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Steve's Life And Business Coaching Notes - December 2010


This is a shot of the boys (Wyatt and Grady) on a typical afternoon walk through the woods close to home,
enjoying the autumn sun, mist and falling leaves.


1) Your Most Dangerous Thoughts - What thoughts cause you the most grief, and what you can do about them.

2) The Hero's Journey - Here is an opportunity to learn some wisdom, so valuable in our everyday lives, contained in this timeless model.

3)  Business Development - This is part 3 of a series of articles to help you get dramatically more business from your web site.

4) Practice Building With Heart - Registration is open for January's practice building program.

1) Your Most Dangerous Thoughts

In previous newsletters I have been encouraging you to get more familiar with your most common thoughts, because whatever thoughts we believe, and give attention to, have a big impact on our lives, relationships, careers and businesses. This is a particularly relevant topic at this time of year, when so many of us face the added stress of preparing for the holidays - which can leave us feeling anything but festive.

Today, I invite you to look closely at a few key thoughts.  Specifically, I would like you to consider what your most dangerous thoughts are, the ones that cause the most suffering, the ones that are most costly to your everyday joy and well-being.

Doing what I do, for as long as I have been doing it, I have run into a lot of dangerous thoughts.  To help you identify which thoughts might be causing you the most grief, here are a few candidates for your consideration. (Note – I am not implying that there is never an appropriate place for thoughts like this. Rather I am simply wanting you to be on the lookout for those groundless, habitual thoughts that routinely get in the way of you being fully alive and engaged in your life.)

Common Candidates For Your Most Dangerous Thoughts.

“Something is missing”. – This can be a deadly thought in your relationship, career or your spiritual life – and it can keep you on the treadmill, forever looking for something better. (If you didn't have this thought, what would be here, now?)  

“I am not worthy/ready/smart enough/experienced enough, etc.” – There are many subtle variations of this one. The bottom line impact of this thought is it keeps you on the sideline of your life, waiting for some imagined future date where things will be much better. (What could you do if you did not believe this thought?)

“I am stuck.” – This is another common classic, with many variations that can be loosely translated into a lack of clarity or inspiration. However being in this “not knowing” place can actually be a very freeing and creative experience. It is only when we create space, that the best new opportunities can fully present themselves. However, if we label this place of not knowing as being “stuck”, we can feel like a powerless victim of our circumstances, cut off from our intuition. That can lead to draining us of the will to decide and act.

“The answer, adventure, solution, savior is out there.” – A belief that the answer to your bigger problems is "out there" in the world somewhere, shifts your attention from exploring within.  And yet in life we frequently see that when we change, the world around us changes too.  The big answers and breakthroughs always start within.

It is the very nature of the thinking mind, to evaluate, analyze, judge, compare and generally want things to be different than they are. It's just what it does. And there are many times in our professional and social, day to day lives when these cognitive abilities serve us well. However, they rarely produce happiness, today. Rather they generally lead us to even more thinking, analyzing, comparing, planning, working, striving in hopes of a future state with more happiness.

So it is important to be able to turn down the volume on your thinking mind, when you don't need it. Otherwise, you can think yourself into a chronically busy, reactive, anxious, do, do, do, frame of mind, which can drive you crazy and keep you from ever fully enjoying the moment. If you truly want more peace and fulfillment in your life, I believe one of the greatest skills you can learn is the ability to cultivate some distance between your thoughts and the part of your awareness that is watching them come and go. 

Our mind is constantly generating thoughts; some we ignore and some we react strongly to.  You cannot control your thoughts but you can decide how much attention, belief and identity you give them. Recognize that part of you that is witnessing everything. That part of you, has the power to withdraw and shift attention. Prove this to yourself, because someone telling you is not sufficient.

However, if you prove you can do this, then whenever one of your dangerous thoughts come up, you can simply shift your attention to anything else, say your breath. When you do, whatever thought you were thinking will begin to lose its power. As the thoughts quiet down you will experience more spaciousness around your sense of self. You might also find subtle feelings of happiness, peace and love begin to bubble up.

Seen from the perspective of the mind, this natural contented state can be labelled as boring. (Another dangerous thought.) However, if you let that thought go and relax into the moment, you may find many unexpected benefits.

“There are no dangerous thoughts;
thinking itself is dangerous.”

- Hannah Arendt

2) The Hero's Journey - A Free Presentation With The ICF


I love Joseph Campbell's work on The Hero's Journey. It is a model that I have learned much from and shared with hundreds of clients over the years. If you want to learn the model and understand how to use it in your life or work, please join this free presentation sponsored by the ICF, December 9th. Here is the description and contact info:


In their day to day life, (and in the building of their practice) many coaches face a wide range of experiences - from inspired callings and purposeful visions, all the way to real doubts and seemingly insurmountable challenges.  Our path into coaching can be seen as a journey that teaches us some important lessons on who we are and what we are really capable of.

Joseph Campbell’s work on “The Hero’s Journey” arises out of the observation that the principal journeys we take in life follow a timeless theme. There are recognizable stages, important thresholds, natural consequences, mysterious forces at play and extraordinary outcomes possible. 

It is the stuff of myth and this ancient wisdom holds great and timeless insights to help us (and our clients) grow past our current limitations and achieve remarkable breakthroughs. 

Date and Contact Details

Thursday, December 9th
Time: 5 PM GMT, noon EST, 9 AM PST

Duration: 60 minutes
CCEU: 1.0 Core Competencies

Participant bridgeline: +1.971.998.1001
Participant PIN: 2087

3) Business Development - Web Marketing Basics Part 3

In the last few editions we have talked about how to identify the best keywords for your web page that will attract hundreds and hundreds of your ideal clients, and how to decide which of those words you would be able to compete with, I.E. – show up in the first 5 organic results on Google.

So let’s say you have bitten the bullet, put in the time and identified a few keywords, what do you do now?

Well, you certainly need to know where to put your keywords on your homepage so Google can figure out what you are all about and correctly match you with what your potential clients are looking for.

In the old days, you (or more likely your web designer) could simply identify your keywords in the html coding - the invisible software behind your web page.  Not any more. Google does not trust us to accurately describe what our site is about, so they have an elaborate algorithm to find it out for themselves.  And to make matters worse, this algorithm is constantly evolving.

In all things SEO, to really master this you have to keep current. However for 95% of online marketers, who are not facing huge competition from highly sophisticated web marketers, you can go a long way with some simple tweaks.

So, if you want to make sure Google correctly matches your site to your selected keywords, here are a few key places to pay attention to:

  • You definitely want to have your keywords in your main heading. (The big visible text at the top of your page.)
    Keep in mind any keyword in an image – like your pretty picture or logo at the top of the page -  is not going to be understood by the search engines. It has to be text.
  • You can use your keywords again, perhaps along with a few complementary keywords (ones that make sense to your reader and expand the range of topics we are wanting to be found for) in your subheadings.
  • You can mention them in a few other sentences in the body of your message. (The closer to the front of the sentence and paragraph the better.)
  • You mention them in your "alt" tags, those alternative description tags for any image on your page. (This is something web designers can do for you, as long as you supply them the text.)
  • You can mention them in your title tag and description tag. (These are key places in the html coding. You can come up with a good title for your home page and a good  description meta tag and simply give them to your web designer to install.  For example if you were a life coach, it might look like this.)
    <title>Life Coaching - Certified Personal Life Coach</title>
    <meta name="description" content="Life Coaching with certified Life Coach Jane Doe, serving career changers in Dallas.">

If you were really going all out, there are a few other places where you could put your keywords. However with just these editions, Google would be very clear on what you are all about and you will be far ahead of most of your competition.

Keep in mind that in these matters, less in more. (You definitely do not want to go overboard putting your keywords all over your site. In fact if over 6% of the words on your site are your keyword, you may risk penalization.)

In future articles we will talk about writing your homepage and raising your page rank, so you get more popular than your competition and thus show up above them on Google.

“Whatever happened, happened for the good;
whatever is happening, is happening for the good;
whatever will happen, will also happen for the good only."

-Bhagavad Gita

4) Transformational Practice Building On A Budget - The Next Mentor Program is coming soon.

If you love coaching, and are not getting the results you want with your marketing, please note that registration is now open for January's edition of THE 6-FIGURE PRACTICE MENTORING PROGRAM . This program will help you find a path with heart to a very successful coaching practice.

This proven program will teach you all you need to know to 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 happy participants over the years. If you are interested, please email me at scmitten@shaw.ca to secure your spot. 

"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 www.acoach4u.com

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