GET THE EDGE
Think Bigger About Being a Business Coach
by Michael Port
Many proclaim that the coaching industry is one of the world's fastest growing professions—particularly sources who stand to profit from the growth of the industry. And certainly, that's a fair statement—if it's true. But regardless, what really matters is how you, as a business coach, see what's possible for you and the individuals and organizations that you serve.
Are you creating opportunities that many only dream of? Or is the business coaching profession just another in a series of ideas you've entertained regarding possible career choices? Are you building your coaching business based primarily on the way you have heard 'it's done'?
You may have just finished your training. You may have three clients and have been in business for as many years. You may have more clients than you can handle. No matter.
Regardless of what category you fall into, the big question is this: How big are you really thinking about business coaching?
Maybe you are worried about the difficult course ahead. After all, the learning curve can be daunting, and the great distance you must cover is hard to contemplate. You might feel like you're about to embark on a cross-country marathon. The business climate can be unpredictable. Conditions may end up far from the ideal. Doubts and worries may be overwhelming.
Have you ever heard of 'No Man's Land'? No Man's Land is a state of athletic training that does not actually increase physical fitness. If athletes are in No Man's Land, they feel as though they are working out—they are sweating, they are breathing more heavily, their heart rate is up, and their bodies may feel tired after their workout. But this place is neither easy enough to get the benefits of a recovery workout, nor difficult enough to reap the benefits of anaerobic threshold training. It's actually rather comfortable. In athletic training, when athletes spend most of their time in No Man's Land, that's exactly where they stay.
Might you be in 'Business Coaching No Man's Land'? In this sort of 'psychological' No Man's Land, you feel as though you are working hard, but you're not necessarily getting the results that you want.
If so, it's time to move out of 'No Man's Land' and into 'Big Thinking Land' and get comfortable with discomfort—the key to doing big things in business and in life.
Regardless of what the business of coaching means to you, you must become comfortable with discomfort if you want to play a bigger game. As you allow yourself to experience discomfort, you become more comfortable, then move on to bigger and bigger things, once again allowing yourself to be comfortable with the discomfort each new challenge presents.
You already know that the size of your thoughts influences your actions. This you know. Small thoughts can get in the way and limit you. Big thoughts can push you to accomplish things that once seemed just out of reach, or perhaps even seemed impossible.
I invite you to redefine your approach to being a business coach in general and to building your coaching practice in particular. There is no standard model. It's up to you to create one for yourself. Imagine that there is no industry, that there is no standard way of delivering your services. As my friend and colleague Michael E. Gerber, author of The E-Myth, says, "Imagine a blank piece of paper and a beginner's mind."
Right now, write down your expectations for your coaching business. What past experiences have influenced your expectations? The stories you tell yourself about your past, your present, and your future either keep you thinking small or get you playing big.
Reset your past experiences and tell new, bigger stories; redefine your present offerings—what do you have to offer to your community? Finally, raise your expectations about what you can accomplish in the future. When you take these steps, you will think and act bigger about who you are, what you offer the world, and what sort of business coaching practice you want to build. You will give yourself the opportunity for more self-expression through your work. Thinking bigger is personal, is different for each of us, and draws on our unique individual talents. You will do bigger things if you view your coaching practice as a way to provide the most service to others—and as a means of expressing your own extraordinary gifts and contributions.
So, are you thinking as big as you can about being a business coach?
Michael Port, President of Michael Port & Associates, has been dubbed a 'marketing guru' by the Wall Street Journal. He has provided coaching, training, consulting and inspiration for over 20,000 small business owners, and is the author of the national bestseller Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even If You Hate Marketing and Selling (Wiley, 2006). Michael can be reached by email at email@example.com.