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Your Company
March 9, 2011

IN THIS ISSUE:

* Steve’s Field Note
* Tapa Palapa Radio Show Menu
* Resource – Coaching Rate Special
* Idea – I’m A Leader? So Who’s Following?
* Advisory Board – Spread the word!


Steve’s Field Note

Hello,

This Tuesday was the last of twelve scheduled classes for the Small Business Coaching course I’m taking through MentorCoach. Fortunately our instructor, highly regarded top tier coach Anne Durand, is giving us a couple of bonus classes to discuss ways to incorporate the small business coaching curriculum into our own businesses.

I’ve enjoyed the course a lot because Anne teaches us that most small business owners are good at the thing they do in their business, the product or service part, and some have good ideas for growing and improving their businesses. But a lot of them avoid the day-to-day details of operations and systems if they can. This means they’re good at what they do, and they’re sometimes good at getting ideas for doing that better, but they struggle with administration.

This fits beautifully with the way I work with people. I enjoy helping ‘idea people’ get really good at turning their ideas into reality. Check out my feature article to see the connection between developing leadership qualities and getting good at making things happen, even if you’re the one doing it all.

The Tapa Palapa internet radio show is now regularly updated on iTunes so we have three ways for people to enjoy it. Listen to an episode and let me know what you think. Caution: it’s for people willing to set aside excuses and take charge of their own lives, their whole lives, and accept responsibility for their own fulfillment, happiness, and sense of purpose. The menu of show topics is right below.

Enjoy the scenery on the Twisting Road!


Tapa Palapa Radio Show

Tapa Palapa’s a radio show? What’s up with that?

I’ve found out a lot of people don’t understand or respond to the word ‘podcast,’ so I’m explaining Tapa Palapa in a different way. Tapa Palapa is a short weekly audio show, around 12 minutes per episode, available through the internet. Similarly formatted podcasts bill themselves as ‘internet radio shows.’ So… Tapa Palapa’s an internet radio show!

For March our menu theme is “Life Is Bigger Than You.”

We are talking about improving the quality of our lives and the lives of others by serving the Greater Good.

* The Greater Good (March 1)
* Sharing your time (March 8 )
* Sharing your talent (March 15)
* Sharing your treasure (March 22)
* The 5th Tuesday will be a ‘wildcard’ episode (March 29). My co-host Francie Cooper is practically giddy thinking of all the possibilities for a wildcard show!

In February our theme was “What’s Love got To Do With It?”

All four episodes of the radio show for February are now available. Enjoy them in order. Francie is good at making sure the information is connected and flows from week to week.

Click here to stream or download the latest episode through iTunes.


Coaching Rate Special

I am discounting the fee for my monthly extended coaching program by 50% for anyone willing to let me report our sessions – the amount of time, not the content – towards certification. This discount applies to my program of four (4) extended sessions (50 minutes each) per month. Anyone who takes up my offer will be eligible for this discount for up to six (6) months of coaching.

The discount doesn’t apply to a laser sessions program or single sessions. I’m offering it only with the extended monthly program in order to accrue my hours more quickly. The incentive for you is the discount. The incentive for me to offer the discount is to coach and record a lot of hours. Wins all around!

Call me at (817) 416-8971 or e-mail me at Steve@SteveCoxsey.com for the details.


I’m a Leader? So Who’s Following?

If you’re a small business owner, even a solo entrepreneur with no employees… heck, even if you don’t have any customers yet and you’re just designing your business… you’re a leader.

Maybe that makes sense to some of you, but I imagine it’s confusing to others. I was confused with this idea myself for a while. Until recently, when I would explain who I work with I had two categories: the self-employed and people who lead others. (I count the aspiring self-employed with the self-employed, so that’s still one category to me.) But when I explained the challenges of both groups and how I help them, the answers were pretty similar.

I Had One Business With Two Messages

When I talked about working with people on small business design and development, I would say something like, “I help people who are good at coming up with ideas get really good at turning them into reality. I help them grow their ideas into a strong vision, figure out the resources they need, and make things happen so the vision becomes real.”

When I talked about working with leaders, I would say something like, “I help leaders develop the ideas they have about what should happen into a strong vision, I help them get better at sharing that vision with other people to get them on board, and I help them make things happen.” I would sometimes talk about leaders as mentors, but it wasn’t in the core of my description.

We’re All Leaders Now

The descriptions were different in the details, but they felt the same. At first I had a tough time figuring out how they’re the same, but then I saw it. Both groups have ideas they develop into a vision, and both groups find ways to turn the vision into reality. Now that I realize both groups are leaders, I can give one answer that applies to both groups.

Solo entrepreneurs, especially start-ups, may not be leading employees, but they are growing ideas into vision and making things happen. They’re leading their businesses; therefore they’re leading their own efforts as they create and grow their businesses.

And, even if they never have an employee, they will lead other people. They will lead their target audience to notice them and start paying attention. They will lead their customers to make repeat purchases and refer their friends and family. They will lead their tribe through marketing activities and through their business models of delivery, operations, and customer service.

Now that I understand all the people I work with are leaders, I have one script for talking about my market: “I help people who have good ideas turn them into reality. I do this by helping them develop their leadership qualities so they can grow their ideas into a strong vision, communicate their vision to others to get them on board, figure out the resources they need, and make things happen so the vision becomes real.”

Grow Your Ideas Into A Vision

When you have ideas for how things should be, you want to turn those ideas into reality. In order to make sure your ideas are ready to become real, you need to make sure they are well-developed and fully “ripe.” You grow your ideas into a vision by focusing on those ideas. You look more closely at problems or challenges that exist and how those ideas will improve things for people. You ask how the problem or challenge affects people to understand more about why it’s important to change things.

Your ideas have to be feasible in order to grow into a vision. It helps to imagine how they will interact with the real world and what will happen when the ideas run into real-life constraints. This is also where you look at the principles and values that anchor your ideas for change so you can communicate a compelling story.

Share Your Vision With Others

An important quality of leadership is communication. People who are obviously leaders – that is, people with someone following them – need to communicate their vision to their followers so they’ll keep following. People who don’t realize yet that they’re leaders because they’re in the early stages of turning ideas into reality still need to explain to some people what they’re trying to do.

Maybe you need to talk with a web designer about the look you want for your web site. Maybe you need to talk with a copywriter about the message you have for your target audience. Maybe you just want to tell your friends and family what you do so they can tell other people about your business. To get other people to understand what you’re trying to accomplish, you need to be able to paint a clear, strong picture of it so they can also see it in their imaginations.

Find The Resources You Need

Another hallmark of leadership is being able to identify what supplies, equipment, technology, and people are necessary to make something happen, and knowing where to find them. These functions get segmented in large organizations sometimes, and maybe the person in a position of authority doesn’t actually know these things. I’m not talking about corporate job descriptions, though. I’m talking about qualities of leadership.

When a group of people is trying to figure out how to do something and one person says, “This is what we need to make that happen, and here’s where we can find those things,” everyone knows that person is a leader. A group needs that kind of man or woman to direct things. A solo entrepreneur needs to be that kind of man or woman in order to be self-directed.

Make Things Happen

Visions are like birds. They need wings to soar to great heights, but they need feet to land. Okay, I know, ostriches and emus and penguins don’t fly, and ducks and geese and gulls can land on water, but just go with the metaphor. A vision may draw everyone’s aspirations to amazing new places, but what good is it if it can’t land, if it can’t become real?

A hugely important quality of leadership is to see the path from idea to design to results. Without it, you may wind up as the flaky artist or the quirky inventor who never finishes anything. With it, you know how to take a design based on well-developed ideas and create something. You know how to make things happen.

As a solo entrepreneur, or even as someone designing a small business with nothing more than a collection of ideas in a notebook, you need to be a leader to be successful. You need to know how to grow your ideas into a strong vision, communicate your vision to people who can help you or who will become your customers, and figure out what you need. Then you need to find those resources and make things happen. Even if you’re the only person you’re leading as you create your business, you have to be a good leader.

Actually, if you’re the only person you’re leading, it’s probably more important that you be a good leader. You’ll be the one who has to make things happen!


Advisory Board

That’s you. If you like what you read, please tell your family and friends. If you don’t like something, please tell me!

Thanks for Joining Me on the Journey,

Steve Coxsey

The Twisting Road Traveler is a publication of Twisting Road Media and Stephen Coxsey


Copyright (C) 2011 Stephen Coxsey and Twisting Road
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