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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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1 Comment

  1. Patrick July 21, 2016

    Dear Melinda,

    I really like the idea of doing surveys and quizzes as a hook!
    Will this come up during your couses?
    Thank you for your reply!

    Patrick

    reply

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