technician.

If your answers are mostly B’s: you’re operating from the mindset of a Hobbyist.

If your answers are mostly C’s: you’re operating from the mindset of a Business Owner.

If your answers are mostly D’s: you’re in the mindset of a CEO.

If your answers are mostly E’s: you’re in the mindset of a Shareholder (if this is you, congratulations!).

Why congratulations?

You’ll have to wait for next week’s article … 😉

Stay tuned to your inbox for Part 2 of this article series, in which I outline the characteristics of each Rung, and provide you with specific steps for moving right on UP the ladder … from Technician to Shareholder.

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The #1 Motivator of Successful People, And Why You DON’T Want It…

What is the #1 motivator for most people who strive for and even achieve success?

It may surprise you…

I’ve met and coached a lot of people over the years in my journey to success and abundance and I’ve come learn that there is true success, and then there is something that I call ‘apparent’ success. And the one thing that differentiates the truly successful from the ‘apparently’ successful, is their underlying motivation.

There are lots of people who are striving and working hard to support their families, to advance in their careers, to climb the corporate ladder, or to run their own businesses who are NOT doing it because they really LIKE what they do, but because they place a high value on SECURITY. Because they want to provide for their themselves, their families, their future, and they are afraid of what might go wrong if they don’t work really hard.

Often they sacrifice their time, their health, and even relationships with the very family they are seeking to provide for, in order to create a freedom that will arrive ‘someday’. That ‘someday’ is always in the future, dangling in front of them like a carrot that is always out of reach… it’s not here and it’s not now. In the here and now, they have trouble enjoying their lives, because they are always hustling, always chasing, always stressed out, and living for that ‘someday’ when they can slow down and really enjoy their lives.

When you dig into this, what they are motivated by is FEAR.

Fear can be very motivating! And in a lot of ways that can have its usefulness. You can get a LOT done in the fear mode. You can qualifications in fear mode. You can get a job in fear mode. You can get a mortgage in fear mode. You can even get ‘apparent’ success in fear mode.

And it’s not surprising that so many of us are living in this state of fear. We may not even realize we are in it…

Every single day we are bombarded with messages designed to stoke our fears about security, scarcity, wars and conflict that increase our sense that there is ‘not enough’…we are bombarded with messages that we need to be better, smarter, more educated, fitter, thinner, whatever, in order to be OK (because somehow we are also ‘not enough’)… and then we are encouraged to appease and cover over our resulting anxiety and insecurities with material ‘stuff’… by buying something, eating something, drinking something, or distracting ourselves with TV, video games, social media etc.

It’s a vicious cycle of fear, followed by destructive and unhealthy numbing of that fear, followed by anxiety, health problems, and even depression.

The thing is, there’s a REALLY high price to having the ‘fear’ switch in our brains stuck in the ‘on’ position all the time. It keeps our adrenal glands pumping non-stop and leads to all kinds of stress-related conditions like muscle tension, headaches, and even excessive weight gain especially around the abdomen.

It can also lead to poor ‘knee-jerk reaction’ type decision making, leading to situations where even though we are crazy busy, we’re just spinning our wheels and not making much progress towards our dreams.

So fear is really one of those things that’s most useful in ‘fight or flight’ type crisis situations – when it can really save our butts – but not so great as a constant motivator in our lives.

It can be tough to break out of the fear mode once we’re in it, though, because it can be self-perpetuating.

If you’re feeling stuck in such a vicious cycle, trust me you’re not alone.

When we are stuck in this fear and consumption mode 24/7, it makes it hard for us to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. It really can hamper our ability to feel simple joy, happiness and peace in our lives.

It begs the question: Is there a better way?

What is real success and abundance, free from fear? What does it look like in practice? How do we choose it? And how can we all collectively change our mindset and choose a better way for the future of our planet?

Well, three years ago some friends of mine decided to start a journey to answer these questions. They wanted to challenge fear-based thinking and to foster a belief that true joy, abundance and happiness is available to everyone. They interviewed 17 different thought leaders from around the world and asked them how people can make the shift from fear to joy, from scarcity to abundance… and they made a film about what they found out, called The Abundance Code.

Click here to watch the full 90 minute film for FREE

This film is so inspiring, that I want to share it with you…

There are so many amazing people in the film!

  • NY Times Best-selling Authors like John Assaraf, Jeff Walker, Roger Hamilton and Bill O’Hanlon.
  • Mindset and Psychology Experts like Dr John Demartini, Dr Sherry Buffington, Dr Ruth Buczynski, Tim & Kris Hallbom, and Julie Ann Cairns.
  • Motivation and Happiness Experts like Dr Robert Holden, JB Glossinger PhD, and Satyen Raja.
  • Visionaries and Entrepreneurs like Sonia Simone, Victoria Labalme and Jon Gabriel.

If you’re like me, and you’re always looking for ways to enhance and create a life of fulfillment, joy and abundance… then you simply HAVE to check this out.

The Abundance Code film is launching 21st June, 2016. And for a limited window of 10 days you can watch it for FREE. The 3 minute trailer for this film has just been released and you can watch it NOW, and see for yourself why I’m so excited to be part of it.

Click here to watch The Abundance Code 3 minute trailer

This amazing and eye-opening film is launching to the world on June 21st with a 10 Day FREE Worldwide Online Premiere Screening. You will want to see it!

Click here to Sign up for the FREE Online Premiere

P.S. Go ahead and forward this email to anyone who you believe will benefit from it too…

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Get Your Prospects from Pain Island to Pleasure Island: Stop Selling the Boat

When someone—a potential client or referral partner—asks you what you do, are you selling the boat?

We know … right now, you may be thinking, “I’m a coach. I’m not in boat sales. What the heck are you talking about, Melinda?”

Stick with us, here.

You may remember our Pain Island/Pleasure Island diagram, which shows your ideal client’s Pain Island—his or her top 3 challenges, and his or her Pleasure Island—the top 3 desired results.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 8.16.31 AM

 

 

Your boat—the packages, programs, and services you provide—is what gets your ideal clients from their Pain Island to their Pleasure Island.

So here’s the thing:

If you’re at an event or on a call, and someone asks you what you do, you may be making a big mistake with your answer.

That is, you may be explaining your packages, programs, and services (the boat), rather than showcasing the transformation you provide.

So why is that a mistake?

They buy a transformation.

And that’s exactly why we’re writing this today: we want you to stop selling the boat!

When you’re asked “What do you do?”

DON’T (for the love of Pete, DON’T) say: “I’m a coach and I offer several different packages.”

DO: Sell the journey.

Sell the transformation you provide. Sell the trip from Pain Island to Pleasure Island.

That way, you’re inviting people to step into your boat, by focusing on the results your clients will experience when they do.

This goes back to what we talked about with regard to your niche in a previous blog post: that is, you must identify the group of people you’re passionate about helping, and then identify the challenge they most want to overcome.

Then, you present yourself as the solution.

Here are some examples:

  • A tennis coach who works with tennis players who want to serve better and win games might say, “I help tennis players improve their serves so they can stop losing games.”
  • A specialty dog trainer might say, “I help dog owners train their dogs effectively so they can live in harmony with their furry friends.”
  • Here at TCC, we say, “We help start-up coaches systemize their businesses so they can get more clients and make more money.”

Bonus Tip:

Don’t guess!

Great marketing, great enrollment conversations never come from guessing.

It’s important to remember to interview your ideal prospects (or people like them) to uncover the specific words and phrases they use to describe their challenges and the results for which they’re striving, and use those same words or phrases when you sell the journey. If you’re guessing, you won’t get conversions. So, don’t guess. Ask.

As always, we’ll leave you with a few action steps you can take to practice selling the journey rather than the boat.

Action Steps

  1. Identify your ideal client.
  2. Narrow in on 3 specific Pain Island points—3 specific challenges your ideal client is facing and wants to solve … in their own words!
  3. Identify the top 3 Pleasure Island points: that is, specific results your ideal client would like to achieve or experience… in their own words! (Are you seeing a theme here?)
  4. Now, fill in this template: “I help [MY IDEAL CLIENT] achieve [PLEASURE ISLAND POINTS] by stopping [PAIN ISLAND POINTS].”

Voila! You can now answer the “What do you do?” question with confidence, focusing on the outcome and transformation someone will achieve when working with you … rather than focusing on your services. Therefore, you immediately draw prospects in, making them want to know more!

Next steps:

Sign up to receive our complimentary 3-part video training series, “Your Coaching Business Blueprint: Everything You Need To Know To Get Your Business On Track.”

You’ll learn the pattern you may be stuck in, which can sabotage your own efforts to reach your full potential and accomplish your goals, the 3 S’s to your success and why it’s critical to master all 3 (most coaches only master 2), and where your business is leaking money.

Sign up below:

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Your 5-Part Follow-Up Sequence: What to Say to Increase Your Conversions (Part 2 of 2)

If you read last week’s blog post, “The Truth About Follow-Up: Why 5 Is The Magic Number (Part 1 of 2)”, you likely have a new understanding when it comes to why you must follow up with prospects at least 5 times after they’ve signed up to download your free gift.

As we mentioned, just 2-10 percent of prospects become paying clients after the first 4—yes, four!—”touches,” but that number jumps to 80 percent after the fifth contact.

Meanwhile, almost half of entrepreneurs never follow up, and 90 percent give up after the fourth follow-up (which means 90 percent of entrepreneurs are leaving conversions and therefore money on the table).

(If you missed it, just click here now to read it.)

But …

What should you actually say in each of those follow-up contacts, or “touches”?

We thought you might ask. So, today, we’re telling you. J

Here we go:

 

The First Touch: Deliver What You Promised

The first time you follow up with people who sign up to receive your free gift, you should deliver your free gift. Pretty simple, right?

Make this email short and sweet. Congratulate the prospect on taking a step toward reaching her goals or making her transformation, and let her know you’ll check in within a few days, after she’s had the chance to go through the information.

 

The Second Touch: Questions and Answers

In the second follow-up email, share your answers to questions you hear frequently regarding a tip/strategy you offered in your free gift. Give additional information to answer the questions.

Let your prospect know you’ll be checking in again in a few days.

 

The Third Touch: A Heads Up

Think about the common challenges and pitfalls your prospects might face when they start their journey.

Offer this third message as a “heads-up” about some of the more common pitfalls, or the most devastating, or the ones that derail them the fastest … and more importantly, offer specific suggestions for avoiding them.

 

The Fourth Touch: A Powerful Testimonial

Introduce your prospects to your most powerful testimonial. Give real-life evidence of someone who has implemented the information you shared in the free gift … and the transformation he or she experienced as a result.

 

The Fifth Touch: Present the Gap

This is it: remind people of the gap between where they are now and where they want to be.

Outline the path they’re about to follow—where, as a result of them integrating what they learn in your free gift, they experience the results they desire (those points from Pleasure Island on your Pain Island-Pleasure Island Diagram).

Also, outline the alternative path: the one where they choose not to integrate what you share in your free gift, and where they experience the very real costs and disappointments associated with lack of action.

It’s like saying, “You’re not there, yet—don’t get comfortable. You have more to accomplish.”

Then, close it out with a strong Call to Action, asking them to join you for a strategy session. Yes, you have to spell it out—tell them exactly what you want them to do.

That’s It!

The best thing about all of this is that you can automate the entire sequence through a program like The Coaches Console. It’s as close to “set it and forget it” as you can get!

Sounds pretty good, right?

We think so.

Your next steps: sign up to receive our complimentary 3-part video training series, “Your Coaching Business Blueprint: Everything You Need To Know To Get Your Business On Track.”

You’ll learn the pattern you may be stuck in, which can sabotage your own efforts to reach your full potential and accomplish your goals, the 3 S’s to your success and why it’s critical to master all 3 (most coaches only master 2), and where your business is leaking money.

Sign up below:

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The Truth About Follow-Up: Why 5 Is The Magic Number (Part 1 of 2)

Lately, we’ve written a lot about making money in the niche of your choosing, whether that’s tennis players who want to stop losing, or start-up coaches who want to streamline their businesses so they can make a bigger impact while enjoying the perks of business ownership (and anything in between!).

Once you’ve defined your niche and done your research about their main challenges and desired results—all in their own words, of course—you’ll likely offer your leads a free gift that begins to solve one of their main challenges, while opening the door for you to present your coaching programs as the avenue for even more, bigger results.

We could go on and on about the free gift idea. In fact, there’s so much to it that that’s a whole different blog post!

For now, we want to focus on what you do after someone takes you up on your offer—when he or she goes from being a warm lead to an even warmer lead.

You follow up.

Okay—that’s easy, right? You knew that.

But did you know that a single follow-up email or contact is simply not enough to inspire your ideal prospects, your warmer leads, to become clients?

Think about this:

How many times do you follow up with a prospect after that initial contact?

Did you know there’s a scientific formula that outlines the ideal number of follow-up contacts?

That number is 5.

Yes, 5!

Because we believe the numbers show it best, here’s a graphic we developed to illustrate just how important it is to follow up 5 times after someone downloads your free gift:

follow-up

 

 

Do you see what we see?

Only 2 percent of prospects will convert into clients with a single follow-up contact. That number increases to 10 percent by the fourth contact but jumps to 80 percent by the fifth contact.

That’s right: 80 percent of prospects convert to paying clients after the fifth follow-up contact!

Meanwhile, almost half of entrepreneurs never follow up—not even once. And a whopping 90 percent give up after the fourth follow-up.

Which means that 90 percent of entrepreneurs are leaving money on the table because they’re not converting prospects that very well could become their next paying clients.

Here’s where things really get good: we’ve heard from lots of start-up coaches that they feel “pushy” or “salesy” or “sleazy” when they think about following up multiple times after someone downloads their free gift.

After all, if they’re interested, they’ll call, right? Wrong.

This isn’t personal. It’s not pushy.

It’s a buyer’s pattern. Period.

Our goal with this blog post is to help you shift your mindset: to help you realize that following up multiple times is a necessary part of your sales process. If you want to reach more of the people who need you, it’s key that you follow up 5 times.

You know what’s really SUPER-cool about this? Most likely you’ve already met your next paying client … you just haven’t followed up enough to help them see they’re ready to convert!

Most prospects simply don’t convert to buyers until after you’ve contacted them 5 times, and most entrepreneurs give up far too early, leaving money, opportunities, and potential impact on the table.

Now, you may be wondering what you should say in each of your follow-up emails.

Of course, we have you covered. We’ll talk about that in our next blog post, Your 5-Part Follow-Up Sequence: What to Say to Increase Your Conversions (Part 2 of 2). So stay tuned!

Meanwhile, sign up to receive our complimentary 3-part video training series, “Your Coaching Business Blueprint: Everything You Need To Know To Get Your Business On Track.”

 You’ll learn the pattern you may be stuck in, which can sabotage your own efforts to reach your full potential and accomplish your goals, the 3 S’s to your success and why it’s critical to master all 3 (most coaches only master 2), and where your business is leaking money.

 Sign up below

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LOVE IS THE TRUE BLACK

Melinda-CohanMelinda Cohan
Founder and President
Virginia

Kate-Steinbacher

Kate Steinbacher
Founder and Vice President
Virginia

Cosmin-Costin

Cosmin Costin
Chief Technical Officer
Romania

Raluca-Ciuperca

Raluca Ciuperca
Project Manager
Romania

Angee-Words

Angee Robertson
Virtual Assistant / JV Manager
Florida

Ruth-Brown

Ruth Brown
Bookkeeper
Maine

Marius-Chitosca

Marius Chitosca
Customer Support
Romania

Jackie-Cunningham

Jackie Cunningham
Customer Support
Illinois

Adi-Scoarta

Adi Scoarta
Programming
Romania

George-Cheteles

George Cheteles
Programming
Romania

Ana-Markovits

Ana Markovits
Programming
Romania

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