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Steve's Life And Business Coaching Notes

April 2013


It is the contrasts in life that deepen the beauty.



1) Manifestation Mayhem - When it comes to getting what you want in life, there are some tried and true approaches and there is quite a bit of snake-oil.

2) Business Development - There are 2 important perspectives, or levels, to be aware of in your marketing.

3) Other Resouces - Here is a new video on the importance of finding a niche for your practice/business. And also a link to my latest blog posting on how to enjoy the lovely benefits of more happiness and peace from your mindfulness practice.

"When I let go of what I am,
I become what I might be."

- Lao Tzu

1) Manifestation Mayhem

There is a lot of misinformation floating around these days about manifestation. At the risk of offending a few believers of the “secret” and “instant” power of manifestation, there seems to be a lot of spiritual snake oil being making the rounds.  One of the most common claims gaining mass appeal is the belief that as long as you really imagine - think positively, believe, feel your way into – the outcome you desire, it will manifest.  

If that was how the universe worked, we would have all won the lottery by now. Unfortunately, every week there are 10’s of millions of people who buy a lottery ticket and then proceed to wish, pray, dream, fantasize, etc. Yet every draw, only 1 ticket comes up. It seems reality is a little more complicated than some suggest.

Now, there is a deeper conversation to have about “who” in us is the one who is wanting/needing things to change to be content/secure/fulfilled, etc.   Typically it is some aspect of our egoic/separate/false self whose full time job is to resist the way things are and long for some imagined better future.  This part of us will keep you manifesting until the cows come home without becoming one wit happier.

However, as it relates to the more day to day applications in your life, career or business, perhaps the more practical conversation to have is about just how  intention, attention, action, emotional management and non-attachment impacts our ability to achieve positive outcomes.

Obviously, in our everyday existence, wishing for something is rarely enough to bring it about.  For a truly successful outcome you need to: know what you want, know the action required, carry out that action, adjust to any results and follow through. (Note - for most of us, often what we think we want and what we would really benefit from, are very different things. What really brings us more enduring joy usually benefits from a deeper exploration of self, values, what engages you, what provides meaning and joy, etc.)  And for those bigger changes, there is also the necessary inside work to do, at the emotional level, where we need to overcome layers of doubts, fears, conditioning and limiting beliefs to be able to actually move out of homeostasis and make a change. And this usually ends up being the part of the work that we struggle to do on our own.

Finally, whatever you intend and choose to go after in life, non-attachment is actually one of your greatest allies.  Here, non-attachment does not mean not caring. Nor does it mean not giving all you can towards the successful outcome. Rather in this context non-attachment simply means not having your sense of self shrunk to be completely identified with one particular outcome.  Life always works out differently than we expect. Often times for the better. So if you have too much of a single minded, tunnel-vision, focus on one particular outcome, you are going to suffer and perhaps miss many better alternatives that present themselves along the way.

In short: know yourself. Be clear on what you want. Be committed to do what you can. Be courageous to move past your fears. Put in the time and be open to adjust to how things unfold.  Life is a mystery, but is a mystery worth the effort.

"He who gives up action fails. He who gives up only the reward, rises. But renunciation of fruit in no way means indifference to the result. In regard to every action one must know the result that is expected to follow, the means thereto, and the capacity for it. He who being thus equipped, is without desire for the result, and is yet wholly engrossed in the due fulfillment of the task before him, is said to have renounced the fruit of his action.”

- Gandhi

2) Business Development - There are 2 important perspectives, or levels, to be aware of in your marketing. (This is a piece I wrote a few years ago. I am reprising it here as I have recently seen a little too much of "IT IS ALL ABOUT ME" 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 server 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, because your potential clients are also at Level 1, and they are interested in what is in it for them, not you.

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 really want to achieve, 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.

3) Other Useful Resources

Here are a few other resources that may be of use:

Niche Video - Here is a link to a little video I recorded talking about the rationale for finding a niche for your business and how to go about it.

Mindfulness Bog - Here is a link to my latest blog posting on cultivating greater mindfulness, specifically how to make the lovely experience of greater peace and joy last.

Visit Steve at Life and Business Coach Steve Mitten.

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