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Steve's Life And Business Coaching Notes - October 2010


whale

What the heck is that? For the past 3 months we have had a lone grey whale swimming past us.
On still nights you can hear his exhale as he passes. On calm days you can see the mist of his plume marking his presence.
Quiet, peaceful, free and massive, he appears very content.


CONTENTS

1) The Great Search For More..... What are you working towards and how sure are you it will actually make you happier?

2)  Business Development - This is part 2 of a series of articles to help you get dramatically more business from your web page.

3) Practice Building - You don't have to wait for Spring, you can start now.


1) The Great Search For More....

Most of us are working towards something. Most of us can imagine some future set of circumstances, where we would have more of something (fill in the blank; love, money, freedom, health, fame, peace, creativity, adventure, time with loved ones, etc., etc.) and thus be happier.

This almost universal belief of a happier future is deeply held and deemed worthy of significant day to day sacrifice.  This ethic is taught to us early in life and reinforced in our culture through stories of countless souls who have strategized, marshalled all their will, persevered in tough times and finally achieved their dream. However, does this belief in living for the better future work in all aspects of our life?  Does it actually translate into appreciably more happiness? 

The short answer is no.  Don’t get me wrong, clearly there are many instances where it makes sense to delay gratification today in service of working towards a greater harvest of happiness and success tomorrow.  But there is excellent evidence that this approach should not become a default approach to life.

For close to 40 years psychologists have been aware of the phenomena of hedonic adaptation.  Simply stated, hedonic adaptation is the well-studied tendency for humans to adapt to any set of circumstances (good or bad) without an appreciable or permanent change in their level of happiness.

This effect is also referred to as the hedonic treadmill because so few of the goals we pursue actually translate into lasting satisfaction.  And when this happens, we set off (or go back on the treadmill) in search of another set of seemingly better goals, that turn out to be equally dissatisfying.

Does this mean more happiness is not possible?  No. Just, it probably isn’t where you think it is.
What can I do to become happier?  Lots. 

For those of you who are new to the subject and wish to benefit from some timeless best practices, integrated with the best findings from the burgeoning field of positive psychology, I invite you to check out,  “The Happiness Hypothesis” by Jon Haight of the University of Virginia. 

For those of you who intuit that your happiness is not “out there” but rather “in here” and are open for a deeper, more radical transformation, you will have to look beyond psychology and entertain some of the core teachings of the world’s greatest spiritual traditions. 

O.K., I suspect many of you are getting a little nervous wondering what I am leading to here. Rest assured I am not suggesting you let go of your rational mind and buy a ready-made set of beliefs that may not fit you. Rather I am just inviting you to look deep enough into the core of some of this work to see if it is true for you.

For example, at the core of many of the world’s great spiritual traditions (when you get below the cultural, tribal, period specific dogma, and added-on nonsense) you will find great wisdom guiding you towards a recognition of your true self, and a set of teachings or practices aimed at helping you transcend the influences of the egoic mind  - that part of us that is constantly judging, striving, averting, identifying and generally creating a lot of anxiety and suffering. 

Naturally this path is not for everyone. However, it can be fascinating and hugely beneficial for the small minority of people who have ever had a calling to more deeply explore the nature and truth of their existence. For these intrepid explorers, regardless of your existing belief system (devoted follower, atheist, agnostic, etc.) I can recommend a few next steps.

For those who need a systematic, intellectual, scientific process of exploration, I can recommend either the books Eternity Now by Francis Lucille or The Transparency of Things by Rupert Spira.

For those who benefit from a more experiential exploration, I can recommend any of the many free online videos featuring Mooji. (You can check it out at the first set of videos at http://www.mooji.org/videos_fl.html.)  Mooji is a student of H.W.L. Poonja and is masterful at patiently guiding seekers towards the deeper understanding that arises when your attention rests on your deepest sense of presence/existence. The resulting realization radically impacts happiness.)

Whatever you are working towards, learning a little more about who you are and what will make you happy, is a good thing.


“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope.
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing;
wait without love, For love would be love of the wrong thing;
there is yet faith. But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing...” 

- T.S. Elliot


2)  Business Development - Web Marketing Basics Part 2

Let's assume you read the first installment of this series on web marketing basics. (Click here if you haven’t.) Let's further assume you have now taken the time to brainstorm potential keywords, check out what competitors are using, and played around with the Google keyword tool and identified which potential keywords give you the most traffic. You may be wondering how much traffic is enough? 

Well the more the better but it really depends on your keyword. For example, let's say you are a career coach and you have identified a potential keyword like “dream job”. You will see that Google indicates there are over 40,000 searches a month for that phrase.  But you need to ask yourself, how many of the people typing in this search phrase are seriously interested in hiring a coach?  Many will be just beginning to learn about career transitions. Some might just be completing high school papers on the stages of a good job search. How many of the people using this keyword will want to hire you? You simply don’t know.

In contrast, for the search phrase “job coach” there are over 27,000 searches a month. However, it would be safe to assume that a higher percentage of the people using this keyword have some interest in locating someone to help them find their dream job.   The point is, don’t be seduced by large numbers of searches. Usually that simply means there will also be a large number of serious competitors.  Rather, choose the more focused keyword phases.  (I would prefer a highly focused keyword with only 500 searches a month over a general keyword with 10,000.)

So, let’s say you have found a few keywords that interest you, how do you decide which ones to use?  Well, this is a very important question that lots of web marketers simply do not ask. They go after the words with the most searches without ever checking out the competition.

What use it is to go after a keyword with 40,000 searches a month, if you will be competing with Monster.com, Wikipedia and 15 other highly optimized and ranked sites, so you would be showing up on the 3rd page of search results? If you are not sure you can appear in the top half of the first page, my advice is forget that keyword.

How will you be able to determine if you can show up in the top half of the first page of results  - say first 5 returns?  Well, there is a great free tool that can help you. It is called the Google tool bar. Simply Google the phrase “Google Tool Bar”.  (And if you are running the Firefox browser rather than Internet Explorer, be sure to specify that too, as in “Google Tool Bar For Firefox”.)

This is a 30 second download and install. When it's over, you will see a new tool bar at the top of your browser. Then click on the wrench (circled in blue here) click on the tools tab and check the "page rank" tool, and save your choices. This will provide you with the page rank tool, here circled in green.

google tool bar

(And for those of you that have some problem installing or accessing this tool, you can simply bookmark and use this site http://www.prcheck.net/).

So, what can this tool help us with?  It can help us determine how tough the competition is on any of the promising keywords we have identified.

Here is the background.  Google assigns a page rank to every site it registers.  Generally, if you have a higher page rank than your competition for the same keyword, your site will come up above theirs. (I say generally, because Google does give some preference to local sites.)

So to determine which of the many keywords with high traffic (that you have identified using the technique shared last newsletter) is the best for you, all you need to do is type each of the potential keywords into Google and check out the page rank of the top 5 sites that come up organically (I.E.- not the paid or sponsored returns but the ones that come up naturally).

If the top five sites have page ranks greater than 4 or 5, forget about this keyword. The competition is too great.
If you have a number of sites with a page rank of 0, 1 or 2 in the top 5 results for a particular keyword, mark it as having potential. (FYI - if you have a brand new site, you probably have a page rank of 0. If you have been around for a year or two but have done nothing to raise your popularity, you may have a page rank of 1 or 2. These page ranks can be improved and I will talk about this in the next newsletter.)

Also, you don’t have to choose only one word. In fact you can usually find a way to go after 2 or 3 of the more promising keywords.

And we will talk more about that as well in the next newsletter.


“When the raindrop touches the ocean, what is the story it tells.


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

It's coming. The reservation list for the next edition of the THE 6-FIGURE PRACTICE MENTORING PROGRAM is growing.

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 to get started now. 


"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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