Networking Is One Letter Away From Not Working Part 1 The Origin of the Word “Network”

Networking is something all of us do in one way or another.  It could be with business associates, the checker at the grocery store and the list goes on and on.  When collaborating with small businesses as a business coach in The Woodlands one of the things that is brought up is networking.

Specifically, the owner wants to know if he or she needs to do it.  And, if it is needed, how to be most effective in going about it.  Yet, before we get into whether or not to network, let’s take a look in this post as to the origins of the word networking. Read more

Self-Improvement Business Coaching

Self-improvement business coaching is a phrase that has universal application. Regardless of the type of business coaching, you are engaged in, the ultimate by-product of your coach’s work and your efforts are self-improvement in some manner or fashion.

But, to be more specific, and to give you some self-improvement tips for success, when it comes to business coaching, finding a business coach that has the capacity to blend business know-how with self-improvement can, in the right situation, open up possibilities for you that you never knew existed.

If you think about it, what you want in business and life will seldom exceed your self-improvement. Self-improvement business coaching has its foundation built on this concept. If you can improve yourself to become more, only then will you attract more and hold onto many of the good things business and life have to offer.

When looking for self-improvement companies in Houston, the area I live and work in, you will find many options. Many of them focus strictly on the individual. And, that is an excellent place to start. Some are focused more on the business side of things with the result being that you will experience self-improvement as your business grows. Others focus more on self-improvement business coaching.  They look at what the individual has to become in order to achieve the desired results.  In some shape or form, all of them offer the opportunity for self-improvement.

When interviewing potential coaches or self-improvement companies in Houston, look for those where you not only see the logic of what they want you to engage in but where you also feel in alignment with what is being proposed. There are many choices and options when it comes to self-improvement companies in Houston.

All of them offer self-improvement business coaching. Interview them. And as a general recommendation, there are definitely exceptions, don’t make an immediate decision. Ponder what you wish to accomplish in the short-term and over a longer period of time. When you do, you increase the odds of making a good decision for you, your business and your life.

Self-Improvement Companies In Houston

When looking for self-improvement companies in Houston, the area I live and work in, you will find many options.  Many of them focus strictly on the individual.  And, that is an excellent place to start.  Some are focused more on the business side of things with the result being that you will experience self-improvement as your business grows.

Others focus more on self-improvement business coaching.  They look at what the individual has to become in order to achieve the desired results.  In some shape or form, all of them offer the opportunity for self-improvement.

The first type of self-improvement company or coach I described will focus almost strictly on the individual.  Very often you will find people who are life coaches.  A life coach is someone who can support you in overcoming situations in your life that could definitely be impeding your progress in other areas.

When looking at self-improvement companies in Houston, the second type will initially focus on business challenges where you may feel stuck or overwhelmed or just need a trusted sounding board and migrate into the personal side.

There are many life coaches and self-improvement companies in Houston.  The challenging part for the prospect is that there are so many different approaches that it can be a challenge to know what you may be receiving if you were to hire a life coach or a self-improvement company.  That is why you must take the time and interview prospective coaches and self-improvement companies.

When interviewing potential coaches or self-improvement companies in Houston, look for those where you not only see the logic of what they want you to engage in but where you also feel in alignment with what is being proposed.  There are many choices and options when it comes to self-improvement companies in Houston.

In the end, and this is important to remember, all business or life coaching or working with a self-improvement company is personal.  Select the one you feel most comfortable with personally.  That is a good place to start.  You may change later on.  That happens.

The important thing is that if you are considering self-improvement companies in Houston or life coaches is to get started on the process.  One of the key things in self-improvement is to get started.

It is the start that stops most people in many things in business and life.  Get started.  That is the first step to your future success.

Business Coaching In Houston

Today there are a multitude of options when it comes to business coaching in Houston.  And, at the very least, that can bring confusion for those who are seeking out business coaching in Houston. The real problem, if you are looking for business coaching in Houston is:  Who do I hire and partner with?

To find the best business coach ask yourself one question:

  1. What is the real problem that I have?
  2. What are the consequences of not solving the problem?
  3. And, if I am presented with a solution, will I be open to utilizing it?

Mentally and emotionally you must be in the right mindset for coaching to work.  Depending on who you hire and what you wish to accomplish plan to carve out anywhere from 2 to 8 hours a month.  You will have to be committed to fitting coaching into your schedule.  Also, you are very likely going to have assignments for which you will be held accountable.

So, once you are clear on the above you are ready to pursue finding a business coach.  Fortunately, in Houston there are many options.  How well you interview your prospects for a business coach and how well they interview you will determine whether or not you decide to collaborate together.

When it comes to business coaching in Houston you have two broad areas to choose from.  You have the “program” business coaches who espouse and support programs with which they are affiliated.  Some examples are the John Maxwell coaches, Action Coach, Growth Coach and Focal Point Coaching.  They offer great value for those where it is the right fit.

The second area of business coaching in Houston are the independent business coaches.  They may be able to more specifically cater to a particular area of need.  For example, you may have an independent business coach that specializes in start-ups.  Or another may have great marketing expertise.  Once again, they offer great value if they are the right fit.

In my practice, as an independent business coach, I end up collaborating with 2 of every 10 people I interview.  Everyone I interview is fascinating in their own way.  Yet, even if there is an immediate connection, I am always looking strategically to see if there is a long-term fit.  Why?  I have discovered over the last 14 years that the best results for the client come over a period of time and not in one or two meetings.

I am not the business coach for everyone.  As you interview business coaches and you get the feeling that they see themselves as the business coach for everyone I would definitely hit the pause button and ask more questions.  Connection is important.  Yet the ability to collaborate over a period of time will increase the odds of success.

As you look at business coaching in Houston, know that the right coach for you is out there.  Interview your business coaching candidates. Reflect on what you hear, what you see and what you feel.  When you do, you will more than likely make the right decision in hiring a business coach.

Definitions: Part 6-What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

In the last post we looked at the terms symptoms, motivation and vision. When understood all three can provide the fuel for the engine of your self-improvement. In this post, we will look at tolerations, tolerations, strategy, strategize and attraction.These four terms will conclude our discussion on definitions that are central to the success of a personal business coach or a personal development coach and his or her client.

Tolerations:This, in my opinion, is a big one. All of us have things we tolerate. Over the years, in my life and the lives of others I have worked with I have seen the negative effect of tolerations.

To tolerate means to allow the existence of something, to permit or endure something, to put up with something. This implies that the something (or someone) is less than desirable, less than the ideal, and tends to drain a person’s energy. Let me add, that tolerations will also take you off course and can cause you to lose your focus.

A toleration is a situation, a condition, an influence of any kind that is allowed to exist, is put up with, that is less than ideal. A toleration is often a hindering influence.

Tolerations must be vigilantly managed. In fact, tolerations are like weeds. They must be yanked out at the roots. If you have a client with some serious tolerations it is going to be extremely challenging to find a good path to self-improvement.

Tolerations can sabotage the best of self-improvement business coaching. Wherever possible, get rid of your tolerations.
Strategy: A strategy is simply a plan or a method for achieving a specific goal. Referring back to the definition of vision which is about your goals for the future, a strategy creates a road to accomplish your goals.

A strategy can be anything from a way to accomplish a simple task to a way to live life more fully. Strategies generally have several ways they identify and track the goal-seeking process. A good strategy is one that makes use of all available resources.

As a personal business coach finding or discovering a workable strategy for your client is essential for his or her success. This leads us to the next term that I will define.

Strategizing: To develop a strategy, plan, or method for achieving goals. To be of value to your clients as a personal development business coach you must be strategizing with them. And once you have a strategy, continuously review it and alter it as progress is made and circumstances change.

Attraction: The last term we will define is attraction. Attraction is to be drawn to something. Or, I might add, to have something drawn to you. In coaching, attraction is the power and ability to draw people or circumstances to oneself. Being open to acting on one’s intuition allows a person to attract the right clients for the right fit. Likewise, if you are looking for a coach attraction, acting on your intuition will guide you to selecting a coach who is more in alignment with who you are and what you wish to accomplish.

Definitions: Part 4-What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

In the last post we looked at the terms intuition, discern, solutions and environment and their definitions. In this post, we will look at shifts, leaps and strengths.All the terms we have addressed and defined so far are important. As a personal business coach or a personal development business coach I enjoy seeing shifts and leaps in my clients’ businesses and lives. And, for these shifts and leaps to occur, you must have strengths. So, let’s get started with the first term, shifts.

Shifts:Literally, a shift is a transfer from one place or position to another and includes a change, exchange, or substitution of something. It means to put something aside, such as a concept or understanding, and replace it with another. A shift can be systematic, following an established path of growth, or it can happen suddenly. Shifts are observable in resulting behaviors.

For example, in my personal business coach practice I had a client who was very talented, very bright and extremely impatient. You probably have already guessed that his impatience would end up sabotaging his talent and intellect. You are right. This was exactly what would happen. He would be overlooked for promotions because he was seen as reactionary with some mild displays of temper.

In his youth, he was a boxer. I asked him how he liked to box. He said he always liked to see what the other person was doing and react to it. He liked to be a counter puncher. He was very quick with great reflexes. I asked him if that was successful.

He said that in the beginning it was. Yet, as the competition improved he would lose because he would instinctively react, and everyone knew what his pattern was, so they were ready for him. Interestingly, everyone at work knew what his patterns as a manager were. They knew how he would react.

And very often, after he reacted, he would regret his behavior. We came up with a shift in thinking. Instead of reacting the next time someone says or does something, relax for a moment or a few minutes and then choose your response. Over time he changed from a react and respond leader to a relax and respond leader. This was huge shift. The benefit was that over time he became better liked and more trusted. Ultimately, he became the senior vice president of operations for the international company he was working for. To this day he is grateful for his shift from react and respond to relax and respond. Shifts will absolutely necessary to continuing self-improvement.

Leaps: To leap is to literally “spring” from one point or position to another. It involves jumping or springing over something to get to another place. In personal development business coaching, a leap is sudden and quick, not following a prescribed pattern of growth, and is usually accompanies with dramatic evidence of the leap. Leaps can be made over short or extensive distances. Leaping is the most obvious of all forms of client development that I have observed as a personal business coach. I have seen this in clients in many areas. It is a great reward as a coach to see clients make leaps in self-improvement that take their businesses and lives to a higher level.

Strengths: Literally, strength is the quality or state of being strong, an intellectual or moral force, a source of power, an attribute, or something with great value. Strengths are a collection of attributes, those things that a person excels at doing or has natural ability for. Strengths can be physical, emotional, or spiritual; they are values, skills, talents, attitudes, relationships, resources, and other sources of power, sustenance, encouragement, and satisfaction.

In self-improvement business coaching, identifying a client’s strengths is critical. Ultimately, for the client to be at his best and to give the most of himself he must be spending a large part of his time in his areas of strength.

When clients do not spend time in the areas of their strengths they will feel stuck, overwhelmed and are unlikely to improve. As a personal development business coach, I must identify a client’s strengths and guide them to developing a business and life around them. Yes, it is important to be aware of our weaknesses and to have a way to address them.

Yet, the greatest advances in self-improvement take place when we identify our strengths and design our businesses and lives to allow us to focus on them. When we do, this is a shift in and of itself. And when this shift is made, it leads to more shifts and ultimately leaps for the client to clear the way to greater self-improvement and creating the business and life he or she desires.

Definitions: What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

To better understand self-improvement coaching and what a personal business coach does, or as they are also called, personal development business coaches, I find that a great deal of the mystery around coaching can be taken away when we understand some key terms and how they are defined.

Self-improvement does not happen by itself.  All of us can improve some without a focus.  We have to do that to live, let alone to survive.  Yet, to live a happier, more fulfilling and peaceful life it is important to understand the definitions of key words that are central to the overall theme of self-improvement business coaching. In a way, these words provide some key tips on self-improvement.

Personal Foundation:  This is a structural basis to support an individual in living an exceptional life. The personal foundation is comprised of three elements:  the Who, the What, and the How.  Your personal foundation will determine where and how far you can go in your self-improvement.  The good news is that your personal foundation can be made stronger.

Personal Growth/Development:  Personal growth and development is the overall process of evolving to fully express your purpose and values.

Self:  Our “self” is who we are versus the terms we use to label ourselves.  It is our distinct personality that creates our individuality.  We draw upon this self as we are called upon to respond to the world.

Integrity:  Integrity is a state of personal wholeness, well-being, and fulfillment—not something to achieve, but rather a statement of our being.  It is a reflection of who you are in any moment and is the dynamic relationship you maintain between purpose and path.  It is vigilant development, or continual adjustment, of the fit between our calling and our conduct that allows us to sustain a high level of integrity.  Integrity, in my opinion, is one the key words in guiding us to a better life.

Values:  Values are ideals that are personally important and meaningful for you and draw you forward.  Values are inherent in each person’s makeup; we all have them.  They are specific and individual, but people can share common values.  For example, people often value honesty, openness, and respect in a conversation.

It is important to know your values.  It is critical to know the values of those you associate with.  As a personal development business coach or when I am doing personal business coaching I strongly encourage my clients to know the values of those they associate with.

An example that comes to mind was a discussion I was in where the person was having a lot of relational disruption with a group of people who were, in his opinion, important to his business.  I asked him to articulate the values of the individuals in this group of people.  At first, he resisted.  He said, “They have good values.”  Yet as he explored it and spoke about the people it became obvious they all had the same values, but they were not his.  Interestingly, they were thieves of other people’s time and money.

The conclusion was that someone can tell you they have good values.  Yet, without a frame of reference we cannot know if they are good or not.  A group of thieves all have the same values.  And they think those are good values.  Always know the values of others.  What tips on self-improvement can we take away from this story?

Know your values.  Know the values of others.  When you do, you are less likely to put yourself in situations where you are compromising your values and your principles.  When you do compromise in those areas it diminishes your authenticity and your trust which leads us down a path to poorer relationships and more problems.

In self-improvement coaching, I always ask my clients to identify their values.  When you know your values, your self-improvement can rise to a higher level because you will make better decisions that will honor you and your gifts and talents.

In the next post we will continue with some more definitions to bring more clarity to your self-improvement.

What Are the Benefits of Working with a Personal Development Business Coach?

In a previous post, I talked about whether or not you are a candidate to work with a personal development business coach.  If you are ready to be held accountable, to collaborate and to co-create with another person, your personal development business coach, then you are quite possibly a good candidate for personal development, or as some call it, self-improvement coaching.

So, you are ready in all these areas.  You have started to look for a personal business coach.  How do you find a good self-improvement coaching?  Quite simply, find someone who understands that they are not the best coach for everyone.  This is critical.  Let me state that as for myself, I am definitely not the coach for everyone.  A good personal development business coach understands the value he can bring when he collaborates with others. And he is specific, not general in his approach.

For example, in my practice, I collaborate with only those people who are already successful in my facets of business and life, or who have been successful and are on their way back.  I have found that I work best with those types of clients.  I am better with those that have a sense of themselves, their strengths and their vulnerabilities. Find a coach who can specifically identify where they work best.  There is no right or wrong here.  There truly is a coach for everyone.

The challenge for you as a prospective client is to discover the best fit for you.  As your coach I should be providing you in each session tips on self-improvement.  For every ten people I interview for coaching I work with two or three.  I have a process that takes about four hours and about a week.  Both the prospective client and myself are determining together with guidelines and a process if we have the potential to be a good match.

During the qualifying process, the client or myself is free at any time to say, “I don’t think this is going to work.”  Very often, either the prospective client or myself will come to the realization that yes, coaching is needed, but that we aren’t a fit.  One way I go about doing that is offering my prospective client some tips on self-improvement.  If the prospect is excited about them and wants to take action, I know that the odds are more favorable for a good coaching relationship.

After all, when you seek self-improvement coaching, the personal relationship with your coach will determine not only determine your level of enthusiasm but what you are willing to undertake in order to accomplish your goals. If you see the benefits from the tips on self-improvement, but can’t see the relationship as a client, then it is time to step away before you get started.

Let’s say you have found your personal development business coach.  Now what?  You will start to develop a vision of the future and what you wish to accomplish.

  1.  You will determine your strengths because those are the areas where you can more quickly see personal growth and development in your business and your life.
  2.  You will discover how to strengthen your personal foundation. When you do, you can accomplish much more.
  3.  You will begin to understand the path or pathways that are most conducive to developing your personal foundation and subsequently yourself to take you on the path to accomplishing your vision.

These are three benefits you will see in self-improvement coaching and working with a personal development business coach.  There are many more.  The key is to start in these areas.  Do well in these areas.  When you do, you will increase the odds of your self-improvement taking you on a path to make your vision of the future a reality.

Are You Ready to Work with a Personal Business Coach?

Are you ready to work with a personal business coach?  Or, another way to say this is, are you going to be receptive to self-improvement business coaching?

Over many years of coaching I have observed that those who do well with my style of personal development business coaching, have a good personal foundation.  They have many things working for them.  They are now at a point where they want to take it to their business and life to the next level.

What is the next level, you ask?  It is a good question.  There are hundreds of paths to self-improvement and they all lead to the same place.  So, it really doesn’t matter which path you take.  What matters is that you take a path and commit to it.  That’s where I come in to support others in going on their chosen pathway.

I am not here to fix anyone.  I am not here to help anyone.  Yet, I am here to give others my unconditional support.  A fix it mentality in coaching or the “I am here to help” offering, for me, is starting from a negative.  The implication is that something is wrong.  The truth is there is something wrong, or that can be improved in all of us.  That includes myself.

To me, the best path for self-improvement business coaching has four key elements.

  1.  Unconditional support
  2.  Accountability for the things the client wants to be held accountable for
  3.  Collaboration:  This is not about me and you.  It is about us.
  4.  Co-creation of pathways to accelerate the process of the client’s successful

performance.

Now that I have listed the components for successful self-improvement business coaching I want to get back to the original question, “What is the next level?”

The next level for virtually everyone is greater peace of mind and happiness.  You may say, and rightly so, this doesn’t make sense.  Don’t most people want more success in their businesses and lives financially?  Yes, in a sense.  No one has ever hired me and said, “I want to earn less money and have a diminished lifestyle?  All of them would like to earn more, sometimes it is very little, sometimes it is a great deal more.  Yet, the one thing they almost always agree on is that they want a better lifestyle.

And a better lifestyle, which comprises your business and personal life comes from understanding who you are and what can bring you greater peace and happiness.  Very often, when we focus on what the ultimate goal is, greater peace and happiness, we end up doing things that improve our lives and lifestyle significantly in other areas.

Ultimately, if you are looking for a better lifestyle and identifying steps to accelerate the process of your successful performance, you are a good candidate for collaborating with a personal business coach.

What Is Your Lid?

John Maxwell, in his book, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, talks about the Law of the Lid. In short, the ceiling for your leadership ability will depend on the level of your personal development. All of the 21 Laws are interrelated. So a leadership experience may seem to lean more on one law than another but in truth, there are several laws at work at any one time.

In reflecting of the Law of the Lid and its relevance in my life I found my thoughts going back to when I was in Cub Scouts. I was eight or nine years old at the time. In my small town, we did not have a movie theater. The fund raiser for our Cub Scout pack was to sponsor a movie show in the high school gym. My hometown of Chappaqua, New York, which at the time had about 2,000 residents is quite hilly and the school district encompassed approximately nine square miles.

To sell tickets to the show, you had to go door to door between houses that could be up to a tenth of a mile or more apart from each other. Also, there were some elevation changes of up to 150 feet making the process of going door to door, even for a young boy, a rigorous physical challenge.

My mother and father were very supportive. That was good! I was excited about selling tickets but I had one problem. All my competition had bicycles. That was something that we could not afford. The good news was that if you sold the most tickets you won a brand new Schwinn 3 speed bike which at the time was the bike to have. Also, just for a historical context, this was not an era where parents drove their little Cub Scouts around to homes. As a kid you either walked or rode a bicycle.

Since I did not have a bike, I would have to walk door to door and it would take me much longer to reach people who, hopefully, had not already purchased tickets to the movie show. Also, my motivation to have a bike, and the Schwinn in particular, drove me to walk and walk and walk some more. On the weekends, I would start in the morning with a peanut butter sandwich my mother had packed and set off to see who I could sell tickets to.

This went on for several weekends. I walked as much as I could. I met many very nice people and in the process I got to know my hometown.

Then the big moment arrived. The movie was going to be shown at the high school gym and they would announce the top three finishers in ticket sales. When they called my name as the top ticket seller and the winner of the Schwinn bicycle I was stunned and elated. Also, I had doubled the ticket sales of the second and third place finishers, both of whom had bikes.

If I had put a lid on what I could accomplish because I did not have a bicycle, or thought that it wasn’t worth trying because it wasn’t fair that I had to walk, I never would have won the contest. Fortunately, at nine years old, I did not have the context to see that there could be a very real lid, no bicycle, on what I could accomplish. At nine, I did not understand the Law of the Lid. Yet, as I have gone through business and life, I am reminded that when I raise my lid more opportunity flows into my business and life. For greater success, raise your lid.