A Coach-Coachee Role-Reversal
In the run up to my first launch, I spotted a request from Judith(*) in a Facebook group. Would anyone be interested in beta-testing her online course? The course focused on providing structure to corporate professionals who were contemplating leaving the 9 to 5. As the description fitted me perfectly and I strongly believe in helping out fellow entrepeneurs, I applied and was accepted. Judith herself had walked the corporate escapee walk. After a successful career in sales and marking, she had ventured out to provide consultancy services to a variety of clients. And she had opted to comprise her newly found entrepeneurial knowledge into a course.
So Off We Went On This Beta-Testing Journey
Judith had indicated from the start that after having read my about page, she wondered if I was not too far ahead already to be coached by her.
“There is never such a thing as not needing a coach anymore”, I assured her. What I could really use, was an accountability partner outside the launch program. For accountability is key! It was agreed that during our weekly Skype-calls, I would report on my launch progress. Which I did diligently. Judith proved a sharp observer who would not take any of my “yeah buts” for granted. However, being the inquisitive (nosy…?) CSI-coach I am… I could not help but ask Judith about her projects, too.
Flashbacks to the Corporate Boredom
One consultancy client caused her heartache as he was overstepping both time and money boundaries. Requesting way more than was initially agreed upon (consulting on a business plan). The client lacked basic business skills and kept calling Judith day and night for all sorts of simple questions. A consultant and strategist Judith is for sure. A teacher however, she is not!
Boredom set in – the mere thought of this client made Judith dread opening her emails. This way of working resembled the drear and dread of the corporate world she had gladly left behind. Judith felt lost at the entrepeneurial sea. Not knowing how to get back on track. Contemplated getting a “proper” job again. Which may have solved the situation – but not Judith’s mindset!
I recommended her to set clear boundaries with her client(s). Preferably from the off-set – by committing the client to a very clear outline of mutual duties. If the project is already underway, it is not too late either.
First set clear boundaries for yourself. In essence, it is hardly ever them, it is us. Our beliefs on having to overcommit and overdeliver are holding us back. Based on your experience with a client, seek the best way of communication and set the right tone of voice. Sole aim: making sure that the clients receives value without it costing you too much in energy, time and yes also money! Judith wrote a clear email to her client indicating changes would have to be made. Setting deadlines regarding responsiveness and payments. Given Judith a lot of peace of mind AND room for more balanced business relations with other clients.
What Makes You Tick?
Another project made Judith’s eyes shine – she lit up the Skype connection like a flame! She had discovered a way to make excellent use of the shopping behaviour experience, gained through her many corporate years in marketing and sales. Through her offline network, Judith was contacted by the owner of a small bricks and mortar shop, who craved an increase in sales. Not solely by number of shoppers, but also by number of items bought per shopper. Judith had jumped on the opportunity and had provided strategies (translated into feasible action steps) that the shop owner immediately implemented – leading to more sales from the get go!
My advise to Judith: This is what makes you tick. Follow this route.
I suggested for her retail advisory services to be named Retale the Retail. ‘Retaling’ her own business story in the process!
Judith would certainly have been able to make a success out of her corporate escapees coaching program. However, it would not have made her happy. It is never too late to reroute!
So the coachee became the coach. Which is only natural in a transaction between kindred spirits. If both the coach and the coachee are open to learn from each other, energy will flow and both will gain a lot of insight.
Now It Is Time for You to Retale Your Story
We are all multi-talented and skilled. There is lots we COULD do. However, what we really SHOULD do is what makes our heart sing. As professionals, entrepeneurs, friends, partners, parents: we get to choose our destiny.
If we feel BORED, we must dare to REALISE that we should pave our own yellow brick road.
ANALYSE your current situation – jot down the answers to the following questions. Answer from the gut. Keep it short.
- What is causing you to feel bored?
- Why are you not taking steps to escape that boredom?
- Who is stopping you from feeling excited, from cashing in on your brilliance?
Now move from the gut to your but and get moving – EXERCISE. Jump Run Walk Swim Dance – for at least 15 minutes. This will reset your mind, get you in the flow.
Now you will see the How – what you need to do to leave the zombie-state of boredom. Wait – do not sit down feeling all done and chuffed with yourself!
Just “knowing” does not a change make. So CATALYSE aka ignite yourself. Daily. Every morning take 5 minutes to write down the one thing you will do that day to work towards a new way of living, working, being. One small step. This will not cause your system to overload and it will give you a great sense of acknowledgement when every evening you take another five minutes to write down what you did – you will be so grateful for it!
(* client’s name has been changed for privacy protection)