Unitasking

Ever try to do so many things at once that nothing gets done right?  In a society obsessed with multi-tasking, we are taught to “do more” by juggling multiple tasks simultaneously.  But what usually happens is that not everything gets done, or if we do get through the list, everything ends up “half-baked.”  In other words, nothing gets done well.

What’s the solution?  Working differently – one task at a time.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: branching out

Questions

Inquiry

As coaches, we ask a lot of questions.  What are your favorite questions to ask your clients?   As you think back on your time as a coach, which ones have brought your clients to the deepest levels of their beings?  Have any failed miserably?

Exercise

Spend some time this month bringing new and refreshing questions into your coaching.  Perhaps you might start a “question list” or ask each client the same question throughout a whole week.  You might even rediscover some old gems you no longer use as often but which still have tremendous value in your coaching.  Whether you create new questions or resurrect some old ones, notice how your energy shifts when you consciously focus on this important aspect of your coaching.

Posted in: branching out

Niching

So, you’re a new coach. Or a new-ish coach.  Either way, it’s never too early to tackle to issue of “niche.” What’s a niche? It’s another word for target audience. New (and even some not-so-new) coaches struggle with choosing a specialty. But when it comes to “filling your pipeline,” your finite resources go a lot further when you can invest them in a specific market.

But rather than get yourself all in a lather over having to choose a niche and not knowing where or how to begin, I want to assure you that the process of identifying your target audience is not rocket surgery (or brain science, for that matter)!

In fact, you probably already feel drawn to help, or have prior experience with, a certain audience right now: is it “leadership coaching for female managers in Fortune 500 companies?” Is it “relationship coaching for engaged couples entering into second marriages?” You get the point: the more specific your audience, the easier it will be to market to them. And once you know how to reach these prospects reliably and consistently, your job of “filling the pipeline” just got a whole lot easier, and you just got closer to your dream of a full practice!

Posted in: branching out

Is Your Email Managing You?

Thought for The Month

What comes up for you when you see the word “email?”  For many of us it’s dread.  For most, email is a necessary part of communication these days. Have you noticed ways in which you hand your power over to your inbox? It takes a life of its own and before we know it, we have spent more time in our inbox then we care to admit. Or we procrastinate and avoid it – and by the time we get in there, we’re completely overwhelmed. We can take charge and consciously decide how we are going to manage our email inboxes.

Exercise

Notice what your email “style” is at this point. Not how you write or what words you use, but how you manage it. Do you spend too much or too little time? How much time would it actually take keep your inbox clean AND organized? Maybe committing to 15-minute sessions one or more times a day would work. Maybe for you it would be processing twice each day (morning and after lunch) that works best. This is an important part of a business – decide how you are going to be in charge and make it work for you!

Posted in: branching out

Flow

FLOW.  It’s gotten a lot of attention lately – maybe because we’ve all been clamoring for it and didn’t even know it had a name!  Flow is when we feel “used up” in a good way, when we’re working on all cylinders, and when we’re so immersed in a project that we don’t notice the passing of time.  Hours can float by when we’re “in the zone.”  What happens there?  Your best work!  It’s the 3-way intersection of your strengths, your passions and your work.

Exercise

Sit back and ponder the times in your life when you’ve felt “in flow.”

  • What are the common threads between these events?
  • How could you recreate this state today?
  • If you could routinely experience “flow,” what would it do for your business, your energy, your life?

This month, invite “flow” into your day consistently.  Journal about the impact this has on the various aspects of your life.

Posted in: branching out

Curbing Procrastination

“Done is better than perfect.”  Think on this for a second and ask yourself, “Do I ever procrastinate because I feel like a project is too daunting?”  People do this for a number of reasons – maybe they don’t think they’ll be able to do a good enough job, or perhaps it just feels like it’ll take too much effort.

Exercise

GET STARTED.  By the time you’re “done,” you’ll be glad you got the project moving right away:  you’ll have something to work FROM, and you’ll have time left over to strive toward perfection.  So, whatever reasons you’re giving yourself for not delving into that BIG project, let them go and get the ball rolling:

  • Commit to taking the first small step TODAY
  • Set up some accountability by sharing your goal (and a deadline) with a friend, spouse or colleague
  • Continue to schedule small blocks of time to complete each step
  • Deliver the final product

Now, after a break, step back to critique your work.   Is it better than you thought?  Was the process easier than you anticipated?  Chances are, by simply taking that first step, you found that momentum helped carry you through and that “getting started” was the key to pushing past the perfectionism gremlin!

Posted in: branching out

Time is Money

“Time is money.” We’ve all heard it before. And sure – everyone knows if you want to bring in more revenue, bring in more business. But how often do you realize that if you had more time, you’d literally have more money because you could invest that “extra” time into activities that boost the bottom line?

Exercise

Put a halt to time-wasters. Review your daily agenda and ferret out places you could:

  • Group your errands (saves fuel AND wasted trips)
  • Designate only ONE block of time per day to respond to email instead of reading it as it arrives
  • Forward another goal during “lost” time (listen to an audio book during your commute, respond to phone calls while standing in line, etc.)
  • Plan meals instead of being forced to scramble (or spend more on them)
  • Eliminate activities that are just mindless habits – i.e., if you need to unwind, avoid big electronic time vampires (TV, internet). Instead, CHOOSE things that add meaning to your life (like rekindling a friendship, reading the latest NYT bestseller, making memories with your kids, etc.)
Posted in: branching out

Social Networking for Coaches

There’s been quite a buzz lately around “social networking” sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn and SelfGrowth.com.  How much are you taking advantage of these resources in your business?  How well are you connected to business associates and personal acquaintances?  Is this a way you could “harness the power of the internet” to support your coaching business?

Exercise

Sign up for at least two social networking sites this month and see what opportunities you find.  Clients will want to work with coaches who are accessible and creative.  Most of all, enjoy and have fun – there might be more in this adventure than you ever imagine!

Posted in: branching out