Yes, you heard me right: whether I’ve been working with my client for years….or even if we are just at the very beginning of our coaching relationship and I don’t know my client that well yet…first and foremost, I am always going to love & honor my client.
My first business coach, who in so many ways was truly a wonderful coach and mentor, taught me a lot about boundaries. She was the first person to really open my eyes to the dangers of over-giving and allowing yourself to be treated (or treating yourself) like a doormat.
I will be forever grateful for all she taught me in this area. I really learned how to respect my time and respect my boundaries because of it.
And this is a big “but”.
In lieu of a full blog post, I wanted to share with you a recent post I wrote on Facebook.
I was scared to hit post on it because I know it’s a little controversial….
and I wasn’t sure if it would trigger some people…
but I ultimately decided to post it because I feel so strongly about it.
It’s about coaching & coaching skills & ethics & so much more.
You’ll see it got some attention and a lot of folks commented very passionately on it.
Would love to hear your thoughts!
Here’s a coaching, facilitation, teaching (and marketing) tool that I live by:
It is vitally important to reveal yourself, your imperfections, your not-so-great outcomes, and your not-so-happy qualities to your clients, students and community.
The transformational industry is FULL of gurus who seem picture perfect. They have “perfect” businesses; they apparently learn their lessons very quickly; they apparently don’t make mistakes; they apparently don’t really have sh*t happen to them
This is damaging to their communities – and specifically to their clients.
Because as a coach or practitioner, if you don’t consciously reveal your imperfections to your clients….they can make the mistake of believing that things happen perfectly for you.
And that essentially means that you become, in my opinion, a very, very dangerous role model.
Because no one is perfect, no one’s business is perfect, no one’s health is perfect, etc.
But your clients believe that if you – their coach or leader – don’t have frustrations, don’t have obstacles, don’t have hardships, that they should be able to attain it too.
And that’s a setup for failure, for frustration, and for unhappiness.
When I am with my clients and students, I never hesitate to share about my not-so-great moments, my not-so-great launches, my not-so-pretty feelings (yes, I get jealous and negative sometimes!), and my sweaty armpits (always happens when I facilitate!).
Of course, I share only when appropriate and only as much as is necessary to make the point: that I am human, just like my client is human, and we are bound to have imperfect lives and businesses. And this is as it should be.
When we are coaching or facilitating, we need to remember that when we show that we struggle with some things, that things don’t always go according to our plans….we are giving permission to our clients to not be so hard on themselves, to not be so self-judgmental, and to not think something is very wrong with them because they haven’t achieved enough.
This is the ONLY way real growth can happen. And this is the ONLY way real movement towards goals can happen.
And quite honestly, this is the only way real self-love can deepen (& I believe that at the core of ANY coach’s or practioner’s job, this is one of the most sacred).
When I train practitioners in Sacred Depths Coach Training, we spend a full module just on how to support clients through the Myth of Perfection. In addition to the inner work tools I share with my coaches on this, I also always share this important principle:
Remember that when you are someone’s coach, teacher or facilitator…you also bear the responsibility of being their role model. And being a role model doesn’t mean showing up as an image of perfection.
The best way to create what you want in your business is to get clear on what your income goals are and exactly HOW those income numbers add up to become real dollars in your bank account. If you don’t do this, then it is extremely hard – practically impossible – to either create the income you want or to do it in a way that feels organized and peaceful.
Your income goals are concrete numbers that set the stage for your marketing and operations plan for the year. They help you strategize, they help you clarify the support you’ll need, and they lay out for you the scope of what you want to tackle for the year. Every successful entrepreneur I know sets goals to help her thrive and expand her business.
How Do You Set Income Goals?
Setting your income goals is actually quite simple, but the trick is to do it, and do it thoughtfully. Even though it’s a simple process, I see too many entrepreneurs out there who skip over this important planning essential or who do it half-heartedly.
To set your goals for the year, the first place you want to start is with your Soul-Centered Offerings. Your Soul-Centered Offerings are your programs, packages, services and products. Your Soul-Centered Offerings are at the heart of your income goals because your income will depend on how many offerings you sell, and at what rate.
Step1: Know what you’ll be offering in any given year AND at what rate you’ll be offering it at.
- If you are a yoga instructor, at what rate will you be offering your private yoga sessions?
- If you are an accountant, will you charge by the hour or by the job, and how will you determine your rate?
- If you sell cupcakes, how much is a single cupcake? How much is a box of 10?
- If you are a coach, what do your coaching programs include and how much do they cost?
**Now, I believe strongly that being compensated for your talent and brilliance is essential. Yet, all too often I see talented entrepreneurs with incredible offerings priced at rates far less than they are worth. Sometimes you say, “I have to price it this low because that’s the industry standard." Or, “I’m not really sure what it’s worth but this seems about right." Or, “I feel I should be charging more but what if people won’t think I’m worth it?"
If you recognize yourself in one of these statements, it’s an especially important moment to get clear on your rates. You can’t create a higher income for yourself if the numbers don’t add up, in other words: if you’re undercharging (& believe me, I did that for years, so I understand!). If you’re stuck here with charging enough, we’ll look at this more in depth in a future article. For now, see if you can stretch a little bit and raise your rates, just a wee bit.
Once you’re clear on your offerings and how much they cost, you can move on to Step 2 –
Step 2: Get clear on how much income you’d like to make in the next 12 months
Keep this number realistic, but a stretch. How much income do you desire to earn over the next 12 months?
A helpful hint is to get clear on what you’d like to be spending your money on. The reason I suggest this is because to just name an income number – $50K or $100K or $1 million – is just a number. It has no real meaning behind it, it has no "deep and sacred why" behind it. And without that, it’s hard to really take it seriously.
So, get clear on what you desire to make over a 12 month period and write it down.
Now, knowing how much you’d like to make is NOT enough. Without knowing how much you need to sell to reach that income goal, your income goal number can’t really move from hypothetical into action steps that get you real results….
Step 3: Get clear on how many units of your offerings you need to sell to reach your income goal.
For example, if you’d like to earn $100K over the next 12 months and you have one product that is priced at $1,000, then you need to sell 100 of them to reach your income goal.
Or, if you’d like to earn $100K over the next 12 months and you offer one private package that is $5,000 each and one group package that is $1,000, then perhaps you choose the goal of selling 15 private packages and 25 group packages.
Step 4: Some other questions that will be helpful in setting your goals:
These questions will help you get even more clear on what you’d like to earn and create and how you’d like to do so:
- What are the work hours you want to spend on your goals?
- How much time do you want to spend on your goals? For example: If you create an offering that you know takes 30 hours for each one you sell, but you’re selling each one for only $500, you need to either tweak the amount of time it takes you or your price on that offering.
**It’s so important to take time into consideration when you’re creating your goals because you want to make sure that you have enough time to achieve your goals without burning out!
- How often would you like things to happen (how many performances, classes, programs, etc. in that 12 month period)?
- Is your goal stretching you enough or does this just seem easy-peasy, like you’re playing it safe? (HINT: You want to s-t-r-e-t-c-h without overdoing it!)
- What are the costs associated with the creation of your offering? These can be commuting costs, materials, membership or association fees, office expenses, etc.
**It’s so important to take expenses into account to be able to reach your desired income amount!
Once you’ve moved through all 4 steps, and created your income goals for the year, you are ready to create your marketing and visibility plan. You’ll have a super-strong foundation now to get clear on the execution plan that makes the most sense for you….
Penina, my 4-year-old daughter, had her winter break from school until January 8th…so it’s been a little nuts here! It did mean doing a little "catch-up" work over the weekend and a couple of evenings, but I have to say – it was well worth it. Penina and I had so much fun together! (Think tea parties, art projects, and tickle/cuddle games mixed in with a whole lot of snacks).
One of the favorite parts of my work week was sharing a very special business building exercise with my team – and hearing their feedback and wisdom on lots of topics that will result in…even more dedicated service and impeccable programming for you! YAY! One of the coolest parts of it all is that I’ll be sharing this very same process and exercise with my Soul-Centered Leaders at our Winter Retreat in NYC in just a few short weeks so that they can learn from my experience and research and leap forward even more quickly. I’m so excited!
For last week’s brand new article, I’m thrilled to introduce you to my friend and colleague, Elizabeth Saunders. She is a "Time Expert" and shares some valuable wisdom with you below.
"This year I’m going to lose 15 pounds."
"This year I’m going to go to more networking events."
"This year I’m going to make more time for self-care."
"This year I’m going to finish my manuscript."
How many New Year’s resolutions have you made and broken – or worse yet – made and then promptly forgotten?
It can be very difficult to stick to these annual promises, but there is a fun, intuitive way to help you create meaningful resolutions and stick to them. The key is to develop a personal theme for the year and then allow your actions (resolutions) to naturally flow from that theme or way of living and experiencing the world.
Your Yearly Theme will help guide your everyday decisions and actions, and will result in your feeling more fulfilled. This theme will provide one simple instruction that will help you to stay aligned with your deepest desires.
Once you uncover your theme, you commit to approaching each day and each thing you do with that theme in mind. Examples of personal themes include love, acceptance, peace, self-respect, fun, connection, abundance, laughter, health, creativity, and many more.
One theme you might choose is "abundance." Perhaps you recognize a deep need in your life that stems from always feeling a lack of something: a lack of money; lack of clients; lack of sleep; a lack of personal downtime; and a lack of feeling healthful.
While you could make each of those things a separate resolution, it might be more effective to do some deep work around feeling that you’re leading an abundant life – feeling that you have more than enough of what you need and want instead of feeling like you are lacking in so many ways. If you could approach your life with the theme – or attitude – of abundance, you’d be able to create more money, more connection, more business, more time and more health.
Approach each day and each task with an attitude of abundance. Think abundant thoughts; create activities for yourself that helped you feel abundant, and pay particular attention during the moments when you feel you don’t have enough of something. Through that simple adjustment, you’ll create more abundance in your life, achieve your resolutions, and learn some life-changing lessons along the way.
Creating a theme for your year will help you recognize what you want your year to be and feel like, and then your goals and resolutions will come naturally from that place. At the end of the year, not only will you have been able to accomplish your goals; you will also have incorporated and mastered the feeling of your theme in your life.
How to create your personal theme for the New Year:
1) What’s missing? Make a list of what wasn’t or didn’t happen last year: Anything from "romantic partnership" to "enough sleep" to "financial freedom" to "exciting hobbies."
2) What do you want? Make a list of all of the things you’d like to accomplish this year: These can be big and small things, resolutions as well as baby action steps.
3) How would it feel? Examine that list of what you want, and then ask yourself what you need to activate within yourself in order to accomplish those things. Perhaps you need patience, or courage, or a sense of humor, or positive thinking. Next, ask yourself how you want to feel as you accomplish these goals. Do you want to feel calm? Balanced? In love? Committed?
4) Determine your theme: Narrow down your list from #3 to the one feeling, idea or state of being that resonates with you the most for the upcoming year. This is your theme.
5) Try out your theme: Whatever theme you come up with, close your eyes and imagine yourself moving through this next year with that quality completely energized and activated. Can you see yourself? How does it feel? If it feels good, you have your theme for the New Year!
I would LOVE to hear from you – what is your personal theme for this year and why did you pick it? Let me know!
It’s a quickie message today because things have been a little busy here lately!
October 4th was Part 1 of “6 Essential Strategies for New & Emerging Business Owners” and wow-ee, what an awesome training it was! If you’d like to participate in Part 2 of the training: 60 minutes of Q/A coaching with me, you can still register: http://soulfulcoach.com/6essentialstrategies.php
Aside from being with my clients & filling the last few spots left in the Wise Woman Leadership Program, this month is all about content development and planning for 2013! I LOVE months like this: I get to be fully steeped in my creative juicy-ness and soul-centered vision. During planning and content development, I go deep with what YOU, my community, would really like to learn over the next year, and I start making it happen.
I can’t wait to share with you all that I’m preparing for you!
(And by the way, if you don’t routinely put aside time in your business for planning and content development, I HIGHLY recommend you schedule it in. It’s so important!)
In the meantime, I’ve also become a “soccer mom”! Penina started in a soccer league last month, and we are all enjoying it so much. I’m happy to say that we’re slowly settling in here in NC, and taking pleasure in the little things in life.
Hope you enjoy today’s article: it’s all about how to create a better workday for yourself.
A chunk of my time lately has been spent preparing for the Wise Woman Leadership Program (WWLP) that begins next month, and I wanted to bring you in behind the scenes on it.
I think of WWLP as THE foundational program for soul-centered women who are either beginning their entrepreneurial journey or ready for a serious upgrade in their developing business. It’s kind of like a 1-stop experience for the inner and outer tools you need to become visible, profitable, and poised to grow.
Because the beginning phases of business growth are so vital – there’s so much information to learn, skills to master, and fears to overcome – I take very special care with both the curriculum in WWLP as well as making sure that each woman in the program is held, seen, heard, and supported. The individual attention is so important to me and is also what makes Soulful Coaching programs unique, and I am working with my team on some pretty exciting new ways to take that to an even deeper level.
One thing we look at very carefully in the program is how to market effectively and soul-fully. That leads us to last week’s article – all about the best practices for obtaining the best testimonials. Don’t miss it and enjoy!
Big hug to you,
Happy Autumn Equinox! (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere)
I love, love, love this time of year – I love the smell of Autumn, the crispness in the air, delicious apples, and getting to wear sweaters. Yay!
And this week, the week of the Autumn Equinox, is an especially powerful time. It’s the moment where we cross the threshold from Summer to Fall, from the long days of socializing and being outdoors to the shorter days and drawing inwards. Many healers, shamans, astrologers and spiritual leaders believe that this week is a magical time for connecting more deeply to your dreams, your insights, and your intuition. So – keep a dream journal by your bed over the weeks to come!
I enjoy tapping into the elevated energy at this time of year, and I spend time in ritual, working on creating a powerful transition from Summer to Autumn and on letting go of whatever is standing in my way of moving forward. I’ll be sharing this energy with the women who are beginning Soul-Centered Leadership 2 this week; so excited for that.
And we’ve got just a couple spots left in the Wise Woman Leadership Program that begins next month. This 8-month training is for women who are ready to learn the foundational principles of launching a successful soul-centered project, from getting clear on exactly how and who you serve to visibility and marketing strategies.
If you’ve been curious about the program, but have been wanting to learn more, I’m excited to invite you to a special Preview Teleclass where I’ll be sharing some of the secrets you will learn in the program. The teleclass is my gift to you, and you can register HERE.
Big hug to you,