Category Archives: Coaching

Entries about coaching

Why is it so complicated?

Bread shot by EmmiP from A couple of weeks ago on a trip to a nearby Salvation Army store I found a bread machine … with instructions .. for just $20. Because it is entirely possible that I might only use the thing once, I don’t want to spend a million bucks on more “stuff” in my house.

But the purchase was within my mental discretionary purchase limit, and I thought I’d like to try it out.

I brought the thing home and sat it on the counter for a week or so. Then I put it in the cupboard because it takes up too much room on the counter. I studied the instruction book for the bread maker. Are you listening? I READ the instructions over and over. I bought the stuff it said I needed. None was very expensive. And then I read the instructions some more. Finally after nearly three weeks, I got up the nerve to try making bread. It is amazingly simple. And the bread was pretty good.

Please tell me what is so scary about making bread in a machine that does all the work for you? You just put the stuff in the bucket and turn it on. Really, how hard can that be? Why did it take me so long to try the thing out?

Here’s my question: How much do you miss because you read more instructions that you need? How much time do you waste trying to be sure you have everything right before you try something new?

  • Nike says: “Just do it.”
  • Guy Kawasaki says, in his book, The Art of the Start “Get going.”
    Check out his talk on the topic at TiECon 2006 here.

Really, almost never will the bread machine explode gooey dough all over the kitchen.
And if it does, you can just clean it up.

What are you gonna get off your duff and do this week?

Does intuition work for you?

I have been thinking about intuition lately. I have some decisions to make that aren’t life altering, but they are important. My intuition will play a big part in my process.

Mean Man photo by chilombiano from MorgueFile.comOnce a man I knew fairly spit at me, “Your intuition has landed you on your feet for a long time, but you shouldn’t trust that it will always work!”

Uh? Why not?

It does work for me. And when it doesn’t I do have find a way to fix the mistake. (Yep, it does happen!)

However, I also like to think that if I make a decision I have considered at least some options. I like to think that I’ve made the right choice. (After all, who makes decisions, on purpose, and believes they are wrong?)

How can you tell that your intuition is giving you the straight scoop and not just reflecting some history or gossip or something else that’s really just getting in the way? What is it that makes me just know when something or someone is just right, or just isn’t quite right, or maybe more accurately, isn’t quite as it seems?

Dori Molitor wrote a piece called The Sensory Potential about using all five senses to connect with customers. The article published by The Hub click here. She said:

Intuition is a felt understanding that’s capable of sizing up a brand and judging whether it’s authentic, credible and worthy of our trust — all in the same millisecond. Many times, intuitive feelings seem contrary to reasoned logic, but more often than not they prove to be right. … Our intuition tells us, right away, whether we should trust a brand or not. And if you don’t earn your consumers’ trust, you have nothing!

Authentic is a word that coaches throw around a lot. And it’s one that just feels particularly INauthentic to me. But maybe real authenticity does matter in the recesses of my brain that are my intuition.

I depend on my intuition to make all kinds of decisions in my life, from whether I should fly or drive to a vacation in Vermont to whether this is the right plumber for me to whether these pants really do make me look fat.

It’s your intuition that tells you the red car will make you feel faster. It’s your intuition that tells you that a coach really will help you figure out how to make your life work better. It’s your intuition that tells you that I am – or am not – the right coach for you.

But you have to engage your intuition. You have to consider that that still small voice in side you really has learned something from all those years trapped in your head. Maybe you should let it out for a little exercise.

Call me.. see if I’m the right coach for you.

Planning in the fall

PumpkinFinally, it’s beginning to feel like fall around here!
There’s just something about fall that makes it feel like the real beginning of the year. And here it is October…Does it seem like we’re already behind?

Even thought I’m long out of school and my kids are grown, this seems like the beginning of the planning season. And the next season to make plans for is really the end of the year..

OH.. So confusing.. But the bottom line?

Making plans is all about deciding. Making plans before you’re faced with a crisis gives you the greatest opportunities and options.

I know that sometimes having so many choices makes the decision harder. And if you wait til the last minute lots of options are no longer available, so the decision seems easier.… Hmmm, Is THAT why you procrastinate?

Here’s a story.

My husband and I went on a little vacation last week. He finally had the engine of his ’67 Sunbeam Alpine back together and a road trip seemed in order — a short one, all the driving had to be contained in a 100 mile circle within which AAA would tow us home if necessary.

As time approached, we didn’t seem certain we could go. We weren’t sure the car would be ready, so I put off the real reservations until just about a week before the trip. Let me tell you, trying to make reservations at bed and breakfasts on a fall weekend – with only a couple days notice – is pretty darn tough!

That delay definitely eliminated some options. And it did NOT make the planning easier!

So as we come up on the biggest planning time of the year, whether your thing is parties, banquets or vacations, start mapping it out now. You can eliminate some stress if all you do right now is put on your calendar the stuff you know you’re committed to: the office dinner dance, travel plans for Grandma’s at Thanksgiving and your, or your kids’, vacation schedules through the end of the year.

If planning is something that easily gets shoved to your personal back burner, a coach can help.

Call me (410.233.3274)
Email me (click here)
I can help you consider all the bits and pieces of your plans… before the very last minute. Let me help you make a map for the future.
P.S. If you’re still wondering if this sounds good to you, check out these stories in my blog.

What do you want?

Richard Reardon over at his R&R Business Development Blog started talking about the difference between “wanting change” and “wanting to change.” That’s an interesting distinction.

He suggests that looking at what you have now is the place to look for clues to what you need.

I’m thinking that what I have now is not much help in deciding what to change. I have stuff and I have plans and that’s precisely what keeps me stuck where I am. Perhaps if YOU look at my stuff, YOU might get a clue about what I need. But it’s not your life.

But if I think I want to move to a new house that would indicate a specific change and a plan of action to be developed — lots of stuff has to go away from this house and lots of little things need to get fixed on a more immediate time table.

But if I didn’t know that moving was the change I had in mind, then no amount of looking at my stuff would give me the impetus to rent a dumpster.

So I’m thinking a different first clue is to ask what is it that you don’t want? Then look at the opposite of that and see if that is what you DO want — or if maybe it points at least in the right direction.

Personally, I need pencil and paper to figure out the opposites and that gives me a nice list in the end. And I love lists.

Networking or building relationships

I really hate the whole networking thing. I hate going to events and shoving cards into as many hands as I can. (Although, I do kinda like taking the cards home and writing postcards to the people I met. But more and more people don’t bother to include street addresses. So that just frustrates me.)

In the fall I took the assessment associated with the book Now, Discover Your Strengths.

One of my top five strengths is “Relator.” That means I prefer spending time with people I already know. I’m not shy. I don’t dislike meeting new people. But mostly I prefer to build relationships. I want to understand the dreams and goals, fears and pleasures of the people I know.

To me, relationships only have value if they’re genuine. I have a very low tolerance for political games and BS. I know there is a risk to say this out loud. (And perhaps more of one to publish it on the web where it will live forever. There goes my shot at a supreme court judgeship!)

I know there is a risk involved in starting my kind of relationships with people. At the outset, I can never know if the other person is on the same page as me. Maybe I’ll put a lot into the relationship and find out that the other person just wants something from me – not necessarily a sharing thing. But when the connection works, it’s a beautiful thing.

Before I knew about this relator part of me, I thought I was some how flawed because I had such a hard time making myself attend more networking events and shoving more cards into more people’s hands. But now I’m thinking, as a relator, I have to find other ways to connect to new people.

I stumbled on this post in the blog, Addicted to the Hustle, written by Fredd Kambo

I don’t bother “networking” anymore, instead, I try to build relationships with people I find interesting, and who I think are doing interesting things. And I make it my mission to help them in any way I can to achieve their mission. I find this much more satisfying, much more honorable, and much more fun. And this is the cool thing about people….When you help them out in this way, they help you out. Not because it’s a tit for tat deal, but because both parties are engaged in a mutually beneficial relationship that extends beyond the next favor.

Hey, I was a math major, I can put two and two together

I add Fredd’s idea to what I’ve learned from Ellen Bristol at the Bristol Strategy Group about Selling the Smart Way® and finding my “ideal client.” And I’m thinking I just have to get more clear about just who are the people I really want to work with. When I know who they are it should be easier to find them. Personally, I’d rather talk to four people and get three new clients than groaning under the prospect of having to talk to 100 people in order to find 5. (Besides, I have ADHD. I’ll forget the plan way before I hit 32 contacts)

So maybe I’ll just put it out here:

  • I love to work with people who own their own companies. There is so much happening so quickly when you’re the top dog. If you’re not careful you’ll miss enjoying the ride on that pony you started down the mountain.
  • I “get” IT types and engineers and they fascinate me. Maybe because they are so much about “fixing things” and that feels like a commitment to progress. I love to work with other coaches who get the process.
  • I want people who will commit to at least three months of work and then keep going. I don’t really care what the schedule of appointments is, but I love it when it’s consistent. It’s really a rush for me when clients come to the call having thought about what they said the last time they’d do by this time, and then have made some progress on that… even just a little.
  • I don’t like to feel like I’m taking my client’s last dollar. I don’t like working with people who always seem to know whose fault it is that their in a certain position, who never take responsibility for their own situation. (You might need therapy) I don’t write resumes, but I will look at them and give you my opinion of you from the page. I’m not a professional organizer. I know some I can recommend. I can talk to you about how your stuff is working for, or against you, and help you decide what you really want to do with the stuff. But I’m probably not going to sit on the floor with you while you go through boxes of files.
  • But most of all: I love people with too many ideas — people who can always think of another way to do something are never boring. Sometimes I have to hang on tight to the string of their kite as they soar to new heights and see new sights. (OK, maybe that was a really lame attempt at literary something or other, but you get the idea.) I love to help work out the details of that plan when they come back down to earth.

Call me if you’re ready for a coach. Let’s see if I’m the one for you right now.

Call me if you were a client and are ready, or thinking about coming back. I love connecting with old friends.

Call me if you want more information. I’m happy to be a resource.
And if you’re working on some marketing plan of your own, just who are your ideal clients? Can you name them? Can you figure out how to get more? Want some help?

Call me or send me a note.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.