“7 Essential Reasons” and 5 Steps (More Or Less)

February 27, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to a recording of a group call I had missed. The members were discussing what approaches to take to keep their clients and find new ones during the economic downturn. It got me thinking a lot so I brought it up when I was on a group coaching call later. I got so enthusiastic I wound up talking myself into believing that not only should we not worry about money problems keeping people from seeking coaching, we should see the times as a great opportunity because of the ways we help people.

I told the group I would suggest that any coach who was worried about losing clients or concerned potential clients might think coaching is a luxury should write an article titled something like, “7 Essential Reasons You NEED A Coach During Tough Economic Times.” Foolish me! I was in a coaching group with a group of coaches. They challenged me to write the article.

I wasn’t one of the people worried about bringing in new clients, so I didn’t jump at the challenge. But I did wind up jotting down some ideas while waiting at my son’s Tae Kwon Do class.

I might expand them into an article in the future, but they’re worth sharing now. And this first draft form might help those of you who want to start writing articles see how easy it can be to start if you just capture ideas and promise yourself to fret over the polish of the finished product some time in the future.

I came up with seven, but could probably do more if I wanted ten, and I could shorten them to five if that seemed like a better format. Here are my “7 Essential Reasons You NEED A Coach During Tough Economic Times,” in no particular order, other than the way they appeared in my head.

* Worried about job cuts? Coaching helps you be more productive and efficient and therefore more valuable to your employer. Besides, layoffs are an opportunity for career change, so get clear about your calling and long-term career design so you can be ready if a layoff package is offered.

* Coaching helps you see that abundance is about gratitude, staying focused on what you have and what you value most instead of accumulating stuff. In lean times it’s easy to cut spending on unnecessary extras when you focus on true abundance and not on meaningless material things.

* Coaching increases clarity to help you get to the core of things, to the essentials. This helps you make good choices when cutting corners in the work setting.

* Business coaching helps business owners survive hard economic times and even find the opportunities for growth based on clients’ changed needs and wants.

* Executive coaching improves leadership, and that improves teamwork to keep a company productive and creative.

* Worry, anxiety, and fear slow down action, interrupt creativity, and increase uncertainty. Coaching expands creative thinking, addresses worries and fears head on, and leads to action.

* We experience higher interpersonal stress because of money worries. We need to be more intentional and mindful in communication to keep that stress from leading to conflict. Coaching helps us communicate more mindfully and intentionally.

In less than forty-five minutes I could expand the content with a little storycraft and then use a little wordsmithing to make it a more concise and compelling package. Writing is really a layered process. It isn’t precise and it defies careful categorization, but here are some approximate steps I follow when creating an article – at least most of the time.

First, capture ideas in the form they are born, scribbling or typing furiously to keep up with the stream (or flood). Then arrange them in an order where they flow, by story, by category, by timelines, or by whatever approach gives them connection and progression. Next, make sure you have enough description and story to bring people in through their senses and emotions. As you polish, replace rough phrases with more precise ones and fine-tune your words. Finally, let good enough be good enough. Stop writing and proclaim it finished, knowing you’ll get better over time and will hardly ever write anything spectacular.

If you’re wanting to write articles for a newsletter or blog as you build your business, but you worry that you won’t be able to write something wonderful, try a different approach. Give yourself permission to be awful. You’ll improve with practice, and you’ll get better as you feel more comfortable writing, but you have to start wherever you are.

You’ll never have the chance to get better if you wait until you’re excellent to start. Excellence doesn’t visit the idle. Excellence must be pursued, and we are all made better only by striving for it.

May You Know the Joy of Sharing Your Gifts,

Steve Coxsey
Life Work & Self-Employment Advocate (tuning the new title…)

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