I love my solopreneur and small business clients and will want to coach them forever, I am quite sure of that. But right now, since reading a game-changing book, I find myself yearning to do more personal coaching as well.
I know precisely who to blame for this. I am pointing the finger at a gorgeous client who hired me before Christmas and, at her induction call, she told me she wanted to build her coaching practice using the principles taught by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin in their book The Prosperous Coach.
I promised my client I would buy the book and read it over Christmas, which I did. I loved it. I learned so much from it and I have been busy recommending it to all my other coaching clients and friends and anyone in the service providing sector.
Even though my client will be building her coaching business in a completely different way to the way in which I have done it, I love much about the way they teach too. And I re-learned so much about what I originally loved about what I call “pure” coaching. The magic of just being with people. And about marketing by creating desire. That’s a lot of useful learning from one book.
Business mentoring gives me the leeway to teach my clients what they need to know, based on my forty years of business experience as an accountant and coach, and support them on their journey. I can share what works and help them grow their business faster than I did when finding my way all on my own. It is useful to be a coach as well so that I can support them in their personal and human and emotional issues which arise around running their own small business from home. You cannot separate the woman from the business owner, nor should you try.
But pure coaching puts me in a completely different space with my client, one where they can grow as people first and foremost. That would be the entire point of the coaching we do together. These are my dancing clients, who are moving from a life of ambition to one of meaning. I feel it’s in the zeitgeist. I think that’s what people want now, with times as they are; the opportunity to reinvent themselves.
The distinction is difficult, I see that. It is something to do with the expansive space that pure coaching gives us just to spend time together having what Chandler and Litvin call “powerful conversations”. When I was reminded of that magic I immediately wanted to make myself available to clients again in that way, as part of their existing business coaching and mentoring with me, and separately too.
And The Big U, being the clever sausage that she undoubtedly is, immediately starting sending business clients to me who didn’t know what they wanted to talk about today or were undecided about the business they wanted to start. One email at the end of last week prompted a leisurely exploratory call on Saturday which was much more useful for my client than investigating what sort of a business would make money for her. And more enjoyable for me too, because it was stimulating in a fresh way. This freshness will make me a better coach all round; I am growing too. How fabulous is that?
You’ve got to follow your muse, haven’t you? And this is where my intuition seems to be nudging me right now. Let’s see where this leads. Exciting times, made all the more exciting by the fact that I am as surprised by this development as anyone. That’s some book.