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Steve's Life And Business Coaching Notes - June 3 2010


Here is a shot of our new golden retriever, Grady, on his first day with us.
Nothing like one of these cute little guys to turn your life upside down for a while.
And it's all worth it. Cheers, Steve


1) The Caterpillar on Change - What we can learn about making those really important changes.

2)  Business Development - There are 2 important levels to your marketing.

3) Practice Building On A Budget - The next Mentor Program is coming, and the waiting list is crowded. Here are some suggestions if you want to participate and/or are in a hurry to get moving.

1) The Caterpillar on Change - What we can learn about making those really important changes.

If you were to ask a caterpillar if she wanted to become a butterfly, I suspect the answer would be something along the lines of, "Absolutely yes!  I would love to float, fly and flit between all the pretty flowers. This crawling around is driving me crazy."

However, if you were to re-interview that caterpillar, after she had laboriously secured herself in a protective place, shed her entire skin, and began to dissolve her existing body into a stem-cell-like, undifferentiated soup - within the darkness of the chrysalis – you might get a different answer. Perhaps, "I had no idea change would be so difficult." or "Help, get me out of here, I am scared of losing everything." "Maybe this becoming a butterfly is not such a good idea."

The point is, we may all desire to make some big changes in our lives and careers, but these types of changes are rarely easy.

What to do?

Actually, let's start with what not to do. If you have a strong or persistent calling to make some important changes in your life - and if you have examined the calling long enough to know it is not coming from fear or ego - DO NOT IGNORE IT!!   History and the teachings of myth are pretty clear on this.  Shakespeare sums up the consequences of ignoring a big calling to change succinctly in the play Julius Caesar where Brutus states, "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries." You don't want to spend your one precious life wallowing around in the shallows or miseries.

So, if ignoring, or medicating away, the calling to change does not work, what does? Here are some key factors to consider, drawn from the best of positive psychology, neuroscience, myth and the spiritual traditions:

First, you really benefit from creating the time and space to explore the possibility of a major change. (Big changes require a lot of time and energy. If you are running too busy, you might end up leaping before you have looked, or never leaping at all.)

Secondly, you will definitely benefit from knowing enough about yourself to understand what does bring you more joy, meaning, success, etc, whatever you want more of. (If you don't know what you are looking for, how are you going to find it?)

You will definitely benefit from a vision of a best possible outcome of the change that inspires or moves you. (Inspiration is a big force in helping us move past our current beliefs and limitations.)

You will definitely benefit from having a plan, even if it is really basic. (Failure to plan is too often planning to fail.)

You will definitely benefit from having the support of allies. (Changes can be hard, with many moments when you feel like giving up. Being able to plug into the emotional support of your friends, colleagues, partners, coach, etc. – can make a critical difference, and remind you why you set off on this change in the first place.)

You will definitely, benefit from proactively managing your stress. (Too much stress can make a coward out of anyone.)

You will definitely benefit from building on your strengths. (Building on your weaknesses leads to mediocrity.)

You will definitely benefit from learning to do your best, but remain unattached to the outcome. (This is a very important teaching. Attachment to a specific outcome creates a bit of tunnel vision which can prevent you from adjusting and adapting to all the unforeseen circumstances that will come your way. And there will be many.)

If you have some big changes to make, or some have been thrust upon you, have faith.  The single most common thing I see, in working with hundreds and hundreds of people making big changes, is – even if at first glance the change looked like an uninvited disaster - that in some unexplained way the change always led them to a better place.

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy;
for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves;
we must die to one life before we can enter another." 
- Anatole France

2)  Business Development - There are 2 important levels to your marketing.

Anyone who has ever taken a coaching course is familiar with at least 2 levels of listening. Level 1 is when we listen with the mindset of "how does this affect me", or "what's in it for me".

This is entirely appropriate when you are listening to the daily special from the waitress at your local café, however making an analogy to your marketing, if the primary focus of your marketing efforts is on "you", it presents some severe limitations. For example, if all your marketing efforts are focused on who you are, what you know, what you have accomplished, etc, etc. – they will not bear much fruit.

In listening, Level 2 is when we have a sharp focus on the other, what they are saying, not saying, feeling, thinking, how they are behaving, etc.

As it relates to marketing, Level 2 – with its sharp focus on the client and their needs - is when we really begin to do some serious marketing. It is only when we get away from our own view of the world and really become present to the needs, desires, language and existing options of our ideal clients, that we begin to access the information we need to effectively communicate, build relationships and market successfully.

This may seem obvious. Nevertheless one of the most common mistakes I see in the marketing efforts of small businesses (particularly coaches, consultants, independent professionals, etc.) is the focus on Level 1 type of marketing. As the old saying goes, people don't care what you know, until they know that you care.

If you have not spent enough time to truly listen to your market, understand their biggest challenges, understand what they have tried to date, understand the strengths and weaknesses of the competition, understand their language, understand where your market congregates and currently looks for solutions (where they network, what they read, what they type into Google, etc.) – you may be wasting a lot of your time.

Get closer to your ideal clients. Find out what they really need. Find out how you can really help them. Find out how you can best build the longer term relationships needed to educate, build trust and awareness and get your ideal client to a place where they begin to appreciate all you have to offer.

"There is a very important reason the world is round.
So you can never see too far ahead."
- Unknown

3) Practice Building On A Budget - The Next Mentor Program is coming.

The waiting list for August's version of THE 6-FIGURE PRACTICE MENTORING PROGRAM is the longest it has ever been. And while I expect a few folks to change their mind, I wanted to give everyone ample notice. (If you are serious about building a very successful coaching practice, please check out the program, read the testimonials and sign up ASAP.)

Secondly, due to popular demand, I am also going to add a second, 1 to1 monthly coaching session with me, as an option, to this next version of the program. (More on this later.)

Finally, for anyone who wants to join the next Mentor Program, but is wanting to get started, ASAP, I am happy to offer "as needed" 1 to 1 calls to get you moving before the program begins. AND these calls will be offered to you at a reduced rate. (The insider rate that program participants enjoy.)

If you are serious about building a successful coaching practice, and believe time is money, please email me at scmitten@shaw.ca to learn more about how this will work. 

"Thank you, I deeply appreciate working together,
I am getting more value than I ever expected or could hope for."

"Working with Steve literally transformed my coaching practice, and took my life to a whole new level."

"I wanted to make sure I wrote to thank you, as you have been pivotal in helping me focus...... which has opened a world of opportunity. Thank you very much for your wise counsel and masterful coaching."

"It is only month 3 and I have gone from 4 to 13 clients."

"Found my niche, established my brand, optimized my website,
and now I actually attract all the ideal clients I can coach!
This program exceeded all my expectations."

"This is truly a transformational experience...thank you."

"Never been busier."

"I have experienced more success than I thought possible." 

Visit Steve at Life and Business Coach Steve Mitten.

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