|Andrea Novakowski's Coaching Tip of the Week|
Brought to you by Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified Coach, Business and Personal Coaching for Corporations, Businesses and Individuals
-- Lloyd Jones
This week a former coaching client called me with an extraordinary story of perseverance and success. Talking with him certainly made my day and I want to share some of the principles that have allowed him to achieve his goals, make money, change careers and develop extreme personal satisfaction during the past few months.
A couple of years ago, I worked with a teacher who had an idea for an internet-based business. We worked and worked, but it never came together and when we stopped actively coaching together after about a year, I felt I had "failed" him in terms of measurable gains for his business. But we've stayed in touch, and yesterday he gave me the incredibile gift of calling to thank me!
As Paul Harvey says, here's the "rest of the story." It's about partnerships.
We had always been able to identify the problems:
** his identified customers weren't
Last fall he made several decisions:
1. He decided to take the recommendation I had given him and "learn to sell." He attended some workshops (expensive but worth it), bought several books and tapes I had been pushing on him, and got a professional salesperson to mentor him. He committed to mastering the skills to be an excellent sales person.
2. He made a slight change in how he defined his target audience, expanding his market to include more people who could and - most importantly - DO buy from him.
3. At a sales conference he met a web designer and webhost, and they formed an informal alliance. My client gets the customers, the guy in Atlanta builds and markets the mini-websites.
4. He started doing joint-ventures with "the best people I could find, even though I was nervous because this was all so new for me." The partnerships have been phenomenally successful.
The end of the story? Since he made the commitment to these things last fall, his business has exploded. He has given notice he will not return to teaching next year, he has raised his prices twice and will raise them again in June. He has more customers than he can handle, and he refers clients out for a commission on the referral. It's truly passive, on-going income for him!
The key to this remarkable story is that he made two essential decisions:
First, he stopped trying to do it himself. At first, he was determined to learn the skills (after all, he's a teacher, a professional learner!) and he was determined to do it all himself. He got over that.
Second, he decided to take a risk and invest real money in the project. He had been working on such a shoe-string (trying not to lose too much!) that he was starving the project and not giving it a fair chance. When he invested in learning skills (travel, conferences, books and tapes) and took the risk of bringing joint venture partners on-board, things changed.
As the saying goes, he's "working less and making much, much more!"
The key was forming partnerships. He appreciated that he needed to find experts to teach him. In other cases, he needed to form alliances. And (this is important) he redefined his audience from a small group that was not buying to a larger audience that has been extremely responsive. The partners helped him do that and helped him meet the needs of his new customers.
A great story!
So after all this time, why was he thanking me? (Fair question - when I stopped coaching him, none of this had happened yet.) His version is that my faith in him, and the encouragement, advice and friendship I gave him was "right on, I just wasn't ready to act on it at the time." He thinks I get some credit for that, and I'm grateful. In my own view, the credit is his, he earned it!
Where do you need to get expert help? Do you need to redefine your goal, your audience or perhaps get a coach to make the kind of progress you want? Success is almost never a matter of "luck" and it rarely requires unusual skills or genius. It does, however, require the usual skills, a great plan, and the partnership of determined people. Two heads ARE better than one!
Copyright (c) 2004, all rights reserved.
Dr. Philip E. Humbert, professional coach, author and popular speaker can be reached at www.philiphumbert.com