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salmashah

Reimagining Coaching – Highlights of ICF Conference (2019)

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I have a confession to make.

It’s been several years since I’ve attended any big coaching conference. Client work has always taken priority and taking a day out of the business seems a luxury. In the past I’ve booked, paid up and then not shown up on the day as something ‘more;’ urgent always dives into the diary.

Only this year I was determined to attend. In the last few years I’ve increasingly felt rattled by what I’d describe as the curse of the coaching industry.

It’s the explosion of coaches bursting into the scene without any accreditation or qualification yet calling themselves coaches. Let me be clear an accreditation alone doesn’t make someone a great coach. Personality, life experiences, ability to create a safe space, genuine curiosity and high personal standards are just some of the characteristics shared by great coaches. However, someone who has invested in a quality coaching accreditation will have learnt about powerful principles, techniques and be bound by a code of ethics.

You only have to be in a room of accredited coaches to see why these qualification matters. The ICF (International Coach Federation) conference on May 7th, 2019 didn’t disappoint. The talks were informative and it was lovely to bump into old friends and meet people I’d gotten to know online in real life.

My favourite speaker at the event was Laura Watkins who has carried out extensive neuroscience research looking at how the brain performs complex decisions and manages change. She had so many value bombs in her talk. I particularly loved her explanation of different coaching tools and their role in coaching. It got me thinking of how I could shake up my coaching style once in a while and try something new.

Head tools : mindset, visualisation – life wheel or vision boards

Heart tools: understand emotions, emotional labelling

Breath : using breath to shape our state

Body: yoga, pilates, walking (ecotherapy)

Hand: journaling, expressive writing for mental and physical health

Laura had many easy tips for helping our clients to build a strong brain as they face challenges, change and uncertainty. Constantly adapting to thrive. Developing our brains for their competitive landscape. Having a fixed vs growth mindset as we have brain plasticity. Change may feel like hard work as there are already pathways there but it is possible.

Other interesting highlights from the conference:

  1. The growth areas for coaching are a) Internal coaching as large organisations are building their own pool of coaches. b) Team coaching and understanding the complexities of coaching a team
  2. Millennials expect a coaching style of management – personally I think this is an opportunity for all you millennial coaches out there
  3. Coaching apps will follow the lead of mindfulness apps
  4. 61% of organisations with coaching are high performers

A most productive day!

If you’re a coach longing to connect with a positive coaching community for accountability, support and a splash of humour then do join my FB community

How To Choose The Best Coach For You?

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What kind of Coach Archetype are you drawn to?

Several years ago I got hired by a top silicon valley tech companies to coach one of their senior rising stars. My client was a super bright, go getting, emotionally intelligent, academically brilliant, charismatic, funny, confident and a juggernaut fireball of energy. She was on the rise to the top. Her shrewd manager spotted her potential was way beyond her current role.

I’d been coaching for about eight years so considered myself experienced. I remember during the first coaching session with this client. It stirred my inaugural ‘imposter syndrome’ voice. Surely she’d figure out I wasn’t as smart as she is. Or maybe after the first session she’d say there had been a mistake and didn’t want to work with me after all. Actually the coaching session was incredible and until today we have in one form or other since continued working together. This was  back in 2012. In the last seven years its been a pleasure to watch her scale the heights to senior global VP roles. She has recommended and hired me to work with her senior equally smart, ambitious and driven teams.

So why did I have my imposter syndrome moment?

On hindsight I had an image and a limiting belief of what an executive coach should look like and how they behave. A ball breaking, kickass, shouty type…i.e. nothing like me.

Looking back as an executive coach this led me to ask myself the question why these confident, ambitious and driven clients wanted to keep working with me? My archetype is the Mystic (intuitive, think Steve Jobs, not woo woo!) and what came apparent once I’d taken my own medicine on my imposter syndrome was that what these high flyers were drawn to was the safe space I was creating for them. Helping them to connect with their deeper authentic selves to survive and thrive in their competitive landscape.

What kind of coach is the best for you?

Assuming all is equal it’s about how they make you feel? Its taken me a while and when I’ve hired coaches that haven’t worked out. I’ve realised that I’m drawn to smart, ambitious coaches who are also nurturing and intuitive. I don’t respond at all well to the kickass, shouty types at all.

 

How do you need to feel during your coaching experience?

Transformation (Mystic)

Challenged (Maverick)

Motivated (Queen)

Joyful (Jester)

Nurtured (Carer)

Healed (Sage)

Connected (Girl Next Door)

Inspired (Challenger)

Adventurous (Seeker)

Creative (Artist)

Passionate (Siren)

Hopeful (Princess)

Take the Archetype Quiz to discover your super power archetype

 

 

 

 

 

How to Design The Perfect Website For Your Coaching Business

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Are you too ashamed, too embarrassed to send people to your website? Worse case do you have a guilty gut feeling that you’re losing business once potential clients do land on your home page.

Often and for very valid reasons the advice is not to spend thousands on your website when you’re just starting off and instead focus on getting out there and doing the work. Plus having just spent a small fortune on your coaching qualifications this advice is just what you wanted to hear.

This I agree with to some degree as it makes perfect practical sense. As a coach you will continue to develop and grow way beyond who you were during accreditation. You will evolve into your business and your coaching ‘magic’ which I also like to describe as your ‘genius’ or ‘gift’ will reveal itself as you hone your coaching skills over time.

But off the go you needed something and this is where other halves who like tinkering with tech can come in handy or well-meaning friend offering to knock one up for you as cheap as chips. The end website is enough to get by and after all it’s a temporary solution. Oh and to be on the safe side you offer life coaching, executive coaching, mindset coaching, stress management and career coaching.

Months and in some cases the years roll forward and what was once a temporary portakabin for your business has been the permanent hideous home for too long.

Tips on Designing and Building Your Perfect Website (Without Spending a Fortune?)

1.Your website is your elevator pitch – keep it simple

2.Does your website pass the stroll and fold test?

Picture yourself strolling past a newspaper stand. How do you choose which paper to pick up, read and buy. What grabs your attention is the first half of the folded newspaper. The headline and the picture.

3.Keep it bold and short. The above the fold of your website needs to have a strong image or video and a bold  statement that speaks loudly to your ideal client AND a very clear call to action.The image/video and text need             to do one of the following:

Aspirational Identity

 

 

Promise to solve a problem

 

 

   Get straight to the point, brief, punchy and relevant

 

  1. The call to action. This could be a free download, invitation to a workshop, a quiz? Choose something that’s too good to resist.

5. People are scanners not readers. Have as few words as possible on the top half of the website. As you work                down the page have more words (not too many) and replace as many words as possible with images.

Summary of Your Winning Website Formula  – say it in less than 10 sentences

Step One

Have them at the first hello

Header: Aspirational identity OR a promise to solve their problem

Include a clear (CTA) call to action

Step Two

Be their guide

Show the reader you understand their problem

Another (CTA) Call to action

Step Three

Work with me

Point them towards your offers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Four

About Me (optional)

Tell them enough to hook and invite them to find out more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Five

Customer testimonials and social proof

 

 

 

 

Step Six

Get some google love. Google automatically gives more authority to posts linked directly from your homepage. By switching to a page highlighting your most important blog(s) this will lead to a big increase in their search engine rankings.

You don’t need to have all six steps however steps one and two are non-negotiable and can be merged together. As long as they are above the fold. The secret to a winning website is ‘branding your genius’, it’s the words and images which speak to your ideal audience about who you are: your personal brand, psychological archetype and your values.

Does it ever feel as if you’re always in a hurry?

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The real driver to become a coach was the dream of work/life balance and although you have more flexibility you find yourself working around the clock. Balancing the time between, delivering coaching, running workshops, designing and creating material…plus getting new clients and marketing no wonder life feel like a complete hurry wagon. How can you stop hurrying and start loving your life and being more spontaneous?


Explaining what this actual means, recognising the signs and how you can overcome it.

Are you somebody who sometimes feels that you’re missing out on the bigger picture?

Are you someone that thrives on deadlines, who talks fast and eats fast?

Do you get impatient with slow people, constantly checking the time throughout the day – you love juggling and get lots of things done.

Are you someone who sits down at night and feels really guilty?

We tend to push everybody along so that they get stressed out by being around us. Do you recognise this in yourself?

This is called a hurry-up driver.

What is a Hurry Up Driver?

This is their personality and it’s how they see the world., it’s pretty much routed in your childhood. Once we peel back the layers we discover that we aren’t hurrying up because we wanted to get something out of it, it’s not the event it’s the unconscious internal pressure to do things in a certain way so that you feel OK and to satisfy a need to feel OK about yourself.

This hurry up can be positive it can get stuff done it can help you be efficient but the downside if you’re hurrying all the time you can get anxious stressed out, tired but wired. If you are constantly on the go you get health implications. Eventually our bodies will say enough is enough and we can’t take anymore.

Rather than have this need to feel OK met by hurrying up, is there another way you can feel OK? In know as a coach balance is front of mind but do you practice what you preach….?

Some suggestions are: –

  • Take emails off your phone. You can still do your emails later and the world doesn’t stop. The plus side instead of looking at emails you can read a book or watch the world go by.
  • Leave your phone at home! No texting, no messaging and time seems to slow down. Be in the moment – leave the phone at home turn it off, turn social media off your phone, turn notifications off. You can catch up later.

Which habits do you have that you can replace?

Recognise in yourself when you get into the hurry-up mode. There is no need to have hurry up on a weekend with the family. When you feel this creeping in, say “Its OK not to hurry all the time” out loud and it catches you and makes you stop?

Slow down & stop, get mindful about that feeling when it happens and become more conscious about it.

  • Take a different route home
    • Get off at an earlier stop
    • Walk in a different direction and get curious about the environment.
    • Create situations which allow you to stop and slow down.
    • Journaling;
    • Meditation,
    • Mindfully taking a walk.It is OK to take your time! It is OK for you not to hurry and its ok for those around you to take their time, and its OK for those around you to not always have to rush.Have you taken away anything this weekend that will make you implement some changes in your life to make you slow down and be more spontaneous!

Staying sane and standing out as a coach in a very noisy space

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I confess, although I totally believe and teach clients about personal branding and self-marketing, as a coach with 16 years’ experience of running my business I have days when I question if I’m visible enough or am I articulating clearly enough what I stand for.

Most of my friends, ex-colleagues, acquaintances are on Linked In and I would be lying if I said I’ve never give a single thought to who will come across my post and comments. The majority of my personal network are generation X ‘lurkers’, and it’s usually over a coffee or catch up I get the twinkle eyed comment that they’ve noticed I’m online quite a bit.

When I first jumped online properly i.e. all feet in I remember agonising for hours about their invisible presence but today I don’t give it a second thought and instead encourage my lovely lurker friends to come out of their caves and engage.

Very few of us are completely Teflon to the opinion of others, we should be but as humans we are wired to crave acceptance and wanting to fit into our communities. Therefore, not surprising deliberately sticking out and being different doesn’t feel easy.

This week when once again one of my brilliant clients who has a fantastic niche and a unique fabulous offering emailed me to say she felt she was drowning in the competitive tsunami of social media and struggling to see how she can possibly be visible in a very noisy space.

How to stand out?

I was reminded of one my favourite marketing books ‘This is Marketing’ by Seth Godin. Especially the chapter on ‘Trust and Tension Create Forward Motion’. It’s all about how you can with integrity change the conversation around your area of expertise. What will you say or do to give the market a jolt?

From my own experience the coaching landscape has changed considerably over the last decade. In the last few years I’ve become very clear that I just wanted to work with accredited coaches. A qualification doesn’t make someone an expert but it does show a level of commitment to the profession.

Coaches that have invested in a deeper learning experience with a responsibility for their own development. Some of who are now working with ‘C’ level executives and senior leadership also committed to their growth to create resilient and compassionate work places. There were many reasons behind this but primarily I know who I serve the best.

If you want to build a successful coaching business a critical starting point is understanding what’s really driving your personal story and what will help your clients to buy into you. Your personal story doesn’t just have to be one of drama and heartache. One client as a child had a passion for board games and now her executive coaching workshops have a ‘game’ element. This golden thread gives her personal brand that extra punch.

People buy into how you make them feel. If you could have lunch with Tony Robbins or Oprah Winfrey. Who would you choose? I’m guessing once you’ve weighed up the pros and cons your choice will be driven by a feeling. In the same way be mindful of how you make people feel consciously and unconsciously. Take my archetype quiz to discover how you make people feel at your best.

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’. 

 

Mastering The Money Mindset

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I don’t typically write book reviews for my blog but I really wanted to share my thoughts on YOU are a BADASS at MAKING MONEY by Jen Sincero. Don’t let the title put you off, especially if the word BADASS feels too gimmicky as it did for me.

The book pitches itself as ‘master the mindset of wealth’ and ‘a life-changing guide to making the kind of money you’ve only ever dreamed of. I first heard about this book through a facebook group community who were raving about it and so decided to check out what all the fuss was about. Two clicks in Amazon and it arrived a day later.

Jen had me at the introduction with the quote, “Have you been brave enough to read this book in public, I wonder? With the title in full view”. She’s right I probably wouldn’t have. For most of us talking about money is about as comfortable as kissing our grumpy 90 years old aunt with halitosis. Even writing this blog about money feels slightly icky as its personal.

What I loved about this book is that it takes a deep dive into the psychology of our relationship with money and helps to reframe conscious and unconscious fears and beliefs that are leaving you stuck. Jen says its ok to admit that money does make you happy. It’s not money itself but what money brings you – choices, flexibility and freedom.

My own relationship with money has been an interesting journey. When I made the leap from corporate life to working for myself in 2006 I did a lot of work around my money beliefs, security etc. At that time (but no longer) I wasn’t a natural risk taker so making this leap was really tough. I was leaving behind a well-paid career and all the trimmings. Doubly hard as I’m not from a family of entrepreneurs in fact the opposite.


Then with the 2008 markets crash overnight lots of contracts came undone and at the time I  hadn’t been self-employed for too long and was working mostly with Financial Services clients. I remember at one point not even treating myself to a cappuccino or Grazia. It wasn’t that I couldn’t afford them it was because I was in a grossly irrational and fearful place of money running out forever and ending up destitute.

Once I started to read You are a Badass at Making Money I ended up reading until 1am in the morning because I just didn’t want to stop. The section on Have an “Us” Talk with Money was a revelation. My deep down unconscious money blueprint from my parents was one of fearful of not having enough and losing it all. On the surface I’m pretty comfortable treating myself and sharing with others what I have but that feeling of clinginess is always eating way. And as we all know the more we cling on to a person or a relationship the less likely we are to have an abundance or for it to stay.

What I loved about this book is it’s not your typical guide to getting rich by savings and investments. Jen’s writing style is conversational and motivational which isn’t surprising as she’s a coach too. She writes about money having an energy and how we all have a personal relationship with money.  Tapping into our natural ability to get rich and unblocking the blocks to what holds us back from making more money.

If you would like to hear Jen speak you meet her over Sunday lunch at Babington House on Sunday, 21st May, 2017.   Or visit her website

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.

 

 

 

 

 

7 Lessons I Learnt Working For Myself

By | Going it Alone, Personal Brand, Stepping Out | No Comments

 

As more and more of us are tempted by the lure of working for ourselves and with ‘plug-and-play’ technology the reality is you no longer need huge piles of cash to start a business. According to the Harvard Business Review the number of self-employed will rise to 23 million in 2017.

I was never lured by the corner cubicle and only flirted with the idea of leaning in for a fleeting moment. Once I’d made the leap to work for myself not for one second have I been tempted to go back to being an employee. I’m officially and happily unemployable. However, the reality of self-employment has been an emotional rollercoaster ride of stress, self-doubt and sleepless nights.

Working for myself has been the equivalent of being in therapy – in a good way. Its forced me to look at and work on myself from every perceivable angle. By far the biggest lessons came from the mistakes and hiccups along the way.

Taking rejection personally

The reality is at the beginning you will get more no’s and less yes’s. One that sticks out was a verbal ‘yes’ from a major TV channel to pilot one of my workshops. I remember leaving their offices feeling elated and texting or calling just about everyone I knew by the time I’d reached the tube station. Despite chasing up for several weeks it came to nothing, I was crushed for months. Only to find out that the person who had said yes had resigned a few weeks later and had made me a promise they couldn’t deliver on.

A ‘no’ can happen for all sorts of reasons. Today I just treat it as feedback and either tweak my offering or just move on very quickly.  If someone unsubscribes from my newsletter that’s good it means they are not the right audience for me but it also means that the other 99% who don’t unsubscribe are interested and vested in hearing from me.

Perfectionism

According to Nicola Mendelsohn Facebook’s VP for Europe ‘Done is better than perfect”.  I couldn’t agree more. The sweeping blitz of social media is a huge opportunity to build your business. The biggest challenge I’ve had is waiting to post and share things until everything looked perfect. The perfect tweet, Instagram picture, blog, Snapchat, Facebook etc. This for a long time translated into nothing happening at all.

 

Taking the plunge has meant saying no to all-round perfection and being very selective and focusing. With social media I just focus on two or three channels and have a system. On Facebook rather than create a fresh new perfect post each time I’ve created a process. I use the same graphics and headings every week such as Monday Motivation, Soulful Sunday, Shout Out Friday and vary the content each time.

But most crucially for me perfection isn’t just about the perfect image but the values and message behind what I am expressing with my audience.  To quote Paul Klee “One eye sees, the other feels”.

Impatient

It is so easy to feel things are moving too slowly because they always do.  I have a love hate relationship with my impatient side. My love for being impatient means that I make things happen quickly and get on with it. The down side is when things happen too slowly which they always do and then the anxiety and stress kicks in. Especially when you look around and have that FOMO (fear on missing out) feeling too. Who knows how long someone has been working away to get to there?  And it’s a complete waste of energy to compare yourself to others anyway. One way to keep this in check is to compare where you were a year ago, six months ago and three months ago and then celebrate your progress and the small wins.

Feeling isolated and not sharing

Working for yourself can soon become a lonely experience.  I know to my detriment I can so easily become absorbed with working on my business that I start refusing all invitations, going to the gym and even meeting friends. Not great as I’m a bit extrovert (ish) and then end up feeling alone and disconnected.

My saviour has been having a ‘tribe’ or groups that I trust and feel connected with that serves more than one purpose. This has really worked for me and has been life changing.  The community is a great place to dip in with the banter, learn from each other and share wins.

As I have little time to network I’ve initially focused on building relationships online before meeting up. Another online community to support others who are in the same boat is ‘The Next Chapter Work and Life Hub’.

Not working on raising your profile and missing out on opportunities

It’s taken years for me to put my name in front of my business. Waiting for the right time to do it; until the book is written, the perfect website, more testimonials, landing the celebrity endorsement? A huge mistake to not have done this years ago.

Rather than wait for those perfect moments you have to create them by just doing it. It will never be a perfect time to pitch an idea, speak at an event or make a high profile connection with a thought leader. Instead priortise what you stand for, who your audience is and your ultimate visibility goal. Working on building an authentic personal brand is an ongoing process. Your personal brand isn’t just what people see but how you make them feel. It’s about your core values. To learn more take the 5 day Personal brand challenge.

 

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