To deepen your experience on the planet, will you give yourself five precious minutes to read the quote below?
Breathing in the importance to your life and your work.
"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you."
– Martha Graham
American modern dancer and choreographer
To more and more of you!
Thank you, Brenda BeNew for sharing this beautiful piece!
I had a LinkedIn conversation with JB King yesterday in a StrengthsFinder discussion group that I would love to share with you. I had asked about people's experiences with looking at their own and their clients' strengths as the composite of their Top 5 strengths rather than looking at each of the Top 5 separately. JB asked if I had used the 5 Whys to look at my inquiry.
My Top 5 StrengthsFinder strengths:
Maximizer | Individualization | Connectedness | Strategic | Empathy
"Okay, JB, I'll play!
I love the 5 Whys and use them alot in my own journaling and with my coaching clients. I hadn't thought to use them on something like this discussion.
So here goes. Why is this question important to me: 'How has the combination of 3 or more of your own or another's top 5 strengths specifically informed?'
1. I have the sense that when we look at the cluster of our strengths, we find something precious, rare and unique. Why is that important to me?
2. It helps me and my clients better know, access and live and work from our specific genius. Why is that important to me?
3. Because I am hungry for and I see many others hungry for a clear understanding of why we each are here on the planet. Why is that important to me?
4. Clear knowing of why I am here and helping others have clear knowing of why they are here powerfully supports each of us in knowing what to commit ourselves to and what not to commit ourselves to. Why is that important to me?
5. With commitment comes miraculous outcomes. Amazing things that won't happen in the fog or confusion. Why is that important to me? :-)
6. I love miraculous outcomes! I find them so much more life-affirming, fun and energizing than fog and confusion.
Well that was fantastic. Thank you, JB."
What’s here for you? What’s more energizing than fog and confusion?
1. The content above that drills down to my deep Why.
2. The reminder to ask our clients more frequently about their deep Whys.
I leave you with this inquiry: Why is it important for you to grow your coaching business?
To your Thriving Work!
P.S. Shortly, I am launching a new brand around owning our Genius (which, of course, our SF strengths are part of that). I am starting a pilot coaching program: Free Your Genius®. I am looking for three women coaches or consultants who have in their top 5 Connectedness and one or more of Achiever, Activator, Maximizer or Responsibility who might like to become a client in the program. It would be a great fit for them if they are already doing work they love, yet they’re restless right now to take it to the next level, narrow it down or reinvent themselves in their work.
If you or a woman you know fits this description, please email me at Ann@AnnStrong.com or call me at 303.399.8737.
I started to go to that familiar place.
Thinking I needed to do something to make more money.
Then, I smiled.
Remembering to use that worn-out old thought
As a new reminder to seize the juicy Now.
I am here Now.
How am I called to serve Now?
What am I able to do Now?
What gift do I feel called to give?
What act of service do I feel called to?
What inspiration am I called to share?
What encouragement would I like to offer?
To whom do I feel called to give attention?
I am here Now.
Immersed in the abundance in which I
live, move and experience my being.
I am here Now.
No thinking necessary.
I am here Now.
Serving from the abundance that is me.
I am here Now.
– Ann Strong
Please post your comments below.
Last week we looked at:
1. Know your “Why,” what you deeply desire for you and your clients.
2. Demonstrate leadership.
Note: If you didn’t read Part I, just scroll down. You will find it below.
This week, let’s look at the final three new mindsets for enrolling clients in a way that feels honorable and energizing.
3. Champion greatness. Acknowledge fear.
A potential client quickly begins to know, like and trust you when you champion their strengths and accomplishments and, at the same time, acknowledge their hesitation and fear. Doing this without judgment, with compassion for their humanness and with a bit of humor, powerfully connects the two of you. You demonstrate that you see and hear them and that you aren’t going to step over the fear, but rather coach them through it.
Even more important: champion your own greatness and acknowledge your own fear. Most of us shy away from selling for fear of rejection. If we look a little deeper, we may find that under fear of rejection lies fear of the other thinking we aren’t good enough. Or, maybe even more likely, we may find that we ourselves fear we aren’t good enough.
Work with your own coach and your daily practice to champion your greatness and move through this insidious dream-killer.
4. Commit to serving the client even when you're uncomfortable.
Often, when you explore the discomfort of where your potential client is now and what has kept them from already getting to where they want to go, you must ask tough questions. If they stick with the conversation through the tough part, you will experience their commitment to moving beyond their fear. If you instead back off, downplay, or don’t even ask the tough questions in an effort to be nice, you both miss the opportunity to hear their commitment, to hear an opportunity for coaching or to hear their unwillingness to move forward. You then will have allowed your own fear to diminish your leadership and your service to the potential client.
5. Choose your “Why” as more compelling than your fear.
Work with your own coach to move through your fear of asking tough questions rather than squandering an opportunity with a potential client. Then, when you meet with your potential client, keep what you want for yourself and for them top of mind. Focus on your “Why,” allowing it to carry you past your fear. Take a stand for your potential client and for your Why.
When I was 15, I made a plaque for my grandma that read, “We are what we make ourselves.” I don’t remember making the plaque or how I knew that back then. I am grateful to my grandma for keeping it all these years and putting a date and my name on the back. That plaque now hangs on my office wall as a powerful reminder of my Why. It also pulls me past my own fear that I’m not good enough to do this work. I have tangible evidence that I was born to do this work!
Where might you find and claim your own evidence? Ask that question of yourself repeatedly until you have a solid answer that will serve as your anchor.
Work with your own coach or create a daily practice to transform any old beliefs that you aren’t good enough. And, claim your evidence that you were born to do this work!
Feel free to post your progress in the comments below!
Many coaches tell me they don't like to sell and don't want to sell. Conjuring up an image of the stereotypical used car salesman, it's easy to understand their distaste.
Yet if we don't "sell," we fail the potential client in front of us. We also marginalize the miraculous value of coaching that moves that client through fear to bringing their Big Dream into reality. And, we diminish our own business, or worse, never get it off the ground.
Are you willing to pay such a high price?
Or, would you consider allowing me to guide you in moving through your own fear to five new mindsets about selling that feel honorable and energizing? 1. Know your "Why," what you deeply desire for you and your clients.
One of my client's commitment involves walking in her own shoes, rather than her mother's. She’s passionate about telling stories that inspire her clients to walk in their own shoes, rather than their mothers.' Another teaches diversity and inclusion by sharing her own bias, creating conversation that uncovers her client's bias and then facilitating awareness to move beyond those barriers. I came out of the womb passionate about self-employment. One of my greatest joys involves creating my thriving business and helping my clients create their thriving businesses from the specificity of our own strengths and passions.
What are you committed to, passionate about and deeply desiring for you and your clients? Dig deep until you're describing something you must
do. 2. Demonstrate leadership.
Leading your potential client flies in the face of typical coach training that tells us, "The client is in charge. The client sets the agenda." Yet for your potential client to know, like and trust you enough to hire you, you must allow them to experience your wisdom and leadership.
In your initial Strategy Session, Coaching Consultation, Sales Conversation, whatever you call it, you must help them paint a vivid picture of where they want to go, experience the discomfort of where they are now and explore what has kept them from already getting to where they want to go. Then, you must coach them to clarity as to whether they are now committed to going through their fear and making the necessary changes. If you hear that they are ready and committed, then you must uncover and answer whatever they need to know from you, so that both of you feel energized, excited and committed to you coaching them on that journey. Stay tuned for Part II with the three remaining new mindsets:
3. Champion greatness. Acknowledge fear.
4. Commit to serving the client being more important than being "nice."
5. Choose your "Why" as more compelling than your fear.
Until then, take some time to get to your deep Why and to organize or re-organize your Gift Session so that you're demonstrating leadership.
As always, feel free to post your deep Why in the comments section below.
"Unless a tree has borne blossoms in spring, you will vainly look for fruit on it in autumn."
– Walter Scott
What in you longs to blossom now? Even though many of us choose to set goals and make resolutions in January, that timing actually contradicts nature – human nature and Mother Nature . . .
As Nature herself knows, attempting new growth in the dead of winter makes for a very short life span! Perhaps explaining the reality of so many new year's resolutions never taking hold?!
Trees and flowers know better to wait for warmth to blossom. And so we as human have this same blossoming opportunity now – when the air is cool and the sun is warm and we feel hope deep inside our limbs!
So, regardless of what did or didn't happen with your new year's resolutions, what longs to blossom in you now? Can you sense more vibrant health inside you? Do you know greater abundance in your business? Are you feeling excited about new love blossoming? Is a new project waiting to blossom? New collaborations? Deeper friendships? New fun and adventure? Spiritual awakening? Travel to new places?
Let's use this wonderful, fresh, spring energy to give voice and commitment to what longs to blossom from deep within us . . . looking forward to a wonderful autumn harvest because we're taking the time now to tend the inspiration of new growth . . .
Feel free to post your spring blossoming urges in the comments below.
"Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid."
- Albert Einstein
Several years ago, I fell in love with how clearly and accurately the StrengthsFinder™ assessment tells each of us where our genius lies. Yet, there is a tricky part: our top 5 natural strengths are to us like water is to a fish. Without some contrast with other strengths, it can be hard to know the "water we've always lived in."
In the last few months, I have immersed myself even more deeply with not just understanding each of the 34 strengths, but also how a person's top 5 natural strengths work together to create their specific natural genius.
If you haven't taken StrengthsFinder™, give yourself a HUGE gift and do it immediately. Buy the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath and use the code in the back of the book to go online to take the assessment, which takes about 30 minutes.
If you'd like more info:
And as always, I invite you to share your own responses and experiences in the Comments section below.
"Your genius is precise."
- Marcus Buckingham
To your natural genius!
I recently learned that problem-solving triggers fight-or-flight. Choosing to instead engage with "What If . . ." generates safety and creativity. I have been playing with it myself to experience the truth. I can feel it in my body.
When I think, "This (whatever "this" is) is a problem and now I have to find a solution," I feel anxious.
I think thoughts like:
- What if I can’t solve this?
- I don’t want to make (fill in the blank) mad.
- Why do I even have to deal with this?
- This is too much trouble.
- What if this snowballs into more problems?
You get the idea . . .
Can you feel the anxiety or pressure building in your body as you read my thoughts?!? Crazy.
If I instead, look at "What If . . .," my body immediately relaxes.
I think thoughts like:
- What if it’s better than I imagine because (fill in the blank)?
- Maybe we could (fill in the blank).
- What if I don’t do anything right now and allow this to resolve itself?
- Maybe he meant (fill in a generous explanation, rather than the explanation that means I now have a problem).
- What if all is well? Right now. Everything as it is.
I just took a deep breath. Did you? Can you feel your body relaxing?
As always, I invite you to share your own responses and experiences in the Comments section below.
To finding the amazing opportunity in every single thing we had previously thought of as a problem to be solved!
I love living life from a coaching perspective.
Has fear guided you to the safe path?
Is life now calling you to walk your own path?
The distance between the two is far less than you believe.
I'm here to partner with you
in taking courageous steps
on this sacred journey
to more of yourself . . .
Walking in your own shoes.
Living your purpose. Your passion. Your strengths.
Your work. Your business.
Here is a bit of what I know for you, hold for you,
take a stand for you . . .
- You are here on this planet for an extremely precise
reason known as YOU.
- Your own path is safer for you than the "safe" path.
- You have precious, worthwhile gifts to offer. If you
don't offer them, no one else ever will.
- You are being called to create new daily practices that
replace old, out-dated, habitual thoughts that are holding
you back from being more of you.
- Your "confusion" no longer serves you.
- Your thought of "who am I to . . ." must be replaced with
knowing and owning your brilliance and Divinity.
- Your brilliance and Divinity are more real than your fear.
- Your strengths are your way.
- Your excitement and enthusiasm will impeccably guide you.
- There is a line outside your door of people waiting
patiently and impatiently to work with you!
- You are here to be with them in a way that makes their
lives and work richer and fuller because they work with you!
- You must make your choices and create your own life and
work from the specificity of YOU.
I have created 7 gift "More of You" Coaching Strategy Sessions
between now and the end of the month.
Is one of these sessions yours?
If you know that you are now committed to courageously walking
your own path with your life and your coaching business, then
book your appointment on my online calendar now.
This session offer huge value. It is my gift to you.
You will leave the session with:
- A clear picture of where you are now with your coaching business and where you'd like to be a year from now.
- An understanding of what stand between where you are now and where you want to go.
- Direction, excitement and next steps about what it takes to bridge the gap!
And, I have an opening for two new coaching clients. If we
determine you and I would be a good fit for me coaching you,
we can talk about that at the end of the session.
To the joy that comes from
living and working
from more of all of you!
P.S. If you're still reading and not sure if this session is
for you, take a stand for yourself and claim it now!
P.P.S. If you've had a gift Jump Start Session or a gift Coaching
Consultation with me in the past, please allow someone who hasn't
received one of these gifts to do so. Instead, call me on my direct
office line to talk about working together if you feel called now.
This week two of my clients discovered huge "shoulds" around being different than who they are.
"I did great last week when I was home every night. I love being home and not having to go out. This week several of my friends want to hang out. I should go out with them, but I’d rather be home." As we talked, I realized that my introverted client felt she had to be more like her extroverted friends.
"My cousin lost weight on Weight Watchers. My husband follows a high-protein diet and it works great for him. I’ve tried both several times and I don’t lose weight. What am I doing wrong?" As my client spoke, I heard that she hadn’t found her natural way to lose weight. She was slowing her progress to discovering her way by thinking that her cousin’s or her husband’s way should be her way.
Finding our own way is not as mysterious as we might initially think. Does it energize and excite you? Does it feel good to you? Right for you? That is your way! No matter how different it is from what those around you are up to.
Does it drain you? Feel like a burden? Do you hear (actually or implied) "I should?" That is not your way!
The specificity of you is never, ever to be repeated. If you really, really knew that, how might you shift the way you do your life?
If you’d like more specifics and activities around this wonderful topic of being more you, then grab your copy of my book: Thriving Work: A Journey to Your Best Self.
And as always, I invite you to share your responses and experiences in the Comments section below.
To noticing when you aren’t allowing you to be you and then consciously choosing more of you . . .