Just back from a week in Provence with an abundance of divine bread, butter and cheese, vacationing Europeans on the wildest roads I've ever driven (It's oh so fun to have two cars' side mirrors bump with a sheer drop on one side and have the other driver reach out and pop your mirror back -- "Nice to meet you!"), and lovely friends at the most relaxing retreat I've ever experienced.
One of my favorite parts of travel is that I experience "fresh eyes" -- both when I'm away and when I get back. Everything is so new, it challenges my normal (I can hear my children laughing) ways of thinking. Parking a car can be a 30 minute process -- getting the machine to converse in a language I understand (I did understand the French error message that said: "Find another meter"), walk up another long hill to new meter -- only to discover I need my rental car license plate, and down the hill I go.
Then when you get home, it's familiar and easier, but I see things that I didn't notice before that are so American -- such as walking through the Philadelphia airport with more food options than I've ever seen (unfortunately nothing close to that bread, butter and cheese).
Fresh eyes expose what's been invisible to you.
When you have a new hire in your organization, you want to take advantage of their fresh eyes before they get assimilated. They'll ask obvious questions and potentially notice practices that you may have engaged in for a long time that are inefficient or inconsistent with your values. Those observations are gold for your organization if you listen and value their perspective. If you don't listen, they'll start to be quiet.
This is also one of the challenges business owners and executives face. As the company grows or they get promoted, they are challenged to download the gold inside of them to others who will replace them. They don't realize how much they've learned over time and how much mastery they have. I enjoyed discussing this on a recent interview with Rick Nuske on his podcast My Future Business.
You can listen to the podcast here.
If you'd like to discuss creating fresh eyes to increase both your business results and your day to day satisfaction, let's talk: https://calendly.com/kerrywalls. I promise you'll see new ways to approach situations that may be frustrating you.
I find that most of us wait too long to ask for help. That's something I notice as a theme when I talk with potential clients. Sometimes we have to get darn miserable, upset or frustrated -- before we ask for help.
Combine that with the plethora of coaches out there, and finding a coach that's right for you can be a challenge.
As I study the coaching field and watch what's going on, I am concerned about what I see.
I heard from a colleague about folks going into coaching because it's easy to get into and easy to make a lot of money. I'm not sure that's a reason to become a coach.
I'm concerned what coaches post in Facebook groups -- about confronting people who say they can't afford coaching. I gave up confronting clients a long time ago. If you have a strong relationship with your client, confronting them isn't necessary. They just listen because they trust and respect you, and they take a look at what you're saying and see if it makes sense to them.
Here's another cringe worthy example in this promotional email I received from a coach:
"I don't want to waste your time and I don't want you to waste mine, so if you aren't into investing a few thousand into your business - this is NOT the right program for you. Also, if you aren't actually prepared to put in the work and take action to grow your business, this is NOT the right program for you. That said, for the ROI you get on what I've built into the program, (name of their program) is a friggin' steal at the price I'm charging!"
Interesting tone. Does this work? If you're a client of this coach, will you start using that arrogant, disrespectful tone with your clients?
How do you wade through all those coaches to find someone who will work for you and understands your situation?Watch my short video here on what to look for in hiring a coach. (Please like or share it with your LinkedIn network if you're so inspired.)
There are tons of coaches out there. Take the time to sort through the fluff to find one with integrity and caring--who puts you first, and not their own agenda.
If you'd like to discuss to discuss coaching and how it might help, let's talk: https://calendly.com/kerrywalls.
A very common challenge for business owners is that their day-to-day fulfillment decreases dramatically as their businesses grow.
They lose access to the purpose, meaning and inspiration they felt when they started out, and they get bogged down doing things that they don't enjoy. The classic business book The E Myth describes it this way: they get stuck working in the business, not onthe business.
Dave Collins of CleverHiker.com shares his experience when we started working together 3 months ago, and where he is now
Watch the video here. It's short! (Please share it with your LinkedIn network if you're so inspired.)
It's funny. The more fulfilled we are, the more successful we are. They are connected, not in conflict with each other. Extricating yourself out of the day-to-day reactivity of your business helps you be more strategic which grows the business. Business coaching helps you work on the business not in the business by helping you step back and be more thoughtful so you can create the future you envision.
It's easy to neglect our individual fulfillment and vitality in our businesses and careers. If you'd like to discuss how to increase your fulfillment, let's talk: https://calendly.com/kerrywalls.
I hear a lot about what is going on behind the scenes in businesses over the last 20 years of coaching.
One thing that surprises me is that many leaders in business don’t necessarily correlate business success with treating employees respectfully which creates a safe, learning environment. I've heard of public shaming, swearing, gossip, passive aggressive behavior and more.
When employees are in fear (for instance, they feel blamed, they fear losing their job if they make a mistake or speak up, or they feel a need to defend themselves), you won’t get great performance.
They will be in survival and self protection mode which gives them the options of a) fight, b) flight or c) freeze. They lose any access to their creativity and productivity – and they are no longer focusing on the business.
That can't help business results.
The trick is to keep employees out of fear. How do you do that?
Your business will be more and more successful if you keep practicing this. Your employees will step up in ways you never thought possible.
To your success and fulfillment,
P.S. I'm offering a course to Coaches and Consultants: Selling Your Services Through Authentic Connection. Find more details here. Please share this email with coaches you know. This course will easily pay for itself
A lot of marketing to coaches and consultants to help them with sales emphasizes narrowing down, finding your niche. I've explored that myself.
Over the last four years starting my coaching business from scratch, here's what I've discovered. My niche is inside of me. It's not outside of me to be discovered. It's a blend of the following (and this applies to all career paths):
In the above equation, we neglect the blue box: What brings us joy and fulfillment. Not to be neglected! When I notice and follow those breadcrumbs, my business grows substantially. I increase my capacity to see more clients because every session I have energizes me. I attract my ideal client.
It is well worth the inquiry into what fulfills us in our day to day activity vs. what we find draining. First step is to observe ourselves and become aware of it: When are we excited and fulfilled? When are we drained or annoyed? Great data in there!
To your success and fulfillment,
P.S. I'm offering a course to Coaches and Consultants: Selling Your Services Through Authentic Connection. Find more details here. Please share this email with coaches you know. This course will easily pay for itself.
My office is on a 3rd floor of my house.
Thirty years ago, the homeowner of this house was irritated when her neighbor built an addition that blocked her view of the ocean.
She was mad. Very mad.
She built up.
Now there’s a view of the ocean.
And I’m in the trees with a lot of birds.
Look at what I saw this week:
2. Red Bellied Woodpecker
3. Northern Cardinal
4. Baltimore Oriole
So many birds! With different sounds and different activities.
Not that different from employees or coaching clients.
Everyone is different!
So it’s important to adjust your approach and style to the specific employee or client.
The biggest key to that is listening deeply to people and their concerns. I find coaching to be a deeply creative process. I don’t have the answers. But I do listen creatively to provide relief to clients so they take action they didn’t see to take before we started talking.
People are extremely talented, perceptive and smart. If you listen creatively, you’ll see something new and be able to help in ways you didn’t anticipate if you went into the conversation with the answers.
Imagine having big welts on your leg but you never saw anything bite you?
Welcome to the world of No-See-Ums. Here are some internet descriptions:
I’ve noticed another No-See-Um that afflicts business owners and professionals. We “No-See-Um” our accomplishments or progress.
We are much more proficient at noticing what we didn’t accomplish, what’s missing, what hasn’t gotten done, where someone might have been critical of us, or anything else in the negative arena. We-See-Ums!
By stepping over what we’re accomplishing, we negatively impact our feelings of success and connection with others. We feel worse basically.
A lot of this is family and cultural conditioning. We are trained to notice what is wrong, what is missing and internal conversations of shoulds and self judgement. A lot of us think we won't be motivated if we don't criticize ourselves. Not true!
You can break this pattern but it takes practice.
One practice I use is to capture accomplishments as I go through the week and write them down. Otherwise, they disappear. No-See-Ums. Then at the end of the week I can see progress and appreciate my efforts and success.
Even better, share your accomplishments with others. The accomplishments will expand and you'll be able to appreciate yourself more.
Business owners don’t have a boss to tell them “Good job! Progress!” So it’s an important piece to put in for yourself. Try it and watch what happens to your energy and fulfillment.
Start to See Ums, and I promise you won't have painful welts to endure for a week!
If you'd like to connect, schedule some time here.
A perfect Saturday morning for me is drinking coffee, appreciating my view of the Atlantic, and listening to Hillbilly at Harvard from 9-1 EST. I love the music, the wacky lyrics and best of all -- the host Cousin Lynn. He just says whatever is there, whenever it’s there and it doesn’t seem to matter that he’s broadcasting across the World Wide Web (which he likes to say).
Cousin Lynn communicates in a way many people do.
He just talks. He’s on the radio so it is a monologue and not a dialogue. I call it “mind on broadcast”.
That’s great for a quaint radio show, but it doesn’t work well in communication.
If you’d like to increase your impact of your communication, consider these two important points before opening your mouth:
It seems so simple but you’d be surprised how little people do it. Especially when it’s going to be a difficult conversation. If it’s a challenging conversation, we often are uncomfortable and get the attention on ourselves, not focusing about the other person at all.
I find even consultants and coaches don’t have this skill down. I was at a consultants’ meeting a while back and consultants would broadcast their thoughts on the subject at hand, talk on and on, and seem to be unaware that people had stopped listening. I wondered if that works when they’re consulting with a client. This week I published my thoughts on raising the bar on the coaching industry on Medium.
If you want to increase your impact in your communication and your influence in your organization, let’s talk. You can schedule a complimentary session here.
Someone starts a business that serves people well. It grows. And grows. The business owner is working faster and faster, and longer and longer hours. Pretty soon, she forgets why she started the business in the first place. The pleasure is gone. The fulfillment is missing. Maybe she tries to hire a few folks to help, and it doesn’t go as planned. She starts to give up, or just keeps trying to work faster, more, better.
This is a very familiar scenario to most business owners.
A key focus at this stage of business is to learn to replicate yourself—or as potential clients who called me said “Help! I need to clone myself.”
The challenge is that you’ve learned to do what you do over time. It’s natural to you, even obvious and bit automatic. You may forget that it wasn’t when you started out.
So how do you develop others? You can’t inject them with your experience from the last 5 years. A lot of it you don’t realize you have inside of you.
That’s where coaching and talking with others come in. You need to extricate the gold out of you so it can be replicated. You need to learn to produce results through others vs. doing it all yourself. It’s a tough shift for many business owners. How do you keep a pulse on their business and let go of some of what you’re doing and tactical stuff? How do you create a plan to develop others that is chunked down, clear, specific, and replicable over time AND where the employee feels supported, appreciated, and not overwhelmed while they learn? The plan also needs to involve a lot of dialogue, examples and practice with employees.
That takes time, darn it, something you don’t have a lot of. But every minute you invest here will free up hours for you later, if you do this well.
This is one of my favorite processes to engage in with business owners. They start to own their value and what they’ve accomplished, which helps them both increase their prices while also developing others and their employees’ careers. The business grows and gets past the bottleneck: YOU. It becomes fulfilling and exciting again as you can be more creative and strategic.
If you’d like to talk about how to take your business to the next level and remove the obstacles that are getting in the way of growth, schedule a strategy session with me here.