I started my company in May 2007, but had little understanding of what I didn’t know about running a small business. The next several years were riddled with more ups and downs than the most challenging roller coaster ride. However, I survived it due to the grace of God, and a very supportive network of family and friends who remained supportive during some of my darkest hours.
I regularly talk to people who have dreams of starting a business, traveling abroad, or something else they envision making their life more rewarding. Unfortunately, many people never take action (or enough action) to see their dreams become a reality.
I heard an entrepreneur recently comment about those who live mediocre lives because they choose to ‘throw pennies into the wishing well of life’, and then get angry when they feel as if life has short-changed them.
In reality, I think they may have sold themselves short… reluctant to throw themselves into their dream with a reckless abandon. Too many times, the fear of failure, shame, and embarrassment keeps Mary from leaving her comfort zone. After 12-15 years in the industry, she’s working in a managerial role (some consider that a perk), has a steady paycheck, and health benefits!
Sad thing is… she’s also visited by that desire to start her own business, and it just won’t go away.
I’m writing this blog post because I live to see people live their dreams. It’s more than a business. IT’S MY CALLING! If more people were to live out their true calling instead of chasing a dollar, we’d have happier families.
I’m not blowing smoke here.
A new study has found that happy people earn more than people who are sad. Also, happy workers are more active, efficient and less affected by work.
The study was conducted by an economist Satya Paul, professor of economics at the University of Western Sydney. For years, we have been told that money can’t buy happiness. Paul decided to see if the reverse was true; can happiness rake in more money?
For the study, Paul and colleagues looked at data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The survey had information about self-rated happiness levels of 9300 people. He found that happy people liked their jobs, worked more and so earned more money.
After considering other control factors like age and gender, he found that happy Australians made $1766.70 more every year than people at the bottom of the happiness scale.
Also, there are two kinds of happy workers; those who work for extra hours because they love their jobs and hence take home fatter pay-checks and people who take regular breaks and strike a work-life balance increasing their happiness.
7 Skills We Must Master to Be Successful as a Life Coach
- We Must Dominate Our Fears – fear comes to rob you and I of opportunities to increase our income, to experience more intimate friendships and romance, and countless other things. The sad reality is, much of what we fear will never happen. Instead of yielding to fear, we must choose to be courageous. Courage is the ability to do something that strikes fear in your heart. It’s making a choice to exercise strength in the face of pain or grief.
- Develop a Clear Vision – One of my favorite scripture is, “Where there is no vision, the people perish, but happy is he who keeps the law.” The New International Version says, “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.” Almost nothing will motivate a person like tapping into that God’given dream, passion, or value that’s uniquely mine. Yours and my personal advancement travels on two train tracks – opposition and opportunity. Opposition provides the resistance necessary for our growth and character development. Opportunity is that sunshine peeping over the new horizon. When I revisit my vision, sometimes writing what I see in enough detail for a total stranger to understand – I then have something to refer back to when the storms of life come. (Life those unexpected fraudulent transactions against my business checking account 2 months ago!) Having a vision helps us stay focused when life get’s difficult.
- Create a Business Plan with Deadlines – having a plan is step one. Having a plan with a deadline is where it gets real. I don’t know about you, but I HATE to give my word on something, and not keep it. Having a deadline (you know… like April 15) will cause a person to get their butt in gear. We always accomplish more if we build our goals and objectives around realistic deadlines that have meaning. I recently coached a musician friend of mine through a challenging place by giving him a deadline. He sent me a text to let me know the work was done before the deadline we set together. In that situation, my reward was knowing he had gotten through a tough obstacle because he had a deadline and a consequence. (He was going to donate $100 to a worthy cause of his choosing if he didn’t take action within a 10 day period.)
- Engage in Systematic Lead Generation Marketing – I’ve spoken with scores of small business owners who would not think of themselves as flying by the seat of their pant. But they do. They have a website, a business card, social media accounts, and several other ways they “get the word out” about their business. What they don’t have is a step-by-step strategic system to attract suspects, convert suspects to customers, and customers into raving fans. It was the first MAJOR mistake I discover while still working for Bellsouth Advertising and Publishing back in 2005. On the other hand, people who go on to crack 6 figures and build a business that allows them to pay off their debts, fund a college education of their kids or grandkids, and change their zipcode – they engage in systematic lead generation and client acquisition.
- Price Your Products and Services for Profit – one of my greatest lessons in 2015 has been how to properly price my products and services. It started when I invested in business coaching with a guy who’d built and sold multiple businesses for 7 figures. His coaching and instruction shaved years off my learning curve (for less than $1,000). Last month, I found additional insight on proper pricing while reading my Bible. It had been sitting there for years in plain sight. I didn’t see it until flying home from my missions trip to Uganda. (I’ll be sharing more about this later.)
- Utilize Automation to Get More Done in Less Time – I have a friend and client who’s doing more online marketing in the last 3 months. He recently left corporate America, and now tell me, “Ramon, I see what you mean about time being your biggest challenge.” One of my major shortcomings 5 years ago when I started working full-time in my business was – I didn’t understand how critically important my time was. I had an idea, but got a rude awakening after realizing what it would cost me to manage my website, generating my leads, making cold calls, qualifying clients, running sales meetings, on-boarding clients, serving clients, going to networking meetings, staying current on new marketing technology, and the list goes on…. Life coaches often start as one-man/one-woman bands. One example of automation is – creating a lead generation funnel where you give a free report in exchange for an email address. Once they opt-in, they should receive a series of 4-7 (or more) follow-up emails. Why? Because research shows the average sale happens between the 5th and 12th touch. If you have 10 prospective clients, and have to personally touch each person 5 times, that’s 50 touches. (Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!!!!!) It makes more sense to drop a series of strategically crafted emails into your autoresponder, and let technology do the heavy lifting for you.
- Learn from Experts Who Can Shorten Your Learning Curve – I mentioned this in an earlier point. Without a doubt, expert coaching has been the single greatest decision I’ve made on multiple occasions when seeking to accelerate growth in my business. In many cases, it was short-term coaching that delivered a long-term result. For example, I signed up for a 12 month program to learn how to set better deadlines several months ago. The first session was worth the entire 12 months!! No joke. He gave me a model for creating products and sales processes that was easily worth $2,000 or more. The 12 month coaching was only $497 because I paid a year in advance instead of the monthly option.
Of course, there are other skills in the life coach’s toolkit. These are the 7 I have found to have the biggest impact in my life. I’d love to hear from you. I’ve recently decided to pursue my passion of helping life coaches, authors, and solopreneurs to get and keep clients. In 10 years, I’ve learned a lot, and helped different types of business owners do different things. In this season, I want to help people who have a passion to help others through life coaching, business coaching, fitness and health coaching, etc. I’m going to add value to the lives of “people-helping professionals”.
I invite you to talk back to me in the comments below, or click the link you see on this screen and leave me an audio/video message. Your feedback means a lot because it tells if this was helpful, and how I can help even more.