One of my favorite moments in the first year that Michelle Bauman (my best friend and business partner) and I taught at the University of Santa Monica Soul-Centered Professional Coaching Program along with Steve Chandler was at the very end - in the final class.
The three of us were on a call preparing for the class, discussing the content for the class weekend.
One of us, I don't remember who, said that it would be good to talk about what we wished someone had told us back in the beginning about this profession. It was probably Steve or Michelle (my ideas were usually more around, "Let's have them act out their worst enrollment conversations ever - with costumes!").
It was great to talk about this amongst the three of us, to share our thoughts. The conversation was even more valuable because Michelle was at the tail end of her first round of breast cancer treatments - this was when we thought it was a "standard" cancer, before it came back and became a whole different thing. So her perspective was different given this experience.
Think about it . . .what do you wish someone had told you before you entered the profession?
What do you wish someone would tell you NOW?
Do you wish someone had told you this is the best profession on the planet (however not the easiest one)?
Do you wish someone had told you this is a profession where you can express yourself uniquely, where you can serve uniquely, and where you can reinvent yourself over and over again?
Do you wish someone had told you to not focus on the small losses, the clients you didn't get - rather focus on all the conversations you have had, all the people you will meet and all the different ways you will serve over the course of a lifetime?
Do you wish someone had told you how good it can be, how much fun and learning you can experience and how much joy you can be part of growing in someone's life?
Do you wish someone had told you that you can learn how to grow your business in a simple, strong way and you don't need to be a rock star to do it?
I was thinking about what I wished someone had told me at the beginning now, from where I'm sitting today.
I wish someone had told me that this is a profession where everything that occurs in your life is something you can give and offer to others. Loss. Profound grief. Heartache. Health challenges. Creative endeavors. Fitness achievements. Financial successes. Spiritual upliftment. Your life can become one of your greatest sources of coaching content in the most beautiful and meaningful ways - such that each event deepens not only you, it deepens all your clients and every person you talk to. Even if you don't share the specific story - who you are sitting in front of them is all of these moments, learnings, and expansions. Coaching is a profession where as your life grows, your ability to serve grows.
Here's what Michelle said to the class:
What I wish someone had said . . and I'm not sure I would have listened, and what I wish I had known, "This is a long game. The timeframe of a few months, or 6 months or a year is not enough time to really have an appreciation of the difference you are making and the progress you are making. I remember I used to get really fixated on this meeting, this enrollment conversation, this month, this week, so much pressure that this was one 'had to go a certain way', that this was going to be the referendum on 'was this going to work or not.'
I wish I had gotten that I can relax into it - that it's a process. That each one of you is unique, each of you have unique people to serve that nobody else can serve. You'll never know the difference you make, you'll never know how many people and how many lives you touched through your willingness to share your gifts, to share your loving, to share what you know.
Now that I'm 5-6 years into this, I can see this. I have had people come up to me and say, "That conversation we had 3 years ago changed my life." Now at the time, it didn't really look that way. At the time, it looked like there wasn't much receptivity or openness. I probably cried over that conversation at that time. We just don't know what happens for someone.
My biggest encouragement is to honor your call, stay on the path - this is a long game. I love the garden analogy - you are planting seeds with love, with willingness - and they really do blossom.
I wish someone had told me that a critical key is learn with others. Don't go this path alone. Find a coach, find a group you can learn in, find coaches you can learn from, find community.
And remember - this is a long game.
If you want to come learn in this community, let's talk. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org