Laying on my bed staring up at the jungle sunrise, I pondered if I had “what it takes” to really make a life of coaching.
It happens every once in a while to me, to you, even to the “really big name” coaches. They’ve told me as much- that there are inevitably those days where we doubt our own commitment to our businesses, imagining that we’re not “taking it seriously” or putting in enough time or energy.
Those are the days when I become my own worst boss. Ever. The one that works me to the bone, burning the proverbial candle at both ends and demanding a never-ending stream of enlightened blogs and inspiring Facebook posts. All because somewhere, I saw that some other coach was up until 3am the other day because she was so buzzed on her new program, or that this other gal wakes up at 3am every day to write. Because she’s just so full of magic.
And suddenly, whatever I’m devoting to my business, my practice, my path… it’s not enough anymore.
I know coaches who are walking all kinds of business paths. Mammas who write blog posts covertly once the kids have gone to bed. Ex-CEOs who have super slick websites, 4 assistants, and a superbly organized social media campaign. Renegade, motorcycle driving chicks who swear a lot and coaches who spend months at a time in Antarctica.
We come in all flavors. You knew that. Intellectually, you knew that.
But what’s so easy to forget is this: as a result, commitment comes in all flavors, too.
Personally? I want to spend as little time in front of my computer programming knick-knacks into my website as possible. I didn’t start on this journey so that I could run myself into the ground, turn into an SEO zombie, and obsess over every Tweet. I want to guide my clients on a transformational journey of coming home AND live in the jungle, teach and practice yoga, and do my own deep work.
Because truthfully? Committing to myself and my own growth journey IS committing to my clients. It IS committing to my business.
There are plenty of people out there who will tell you to create a strict regimen, treat your business like a 9-5, and discipline yourself into success. That this is how you define commitment: in hours and numbers and blog posts written.
But dear god, if that isn’t the reason we chose to strike out on our own in the first place, right?
Commiting to your business means committing to your life.
Your clients want a coach who walks the talk. We all know how easy it is to coach someone else to take care of herself, to give herself time to play, to relax, and to slowly slowly let go of the things in life that are causing tension or friction.
Yet we invite the very same tension into our lives on a daily basis when we doubt our own level of commitment just because we haven’t launched a major program in the last 3 months, or compare our own particular style of coaching to someone else’s, concluding that we don’t measure up.
Maybe that’s just not your flavor.
Maybe that’s just not your path.
Maybe that’s not how you commit.
Because I’ll tell you a secret: if you’re not wholeheartedly committed to it, whatever it is, it won’t work.
If you’re not all in? Might as well let it go. Because you will eventually come to resent your business, and you won’t be an effective coach for anyone.
Maybe for you, committing to your business means devoting fewer hours to computer work and more to your family so that you can come to your work happily. Or maybe you’ve been dying to travel. Or go on a meditation retreat. Or explore another aspect of your coaching practice.
Commit to be true to your own growth, and your business will grow accordingly. If that means you’re up until 3am excited about a project? Fantastic. If you sleep until 9 every day and only blog once a week? Beautiful. Learn to work in your own perfect rhythm.
Then take a good look at your current business model and ask yourself:
- What parts of my business regularly cause me stress? Are they necessary parts of my coaching practice or am I forcing myself to do them because I think I should? And if they are necessary, how can I change them- or my approach- to be more in alignment with my commitment to my life?
- How am I measuring my own level of commitment in my business? Is it by hours worked, clients served, projects launched? Am I comparing my practices to someone else’s business as a metric? How can I create some sort of measure to gauge whether or not I am “all in” with my practice?
- What parts of my business am I really excited about? If I had endless hours in the day to devote to my projects, how would I happily spend them? And what does this suggest about how I commit to my business?
Committing to your business has nothing to do with how many hours you spend, how many programs you launch, or even how many clients you have.
It’s about being all in, in your own way.
Heather Day is a Transformational Coach, yoga teacher, and a guide for those who seek to live a Heart Centered Life. She helps people who have fallen out of balance to return to center with intuitive and practical tools for body, soul, and lifestyle. You’ll find her eating papaya, teaching yoga and coaching from her home in Costa Rica. Get her free meditation series to overcome fear and find your own Heart Center, and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.