I wanted to finish my training with a clear idea of how I was going to start my business, since this was a complete career change for me. I had spent time interviewing my target market, and I had some clear ideas about my probable niche. I was ready to build a website, I was charging for my coaching, and I was ready to start networking and marketing myself.
Something really stood out for me during that recorded interview. Despite my methodical approach, I was really stumped when he asked me about what my vision was for the next six to twelve months. I was only just graduating, and I still felt quite unsure about what kind of coach I was. I felt justified in arguing that my next few months would be spent exploring group coaching and coaching in different settings, to explore what worked and what didn’t.
I have been reflecting on why I felt so stumped by the question, and I realise that despite my careful preparations there was a part of me that was holding back “because I didn’t feel ready”. When I think about it now, my vision has always been the same, so not talking about my vision is just a form of resistance. I was telling myself that I was just “living in the moment” and exploring the possibilities, but really I was holding back from committing to what my coaching could be!
Now, a few months further into my new life, I am working to tackle my lack of clarity. I’m asking myself the questions:
why am i a coach? what do i believe in? what vision am i working towards?
What will my business look like in 1 year and 3 years? (I’m not quite ready for 5 years!)
I realise I have grown as a coach in the past 3 months, so I recognise that my goals may change. But I am now certain that if I don’t set really clear goals for my business I will drift through the next 12 months only achieving a small percentage of my potential, and not knowing what to focus on.
Interestingly when I considered why I am a coach, I realised that my vision is really clear: I want to live in a more compassionate world. A world where men and women are not shackled by self-doubt, and who don’t feel the need to criticise and compare, but who know their own worth and can reach their potential. A world where success is measured by happiness and giving, rather than by what we can get back. I struggled for many years with self-doubt and self-criticism, and I wasted a lot of energy feeling “not good enough” despite being a high functioning doctor.
I was developing compassion-fatigue – always giving out support, but never giving any back to myself. I found a way to completely change my thinking, and to be my own best friend, and through that, I find I am more gentle and compassionate with others too. Self-compassion may sound like a selfish act, but the positive rewards for society are immeasurable. Through my work as a coach, I can empower others to be their own best friend, to challenge their own thinking, to beat self-criticism and self-sabotage, and in turn to bring more compassion into the world.
Now I am setting my goals, I realise that I work best with daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals as well as my 1 year and 3-year aspirations. I have never been this structured before, but in setting clear goals I am more productive and focused. I think it also helps reduce anxiety about what I “should be doing” – a legacy of having previously been employed.
I’m grateful that I made the video with Nick. It helped me celebrate how much I’d achieved, and his questions revealed to me my next lesson: clearly stating my goals helps me to achieve my goals!
If you would like us to help tell your story or you would like to share your coaching niche, philosophy or agenda in the form of a blog, like this one – contact Sam to express your interest: firstname.lastname@example.org