Posted on Leave a comment

Episode 87: Creating A Vision For Your Coaching Business

Any time, but especially now, it’s a good time to review and revise your business vision. 

This episode explains two vision traps to avoid, and two steps to creating a compelling, inspiring, get-me-out-of-bed vision.

You might be asking – why write a business vision, and further, why would you revise it? 

Well, because your vision is a clear and vivid image or statement describing where you want to take your business and what it will achieve in the world.

It’s the thing that gets you excited. It’s a get-me-out-of-bed statement that inspires you to persist, no matter what, to overcome any obstacles that come up.

It is the outcome you seek to create, therefore your vision creates a framework for setting specific, actionable goals.

And of course, your vision may change over time, so you need to review and perhaps revise it from time to time – especially when your life and/or circumstances change.

A vision is SO important to your business because strong emotions are what drive us to persevere and what cause our customers to buy.

We need to create business vision statements that are aspirational, motivating and speak to a purpose that is bigger than ourselves.

A vision is SO important to your business because strong emotions are what drive us to persevere and what cause our customers to buy.

To get it right you need to reflect on your why – your values-based motivators; your deeper purpose, and what lights you up emotionally and touches your heart.

As you can guess, it takes some work to uncover these things. 

And that is probably why I see a lot of business owners struggling with creating a business vision – because they aren’t sure how to peel off the layers to find and explore their values and purpose.

So today I’m going to walk you through a process of defining a business vision so that you can firm that up and then, as a result, start to set and achieve meaningful, realistic goals.

I want to help you to create a vision for your coaching business that is realistic, meaningful and purposeful, so you can work every day on purpose.

Vision Traps

Before we talk about creating a business vision, I want to point out two main vision traps that people fall into. This will help you to understand why you might be getting stuck with your business vision.

The first main trap is the ‘looks good on paper’ trap.

If you’re like most people, you think that you operate and make decisions from a position of logic.  

In this case, rather than digging into what’s important to you and why, you are simply using your logic to examine some superficial facts about yourself and using those as your basis for creating a vision. 

Vision traps can happen to anyone who lives in a world of shoulds, or who isn’t that connected with their emotional side or values. Maybe you’re not sure if what you’re thinking is ‘right or not’.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say that you have had experience as a personal trainer, so it seems logical that you would set a business vision that builds around your skills in those areas.

For example, you might say to yourself, ‘I’m a personal trainer, so my business vision is that I want to help women in their 30’s to be fit and healthy and to have strong bodies that look good in a bikini.’

And let me just say – this is totally fine if that’s truly meaningful to you.

BUT maybe in your heart, you want to work with women who want to be consistent with going to the gym because they are struggling to manage stress, and they aren’t eating well or exercising as a result – and that’s meaningful to you because you’ve been in that situation yourself and it felt awful and out of control..

What I’m saying is this – If you looked a little deeper into what is truly meaningful for you, you might uncover that deeper sense of purpose, the stronger values behind the work, the bigger reasons for you to take action no matter what.

Think about how very different those two business visions might be – one around helping people to exercise, and another around helping people to manage their time, responsibilities and their minds.

The key message here is this: your past doesn’t necessarily dictate your future.

You get to choose a business vision that is meaningful and purposeful to you, in simple terms – it’s heartfelt

Sure, it may draw on any of your life experiences, skills and qualifications, but not necessarily the most obvious.

The second type of trap is the ‘this is working for other people’ trap.

It is similar to the ‘looks good on paper’ trap that I just described.

The main difference is that in this case, you’re not sure what you want to focus on, so you look at what others are doing and try to do the same thing – because it’s working for them, so it must be the right thing to do.

Notice once again how your logic is jumping in and taking over from the heart. Perhaps you are afraid of failing, or you’re unclear, or you aren’t backing yourself.

The same thing applies as for trap #1 – you need to get in touch with your feelings.

I am NOT trying to be your therapist here – just to explain what you need to do instead of using logic to define a vision.

And, I do want to say that yes, it can be useful to look at what others are doing to help you get perspective and ideas, and to help you to define what you like and don’t like.

But a business vision is a very personal thing and you probably won’t find that same level of emotional connection to someone else’s vision. 

Now that you’re aware of the traps, do either of them resonate with you?

Or are you really in tune with your heart and higher purpose, and working to that?

If you’re stuck and need help, let’s go to the next part – my process for helping you create a business vision that compels you to take action and persist.

Step 1 – Getting Clarity on Your Vision 

To clarify on the values behind your business vision, or the main areas you wish to focus on, I invite you to zoom out of what you think you know about yourself and start asking yourself some thought-provoking, coaching style questions, with a very open mind.

Here are a few of my favourite questions that can help you connect to what’s most meaningful and authentic to you.

  1. What did you love to do as a child when you were playing?
  2. What is your struggle to success story with your own health and wellness?
  3. What are your strengths and how have they helped you to change habits or maintain habits more easily?
  4. Who sees you as a role model, and why?
  5. What is your passion area of health and wellness?
  6. What really irritates you about a specific area of health and wellness?
  7. What do you feel is lacking in a specific area of health and wellness?
  8. What do people need more of? Why is that?

Using the previous example of a personal trainer creating a business vision, going through these questions might uncover things like:

  • You always struggled with body image
  • Your role model was Oprah – and you could relate to her yo yo weight struggles
  • You are passionate about helping women accept themselves and feel strong, without needing to turn to food
  • You are irritated about the unrealistic body imaging out there in the media
  • You feel that self-compassion is missing from the gym environment
  • You feel that the current advertising around gyms is disempowering and could speak more to strength, confidence and personal power
  • You want to help women to feel more confident about exercising in gyms so that they can be their fittest self

So as you can see, when you ask yourself for your opinion on things, your values are revealed in that conversation and you can uncover some more emotive statements that could be used to create a powerful, inspiring vision.

This exercise is a great starting point for creating a new business vision, or to clarify or test the relevance of your existing business vision.

Step 2 – Going Deep

To make sure you have gone deep enough into your values and motivators, you can use the Five Whys exercise.

This is really simple – it’s about digging deep to explore what’s behind the things you want to do or achieve.

It’s great to do this as an exercise for either a new business vision or an existing one – it is a reality-check that the vision truly represents what you feel, believe and stand for.

Basically, you look at the vision you created and ask yourself why five times in a row.

Those are all why type questions that might reveal values.

Here is an example to illustrate how it works.

Let’s say your business vision is to inspire women to feel confident about exercising in public so they can be strong, fit and confident role models in life.

Now you can use the five whys to see whether that really does matter to you, and what the values or motivators are behind that.

You’d first ask yourself – why is that important to me, personally?

Maybe you want to smash society’s body image issues and right the wrongs of the media.

Then ask yourself another why question, like – So what? What difference will that make?

Maybe you feel that if we all had better body image, we’d be more confident in our daily lives.

Then ask yourself something like – why does that matter?

Perhaps you know from personal experience that when you feel good about yourself, you can achieve more and be more and that feels amazing. You feel happier and healthier. Stronger.

Why is that important?

Maybe you feel that women are role models for their kids and peers, they have the power in the family unit, and they have a unique opportunity to end the cycle of body shaming.

You might then ask yourself – What could that create in the world?

And perhaps the answer is equality. Peace. Confidence. More women in more powerful roles, making the world a safer, happier, healthier place.

These are all just made up examples, but I use them to illustrate how you can go deeper into what’s important to you personally, so you can polish up your vision and make it more meaningful.

Road Testing Your Vision

Exploring the values behind your vision is designed to uncover the deeper stuff that is personal to you, so you will probably know when you get it right. 

But in case you are unsure, there are a few ways to road test your vision to make sure it is true, values-aligned, meaningful, exciting and compelling.

1. Read it aloud, with gusto.

Do you feel a swelling in your chest, or goose bumps, or feel a little teary, or hear the word ‘yes!’ in your head? 

Then it’s probably on the mark.

2. Ask a client’s opinion.

How does your client respond to the vision when you read it out? Are they visibly and audibly excited or inspired, does it resonate?

If so, then it’s probably on the mark.

3. Read it on a day when you feel tired and flat.

We all have bad days. And if you read your business vision on a ‘tired, flat’ day – does it perk you up, get you interested and fired up again?

If so, then it’s probably on the mark.

A word on perfection here – it may take you time to get it right. Maybe 3 months, or a year.

It may change over time, as your stage of business, life or priorities change.

And that’s ok. 

Review it once every year as part of your business planning process. And as long as your business vision inspires and excites you, it’s doing its first and most important job.

Then, you are ready to set some goals to achieve it.

Summary

Your business vision should be an inspiring, vivid statement that describes what you want to achieve in your business, and why that’s important to you.

A lot of people try to create a vision based on their logical thought processes, or leave their vision on the shelf for years without revising it.

Your business vision should be an inspiring, vivid statement that describes what you want to achieve in your business, and why that’s important to you

Today I talked about how important it is to bring heartfelt emotion into your vision, so that you are truly and emotionally connected to it.

That will bring energy and emotion into your marketing and help you to set relevant goals for achieving it.

Using a process of big picture questions to uncover what you want, and the five whys process to clarify the values behind it, is a great way to create a compelling vision statement for your business.

If you need help with this, visit melaniejwhite.com/contact and drop me a line, we can make a time for a free coaching call to see if this is something I can help you with.

Ready to create an awesome business vision?

You will love the feeling of having the right energy and emotion in your business! 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 Leave a comment

Episode 10: 9 of the Best Reasons to Target a Niche

9 of the Best Reasons to Target a Niche

Today I want to dive deep into why you might want to target a niche. 

Why define and target a niche in your business?

Here are 9 of the best reasons I have:

1. Your niche sets the scene for everything else you do in your business.

Most people in business make the newbie mistake of rushing into a big marketing effort but before you can market anything and sell anything you need to know what you want to sell, and who you are selling it to, how it’s going to help that person, what you’re going to charge them and why it’s great value. When you know those things you are ready to start marketing with confidence. Then you get clarity on what sorts of services you’re going offer, how you are going to market to them, where you are going to find them and what sort of business systems you’ll need.

2. Targeting a niche allows you to stand out and be known.

There’s a saying that goes: “If you don’t stand fo something, you stand for nothing”. If you want to be different to every other service or coach out there, targeting a niche allows you to become a specialist, you become known for one thing. It helps you build a profile, and be recognised. It’s much easier to be known and attract clients that way

3. Jack of all trades, master of none.

If what you do and the results you offer aren’t clear, then your potential client listening will question your ability to be good at those things. It raises questions of trust. Most people when seeking help are trying to solve one specific problem. You will be easier to find if you have a clear message. You can position as a specialist in one area, it creates trust, and makes you easier to find.

4. You can’t multi-task problem solving.

Remember that coaches work on helping people change their habits. It takes about 68 days to form one habit. That’s the average according to research. As a coach, you want to help people get real tangible results in the time frame that you are working with them, which will typically 6-12 weeks. They are not going to get the results they are after if you try to throw the kitchen sink at them. If you help a client work on one issue and maybe 2-3 habits around that one issue, they will get far better results than if you try to do everything and cram it in. Keep out the kitchen sink and focus on that one thing. That’s what targeting a niche is all about.

 

5. Your vibe attracts your tribe.

Whether you like it or not, you are going to attract a certain type of person. Normally that person is going to be pretty much like you, I say around 70-80% like you in terms of their age, values, journey. If you work out who YOU are and therefore who you are most likely to attract, you are going to find it much easier to find loyal clients who love you. This is especially important in coaching, where relationships and personal service and chemistry are everything in terms of your business success. Take the straight line approach, and start looking for the people who you naturally attract.

6. You can more easily create high value services.

People buy for 2 reasons: they buy because they want to solve a problem or they buy for pleasure. IOf you are working as a health or wellness coach, your are working to help solve your problem. Imagine if you went to see someone who knew exactly what your circumstances were and what you were going through and exactly what works. How would you feel? This is what I mean by high value services. If you can tailor your coaching, your tools, the resources that you use, the types of programs and services that you offer to a particular niche, they are going to feel as though you are servicing them and their specific needs. The perceived value of what you offer is going to be much higher than if you offer something general that might not tick all the boxes for them. That’s really important when it comes to pricing and earning what you want to earn in your business.

7. Finding a niche allows you to target your marketing and save you time money and the heartache of rejection.

When you know exactly who your ideal client is, you can go directly to where your client is and know that I higher proportion of people are going to take up your services because they are your kind of people. Simply by focussing on the people that you can most likely help and who are most likely to engage with you, you will feel more confident because you will get a greater response rate and more engagement, more buy in. It will save you time, money and heartache. Marketing becomes much easier when you target a niche

8. Most of a buying decision is based on feelings.

When you can relate to your ideal client and tell their story authentically, they will want to buy from you because they feel that sense of rapport and relationship. By building an emotional connection and trust with your ideal client, they are going to have stronger emotional connection with you in the beginning, which makes them more likely to buy from you

9. You can invest your heart and soul in what is most meaningful for you.

This will help you find a true sense of alignment. You will sense that you have deep meaning in your work, a purpose that is authentically you and what you are truly interested in. That means you will probably do a really good job at it. Imagine what it would feel like to turn up to work and love what you do and be totally immersed in it. Your enthusiasm and energy for what you do will in turn attract more clients to you. Instead of trying to be good at everything, just be good at everything, just be good at one thing. Figure out what you love to do, and just do that. It’s going to be way better for attracting clients and creating better outcomes.

Those are my reasons for starting out with a niche.

It makes everything clear and simple, and you can change as time goes on.

When you start out you may not be clear on who you are and who you’d like to target, but you can explore and experiment to find your niche. Put a time limit on in, I suggest around 3 – 6 months. Go out and meet people being around people and understanding their challenges and see what lights you up the best. Then take one direction and follow it for 6-12 months, give it a good go and see how it works for you.

Ready to find your niche?

You’re invited! The Habitology Membership is the perfect tool if you’re truly ready to grow a successful coaching business – and that starts with you. I encourage you to check it out. Learn more here: