Vulnerability. It takes great courage to offer your gift to the world. It is not safe. There are no guarantees that you will be liked, loved, accepted, or make money. (Making money is often the tangible proof that we are liked, loved, and accepted. More on this next week.) Our culture as a whole does not teach us to offer our deepest heart’s gift as our work. Being part of the group and going with the flow gets more support. In fact, throughout history our ancestors were more likely burned at the stake or kicked out of the tribe if they spoke up too much or were too different.
So it makes sense that there will be those voices of fear, doubt, insecurity, shame, and criticism that you hear – whether inside your own head or outside of you coming from other people. We are well trained to look for flaws and to be cautious of being too big, too different, or too much ourselves. And yet, we love it when people dare greatly. We love it when people are vulnerable and real. It looks like courage and we love it when they succeed. Read more on finding your own inner calling and having the courage to live it in my most recent blog post.
You need to have a clear vision of where you want to go. Knowing your end goal will help you identify and have the courage to take the steps that will help you get there. So the first exercise we’ll do is visioning. I’ll demonstrate a process to help you get clear about the business you want to create. (Liza volunteers).
I give her the choice of talking about what she knows she wants to create here and now or imagining herself 5 years in the future and looking around to see what her business looks like. She chooses 5 years in the future.
Kassandra: Imagine yourself walking up stairs (See partner exercise in Homework Week 1)
- Close your eyes. Imagine you are walking. You come to stairs and start to climb. (give 5-10 sec pause for each of the following)
- You pass the first landing
- The second floor
- The second landing
- The third floor
- The third landing
- The fourth floor
- The fourth landing
- You come to the 5th floor. You see a door. You know that when you open this door you will see yourself 5 years in the future. You will see yourself in your business, this work you have created. Other things will be happening 5 years from now. Relationships, parenting, other work. For now you notice that what you will see is about this particular work that you have created.
- As you’re ready, please tell me what you are seeing/experiencing. When you’re ready open the door.
Liza: I’m in an older building with character. Brick. I’m sitting at a table with a Wellness Coaching client. They have reached some of their goals and have a lot of forward momentum. They are a bit overweight and that’s part of what I’m helping them with. I’m helping them get fit. The room is big and bright. Well lit with hardwood floors. No distractions. My hair is up and out of my face. I feel good. I am walking the walk (doing what I help others do). There are other long tables in the room, a fireplace and a couch plus longer tables I imagine others use for things like meetings and freelance writing. This reminds me of when I did freelance health and wellness writing. I liked the work but I didn’t like doing it from home. I like the feel of community I get from this space.
K: Is there workout equipment in the room?
L: No. I don’t want to be a personal trainer. I’ll refer that out to someone else. I have a walking group or running group. I teach group exercise like yoga and step aerobics. Now I see that there is a door to another room. It has room for working out, some hand weights and steps. A good space for yoga. A good space for the kids to run around when I don’t have clients. I feel nervous at the idea of teaching now, but 5 years from now I imagine myself cuing up music and teaching a class. I feel great. I like the people in the room. Good rapport with some comic relief. Bright focused energy.
K: How many classes do you want to teach? How many clients do you want to work with?
L: I still want to homeschool. I see my work fitting in with my family. I work a few days a during the week and one day a weekend. Every other weekend I work both weekend mornings 8-12. I’d like to teach 3 group exercise classes 1 step, 1 aerobic, 1 yoga. 10 one on one clients. Wednesday is a full day that looks like client, class, lunch, client, client, dinner, client, client (5 clients and one class with time to not rush. No back to back.) I could work with 2 more clients each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I also want the space to have a comfortable space for breaks, computer work, and private client consulting. A small office/combo room.
I want to make $50,000/year.
K: That looks like $1000/week which could be done very reasonably with 10 students each class at $10 each = $100 x 3 = $300 plus 10 clients at $70/session = $700. Then $700 + $300 = $1000. It can be done.
K – We’ll move on from the exercise and talk about what to do with your vision. Once you know what you want to do, you need to let other people know about it. You can have the best idea, product, or service in the world but if no one knows about it, it will not be financially successful.
The main way that I know to market and share vision is a website and guest blogging. That’s the focus of my marketing and what I’ll help you focus on. There are other ways to do it including advertising and social media. I don’t know much about either of those. If you do, I welcome you sharing with us all.
For your website you’ll need do a couple of things
1) Decide on a domain name
2) Write content for your website
3) Create the site deciding how much to do yourself and how much to hire out.
4) Promote your website so people can find it.
Here’s a bit of my story through those steps. (FYI – I didn’t share all of this in class and will be going into some of it in our next class. Feel free to ask questions.) My website is parentcoaching.org. This was not an intuitively great fit for me. In fact it took me about a year and a half to get comfortable calling myself a parent coach. My initial inclination was that I wanted to support women in life transitions. I wanted to help women through choice points like starting businesses, having children, getting married, getting divorced, and the doubt/growth that come with being human.
My business coach strongly suggested I narrow my focus to parent coaching because it’s a niche where people are looking for help. About 300 people each month search google for the phrase ‘parent coaching’. So my business coach reasoned that if I could get my website to rank well, I would get a significant amount of traffic to my site from google searches.
Then if we had a good site, we could convert those people from ‘just looking around’ to ‘qualified leads’.
Then if I could learn to be a good salesperson, I could convert those ‘qualified leads’ into ‘paying clients’. Most of you have been through that process with me. It’s worked well enough to build my business that, with a few tweaks, it’s the path I’m going to offer to you.
Something I didn’t expect was the amount of internal resistance I would encounter to being a successful business owner. Some of the voices I’ve encountered are:
- You’re not good enough (including variations like you’re not a good enough parent to help other people parent, you’re not a good enough business person, you’re not good enough at time management… This version got pulled out when I felt lonely and made me cry and want to curl into the fetal position nearly every time I thought of it – “You’re friends don’t even like hanging out with you enough to make time for you. What makes you think total strangers will PAY to spend time with you?”
In order for you to succeed, I believe you need to have room to be with and even befriend those ‘negative’ voices. Parts work will help with that as will some of the exercises we’ll do in class. Even just knowing that there is nothing wrong with you for hearing doubt and criticism, can help. Then when you find yourself watching reruns rather than doing your homework, instead of beating yourself up, you may be able to get curious and welcome in whatever part of you is afraid. Hold and listen to that part. You may even let it do the homework for you. Let it do the journaling.
We had about 15 minutes left and I’d covered all the theory I wanted to do for the class. So I asked for a volunteer for another demo. Meadoe stepped forward.
K: Current time or 5 years in the future?
M: current time.
K: Imagine you’re sitting with someone. What’s it fee like to help them with Inner Empathy?
M: feels great. I feel easy and confident. Then I feel anxious. I’ll feel really anxious before the client comes. I’m noticing how much I act out of fear and anxiety. Even when I think about having the business my hands get sweaty and I feel shaky. I need to do some parts work around the anxiety. It totally resonated what you said at the beginning of the class about how on a cellular level I carry the story that it’s not safe to be big, to be seen, to be myself. That was not encouraged in me as a child. I didn’t see it modeled.
K: It’s good to notice and welcome in the anxiety. For now, can you hold it gently in your awareness? It doesn’t need to go away and I wonder if it would be OK to turn attention to the energy that is excited to manifest this business?
M: I feel excitement to share the tools and coaching. I would love for everyone to have knowledge of these tools and support to use them. Inner Empathy is great for mental health. Making money is another block. I know I need to make money but I’m not excited for it. I have a deep feeling that something is bad about money. Maybe it’s my Christian upbringing. I need to do some parts work around that.
K: From what I’ve seen with myself and others and what I’m hearing from Meadoe. I believe that the anxiety and beliefs that money are bad are beliefs that will trump the excitement and desire to start a business every time. Anxiety and fear are more survival based. They are more unconscious. They have access to the inner engine that will fuel your actual behavior and what you actually manifest. Doing the parts work sounds like a great thing to do and I’m happy to do that with you Meadoe. Also in the “Intro to Coaching Skills” class you got the homework of carrying out 4 free inner empathy sessions. Have you done that?
M: Sorry the audio just cut out. Just kidding, I heard you. No I haven’t.
K: I had someone I thought would be great for you to do that with. Can I remember? How about asking women on this call?
M: OK. I’d like to offer free sessions to you. ….Don’t all reject me at once.
Margot: I’d like one but we’ve already worked together so I didn’t know if I counted.
Liza: I’d like one. I was on mute when I answered the first time.
Danielle: I’d like one.
K: Great. And Hassan is the one I had in mind for who I suggested it to and he said that sounded good. That would be 4 people.