Category

Personal Development

5 Typical Concerns About Hiring A Coach

By | Business, Going for Promotion, Going it Alone, Personal Brand, Personal Development, Stepping Up | No Comments

Hiring a business or life coach is a big investment of your money and time. And it’s perfectly normal to feel concerned about taking the plunge and hiring a coach

I know because I’ve just been through this myself. In the last few months I’ve been looking to work with a mentor/coach to help me take my business to the next level.

I wanted to work with someone who was more than a ‘tea and sympathy’ coach but who could also give me practical business skills and mentoring.

Since qualifying as a coach myself I’ve worked with quite a few coaches and mentors over the last fifteen years. There have been times when I’ve tried to figure it out by myself and trundled along. Painfully slow and then only to find out there was a better, quicker way and that I’ve missed a trick.

One thing I’ve learnt time and time again is that when I’m at a growth point in my business or stuck with a personal block it’s a lot faster, quicker and better to work with the right coach. The return is nearly always greater than my investment. I say nearly because there have been two misses where the experience hasn’t worked out. Even so there’s always been something to learn.

My perfect coach

My superstar coaches have been high in emotional intelligence, intuitive, have practical business knowledge in an area I’m focusing on and offer hands on help. Not overly aggressive in how they sell (more on pushy sales later), straight talking, nurturing with a sense of fun. The ones that didn’t work out for me were too pragmatic, self-centred and aggressive.

Instead of building my confidence they had the reverse effect. I am tough enough on myself and more than happy to be held accountable and pushed out of my comfort zone but not in a patronising or talked down to way.

In fact my ideal business mentor/coach has a similar energy and style to how I mentor and coach.

Lots of great free advice

There’s information overload with ‘how to’ free webinars and events. And if you’re willing to spend time putting the work in and be open to a lot of ‘hit’ and ‘miss’ it’s possible to work out it out. In fact even if you are working with a coach there will be some areas where you’ll still need to figure it out yourself. But if you’re feeling stuck, clueless, coasting, overwhelmed, procrastinating then hiring right coach/mentor could be the solution.

Here are 5 of the most common concerns I hear from people who are thinking of working with a coach – and the advice I offer.

Isn’t a coach just a substitute for a good friend?

If you’re lucky friends and family can be an amazing support system. But they see you through a pre-judged biased lens. Based wholly on their emotional investment in your relationship and the dynamics of your bond.

Subconsciously friends and family most likely don’t want you to change too much as it would affect the relationship. How would your best friend really feel if you became a multi-millionaire?

They will have pre-judgements about you and their advice will never be 100% impartial. Even with my fourteen years of experience I have learnt the hard way never to coach family and friends – it just doesn’t work.

I can coach myself by reading lots of personal development books 

As a reformed self-help book junkie I have read many that have been life changing. A great book will tweak your self-development and take you forward. I remember a friend who broke her bad boyfriend cycle overnight by reading, ‘He’s just not that into you’, Behrendt and Tuccillo. The problem is she broke the cycle but has never dated since. Which takes me to the next point.

But what happens when you hit an unconscious emotional block or a fear? Or hit a wall leaving you with self-doubt? Or need some feedback or want to brainstorm some ideas? That’s where the coach will step in and keep you moving forward, supporting you to reach your dream goals.

I need more than ‘tea and sympathy’ coaching

I agree. There are different types of coaches out there. I’m a practical person and like to get results fast so always work with coaches that are mentors too. My first amazing coach while I was still working in Tech but was figuring out my exit strategy in 2004 was an ex-journalist. The reason I chose to work with her was because I also wanted to learn about pitching myself to the press and build relationships with journalists. It worked!

How much should I pay for a coach?

I don’t believe in getting into huge amounts of debt to work with a coach. There are lots of people who have taken eye watering loans to work with high flying coaches and been very successful. But that’s a call you make.

Coaches can charge anything between £125 per session to £25,000 per day. It depends on where you are on your journey. If you want to play big then does it make sense to hire a coach who is playing small?

My rule of thumb is that the amount you pay for your coach should make your belly flip with a mix of excitement and some nervousness. Change never comes from living life in the safe zone. You have to take a leap of faith.

Personally, I hate being sold to and it’s a turn off. As I worked around sales in my Tech career I know all the tricks of getting a client to say ‘yes’. One of the coaches I decided to say ‘no’ to was charging an eye watering amount – enough to replace my old sporty Celica or take several 5 star holidays in one year. It was when she suggested I was obviously not ready to “Play big” that her desperation made me feel very uncomfortable. Actually, it wasn’t the amount I was saying to ‘No’ to but her approach had made me lose trust.

Another check before you hire someone is to see if you can see them in action. I run very affordable workshops and regular free webinars. Word of mouth is great too but coaching is so personal that someone who suits your friend may not work for you.

Most coaches will do a free getting to know you call. Having said that the coach I signed up to recently didn’t but I’d seen her speak and and she felt just right for me.

I don’t feel comfortable sharing my personal life with a coach

You don’t have to share anything about your personal life you don’t want to. But in my experience if you are working with the right coach the desire to want to open up will naturally surface in your own time. Even so what you share is up to you. Coaching is a safe place to show up with our fears and vulnerabilities and work on them so you can live the life of your dreams. Coming from a place of strength.

Email me: salma@salmashah.com if you are interested in a ‘getting to know you coaching call’. 

 

Why You Should Start Blogging

By | Business, Going for Promotion, Going it Alone, Personal Brand, Personal Brand, Personal Development, Stepping Out, Stepping Up, Uncategorized | No Comments

 

Does the thought of starting a blog cross you mind but it just feels too technical and complicated so you put off doing anything at all.

If you want to get noticed, be seen and get your message out there, one way is to start a blog. You don’t have to be massively technical as there’s lots of advice. Just google or search on YouTube.

Before you jump into starting a blog its worth taking a step back and asking yourself why you want to blog?. If its just about getting your voice out there, there are other means ways such as; podcasting, tweeting, instagram stories, Facebook live, vlogging.

Assuming for now its blogging;

What’s your why?

  1. Earn money from blogging. Do you want to be a full-time blogger and earn make money from affiliates and sponsored posts? There’s an army of full-time and part-time mummy bloggers, travel bloggers and fashion bloggers etc. doing really well.
  2. You don’t have an exact long term plan but just want to get your message out there and start building your profile. It’s perfectly ok to have this approach too especially as some of the best known blogs started this way.
  3. It’s a way to get more publicity for your business, attract clients and build a community.

 

3 Very Simple Technical Steps To Start a Blog

 

  1. You will needs a platform. I did my research and chose WordPress for my blogging platform as it’s more flexible than free ones. I love things to look nice but don’t have the time or skills to create a pretty blog. If that’s you find someone to help you with creating the initial look and feel HOWEVER then I strongly suggest you learn how to add posts and make changes yourself. You need to be updating content on a regular basis for google to rank you in the first one or two pages.
  2. Choose a domain name. Many coaches, therapists, solo-preneurs as I did initially hide behind the business name. The reality is clients will remember your name first and then your business name so you may as well start with your name and then a tagname to describe what you do.
  3. A host is where your site sits lives on a server so others can find your site on the internet. I did my research and chose Siteground.

 

For More Inspiration

Read The Million Dollar Blog by Natasha Courtenay-Smith

 

Check out Seth Godin, he has one of the most popular blogs and believes blogging is about passion and not monetisation. Love his approach and clarity on his brand values and goals.

 

Copyblogger.com has lots of hints and tricks about writing content. Especially if you are new to writing and need some ideas to get going

 

To get started download the 5 Day Personal Brand Challenge to help you figure out your blogging voice.

 

 

 

 

 

Is Your Personal Brand Archetype The Girl Next Door or The Rebel

By | Going for Promotion, Going it Alone, Personal Brand, Personal Development, Stepping Out, Stepping Up | 2 Comments

A question I get asked a lot by clients when it comes to personal branding is how can I come across as a leader? With authority? As my BIG thing is authenticity vs spammy fake branding we usually spend time digging deeper into their personality, brand archetype and the natural vibe they give off.
The ‘girl next door’ brand can be a hugely successful brand, think Jennifer Aniston. As much the Ruler/Authoritarian brand we associate with someone like Angela Merkel.

But what are archetypes?
Often described as the ‘software’ of the soul they can give your brand a clear meaning and positioning. The idea of archetypes originates from the work of the well-known psychologist Carl Jung who described archetypes as universal collective patterns of the unconscious.
By understanding what your archetype is you can evoke the qualities of the archetype in your work and build a distinctive game changing personal brand. Madonna, with her changing hairstyles and lifestyles, is the eternal rebel. Oprah invokes the sage archetype as someone who, through her various media channels and products, is associated with wisdom.
Regardless of culture or language, Jung believed everyone shares and understands these themes because they are an undercurrent to all humanity. An archetype is sparked by your behaviour in your mind and the minds of others. Another way to look at archetypes is how we make others feel.
Why are we so loyal to a certain brand and immediately drawn to a new one?
It’s because subconsciously we have forged a connection with the brand’s archetype i.e. how that brand makes you feel.

By understanding your own archetype you can build trust with your audience, be distinctive and impact others.
We all evoke archetypes in our work all the times and it is possible to have more than one archetype. Most of us are likely to gravitate to just a few.

Here is a summary:
The Caregiver: Helping and protecting from harm

The Creator: The artist and dreamer

The Explorer: Seeker and wanderer

The Heroine: Warrior or fighter

The Innocent: The dreamer or romantic

The Jester: Plays the fool but has an important message

The Lover: Idealistic dreamer

The Magician: Transform situations

The Ordinary Girl: Connects with others

The Rebel: Rule breaker

The Ruler: Leader

The Sage: The teacher, helping others to understand

Kick start your personal brand with the 5 Day Personal Brand Challenge

 

 

20 Questions To Help You Find Your Calling in Life

By | Business, Personal Development | No Comments

 

When I was looking at leaving my corporate job I had no idea what my calling was or what kind of work I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It took a while to figure it out. I knew what I wanted in terms of the bigger life goals; family, nice lifestyle, security, health but was confused about my calling.

Now I know the wrapping around everything I do is about Teaching. Not the school teacher kind but teaching others how to find courage in themselves, make profound changes, thrive and live the life of their dreams. Sometimes I’m the sounding board that holds the mirror up other times I share tools and techniques of my experience. 

I just can’t help myself. Just the other week at the hairdressers I found myself probing the stylist if she had ever thought of starting her own salon and the next hour turned into a brainstorm session for her future mobile hairdressing business.  Looking back even when I was working in my tech career professionally my job was helping clients decide why our solution solved their big business challenges. With my peers I was the one who showed others how to find a recruiter, work on their personal brand, pick the right project. In one shape or another I’ve been teaching all my life.

Why is teaching my calling? Because my most heartfelt moments are when the lightbulb turns on and the spark of an idea becomes the start of something big.

Your calling doesn’t have to be your job, it’s your purpose. The thing you do that makes your life meaningful.  Ultimately you can design a life and career with your calling at its heart or if that feels too stretched right now you can bring in aspects of your calling into your work and life today.

Here are 20 questions that could help you work out your calling?

  1. What do people always come to you for?
  2. What do you find effortless?
  3. What did you love doing as a child?
  4. What were you good at in primary school?
  5. What did you want to be at 13/14?
  6. Did you ever have a student job, what did you do?
  7. What is the best job you ever had and why?
  8. What are your hobbies?
  9. What new things would you like to try?
  10. Is there a magazine or newspaper you always buy?
  11. What section do you read first?
  12. If you have an afternoon off what would you do to chill?
  13. Is there something that feels missing in your life?
  14. Whose life do you secretly admire?
  15. If you were offered a two week internship in your dream job what would you do?
  16. What would you do if money was no object?
  17. Where would your dream home be?
  18. Have you ever travelled to a new country and felt at home straightaway, if so where?
  19. What feels missing or incomplete in your life right now?
  20. Who was the best manager/leader you ever worked for and why?

 

 

Kickstart Your 5am Dream Business

By | Business, Personal Development, Stepping Out | No Comments

Do you dream of quitting your job? Following your heart and starting your own business, have the freedom of being your own boss and connecting again to your creative side. You’ve probably worked hard to get to where you are today. Years of studying, exams, long hours, managing work relationships and a salary which now gives you a fairly good lifestyle. But there is that heavy sinking feeling of gloom when you look around the office and picture yourself doing the same job with a slightly better title ten, twenty years down the line. So one plan is to coast along and have a more fulfilling hobby outside work. Thing is it’s not enough and you know it.

Then what’s stopping you? You are absolutely terrified of not having the security and stability of a regular income. What if the business failed? You may even have commitments, people who depend on your salary.  There are countless success stories of entrepreneurs quitting their jobs and going for it.  But you are not a risk taker and not that person. Having no money is way too scary.

So what if you could start your business first and then leave your job? How is that possible when you have a full-time job? The answer is 5am and here are seven steps to how and why this is one of the most powerful times of the day for manifesting that dream lifestyle.

  • 5am equals goal time. Got goals for your new business? Well, you should. And there’s no better time to review them and plan for them and do your goal tasks than first thing. You should have one major business goal you want to accomplish this week. And every morning, you should decide what one thing you can do today to move yourself further towards that goal. And then, if possible, do that first thing in the morning
  • Creativity guru Julia Cameron who wrote The Artists Way invented an exercise called ‘Morning Pages’ which involves writing three sides of papers of whatever is on your mind. Without analysing or being logical about it. Writing about whatever’s on your mind: petty worries, soaring plans, angry tirades. The pages must be done first thing as soon as you wake up at 5. “You’re trying to catch yourself before your ego’s defences are in place.”
  • If exercise is your thing combine with a business style podcast, you can get fit, burn calories and gain expert advice with ideas for your business. There are so many amazing podcast series out there full of great advice from PR for SMEs, setting up an online health business, earning passive income through e-courses.
  • Create a vision board. This is a fabulously fun activity and it is something you can keep working on. Browse through magazines, newspapers and the internet to find images that resonate with your dream lifestyle. Only use those images that make you feel excited. The pictures can be stuck on a thick paper or poster board. Scribble inspiring quotations and have a photo of yourself in the centre of the board too. 5am is the perfect time to work on this.
  • As you shift from an employee mindset to an entrepreneurial mindset connect with your emotional relationship with money. Do you believe you deserve to be rich? What is your money blueprint – is it healthy or do you self-sabotage. How can you attract money if you don’t respect what it can do for you. Get in touch with your relationship with money and if you have ‘money scarcity’ program start working on it now!
  • Hire a coach, someone who can support you emotionally and practically as you make this transition. There is no point having a grand plan when irrational fear and issues will self-sabotage. A good coach will also help you figure out your sweet spot, i.e. what your passionate about + what you can be the best in the world at + what can make the amount of money your desire. 5am is a great time to work on your coaching exercises.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin