Expectations: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

In this week’s guest post experienced coach Frederique Murphy shares:

Expectations: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

By Frederique Murphy

"Expectations: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!" By Frederique Murphy

Ever wondered why you feel pain when you don’t meet a goal? or Why you feel good when you do? or Why you feel so good when you reach more? Beyond the rationality of these 3 scenarios, and of course understanding why you would feel pain when not reaching something or feel good when reaching it, there is an actual neuroscientific explanation to what is going on.

When any of these 3 things happen – and you know that these happen all the times, both to you and your clients, in your life, career, business – your brain releases or withdraws dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, produced in the brain, primarily involved in motivation and reward. When it releases dopamine, you feel good; when it withdraws it, you feel pain. The more your brain releases dopamine, the more you want to keep going and experience it over and over again.

When it comes to you or your clients not meeting, meeting or exceeding something, dopamine plays a huge role. And, all 3 scenarios are linked to the same one thing: EXPECTATIONS.

Expectations are what we think, or hope, is most likely to happen, and whether or not we realise it, we actually have expectations about everything. Let’s break down these 3 scenarios and see what happen when….

  • …your or your coachee’s expectations aren’t met: you or they experience a fall of dopamine; it feels painful,
  • …your or your coachee’s expectations are met: you or they experience a boost of dopamine; it feels good,
  • …your or your coachee’s expectations are exceeded: you or they experience a super boost of dopamine; it feels super good.

As coaches, I believe that the gap between unconscious expectations and conscious expectations is where our potential lies. Work with your clients to help them become aware of their unconscious expectations; this will help them manage their expectations better, and in turn they’ll gain a better control of their dopamine releases throughout the day, thus increasing their motivation.

How will you use this knowledge to better manage your expectations? And, your clients’ ones? I’d love for you to share; this will be helpful for the other coaches. Comment below!

About Frederique Murphy

Frederique MurphySpecialising in Inspirational Leadership, Frederique Murphy is a mindset strategist who inspires leaders to believe and accomplish the extraordinary. With her Mountain Moving Mindset (M3) platform, she equips you with scientifically-based strategies to take your life, career and business to a whole new level: she makes change happen. With over 15 years of experience in corporate change and expertise in positive psychology, neuroscience and behaviour change, she helps your organisation reap the benefits of tapping into the power of the mind. Frederique is a passionate and charismatic speaker, who captivates audiences – when she takes to the stage, sparks fly and beliefs, attitudes and behaviours will be instilled to create lasting change. For more information on Frederique’s transformational services, visit

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Did “Marketing” Kill Your Fire For Your Business?

In today’s guest post Ling B Wong shares on the subject of marketing.

"Did "Marketing" Kill Your Fire For Your Business? (Aka, Death By Marketing)" by Ling B Wong

Did “Marketing” Kill Your Fire For Your Business?

 (Aka, Death By Marketing)

by Ling B Wong

Have you had this experience… you started out doing something in your business with passion, with fire. You tried to do it justice by learning all the business and marketing stuff on how to make it work, make it better, make it reach more people, make it make you a living… etc. (Whatever that training program sales page tried to convince you… ) A few months later, you find yourself in a rut, chasing your tail on the hamster wheel but no longer know why the hack you are doing that for.

Most of us get into what we do because of our passion for the “craft” – regardless of what results you deliver, whom you serve, and how you do it. We started a business so we can do what we do best and do it the way we see best without others telling us what to do and how to do it.

We did not start our businesses (along with the stress, the “uncertainty” and the foregoing of health insurance) just so we can market our businesses.

We started our businesses because we are passionate about what we do (e.g. a specific process of coaching, an expertise topic, the tools, and knowledge… the “geek” stuff.) We started our businesses because we want to express ourselves and share our gifts through something that we can (theoretically, at least!) have complete control over so we don’t have to compromise our message, our integrity, our truth.

We want to make our lives about something we stand for… We want our lives to be more than punching the clock.

Yet, after a while, probably a few trainings and programs later, taken with the intention of furthering our business so we can spread our message and help more people, we realize slowly but surely how our expression, interaction and decisions has become more and more driven by what we were “told” to be “marketing best practice” than by our individual vision and expertise (as in, our superpower, secret sauce and unique process that actually help our clients achieve results.)

We made ourselves follow some canned processes that require us to cut off our limbs so we can fit into a “tried-and-true” box. We become stifled by “blueprints”, and if we don’t yield the “results as advertised” we conclude that there is something wrong with us, or we are just not good enough. (So we went onto purchasing more of these trainings, further stifling our originality, draw us down the comparison trap and somehow, make us feel even more inadequate!)

We were told, training after training and program after program to SHUT THE HELL UP about your process and just talk about the “results”, the “benefits.” We were told that nobody cares about our “process”, our “tools” – essentially, our passion for our “crafts” – our superpower, our secret sauce. In fact, this is said over and over again so frequently that it is accepted as “truth” – hey, when was the last time it was being questioned and challenged?

Have we ever thought that being told over and over again to shut up about our process, tools and “how we create results” because “people will just glaze over” is sending our subconscious a message that our passion for our “craft” is not important? That nobody cares? That we should leave it at the door so we can create canned marketing messages that “people will understand” – because you are aiming for the lowest common denominator?

How is this different from being told to leave your dream at the office door and get settled in the cubicle? (At least, you get health insurance, appear to be “gainfully employed” and don’t have to fumble when explaining what you do at the cocktail party!)


Humor me, just ask… What if?

What if we can geek out about what we do, how we do it, AND make it magnetic to our ideal clients? What if, we can have our cake and eat it too?

Here is what I know: It is much easier to find your passion and then wrap some marketing content around it, than to find something hopefully marketable and then make yourself get truly passionate about it. You are not a used car salesman. Picking a “niche” because others tell you that it will work, is not going to work for the long-run.

What if, you can lead with your “craft”, then package and position your passions and superpowers in their fullest glory into marketable and profitable offerings without leaving any part of YOU behind?

What if you don’t have to cut off an arm and a leg so you can stuff yourself into the “marketing box”?

Imagine your passion for your “craft” – the process, the tools, the knowledge – is a beach ball. By nature, a fully-inflated happily-filled beach ball floats. Many marketing trainings tell you to push the beach ball down and keep it underwater because “most stuff sink”! Hmm, let’s make the beach ball “sink” so it can “fit in”. If it’s happily inflated, you will have to keep pushing it and keep pushing it so it stays down. The moment you stop fighting it pops up and you feel you have failed the task. Eventually you get tired of pushing it down 24/7 so you DEFLATE the beach ball by letting your passion go. The sadly deflated beach ball sinks, and fits in.

Have you lost the fire by denying certain aspects of your passion? To get out of the rut, you look for more programs and trainings – getting sucked into quick fixes with big promises. You keep banging your head at it and think that somehow you can find that spark from outside of you. Like, someone is going to hand it to you on a silver platter for $297.

Yet those trainings keep telling you to shut up about your passion for your “craft”… and slowly but surely, you drink the kool-aid and instead of questioning what’s going on and what is true for you, you follow the instruction, do the homework, and water down your voice.

I know an awesome spiritual mentor who was once told to “put her anger and rage away” by a “marketing guru” because “it won’t sell.” She struggled for a long time with some watered-down messages. Luckily, she found another mentor who encouraged her to put it all out there. She launched a program called “Rage To Riches” – yes, she is SELLING the raging and angry part of her – and now she is raking in 5-figures per month.

Instead of stifling our unique blend of process, tools, knowledge and experience, what if we can MAKE OUR PROCESS OUR MESSAGE and use “marketing” to make it work for our business?

Yes, we may still be “opening the door” with some “results and benefits”, but what about the next layer? Are people really going to pay you the big bucks if you sound just like your competition? What makes YOU special? What makes your potential clients choose you instead of someone who makes the same “lose 10 pounds and feel energized” promise?

Everyone is having a variation of the same “elevator speech” – same “talk about the benefits, the frustration and hey don’t forget about the fears!” What makes you different is not replacing a few words and call it a day.

What differentiates YOU is your process, what you actually do to create results for your clients – YOUR way. Your unique process is not some “x-month program” handed to you by your coaching school or other training programs.

You cannot buy some outline and handouts off the shelve and squish yourself into the box because you think you are not good enough or you don’t know enough to create your very own process. (Those materials do have a place in helping you get up and running faster and easier, but the foundation of your business should not be built on mindlessly regurgitating these materials.)

Your process is a gem that is a crystallization of all your passions, knowledge, tools, life experience, value, gifts and superpower. It is YOU as the whole package.

I have read enough sales pages to tell you that I don’t give a hoot about the “benefits” anymore because they say pretty much the same thing… “x clients in 30 days!” “6-figure business in x months!”… I buy because of the person behind the copy. I want to know what she stands for, what tools she has at her disposal, how she approaches the subject matter, how she delivers her materials – because during the process is where results and magic happens. I want to know that this person I am working with is not regurgitating something I have heard before, some cookie-cutter system others are also regurgitating.

When I land on a coaching/training program sales page, sometimes I know within 10 seconds that I have to join that program without finish reading the first paragraph. Why? I can sense the energy of the author and know instantly if it’s something original, something with GUTS, something that is a good fit for me.

Your potential clients can sense your energy, passion and enthusiasm through your communication – even if it’s only written words. If you don’t write about something you are completely passionate about, if you dole out some canned, watered-down stuff, how can you expect your readers to “feel you” – to get inspired enough to work with you?

Broad stroke promises on just the results and benefits do not communicate a truthfulness and establish the trust you need to make meaningful connections.

Here is the irony. I have seen quite a few “certification programs” that train coaches to deliver business and marketing coaching. Guess what they are selling – yes, the PROCESS! They are selling the process (what some later turned into a signature system) that turns around and tell us, hey stop talking about your process! No one cares about the process… but apparently droves of people care enough to shell out thousands of dollars to get certified. Hmmm… let’s just think about that for a moment, OK?

A lot of business coaches also advocate creating a signature system. So it’s about the process, right? In my opinion, signature system is a great marketing communication tool because when done right, it succinctly tells people what you do and how you do it – tying the process to the benefits/desired outcomes. HOW YOU DO IT. Yep – the process.

Don’t get me wrong, I love marketing and I approach it as an art form – a form of self-expression. Not the canned version that plays “Simon Says.” Marketing communication is about understanding who you want to serve, and how you serve them then communicate it so your ideal clients understand the value you deliver (simple, right?)

Who is to say that your process – which is a crystallization of all your passions, knowledge, tools, life experiences, value, gifts and superpower – is not an important part of your message? I would want to know these things before I decide to pay a load of money and hire someone!

If you can’t fully accept all of you and put all your uniqueness out there; if you hide behind canned, watered down “results” that you *think* people want to hear – how can you expect others to fully accept and embrace your genius?

About Ling Wong

Ling Wong, Business Artist and Chief Freedom Fighter at Slideberry, provides Business Soulwork + Marketing Activation for Coaches and Done-For-You Content for Health & Wellness Practitioners.

Ling helps her clients supercharge their actions not only through practical strategies and marketing tools, but also through their growth and development – so they not only grow their business, but also LET THEIR BUSINESS GROW THEM. Through her “left brain meets right brain” approach, she helps her clients uncover their truth and tap into their intuition, then ground those light bulb moments with practical strategies and marketing tactics so they can build a profitable and sustainable business that is a full expression of themselves.

Download Ling’s “4 Keys To Enrolling High-Paying Clients” training here:





Article Source: Did “Marketing” Kill Your Fire For Your Business? (Aka, Death By Marketing)


In today’s guest post coach Hwai Tah Lee shares some questions and thoughts in:


How to navigate this bumpy, beautiful journey called ‘Life’

By Hwai Tah Lee

"POTHOLES AND PIT STOPS – How to navigate this bumpy, beautiful journey called ‘Life’" by HT Lee

“Figure out what makes you laugh, and do more of it.

Figure out what makes you cry, and do less of it.”

(Mandy Hale)

Where are you right now in your journey of life and work? How well are you doing?

How do you feel about your journey? How optimistic are you about your future?

If you clicked on the title link of this post, chances are, you could resonate with it and you’re looking in the direction of finding some help for a better, smoother journey. You may have been discouraged or derailed off your track. Or you may be simply curious to look for a little boosters. No matter, you and I are connected as kindred spirits, as travellers in this big journey called ‘Life’.

Have you watch car races like the Formula One? Our journeys in life are a bit like that. In the exhilarating run, it’s quite likely you could bump into potholes at times. Potholes and other unwanted incidents take you down or backwards. Pit stops cause you to pause, get you fixed and refuelled before you hit the road again.

In the course of your journey, it’s useful to identify and be aware of the potholes (demotivators) that would slow you down, and use the pit stops (motivators) to empower and boost you up again.

Potholes – Your ‘Demotivators’

Here are some helpful questions to help you identify the potholes (demotivators):

  • What are the undesirable behaviors that are leading to unwanted outcomes?
  • What bad habits have surfaced that are causing you to take harmful actions?
  • What emotions are weighing you down or holding you back?
  • What negative feelings are hindering you from moving forward?
  • What thoughts are triggering you to be discouraged?
  • What are the possible blind spots that prevent you from seeing the whole big picture?
  • What is possibly distracting you to focus on what’s most important?
  • What toxic thoughts are causing you to be negative?
  • What perspectives are not helpful in your journey?
  • What are the self-limiting beliefs that you have adopted?

“Life’s journey is peppered with many bumps and pitfalls.

If we make mountains out of each one, we will get nowhere.”

(Charles F. Glassman)

Pit Stops – Installing Your ‘Motivators’

Here are some powerful questions to identify and install your boosters (motivators):

  • What is going well at the moment? How can you do more of that?
  • What are the good and empowering habits you can practice daily?
  • Which unhelpful emotional baggages can you start letting go? How?
  • How can you improve the way you feel about yourself, your life, your work or your team?
  • What empowering words can you use with yourself or your team to lift the spirit up?
  • What are the triggers you can install to think of empowering and inspiring thoughts?
  • What makes you come alive? How can you do more of that?
  • What are the positive anchors that will help you stay on the right path?
  • What are the empowering beliefs that you’re currently using? What new beliefs can you adopt?
  • Who can you enlist as your supporters and cheerleaders in your journey?
  • Who can you enlist as your coach, mentor or advisor?
  • How can you move from good to great, and to excellence?

Not all the questions above are relevant all at once. I think you get the idea by now and could also generate the right questions for yourself.

Your destination and future are not shaped by the potholes you would encounter, they are determined by your clarity of what is important and how effectively you move towards them.

By being aware of the potholes and installing your boosters at pit stops during the right moments, you will eventually come out on top and get to where you want to go.

Remember this important key: the whole point of the journey is not where you would end up but who you could turn out to be in the process. The strength of your character is determined by the choices you make and how you respond to the lows and highs during the journey.

“Be grateful for the highs and be graceful with the lows.”

(George Pransky)

Wishing you happy, big success and a beautiful journey. Oh, and remember to smell the roses!

All my love,

HT Lee

About Hwai Tah Lee

Hwai Tah LeeCoach Hwai Tah is a certified coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF). He stands in the gap of where organizations and individuals are and their extraordinary future and dreams. He engages leaders in thought-provoking process to accomplish big professional and personal goals.

Operating from his base in Malaysia and the surrounding region, Hwai Tah’s specialized areas of coaching includes performance, leadership, executive and life coaching.

Hwai Tah also writes regularly in his coaching website, Coaching Journey – Transporting You Toward Your Best Self. Check out some of his best works there.


Getting The Message Across Is Vital 1

In this week’s guest post Ryan Toms shares his thoughts about working with, and speaking to, groups in a business setting.

Getting The Message Across Is Vital

By Ryan Toms

Whether you’re a full-time coach or someone who dabbles in motivational speaking, you’ll know how the credibility of your message can set the tone for the whole coaching session. If you’re trying to get across a degree of positivity but your demeanour suggests otherwise, the whole session will have been little more than a waste of time and effort.

The Internet, various coaching manuals and the occasional video tutorial will tell you there are different answers to the debate about the most important aspect of coaching, but I feel there is one answer to this: you simply MUST get your message across at every session you hold. If attendees come away without knowing what you were trying to say, a vital opportunity would have been missed. Therefore, always have in mind the goal of the session and don’t over-complicate a presentation with too many objectives or take-homes for the audience: each should build on the previous point.

Coaching sessions are often used to improve morale in the workplace, which can be something of a knife edge for the speaker: the wrong approach could end up demotivating employees or be seen as condescending; exactly the opposite result to what is intended! Therefore, you should always make sure you do a little research beforehand. While one group of workers might benefit from a gung-ho approach, others may prefer to be encouraged in a more subtle manner.

Different strokes for different folks

For example, it’s often the case that a sales team responds more positively to practical tips that have case studies and proven results to back them up, whilst those who work in finance may prefer to hear a speaker who can show a respected track record in a related field of expertise. It’s never ideal to think in terms of generalisations, of course, but a little homework will go a long way to ensure that you are not talking down to a particular audience.

If a company decides to call in an expert speaker in a bid to boost morale, it’s likely that team spirit won’t be particularly high at that moment in time. For the coach, it’s vital to remember the importance of maintaining a confident air. The delegates will look to you to take them on to a new level of ability and potential, and your message will struggle to be heard if it appears that you don’t believe in it in the first place.

Some commercial organisations spend a small fortune on team-building activities for their staff members, in a bid to engender some spirit in the workplace, but in many cases this isn’t really necessary. A well-prepared presentation by a recognised expert can achieve far more, purely because it’s more of a hands-on approach. A competent coach can tailor the message to each individual delegate, as opposed to the more scatter-gun approach of an organised physical event.

Variety is the spice of life

Any group of employees that attends a coaching session, whether there are four of them or forty, has to be seen by the speaker as a disparate band of individuals. Assuming them to be an autonomous conglomerate rather than separate entities is a dangerous tack, and will inevitably lessen the chances of success. The very best coaches maintain the balancing act of talking to a group while at the same time speaking to individuals.

Of all the tools that can be used to help with a team discussion, PowerPoint remains the number one choice for most speakers. However, there are many more that can be utilised and incorporating alternative methods is always a good idea. If the message is delivered with a bit of a twist, it’s more likely to be remembered.

One aspect of coaching sessions that is often overlooked is the provision of written materials for delegates to take away with them afterwards, or an online sharing function to receive copies of the presentation or supporting slides and documents. It’s somewhat surprising to know some speakers feel there’s no need to supplement the message with text, but this can be a huge mistake. If you’re speaking to a group in a workplace you should always assume the audience are attending other similar events that month – when you do that, you can then appreciate there is very little chance of any individuals remembering all the things you’ve said.

Keep the message clear and simple

Needless to say, you don’t have to supply an expensive and potentially unnecessary booklet to accompany your coaching session. It’s often the case that a few sheets of text and diagrams is enough to suffice. Remember, keep written documents simple and concise, and never underestimate the power of bullet points! Many offices these days use remote workers or virtual set-ups, so having materials available online, or a chat function to answer questions and follow-ups marks out a great coach from the average ones.

Motivating a group of individuals can be a difficult task, but for the coaching professional it represents an intriguing challenge. Research shows that people in all sectors of industry respond to feel-good success stories, so a good strategy would be to include a tale or two of companies that have managed to turn things around after improvements to morale levels in the workplace.

Team spirit can be an inconsistent factor, however, and it’s hugely important to bear in mind that it can change very suddenly and with dramatic effect. Even at the end of the most successful morale-boosting coaching session, a series of negative events in the workplace can undermine all the good work that has been done. The wisest business owners and directors will know that staff morale should always be seen as a work in progress.

Finally, a vital factor in the success of any coaching session, but especially one that’s intended to boost morale, is the demeanour of the individual coach. If you provide a dry, unemotional experience for the delegates they will take nothing from it. While I’m not suggesting you burst into the room like Ronald McDonald when he’s overdone the energy drinks, you should at least be enthusiastic and energetic. And above all, you have to project a positive image at all times.

About the Author/Further Resources

Ryan Toms is based in the UK and writes extensively on business coaching and motivation for a virtual office start-up consultancy.


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