I’m an “accidental entrepreneur”. This wasn’t supposed to happen!
In fact, my dad drummed into me from a young age, do anything you want to EXCEPT for running your own business!
The pressure of running his own business was exhausting and sometimes overwhelming to him. And he wanted to protect his sons from any thought of following in his footsteps.
So I studied Biology and became a high school teacher for the first half of my career. I taught for 15 years and I loved it.
But on the day I lost my job as a Vice Principal of a London school, I made a silent internal decision that I wasn’t going back.
Truthfully, it was more from fear and a sense of humiliation than from courage.
But a decision is a decision and I was fully committed.
I still recall my thrill at being paid $10 for my first ever coaching session. And I’ve grown my business exponentially, since that moment.
In fact, over the past 12 years, I’ve founded or created almost a dozen different projects or parts of my business.
Over this time I’ve also built a team of 9 people who help to make these projects and programs a reality.
You might have heard of some of them or even been a part of them:
The Confident Woman’s Salon, The High Performing Introvert Project, The Prosperous Coach book, The Rich Litvin Intensive, The Deep Coaching Salon, The 90 Day Money Game, The Leadership Intensive, The Confident Woman’s Intensive, The London Intensives, The Success Paradox mini-book, The Leadership Masterclass, Personal Coaching, The Apprenticeship, 4PC and our boutique Leadership Consultancy.
As I reflect back over the past dozen years, there are two themes that stand out. And there’s a secret behind the two of them that I’ll share at the end of this article.
THEME 1: A SINGLE FORMULA
Everything we do has been based upon a single formula:
“We help powerful people remember how powerful they are.”
We do this in 3 main ways:
1. WE HELP HIGH PERFORMERS DO WHAT SCARES THEM—OR DO WHAT LOOKS IMPOSSIBLE TO THEM.
This is the most fun part of coaching for me because almost everything we REALLY want is just beyond the edges of our current comfort zone.
So I’ve spent my entire coaching career creating games, challenges and adventures to help my clients lean gently into the hard edges of their comfort zones, to discover they weren’t so hard after all!
2. WE HELP TOP PERFORMERS SURROUND THEMSELVES WITH OTHER TOP PERFORMERS
Elite athletes, actors, writers and entrepreneurs seek each other out for a reason. It’s fun to be surrounded by other top performers who challenge your thinking and your possibilities.
The word elite comes from the Latin “to choose”. Being a top performer isn’t easy. It takes courage, grit and a willingness to stay in the game for the long haul. But it’s a CHOICE at a very deep level. It just ‘feels’ like a compulsion!
I’ve become an expert at surrounding myself with people who play a big game because it makes whatever I’m up to seem small in comparison.
And I’ve become accomplished in building communities of learning leaders. I’ve been doing this for 20 years—well before I ever became a coach.
When you put yourself in a community of other high performers, doing what scares them—or taking on impossible goals—you’ll discover that what you’re up to becomes far more effortless than you could have once imagined.
3. WE HELP PEOPLE IDENTIFY TINY SHIFTS IN THEIR THINKING—FOR EXTRAORDINARY TOP PERFORMERS THIS HAS AN EXPONENTIAL IMPACT.
When I describe what I do, I’ll often say, “If you’re the kind of person who DOESN’T need a coach, then you and I should have a conversation.”
Top performers often don’t need hours of coaching. And they rarely need ‘accountability’ coaching.
One of my most common experiences working with visionaries and high performers is that a new distinction, a new way of seeing the world or a new connection can have a massive impact.
A few minutes into a coaching a high performer, I’ll often hear, “I’ve got it! I’m good.” And they’re ready to leave the coaching to put this new idea into practice, out in the world.
THEME 2: SELFISH GROWTH
The second theme is that I’ve built a business coaching high performers by creating new capabilities that I want for MYSELF—or by meeting people who are fun, fascinating and interesting to ME.
The Confident Woman’s Salon was based on my 2 year research project on natural confidence—because I felt that I’d lacked confidence for so much of my life.
The Prosperous Coach book and our Deep Coaching Salons were based on my study of how to build a practice with just a few high-performing, high-fee clients.
The Rich Litvin Intensives were based on my love of learning and my desire to attend events that took care of the introverts in the room as well as the extroverts.
4PC, my new Mastermind and my Leadership Consultancy are based on my realization that if I am the most interesting person in the room, I’m in the wrong room.
In 4PC, our guests and teachers have been people who *I* want to learn from—Leonardo DeCaprio’s acting teacher, a scientist working on the hyperloop, the CEO of a charity run by a billionaire.
My not so secret project this year has been “Interesting People Dinners”. (We never got past the working title but people seemed to love it!)
Once a quarter, we gather together a group of 8 inspiring people. Our guests have included politicians, rabbis, activists, veterans, entrepreneurs, actors, scientists and artists—many of them well known.
We meet in a beautiful restaurant. It has to have a round table so there are no side conversations!
I start the night of by explaining that we don’t want this to be a ‘nice’ dinner party! So, no one is allowed to ask or tell anyone what they do for a living until the end of the night.
Then I set it up to be an opportunity for the kind of deep personal conversation that you’d normally only ever have after knowing people for decades.
The feedback from our guests has been awesome. They all seem to want to come back for more!
But, again, this is part of my Selfish Growth. These dinners are for ME because I love this level of intimacy and depth!
There’s one shortcut that we all have available. It’s to surround yourself with the right people and to learn from them. I highly recommend it!
THE SECRET BEHIND THE SECRET
Your dream client is YOU and you are only ever coaching yourself…
So create the services you wish you’d had, write the book you wish you’d read and build the communities you wished had been there for you.