As we end the year—and as I prepare to become a dad for the second time—I want to leave you with some powerful questions to help you launch 2014 in the most impactful way possible.
This is an unusually long post, so curl up by the fireplace before you dive in.
But first let me say a big thank you for joining me on this journey. As a man who has built a thriving coaching practice one conversation and one relationship at a time (I wrote a book about it, after all)—I am still very new to writing blog posts and sending emails to subscribers. And you are here for a reason—so thank you!
1. What if they don’t say, “Hey, how can I coach with you?”
This week, I received a great question from a Prosperous Coach Salon member:
“I have great connections, and then powerful complimentary sessions. But I feel uncertain about what’s next if they don’t say — “hey, how can I coach with you?” by the end of the call. What follow-up steps do YOU take from here? How many calls and how much time do you offer without asking for their business? DO you ask for their business, or do you always wait for them to initiate?”
Another salon member gave an awesome response:
If I am inspired by them—I ask, “Would you like to hear what it could look like for us to work together?” Some personalities will say I want to work with you—and more personalities, I’ve learned over the past 7 years, want you to ASK them.
Here’s my own response: Mostly, I just keep serving and I coach my ass off—until they ask me about working together. It’s the reason, at the last Intensive, Rick asked me, “Why didn’t you ask to coach me after our powerful conversation?”
Rick and I had had such a deep conversation that it didn’t feel right to propose working together in that moment. He’s an incredible entrepreneur and I’d love to coach him but right now, in my practice, I err on the side of not asking. At other times I lean towards asking more often—and certainly for newer coaches, I recommend asking more often.
There’s a chapter in my book called, Never Propose To A Woman 10 Days After You Meet Her. I wouldn’t ever recommend proposing that quickly—but sometimes you just ‘know’ and you gotta do what you gotta do.
It’s the same with a client.
And it’s an art not a science. In fact, it’s more like a dance—lead too powerfully and your partner won’t ever dance with you again, as you pull them all over the floor. Lead like a wimp and your partner won’t ever dance with you again, as it’s such a turn off.
More often than not, I will have several conversations and I will serve people again and again—over a few days or weeks or even over an entire year or more before they invest in coaching. I need to educate them on the power of my coaching.
Most people want to be led powerfully at the end of an experience with you—so experiment. Find out what works for you:
“Would you like to speak again next week to follow up?” “Why don’t you call me next Thursday at 10am to share your insights from this call?” “Read Chapter 7 from the book I sent you and then email me by Tuesday at noon.” “I don’t have a space for a coaching client right now but something is opening up soon—would you like me to call you before I speak to anyone else about this?”
2. Are you Setting Goals, Solving Problems, or Seeking Opportunities?
In the book, Stop Setting Goals, If You’d Rather Solve Problems, Bobb Biehl draws a distinction between people who solve problems; people who set goals and people who seek opportunities.
I understand Problem Solvers—the kind of people who are energized when they see a problem. This mindset works well for me in business—I can often come through and turn around a challenging situation. I ask questions, I search for the root cause of the issue and I think creatively about how to solve the problem. (Problem solving in my marriage doesn’t work quite so well—Monique hates it! Have you seen It’s Not About The Nail?)
And I understand Goal Setters—I learned from my early days of leadership training how important it was to set and pursue meaningful goals. I was always taught to ask, “What’s the goal?” And to monitor my progress towards goal achievement.
But then I read Bobb Biehl’s description of Opportunity Seekers—the world contains a small percentage of people (he suggests it may be as few as 5%) who don’t really care about setting goals or handling problems. Instead their deepest wisdom, or their gut intuition enables them to see opportunity where others do not.
And suddenly I got it. I am an Opportunity Seeker. It’s why, for years, I have set goals—and then never paid attention to them. It’s why I make To Do lists—and then never look at them. It’s why I have succeeded at this game of creating clients—I’m not attached to any particular outcome. I am always constantly exploring new opportunities.
In fact, I fail far more often than I succeed.
2013 was no different. I explored dozens of opportunities. I failed again and again and again.
I explored an opportunity to partner with an internet marketing expert. It never worked as she was too far from the values that are most important to me. I explored an opportunity to coach a close friend of Mark Zuckerberg. It was one of the most powerful three hour face-to-face sessions I have ever done. (Between you and me, I was already dreaming of coaching the billionaire founder of Facebook, personally). But I never heard from her again. I published a book with my friend, Steve Chandler. And we quickly sold over 1,000 copies, by word of mouth alone. I coached a Presidential candidate. The coaching session blew her mind (her words). And I never heard from her again. Steve and I ran two Intensives for coaches. I leaned into my edge to run The Mastery Intensive on my own and received some of our best feedback ever on the power of the community we are creating. I added some extraordinary people to my team. I felt the deep fear of taking time away from work as I prep to take off a few weeks around the birth of my second son. And I spent hours and hours serving and coaching extraordinary people—most of whom have not (yet) become clients.
Are you a Problem Solver, a Goal Setter or an Opportunity Seeker? And what can you learn from these distinct ways of seeing the world?
3. Do you coach Extraordinary Clients? Do you want to?
Come and join me in March for The Extraordinary Woman Intensive a program for powerful women and men who coach—or want to coach—extraordinary women clients.
Join an incredible community of coaches. Learn to support powerful women on their journey. Practice slowing down and accessing your deepest intuition. Understand the language of creating clients and the impact of storytelling. And experience putting action before perfection.
The first 27 seats sold in the very week we announced it. There are 23 tickets left and these Intensives always sell out. And it’s the only way to work with me in person, in the first half of 2014.
But it’s not for everyone. This Intensive is right for you if you are already running a profitable coaching business—or you have a focused professional skill-set and a huge entrepreneurial drive—or you have a track record of success in another field.
It’s not for you if you or your clients are not up to big things in life you. It’s not for you if you are not willing to feel uncomfortable. And it’s not for you if you don’t believe—at least, deep down—that you are a powerful coach.
Here’s to a wonderful holiday season.
Here’s to a glorious start to 2014.
And here’s to changing the world—one client at a time.