Diary of a Business Accelerator: 4 of 6
I posted installment 3 of 6 on 23 January 2017 in which I talked about drafting my brochure, and working through my doubts about my niche.
Session #4 was tough for me. It was an uncomfortable day again, I found myself behind the curve, constantly distracted by working on one part when Andrew moved on to a new part. As the day wore on I got into it, I felt a strong sense of connection with the rest of the cohort, I made some more connections and looked forward to sharing some Skype calls. At the end of session #4, I publicly thanked Andrew, ‘…for making me uncomfortable again – this is what I need to cut through whatever is holding me back so thank you!’
I re-wrote my brochure on the way home and began to feel more positive. I realised I needed to book a 1:1 with Andrew and gave myself a short list of stuff I really needed to get on with. I decided I also needed a coaching session to find out what was holding me back: why was I not implementing all this great stuff? That said, I was feeling positive and had an action plan to kick start me. I hoped that I would soon be able to articulate my value with clarity – that’s what I wanted from my 1:1 with Andrew. I voice recorded my brochure and listened to it and it sounded ok.
I had my 1:1 with Andrew. He asked me to choose between my 2 brands: Business Mentoring Services Ltd and Transition Transformers®- I chose Transition Transformers®. I was conflicted at the time between my head (business mentoring and consulting) and my heart (career and life coaching) and thought that maybe I’d chosen the wrong one. He then proceeded to give me a personal masterclass on how to articulate my value and think about ways I could sell my services. I was still confused about how to reconcile business mentoring with career and life coaching: I was flip flopping between them so I decided to take that issue to my next coaching session – hopefully I would finally get clear on which brand to lead with. The day after session #4, which included some excellent instruction on how to make videos, I made my first video using my PC and webcam. I posted my video on the FB group, which felt like a minor triumph!
Working with my coach, and doing some values work on my own, I was gradually working through my conflict over where my true path lay: business mentoring and consulting, or career and life coaching. One sunny afternoon I was sitting outside my local Waitrose with a coffee pondering this dilemma. Drawing on the values work and the coaching sessions I’d had, I asked myself what was holding me back? The answer I got was that I was too much in ‘doing’ mode so what if I got into ‘being’ mode? Almost instantly I let go of the attachment to my focus on the business consulting side and the next 2 hours flew by in a blur of creativity. As if by magic, I drafted a brochure for a coaching programme I called, ‘Love Your Job, Love Your Life’, targeted at professional services firms in the Salisbury area. The next day, while I was a volunteer on the Start-Up Britain bus tour in Salisbury, I bumped into the person I’d already decided I needed to ask for advice on who to help me with marketing this programme. One hour later that very marketing person appeared in front of me - I’m not making this up, it really happened like this! One week later we had agreed an outline marketing plan and submitted the first draft of the new brochure to the printers. This felt light, free, easy and natural. It felt as if it was really going to happen, which was a great feeling.
My marketer arranged a seminar for my coaching programme, ‘Love Your Job, Love Your Life’ and filled the room with my target market. I didn’t sell any places on the programme and that was ok because I wasn’t attached to any outcome and I knew I simply needed to put myself out there and see what came back, ‘sharpening my business on the stone of the market place.’ I’m gradually picking up individual clients from this (I’m up to 4 so far), sometimes through unexpected indirect ways, and this feels like success. I feel I’ve positioned myself with my target market as the go-to guy for holistic coaching: using emotional intelligence and mindfulness, and working with values, energy, vitality and spirit. I’ve even developed a new off-the-cuff elevator pitch, ‘I’m an old soldier and a rookie spiritual warrior!’ Old soldier because I served 26 years in the Army as a combat engineer, and rookie spiritual warrior because I aspire to act with wisdom and compassion in all situations – I don’t always manage it but when I’m at my best I do and that’s when the magic happens.
I’ll post instalment 5 of 6 next month.