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E#204 How to Better Explain What You Do So You Can Attract More Paying Clients

This episode is about how to better explain what you do so you can attract more paying clients

A lot of coaches have trouble explaining what they do, what health coaching is and how it works. And that’s why I want to get a bit ranty today. We’ll talk about the #1 reason why you may NOT be getting the leads you want, and how best to explain what you do so that you can confidently speak to people and attract more paying clients.

Advocacy vs Niche Marketing

I want to start this episode by talking about advocacy versus niche marketing. The problem I see is that a lot of coaches are so stuck on telling people what health and wellness coaching is BUT they’re not really communicating the value of health and wellness coaching. Let me explain

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Advocacy vs Niche Marketing
* Appealing to Emotions
* Brand Laddering
* How to Attract Paying Clients

For starters, people buy things that they believe will get them a result.

But if you are trying to explain your services in terms of how your profession works, then you’re not really talking about how you help the individual or the results they will get.

For example, imagine a doctor explaining how doctors work. He might say something like:

“Well, patients come to see me when they’re not feeling well. They come in and make an appointment and then we sit down and go through the health history, and I work out what’s going on with them now and I may prescribe medication or treatment that will help them to get better. They might come and see me again in a couple of weeks to make sure everything’s been resolved and that’s how being a doctor works.”

Now, I know that’s a really obvious example, but it illustrates what some coaches are trying to do when they’re explaining Health and Wellness coaching to people.

When you talk about helping clients to set visions and create goals and make lifestyle change, then you’re talking much more about how professionals in our industry work within a session with a client.

For the sake of clarity, let’s call this type of explanation “advocacy”.

The term fits pretty well with the dictionary definition of advocacy, which is “the act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending; active espousal.”

How do you know if you’re going down the road of ‘advocacy’ in your marketing?

Well, your copy would include words that focus more on our profession. The language you use would be broader and perhaps more about you as a coach. If you are using more thinking, factual or logical words to describe what you do. He might be also talking about qualifications and standards, professional affiliations, or the science behind what you do.

Let’s be clear – There is a role for advocacy in your marketing particularly if you are talking to other health professionals for the sake of building relationships to gain referrals. But you are not likely to get clients this way directly, because you were not speaking to them emotively in their language.

This is why I’d like to talk about niche marketing now.

Niche marketing is very different to advocacy. In niche marketing, your language focuses more on person, not the profession. You’re using more feeling words and specifically, the words that your clients used to describe their pain points and desired feeling-based solutions. You’re talking about their unmet needs, their perceived problem, how that plays out in their daily life, their desired solution and your value proposition. As a refresher, a value proposition is defined as a basic statement that communicates the benefit you promise to deliver to your customers post purchase.

This is how the hypothetical doctor might discuss his value proposition to a prospective client.

“I’m a Doctor who specialises in helping people who have just been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes or diabetes. I understand that being diagnosed with this might be a shock and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you are confused about your treatment options, mediation and their side effects, or which areas of your health require attention.

I understand how worrying this can be, especially with your work and family responsibilities at this time of your life. As someone who has treated metabolic conditions for 10 years, I am here to help you to navigate your condition, understand what’s going on in your body and take action to prevent the progression of this condition by taking action to lower your cholesterol, reduce your waist circumference, normalise your liver function and improve your physical and mental health.”

Can you hear the difference in the language? Of course, doctors don’t usually describe their work like that or use emotive language.

But if you had a metabolic condition and you heard those two descriptions, one based in more advocacy language and one about the challenges that someone with metabolic syndrome faces, which one would be more appealing?

Which one of those doctors would you trust more?

Appealing to Emotions

As I mentioned earlier, if you want to explain what you do really clearly and in a way that grabs attention then it’s important that you appeal to their emotions. And to appeal to someone’s emotions, talk with emotional words about things that they are emotionally engaged with.

You want to tell a story, but not just any story – you want to tell the niche client’s personal story.

You want to use descriptive and emotive words, and real examples of what the person might be thinking, living, experiencing and feeling. This portrays your understanding of them as a person and not just as a prospective client. This naturally brings a flavour of empathy, compassion, understanding and relatability to your words and messages.

Imagine how confident you’d feel knowing you had something that engaged people at their very heart and soul!

Brand Laddering

So how do you work out how to describe what you do in a more emotive way?

Brand laddering is one exercise you can do to bring more emotive language into your marketing copy, and to make it more about the person than about your profession. I will talk about that in the next episode, but the premise is that it helps you peel of the why’s behind the service.

It helps you to unpack the mental and emotional process your potential client goes through as they are becoming engaged to buy.

It works just like our very own coaching process of exploring the whys. As coaches, we explore a client’s challenge and desired solution with them by asking several why-type questions to uncover their values, motivators and drivers.

More in the next episode! But first, let’s back up a step and talk about a four step process to help you improve the way you describe your services to potential clients.

How to Better-Attract Paying Clients

If you want to get better at attracting paying clients, you will need to switch out of advocacy marketing and into niche marketing.

Here are four steps to better-explain how you work, and more easily engage paying clients.

1. Conduct LIVE market research interviews with your niche to hear what they are emotional about, and to hear the words they use to describe their problem, desired results and bigger why outcomes.

2. Create a brand ladder that captures the key words from these interviews, moving beyond the ‘features’ of what you do and into the emotional and transformational benefits.

3. Use this to craft a value proposition that clearly explains the tangible emotional benefits that your niche client wants.

4. Ask some of your niche clients for feedback on the value proposition. Why do they like it or why not? What does it mean to them? What would be more appealing, if anything?

Engaging people in your niche for feedback is ALWAYS, 100%, the best way to get your marketing copy, your explanation of what you do, and any descriptions of your services, spot on.

If in doubt – contact a business or marketing coach for support!

Summary

Today we talked about what coaches typically do wrong when describing what they do as a profession, and why it doesn’t work.

We compared the more factual, profession-based ‘advocacy’ approach to marketing, versus the more emotive, client-focused niche marketing approach.

Your ability to attract clients is all about appealing to their emotions. If you want to attract more paying clients, try following my four step process:

1. Conduct market research interviews with your niche

2. Create a brand ladder to draw out the more emotional, why-based words

3. Develop a value proposition using more emotive, client-focused words

4. Practice it on your niche before sharing your insights in your marketing

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#195 Danielle Dobson – Breaking the Gender Code

This episode is about Danielle Dobson – breaking the gender code

Danielle Dobson is hot property right now. As Author of the Gender Code, Professional speaker and executive coach, Danielle is making an impact in the corporate and small business worlds by helping women unlock their potential in leadership and life. In this episode, Danielle talks about her own career progression and Gender Code limitations, and how she broke through to create a successful business that is breaking ground and having an impact.

Connect with Danielle

https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielledobsondna/ https://www.codeconversations.com.au/ 

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What she’s doing now in her business
* Starting her business and the journey
* Her business traction point
* Challenges she overcame to succeed

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#194 Kristine Gardner Having an Impact With Metabolic Balance

This episode is about Kristine Gardner having an impact with metabolic balance

Kristine Gardener of Melbourne Wellness Coaching is a wellness coach, naturopath and Metabolic Balance Coach who is running a successful weight loss coaching business. But in the beginning, she wasn’t sure how to get traction and where to start. This interview uncovers her journey to success, and what it took to get there.

Connect with Kristine

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristine-gardener-consulting-coaching/ https://melbournewellnesscoaching.com.au/

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What she’s doing now in her business
* Starting her business and the journey
* Her business traction point
* Challenges she overcame to succeed

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#188 3 Reasons Why Knowing Your Niche is Valuable

This episode is about 3 reasons why knowing your niche is valuable

Why does having a niche and knowing your niche matter in business? Simply, because it allows you to quickly build trust, and rapport and be seen as a specialist or expert, and therefore attract clients more easily. Today, I’ll outline three reasons why knowing your niche is valuable, with some examples, and how you can get to this level yourself.

While marking assessments in my Passion to Profit course, it became clear that some students knew their niche really well. I’d like to showcase the value of knowing your niche by sharing some of the insights presented by students.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Speaking Their Language In Your Marketing
* Matchmaking Relevant Program Content
* Referrals, Referrals, Referrals

Reason 1 – You Can Speak Their Language in Your Marketing

When you understand what your niche is going through each day, you can easily demonstrate that and tell their story in your marketing.

When asked about the type of content they would create for the niche, one student really understood that her audience (busy professionals) were very capable people but often felt alone. They are the type of women that have role models and like learning from other successful women, and they like reputable, fact-based information sources.

Her ideas for content included expert interviews with or by other women, fact-based news and statistics, and some self-assessment tests.

These content ideas are perfectly matched to a professional, capable niche and will likely create better engagement.

Her niche are readers who trust published information written in more formal language, and who expect more professional standard of information.

To that end, she has self-published a book, has developed a newsletter and will be creating a series of videos that match what they need and want.

This coach has also identified that her busy professional audience wants to wind down and get ready for a fun and inspiring weekend, so she plans to create content on Thursdays for posting on Friday – just in time to end the week on a positive note.

What happens when you know your niche so intimately?

You know what they want, can anticipate when and how they want to receive it, and what they need and want to hear.

This builds trust and rapport, and makes you the logical choice as the right person to work with.

When you get to the stage of a ‘good fit’ call, they have often already decided you’re the one they want to work with, because you ‘get’ them and speak the same language.

Reason 2 – You can Matchmake Relevant Program Content to Your Niche

With a niche of busy, stressed professionals, this same student decided that the flavour of her content should be short and to the point (time efficient and easy to read).

In her marketing and her programs, she’s developing shorter forms and surveys using via electronic links to complete and submit online with the press of a button, rather than lengthy documents to fill in.

Her niche tends to feel negative or frustrated, so she will focus on positive statements and reframes to help boost their spirits and bring a bit of spark to their day, and a supportive group that helps them to feel connected and engaged.

Reason 3 – Referrals, Referrals, Referrals

What comes to mind when you think of a specialist?

When I hear that word, I think expertise, a higher price, someone who knows exactly what I’m going through and what I need, and someone who is equipped to help me with every little thing.

Niching down and being more specific allows you to be good at something specific – to become a specialist.

When you run a coaching program that is tailored to a certain type of person, using the content, words and imagery that they more personally relate to, they will more likely commit, persist and succeed with your program.

Of course, this assumes that you have screened and prequalified them first as someone who is ready, willing and able to change!

There is a saying that goes, you are the average of the 5 people closest to you.

What does that mean, in the context of THIS conversation?

It means that your successful clients have at least five friends who are just like them.

In other words, they know at least five people who are also in your niche.

If they have had the experience of personal, specialist experience from someone who ‘gets’ them and even better, has been on the journey or worked with lots of people like them, they will tell ALL their friends, which means referrals, referrals and more referrals.

In my previous weight loss coaching business, I would invite my finishing participants to let their friends and colleagues know about my coming information sessions, and to invite them to attend.

That alone ensured that my next information sessions were fully booked, and resulted in 95% conversion rates on the night.

Summary

Niching down is important not just for client attraction and engagement, but also for client success and results and even better, referral to more people like them (who are your ideal client).

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#182 Three Ways to Find New Customers Even If You’re Just Starting Out

This episode is about three ways to find new customers even if you’re just starting out

Have you been watching other coaches online and wondering how they’re attracting all these clients, while you’ve just got crickets?

Today, I’d like to share three super easy ways to find new customers even if you’re just starting out in business. Your core coaching skills are a key ingredient!

When you’re starting out in business, it feels like you have all these things to do and yet you don’t have any clients. It’s a strange kind of limbo. You’re probably posting all sorts of things in an effort to stand out, yet nobody’s liking, commenting or watching

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* The Evolution of a Niche
* Leading With Your Why
* Why Listening is Critical
* Niche Content Marketing – Getting It Right

What do you do?

If you’re like most people, you think you need to do another course or learn how to do social media marketing. But like most things, the problem is waaaay upstream of these things.

Let me explain.

Meredith Hill said, “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.”

What this means is that if you are speaking broadly and generally, using generic content that covers a lot of topics or problems, then it’s hard for the audience to understand who you are and who you help. People might glance at your content and scroll right past it because it doesn’t speak to them.

Consider the analogy of fishing. Your broad, general content is much like someone standing on the beach with a hook and a pilchard, hoping to catch a fish, but catching nothing.

Next to you, there’s a person who is smashing it online. They’re like the fisher who knows what they can catch at that particular beach, and they have the right hook and bait to catch that fish. If they’re catching tailor, it’s probably a gang hook with a pilchard. But if they’re trying to catch a mulloway, fresh or even live bait like yellowtail is better.

Hopefully, you’re getting the picture – the more you know about who you want as a customer or client, the easier it is to be visible and connect with them in your marketing.

This is what ‘finding your niche’ is all about, where your niche is a problem that exists, that certain types of people are desperate to solve, and will pay money to get help with.

Just like the fisherperson using a specific rig and bait to catch a certain fish, knowing your niche means you can go online and speak about specific topics to attract specific types of people who have specific problems – and in doing this, you stand out like a beacon to them, making it easy to be seen, trusted and purchased from.

So, how do you get started?

The Evolution of a Niche

If you’re in the process of career change, have just completed a training course in a totally new area and you’re starting a business, with no prior experience – please take a moment to acknowledge that that’s a pretty steep learning curve!

And just like you can’t go out beach fishing for the first time and expect to know everything about tides, weather, gutters, rigs, and which bait to use, please know that you can’t expect to know or perfect your niche and connect with them easily when you’re first starting out!

Your niche WILL evolve over time. The way to even start defining your niche is by actively speaking to people, using your coaching skills in daily life, and working with practice or paid clients.

Your clients are your teachers. You can start to notice common trends in the conversation, which people you have the best rapport with and how they describe their problems.

This is the evolution of a niche.

As you get more and more experience in using your coaching skills, you will get more and more clarity about your niche.

In my experience, there are three levels of niche clarity:

1. You are totally clear on your niche.

This is usually because you have been engaging in your own or other groups about this problem, have a lot of experience with clients who have a specific problem, or have been on your own journey as part of a group.

2. You have some level of clarity on your niche.

This is usually based on a passion you have or experience with a specific problem area that is meaningful to you. In either case, you can do market research to further your understanding of your niche person and problem, and work out what they want your help with, so you can find the common ground.

3. You have a great idea but have no clue on who would need or want it.

If you’re really stuck wondering how to attract customers, you’ll need to get started with something. Beyond working with practice clients there are three ways you can start to work out your niche and attract new clients online, beyond just doing practice coaching.

1. Start with your why

When posting online – any kind of post – focus on your why, values and passion area.

One thing’s for sure – when you get ranty and fired up about something, some injustice or area of need, that sense of conviction will be appealing and attractive to the right people. It’s the values and beliefs that we have in common with others, that create attraction between us.

In other words, people form relationships because of shared values. When you lead with your why you put your values on display. This gives people an insight into who you are, and they can work out if you are someone they would like to know more about.

By zooming in on your why, you can find some things to talk about and start to create ideas on specific topics of interest.

The key word here is specific. Having a why of ‘wanting to help people’ is pretty vague. Be more specific at least about an area of health and wellbeing, like weight loss, or exercise, or mental health.

Assuming you are on a social media platform where people can search for content topics easily, you can experiment with why-driven posts to see which ones get the most engagement.

2. Start listening and reflecting

Once you have identified a few topics, do a little live and online research to gain opinions and insights, and to see how engaged other people are with those topics.

For example, if you’re getting ranty about impostor syndrome, or weight gain after 40, or anxiety in menopause, what are other people saying and thinking about those things?

Take your coaching skills out into the world and ask people for their opinions. Notice how fired up they are too – or not. See the problem from their point of view.

How big of an issue is that thing for them? Why or why not?

What is their magic wand solution?

What possibilities might open up, if they could solve that problem?

As you do this work, notice the physical shifts you experience. Notice which topics or particular conversations excite you, grab you by the heart, or make you irritated.

And most importantly, notice how your sense of clarity and confidence develops as you talk to people about what matters to them.

3. Explore niche content marketing

The third way is to explore what’s in the news and social commentary about niche content that’s already out there. This is a slower, longer-term game compared with live conversations.

Think about whether online research is an initial project to help you understand your niche, or whether you will continue building information and content over time as part of your marketing. If you have skills and strengths in research, detail and writing, then this might be a good strategy.

Here are some questions you could ask yourself while exploring niche content online:

  • What are the most popular angles being talked about?
  • Where is the gap?
  • Do you agree, or disagree? Why?
  • Which posts or episodes make you irritated or frustrated? Why?

Write down all the things you like, agree with and disagree with.

Then, look for qualified facts to back up your views, for example, from Google Scholar, or recognised institutions.

Check in with yourself to work out which topics are most meaningful and interesting to you. These are the ones that will create a natural energy that is attractive to your audience.

Based on the topic or related topics you have identified, develop some blogs, live videos or podcasts that map out the problem, and outline 2 – 3 things that back your position.

Then, you’re ready to promote these topics to your audience – but not all at once!

For example, let’s say that you are really into natural methods of managing and avoiding stress, and you are super interested in managing the nervous system.

You’d talk about one or two related topics per month over a series of months.

Start your first month talking about one topic in-depth online and offline – in this example, let’s say you focus on comparing different breathing techniques to manage stress. You could find research papers and share the findings, and also your own experience.

Note which conversations or posts get the most interest.

In the second week, start refining the conversations to focus on the specific parts of the topic that are most popular. For example, you might find that people have been talking about the 4-7-8 technique because it’s been in the news and was developed by a Harvard-trained medical doctor, Dr Weill, so you could ask for people to comment on their experiences or insights about the technique. This will get engagement and organic reach.

If you wanted, you could collate all your insights from the month and do a live presentation or in-depth blog at the end of the month. Invite people to attend, invite comments and/or sharing through your networks. The next month, you might start talking about something that goes a bit deeper, like polyvagal theory, which is related to and goes deeper into the topic of the first month.

The first thing that happens here is that by posting on specific topics, you will either attract “your people” – the people who like and trust you based on your messaging and promotion – or you will attract people who are curious and interested in your topics.

You will also be ignored by people who aren’t interested – but that’s a good thing!

This process takes you closer to understanding and clarifying who has the problem that you can help to solve, and what the problem means to them in their lives.

Over the series of months and topics, you will find out which topics are most interesting to your audience, what types of people like each topic, what their main challenges are, and you will be closer to defining your niche.

Over a longer period, you can refine your content and topics to meet the audience, and you can also go back and update older content you created so it is more up-to-date and polished.

Summary

When you’re new to the business, it can be easy to compare yourself to others and wonder why they seem to be so successful, when you’re just getting crickets.

If this is you, remember that your clients are your teachers. By using your coaching skills in daily life, and by working with practice clients, you will start to get a deeper understanding of the people you want to work with, and what sorts of common problems they have that you can help with.

At the same time, you can do three things online to fast-track your understanding.

You can:

1. Develop posts and content built around your why (be specific)

2. Start listening to what people say (live and online conversations) and reflect on the trends, and which topics and people light you up.

3. Explore niche content marketing, by assessing what is in the news, what is a hot topic right now, and which posts irritate or inspire you. Then, start developing content around specific topics that are relevant and meaningful to you and your potential audience and start getting a sense of their reactions.

Live conversations take the least amount of time, whereas online research is more time-consuming and takes longer to engage your niche. Reflect on your skills and strengths to help you decide which way to go.

Welcome to the evolution of your niche! If you need help to understand, define and connect with your niche, book a good fit call to see if I can help you. My books are closed to personal clients until July, but I have space in my June Passion to Profit program if you need help to build the foundations of your business.

References

Balogh, A. Polyvagal Theory: A Simplified Explanation. Swan Counselling website accessed 28.2.22. https://www.swancounselling.com.au/polyvagal-theory-a-simplified-explanation/

Cuncic, A. October 2021. What is 4-7-8 breathing? Very Well Mind website accessed 28.2.22 https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-4-7-8-breathing-5204438

Shatto, R. May 2019. Here’s Why Shared Values Are so Important in Couples, Experts Say. Elite Daily website accessed 28.2.22. https://www.elitedaily.com/p/why-are-shared-values-important-in-relationships-experts-weigh-in-on-this-common-thought-17917975

Passion to Profit Program: Wellness Coaching Australia Website https://www.wellnesscoachingaustralia.com.au/business-resources/passion-to-profit/

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#174 Your Foolproof 2022 Business Plan

This episode is about your foolproof 2022 business plan

The start of the year is a great time to make plans. But how do you make a plan that is realistic and will guarantee results?

Today, I cover the three ingredients of a successful business plan that will ensure your success.

Ingredient 1: Start with Strategy

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘plan’? The internet defines a plan as:

  1. An orderly or step-by-step conception or proposal for accomplishing an objective.
  2. A proposed or intended course of action.
  3. A systematic arrangement of elements or important parts; a configuration or outline.
In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Why starting with a strategy is so important
* How to create a structured, SMART plan
* Reviewing and course correcting

What do you notice about these definitions?

I see that they are all about taking action. And taking action is great, and important….but in the words of organisational theorist Kenichi Ohmae:

“Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction.”

In other words, planning your actions is important, but there is a step BEFORE that.

The step is creating a strategy.

A strategy is the overall aim, objective or goal that you want to achieve.

When it comes to your 2022 business plan, you would define your primary aim for the year BEFORE you start the planning process.

I believe the best aims or outcomes are inspirational, realistic, aspirational and measurable. Here is an example.

“By 31 December 2022, I want to have helped 50 women reverse diabetes.”

If you think about this as an outcome, it meets all those criteria.

For the right person, this is:

· inspiring (ties in with a passion),

· something that can realistically be achieved with the right support, systems and effort (the timing and number and content has been done before by others),

· something to aspire to (reversing diabetes), and

· measurable (it has an end date, and a number of people).

So my question to you is – what is the overarching strategic goal you have for this year?

All of your plans will be borne out of that.

Ingredient 2: Create a Structured SMART Plan

This one is essential and it’s where a lot of people go wrong with a lack of detail, specificity and not seeking help. If you’re new at business and/or planning, you will need help with this!

Like the strategy, a structured plan has very specific actions, dates, milestones and metrics so that you can schedule tasks and check that you are on track.

Using the example I just mentioned, we can start teasing out elements of the plan.

“By 31 December 2022, I want to have helped 50 women reverse diabetes.”

In this example we can see that we need two things: a way to solve the problem, and a way to engage the clients.

Firstly, you will need to have a program and/or method for helping people reverse diabetes.

1. What is program or method you will use?

2. Has it been created yet?

3. Do you need to test it/get social proof?

4. Who else might need to be involved to help you?

By answering those questions, you can work out the actions that need to be taken, in which order, who will help you – and you can schedule those into a timeline.

Secondly, you will need to have a channel to find those 50 women with diabetes.

1. What does your market research indicate?

2. Where will you find them / where do they hang out?

3. What is your best marketing strategy that plays to your strengths – e.g. writing, speaking, PR etc?

4. Who can connect you with them?

5. What opportunities are there in your existing networks?

6. What will your marketing plan look like?

By answering those questions, you can work out the actions that need to be taken, in which order, who will help you – and you can schedule those into a timeline.

Ingredient 3: Review and Course Correction

A plan is great, but things invariably change as you progress, so you need to schedule time at least once per month to review your progress, and course correct so you can achieve your goal, or change the goal as needed.

We all find this bit hard because nobody likes changing the goals or goalposts!

Change requires a shift away from what we know and feel safe with, into the unknown.

BUT, as we know through coaching clients, the process of experimenting invariably changes the journey.

Making time to reflect, review, let go of what doesn’t work and change gears, is the absolute key to success.

In the example above, let’s assume that you did all your actions in January to find prospective clients through your networks…..but you drew a blank.

Or perhaps you thought you’d have your program finished by now and ready to pilot, but you haven’t gotten there yet and can’t find any pilot clients.

Eeek! Now what?

Well, simply go back to your plan and review it.

What didn’t work?

What did work?

What other opportunities are there to find pilot or real clients?

Who can help you get clarity on these things, so you can progress your plan?

As you can see, it’s one thing to come up with a strategy and plan, but life and business don’t go according to plan.

Your ability to problem-solve, troubleshoot, brainstorm, seek help or even pivot are what will help you succeed.

Please know this – there is no magical solution to any of these or any other problems. They require focus, attention, and work.

This is the reality of running a business, and you will gain valuable experience not just for yourself, but also empathy for your clients who are going through exactly the same process!

Summary

Today I mentioned that planning is essential for a successful business, but many plans go awry or fail.

The three ingredients for success are:

1. Start with a big-picture strategy

2. Turn the strategy into a structured, SMART plan

3. Review and Course Correct with help in order to stay on track for success.

If you need help with business planning, I have three spots available in January. Click here to book.

Otherwise, you can waitlist for my June Passion to Profit Course where we go through the foundational work behind the plan that is essential for success.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#160 Trusting yourself

This episode is about trusting yourself

Trusting yourself as a key to developing self belief – and in creating a thriving business. 

That’s because if you can’t follow through on your commitments, you will lack self-belief and self-confidence, and you will also be seen as unreliable or flaky by others.

How can you learn to trust yourself more and build more self belief, so that you can show up confidently and achieve what you want in the world?

That’s what I want to discuss today.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What Erodes Self Trust?
* What gets in the way of self-accountability?
* How do you find the motivation to do things?

What Erodes Self Trust?

I want to start by providing some backstory to this, and outlining some basics on how the brain works and how self-trust can be formed, or eroded. 

Firstly, you will only believe something is true if your brain has enough evidence to prove it. 

For example, if you have previously run and won (or come close to winning) a 5K race, then you probably trust that you can probably win a 5K race in future. 

Here’s another example.

Let’s say you have previously gotten up at 7am each day and created a daily work plan and then completed all of the tasks in your plan. You didn’t need anyone telling you to do it; you were self-motivated and just got it done.

Because you’ve had that experience, you trust that you can do it again.

Where I’m heading with this is that if you’re willing and able to be accountable to yourself, and do the things you set out to do, at least for a little while, then you will start to build self trust. 

But if you consistently start things and give up right away, or focus on what you haven’t followed through on, then your brain will notice the unfulfilled promises and tell you that you’re only capable of making empty promises and that you’re not to be trusted.

For example, if you keep meaning to walk each weekday after work but it doesn’t happen, maybe you never even start, then you will start doubting your ability to do things.

Or maybe, you just can’t be bothered!

Let’s talk about these two important pieces – self-accountability, and motivation – because they are so important for anybody who wants to achieve anything in the world. 

What gets in the way of self-accountability?

Have you ever wondered why it can be so hard to be self accountable?

The first reason is that when you always put other things and other people first, you often end up doing that at your own expense, and therefore letting yourself down. 

Or, if you have too much on your plate and so you constantly struggle to get everything done, you are also letting yourself down.

In either scenario – putting yourself last, or having unrealistic expectations – you are eroding trust in your ability to start, persist or complete something.

Let’s project this outwards for a moment and see how it feels to be on the receiving end. 

Imagine that you were working with somebody who constantly let you down. 

They would promise that they would do certain things by a certain time, or that they would have that report finished by Friday, yet they never ever met those deadlines. 

How do you feel about that person? Would you trust them? Would you be relying on them for things? Would you believe in their capacity to do things?

When you don’t meet your own goals and expectations, you end up feeling that way about yourself, and also, you become known as someone who is unreliable or flaky – which erodes trust from your client base!

How do you find the motivation to do things?

There are three things to think about here.

Firstly, what looks like lack of motivation is often lack of energy. 

That’s why people who are overloaded may find it hard to make decisions, feel overwhelmed and exhausted at the thought of doing anything new, or finding the mental energy to be consistent with habits. 

Secondly, motivation may come after you have made a commitment to something.  

Thirdly, motivation may come only when you know what to do and/or have taken the first steps. 

So, if you have avoided making decisions or if you haven’t mapped a clear plan or pathway, you might get stuck in an avoidance pattern where you don’t take any action because you aren’t committed or clear on what to do.

Three things to build more trust

With all that said and done, hopefully you’re clear on why you might not trust yourself.

But if you want to flip this around and start trusting yourself, you need to stop doing those things and change your behaviour.

Here are three things that can help you to build trust.

1. Honesty

Firstly, be honest with yourself. If you want to be consistent with something but you don’t have the energy, time or commitment, be clear on that and park the idea.

Schedule a date to revisit it when you think you might have some more breathing space.

Secondly, be honest with others.

Honesty also extends to your responsibilities at work and in your relationships. If you don’t have the capacity to do something, or the bandwidth to contribute, say so.

Don’t burn yourself out for the sake of someone else’s happiness.

Don’t put yourself last and expect to muddle through it. It won’t work.

By being honest with yourself and others, you will be able to set boundaries that give you time, space and capacity to actually do things for yourself.

Then you will be able to do those things, stick with them, and build trust.

2. Decide what you will commit to 

One afternoon when I was 14 years old, my best friend’s mother came into their kitchen and hung a rubber disc on the wall. It was the size of a dinner plate and it had writing on it.

“What IS that?” we said.

‘It’s a round tuit.” she replied. Sure enough, the disc had those words on it.

She said, “It’s a fun little reminder of all the things that I keep saying I will get around to doing one day.”

We all have things that we’d like to get around to doing one day, but as long as those things are hovering around in your brain without any action, there is a clear lack of commitment, importance and/or energy.

If you have a list of ‘round tuits’, I suggest you write them all down and look at the list with honest eyes and make some decisions.

Decide what you’ll never do and cross it off the list.

Decide which ones have merit and evaluate them. Visualise yourself actually doing them, and then, cross off any that aren’t important, realistic or likely.

Decide which ones you will do at some point, and diarise time slots to revisit each one and make a project plan.

When you have done this, your round tuits will become actionable projects that you feel honestly committed to.

One last thing on this. We all have to do things that we don’t like doing or find difficult, like writing a blog, or exercising. 

But we may need to do those things in order to succeed, so we can choose to make those things more enjoyable somehow, focus on the outcome we’ll get, or find ways to make those tasks a bit easier.

When you are committed to doing something, this part is much easier!

Rather than doing something ‘when you feel like it’, you will have a not negotiable, automatic habit that you do no matter what.  

3. Set specific goals and build in self-accountability. 

Once you have done the first two steps, you can create specific, tangible goals which are based on clearly defined, realistic actions with their own unique days and time slots.

Be clear to identify whether you need training or support to take each action.

Make sure your confidence of achieving each one is at least a 9/10.

Troubleshoot in advance – plan away the roadblocks and create cues and support to help you succeed, like reminders to complete a plan, or developing a checklist you can use to complete the steps.

This is the secret to setting and actually achieving all of your goals, and building self-trust through self-accountability.

When you start doing this, you will start to feel good about yourself, and the outside world will see and feel it, too.

Summary

If you can’t follow through on your commitments to yourself, you will lack self-belief and self-confidence, and you will also be seen as unreliable or flaky by others.

That feels terrible.

It can be hard to commit to yourself if you normally put yourself last, overcommit, or otherwise lack motivation.

Luckily, you can change ALL of these things, by

  1. Being honest with yourself and others about what you want to do and can do, 
  2. Making decisions on what you will and won’t commit to, and
  3. Setting specific goals with built-in self-accountability.

The more you commit to and achieve your own objectives, the greater trust you will have in yourself, the more confident you will feel, and the more self belief you will have.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

Posted on

E#157 Discipline Vs Commitment

This episode is about discipline vs commitment

I want to make an episode today about discipline and commitment. I’ve just come out of a lot of conversations I’ve had recently where people are talking about wanting to be more motivated and needing to be more disciplined in order to reach an outcome that they’re striving for.

I think the word discipline has a lot of negative connotations for so many people. They imagine this carrot and stick approach where they have to be hard on themselves in order to achieve something. 

Think about that concept for a moment. 

How does it make you feel?

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Comparison between discipline and commitment
* What does the word discipline mean to you?
* What can make someone commit?

What does the word discipline mean to you?

I was thinking about this the other day while coaching somebody. We were talking about how hard it can be to do new things and that you may have to make yourself do something you don’t enjoy for a period before you finally do it regularly.

Using the word discipline – if it has a negative connotation for you – can make things feel harder!

Take exercise for example. You may not like getting sweaty and feeling puffed, so when you start exercising after a long break, it can feel a little difficult and you may not feel very disciplined about your exercise sessions.

Your brain starts coming up with all of the excuses why you can’t exercise, and you may not be very consistent for a period as you fight with yourself.

This is where we think ‘discipline’ is required to do the exercise.

So the work of doing the exercise is potentially much less pleasant than it could be. So change and consistency probably take a long longer!

The interesting thing is that at a certain point you learn to love the exercise and you look forward to it every day. You have made a decision to do it, and you. are committed to it.

This happened for me with teeth flossing a few years back. I found it fascinating to think that I had struggled with so-called discipline for several weeks and then I got to enjoy the feeling of commitment. I had decided not to break my record of flossing daily and I was totally committed to that. I tapped into my competitive streak to get to this point.

And I thought to myself, why can’t we just get the decision and commitment up front?

If we could do that, then we wouldn’t need to keep going back to this idea of discipline.

The adoption of flossing as a lifelong commitment took me about 14 weeks. That’s quite long, and imagine if I’d been committed to it in week 2?

What might have gotten me committed earlier?

If I’d had a coach who had tapped into my competitive streak, that definitely would have helped. As it was, I didn’t realise and use that strength to help me until about week 10 of my flossing journey.

This is why I love health and wellness coaching so much, because it’s such a strong component of our work and we can help people get there faster.

Health and wellness coaches are trained in positive psychology and we do a lot at the front end of a coaching program with someone in helping them to tap into their whys, and develop that decision and commitment to a new habit that they’d like to form.

I think this is a golden opportunity to take some of the pain out of developing or upgrading habits, and to rather focus on why we want them and why we are committed to them.

Some people need a lot more work in this area than others.

For example, it was only after several coaching sessions examining all angles of a relationship with exercise, that my client was able to finally decide it was a not negotiable activity and that she was ready to commit to it.

But the fact that we had those conversations week after week about all of the things that were important to her, as a key part of her arriving at the place of commitment.

Once commitment is in place, once you have made the decision to do something no matter what and you are totally committed to it then it becomes easy. You don’t have to rely on the easily-fatigued muscle of willpower any more. 

You’re doing something because it is important to you and you want to do it, so the discomfort involved in doing the thing is minor compared to the sense of achievement and reward of doing it. 

There is one caveat on this conversation of discipline versus commitment. In some cases, you might think that you want to do a certain thing and it may actually take a journey of experimenting and trialling and testing to figure out that you don’t actually want to do that thing. So if you are in this situation, then perhaps it is more relevant for you to focus on experimenting rather than trying to gain commitment. 

On the other hand, if you are sure that you really want to commit to something and you have some very good reasons, then perhaps there is a language there for you to gain that commitment much easier so that habit is more enjoyable

I challenge you now to think of a habit you are trying to form, or be consistent with.

What could help you just decide to do it?

What could help you commit to it, no matter what?

Summary

Today we compared discipline with commitment.

We discussed the fact that discipline may have negative connotations for some people, and it may make a journey to form a new habit or be more consistent with a habit a little bit harder.

On the other hand, if you focus on the benefits, the strengths that you can use, and the reasons why you want to make the change right at the front of the journey of change, and the more likely to make a decision to continue and gain commitment to that habit so that it becomes much easier and more enjoyable to continue.

In any case, that commitment to the habit is where sustainability comes in.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here: