Loosen the Grip on Your Story
I met my business partner Colleen in a small mastermind group our friend put together for new coaches. I was nervous stepping into the group. I just finished my life coaching certification and the only clients I had were a few financial advisors that needed (or so I thought at the time) consulting more than coaching support. I knew life coaching was going to be the foundation of my new business, but how was I going to articulate my story? Let’s just say I may have practiced the new version of my story several times on the drive to the meet up.
As coaches we strive to develop our signature program. Ideally this program ties our philosophies, personal and professional experience, formal education and wisdom all into one offering. We highlight our coaching style as a part of our marketing and identify the avatar for our ideal client. We have to know how to clearly communicate what we do and who we can help. And everyone tells us to practice it to perfection.
I did not want to be the business, leadership or development coach of my past. I was going to be a LIFE COACH (damn it!) and I was going to help people flourish in their personal life while creating boundaries and balance in my own life. I was craving a very, very clean slate.
That first mastermind group all gave me a look that I’ve seen a lot over the past year or so. Puzzled but supportive these connections expressed their surprise that I wasn’t utilizing my years of business and development experience as a foundation for my own business. I continued to give that speech to so many people in my first six months as a coach even as previous employees, peers and executive partners engaged me to coach them.
I believed that in order to separate myself from the past I needed to create a new story for my future. Every program I designed and delivered seemed to include the wisdom and stories of my past and yet I still stayed in denial. I kept taking “short term” consulting projects on, but they all seemed to require a lot of listening and coaching. Finally, a fellow coach asked me a powerful question: In what ways could I bring my consulting experience into my coaching programs as an additional value.
Fast forward to today. Most of my clients are financial advisors, managers or executive leaders. My business experience is combined with an aspect of true life altering coaching techniques. The clients of my past are actually the ideal avatars of my future. And it feels great!
It’s ok I screwed up my story. It’s a part of exploring what we really want as our business grows. Loosen your grip on whatever story you’re telling yourself today and let it unfold along the way. It’s easier said than done when you have something to prove (or in my case reject), but giving yourself a little room for uncertainty can help creativity bloom. Let people know you’re on a journey and it’s ok if you don’t know the exact end game. Putting yourself out there and seeing who you naturally attract may help you develop a strong signature program and ultimately a perfect fit for your business!