True story: I’ve worked with more than 80 coaches. (Not as a client. Sweet Kwanzaa-sauce. NOBODY needs that much coaching.)
I’ve written bios & manifestos & media kits & speaking gig run-downs & legal disclaimers & personal intros & networking scripts & mastermind invites & Twitter blurbettes for . . . Life coaches. Business coaches. Relationship, sensuality & intimacy coaches. Communication coaches. Social media coaches. Metaphysical coaches. Weight loss coaches. Parenting coaches. Athletic coaches. Martha Beck-certified Master coaches. Self-declared coaches. And every coachette in between.
I’d estimate I’ve spent about 1,000 hours interviewing, channeling & collaborating with coaches. Getting their soul’s work on (digital) paper. Mining for their power-gems. Sorting & sifting out their hopes, desires & refined philosophies.
And after 1,000 hours or so, you’re bound to pick up a few teachable tidbits. Unless you’re dead asleep.
Here’s what I’ve learned about life, the universe & everything (apologies to Douglas Adams) — from some of the finest & most devoted coaches in the industry. Soak it up.
1. It’s usually not what you think.
You think you want a quarter-million dollar book deal, a show on The Oprah Winfrey Network, a glam NYC agent & 10 million Twitter followers.
You might actually just want a word of approval from your mom. Or a humble but steady flow of clients, and every June & December off. Or a quaint home in Vermont, with your own maple grove. Or a dog. Or (gasp!) a lovely, lucrative JOB. With benefits.
The most obvious & shiny desire is often a decoy . . . for something simpler, quieter & more nourishing.
2. Except when it is.
And then sometimes, you really DO want a quarter-million dollar book deal, a show on The Oprah Winfrey Network, a glam NYC agent & 10 million Twitter followers. And that’s OK, too.
Go BIG, if big is what’s (genuinely) calling. Big is beautiful.
3. It’s all been done before.
News flash-o-la: you’re not going to be the first person on earth to write an e-book. Or launch a program. Or open a shop. Or read Tarot cards. Or teach a class on bicycle repair. Or screen-print a set of charmingly cheeky greeting cards. It’s ALL been done before.
But not — and this is important — in precisely the way that you’ll do it.
4. Except when it hasn’t.
Sometimes, you really are FIRST. First on the moon. First on the floor. First to leverage a new social media platform. First to hand-sew plush robot toys. First to sprinkle sea salt on caramel. First to think that thought.
Being first is a thrill. And if it happens once in your lifetime, you’re blessed. And brilliant.
Don’t grumble when others crush & swarm to follow in your footsteps. Handle your first-i-ness with grace. And move on.
5. Investments pave the way.
Remember Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity? “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
If you’re not seeing the results you want, you’ve got to change something — your daily routine, your diet, your marketing strategy, your hairstyle, your habits, your hardwired & negatory beliefs. Anything.
Changing your life means changing where & how you invest your resources — your time, your attention, your energy, and your money.
Change your investments. Create new results.
6. Devotion saves the day.
Sometimes, we invest & re-invest & re-invest — and still don’t receive the rewards we desperately crave.
DEVOTION — complete, unwavering commitment & love — is what carries us through the dry times, and keeps us anchored during the high times.
You’ve got to be madly, profusely, actively & unconditionally in LOVE with your work. Especially when it’s not going well.
7. Fear is the root of all stagnation.
Can’t get moving? Perpetually procrastinating? Diverting your energy? Stagnating? Blocked? Blue? Misaligned? If you peel back the psychological topography — of anyone, really — what you’ll find is a tender, tightly-coiled bud of fear.
Fear of investing, and not seeing any rewards (see #5). Fear of public shame. Fear of abandonment. Fear of poverty. Fear of the precise thing you (think) you want most (see #1).
Fear doesn’t like to be discovered & named. Because then it has to justify its existence. And it usually flunks the test.
8. Luck is no accident . . .
. . . and it’s magnetically drawn to DEVOTION (see #6).
Serendipity happens. Magic abounds. Allies are everywhere. Muses proliferate.
What better way to spend this magnificent & mysterious life?