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Life And Business Coaching Notes - August 2009
Olive Grace, mischievous kitten, surveys her domain.
I hope you are well and, for those of you in the northern hemisphere, enjoying a lovely summer. Out here on the west coast, hot summer days find the Mitten clan at our summer cabin doing a lot of swimming, mountain biking, barbecuing, reading and visiting with old friends. The recent passing of our oldest cat has led to the rescuing of our newest kitten from the local animal shelter. Olive Grace, the tortoise shell tabby, has made her presence known quickly. Hardly a day goes by that her exuberance, joy, mischief and curiosity doesn't leave us all in stitches of laughter.
Here are a few thoughts on topics I hope will be valuable to you.
1) What Would The Shaman Tell You?
2) Some Web Marketing Basics - A Home Page That Connects.
3) Practical Yoga - Gandhi On Fear.
4) The Difference Between "Technical" Change and "Adaptive" Change and How it Relates To Your Practice Building. (Announcing August's 6-Figure Practice Mentor Program For Coaches.)
1) What Would The Shaman Tell You?
If sometime over the last 50,000 years, you were to live in one of the many African tribal cultures, and if you were feeling a little flat, lost or generally out of whack, it would be common practice to visit the local shaman.
And in some African tribes it would be common practice for the shaman to ask you 4 simple questions:
- When was the last time you danced?
- When was the last time you sang?
- When was the last time you told a story?
- When was the last time you sat alone in stillness?
In many ancient cultures dancing and singing were known to be ways to greater vitality. It was felt that such practices actually inspire the soul, and better connect us to the divine and sustaining forces of life.
In the millenniums before radio, newspapers and television, telling stories was a way to connect with, teach and entertain each other – activities that are all good for the psyche.
And sitting alone in stillness allowed the usual storm of random or compulsive thoughts to settle, and intuition, insight and wisdom to emerge.
In our “full speed ahead towards the future” culture, we have lost much of the wisdom gathered in the previous 99.99% of our evolution.
If you cannot remember the last time you sang and danced with friends, shared a story that was meaningful, or sat alone in stillness, take a little time this summer to reconnect to some of these ancient practices.
And let me know how you make out.
"Now, sweet one,
Cast all your votes for Dancing!"
Some Web Marketing Basics - A Home Page That Connects.
If you go online, and Google “executive coach”, “business coach” or “life coach”, you are going to find thousands and thousands of coaching websites.
Very few of these sites have done the basic work of finding a niche, determining the best keywords (those search phrases that give you the most traffic and least competition) and raising the site popularity so you actually show up in the search engines.
However, for the sake of this article, let’s assume you have put in the time to figure this all out. Even then, once the get people to their website, far too many coaches will focus on themselves, and list off their credentials, accomplishments, experiences, etc. in a largely vain attempt to attract business. This strategy is rarely effective.
You see, there is an old truth in play here. Many people simply do not care what you know, until they know that you care.
Most potential clients first go online to get more information. Few are actually ready to buy the first time they stumble upon your site. They want to learn more about their problems, identify potential solutions, and generally get better informed.
Thus, initially, most of the visitors to your web site are not very interested in you. In fact few have ever heard of you, so they are not going to spend a half an hour reading about your accomplishments.
In all your marketing it is usually far better to focus your attention on the needs and interests of your ideal clients. So, in the titles and bullets of your web site, speak to the biggest challenges or changes your ideal clients are interested in. Share some of your knowledge that will help them appreciate your expertise and make better decisions on what approach might be of most value to them. And remember few visitors to your site actually take the time to read everything. Like most of us, they are in a hurry and trying to wade through mountains of information. Most visitors to your site simply scan the information, so make sure your most important points stand out on the page and are easy to read quickly.
If your headings speak to their biggest challenges, they might pause for a few nanoseconds on your site thinking, “this page might be of use.” And if in your pictures and bulleted information they confirm that they might learn something valuable, they might linger a little longer; perhaps long enough to learn a little bit about you and what you have to offer.
Always keep in mind that few of your visitors will actually be ready to buy anything the first time they visit your site. So it is very important to offer something of value – that will be easy for them to say yes to – that will gain their permission to enter into a further relationship. That is why it is very important to have some compelling free report, recording or video on a topic of great value to your ideal client. When they sign up to get your free report, they also get a free subscription to your monthly ezine or newsletter.
A few months down the road, by the time they have read a number of your articles filled with great information on topics of interest to them; they will have a much better sense of you, they will have a greater appreciation for all the ways you can add value to their lives, and they will be in a position to hire you, buy your product or sign up for your program.
"In our tradition, we believe fear is the door to the heart that lets evil spirits in.
Thus all prayer is a strengthening of the heart to keep fear at bay. "
- Buck Ghosthorse
3) Practical Yoga - Gandhi On Fear.
Most people know that the Mahatma (Great Soul) Mohandas Gandhi was a champion of non-violence. Through his teaching and example, this one man was able to change the course of history. He not only, almost single-handedly, defeated the mighty British Empire, he inspired dozens of other leaders from Martin Luther King to Nelson Mandela.
While Gandhi’s teaching on the power of peace is well known, another of his less-known teaching is equally important. You see Gandhi also took a vow of fearlessness. He vowed not to acknowledge or be directed by fear. He wanted to live a life where he; acted for the greater good, without personal concern.
Gandhi knew that fear makes cowards of us all. It makes us feel alone. It makes us struggle, resist life, settle for the safe route. It stifles our creativity and intuition. It makes our life hollow and anxiety filled.
Even for Gandhi, it was one thing to intend to live a life free of fear, and another to actually pull it off day after day. To remain fearless against life’s troubling circumstances and our own nature, requires dedication and practice.
One of Gandhi’s regular practices was to work on a spinning wheel. The concentration required to spin the fabric together allowed him to stop the thoughts of his conscious brain, and allow more of his natural joy and faith to well up and buttress his soul against worry and fear.
For many years Gandhi would also reserve Friday as a day of silence. Through silent contemplation and meditation, he not only built up his reserves of peace and confidence but accessed many epiphanies and insights that aided his teachings and causes.
Spinning wheels are not too easy to come by these days, but the power of silence is available to even the busiest of us. While spending a day in silence might be too much of a jump for most of us, over the next week I challenge you to reserve just 10 minutes a day for quiet (contemplation, meditation, walking, dancing, etc.) and see what difference you notice.
"Fear is not a disease of the body; fear kills the soul."
4) The Difference Between "Technical" Change and "Adaptive" Change and How it Relates To Your Practice Building. (Announcing August's 6 Figure Practice Mentor Program For Coaches.)
Harvard professor and leadership guru Ron Heifetz has coined the term “technical change” to denote the kind of change that can be accomplished by accessing information or expertise.
For example, if in the building of your coaching practice you simply need to learn what marketing strategies work for the most coaches - and having acquired this information you can immediately apply it with successful results - then this is an example where you have accomplished your goal through a technical change.
However, for most coaches (I estimate over 80%) simply reading a book on marketing, or listening to a teleclass covering successful marketing strategies for coaches, does not translate into a full practice.
For most coaches it is not enough to simply acquire the marketing information. You also have to shift your outlook, examine your current values, beliefs and habits, move past old limitations and grow to become the professional to which a busy practice is the natural consequence.
After a decade of studying what does and what does not work regarding the building of a coaching practice, I developed The 6 Figure Practice Mentor Program to provide affordable support, information and mentoring to coaches wanting a more successful practice.
If you are ready to make the changes necessary, and acquire the information that is standing between you and a more successful practice, I invite you to check out the program and read some of the testimonials from coaches who have taken it.
I only have time to run the program twice a year, and the next one starts August 25th, and the registration list is filling.
The program comes with a satisfaction guarantee that allows you to drop out at any time if it is not a fit for you. And, for those of you with ICF credentials, the program is accredited with ICF Continuing Coach Education Units.
You can check it out, at THE 6-FIGURE PRACTICE MENTORING
The program has limited enrollment and the last few seats will fill quickly. Please email me at email@example.com to reserve a spot.
"This is truly a transformational experience...thank you."
"Never been busier."
"I have experienced more success than I thought possible."
"Something deep inside is falling into place. I am connecting the being and doing and it is really working.
"I am well into 6-Figures now.... and truly enjoying making a big difference in other's lives."
and Business Development Specialist Steve
Mitten B.ApSc, CPCC, MCC helps individuals, professionals and
leaders find their niche, be their best and make an impact.
Visit Steve at www.acoach4u.com
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