Last September I had a vision. I was in the Entrepreneurial Mastery Inner Circle. It’s a group of entrepreneurs that discuss how to be more successful in their businesses, and the main business they have in common is the coaching business. The founder of the group wanted to get a Coaching Academy going that would educate the public on what coaching really was all about, accredit aspiring coaches, and stretch them in their performance to become elite influencers.
What was that vision I had? At first, it was a picture that CS had provided…the association of highly competent coaches who not only had amazing skills getting people closer to their ideal performance level, but their businesses were thriving. People came to them for the best service. They weren’t begging for clients or involved in discount price wars. They could do What they wanted, When they wanted, With Whom they wanted, at the Price they wanted, If they chose to do business at all. We would get together for an intense seminar to give us not only the coaching techniques and skills but the business acumen we’d need to stay in business. I got a glimmer of that vision right then.
But there were hoops to go through, challenges to face, an intellectual gap to fill, and a heavy price to pay. I have probably mentioned my learning method (feganmethod.com), so I knew I could handle the intellectual gap. I am also a financial guru of sorts, so the hefty price was something I could arrange. I expected to get a return on my investment to more than compensate for the cost. Things outside of my control? There was an application process that included an interview, and I was told that not everyone would qualify. From being involved in those calls from the Entrepreneurial Mastery Circle, I knew there were many people in that group that were much more qualified than I with more experience and making much more money. They were charging $100/session and they had more clients. I had a teaching business and had never coached before. I was charging $100 per month! But that vision kept pulling me back, each time with more detail.
I knew that the person I saw in my vision was not the same one that faced me in the mirror. This was a different kind of goal that I’d never gone after before.
If you have a job or a business, you are probably familiar with goal setting. You understand dream boards or vision boards. You have probably discovered affirmations you tack to your bathroom mirror and recite before you go to bed. You probably keep a pencil and paper by your bedside in case you come up with the cure for cancer in the middle of the night. You write down the 6 most important things you have to do the next day. Those are all measurable and can be put into a list that enables you to check things off. They get you to your goal of success however you define it.
This goal I was looking at, to get accepted into this Coaching Academy, was not like anything I’d ever come across in those motivational seminars I had attended every 6 weeks for 15 years. This goal was not like all those self-help gurus who told us to find our “Why?” to discover our “How?” and improve our lives. They all involved concrete steps that you had to trudge up to get what you wanted. The leadership books I read focused on How a leader thinks and What to concentrate on. This approach, for this vision, was how to improve thinking itself. It was raising awareness and extending consciousness. How in the world do you measure that? It occurred to me that the vision boards and the affirmations were two-dimensional representations. This growth was growth from inside to outside, not outside to inside. As such, two-dimensional thinking would be inadequate. It involved three dimensions!
I put in my application with my money, but I had no assurances that I would be chosen. In the meantime, I studied the materials that were sent out. I took part in the discussions online. I had been a part of the Empowered Women’s Inner Circle for a while by then, and I was regarded as the “genius” of the group. I am no genius, but my learning method has brought me insight into many different disciplines of thought. The members of that group would be discussing a topic, and I’d have the facts available since many of these topics were those I had taught. All the women in this group are wise, innovative, resourceful, empathetic, and goal-oriented. But it is not skills they seek in this group, it is improving their thinking. This group was made up of exactly the type of people I needed to associate with. These were exactly the issues I needed to face. AND, as a bonus, I liked all of them!
Throughout this waiting period, we were informed that over one hundred people had applied for acceptance into the very rare air that was this Coaching Academy. I was not optimistic about my chances. With the discussions and the study, I had stretched my awareness and my consciousness had awakened a new approach to the circumstances in my life. I was responding rather than reacting. I was considering options and choosing actions and words and it was becoming more instinctive with practice. My awareness of my individual strengths and weaknesses, my insights into how I thought, and my observation of how those people around me thought grew. With all the study I was doing (it’s self-paced) I had to design a discipline that would allow for the reflection and deep-diving into the thought processes. By doing this, I was seeing some real, tangible, credible growth in my thinking. It enabled me to reflect on my experiences and see them in a different light. It moved me to change my perspectives.
Then, wonder of wonders, I was informed that I was one of the chosen. I would become a Founding Member of this Coaching Academy! Only 20 of the 100 applicants were accepted. I was floored! Now the real work would begin! He sent out the teaching modules on coaching: the premise behind the idea of coaching, the approach, why and how it worked, and how to improve. It made my brain sweat. I would spend 15 minutes watching a module and answer the basic questions that ascertained that the material had been duly read and digested. Then there were self-assessment questions that gave me the chance to show my understanding of the material. These were deep questions that required thought, and the act of responding to these questions brought back memories of essays from English Composition. There had to be a structure and a point, and the best way to express the concept would be in story form so it had to have a plot. So, in addition to the 15-minute module, I had another hour or so of that exercise. AFTER THAT (wait, there’s MORE) I had to answer application questions that were even more involved! This set of questions often took more than 2 hours to answer. Then, at the end of the module that might include several teachings, there was an assessment that took about 2 1/2 hours to go through! In addition to the group discussions in the EMIC and EWIC groups, the new calls involved the philosophical approach and solving problems before they became problems. I was having to take a nap after each session!
Ever-so-slightly, I noticed that my mental acuity was improving. Each exercise planted a seed of growth in my mind. Soon, my weeds were gone, and now I had an English Garden.
So 8 months after I had that first glimmer of a vision of me in the future, I was there, in England with 20 of the brightest minds in the business. I’m STILL excited!
This is where I stayed:
This is where I got advanced training in coaching techniques and practical matters to help me stay in business. But I haven’t even finished the first half of the material I need to pass the accreditation. I have a lot of modules to get through, lots of exercises to do, practice sessions, reflection, self-assessment to get through, and many conversations…But I already have a vision for what will occur in August at the next summit meeting. I already have a glimmer of what kind of person I will become after that. I’m seeing people reacting to the person I have become, and I believe they see a difference in me too.
If you want to move from 2-dimensional vision boards, SMART goals, and affirmations to 3-dimensional thinking, I know how to get you there. In fact, YOU know how! I can show you a way to tap into that inner resourcefulness and become the person that lives in YOUR vision.