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

The Yin-Yang symbol or Taijitu



"The Tao is always at ease." - Lau-tzu


Dear Friends,

I hope you are well and enjoying this busy time of year. Here are some thoughts and musings selected to help you along. 




1) Yearnings for Yin 

2) Be Nice With Rice

3) Marketing Reflections -  What Works, What Doesn't 

4) Let The Transformation Begin - January's 6-Figure Practice Mentor Program Announced

1) Yearnings for Yin

To the ancient Chinese, the Tao (or Dao) symbolized "the way of nature", a way of living wisely achieved by careful balancing of the "yin" and "yang" energies of life. To Taoists, the yang represents the energy of doing, of moving into action. The yin is the energy of being and going with the flow. 

The ancient Chinese sages taught that too much time spent in either the yin or yang can lead to imbalance, and that the universe will always act to restore balance. While it is possible to be stuck in the yin energy (I think we all know a few world champion couch potatoes), in our modern culture it is far more common to be addicted to the yang energy. We are raised to; do, accomplish, overcome, strive, accumulate, achieve, exert, etc.  While the yang energy is essential to the success of many endeavours, if it is not regularly balanced by yin activities, (truly restorative, reflective time), it can lead to trouble. 

Nature teaches that if you want to build a muscle, it requires some stress, followed by a period of rest. If you choose to continuously stress the muscle it will lead to injury. In our busy lives, when we chronically stress ourselves the injury can show up in strained relationships and a general loss of joy, direction and meaning. We can become far more fearful, more compulsive and more reactive. If we continue to ignore the yin, burn out and physical illness can follow.  

Most people would acknowledge the truth in this ancient teaching. However putting this wisdom into practice is an entirely different matter. When you are stuck in a particular energy, it is our human nature to stay with what we know.  For example, a super high achieving "yangster" might seek "renewal" in an exhausting physical workout. (For many individuals the very idea of completely unplugging and relaxing on a daily basis can seem preposterous.) 

Without sufficient yin time or balance, life can become one long, joyless, exertion; a constant act of will. 

With balance comes greater clarity and alignment, and we move into action from a place of joy and enthusiasm. It is easier for us to access our deeper wisdom and creativity. It is from a balanced perspective that we can begin to strip away the layers of conditioning and fear and begin to truly open our heart. It is only with an open heart that we can become truly inspired in our life.

As simple as this concept of balance may sound, the impact of its practice can be profound.

"When the great Tao is forgotten, goodness and piety appear. When the body's intelligence declines, cleverness and knowledge step forth. When there is no peace in the family, filial piety begins. When the country falls into chaos, patriotism is born."

Lao-tzu  (circa 500 B.C.E.)

2) Be Nice With Rice

Would you spare one minute of your day to help feed a family in need on the other side of the world?

If so, here is a great site that I learned about from a colleague. It allows you to have some fun building your vocabulary, and for each word you get right, a small portion of rice is donated to people in need.

Check it out at

Be sure to forward this link on to all your friends. (Let's see how many people we can feed.)


3) Marketing - 10 Years In, Reflections on What Works, What Doesn't 


I happen to believe that coaching is a very honorable and powerful service. I also believe coaching has a profound impact on elevating awareness, joy and effectiveness. The world needs many more successful coaches. Unfortunately, in our young profession most of the effort has been put into teaching the coaching skills, and too little effort has been put into helping newer coaches understand and obtain the skills and practices necessary to succeed commercially. Therefore, I have always reserved a portion of my practice to give free talks and run affordable marketing programs for coaches. 


Over the years I have offered a variety of trainings on all aspects of building a successful practice.  What I have observed is that while you can quickly teach a new coach the basic skills on how to hunt and gather clients one at a time, few coaches enjoy this work or can sustain the approximately 3 to 5 hours of marketing required to obtain each new client this way.


However, if you can help a coach find a set of ideal clients that they are truly inspired to serve, and if you can help them understand what challenges/changes/goals these clients are prepared to spend money on, and you can help the coach identify the most authentic, natural and most accessible way to connect with these clients in large numbers, then the coach's practice really takes off. 


For most coaches, accomplishing this, takes more than simply acquiring knowledge.  This is because the knowledge alone does not get them inspired, and does not change their current limiting perspectives and behaviors. Surprise, surprise, it actually takes some focused 1 to 1 coaching to make the transformation necessary to achieve the breakthrough.


If you are not getting the results you want in your practice, here are a few ideas for you:


  • Find a group (niche) you absolutely love to work with, who are easy to connect with in large numbers, and who are already spending money to solve their problems. (I provide a free talk on this process at )

  • Learn what competitive solutions (books, workshops, consultants, etc.) your ideal clients are currently spending money on, and what is working and what is not.

  • Decide which of your ideal client's unmet needs are best addressed by coaching, and create a talk, article, or workshop sharing your knowledge, perspective and insights that will establish your credibility and give them a flavor of all the ways you could help them create value. (Coaching is almost always a better solution than the unsupported books or workshops they are turning to now. It takes time for new knowledge to become new behavior. Coaching creates the relationship which keeps the focus on the changes a client wants to make long enough for their intention and knowledge to become new behavior.)

  • Learn what is the best way for you to connect with your ideal clients, based on your strengths, personality, and the particulars of where you live. Networking? Writing? Speaking? Workshops? Web marketing?

  • Continue to share your knowledge with this group, through ongoing talks, articles or a newsletter, and make it very easy for them to try you out. (98.5% of clients love coaching, with the majority staying with you for over 6 months. If you make it easy for people to start with you, they will love it, and stay.)

  • And, to greatly speed your progress, do not try to do it all by yourself. (It is far, far too easy to get stuck, lost and discouraged. Alone you simply don't see what you need to change or to let go of. Set up some regular support system with a colleague or your coach.)

4) Are You Ready to Move To A New Level In 2008? 
(Hurry, registration now open on the next 6-Figure Practice Mentor Program.) 

I only get time to run about two of these programs a year. If you are looking for some affordable, yet truly transformational mentoring, see if any of these are true for you:

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

- You are well trained as a coach and can add a lot of value to your clients. 

- Despite your strong coaching skills, you struggle to keep your practice full.

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

- You know more success is possible, and are tired of the many "quick fix" solutions.

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

- You like programs with a track record of success and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. 

If any of these are true for you, here is advance notice that my next 6 FIGURE PRACTICE MENTOR PROGRAM will run in January.  If you are interested, please check it out and 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 70K.

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. 

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 generates rave reviews. Participants have told me they have really enjoyed the deeper work it permits. 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 all about the program, and see the latest testimonials at:  


"By is far, far too easy to get stuck, lost, and discouraged, 
and simply not see what you need to let go of"




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Life Coach and Business Development Specialist Steve Mitten B.ApSc, CPCC, MCC draws on the art, science and soul of making transformational change, to help individuals, professionals and leaders find their niche, be their best and make an impact.

Visit Steve at


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