Indecision: The Second Enemy From Within

Indecision is the second enemy or fear that comes from within. Success, in business and life, more often than not, is not as much about circumstances and things as it is about how we see ourselves.

Once again, just like the first enemy, indifference, in the previous post, there is a time where it is absolutely necessary to be indecisive. Yet, if you let indecision rule you, it creates a fear that will leave you out of more opportunities in business and life than you can imagine. In my coaching practice as a business coach in Woodlands and as a business coach in Houston I have observed the negative effects that the fear generated by indecision can cause. Read more

Sharing Vulnerability- Building a Winning Culture

Here’s another look at sharing vulnerability to build on the previous post. A winning culture starts inside of you. Then, in your business and relationships, you spread your beliefs about yourself, your world and most importantly how you care for others. Culture, in a business or in personal relationships, is defined by how you care for others.

One of the key components in building a winning culture with others is to create an atmosphere where you can share vulnerability. Sharing vulnerability is not easy for most people. If you share vulnerability you may say to someone, “I don’t know.” Or, “I need your help.” Another way to share vulnerability is to ask for someone’s opinion or expertise. You are not asking for direct help in this case. You want their opinion to help you gain clarity on something where you are stuck or confused. Read more

A Contest to Reveal Culture

In the last post I spoke about some of the foundational components to building a strong culture. It is necessary for people to feel safe and to believe they belong to something bigger than themselves. Also, for a culture to thrive it needs a clear mission, vision and an established purpose.

As a business coach in the Woodlands and as a business coach in Houston, a clear sense of purpose makes the possibilities for growth and advancement of an organization much clearer. Why? With clarity comes pointed and focused action. The individuals and teams who make up the culture have a clear purpose.

Several years ago, a designer and engineer, Peter Skillman, held a competition to find out the following: Why do certain groups add up to be greater than the sum of their parts, while others add up to be less?

To this end he assembled a series of four-person groups at three major universities and a few other places. He challenged each group to build the tallest possible structure using the follow items.

  • Twenty pieces of uncooked spaghetti
  • One yard of transparent tape
  • One yard of string
  • One standard sized marshmallow

The contest had one rule. The marshmallow had to be on the top. The most interesting part, to me, was not so much the task but the teams he assembled. Some of the teams were business students and some were kindergartners.

The business students strategized. The kindergartners had a different approach. They did not strategize, analyze or share experiences. They were too young, not only to strategize, analyze and share experiences. They did not know how to ask questions, propose options or hone ideas. All of which the business students knew how to do. Their entire technique was about how to bunch stuff together.

In dozens of trials around the country and in other parts of the world, the kindergartners won. Their structures averaged twenty-six inches tall, while the business students’ structures ended up averaging less than ten inches in height.

The results may be hard to absorb. Suffice it to say, as a personal development business coach, it was the kindergartners who had the greater personal development and self-improvement. In the next post I will discuss how these results came about. In a word, it is surprising.

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.

Definitions: Part 2-What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

In the previous post, I have shared some of the definitions to bring a better understanding as to what a personal business coach does, or as they are also called, personal development business coaches. Self-Improvement business coaching which is truly what a personal business coach or personal development business coach does can, like any coaching, have tangible and intangible results.  Whether I am business coaching in Houston or outside the area my goal is to collaborate with my clients to see real benefits as well as discovering others that are not so readily seen.

When you have an understanding of the terms and their definitions that coaches use, you will gain insight into how a personal development business coach or a personal business coach may benefit you.

Self-improvement does not happen in a vacuum.  The greatest strides in self-improvement are intentional.  They are intentional in that they require us to reach out and beyond ourselves to obtain the feedback and education to create our personal path to greater growth, satisfaction and happiness.  With that in mind, let’s continue our voyage of self-discovery and understanding with some more definitions.

Needs:  To me, as a personal business coach, the understanding of needs is central to connecting with a person you are coaching.  And, if you aren’t a personal development business coach, your ability to understand your needs will provide an essential key as to what drives you and what path you must take to self-improvement.

Needs are the emotional aspects that drive individuals.  The driving force behind needs is based in a human yearning for wholeness.  Often, needs direct major life decisions until they are met. Needs can also sit on top of, or get in the way of, a person’s clearly identifying their values and living life based on those values.

The kinds of needs I am discussing here go beyond the basic needs for food, air, water, and shelter to the things that person feels they must have.  Notice the word “feels.”  What you feel is emotional and defines your needs and drives you to satisfy them.  For example, one person may feel the need to be accepted.  Another has to accomplish. Needs take many forms such as acknowledgement, to be loved, to be right, or to be cared for.

People have multiple needs.  Yet, to be a successful personal development business coach you must be able to identify two or three key needs of your client.  If you create pathways to meet these needs, you have provided great value on a person’s path of self-improvement.

Wants:  All of us can get our needs confused with our wants. What’s the difference between a want and a need.  Wants, unlike needs, are flexible and/or optional; if you get it, great, if not, you are still okay.  When your needs are met, and your life is oriented to your values, your wants tend to proportionately decrease. For example, a person may want to succeed in business, have a great body, or have a big house.  Since these are flexible, they can change over time.

Goals:  A lot is written about goals and rightfully so.  Goals allow us to create a future and a pathway for our self-improvement.  With a goal, once the future is finished in your mind, then what you need to do in the present becomes absolutely clear.

A goal is the objective of a strategy.  Or, I like this definition.  A goal is a dream with a deadline.  A goal can be very simple or extremely complex. It is the result or achievement, toward which effort is directed:  the aim or end of something.  A goal implies that work (or effort) is involved to achieve it.

Priorities:  If you are to accomplish your goals, meet your needs and satisfy some of your wants, you must have priorities.  A priority is something that takes precedence over something else: something given special attention.  In general, priorities are a set of ideals (physical, spiritual, or emotional), that when grouped together compose the items most important to an individual.  They are considered to be at the top of any list of things to achieve in any area of life.  As an aside, there are many self-improvement tips, self-improvement tips and ideas or tips on self-improvement or however you wish to phrase it.  Yet, without priorities, most people will not take the first step, which is taking action, to enhance their self-improvement.

Moving forward on your path of self-improvement take a moment to write down your needs, your wants and your goals.  Then decide what your priorities are to achieve in each of these areas.  When you do, you will start creating pathways to accelerated the process of your successful performance.

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.

Self-Improvement: It Is All About Your Personal Foundation

As a personal business coach, I have observed that your level of self-improvement will not exceed the strength of your personal foundation. What is your personal foundation?

An individual’s personal foundation is his or her structural basis that supports him or her in living an exceptional life. Just as a house must be built on a strong personal foundation to avoid collapsing under stress, so must your life. A house’s foundation is made up of earth, cement, and steel. Your personal foundation is also made up of three major elements. The are the What, the Who and the How.

Let’s look at the “What.” The “What” is self-improvement business coaching is the package that person presents to the world. It is “What” the world sees when it looks at us. This element is also composed of several sub parts as well. We can include such things as behavior, the public self, what we show others. The “What” can be related to the “body” part of the body, mind and spirit.

The ”Who” part of you is easily understood as the real you, the core of who you are in reality, not in presentation of the “What.” As a personal development business coach, I find that discovering the “Who” is the key to unlocking an individual’s self-improvement. The “Who” often drives the “What,” but it is not always consistent with it. The “Who” can also be identified with the “spirit” part of the body, mind and spirit analogy in the previous paragraph.

The “How,” the third component of personal foundation is the set of processes, methods, and values that drive our behavior–“How” we do the things we do, and “How” we are “Who” we are. The fuel for the “How” of us is the “Who,” which essentially yields -the “What.” If you put his into an equation it would look like this: “Who” + “How” = “What.” The “What” equates to the “mind” part of body, mind, and spirit.

The “What,” the “Who,” and the “How” are the components of personal foundation that I start with as a personal development business coach. When looking at your own self-improvement start with these three areas. Know your “What,” “Who,” and “How.” They are the keys to unlocking your future growth and personal development.

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.