As you strive to build your coaching business, you may believe strategy is the most important component. Or, maybe you’re thinking it’s marketing or sales skills, or the coaching itself.
Well, I have news for you: the single most important component in building your business isn’t strategy or marketing or sales or even coaching.
Building your business is only 10% strategy and execution.
It’s 10% “connectedness,” or community.
And it’s 80% mindset. That’s right: a whopping 80%!
Now, you’ve probably begun to figure out that the journey of entrepreneurship is really a journey of personal development, because your business constantly requires you to learn and do new things. Which means it requires you to constantly step outside of your comfort zone. The journey of entrepreneurship is the path to you becoming the next greatest vision of the next grandest version you can have for yourself.
(Did you hear that? It was the sound of brakes squealing, of your momentum coming to a halt as you put your toe outside that imaginary circle marked Comfort Zone!)
But when you step outside of your comfort zone, you illuminate a gap between who you are right now and who you need to be in order for your desire, dream, or goal to become a reality.
It’s here that you must become profoundly comfortable with the discomfort of being an entrepreneur.
And it’s inside this space that you encounter thoughts, beliefs, and even other people who help shape you and remake you.
These things can be positive and inspiring (like mentors, processes, or information), or they can become voices in what I call The Itty Bitty Shitty Committee.
You may not have control over what the external voices say (I’m talking about your parents, your friends, your siblings, or those people on social media making judgments about you or your situation).
But you DO have control over those voices in your head … the ones that tell you there’s just too much to do, or you have to be perfect, or you’ll never be able to catch up with what you need to do.
These voices are internal blocks—what I call “villains.”
They can become so loud and strong that they actually stop you from pursuing your goal as things get messy outside your Comfort Zone. On the flip side, they often sneak up on you and sabotage your efforts without you even realizing it’s happening.
(You know this, right? Because you’re a coach, and you hold the space for your clients as they step outside their comfort zones!)
Today, I want to offer you some coaching.
I want to share with you one of my favorite techniques for overcoming these internal blocks, so you can cope with them and continue moving forward on this beautiful, fascinating journey of entrepreneurship.
It’s a three-step technique—and it’s fun!
Step 1. Become Aware of the Habits, Patterns, Actions, and Thoughts That Sabotage Your Success.
Most people go around unconscious of the habits, patterns, actions, and thoughts that are actually sabotaging their success. They do notice, however, the effects of those habits, patterns, actions, and thoughts. They feel cranky, overwhelmed, hopeless, worthless, scared or stuck, or they procrastinate or do projects over and over.
Does any of this sound familiar? Maybe you have a tendency to second-guess yourself or to put yourself down.
Take a moment to think about what’s going on in your own mind when you experience these feelings or situations. For example, as a recovering perfectionist, I used to believe I couldn’t put anything out into the world if it wasn’t perfect. Of course, this stopped me from making any forward progress (more on this in a minute).
Step 2. Release the Feelings That Accompany Those Habits, Patterns, Actions and Thoughts.
Once you reveal the habits, patterns, actions, and thoughts that you experience when you step outside of your comfort zone, you can begin to release the emotions behind them.
For example, as a recovering perfectionist, I had to work through my feelings of inadequacy.
The key here is to be gentle and loving with yourself; don’t blame yourself for the feelings.
Write down the feelings you’re experiencing when you fall into success-sabotaging habits, patterns, actions and thoughts. Then, think about how these feelings are working to keep you safely inside your comfort zone. Finally, thank each one for trying to keep you safe, and then release it. Tell it to have a nice vacation … that you’re going to take it from here.
Step 3. Replace Those Habits, Patterns, Actions, and Thoughts with New, Empowering Ones That Support Your Success.
Now that you’ve released the emotions that lead to success-sabotaging habits, patterns, actions, and thoughts, it’s time to create new habits, patterns, actions, and thoughts that support your success as you continue to step outside your comfort zone again and again—and closer to your dream.
You can do this by reframing (one of my favorite coaching skills!).
For example, whereas I once believed everything had to be perfect, I now look at every new project or task as an opportunity to research.
And I’m not always striving for perfection. Before we even begin, I assign each component of the project with a letter grade I deem acceptable, both in terms of our goals for that project and in terms of putting it out to our community.
For example, during our last launch, we were trying something brand new. I knew it wouldn’t necessarily earn an A grade, so I deemed a B- acceptable. If we could get that component out there at a B- level, we’d be successful at it.
In that same launch, we were re-doing all our free training content, and because it was training material, I wanted it to go out at an A level.
Then, as we went through the project and put out these components, if they didn’t turn out like I wanted or corrected, we evaluated why, and then made the course corrections accordingly.
Before you enter into a new project, set your expectations for each component. Using a grading system (A, B, or C) or numerical scale (1-5), determine what’s acceptable to you in terms of quality. This way, you know exactly what you’re striving for (and if it’s not perfection, that’s okay!). Then, reframe the situations that bring up success-sabotaging emotions. Can you look at these situations in a different way? For each of the emotions you experience, write down a new, success-supporting perspective.
Now, let’s have some fun!
Although I take business—my business and yours—very seriously, I like to deal with these success saboteurs in a fun, playful, cheeky way: in a way that removes the hold they can have over us.
That’s why I came up with The Coaches Console Villains and Superpowers, 13 pairs of habits, personified.
By calling attention to the success-sabotaging patterns and personifying them, we can tame them and put them in their place—using the success-supporting superpowers.
We’ll go into way more detail on this at Lifestyle LIVE! February 12-14 in Atlanta, but just to give you what you need to understand this concept, I wanted to share the Villain that hits me most often (like I said, I’m in recovery, but that doesn’t mean she’s not lurking around!).
My biggest villain is Perfect Portia.
As you probably guessed, she’s a perfectionist. She feels inadequate, makes countless revisions, and second-guesses her choices to the point that she’s paralyzed (analysis paralysis, anyone?).
But for all her negative traits, Perfect Portia is just trying to keep me safe. She’s trying to protect me from failure.
The good news is that there’s a superhero to counteract Perfect Portia.
Introducing Dr. Richard Research, who knows that every step along the entrepreneurial path is just that: another piece of research. Dr. Richard Research creates a plan, takes action, reviews the results, and makes the quick course corrections necessary to maintain forward momentum.
Don’t tell anyone, but I have kind of a crush on Dr. Richard Research. 😉
There are 12 other Villains that might be showing up in your business (and your life). And fortunately, there’s a Superhero to combat each one.
When you can consciously use Superheroes to conquer the Villains, you can begin to master your mindset—and because it’s the most important element in building your business, you can consciously make different choices, and achieve your vision for success.
As always, I’d love to hear from you on this. I haven’t yet revealed the secret identities of all of the Villains and Superheroes … but I’d love to hear how success-sabotaging habits show up in YOUR business.
For example, do you tend to procrastinate? Feel overwhelmed? Second-guess yourself? Give your services for free? Beat yourself up, emotionally? Compare yourself to others?
Comment below, and feel the freedom when you name the unspoken … let’s have some fun with this! I’ll respond personally!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve entered into a conversation with a coach who says she wants to start her coaching business, but she “doesn’t have time.”
Does this sound familiar?
You have a full-time J-O-B. You have a spouse and kids and friends. You have errands and cooking and dishes. You have to get an oil change. And if it’s an oil change this week, it’s a doctor’s appointment next week, and a filling the following week.
Life is busy, and starting your own business seems insurmountable, given all the time constraints you face.
If you’re here, I consider you one of my unofficial coaching clients. So today, you can expect to get a little tough-love-style coaching. (You’re welcome. 🙂 )
If you don’t think you have enough time to start your business, you’re wrong. (I know. Ouch. But stick with me.)
This is NOT an issue of time management. It’s an issue of priorities.
You see, time is your most precious commodity. It’s a non-renewable resource.
You give your time to the things you consider most important.
Sometimes, when you’re not paying attention, your calendar gets full with the “external.” Maybe a friend invites you to lunch and you pencil it in. You realize you’ve run out of milk and you have to run to the store. You volunteer to run a bake sale at your kids’ school, and that’s an hour out of your day. See where I’m going with this? We allow outside influences (friends, family, boss, kid-related activities and events, etc.) to add countless items to our calendar all the time.
In cases like these, life happens TO you. It really can feel like you don’t have time to think about, focus on, or (especially) work on your business.
Don’t worry, there is good news in all of this: you can regain control of your time and your life. And you can make the time to work on your business.
It’s all about priorities.
Here’s a simple exercise for determining where your priorities are now, whether they align with what you want them to be, and how to adjust them if they don’t.
Identify What’s Most Important to You.
I always love a good brain dump! Take a few minutes to write down the things that are most important to you, right now. These may take the form of goals, like running a marathon or starting your business, or activities, like spending time with your family or exercising. Then, prioritize them. Put a #1 next to the item that’s absolutely the most important to you, and go from there.
Identify Your Current (Real) Priorities.
When I say, “Identify your current priorities,” I mean, figure out where you’re investing your time. Look at your calendar or schedule for the past several days or week, and write down the three activities on which you spend most of your time.
Compare Your Current Priorities with the Priorities You Chose in Step 1.
Once you know where you’re investing your time, evaluate whether those activities are in alignment with the most important things in your life.
If your current priorities align with the three most important things in your life, that’s great! And if your business isn’t on either list, that’s okay—now may not be the right time for your business.
On the other hand, you may identify your top three priorities and realize they’re not the most important things in your life right now.
Adjust Your Schedule.
Becoming conscious of where you’re investing your time versus where you should be investing your time, if you want to focus on your priorities, is an important step toward making time for what truly matters to you.
Now, it’s time to make changes to your schedule that empower you to give time to your true priorities.
Here’s another piece of coaching: you may need to let go of some things that are not easy to let go of.
- For example, if you’re accustomed to working 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in your day job, consider working 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and working on your business for those two remaining hours.
- If you’re accustomed to waking up at 7 a.m. to start your day, get up at 5 a.m.
- Take shorter lunch breaks.
- Spend a couple of hours every weekend morning working on your business.
- Say no to lunch out, so you can work on your business during day-job lunch breaks.
I’m telling you, this works.
A recent graduate of our Easy Breezy Coaching Business Bootcamp was supporting her husband, and they had three kids under seven and a fourth on the way. Her business was a top priority, so she got creative and resourceful and was able to get her business up and running by fitting entrepreneurship in with her family (and other) responsibilities.
A current Bootcamper has two kids, a full-time job, and a part-time job. She’s supporting her husband. Getting her business up and running is a priority. That’s why she finds time to work on it! She wakes up earlier, takes shorter lunch breaks, and finds little chunks of time—because it’s important to her.
Even small chunks of time can yield amazing results. (Think about how much you get done in an eight-hour period before you go on vacation!)
Repeat This Mantra:
“I have all the time I need for my priorities.”
Once you get used to prioritizing and setting your schedule around your priorities, you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done.
I’d love to hear from you!
Post in the comments below: right off the bat, can you think of anything you’re spending your time on, that’s not actually one of your priorities?
Understanding the distinction between a hobbyist and a business owner is a crucial step in your entrepreneurial journey. This single insight can seriously impact the level of success you experience in your business and with your coaching!
Failing to understand it may cause you to hit the upper limits of your success without your even realizing it … and no matter how great your efforts, you will not see the results you desire. (Cue the ominous-sounding “dun dun dunnn.”)
But you can ensure you’re taking your coaching from hobby to profitable, thriving business by following the steps of the entrepreneurial journey outlined below, which I like to describe as rungs on a ladder:
Rung 1: A technician typically someone who secures a job doing something she’s really good at, and that she truly enjoys doing.
Rung 2: A hobbyist. Most coaches/entrepreneurs have the courage to move beyond Technician, to Hobbyists, and that’s where they often get stuck. They fail to move on to the next rung: Business Owner.
Because while they set goals and intentions as Business Owners, they operate from the mindset and commitment levels of Hobbyists.
Here’s the great news:
When you can bring your mindset and actions into alignment with your goals and intentions, you can finally move from Hobbyist to Business Owner … and reap the rewards, which include increased cash flow, greater fulfillment, and more FUN!
As a quick note, neither Hobbyist nor Business owner is “good” or “bad,” “right” or “wrong.” They’re just two different ways of running a business.
The point here is that to achieve the level of success you desire, your mindset must align with your goals and intentions. When you create this alignment, you experience peace, results, and happiness.
Take a look at the following chart, which outlines the distinction between Hobbyist and Business Owner in several key areas of a business.
Thanks to all of the above, Business Owners coach more clients, make more money, and make a far greater difference in the world.
Now, both Hobbyists and Business Owners can be great coaches.
They just have different mindsets, actions, and goals for their business.
So let me ask you an important question:
Are you reaching the level of success you desire? Are you making the impact you want to make?
If you are, then exactly where you are is perfect, whether you’re a Hobbyist or a Business Owner.
If you’re not, take a closer look at the distinction between Hobbyist and Business Owner to identify where you are and where you want to be.
Then, place your attention on closing that gap, by leveraging your time and resources to get the best possible results. Create systems that generate consistent outcomes in each specific area of your business (list-building, enrolling, onboarding, supporting, etc.).
How do you leverage your time and resources? Ask yourself how you can streamline, organize, and/or automate your business’s back-office tasks so you can free up your time to focus on doing what you love while powerfully serving more clients and scaling your business.
As you move up to the next rung of the ladder on the entrepreneurial scale, you’ll start experiencing the level of success you envision for yourself, while having the desired impact you wish to have on this world.
Sounds pretty awesome, right?
I’d love to hear from you, now! Which of the seven distinctions I mentioned above is getting in the way of you being the best business owner you can be, keeping you “stuck” on a certain rung of the ladder? Share your answer in the comments section below!
If you’re running a coaching business in today’s world, you can’t live without it.
And while your rational mind may tell you technology has the potential to streamline, organize, and automate your business, your emotional mind may feel a bit intimidated by the idea.
You need technology for so many different elements of your business: your website, lead generation, marketing, emailing, your calendar and appointment scheduling, client management, and your shopping cart.
It can be overwhelming to think about how you’re going to get ALL of these platforms set up in the first place, and then, how they’ll work together, and how you’ll find the time to manage them all.
The whole point of technology is to streamline your business so you can focus on coaching—but from where you’re standing right now, it may feel like handling the technology is a full-time job, in and of itself.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be.
You can choose the right technology to streamline, organize, and automate your business—without feeling overwhelmed.
And it’s key to get it all set up in advance, before you even start getting clients. After all, if you’re not set up to support your new client, how long do you think he or she will stay a client?
Because that’s so important, I want to make sure you have everything you need, now.
Here are nine factors to consider when you’re selecting the technology to power your business:
Can it be integrated?
What resources are necessary for managing it?
Is it designed for a service-based industry?
How complex is the setup?
Does it offer ongoing/post-setup support?
Does it offer community and resources in addition to technological support?
How much does it cost, and what is and isn’t included?
Is it overkill?
Can it offer a one-stop shop?
Can it be integrated?
If you’re using more than one technology, ensuring they’re integrated—that they can talk to each other—is a huge must. For every technology you add to your business, you add a layer of complexity. If they’re not integrated, you’ll spend countless hours entering data multiple times, repeating yourself, making sure nothing slips through the cracks, and switching back and forth between platforms.
The Coaches Console is fully integrated.
The Coaches Console IS integration. Not only does it include technology for each element of your coaching business, but it also integrates those technologies, which means they talk to each other so you don’t have to be the go-between. It also integrates with merchant accounts such as PayPal, and lead generation tools like Leadpages—which means the data you enter into one platform automatically passes through to the separate technology. You don’t have to do anything with it! At every step of the way, from marketing to lead generation to conversion to support to follow-up, The Coaches Console keeps track of everything, so you don’t have to!
What resources are necessary for managing it?
Some of the technology platforms out there require a VA (or a team of VAs) to run them—which means you may need to outsource the running of these platforms to an expert (or more than one expert). So not only do you have to pay for and manage the technology, but you also have to spend time and money paying for the VA to operate it.
The Coaches Console is easy-breezy to manage.
The Coaches Console is designed by coaches, for coaches, which means you don’t need to be tech-savvy to manage it. In fact, if you can operate a Word type of program, or Gmail, or even a smartphone, you’ll feel tech-comfy when it comes to using TCC! Although you can hire a Coaches Console Certified VA to manage it for you efficiently and effectively (which we consider a nice bonus!), you don’t have to. Many of our coaches manage the platform themselves in just a few hours per week.
Is it designed for a service-based industry?
Technology platforms that are not designed specifically for a service-based industry like coaching (or similar service-based practices) often don’t include the mechanisms you’ll want to use to build and run your service-based business. They may have tons of bells and whistles, but in many cases those bells and whistles are impressive only for other industries (such as brick-and-mortar businesses or businesses selling physical products).
The Coaches Console is designed with coaches and service-based practitioners in mind.
Like we said before, The Coaches Console is designed by coaches, for coaches. We know which list-building funnel, sales funnel and conversion process work for our industry, and we not only designed our platform with those in mind, but we’ve also prepopulated and preuploaded it with over 20+ templates, agreements, messages, opt-in pages, forms, documents, products, and lead magnets that you need to build your list, convert prospects into paying clients, and support your clients exquisitely, to better ensure they get results!
How complex is the setup?
If you’re just launching your coaching business, the prospect of Getting Started—i.e. the initial setup of the technology for your website, funnels, support systems and so on—may feel overwhelming.
Some of the technology platforms you’re considering may require expert setup. You may have to hire a website designer or computer programmer. Others are really user-friendly and you won’t need any help at all.
The Coaches Console offers you options, based on how much or how little help you want or need.
If you’re comfortable with technology, you can set it up yourself! It’s completely user-friendly, and tons of people have gone this route and loved it. If you want a little help and a lot of love, you can join us for our Easy-Breezy Coaching Business Bootcamp, where we walk you step-by-step and click-by-click through getting everything set up, and we share some kick-ass business strategy (also known as Best Practices) with you. Or, we can do it FOR you, so that it’s all set up and ready for you to use! (Because it’s user-friendly, additional support is not required; this is just one more option we give you, so you can choose HOW you want to experience the set-up of your business.)
Does it offer ongoing/post-setup support?
Each platform offers a different level of support, and before you choose a technology platform, it’s great to get an idea of how much is available to you. You may or may not anticipate needing support at this point, but things can change as your business grows.
The Coaches Console offers ongoing support, in many forms, at no additional cost.
The Coaches Console offers multiple types of support and many ways to experience that support: live implementation calls to get you started, live chat to support you as you need it, a searchable knowledge base, video tutorials and FAQs, and weekly live trainings—all at no additional cost.
Does it offer community and resources in addition to technological support?
In order to make the most of a technology you bring on to your business, you must know the best practices and strategies that will optimize it and bring you awesome results. So, ask yourself whether you’re getting anything beyond the technology you plan to use. For example, does the provider offer an online group or a forum where you can ask and answer questions? Does it give you education and guidance on those best practices and strategies you can use to optimize it and get the results you want and need?
The Coaches Console offers a supportive, friendly community to address technology, business, lifestyle, and mindset. It’s everything you need to create a business beyond your wildest dreams, so you can live a lifestyle beyond your wildest dreams!
We offer a Coaching Lifestyle Facebook group (where we focus on Body, Mind, and Business), as well as private Facebook groups for members and Bootcampers. It’s all relevant to all the aspects of success as a coach—not just technology.
How much does it cost, and what is and isn’t included?
Many of the program out there start relatively cheap, but as you’re successful and grow your list and make more money, they become more expensive. What you pay for is directly tied to how successful you are—the more successful you are, the more you pay. For example, your investment might increase as you add more contacts to your list, sign more clients, or process more transactions. This means you may end up paying significantly more for a certain technology later.
You also want to pay attention to any initial startup fees, and whether or not there is an ongoing maintenance fee, beyond the fee for the platform itself. Be sure to inquire about these types of “hidden” costs, to avoid any surprises in your bank account when your payments are processed!
With The Coaches Console, you pay a flat fee, no matter how big your business gets.
As your business grows, you can rest assured that your investment level for The Coaches Console won’t.
Is it overkill?
As we mentioned before, some technologies were developed around the needs of businesses other than service-based businesses. Therefore, they may include (and charge you for) elements you don’t actually need. For example, some shopping technologies offer a great way to get paid, but because they want to cater to so many different types of businesses, they include many elements you’ll likely never use as a coach (but you’ll still pay for them!).
The Coaches Console offers everything you need, and nothing more.
Because The Coaches Console is developed by coaches, for coaches, it includes exactly what you need, and nothing more. And you pay for a single fee for everything: website, list-building funnels, converting features, client support, and getting paid.
Can if offer a one-stop shop?
When you implement several different technologies, you have to install, learn, manage, and pay for several different technologies. While each one may handle a different aspect of your business well, you’ll have to handle each of them separately. This often means you have to enter the same data and information separately (and when it changes, you have to make the change separately)—and this is where things fall through the cracks if you forget one technology. Obviously, this approach requires you to expend time, energy, money, and resources separately. Each technology adds a layer of complexity to your business management experience.
The Coaches Console is a one-stop shop where you can handle everything related to your business, all in one place.
As we mentioned in Consideration 1, The Coaches Console is fully integrated. All the different components communicate with one another, and, even more importantly, you can manage your entire business from this one place. This saves you so much time, money, energy, and possible aggravation, and it ensures none of the finite details slip through the cracks. It’s simple, and as Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
In Conclusion …
The Coaches Console is an integrated technology, created by coaches, for coaches, that includes software to manage your:
MARKETING & BRANDING:
Opt In Pages
Scheduling for sample sessions
Electronic Client Agreements
ONBOARDING & ENGAGING:
New Client Autoresponders
Secured Client Data
Forms & Documents
Course & Content Delivery
Private Member’s Portal
Training & support
Security & Compatibility
Business Building Community Forum
And it is designed to work on computers and mobile devices, which means that you and your clients can use it anywhere, and at any time.
Many consider The Coaches Console to be a one stop shop: their business in a box!
Plus, we offer you an amazing set of resources, for the technology and for your personal journey as a coach, to ensure you have everything you need to make the impact about which you’re passionate and to enjoy the freedom and fun of entrepreneurship!
Again, as a quick recap, here are the nine questions to ask yourself as you consider each of the various technology platforms you’ll use to help you make an AWESOME impact and achieve that freedom you want and deserve:
- Can it be integrated?
- What resources are necessary for managing it?
- Is it designed for a service-based industry?
- How complex is the setup?
- Does it offer ongoing/post-setup support?
- Does it offer community and resources in addition to technological support?
- How much does it cost, and what is and isn’t included?
- Is it overkill?
- Can it offer a one-stop shop?
Finally, I’ll take a few moments to reiterate how crazy-amazing-sexy it is to have one integrated platform to handle all the behind-the-scenes details of your business.
Imagine having one piece of technology to install and manage—a single place from which to operate your entire business. Imagine how much time, money, and energy that would save you … and consequently, how much time and energy you could devote to coaching your clients and powerfully supporting them.
That piece of technology IS The Coaches Console. It’s one integrated platform where you can manage every detail of your coaching business, in an experience that is seamless and fun for you and your clients.
Comment below with the top 1-3 considerations that are lacking in your business right now … those that, when you make a few minor adjustments, could free up your time, money, energy and resources to focus on doing what you love. If you haven’t joined the private Coaching Lifestyle Facebook group yet, do so now! Just follow this link, click “Request to Join,” and we’ll get you added ASAP.
Request to join!
As an entrepreneur, you have TONS of creative ideas. Right?
Maybe they’re about what you could do in your business, “if only” … Or maybe they’re about the next “best” steps to take in order to reach your goals, or how to better support your clients.
And as an entrepreneur, you also have a multitude of biz-building opportunities presented to you, probably on a daily basis.
- Courses or trainings
- Speaking opportunities
- Networking events
- Various investments
- New tools to add to your business
- And more!
And sometimes, when you see one of these opportunities, it seems to be just what you’re missing. It taunts and teases you, promising to give you exactly what you need in order to achieve your goals.
Then there are all the decisions you’re faced with when it comes to the daily operation of running your business.
The bottom line: you have dozens (if not hundreds) of decisions to make, each and every day. And considering there are only 24 hours in a day, if you’re not careful, you’ll quickly find yourself overworked and overwhelmed, trying to do it ALL, and saying “yes” to everything.
So how do you know what to take on, and what to let go?
How do you decide what to go for, and what to pass on?
How do you make sure that you aren’t saying “No” to a great opportunity because your inner fears or blocks are trying to keep you playing small?
You use my Business Opportunity Filter, to determine which decisions get the “Yes!” and which get the “No”!
One of my mentors from when I first started my business (The Coaches Console) taught me how to create this filter, and it is my GO-TO TOOL for making smart choices in my business that keep me focused and propel me toward my goals.
I’m sharing it with you today because using it will help keep you focused on, connected with, and advancing toward YOUR goal of having a business (and life!) you love!
Creating Your Business Opportunity Filter
For each opportunity or offer you face in your business, answer the following questions to help determine whether it’s a “Yes” or a “No.” Keep in mind that you do NOT necessarily need to answer all 10 questions every time. Sometimes, you’ll have your answer after only considering a few questions. You can also pick and choose which questions to answer. All ten are available to help you through the decision-making process when it comes to those you have the most trouble with on your own.
Does this person/opportunity/investment advance me closer to living my Bigger Why?
Be honest: Have you created your WHY statement yet? (Hint: It’s the most important beacon in your business!)
If not, you may want to stop right here and work on that, because …
You must be crystal clear on why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why you started your business in the first place.
Here’s how to clarify and hone your Bigger Why:
Ask these clarifying questions at least three times to get to the soul of your Bigger Why. It might not be a super-quick process, but I promise you, it’s worth it.
I even suggest framing and hanging your Bigger Why statement when it’s finished, so you can refer to it often, staying focused and inspired. That’s what I did, and mine still hangs above my desk, 13 years later!
Answering this first question will give you a pretty quick and easy “Yes” or “No” on a decision at hand!
If I say “Yes,” what will I be saying “No” to?
Let’s be frank:
Saying “yes” to a person/opportunity/investment requires time, energy, and resources. That means when you say “yes,” you’re saying “no” to other opportunities … overtly, or inadvertently. So consider what you’ll have to pass on, even if it’s for a short time, if you do say “yes.”
This way, you’re fully aware of what you’ll have, and what you won’t, as a result of the decision you make. When I consider this particular question around an opportunity, I really reduce the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) factor, because I can stay focused on what’s most important to ME and MY goals—instead of someone else’s.
Am I saying “yes” because it’s just easier than saying “no”?
Humans, especially “conscious entrepreneurs,” or “heart-based” entrepreneurs, and women!, often have a difficult time saying “no” to people. We want to make others happy. We don’t want to disappoint. AND, it can feel safer to just say “yes” because doing so appeases the other person: no uncomfortable conversations, no confrontations, no vulnerability, for you. I get it!
But this is a recipe for overwhelm. Saying “yes” to everything inevitably means saying “no” to yourself. And isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid in the first place?
Consider whether or not you’re taking what you perceive to be the “easy” way out, if you say “yes.” It may be harder to say “no,” at first, but it’s not as hard as dealing with the overwhelm—and fallout from the overwhelm—later.
Am I noticing synchronicity?
The Universe corresponds to your desires. So, when you’re clear on your desires and your Bigger Why, you basically become a magnet for perfect opportunities, programs, people, and/or resources that will advance you closer to your dreams!
Even better: it often feels effortless.
Pay attention to the synchronicities related to your Bigger Why. Here are a few examples for you:
- You were just wishing for something in your mind, and whalla! A link or article pops up on Facebook that totally answers your wish.
- You were thinking about a particular person, and he or she suddenly calls you “out of the blue.”
- You were struggling with something that continuously blocked you from reaching your goal/dream, and then (as if by magic!) you are introduced to someone who has the exact solution you need to get past the block.
- See where I’m going here? If you notice synchronicity around a decision, it may make it an easier “Yes.”
This is my “go to” question. If synchronicity is showing up, then I TRUST that magic in my life, and I tend to weigh out the opportunity even more. I do my best to not argue with or resist the Universe when he/she is trying to make my life and goals easier to experience!
If needed, can I collaborate with others?
Does saying “Yes” to this particular person/opportunity/investment put you in a spot that requires you to grow? To develop new skills? If so, collaborating with others who are a few steps further down a shared path creates a massive opportunity for growth. If you already know people who have already paved the way for you, and who are there for you to lean on for support, saying “Yes” to an opportunity may be an easier decision.
I always say yes to at least one opportunity each year that places me in constant collaboration with people further down the path than I am (a program, a Mastermind, etc), because I know it will help me grow.
What happens when I harness the “as if” power?
This is all about acting “as if.” (Bonus: this is a powerful coaching question to use with your clients as well!)
If you’ve asked yourself a question 105 times, and the answer is still unclear, then act “as if” you’ve made one decision, and take away the other.
For a 12-hour period, move through your day ACTING AS IF you’ve given a resounding “YES” to the person/opportunity/investment. How do you feel? What thoughts are you having? What do you notice about your body?
Then switch! For the next 12-hour period, move through your day and ACT AS IF you’ve given a resounding “NO.” How do you feel? What thoughts are you having? What do you notice about your body?
Pay close attention to how you FEEL in both situations, and let that guide your decision making.
Am I willing—and able—to consistently give it my ALL?
If you’re in, be in. If you’re not, then don’t do it. Half-assing means you waste time, energy, and effort on all sides if you’re not “all in.”
So, do you have the time available to invest 100 percent? Do you have the energy for it? If you say “Yes,” will you be spreading yourself too thin? Is this a priority to me?
Does my soul give this a “Hell Yes!”?
Because let’s be honest: if it’s not a “Hell Yes!” then it’s a “Hell No!”
If you don’t feel a resounding, soulful “Hell Yes!” immediately, then consider whether that means it’s a “Hell No!”
If you’re only getting a whisper, or a “Maybe,” that could mean it’s really a “Hell No,” or that you just need a bit of time and awareness to expand into the “Hell Yes” that this really is for you. You’ll definitely want to walk through the other questions to decide.
Often when I use this filter (whether I’m buying a pair of shoes, enrolling in a program, or considering going out to dinner with girlfriends), I experience a “bonus” benefit, too: when I put myself in the place of a solid “No,” I can then release fears and get clear on what would need to be in place for it to be a “Hell Yes” (if that’s what I want).
Where am I on a scale from 1 to 10?
This is a simple and effective way to consider a decision. It involves using numbers to engage your mind and ego in the decision-making process, taking the emotion OUT of the equation for a moment, so you can be totally rational and fact-based.
“On a scale from 1 – 10 (1 being a ‘Hell no, forget it,’ and 10 being a ‘HELL YEAH, I’M IN!’), where am I on this decision?”
If you’re a 10 out of 10, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. Trust yourself and enjoy the adventure!
As a general guideline, if it’s a five or lower, you’re probably not ready. And that’s okay! At least you’ve got your answer, right? There’s freedom in and of having made a decision, either way! You can walk away and not give it another thought.
Anything under a five practically guarantees that you won’t be committed to your “Yes,” if you say it, and it will distract you from what will be most effective and fun for you. Plus, you’ll avoid beating yourself up later for making “another bad decision.” Politely decline, and walk away.
If, however, you’re somewhere between a six and a nine, ask yourself:
“What would it take for me to be a 10 on this particular person/opportunity/investment?”
And then listen to yourself! The answer will typically pop up in about one to two seconds. Don’t overthink it; you’ll just get in your own way. Take note of would make it a 10 for you, and then ask yourself if you could do whatever that is to move yourself toward a 10. (Then, do it!)
What will be my ROI if I say “Yes”?
Sometimes, your ROI (Return on Investment) will come in the form of money. Sometimes, it will come in other forms: indirect returns such as new leads (that will eventually lead to new clients and money), or a skill set that you needed in order to move you closer to your goals.
Other times, your ROI will be emotional currency, like when you’re able to be involved with a group of people who are aligned with your values, mission, and beliefs.
And still other times, your ROI may be in the area of self-development; you become the next greatest version of you so you can reach your goals, dreams, and desires.
As a business owner, whenever you encounter a new opportunity, always consider what your ROI will be, what form it will take, and when you can expect to see it.
Knowing this in advance will help you determine if the investment of your time, energy, and resources is worth it.
And there you have it! Your Business Opportunity Filter.
Answering these 10 questions will hopefully help you discover the decision that is already inside of you.
And if all else fails, TRUST YOURSELF.
Sometimes, even going through all 10 questions above might leave you undecided.
So here’s a quick exercise you can do “when all else fails.”
Think of a decision you need to make.
Then, (right now!), place one hand on your heart, and one on your solar plexus (your gut). Take a deep breath in. Slowly release it. Take a second. And a third. Calm your mind, and create space in your heart.
What do you hear?
Sometimes the “yeses” and “nos” are faint whispers from your soul. To hear them, you have to get quiet, at least long enough to hear them.
Some people call this prayer. Some call it meditation. However you frame it, create that still, quiet place within, so you can listen and trust yourself. You know more than you realize.
And above all else, once you make your decision, move forward unapologetically. Don’t go back and question, or beat yourself up. Be confident.
Everything we do in our business as entrepreneurs is research: every step we take, every project we create, every decision we make … all research. When you take a step—whether that step comes from a “Yes” or a “No”—it becomes research for your Biz-Building Quest.
It will inform you intellectually, physically, emotionally, energetically, and spiritually. Pay attention to that research, and adjust accordingly based on the experience of hindsight.
If you say “Yes” and realize it wasn’t the right decision, act on that new information. If you say “No” and realize you wished you’d said “Yes,” act on that new information, immediately. And adjust accordingly. Simple!
You can do this! Here’s to your next decision – with clarity!
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