In the past month, two of my clients (one former, one current) have stepped into high dollar programs to help with their business.
Neither program is a fit for who they are as people nor is it a fit for where they are in their business (pretty much just a whiff of an idea).
I remember doing just that myself back in the day. Hiring this coach and that, in the hopes that they would give me just the right formula, procedures, guidelines and checklists to make it all come together perfectly into a six-figure success.
The hard won (and dollars lost) truth is that nothing like that ever really works. Sure, it might be a fix temporarily but you’ll see you’ve built a business you hate. (That happened to my former coach. She was making ‘six-figures’ but couldn’t get out of bed in the morning because she hated the life she created.)
The first client stepped hard-core into a guru-star program. “Do it exactly this way and you’ll be a raging success.” – considering she doesn’t even have a clear idea who she is and what she offers, I can’t see that happening. But she lusted after structure and rules and someone to say ‘you can’t fail if you do it my way’.
I so get that. I wanted someone to clear away all the noise that exists online and all the voices in my head that say “you don’t know what you’re doing and everyone else does and you will fail”.
Maybe she will make it work for her. She is an amazing dynamo who usually trusts her inner knowing and follows it, convention be damned. Of all the people for whom this kind of program wouldn’t work, it would be her. Thing is, the fear of not being able to do this (create a thriving business) kicks us all in the ass. And that’s how these big dollar programs call you in – through that fear.
Fear is primal. It gets you to move when nothing else will. It did for me, it did for her and for so many millions of others, in all kinds of ways, fear is the ultimate motivator.
So, I understand. And I also understand that it is part of her path at this point, as it was mine at another point. Since it’s not my place nor was I asked to give permission / opinions, as her friend, I only asked her to make sure her needs were addressed and to keep her self-authority and trust her inner knowing like she has for most of her life.
My (current) client found some online thing where they add your story to a compilation book to be published and help you market the book, etc. The marketing was all about being a published author, getting your story out there, all the opportunities that will open up for you as a published author and how it will bring you tens of thousands of clients and they help you build your site, blah blah blah.
Here’s why I blech: this lovely woman also doesn’t yet have a clear idea of who she is or what she does. She has desires and we are working on narrowing that down into a form that speaks to what she does to support others. But she is not in a space in her business to do this. At all.
This is what spoke to her: someone will help me build my site because it overwhelms me to do it. And that’s almost the same thing as my first client. Someone will take my hand and do this with/for me so I don’t have to deal with what comes up as I dig into it.
Again, I get it. (This is the challenge of being a 29 degree Libra – I see all sides of all the sides.)
As her coach / mentor, I’m not there to make decisions for her. Do I think it’s a monumentally bad idea? Yes. I think she’s thrown away $3000 on a pipe dream she can’t fulfill right now. And it will crash her into hard overwhelm and derail her in serious ways.
But my role is to support her decisions and walk with her on that path, as others have done for me along mine.
(I wish someone had spoken up but when I think back on it, they did and I chose not to listen. So, also a stubborn ass in pursuit of not feeling the fear channel that was playing 24/7 in my head)
One of the points of all this whining is that I see myself in these choices.
I see myself four years ago, scared that I didn’t have what it took to make this work. (I still wonder that, sometimes)
Scared that I didn’t trust my own self enough to figure it out.
Scared that I’d be seen as a failure somehow and if I stood under the wing of someone who did know exactly how to do it, I’d surely succeed.
Instead, I crashed and burned. Hard.
It taught me that I am not one who can live in a box very well. I don’t like people telling me it has to be done this certain way or you’re wrong. I don’t like hiding what it is I can really do so I can be more palatable to others. I’m not a glitzy, glamorous girl. I’m a casual chick who needs a ton of freedom, quiet, peace and joy. A six-figure business is not my dream. A business that helps others, allows me to bring out my wonderful skills and allows me to connect with people and oh yeah, make a profit too – that’s my speed.
So, a mirror is being held up to remind me of who I am. And where I was. And how I’m no longer there now.