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Steve Mitten's Life And Business Coaching Notes - August 2007

Wyatt, our yellow lab, exploring some mystery on an early morning beach walk.

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all well and enjoying life.  Here in the northern hemisphere the bright warm days of summer linger. However, the deepening morning dew, and the full berry bushes along the side of the road, foretell the approaching change in seasons.

As it does with the geese who swim past my door every morning, the approach of fall stirs something within me.  There is a rise in my desire to re-engage more fully in my work, and explore what life might next send my way.

I hope you are ready for what the next few months will bring your way.  Here are a few thoughts that might help you in your life, career and relationships.

All the best, 




1) Thoughts on Cultivating Wisdom.

2) Deeper into Empathy.  

3) Announcing - The Secret Formula For A Breakthrough In Your Coaching Practice. (And A New Mentor Program Date.)

1) Thoughts On Cultivating Wisdom.

Over the last few months I have been thinking a lot about wisdom; what is it and how to cultivate it.

There are many definitions of wisdom that speak to such qualities as knowledge, discernment and prudence. Others make distinctions between situation specific wisdom (as you might experience in someone who is very experienced in a particular occupation and can thus anticipate outcomes) and a broader, more general wisdom (this is a deeper type of wisdom that is evident in all aspect of a wise individual's life).  

Someone with the former type of wisdom might be wise in a particular activity, such as investing, but a fool in all other aspects of their life.  Someone who cultivates the later form of wisdom has the ability for wise action in all circumstances. (A rare and very valuable prospect.)

Having sifted through many of the discussions on wisdom, here is what I think it comes down to:  The ability to discern and act for the greatest long-term good of all, on a consistent basis.

This is easily said. However, the other day I attempted to test my own "wisdom" and see how long I could suspend my self-interest and act from a place of the greatest long-term good of all. 

I made it for about 45 minutes before coming to an existential crisis about whether or not to polish off the last serving of cereal before the rest of my family awoke. (Hey, it was "my" cereal and there was lots of other food in the fridge.)

The point is the real wisdom can be slow to cultivate and very difficult to live by.  We all have such divergent values and perspectives and we are all masters at the power of rationalization.

I believe the world is in great need of more real wisdom. (Regular readers of this newsletter are familiar with my views that human power and knowledge have far outstripped our capacity for wisdom and compassion.  We have the power to make and destroy civilizations, yet that power is rarely guided by wisdom or compassion.) 

So what cultivates greater wisdom? In my last newsletter (Coaching The Unconscious ) I shared many of the latest findings that modern science tells us speeds the development of greater awareness.

In this article I would like to share a view of wisdom that comes from the ancient Yogic/Vedantic spiritual tradition. (The tradition that inspired and guided Gandhi.) This particular translation from the Bhagavad Gita comes from the book The Deeper Dimensions of Yoga.

 "We can invite wisdom to manifest in us through any and all activities that enhance sattva (purity/truth/harmony) in our body and mind: Eating pure and wholesome food, keeping the body healthy through appropriate exercise and other habits, entertaining pure and wholesome thoughts, engaging in virtuous actions, remaining attentive in all situations, speaking kind and helpful words and otherwise practicing silence, cultivating self-observation, self-understanding, and self-discipline, focusing on that which matters rather than scattering our energy and attention, developing concentration and meditation, cultivating a joyful mood, and conquering doubt through faith in ourselves, as well as in the process of self-transformation, the ideal of liberation, and the great teachings and teachers." 

I believe good coaching is a very powerful tool in speeding the development of wisdom. Coaching encourages much higher levels of self awareness which translates directly into much better self management.  This allows individuals to create lives and careers in greater alignment with what is more fulfilling and more sustainable.

What can you do today to deepen your wisdom?

"The more we foster the sattva (purity/truth/harmony) quality in ourselves, 
the more wisdom will guide us in making the right choices in all areas of life. 
Whereas the self-divided mind lacking in wisdom is typically problem oriented, 
the wisdom mind always offers “natural,” plausible solutions. Wisdom puts us in the flow of things".

- Georg Feuerstein

2) Looking Deeper into Empathy.

For anyone in relationship, or who would benefit from improving their people skills - like leaders, managers, parents, coaches or pretty much everyone - empathy is one of the most important interpersonal skills. Your ability to empathize is directly related to the depth and quality of relationships you can sustain.

In his latest book Social Intelligence, the prolific social scientist Daniel Goleman talks in some depth about the latest findings on empathy.  Specifically, Goleman speaks about three levels of empathy.

  1. The basic level of empathy is achieved when one becomes aware of what another person is feeling. If you cannot discern the nuances of another's emotions and moods, it is very hard to connect constructively.

  2. The next level of empathy allows you to connect by "feeling into" what another person feels. When we allow ourselves to slow down, pay attention and truly share someone else's emotional experience, we can begin to understand their perspective much clearer.

  3. The final level of empathy is being able to respond compassionately to what another feels. Beyond our natural human tendencies (to agree/disagree/judge/"fix"/influence), responding to someone else's emotional truth with patience and compassion creates a connection from which powerful change can occur. 

If you want to be a better partner, parent, manager, leader or coach, I encourage you to practice deepening your empathy.  Foundational to all this is your ability to manage your attention, and you cannot have control of your attention until you begin to broaden the margins of your life and manage your stress.

What can you do today to slow down and really connect with someone special in your life?

"Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person. In those transparent moments we know other people's joys and sorrows, and we care about their concerns as if they were our own."

- Fritz Williams


3) ANNOUNCING - The Secret Formula For A Breakthrough In Your Coaching Practice.


For Coaches wanting to make a big breakthrough in their practice, there are a few secrets to learn. As Einstein pointed out, you cannot solve a problem with the same level of thinking that you currently have.


In other words, you cannot get dramatically better results continuing to do what you have always done.


After working with hundreds and hundreds of coaches and studying what works for hundreds of successful coaches, I believe the secret formula involves: 


- Getting the specific marketing information (Niching, pricing, contact strategies, web marketing, branding, positioning, passive income, etc.) and support you need.


- Actually applying the new knowledge on a consistent basis so it becomes new behavior. (How much practice building information from books and workshops have you paid for and not applied?)


- Most importantly, transforming yourself to become the person (free from your current perspectives, doubts, habits and limitations) who can actually have the confidence and clarity to fully enjoy living your calling as a coach. 

So the rough formula is:




So if you are not getting the results you want in your coaching practice, please take the time to check out THE 6 FIGURE PRACTICE MENTORING PROGRAM I created specifically to help coaches make big breakthroughs in their practice.


This program is all about making transformational change in your personal and commercial life.  I love to run this program, but only get the chance to offer it twice a year.  


It is very flexible and affordable and the coaches who have taken it have achieved incredible results.


Here are just of a few of the testimonials from the most recent group of participants (You can read more directly from past participants on my site.):


- "15th new client coming in. They are just rolling in now."

- "2 new clients last week, 3 new ones this week."

- "I find this time inspirational, it is incredibly valuable to me."

- "I had no idea how much fear was holding me back."

- "I just had my best month ever, and just signed up my highest paying client ever. I want to thank you for all this, and I can't wait to see what the remainder of the program holds."

New Fall Mentor Program Announced

See if this is this true for you.

- You know coaching is your calling, and you love helping people.

- You are well-trained yet despite your strong coaching skills, you are not where you want to be in your practice or struggle to keep your practice full.

- You feel discouraged, and sometimes scared, at the gap between where your practice is and where you would like it to be.

- You are ready to make a real breakthrough and realize more of your potential.

-  You are prepared to undergo the growth necessary to move past these challenges.

- You are fed up with trying to do this all yourself and are looking for some solid, affordable, help to make a real breakthrough.

If any of these are true for you, here is advance notice of my next 6 FIGURE PRACTICE MENTOR PROGRAM.  The scheduled start is August 28th. You can check out the program at the link below.   If you are interested, please send me an email so I can reserve you a spot. 

This program was designed to provide affordable and convenient mentoring for good coaches who know the basics, have been in business for a while, and find themselves plateaued out making between 10 and 80K.

It is focused on providing the support, information, inspiration, accountability and the best business, marketing and personal development support available to help you get to a much more enjoyable and rewarding place in your business and life. (Einstein said the biggest problems we face cannot be solved at the level of thinking that gave rise to them.  This program is about getting you to the next level.) 

The program combines a monthly 1 to 1 call with me, a monthly group call, and weekly accountability calls with a small group.  (This program is getting rave reviews. Participants have told me they have really enjoyed the deeper work this program allows. We cover all the advanced marketing info you need, but the big breakthroughs occur on the "being" side. (When we help you find that place where your passions and strengths meet the biggest unmet need in your market, magic happens.)  You can read more about the program at: aut the pro  

If you are interested, simply send me an email at and let me know. Whenever they are announced, these programs typically fill very quickly.



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Life Coach 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


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Suggested Readings & Ongoing Learning

Here are a few books related to the articles in this newsletter, that you may find interesting:

The Deeper Dimension of Yoga 

This is a great book for anyone interested in exploring the rich nuances of this ancient spiritual practice.  This book is full of wonderful insights that will help the cultivation of mindfulness.

Social Intelligence

The indefatigable Daniel Goleman shifts his focus to the nuances of social intelligence. A good read for coaches and anyone who works with groups and is interested in the science of relationships. 

Kosmic Consciousness

Love him or hate him, Ken Wilber is a force in modern thought. His Integral Theory is a broad and powerful framework that can be used to make sense of anything. If you tried to access Integral Theory through Ken's written work, and found yourself with a splitting headache, try listening to this series of tapes.

Integral SpiritualityIntegral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World

Marketing Essentials For Coaches

This is the book that I wrote after giving far too many free talks on how to build a great practice and minimize your suffering as a new coach. 

It benefits from the best practices and collective wisdom of hundreds of successful coaches.  You can check it out by clicking on the picture.