For today’s episode, I thought I would answer a few questions that circulate in the life coaching community on what seems like a pretty regular basis.
I like to have conversations more than teaching, so I’m just imagining you and I sitting having a nice chat. I would love for you to chime in.
In true Jill the Money coach style, I’m going to answer questions with more questions because that’s just how I roll.
If you’ve ever coached with me, you know I ask more questions than I give answers. The reason is that It really doesn’t do much good to answer them for you, although I will offer my own personal experience. I find that the best solutions for you are the solutions I help you find. And the solutions that work best for you are the solutions you decide will absolutely work for you.
This has been true for me. When I read the book The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin, I really liked their approach of the valuable coaching conversation. As soon as I read it, I was like Yes! That is going to be my strategy. The valuable coaching conversation is simply an invitation to a free coaching session, where you just get to know the potential client. The way I see it is it’s a cross between a networking conversation and a coaching conversation.
It’s a great opportunity to offer tremendous value.
It’s a great opportunity to hone your coaching skills.
It’s very low commitment for the client.
It’s a great opportunity to get to know them and for them to get to know you as a coach.
When I read about the valuable coaching conversation, I decided that it would be a powerful solution for me that would work for me. It went against what I heard other people doing, but I didn’t care. The only evidence I looked for was evidence that it worked for me. And as a result I found that evidence.
I still use this approach today.
I could have just as easily decided that it wouldn’t work for me and I would have found just as much evidence of that.
It’s really important to start with solutions you want to work, solutions you want to believe in, because they align with how you operate in the world or they align with what you value. Then commit to make them the best solutions for you. When you do that, you’ll be working in your strengths instead of working against resistance.
And I know how it is. So don’t think I never had drama about the how.
We always want the how. I’ve driven my coaches crazy looking for the how-
Even if you look at stories in the Bible, those characters wanted the how-it’s how most of us are wired. And the how wasn’t the same for everyone.
I can think of several examples of people looking for the how in the bible -Moses, Gideon are just two. Gideon was so obsessed with confirmation that the how would work. He kept asking for signs.
Contrast that with David when he decided to go up against Goliath or with Elijah. They didn’t need the how. They just did what they felt was the next best thing to do. They listened to God, they listened to themselves/their intuition/their inner wisdom.
Solomon is another one that didn’t ask for the how, but he asked for wisdom to figure it out.
Instead of giving the how every time, I’m going to give you a process for figuring out the how. Because I subscribe to the idea to give a person a fish and you feed them for a day but teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.
So what is the process for figuring out how to do anything?
Find a handful of people to follow that have what you want and their life or their path resembles yours-what you have and for what you want, people who have done what you want to do in a way that’s similar to the way you want to do it. People that say things you want to believe. So, if someone says there’s a way you can build a business without putting-in full-time hours and you don’t want to build your business that way, keep looking Because your brain is going to always use that as a limitation and an excuse. Yes-you can totally do the work to get to different thinking, but if there’s an easier, quicker way, why wouldn’t you go that route. Spoiler alert-there is an easier quicker way.
They say that you become most like the five or so people you spend the most time with. Constrain your exposure to the people you want to have the most influence in your life.
Think about raising your kids or think about your parents raising you and your siblings. How do parents figure out how to raise their children. Well, they look to experts to get advice, they look to other people who have experienced raising children, then the rest they figure out as they go.
And even once you’ve had one child, when you have another, that doesn’t mean what worked for the first one will work for the second. You just have to experiment.
If you’re a teacher or a manager or a leader in an organization, you know that what works for one person might not work for another. Everyone learns differently. Not only are there different learning styles, but there are different ways that we each interact with the world, different ways we process information, different values and different life experiences.
Just be willing to start somewhere and be willing to fail, be willing to pivot, be willing to be wrong, but also be willing to be right, be there for it all. That’s how you do anything in your business. No. matter what the how is that you’re looking for.
You can also hire someone to learn from – a coach, a mentor, a teacher. There is a course about just about everything out there. Just know what you’re looking to get out of anything you seek to learn from, then be sure to follow through and get it. I can’t tell you the number of things I’ve signed up for that I never implemented. Mostly because I didn’t set my intentions before I signed up.
And it doesn’t matter whether it’s paid or free, you’re paying something even if you’re just paying attention or paying with your time and energy. Set your intentions before you sign up. Establish your strategy for how you’re going to get what you came for, then set yourself up to get that. What obstacles will come up? What will stand in your way? How will you overcome that?
Another question that comes up a lot is how do I find my people?
For this one, I have a different way of thinking about it.
When I first started in my business, I had that question for a long time. Then it dawned on me that my people were everywhere. This might seem obvious, but sometimes our brains block some of the best ideas and information when our brains are trying to keep us safe.
Like oh no, if she figures out that they’re everywhere, she might go out and do some dangerous things, like talk to those people and get to know them. We can’t let that happen, so we’ll just hide that information from her, back here behind these horrible memories of her divorce where she never goes. She’ll never find it there.
I picture my survival brain as very immature and very manipulative and sneaky. Your brain might not be that way, but mine totally is. It will hide stuff from me just to be an ass.
But even if you believe that your ideal clients are everywhere, you might have a block about what you would even say to them. Well, you would talk to them like any other human being. How do you like to relate to people? How do you like to get to know people? How do you like to look for opportunities to help people? How do you like to offer to help people?
Just do that.
And if you don’t know, just see what those people you’re going to follow are doing and try a few of those things to see which ones you like.
Personally, I like to pass through the small talk pretty quickly and talk about real stuff that interests me or I like to find out how they operate in life. I like to learn what motivates and inspires people. I like to learn what they fear and what they value, what they love and what drives them crazy.
I wouldn’t characterize myself as this skilled conversationalist and I used to have a lot of awkwardness and anxiety around that. Sometimes I still do, but what I am good at is listening and being genuinely interested in people. The other thing I’m really good at is ideas. And connecting the dots. And helping people.
Rather than looking for my people, I just find people I want to get to know. If my people are everywhere, it really doesn’t matter where I go, they will be there. Whoever I meet could be a client or someone who knows a client.
I just go out and meet people that I enjoy getting to know and that I enjoy spending time with. No matter what, I either get a new friend, get a new referral partner or I get a new client. There is no down side. That’s what I like about this approach.
Another approach I like is instead of working so hard to find people, what would it look like to focus instead on being easy to find? Imagine if you thought of it as your people are already out there looking for a solution to their problem. Why not make sure that I’m out there where they can see me and make myself super easy to find.
Instead of being more like Where’s Waldo? I can be more like Big Bird or any other character on Sesame Street. If you see Cookie Monster or Oscar the Grouch in the trash can, you know you’ve found them. And they’re easy to find, because they are just being who they are and there’s really no one else out there trying to be that.
Just think of ways to be seen. Really be seen, not just pretend you’re out there trying to be seen, while secretly hoping that no one actually sees you.
Those are just a few thoughts around questions that I hear circulating in the coaching community. I love just thinking about things and brainstorming on stuff like this, so if you want to collaborate or if you have questions you would love to hear me answer on a future episode, just DM me @jillthemoneycoach or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll see you next week!
Hey, if you’re going to LCS MM and you want to connect, reach out and let me know. I would love to meet you in person if you’re going!