Finding support for the long haul

I’ve been in the coaching world for a long time. I did my first weekend coaching training in the fall of 1993, and started my full training and working with clients in 1994. (I also led the team that wrote the first formal definition of coaching for the ICF way back when the organization was getting started.)

I absolutely believe in the magic and power of partnering with another human being to name what you most desire, and to figure out how to move boldly in that direction. To shift perspectives. To open to new possibilities.

We can benefit wildly from the right support at the right time to break us out of old patterns and teach us new methods for moving forward.

But there is something that bothers me in the coaching world.

It’s the emphasis on big, high-cost, high-risk “breakthrough” programs that may or may not deliver breakthroughs.

And the relative lack of sustainably affordable groups where you can be seen and held, where you can tap into group energy and work alongside like-minded humans, where you can get little drips of guidance and encouragement to move you forward. Spaces that encourage you to use and rely on your own brilliance and capacity while gently adding structure and new skills.

The idea that we are going to build a dream business in six months or one year is usually inaccurate. Not impossible, to be sure, but very rare.

Building a beautiful, robust, long-lasting business is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to take small steps, to test new offers, to build an audience, to regroup when something fails. It doesn’t happen overnight.

It takes showing up day after day. Stretching week after week. It’s something you commit to for the long haul.

There are times to reach for the breakthrough. Times that the big investment program is right. But it’s usually not all of the time.

Even if we do follow our intuition (not our fear) and invest in high-ticket coaching, and even if we SUCCEED with that coaching, we often need time to integrate that new learning and way of being. We may need to recover, recoup, repay our loans in the wake of that. (When I did a high-end mastermind program in 2009 I significantly increased my gross revenue, but I was spending so much money on trainings, and events, and travel that my profit actually dropped significantly that year.)

We need that slow and steady time even more so if we made the big investment and didn’t get a return.

Or as I’ve written about before, our lives may rise up and demand attention in a way that requires having the business in lower gear.

So, as business owners bringing our own beautiful, vulnerable, original, creative work into the world, we need access to support at a price point that is sustainable over time as we grow, while our cash flow rises and falls.

When we most need help is often when we have the least capacity to pay abundantly for it.

Our nervous systems also need time that we are not in pedal-to-the-metal mode. Where we are not in high adrenaline. Where we are not betting it all on the next breakthrough.

We need to figure out our own unique rituals and routines that support showing up and being fully engaged in our work through highs and lows.

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