November 5, 2010
How do we move from where we are to where we want to be?
How do we know that where we want to be is where we should be?
And if it is not, what do we do then?
Are we hiding from who we are because we fear the consequences of being who we are?
Do we even know who we are?
Are we afraid of the work that is going to be required to become who we are?
And if we’ve been denying our self and know it, and can’t look in the mirror and do it anymore, how are we going to connect the dots between the person we are in the flesh and who we are to become?
How do we connect?
How do we persist against adversity?
How do we make our connection?
How do we change?
This is not about management; it is about surrendering to who we really are.
This is about becoming who we really are.
The answers to “how to do” something is all about technique. “How to” can be learned. The commitment has to be born and we have to birth it.
We achieve the outcome by seeing it before it is here, and walking, running, pushing, meditating, cajoling, fighting, driving, diving our way through our imagination to its reality. And if we are doing that, if we are on that path, at that moment in time, we are successful.
October 21, 2010
Independent businesses contribute tremendous value.
The environment required in order for us to continue being able to do that is threatened every day – threatened by government and by big business. We need level the playing field so that we are able to reach the public with our message and provide our products and services and show and tell and do what we do best: provide quality service and products at a great value.
What are you doing to elevate the visibility and educate the public of the value of the independent business person?
July 12, 2010
What is a business coach? What is the process and what could you expect were you to hire a business coach? Frankly, that is a question that you are going to need to ask the individual coach. There are many different backgrounds and educations for coaches. Some have coaching accreditation. As for myself, my educational background is in psychology and counseling. This combined with my extensive business experience informs and has helped me to create an effective and individualized coaching strategy.
I have a masters in clinical psychology/counseling where I was educated in both the theory and the practice of assessing human behavior as well as how to aide people to achieve desired results. My experience in mental health is very broad and is combined with 19 years business experience in the financial markets. The specific experience in mental health that informs my methods more than any others is experience is working with families. The family is the basic social unit. The dynamics that occur in families form the basic components of in the rest of our social life, especially in our work life. Additionally, small businesses are often family owned. Even if they are not family owned, the personal lives of the owners and the work life of these owners are inescapably entwined.
My coaching method would begin with an understanding of where you see yourself right now. This sounds simple enough and sometimes it is. Most of the time, however, it is not. Were it simple you would not be seeking a business coach. Your business life does not stand in isolation from the rest of your life, so when we are assessing the starting point, we get a thorough understanding of the rich context of your current situation.
Next, we’d like to look at where you would like to end up. This is broken down into a few areas. First of all, we look at how you think things should be right now, but aren’t. This is not long term at all. In fact, you might be gasping for air right now and before any planning can be done, we need to address the current situation. Dealing with current situation may or may not be a significant issue. It almost always takes longer than the business owner originally anticipates. But, laying the foundation is key to moving forward.
From this foundation, a vision for the business has the where-with-all to emerge. And, emerge it must. A vision is more than just figuring out what the business should do. We dig deep. Business is hard. Things happen. Economy happens. Employees happen. All kinds of things happen. Imagine coming home from the beach on a summer Sunday evening. The traffic is insane. Imagine it comes to a stop. There has been a disaster. No one is going anywhere. What do you want to do then? Most people at that point just want to get home. I’ve never heard of any one in a situation like this simply saying, “Ah screw it! Traffic is really bad. I’m not going home. That would be too hard?” Can you imagine?
We attempt to tap into and encourage your organic and natural vision. In order to get through the traffic jams of business life, your vision must be as certain to you as your home is.
And then, we look at the obstacles between now and your vision. And then we devise strategies to succeed.
In actual practice, this is certainly not a straight line. Each of the areas described above influences each of the other areas. You are never completely in one stage or the other.
Something we are doing concurrently to the above process is graphically depicting your business pipeline. How do customers find out about you? How do you (Your business) and your client connect? How is the client treated? What services or products do you provide the client? How, exactly, is that done? How do you get paid? What happens to the money?
If you are providing a product, the same process is done with the product.
We come to understand the ratio requirements of each part of the pipeline to the other parts of the pipeline. How do you generate revenues while at the same time meet new prospective clients? This pipeline is a living, dynamic organism. If you get twice the number of clients, it is not jus a matter of multiplying the rest of the pipeline by two. Different methods of providing service need to be developed for differing volume numbers. We don’t just manage the pipeline. We inspire the pipeline. That is a matter of assessment and transformation all the time.
So, if you were to ask this coach, Coach Chuck, “what is a business coach and what might I expect form the business coaching process?” You would get an answer similar to what I outlined above.
June 26, 2010
In order for business networking to be successful, it must be put to the same tests as any other business activity. Before engaging in business networking, ask:
a) What are my objectives in business networking?
b) What strategies will I employ?
The answers given to these questions should be relatively simple to understand and easy to measure.
For instance, a business person’s objectives in networking might be to:
- Get clients.
- Build referral source relationships.
Or, for the job seeker, the goals of networking might be:
- To get in front of a person who can hire me for a job that I want.
- Build referral relationships with people who can get me in front of people who can hire me for a job that I want.
One Strategy for achieving this goal is to look at the process of getting:
From the point where we are now (certain number of clients) (unemployed) (in a job that we do not like)
To where we want to be (more clients) (employed in a job we want)
… as a process. This process is something I call a pipeline.
To visualize this pipeline, think of a big open funnel. At the top of the pipeline we have a) prospective clients and b) prospective referral sources. At the end of the pipeline we have clients. In between, we have qualified prospective clients, qualified referral sources, referral sources and, finally, clients.
Open networking is the process of meeting lots of people from which we can feed the front of the pipeline. How we qualify them and move them forward is how we are going to reach our goal. This requires that we network with purpose. Therefore, as people are met, we must make decisions along the way: how are we going to define a qualified referral source. This is going to be important, because if we spend all of our time talking to people that are not qualified prospective clients or qualified referral sources then we will not have time to talk to people that are qualified. The net result will be that our net result is random rather than what we want it to be.
Networking results, to be effective, need to be measured: Measured means with numbers. How many qualified referral sources and qualified prospects do I have? How many prospective client meetings or interviews have resulted? Is that ratio improving or declining? If it is improving, keep doing what we are doing, if it is declining … step back and evaluate. Going by feel is not good. It may have felt good to have three meetings with people at Starbucks today, but if it did not move the pipeline forward, that feeling will evaporate along with the caffeine buzz.
The front end of the pipeline, finding people to network with in order to find prospective clients and prospective referral sources in much easier today than it once was. Go to meetup.com or Linkedin and find out where groups are meeting that meet the general criteria of people that “could” meet your criteria. Go there. Meet them.
When you get home and you find that you have a stack of business cards, divide them into people that are prospective referral sources, prospective clients or neither. Enter them into your data base. I use Yahoo, but I’m not pushing them. Use any data base that allows you to create categories for your contacts. Have categories for each phase of your pipeline. This pipeline should be dynamic. No one should stay a prospective referral source forever. Most of us are much too eager to have people like us. What we want to find out from these people is: are they in a position to refer or hire us or not? “Maybe” is NOT the answer we want. “No” is infinitely better than “Maybe.” “Maybe” keeps us spinning our wheels. Come up with your strategy on how to touch base and qualify your prospective referral sources and prospective clients. Then follow through with your strategy. The pipeline keeps moving. Your data base changes. It is moving all the time. New people coming in. Old people going out. Interviews and new prospects, new clients and job offers. It is alive! This is when networking is working.
Networking, then, is like any other business process. It requires purpose, planning, strict definition, implementation, measurement of results and continual adjustments based upon outcome. This is a process I’ve designed for the purpose of achieving personalized business results.
email@example.com – email
https://coachchuck.wordpress.com/ – Blogs on different topics
http://www.squidoo.com/business-coach-chuck a fun site with some testimonials, book recommendations and stuff like that.
www.businesscoachchuck.com – my basic website – about us, packages etc….
June 22, 2010
Coaching is about keeping your eye on the prize. Counseling and Therapy is about untangling the mess. They are very important. Each are has inherent strength and inherent weakness. If you tell a coach that you just found out you have to go in for heart surgery they are likely to begin developing a plan to keep progress toward the goal in motion, or at least on the tracks while this procedure and the ensuing recovery takes place. A therapist may explore the feelings that arise because you are going in for heart surgery at the same age that your father died from a heart attack.
The strength in the coaching approach is that regardless of your heart condition, assuming the experience does not change your goals, you are going to want that process to be as far along as possible so that you can just get back on for the ride when you recover. The strength of the counseling approach is that our feelings produce results in the real world. The power of our belief is probably one of the most important distinguishing characteristics that separate us from other life forms. We are able to believe that which is not in our present experience and act on it. By acting on that believed reality we make it true. So, it is very important sometimes to come to terms with what it is we believe and why we believe it and decide if that is something we want to believe. As with anything else, the line between coaching and counseling is not set in stone. But, in general terms, what was just described falls into the area of counseling.
The weakness of the coaching model is that one can be so focused on a future goal that one neglects health, relationships and other aspects of the moment. When we achieve our dreams and ambitions, they are empty without those with whom we love. Counseling and Therapy, on the other hand can get so enmeshed in the past and with feelings that it becomes a tangle with no outcome. We can get lost in there.
It’s easy to see how these two areas can work together. While most excellent counselors and therapists have a little bit of the coach in them it is not their primary job. Coaching is not therapy. When coaches and counselors can work together, the therapist can help untangle the obstacles that prevent us from being the best we can be while the coach helps you devise a road map, vision a goal and achieve it.
From a practical application, this approach can end up being very economical. This is because issues that come out in counseling are often worked through quicker. Coaching is often done over the phone. The phone call might be a fifteen-minute call. When its all working together, it can be faster, better and more effective. That is the goal. And achieving that goal makes us feel good!
Coach Chuck: firstname.lastname@example.org