coaching


The Sound of Silence 2

In today’s guest post performance coach Anna-Marie Watson focuses upon something she feels underpins many skills used in coaching and communication.

The Sound of Silence

By Anna-Marie Watson

“The Sound of Silence”  (Simon & Garfunkel)

When was the last time you indulged in a moment of pure silence? On your own in the shower or out for a run? Everything paused; the to-do list, “should have done” and “must dos” faded into the background. Your internal chatter diminished and waves of silence washed over you uninterrupted by mobile phone notifications, nagging thoughts or any other typical incessant background noise of 21st century living.

Our daily lives are an endless cacophony of sound as noise assaults our senses. Cities are full of the ever-present hum of background traffic, screaming children, ringing phones, the latest episode of “The Great British Bake-Off” blaring through from your neighbours’ apartment. Adriana, creator of the “Huffington Post” and “Thrive” believes “we’re wired, plugged in, constantly catered to, and increasingly terrified of silence, unaware of what it has to offer” (Huffington, 2014, 188). We’ve become accustomed to clatter and find a strange comfort or I’d suggest distraction from ourselves in the sounds tugging at our attention.

The flow of our everyday conversation perpetuates this din through a permanent flow of words. Our constant transmission overlooks the prime motivator behind verbal interactions – to exchange ideas, share information and seek to understand. Western culture reinforces this phenomenon as silence is generally associated with negative values, beliefs or assumptions. Silence correlates to a stereotypical lack of interest, unwillingness to communicate, rejection, interpersonal incompatibility, shyness (Davidson, 2009) or insufficient knowledge. These perceptions combined with our noisy world mean it’s almost impossible to hunt out a moment of peace and quiet. The deeper role of silence as a means of communication has largely been ignored (ibid.) and definitely warrants consideration in coaching and everyday conversations.

Additionally, patterns of dialogue vary across the world and the Western cultures specialise in a form of verbal tennis. Words morph into tennis balls; batted backwards and forwards across a net with a chronic failure to notice or register the actual word, hidden meanings, veiled emotions or insinuations. This links back to the classic 1960s song “The Sound of Silence” where Garfunkel describes the lyrics deeper meaning to illustrate “the inability of people to communicate with each other, not particularly intentionally but especially emotionally” (Eliot, 2010). The deeper value, connection and understanding is concealed within the noise and found in the spaces between words, brief sentence gaps and pauses in-between. The Sound of Silence.

Within the professional coaching realm, the International Coach Federation core competencies are a practical framework to consider skills, knowledge and ethics. Many key competencies can be transposed across into the business world and everyday life to support the highly sought-after talent of “effective communication” or “active listening”. Silence underpins these skills to provide a moment in time to reflect, connect and provide balance to the words. Mocci and Penna elaborate further that “silence is used to underline, to increase the communicative value, both in a positive or negative sense, of a content already defined by the relationship, for instance affection, friendship, feeling of dissatisfaction, that silence shapes”. (2009, p.5). A coach (or indeed considerate conversationalist!) creates sufficient space for equal or more communication time (International Coach Federation, 2012). This incorporation of silence into conversations can initially feel disjointed, uncomfortable and alien; as one of my recent coaching clients explains further:

“The silence and space given to me, as the client, to do the heavy lifting was uncomfortable for me at first. However, that is where the meaningful and life changing awareness sprung forth. I felt supported and believed in all along the way which empowered me”. Brenda, Charity Sector

Grant yourself the luxury of silence to still your mind and open your ears. Welcome this time and space into your day and give your small, still voice hidden deep inside permission to vocalise their thoughts.

Gift your conversational partner a moment to simply finish their sentence. Simply hold the space and allow the opportunity for further reflection or consideration. Enjoy the moment and avoid the temptation to prematurely jump in to fill the gap.

Embrace the Sound of Silence.

References:

Davidson, M. (2009). The Role of Silence In Communication. Accessed: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pesl/internationalisation/docs/Internationalisation-Role-of-silence.pdf on 5 Jan 17.

Eliot, M. (2010). Paul Simon: A Life. John Wiley and Sons, New Jersey, US.

Huffington, A. (2014). Thrive. Penguin Random House, UK.

International Coach Federation. (2012). Core Competencies. Accessed: https://www.coachfederation.org/credential/landing.cfm?ItemNumber=2206&navItemNumber=576 on 5 Jan 17.

Mocci, S. & Penna, M.P. (2009). The Systematic Approach to Communicative Silence. Sixth Congress European Congress for Systemic Science. Accessed: http://www.afscet.asso.fr/resSystemica/Paris05/penna.pdf on 5 Jan 17.

Simon, P. (1964). The Sound of Silence. Columbia Studios, New York City, US.

 

About Anna-Marie Watson

Anna-Marie is a Performance Coach with a serious passion for the outdoors who loves to head outside for walking and talking conversations with her clients. She is an accredited Analytic-Network  (http://www.analyticnetwork.com) and mBraining (http://www.mbraining.com) coach and certified in eDISC and iWAM psychometric profile tools. Anna-Marie is one of the co-leaders for the International Coach Federation Executive and Leadership Community of Practice (https://www.coachfederation.org/members/).

Former British Army Officer, Anna-Marie has been at the forefront of leadership and professional development for over 16 years working with high performing individuals and teams often in challenging environments; from the Norwegian snowy Arctic tundra to sandy deserts of Central Asia. Anna-Marie is also an elite ultra-runner placing 2nd lady in the “toughest footrace on earth” the Marathon des Sables in 2015. Learn more at www.rfmcoaching.com

 

Connect with Anna-Marie on Social Media

 


Emotional Literacy 1, 2, 3

Coach and mentor Dan Newby specialises in emotional literacy and in today’s guest post he discusses a specific coaching conversation and shares some of his knowledge.

Emotional Literacy 1, 2, 3

By Dan Newby

"Emotional literacy 1, 2, 3" A guest post by Dan Newby

 

“The thing I’d most like to change about myself is my impatience. I don’t like being so impatient but I’ve always been this way”. Those were the words a coachee said to me a few years ago as an explanation for why she wanted coaching. When I heard her I was puzzled because I didn’t have the impression she was especially impatient. She seemed confused when I asked her how she knew that what she was feeling was impatience but told me that is what her parents always called it.

Next, she told me the context that went with their statement. She was the oldest of 4 or 5 children, outgoing, energetic, curious and when she would suggest an activity more than once to her parents their answer was to tell her to “stop being so impatient”. When I asked her if the energy she was feeling and labeling impatience might be some other emotion she came up with several: Excitement, enthusiasm, anticipation, exuberance, joy.

As she considered the meaning of each emotion and the way it felt she realized that although she did experience impatience a small percentage of the time mostly she was experiencing one of the other emotions. For her this made an enormous difference. For almost 40 years she had been calling several different emotions by one name. By doing that she could not differentiate and appreciate the other emotions. Furthermore, her interpretation of impatience was negative and so her self-image had suffered. Once she embraced that she was experiencing enthusiasm, exuberance and joy her self-image shifted considerably.

If you reflect on that scene you’ll realize that we learn many things in this way, through things our parents say, and emotions are one of them. But what if the name your parents are using for an emotion is inaccurate? What if you heard and learned something they weren’t trying to teach you? This type of coaching situation is why I find Emotional Literacy so valuable. If we understand that each emotion is offering us unique information and has a purpose we can begin to befriend and rely on them. We explore them non-judgmentally. If we know that we have a choice between reacting and responding when we feel an emotion they become effective tools.

So where do we start with Emotional Literacy?

Curiously, if you look for a universal definition of what an emotion is you won’t find it. If you look for a single comprehensive list of emotions you won’t find that either. So, to use emotions in this way we need a new understanding of what they are and have the ability to explain them to our coachees. Emotions, for me, are simply “the energy that moves us”. If you think about the “feelings” your body experiences you will notice that each moves you in a different way. The energy of laziness prompts you to rest on the sofa or go to the beach to lay in the sand while the energy of ambition focuses you on taking advantage of possibilities. Jealousy moves you to protect or hold on to someone you care about while joy urges you to celebrate. Although there is no universal list of emotions I work with about 250. This is an enormous range considering that most of us can only identify and articulate 10 or 15.

Emotions each have a unique message or information for us as well. Sadness tells us “we’ve lost something we care about” while envy tells us “we’d like to have something someone else has”. Anger tells us what is unjust and trust tells us we are not taking excessive risk interacting with someone. We can deconstruct every emotion into three parts: 1. The story or information it is offering us, 2. The impulse or reaction and 3. Its purpose or the reason it exists. After 18 years of coaching I find emotions to be one of the most useful and quickest ways to work with coachees.

What are the steps to Emotional Literacy?

To get started there are 3: 1) Listening non-judgmentally to your emotions which, of course, requires you noticing them first, 2) Reflecting on what those emotions are trying to communicate or inform you of and 3) Articulating the story, impulse and purpose of the emotions. Later you’ll be able to connect or group various emotions but the first and most fundamental step is beginning to identify, name and articulate them.

1) Listening: One thing you may notice when you begin listening to your emotions is that you have assessments or judgments about them. Fear, anger and jealous are “bad” emotions while loyalty, love and compassion are “good” emotions. This is not a very helpful way to think about emotions because we generally try to avoid the “bad” ones and experience more of the “good” ones. In this interpretation “emotions are just emotions”. Each one can help us or can get in our way. Without fear we would not survive because we wouldn’t recognize danger but it can also immobilize us so that we are unable to act. So, learning to listen non-judgmentally to the emotions you are experiencing is an important first step.

2) Reflecting: It isn’t always immediately apparent to us why we are feeling the emotion we are. Reflection can help us consider what message the emotion is trying to deliver. Emotions trigger reactions – fear to run away, loyalty to defend, etc. – but that isn’t always the most beneficial thing we can do. Learning to choose our response can sometimes be more effective in the long run. This requires reflection.

3) Articulating: Earlier I said that there are not universal definitions for emotions. This means that they are interpretations and the way I explain love, doubt or envy will be different than the way you do. What is most important is that we have our own clear articulation and that we agree on the interpretation we use in our conversations. When we are coaching, it is vital that the coach and coachee share the same understanding of the emotion they are working with otherwise they are not talking about the same thing.

Once you, the coach, have begun to build your own emotional literacy you can offer it to your coachees. You don’t need to have clarity on all 250 emotions to begin working with them. If you have 10 you are clear on you can begin with those and build your vocabulary from there. Even those 10 are likely to give you a greater range than most of your coachees.

Since emotions are “the energy that move us” they are at the heart and foundation of everything we do and every choice we make. If we want to help our coachees see new possibilities and choose different actions they are a logical place to start.

To take a step forward sign up for a Free Introductory Course on Emotional Literacy at www.studyemotions.com. I welcome your insights, learning and feedback.

About Dan Newby

"The Unopened Gift: A Primer in Emotional Literacy"Dan Newby trains and mentors coaches, works with organizations to elevate their emotional literacy, facilitates emotions workshops and is co -author of “The Unopened Gift: A Primer in Emotional Literacy” available on Amazon and Kindle. He lives near Barcelona, Spain and work worldwide with individuals and organizations. He offers on-line training courses in Coaching & Emotions through www.studyemotions.com. If you’d like to contact him directly his email address is dnewby@studyemotions.com.


Five things to do now to run your coaching practice like a CEO

Running a coaching busines successfully is the focus of today’s guest post where Alison Beierlein shares some of her expertise and knowledge in:

Five things to do now to run your coaching practice like a CEO

By Alison Beierlein

Five things to do now to run your coaching practice like a CEO By Alison Beierlein

There are so many aspects to take into consideration when starting and running your own business; it can be overwhelming. Many coaches start out as typical solopreneurs – doing everything themselves – and some are missing out on their potential for growth, prosperity, and success by remaining in this limiting structure.

In a hypothetical situation, if you had to apply and interview yourself for the CEO role of your coaching practice, what characteristics would you be looking for?

Now, let’s pause for a moment to include here, that when brainstorming these characteristics, you need to take away any and all filters. There are no limitations here, so let your mind come up with the absolute ideal candidate for this role.

Go ahead, grab a paper and pen and jot down the most important characteristics that you would be looking for in this person.

When I do this activity, some of the characteristics and skills that come to mind for me are:

  • Ability to focus
  • Creativity and flexibility in overcoming challenge
  • Solid foundational understanding of business planning and finances including cash flow forecasting and budgeting
  • Ability to sell and close deals
  • Strategic business growth strategies including scalability
  • Strong sense of integrit
  • Trustworthiness, ethical behavior and clear value
  • Hunger for continual improvement
  • Strong leadership and ability to provide clear direction
  • Grit
  • Project management and planning for goal achievement
  • Ability to assess the value of opportunities
  • Zone of genius (whatever the superpower is that you sell to your clients)

There are more, but this is a good start. The point of this exercise is to highlight the following two insights:

As the CEO of the company, you’re not spending your time with low-level administration.

As the CEO of the company, you ARE spending your time on the things that no one else can decide or do for you,

such as:

a. Giving the tone and direction of the company
b. Big picture planning on where you want to take the company

If you take a moment to assess, what you are currently spending your time on in our business, what kinds of activities ARE you doing?

Be honest. Are these activities driving your revenues?

Are you spending your time in Canva trying to create your logo?

Are you spending hours trying to figure out some cloud-based technology that you’re not familiar with yet (such as creating your landing page)?
Are you following up with clients who had a declined payment because their credit card expired?

If the answer is yes, then I highly suggest you tune in here.

Keep reading for my top five tips to ensure you are running your business like a boss.

1. Delegate

As a successful coach and CEO of your business, your own time is worth too much to be spending on tasks that don’t bring in money. You need to be focussing your own time only on the things that only you can do, and that bring in a high return on your time investment.

If you’re just starting out, you might think you can’t afford to hire someone to help. How can you delegate things to someone if you can’t even pay yourself? Well, for starters, you can sell something you already own. Go through your house, see what you can part with, and sell it on Craigslist, a local Facebook Buy and Sell group, have a garage sale, post it for sale on your local pinboards and even just broadcast it out to people you know. You can surely sell at least a few things that can bring in some money to give your cash flow a boost.

Failing that, jot down any other services you could provide for money, that would bring in more than it would cost you to hire an assistant. If you can easily provide guitar lessons for $50 / hour, and an assistant might cost you $20 / hour. Sell a few hours of guitar lessons and then use that money to buy over twice the amount of time from someone else who is efficient with your lower level business related tasks, to help get you started.

If you absolutely can’t afford to hire out these types of tasks, then try to follow this strategy: Work in your zone of genius as much as possible and continually try to increase the ratio of time spent on money-making tasks to non-money-making tasks as time goes on. Your ultimate goal should be spending 98% of your time doing only money-making, high-level work, and contracting out or having staff do absolutely everything else.

If you have enough cash flow and are already earning a steady income from your coaching practice, then brainstorm any tasks that you are currently doing that are time-consuming and could easily be handed off to an assistant. Then once you’ve delegated them, use the time you have freed up in your schedule for money making activities, such as booking more discovery calls or creating more content.

2. Get your head in the game

As CEO of your coaching practice, you need to be mentally in the game if you want to be successful. What does this entail? You’re a coach, so you’re probably already familiar with the whole idea of having a growth mindset. But do you always practice what you preach? Do you have what it takes to build up your mental toughness?

Mental toughness is the ability to be resilient and maintain confidence in your abilities. In an article from September 17, 2010, on Forbes written by Christine M. Riordan titled Six Elements of Mental Toughness, she explains that being a successful athlete isn’t solely a result of skill, knowledge, or ability. Success partially stems from having mental toughness.

Mental toughness is the ability to handle stress, recover quickly from setbacks, adapt and create strategies to overcome unforeseen hurdles, handle competition, and to have the courage to make the hard decisions to uphold your integrity, values, and ethics.

This need for the mental resilience doesn’t just apply to athletes – it’s universal and applies to everyone who is working on growing a business.

Do you ever find you’re allowing yourself to be dragged down because you’re comparing yourself to others (even other people you have never met before)? Stop doing this immediately. Nothing good will come from comparing yourself to someone else’s success unless you are celebrating it with them and looking at it as a case study from which you want to learn.

Keep your attention focussed on the next steps that will move you towards your own success and take continued and steady action towards achieving your own goals.

3. Persevere, persevere, persevere

Don’t let setbacks deter you from moving forward. Use your failures as learning opportunities. Do better next time. The law of averages dictates that eventually, you will fail at something. But don’t let it determine your self-worth or sway you from steering straight ahead towards your goals. Each mini failure is just a part of your journey. As CEO it is your job to dust yourself off, make any minor adjustments to your plan as you need to get back on course, and then keep moving forward.

4. Generate multiple streams of income

When operating as CEO of your coaching practice, it can be very limiting if you put all your eggs in one basket – one stream of income. Taking on clients solely in a 1-on-1 setting will ultimately limit your income earning potential because you can only take on so many clients every month. Time is your limiting factor.

Even if you’re operating in your zone of genius, spending your time solely on the money-making tasks that only you can do, if you’re exchanging your time as your sole offering, you effectively cap your income. You can realistically only raise your rates so much, depending on what the market will bear.

A more well-rounded business model will ensure that you aren’t relying on only one income stream. If you can fill out your services to offer products or services that are scalable, you can grow your reach, increase your impact, help more people, and do it all with less time.

Scalable business models include products and services that generate income, even when you’re not actively working directly with a single client. These passive income streams could include

  • Group coaching (online or in person
  • An information product or mini-course
    Take the core principles that you go through while working with your 1-on-1 clients and package them up into a self-study course that your clients can buy and work through on their own time)
  • Affiliate sales or referrals
    If you know of someone who offers high-quality coaching, mentoring or training in a very specific specialty niche and your clients could benefit from working with them, you could earn money through affiliate sales of their products/services or referral fees. Of course, I only recommend this if you truly stand behind the quality of their offering and have your clients’ best interests in mind.

Once you have these various income sources mapped out, you can design your business plan to reflect the various streams. You can stack them up, boost the value of one offering by including one of the others as a bonus ultimately increasing the earning potential per client while adding incredible value.

5. Create clear and concise goals and a plan to get you there

If you want to run your business like a professional, invest the time in creating a full business plan. You can’t know what direction you’re going in if you don’t have a clearly defined vision for your business.

Even if you aren’t running a brick and mortar, traditional style business, the value in having a thorough business plan in place is very high. As CEO of your company, you want to have a strong vision for the business. You need direction. You want to set the tone for all actions and decisions that you make as a business owner.

Every major decision you make should be supporting this bigger vision. You should gear your marketing, branding, growth, and sales strategies towards moving you closer towards your goals and keeping you in line with your company’s purpose, vision, and mission. Every investment (monetary or otherwise) has a clear purpose. Every product, service or other sources of revenue should be in line with the customer experience you envision for your business.

As your business grows and evolves, you need to review this plan (annually at least) and make any adjustments as required. It might seem tedious at times, but the time you invest in creating your business plan and reviewing it on a regular basis, the higher your chances are of achieving the things you set out to attain.

About Alison Beierlein

ALISON BEIERLEIN Alison Beierlein has international training and experience and over a decade of experience in business management. She coaches female entrepreneurs in the areas of leadership, empowerment, confidence, business growth, and self-development. Her goal is to empower women to uncover their larger purpose and design clear strategies to help them achieve their full potential.
In January, 2017, Alison is launching her own show called the License to Receive Podcast where she interviews thought leaders and presents case studies in the areas of abundance, self-improvement, career development, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
After tragically losing her father, Alison has begun raising awareness about mental health and donates a portion of her coaching revenue to the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Connect with Alison Beierlein

 

 


Walking & Talking in Nature

 In today’s guest post performance coach Anna-Marie Watson shares some of her experience and knowledge.

Walking & Talking in Nature*

By Anna-Marie Watson

"Walking & Talking in Nature" by Anna-Marie Watson

Do the following questions strike a chord for your clients or maybe just you?

Working 11, 12, 13 or more hours a day cooped up inside and permanently attached to a computer?

Struggling to hit 10,000 daily steps to satisfy the FitBit?

Mentally fatigued juggling 101 dead lines and demanding clients who add to a never-ending “to-do” list that regularly spirals out of control?

Was that a resounding “Yes!”; grudging “Maybe”, niggling “Sometimes” or resolute “No”?

For most of us who fall in the “Yes”, “Maybe” or even “Sometimes” bracket, the perfect yet often overlooked antidote to modern life is nature.

The simple act of stepping beyond the four walls of our work spaces and spending time in the natural environment improves creativity and productivity, reduces stress, aids mental clarity and encourages a wider appreciation of different perspectives. Our human brain with unique cognitive skills was developed over hundreds of years in the presence of permanent movement outdoors. From an evolutionary perspective our bodies are designed to walk up to 12 miles per day, unlike our current obesio-genic environment where on average we remain stationary for over 8 hours (Medina, 2014). Taking our clients outside for coaching sessions creates a physical shift from immobile to active and provides natural inspiration to stimulate cognitive thought to support our genetic heritage.

Neurons image

Neurons image

Just take a moment to appreciate your brain with its approximate eighty-five billion neurons that constantly wire, fire, re-wire and re-fire to process and transmit information. This 1.4 kg tofu-like mass weighs a mere fraction of our total body weight yet devours over 20% of our daily energy needs to maintain essential chemical and electrical processes way beyond the scale of any other human organ. The amount of energy needed on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis that’s necessary to navigate a myriad of tasks is simply mind-boggling.

The physical, biological and chemical interactions to process our thoughts, make decisions, silence our internal critic, organise daily tasks, unconsciously regulate the immune, cardiovascular, muscular, skeletal, endocrine, digestive, lymphatic, nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems, and then remember to email our accountant the end of year figures, are endless. Ultimately the brain, or more specifically the prefrontal cortex, like any other muscle becomes fatigued and needs time out to rest, relax and recover then return fully recharged with resilience boosted to increase productivity and reach optimum performance.

The routine dual attack and constant over stimulation from external sources and internal rhetoric can be turned on its head by stepping outside into nature*, taking a deep breathe, placing one foot in front of another, stilling the mind and living in the present moment. These recommendations from the global scientific community are reflected in British government policy with the advice to move from a sedentary position every thirty minutes and engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of 3 lots of 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise sessions per week (Public Health England, 2014).

From a coaching perspective the combination of physical movement, different environment and mental exploration leaves the client feeling refreshed, restored and with improved mental performance. Walking & Talking coaching sessions inevitably facilitate the creation of different states, energy and perspectives, which in turn influences subsequent outcomes and results compared to a traditional static conversation. Next time you’re scheduling a client coaching session cancel the conference room or confines of a café and opt for an urban venture outside the four walls hemming you in to reap physical and mental rewards.

I’ll conclude with the succinct and simple words of Elizabeth Hurley “spending time outdoors makes you feel great”.

Note*: Nature literally exists on our doorsteps and is best accessed on two feet.

References

Medina, J. (2014). Brain Rules. Pear Press, USA.

Public Health England. (2014). Everybody Active, Every Day – An evidence-based approach to physical activity click here to read Accessed 6 Sep 16.

Williams, F. (2016). This is Your Brain on Nature. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/call-to-wild-text Accessed 4 Sep 2016.

About Anna-Marie Watson

Anna-Marie WatsonAnna-Marie is a performance coach who draws from NLP, sports psychology, neuroscience, positive psychology and mindfulness theory to craft industrious and dynamic coaching partnerships with clients who yearn for more and desire balance within their life. Anna-Marie’s specialty is “walking & talking” where the Great Outdoors inspires facilitates deep level insights, encourages different perspectives and ultimately optimises performance. She integrates Analytic-Network (http://www.analyticnetwork.com) and mBraining (http://www.mbraining.com) methodologies to unlock and unleash transformational change.

Anna-Marie has been at the forefront of leadership and personal development for over 16 years working with high performing individuals and teams across three continents. Anna-Marie’s core values of growth, balance and energy are reflected in her business Reach for More. where improving yourself is an all round experience.

Reach For MoreFor more information on Anna-Marie’s performance coaching services, visit www.rfmcoaching.com

 

Connect with Anna-Marie on Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RFMCoaching

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RFMCoaching/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/awatson4

Google+: https://www.google.com/+AnnaMarieWatson

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rfmcoaching/


Are You Primark Or Harrods? Pricing And Positioning Is Your Choice

When you are starting a coaching business one of the early questions you have to answer is how much you will charge. In today’s guest post Vicky Fraser discusses price …

Are You Primark Or Harrods? Pricing And Positioning Is Your Choice

By Vicky Fraser

"Are You Primark Or Harrods? Pricing And Positioning Is Your Choice" by Vicky Fraser

Man, we have a lot of hang-ups about money. And a lot of false beliefs, too.

I’m gonna share possibly the most important thing nobody’s ever told you about money:

Price is elastic.

What do you think people consider most important when deciding to buy something? Actually, I can’t tell you the answer to that, because it depends on the person, the product and their reason for buying.

I can tell you, though, only a tiny proportion of people make their decision solely or mostly based on cheapest price. You might be sceptical, but think about it for a second and you’ll realise I’m right.

If everyone bought on price alone, the only clothes shop would be Primark and we’d all be driving Dacias (Britain’s cheapest car) and shopping in Poundland.

Do you think someone buying a Rolls-Royce gives price any consideration at all? I can tell you now: they don’t. People who want a Rolls-Royce want one because it’s a Rolls-Royce, not because they need a car to get to work or take the kids to school.

This is important to you because it means you get choose how to run your business, too. You can charge whatever the hell you want, because “the going rate” is a dangerous myth.

“But wait!” I hear you cry. “All my competitors are around the same price range. I can’t possibly go against that can I?”

Yes, you can. This sameness in pricing is great for you, because you can let those sheep get on with it.

Look, industry norms are meaningless to your business.

It’s really common, when starting a business, to look at what everybody else is charging. I did it. I’m sure you did it – and perhaps still do.

We look at what others are charging and pick somewhere in the middle. Or even near the bottom if our confidence isn’t up where it should be.

It’s a crazy way to sell for a couple of reasons. I mean, if you came to your prices like that… most other people must have done the same thing. Right? Which makes pricing completely arbitrary.

Dan Kennedy, marketing genius, puts it like this: “Understand that everybody else has arrived at their price decisions through the same foolish process as you might now. It’s price incest, which works like regular incest: over time, everybody gets dumber.”

So how do we set prices? Honestly? Get a dartboard, stick some numbers on it, and chuck darts at it. See how your sales go. Include “safe” numbers that keep you in your comfort zone… and include “I can’t possibly charge that!” numbers too – the ones that make your hands all sweaty and set you on edge.

Then go with the number the dart lands on, even if it scares the bejeezus out of you.

I’m being deadly serious here. Because… you don’t have any competitors. You really don’t, and when you get your head around this, your business will become much more fun. And much more profitable.

Your business is different from everyone else’s in the sense that it has you. How you structure your business, how you package your product, how you sell it, how you deliver it… all this means you can price it differently. It makes direct comparison impossible.

Which means: you can wave goodbye to the price buyers!

Most business owners live in fear of pricing – don’t you be one of them. A bit of healthy awareness is fine… But any business decision made out of fear is a bad one.

Fear drives people to needlessly under-price, to avoid raising prices in time (if at all), and to ignore opportunities to sell the deluxe version.

Fear leads to Comparison. Comparison leads to Discounts. Discounts lead to the Dark Side.

I’m not kidding: discounts will destroy your business if you succumb to them. I’ll explain how in my next article.

But first, I really want you to understand that you can choose your position. Are you Primark, John Lewis or Harrods? (If you’re not in the UK, Primark sells cheap stuff, John Lewis is mid-range, and Harrods is… well… Harrods.)

If you’re Primark and you’re happy, that’s cool. As long as you’re comfortable with your positioning and it will get you closer to your goals, that’s great. I’m not judging – not everybody can be Harrods! People buy at different price levels.

My point is: you don’t have to settle for average and you don’t have to compete on price. In fact, you shouldn’t.

Competing on price is a dangerous game.

The really successful business owners understand this.

If you can’t be the cheapest and make that your USP, there is no benefit at all in being at the bottom of the barrel with the rest of the “almost cheapest”. That is truly rubbish positioning.

So choose your position. Make a decision. Take control of your own profits.

I really want you to understand the importance of getting your head around pricing and positioning, so I’ve got something for you: a free chapter of my book, where I dig really deep into pricing and positioning. You can download it at http://www.businessforsuperheroes.com/free-preview-chapter-4

About Vicky Fraser

Copywriter. Entrepreneur. Ran away with the circus.

Vicky Fraser has built her business up from a few hundred quid a month to six figures a year – and counting. She’s author of the book Business For Superheroes, runs the prestigious Small Business Superheroes Inner Circle, and publishes free daily marketing tips on her website.

Article Source: Are You Primark Or Harrods? Pricing And Positioning Is Your Choice

Ezine Articles Expert page: Vicky Fraser


So You Want Results? Here Is the Formula

In this week’s guest post coach Janet Zaretsky shares some of her knowledge and experience in:

So You Want Results? Here Is the Formula

By Janet Zaretsky

"So You Want Results? Here Is the Formula" By Janet Zaretsky

As I was talking to my client, Sarah, she is complaining that she is working very hard and is not getting the results she wants. So, we get into a conversation about why that is and discover that she was doing great, producing the results she wanted in her business for months, and then… she simply stopped doing the activities she was doing that led to the results in the first place. Light bulb moment… she said, “I thought I did enough and now I could just coast!”. When she saw that ‘coasting’ cost her results, the fix was easy and turned her business results back around.

I find this is a common scenario and in all the work I do with my clients about their success, I have identified a formula that works brilliantly. Here is what I have identified and what you can do to produce results.

First, I know that most likely you ‘know’ this, but it is critical that you operate with this principle in mind: The only things that produces results is Action. Good intentions, good thoughts, wanting, thinking about it, hoping, does not produce results. Really. The only thing that produces actual, tangible results is action. Once you get yourself settled about that fact, the other 3 things that result in a failure to produce results are a function of:

1. Not making promises for results

2. Not taking sufficient amount of action

3. Ineffective actions

Let’s look more deeply into this:

1. Promised results:

a. You need to make promises and create some way of being accountable to someone, other than yourself to honor your promises. Why? Do a bit of an honesty check here- most of us are not reliable to honor promises to ourselves but are much more likely to honor promises when we have to tell someone else. This can be a coach, an accountability partner or a manager.

b. Promise results, not actions. After coaching thousands of people, one thing I know for sure- we, you and I, have good intentions. If you promise actions, you may fool yourself and do what you said, but not do what is needed to produce results. When that happens, you may get stymied as to why you are not producing results. I find it very effective to promise the result- which then has you in action and thinking creatively as you go along to produce the result.

2. Insufficient action:

a. You promise the result, then make a plan. You execute the plan. Then you evaluate the plan (depending on the promise you want to evaluate frequently). When you evaluate, you see that the actions you took were effective, but you did not take enough of them.

b. Easy fix: Build in more of the same actions.

3. Ineffective action:

a. You make the promise for the result. You create a plan. You execute the plan. You evaluate the result and you are not getting the desired results.

b. Evaluate the actions and see what actions were not effective.

c. Create a new plan of actions.

If you take the time to do this simple, yet powerful, strategy whenever you want to produce results, you will always have the power to create and produce what you want!

As always, I love to hear from you. Email me at

About Janet Zaretsky

In all my years of coaching people one thing I know for sure; you are committed, brilliant and talented and …… sometimes, you doubt yourself, sometimes you get stopped and stuck. Sometime you just need a partner in having you succeed.

I started The Zenith Business to support you in getting everything you REALLY want, in your business, and your life.

I am not fluffy. I tell you like it is. I have a no-nonsense, direct and practical approach. I provide laser, intentional, results-producing business success coaching for entrepreneurs who are up to a big game. If you want someone who is powerful and effective in your corner, I am your coach.

My background includes my first career in large corporations and state agencies, as a Registered Nurse, where I did direct care, management, design and implementation of systems and teams for 21 years.

My second career, as a professional coach, launched in 1996 in the infancy of this industry. This suited me- my mom was right when she said I was a rebel and loved a challenge! Now, almost 20 years later, I have had the privilege of coaching, speaking, designing and leading workshops and courses to over 31,000 people.

I love coaching people to be the best “them” they can be. I have discovered how great people are and how easily we all get stuck and even stopped from achieving our own potential.

I am good at what I do. One of my favorite things someone said about me as a coach is “You are a rare piece of art that cuts through the junk and has people be at the source of manifesting their life by design. You are a master of distinguishing, recognizing, motivating people to see, create, plan and take action in their life and those things that matter to them.”

Connect with Janet Via:

Website: http://www.thezenithbusiness.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thezenithbusiness

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thezenithbusiness

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thezenithbiz

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXT5BGdpx2RUr-gbNZXy3EQ

 

Article Source: So You Want Results? Here Is the Formula

Ezinearticles expert page: Janet Zaretsky

 


10 Easy Ways You Need To Know To Grow A Business

In today’s guest post coach Leslie Hassler turns attention towards actually establishing and running a business as she offers:

10 Easy Ways You Need To Know To Grow A Business

by  Leslie Hassler

"10 Easy Ways You Need To Know To Grow A Business" by Leslie Hassler

How many months have you been investing in your business to see no results?

Here’s the interesting thing I’ve learned from being in business and coaching other small businesses to grow.

All the marketing and sales strategies work… in their own time.

Chances are that you have worked hard and doing the ‘right’ things to grow your business. You just have focused on the big sexy strategies that bring in business in the long-term, but have you hearing crickets in the short-term.

If that’s you, know this – you aren’t alone. In fact 85% of the businesses I work with are doing the same. If they can change things around and see results in the next 90 days – you can too. Here are the top 10 ways you can grow a business easily and quickly.

1. Balance out your marketing mix to include short-term (results in 90 days), medium (results in 90-180 days) and long-term (results in 180+ days).

2. Be more active in your marketing. If you wait for your phone to ring, you need to do more marketing that boosts your “Know, Like & Trust Factor”. The fastest way is through being were your clients are and talking to them. If you need to grow your business, don’t wait for business to come to you!

3. Build Out Your Circle of Influence. Have you ever played the game ‘6 degrees of Kevin Bacon’? Think of the people who through the course of their work touch your ideal client. Seek out partnerships and alliances with those businesses who best represent how you like to do business. Developing relationships with a few key people is a quick path to cash

4. Ask Your Clients To Buy Again. It’s easy to focus on getting new clients and new projects in the door, but your existing clients are more profitable. Reach out to any previous client who hasn’t purchased in the last 6 months or a year. Let them know how valuable they have been to you and see if there is anything you can do for them now.

5. Ask Your Clients For Referrals. If you love your clients, then you’ll probably love their referrals. Always be asking for referrals as a course of business, but even if the client you just called in #4 doesn’t have work for you, Then ask, “Who do you know who… ?”

6. Raise Your Price. I know this seems simple, but most people don’t adjust their pricing in accordance to their costs. I had a client who lost 20% in gross profits because she unknowingly she had undercharged. The change in her business puts $100,000 to her bottom line. I know this is a sensitive area, but know most buyers won’t even register a 10% increase in price.

7. Re-evaluate Your Profitability Priorities. It’s easy to say yes to subscriptions and little extras in your business – but you could be nickel and diming yourself to death. Cancel any unused subscription no matter how good of an idea it might be, trim back on the nice-to-have expenses and create cash to put into the growth of your business.

8. Stop Being Busy, Start Being Effective. Take a good hard look at what you do with your day. The top three things an entrepreneur or small business owner needs to do is 1.) Find The Money, 2.) Sell The Money & 3.) Serve The Money. How much green is in your calendar? If it isn’t a revenue generating task – dump it or delegate it.

9. Stop Doing It By Yourself. Gone are the days when small businesses can be successful in a silo, You get no trophy for doing it on your own. Invest in people who want to invest in you through accountability partners, masterminds or coaching. You will leap-frog your competition when you stand on the shoulders of giants.

10. Don’t Make It Harder. Simplicity and ease is what wins in business. If it sounds to hard, it probably is – especially if you are doing it alone. It’s better to keep things simple when putting together a growth plan for your business. Doing small things every day add up to a big result in the end. The easier things are, the easier they are to be consistent and sustainable. Most businesses stall out because they can’t sustain their efforts – don’t be one of them.

Use one or all of these strategies to kick-start the growth of your small business!

About Leslie Hassler

Leslie Hassler, business coach and owner of Your Biz Rules, helps women business owners to become the HERO in their business in a way that gives them more freedom to grow their business and be with their families. As a business growth coach Leslie helps smart businesses across industries avoid the pitfalls, get real results quicker in a way that is about working smarter, not harder. In her practical and grounded approach, you learn how to zero in on what works, generate results and create a business that is a win for your clients, for yourself and your family.

Contact Information:

Leslie Hassler

Your Biz Rules

Dallas, TX

972-892-3385

 

Article Source: 10 Easy Ways You Need To Know To Grow A Business

EzineArticles.com Expert page:  Leslie Hassler

 

 


Principles, coaching and spirituality

Many experienced coaches will tell you how their coaching has changed since they first started. In today’s guest post experienced coach Liz Scott shares a bit about how her’s has evolved.

Principles, coaching and spirituality

By Liz Scott

"Principles, coaching and spirituality" By Liz Scott

A few years ago my life transformed. It didn’t transform in a snappy, flashy ‘fireworks’ kind of way, it was more like a gentle defrosting of icy beliefs and fears. Once these beliefs had dissolved I was left standing in mental health, freedom and wellness. Don’t get me wrong. I still experience the full range of human emotions. I feel sad, happy, angry and frustrated. It’s just that I no longer dwell and wallow in these emotions; instead I fall out of them and into peace.

It all started when I came across the Three Principles behind life. When I say principle I don’t mean ‘good idea’ I mean the fundamental spiritual facts that are at the root of the whole of the human psychological experience.

Understanding these principles has been profound. I have shifted my business and life around what I am learning, my husband is too.

If you are reading this with a half skeptical ‘yeah, ok tell me what these magic principles are’ kind of attitude then I wouldn’t blame you. In fact I’d recommend you keep a healthy skeptical mind.

On one level The Three Principles (which are mind, consciousness and thought) are just words. It’s when we understand and experience for ourselves how they operate, that the real shifts begin. These principles point towards the common denominator of the human experience; they point towards the spiritual, creative potential that is in us all.

The other night I looked up onto the moon and my heart filled with awe. I momentarily tried to imagine all the people who through the ages had gazed up at the same moon.  It was too much for my brain to compute – instead I felt a sense of wonder and connection. This feeling of wonder and connection is the birthright of all human beings. I don’t have to gaze at the moon to experience it. When I’m coaching others this is the space I want to be coaching from. It is this space of creative potential that I want to point my clients to.

Another word for it would be spirituality. This is about reconnecting people with their spiritual nature. When we are plugged into this creative infinite potential then navigating through life is more fulfilling and easeful. Life makes more sense.

As coaches I believe we are here to point our clients back to this space. I want them to reconnect with a part of themselves that they have temporarily forgotten.  There is incredible richness for us all to be in touch with this.

About Liz Scott

Liz Scott is a successful business and leadership coach. She co-founded www.coachingconnect.co.uk and is running a one-day event with some of the UK’s best known facilitators and coaches on July 29th  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/top-3p-facilitators-in-devon-coaching-connect-tickets-25648079095