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Steve's Life And Business Coaching Notes

August 2011


These open, inviting train doors relate to our first topic.


1) Choosing Your (Thought) Trains Carefully - Here is a very practical and powerful approach for better managing your mind; thus being more effective and able to enjoy far more peace and joy.

2) Business Development - Standing Out in A Sea of Equally Qualified Solution Providers.

3) Fall, Special Offers and Opportunities - For Individuals, Execs, Business Folks, and Coaches Wanting Far More Clients - Something for everyone who has important things they want to accomplish in the next few months.

1) Choosing Your (Thought) Trains Carefully.

I don't know if you have noticed, but you simply can't control your thoughts. If you do not want to think about something, chances are it will come into your mind anyway. Tell someone not to think about a pink elephant, and they will immediately think about a pink elephant. We can't help it, it's just how our brain functions.

Most thoughts come and go quite quickly. Some thoughts come and seem to linger far too long. And if a thought stays too long it can trigger some emotions. And if emotions stay too long they can become a mood. And if you are stuck in a particular mood, you might not enjoy it or feel like doing what you really want to be doing.

If you could better control your mind, you could better control how you feel and how you act. You might worry less, enjoy more and be a heck of a lot more productive.

So, what's the trick? Since we cannot control when and how thoughts come and go, what can we do?

Here is the big secret. We can all control our attention. It's our super power. In any moment you can decide what you put your attention on. If you put it on a thought, the thought will grow. If you take it off a thought and put it on something else, the thought will diminish. Some strong or habitual thoughts might come back in 30 seconds, but if you keep taking your attention off them, they will slowly lose their power and gradually fade away.

This is far too important a tool to take anyone's word for. Try it yourself.

Here is a metaphor to help you. Imagine that you, as your attention, are standing on a platform of a train station. Imagine your thoughts, as trains, keep coming into the station one after the other, and opening their doors to invite you to jump onboard.

Prior to being aware that you actually have a choice, you might have simply jumped on every train of thought that came into the station of your awareness. (And by jumped on I mean you simply gave it attention, resisted it, or identified with it in some way - all of which strengthen the thought.)

Now as you realize you actually have a choice, you can simply watch any particular train of thought come before you on the platform. You can watch the doors open to invite you in, and simply choose to stay where you are on the platform. (Here I mean, you can simply direct your attention elsewhere and thus metaphorically not jump onboard the current train of thought.) If you do not climb onboard, the doors of the train will close and it will leave the station without you.

Yes, there will be some thoughts that will automatically keep coming back over and over again for awhile, but as long as you do not give them your attention, they will eventually leave.

Even if you find yourself involuntarily on a particular thought train that has left the station, you can quickly get off by shining your awareness on something else.

Soon you will trust your ability to direct and redirect your attention. In many spiritual traditions, this milestone is thought of as achieving a significant measure of freedom.

“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate."

- Huang Po (Chinese Sage, circa 800 CE)

2) Business Development - Standing Out in A Sea of Equally Qualified Solution Providers.

I was recently helping a client develop a website that would allow them to attract and connect with a steady stream of ideal clients. As part of the work, we were considering which of her best qualities we wanted to emphasize in her branding, so that we would be the first choice amongst many competitors. We imagined ourselves to be one of her ideal clients, and typed into Google various keyword phrases that we thought they might use to locate help for the challenges they routinely face.

This allowed us to look at many of her competitors and get a feel for what their strengths and weaknesses were, before we carefully chose her best position in the market.

And here is the point. One of the biggest problems marketers face these days is finding an effective way to stand out and get chosen amidst a virtual sea of qualified solution providers. If everyone is well-trained, has great experience, and provides good service, who do you choose?

Internet marketers have looked closely at this challenge, because anyone who markets online is not just competing with folks in their neighborhood, they are competing with every comparable solution provider in the world.

How do you effectively stand out in this sort of environment?

The answer is use your personality.

Generally speaking, when the features (qualifications, experience, offerings, etc.) are largely the same on a number of competing web sites, the one that has created the greatest authentic emotional connection with the potential client will attract more business.

When choosing who to work with, our thinking mind needs to see that the supplier is well qualified and experienced. However it is our limbic (emotional) mind that has the greater say, even if it is subconsciously.

So, if you are in a niche or market place with a lot of competition, in addition to carefully choosing your niche, your brand, describing the benefits, etc., be sure to share enough about you so your personality shines through.

Potential clients have to get a "feel" for you. You need to know why you are doing this work. Before they decide to work with (i.e. trust) you they need to know you are genuine and being open and honest with them. It seems most of us have a very well tuned sense as to whether someone is being authentic with us.

So when you describe yourself in any marketing material, don't just list your qualifications and accomplishments. Share a little about who you are and why you do what you do. Where appropriate, tell them a story, make them laugh or feel.

To be real is to be human. To be human is to have a personality. To let your personality shine through takes courage and a willingness to be a little vulnerable.

It can be scary, but it is worth it.

Just remember no one can trust a generic, fake, one dimensional persona.

“If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets you off and makes you different from every other living creature."

- Bruce Barton

3) Fall, “Back to School Specials” – For Those With Important Plans, Agendas, Dreams or Changes to Make

This time of year, particularly for we folk in the Northern Hemisphere who are coming back from summer vacation, is a great time to get serious about making progress on some of those most important areas of your life, business or career.  So for those of you who know that what you have been doing, has not been giving you the results you want, here are some special offers:

For Individuals, Execs, Independent Professionals and Business Owners

Psychologists know there are some changes we can make ourselves, and many we cannot. Those bigger, trickier, more intractable changes really benefit from an experienced second set of eyes, an independent sounding board, and regular conversations to get you clear, keep you focused, and following through, so you actually change your behaviour and get the results you want.    

If you are tired of where you are, and have some big goals you want to achieve, drop me an email and let’s chat. In a 10 minute complimentary chat, I can give you a some ideas on a few possible ways forward. You could also get a feel for what might be possible for you through coaching with me. Then you can make up your own mind if it is a fit or not.  Who knows, you might finally be ready to join the 98.6% of all clients who find great value in coaching.

For Coaches On The Fast Tract (Wanting Individual Attention To Get A Cash Flow ASAP)

I love coaching, and have always reserved space in my practice to run some affordable programs to help newer coaches build great practices on a budget. (See below.)  However, I always get inquiries from coaches who have limited funds, but know time is money and are thus in a hurry to get a positive cash flow going in their practice. 

This Fall, I am reserving a limited number of additional spots to work with newer coaches on a 1 to 1 basis. Typically, I would give you enough to do each call to keep you busy for a couple of weeks.  And typically, in between 6 to 8 weeks, we could cover finding your niche, establishing your brand, writing a great homepage targeted at your ideal clients, and learning enough of web marketing and other contact strategies that have been proven to work for coaches, to get your practice off the ground. Contact me for details.

For Coaches On A Tight Budget, Who Want Real Results.

If you love coaching and are simply not getting the results you want with your marketing, please note that registration is now open for August's edition of THE 6-FIGURE PRACTICE MENTORING PROGRAM . This affordable and limited enrollment program will help you find a path with heart to a very successful coaching practice. (This venerable program is only offered twice a year.)

This program is designed to teach you all you need to know to find a niche, establish your brand, set up your marketing systems and generally build a great practice. And, it will support you long enough to actually put what you learn into action. Please read the course description and testimonials of the very happy participants over the years. It comes with a full satisfaction guarantee, so if it is not of great value to you, you can leave immediately.

If you are interested, you can email me at scmitten@shaw.ca to secure your spot. 

Mentor Program Testimonials

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

"This is deeply important. Our conversations truly move me and inspire me to develop a similar depth of compassion and depth of knowledge for my clients."

"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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