Blueprint Manifesto #6: You’ve got to have conviction
I tend to find two major problems behind why life coaches have trouble getting traction.
#1: They don’t have conviction around the values that surround their work,
#2: Probably fed by the lack of conviction around their values, there’s a lack of conviction around pushing to make their businesses a success.
Having conviction around the values that surround your work–that’s really about the question of who you’re serving and the value you provide for them.
When you know that you’re hard-core about helping women who struggle with __________ to shift from feeling ________ to feeling __________, it becomes very clear what you’re about.
For example, I’m clear that I don’t just want to dole out business advice, to anyone and everyone. I don’t care about “anyone and everyone’s” businesses. I want to help life coaches who are struggling with marketing to shift away from lacking confidence, and towards doing everything in business completely on their own terms, according to their personal values.
I also have a conviction about “how” that’s done: by using growing your business as a personal growth opportunity, and treating yourself the way you’d treat a client.
Other business coaches want to shift something different. They want to work only with creatives, or only with consultants. Perhaps their view is that confidence comes from learning a skill-set, so they wouldn’t talk about shifting a lack of confidence–they’d talk about learning a skill-set. Certainly, for some people, talk about business as a personal growth opportunity just sounds woo-woo and inane.
The point is this: the conviction about how it’s done informs every blog post, every marketing message, every interview.
If you’re a life coach who feels fuzzy on exactly what you want to help people with, and why it’s so important to help people, and how it is that you think the process should look, chances are that your potential clients feel that way, too. They’re looking at your blog posts and knowing that you’re a compassionate and kind human being, without necessarily seeing that you’ve really engaged with a process for what you work on and how you work on it.
I’ll put it another way: If you’re setting up articles of incorporation for your business, do you want to hire the attorney who has experience with LLCs and S-Corps? Or the general, “happy to help you with anything” attorney?
And if you are hiring an attorney for that purpose, do you want the one who says, “The way I work is this: First I ______, then I _____, and then I _____” or the one who says, “I’m so happy to help you; I’m sure we’ll figure it out” ?
Extreme niching isn’t necessarily what has to happen. I’ve never felt aligned with the idea of calling myself a certain “type” of coach, though I support coaches who find success defining themselves as a “dating coach” or a “new moms coach.”
It’s less about an exact niche, and more about a perspective. Even a dating coach is going to need to know what her personal conviction is–her personal values that inform her approach to helping people have great dating experiences. Those values are going to inform everything she shares, whether she’s talking about what to wear on a first date or the top signs that he could be a dud.
Beyond just helping people to live better lives, what is it that you’re passionate about helping people with? What do you want them to realize? What do you hope they understand by the time they’ve finished working with you?
These are bold, beautiful questions. Let them inform your entire business–because however you answer them, that’s you. The more of you that can show up in your life coaching practice, the better.
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