Certified Life and Business Coach


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Steve's Life And Business Coaching Notes

October 2011


Whenever I ride my mountain bike past this beautiful mountain creek,
it invites me to stop and appreciate the moment.


1) Beingness Versus Becomingness - Feeling a little run down? Life beginning to look like a marathon? Not getting the balance right between being and becoming can lead to big time burnout and can keep you from experiencing deeper, wholehearted success, now.

2) Business Development - How excited are you about your business and what does that mean in terms of attracting far more clients?

3) Special Offers and Opportunities - Something for everyone who has important things they want to accomplish in the next few months and are not making the progress they deserve.

1) Beingness Versus Becomingness - Any casual look at our culture can quickly verify that we are world class "becomers" and that we really struggle with "being". The average one of us spends an inordinate amount of time becoming something. All through school, in our career, even in our relationships, we put a lot of attention, time and effort into working for some future payoff.

There is a collective and very untested assumption, that some greater happiness is always possible in the future, on the other side of the metaphorical mountain of becoming. In fact, if we are not acquiring something, (knowledge, expertise, recognition, security, social status, wealth, etc.) we often feel we are wasting our time.

This can be a pathological habit. Meaning, the drive to become is so strong it can take us far away from health and happiness. Life can turn into one big sprint, full of effort and frustration, with far too few moments of enduring contentment. Our minds become so acclimatized to being actively engaged in preparation for some future challenge, that they have a hard time ever really disengaging. When one task is done, our attention leaps to the next.

This outlook on constant becoming is so universally cultivated, valued and reinforced in our culture, that you could easily call it a religion.

The energy of becoming is most often infused with anxiety, restlessness and dissatisfaction and there is a high level of focus on ourselves. The mind is busy, planning, optimizing and squeezing ever more activity into each day. And there is always a long list of things that needs to be different before we can truly relax and enjoy life.

In contrast, in those rare moments when we find a way to get off the treadmill of becoming and simply be, there is a noticeable shift. The energy of beingness has far more peace, contentment, appreciation, gratitude and connection. As our attention comes back to what is here now, it is taken away from its usual obsession on wanting a better future or a fairer past. Our focus broadens away from its usual sharp focus on survival or competition and the mind is quieter, more at rest or simply easier to ignore.

Whenever you achieve a good measure of beingness, one of the dividends is a greater quality of space, wholeheartedness and openness about you. Creativity, intuition and joy flow more freely. Life is richer, relationships are fuller and there is an aroma of calm and deeper presence about you. Action still occurs but it is sourced from a more intuitive, purposeful place and so typically reaps greater rewards.

The big challenge for most of us is that whenever we try to disengage the becomingness, we encounter anxiety. Most of us have a strong repertoire of reactive thoughts and emotions that attempt to steer us right back into more becoming. We have fears that; we have not done enough, that we are falling behind, that to stop doing is against some universal rule, that if we ever really unwind we many never get back into the game and that would have dire consequences.

This is not to argue that being is good and becoming is bad. Rather for thousands of years the world's great wisdom traditions (the collective wisdom of countless generations of our wisest ancestors) have taught us that both energies are natural aspects of any life. We are simply reminded that the path of wisdom is found in achieving ongoing, greater balance. We must not get stuck in just one mode and we cannot put our current mind in charge of the change initiative.

Ultimately, the path toward greater balance and thus a deeper, richer, existence, is not about killing off the over thinking, over becoming part of your mind but rather ignoring it out of existence.

Practice Suggestions

If you are one of the millions of modern "becomers" there is hope and you don't have to go off and spend 10 years learning to become a better "be'er". Progress can be experienced by simply building in more small breaks in the day that allow you a few minutes to take your attention off your thoughts.

If you are introverted, you may find it easier to focus attention on your breath, the view or really anything that is arising in your senses. (Focus with the same intensity with which you might listen to a dear friend speak in a crowded room. In other words, it does not matter what else is happening, you keep bringing your attention back to your chosen focus.) If you want a little more formal instruction on this, here is a video of a talk Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn gave at Google . (He is well known for bringing mindfulness practices into western medicine.)

If you are more of an extrovert, you may find it easier to dial up the "being" in a more active way. Perhaps dancing to some favorite music, getting outside or doing some moderate exercise like yoga or tai chi. I have a number of extroverted friends who experience their greatest moments of peace and presence when they are walking, jogging or riding their bikes through nature.

Deeper Teaching

For those who want to take your mindfulness to a deeper level, here is an ancient and powerful practice coming out of the advaita tradition. (I.E. - the teaching tradition of Indian sages Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj.) Simply practice putting your attention on the earliest awareness of "I Am". (By this I mean simple, primary awareness, before any thoughts arise, as in the very first awareness you have when you wake up in the morning, before you take on your name, relationships, history and agenda for the day.) When you put attention on that quiet place of consciousness, in front of which all thoughts and emotions arise and pass, there is simple, plain, easy to miss, everyday, pure awareness. If you keep coming back to this with attention and affection, for even a few minutes each day, you will begin to enjoy much greater peace, greater presence and many additional benefits.

“The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him
most about humanity he said:

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

2) Business Development - If you are not excited about your business, how do you expect the market to be?

Starting a business is not an easy task. Not only do you have to learn a whole new set of skills, you have to practice a whole new set of behaviours. The latter are the far bigger challenge.

Almost everyday I see really well trained and well prepared business professionals, that are more than ready to add great value to their clients. However, they are struggling away in obscurity because they have not found their way past a few limiting beliefs that keep them from adapting the behaviours they need to stand out, get noticed and get hired.

Here is a simple acid test to help you see whether you may be holding yourself back unnecessarily. Go out and ask a few of your close friends and colleagues that know you well, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited about my business do I appear to you?"

Chances are you will get feedback that you are not really promoting your business enthusiastically. Some of you might even be actively keeping your business a secret. And if you are not excited about your business, how do you expect the market to get excited?

It is natural to have doubts and fears that hold us back. That is simply part of being a human. However, the greater, more wholehearted success you seek is on the other side of any of those thoughts, emotions and behaviours that keep you waiting and playing small.

Remember, to succeed in our businesses, we have to find a way to stand out and this goes against decades of emotionally reinforced conditioning to fit in.

You cannot rely on your existing conditioning or mindset to guide you past this.  You must find a way to a new place of authenticity and generosity, that will take a certain amount of honesty, courage and vulnerability to admit that what you are doing is not giving you the results you need. It will also take some extra support to help you spot the behaviors and thoughts that keep getting in your way, work through any conflicts and try out new behaviors.

Don't let your pride stand in the way of living the life you were meant to live.

"The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment.
It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought."

- Thomas Moore

3) For Those With Important Plans, Agendas, Dreams or Changes to Make

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. 

I always reserve 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 the registration list is growing for January'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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