At a recent coaches meeting here in Nashville, I had a conversation with a coach who told me, “If someone asks me how they should transition to coaching from full-time employment, I think I would tell them that they should find part-time work to supplement their income until they get their coaching practice off the ground.”
I’ve mused similar things when I’ve hit a point of anguish in my business, particularly when I’m not making the money I need to make–and it hurts.
So many things go through your mind, and every insecure thought you’ve been trying to ignore blares in capital letters, accompanied by very loud music:
I’m a failure. I can’t do this. What the heck was I thinking.
I know I’m supposed to be doing this work; they’re idiots for not hiring me!
How could they reject me like that? I’m so tired of being rejected; I feel so misunderstood. Why can’t I make them understand that they need to hire me?
What was I thinking taking this on … my work isn’t valuable; people don’t need me.
I’m not good enough to be doing this. My work isn’t worth the money I’m asking; I’m never going to make a living.
I’m so tired of this roller coaster … is a breakthrough ever going to come?
How am I going to get them to hire me? What if they find out I don’t have any clients? They’re going to think I’m no good.
I’m worthless. Fat. Ugly.
God, you aren’t making this work and that ticks me off!
You get the idea.
Becoming an independent professional isn’t like other career paths. You’re not pawning someone else’s widget as is typically the case in corporate America. You’re selling you: your uniqueness, your special gifts, your breakthrough way of helping people get results, your special way of communicating and connecting. It can feel particularly vulnerable and lonely.
I asked my colleague if she would have faced her fears and made the “big shifts” she needed to make to be without the “threat” of looming disaster. Wide-eyed, she realized those perilous moments served her, and that she likely wouldn’t have broken through without them.
My friend, Scott Jeffrey, talks about these dark times in his post, The Hero’s Quest.
The hero’s journey is always one of transformation. Whether you’re trying to build a business, raise a family, write a screenplay, travel to a distant land, or produce a work of art, focus on internal growth not external approval.
We are our own heroes. Ask, Who must I become to ly complete this quest? At first, we won’t know the answer to this vital question, but over time, doors open and we receive a glimpse of who we must become to return anew from the adventure.
No true quest can be seen as mundane when the purpose is clear. Each person’s quest betters all of mankind regardless of how big or small that quest may seem to others. So journey onward.
Much of my work with clients doesn’t focus on what people would typically expect to be marketing activities, because my clients’ success doesn’t hinge solely on how great their website is or what kind of testimonials they’ve included on their one sheet. Their success depends upon their ability to assign an empowering meaning to their experiences, especially the ones they might think are negative, to make sense of the ups and downs of the journey, and to process what’s not working in their business so they can get some traction and create the results they want.
Success is a spiritual journey
In many ways, the journey toward business success is a very spiritual one: facing our fears, believing in our gifts, trusting God to guide us, sharing a sacred part of our souls with our clients, learning to be brave every single day, remembering that we are merely channels for the amazing results we help manifest in the world.
Rather than looking for something outside of us to make our journey’s easier, we “get there” faster by asking that all-important question: Who must I become to complete this quest?