What is it that you are setting out to achieve with your online business - or any enterprise for that matter? What are the challenges that you face in meeting those web related goals?
Success in web marketing isn't just about competently relaying a sales message to other people - you also need be successful in marketing to yourself! Your own confidence, state of mind and spirit is reflected in your interactions with clients and peers.
We take a break this week from purely online topics and stroll down memory lane to a time when a great deal of TTB's real success was being cultivated offline. This was thanks to 2 very special people - enthusiastic coaches who deliver professional coaching services to Australian and overseas business people.
Learning to fly - with clipped wings
In 1998/99 I had been dabbling online for a couple of years while winding down my mobile computer services operations in Australia for a variety of reasons. Amongst those reasons was the Internet becoming a passion for me. I saw that it was the World Wide Web where my future career lay; but there were many issues that I perceived to be obstacles in my path.
Some of those obstacles were financial, some relationship issues and others had more to do with my self confidence in grasping and implementing the required knowledge - the World Wide Web and ecommerce was still very new in Australia at that time. It was (and still is) an amazing world of smoke and mirrors.
At that stage, Taming the Beast was not a profitable online concern by any means - I needed to secure outside employment. I was fortunate enough to gain a position with a local recruitment company where I met Fleur Dwyer and Barbara Seaton, who were also working with the company while developing their own dream. Their dream was to provide the best professional coaching services in Australia and the world via their fledgling project - Coaching Spaces.
While I wasn't a formal client of theirs as such, I was able to absorb a great deal from our relationship regarding coaching principles. The concept of business and career coaching was also relatively new in Australia at the time - in fact, Fleur and Barbara were amongst the first professional career/business coaches in our country.
It wasn't just the basic concepts of coaching that I learned - more importantly, I observed (in total awe) Fleur and Barbara putting these concepts into practice as they coached many of our clients towards success in their own lives.
Fleur and Barbara utilize standard coaching practices and also a very interesting concept called Heart Math. In Heart Math, the terms are metaphors. ‘Heart’ refers to the intuitive self and ‘Math’ to the brain, the rational mind.
I believe it was their support, mentoring and total belief in my potential (apparent and unrealized) that had a great deal to do with me achieving my dreams on the World Wide Web. The lessons they taught me years ago are as important and relevant to me today as they were then.
So what exactly is coaching in relation to business?
People who are highly motivated and already on the path to success face many challenges; and this can translate to a great of stress. As we climb the corporate or online business ladder, many opportunities are put before us - but which is the best way to go? Sometimes our success can spin out of control, or growth becomes stagnant. Other times the balance between career/business and personal life or interpersonal relationships in the workplace veer away from the middle line.
In these situations it can be difficult for us to implement solutions as we have relied on ourselves for so long. We are too close to the issue and uncertain as to the next step that will bring us the result we want.
A business/career coach is much like the coach of an athlete. The athlete has the ability and the coach helps the athlete to unlock his or her full potential. When you think about it, it makes good sense for each executive or business person to undertake some sort of coaching from a suitably qualified advisor, outside their immediate circle, at some stage in their career. "Outsiders" bring a fresh perspective to issues and don't base their advice on prejudice built on previous history.
Coaching shouldn't be confused with the training you receive at sessions where there may be dozens, perhaps thousands of others. Coaching is a very personal experience - you develop a bond with your coach that can sometimes last a lifetime; so trust is a major factor. A good coach doesn't make you toe a pre-packaged line, but carefully analyzes the information you provide and uses that information to tailor an action plan. Most importantly, your coach will assist you in implementing those action plans.
A business/career coach also provides a reality check and assists you in keeping all things in balance. You won't always hear what you want to hear from a coach, but you will always know that what you are being told is in your best interests - both business and personal.
But can't you get all this kind of support from a friend or spouse? To a certain degree yes - but a business/career coach has a highly refined expertise honed over years of study and coaching others in similar situations. Often I've heard small business people and executives say "my family is great, but there's some times that they just don't understand" - it's these crucial times that a coach will.
Also, your family, peers and friends will always have ulterior motives to some degree - this is not negative, it's totally natural. A coach works with you towards the goals you want for yourself - you achieving those goals is their only interest.
Coaches within organizations
The services of coaches are often contracted by very successful organizations to assist the company towards the next level of excellence. Coaches also act as independent facilitators when challenges are hampering the well being of a company and the people that power it. This is known as Open Space Facilitation.
Is Coaching for me?
If you are:
then engaging the services of a coach may be the most positive and productive strategy that you'll ever action.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my association with Barbara and Fleur was learning this:
The truth isn't out there, it's in you. We all have our own answers - a coach helps you to find and action them.
To learn more about coaching (and my favorite coaches), visit Fleur and Barbara's site:
While Fleur and Barbara are based in Australia, they provide online coaching services to executives, organizations and business people all over the world.
Take your online business (and yourself) to the next level!
Other learning resources:
paid cash taking online surveys - free to join online
In Loving Memory - Mignon Ann Bloch
copyright (c) 1999-2011 Taming the Beast Adelaide - South Australia