Before I start my birthday bookkeeping (see previous post), I want to indulge myself in one quick post (see, this is how I always end up getting derailed from bookkeeping) to do another thing I don’t typically do, which is properly focus on selling my services and promoting myself as a self-employment coach. Last week I put up a half-price promotion and it ends today at midnight mountain time. (Promo details and code are at the end of this post.)
I really think the promotion is a great deal, and wanted to give a very quick synopsis of my approach and attitude to coaching while it’s on my mind.
Coaching clients on self-employment related matters has been a natural complement to me writing books on the subject since 1997. (Holy crap that’s 20 years.) But I didn’t really start getting serious about it until 5 or so years ago. (My daughter’s health crisis derailed things for a few years, but that’s a whole other story.) I have sold editing and content development services from the very beginning, but felt more reluctant about selling myself as simply an advisor. Why? I think part of my reluctance is that I’m sensitive about being bossy. I didn’t really realize this until the last few years but I think it’s true. I was a pretty bossy kid and it didn’t always serve me well.
I know “bossy” is a loaded term for women, and honestly don’t remember it being thrown at me in any gendered way, but I do know I had a strong personality (still do) and tended to try to “take charge” a lot (um, I’m trying). So however it was expressed to me, I think my bossy reputation was likely well-deserved.
But as a grown-up I think I’ve figured out a way to be helpful without being (too) bossy. In fact, the more I think about it, I believe my aversion to being *perceived* as bossy has powerfully shaped my approach and perspective to this world of coaching that I find myself in.
Specifically, I don’t want to imply that I have all the answers, because I don’t actually believe I have all the answers. And I don’t want you to think that I’m going to insist you do things the way I suggest.
I don’t view coaching as a situation where I offer magic solutions and expect you to follow my instructions. That’s not realistic and I wouldn’t be interested anyway.
Rather, I’m really good at helping problem-solve and help you find the answers that work for you. For better or worse I’m a very structural thinker and can help unpack vexing issues or situations you need help with. I’m good at helping you boil situations down to their most important elements — including both facts and feelings — and then make decisions about what to do next. I will honestly tell you what I think are good ideas and plans, and let you know if I feel you’re not making good decisions. But I’ll do so with “helping you” being a core priority, with a fundamental belief that only you truly will know which “answers” are right.
It’s funny, as I reboot my coaching services and think about my own approach to it, I realize it’s not unlike the advice I give my clients. Do it your way. Find your own flow. It’s at the heart of all the advice I give.
OK, off to bookkeeping.