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Steve's Life And Business Coaching Notes

May 2012


A misty spring morning on the Oregon coast. A few years ago, astronomers estimated that there
are 10 times as many stars in the visible universe than there are grains of sand on all the world's beaches.


1) More Science On Making Changes - Here is some great information to help you succeed with any changes you are contemplating. (Or to help anyone you love make an important change.)

2) Would You Like More Business, For Free? - If you aren't already using it, here is a short article on how you can get a lot more local business, almost immediately, through Google's Places For Business.

3) Special Offers and Opportunities - This is an advance notice of the next bi-annual, affordable, and transformational, marketing program for coaches.

1) More Science On Making Changes

For someone really interested in what helps people make important changes, it is always a treat to stumble upon some really good information backed by solid research. So when I first received a copy of the book "Changing for Good", by Messrs. Prochaska, Norcross and Diclemente, all accomplished psychologists, and saw that their work had actually evaluated the efficacy of over 400 therapeutic models in common practice (from Freud to Jung, to Rogers, to Perls to Ellis to Skinner, etc,) - to determine, what actually works to effect change in human beings - I was delighted.

Their findings are fascinating and their work is being drawn upon for many organizational change initiatives. The model works just as well in assisting individuals wanting to change.

Basically, Prochaska et al. identified 6 distinct stages to change, including:

Precontemplation  (At this stage an individual is simply not ready to acknowledge change is necessary or desirable. Imagine a business person with no clients who does not acknowledge they might need to put some effort into marketing.)

Contemplation (At this stage, the individual begins to notice that change may be desirable. )

Preparation (The individual begins to gather the necessary insight, motivation, support, knowledge and seriously weigh the pros and cons.)

Action (The individual finally commits and moves forward with the change.)

Maintenance (This is where the gains from the change are stabilized in behaviour to prevent regression.)

Termination (Where the change is complete in that there is no temptation to back-slide.)

The research found that individuals in each of these stages benefit from very different support and success strategies. They also found that most change strategies (actually 90%) assume people are ready to take action. Whereas in reality only 20% of the people in some process of change are actually ready to take action. (This helps explain why so many attempts to keep New Year's resolutions, lose weight, change behaviours, etc, are doomed to failure. Someone who is still in denial about the need to change, does not benefit from the impositions of rewards or accountability structures. Likewise someone in the midst of taking action, does not benefit from discussions focused on raising awareness. You need to match the support to the specific stage of change.)

The research also illuminated many of the myths about change, such as:

Change is simple. It is not. Changing entrenched thought, emotional and behaviour patterns can be very complex.

It is just a matter of willpower. It is not that simple, and willpower is not some fixed entity that can be called on-demand or maintained over time.

People cannot change.  They absolutely can, but they have to be ready and have the right support for where they are in the process of change.

I have tried everything and nothing works. (You have probably simply
tried a bunch of the wrong strategies for the stage of changes you are at. Also most successful change initiatives involve several failed attempts. So if at first you don't succeed, don't give up.)

Summary - If you are interested in making some important changes or helping others make important changes, it is a very good read. However, if you don't have the time, then you might simply increase your chances of successfully completing a change by choosing to carefully design a few key relationships that will help you: raise your awareness on where you might benefit from change, help you sort out the pros and cons of changing, spot any denial or defensive behaviours, get emotionally invested, build commitment, overcome the obstacles and celebrate the progress. Hey, that sounds a lot like what a coach does. :)

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

-Marilyn Monroe

2) Google's Places for Business

Occasionally, the universe sends you an unsolicited gift. For anyone who owns a business or runs a professional practice, one such gift has been Google Places For Business. This is a free service offered by Google. It allows you to get a listing for your business that will show up almost immediately in local searches.

You may have noticed, over the past 2 years, that whenever you search for some local service, say a dry cleaner or pizza place, in addition to the text results, you will often get a map with a bunch of inverted tear-drop flags showing you the location of the businesses. This is Google Places for Business, and it is designed to help you connect with local businesses.


(This is an example of Google results for a local search I did for business coaches.)

Traditionally, if you wanted to show up in Google results for any particular search phrase, you would have to create a web page, get it hosted, do your SEO, wait for a year to get any decent page rank, (i.e. - get out of the Google "Sandbox") and hope that there weren't too many other competitors with better or more prominent sites.

You still have to do this if you hope to compete around the world.

However through Google Places for Business you can bypass all the time, work and expense in creating an effective web presence that will allow you to connect with local clients right away.

So, if you haven't already, you will spend 15 minutes well, if you:

1 - Go to Google Places for Business , sign up for free and follow their instructions to list and describe your business.

2 - Be sure to complete the listing as fully as possible. It is a good idea to upload photos, choose your location carefully, clearly identify the nature of your business using the best keywords and identify any specials you may offer.

3 - Send a few close friends or happy clients a link to Google Places ask them to sign up for free, search for your business and leave you a glowing review.

Once you have a listing don't be surprised if your relative ranking with your local competitors is constantly changing. That is just how Google rolls. However, the fuller your listing, the more reviews you have, the more you keep tweaking it with special offers, etc. - the more you will trend to the top of the rotation.

3) Coming Attractions

For Coaches Wanting More Clients, The Next 6 FIGURE PRACTICE PROGRAM Is Coming

I only have time to run this program twice a year. It is popular, and the list is already filling up for next edition which will start in early September.

So if you love coaching and are simply not getting the results you want with your marketing, please check out THE 6-FIGURE PRACTICE MENTORING PROGRAM and get your name on the notification list. This affordable and limited enrollment program will help you find a path with heart to a very successful coaching practice.

This program is designed to teach you all you need to know to find a niche, establish your brand, set up your marketing systems, move past your doubts and fears, 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 tremendous value to you, you can leave any time.

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

Mentor Program Testimonials

"After 2 years of struggling alone, I took your program and am now profitable, paying all my bills, and I have 4 people to get back to today."

"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."

Visit Steve at Life and Business Coach Steve Mitten.

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