How Life Coaching has Helped Improve My Business and Life
Last week I wrote an article about the law of attraction and positive thinking. I believe that the law of attraction has changed my life an incredible amount in a very short period of time. The law of attraction doesn’t magically make every thing in your life better, but it helps open up your mind to new opportunities. Most people are not aware of all the possibilities out there for work, wealth, excitement and happiness. Not only do I try to be as positive as possibly in every aspect of my life, I also take a lot of action and I am always looking for opportunities.
One of the life changing choices the law of attraction brought me was personal coaching. I paid about $6,000 for 16 weeks of one on one coaching and another 12 weeks of support through a coaching resource line. I have finished my initial one on one coaching and I am currently in the second phase of coaching utilizing the coaching resource hotline. I signed up with Jack Canfield coaching and I chose to pay that amount of money for a couple of reasons.
1. I knew if I paid that much for coaching, I would take it serious. I would not want to waste my money and I would try very hard to make the program work.
2. Jack Canfield was one of my favorite figures that I listen to and read. He is an extremely famous author, having written Chicken Soup for the Soul, and I know he has been very successful and lives what he teaches.
3. The program has very good reviews, claiming a 98% success rate based on surveys of the students who partake in the coaching.
4. When I started looking into the program they were very professional and responded to my inquiries quickly. They also did an in-depth interview with me prior to accepting me.
My coach has been a life coach since the early 1980’s and was great to work with. My biggest surprise was how knowledgable he is in every subject. I would ask home random questions from “how to build a loft in my house”, to “dealing with in-laws.” No matter what question I had, he would have an answer for me or refer me to an expert or author who knew the subject better than anyone.
I went into coaching, because I wanted to increase my free time, my income and bring everything to the next level. I quickly realized the goal of coaching was not for the coach to give me answers on how to increase my income; the goal was to provide me with the skills to be able to increase my income or time myself. I am going to detail some of the most important things I learned through Jack Canfield coaching with a few items mixed in from other sources I have come across.
Study of Wealth
Last year I decided that I wanted to make more money, even though I was already doing well. I had always wanted to be wealthy and I thought about it, but I never studied exactly how to do it. I have a degree in finance from the University of Colorado and I learned a lot about business, getting a job, and specific subjects but I never learned about getting rich, or how to create freedom for myself and my family. It is funny how so many people study for school, their jobs, even their hobbies like fantasy football, but don’t study wealth. I think people should spend just as much time studying how to improve their lives, through wealth or another form of happiness as they do studying anything else.
As Jim Rohn says:
“Work harder on yourself than you do your job. Working hard in your job will make you a living. Working hard on yourself will make you a fortune.”
No one to blame but yourself
Another fantastic concept is the idea that we create everything in our lives. Our decisions and actions create our lives, not outside forces like the government, our job, taxes etc. There are many rich and happy people in the world who have to deal with the exact same issues that we all have to deal with. They did not get rich by blaming other people or outside influences for their problems. They fought through the problems and made the best of whatever they had. In fact, many successful people don’t think of difficulties as problems, they think of difficulties as challenges.
Fear is not real
Fear drives how many of us live our lives. People let their minds make up scenarios of how horrible the future will be if they make the wrong decision. Fear causes missed opportunities, anxiety, stress and worry. I lived with a lot of fear for most if my life, especially when I was a child. I was very introverted and I was scared of looking dumb or saying something that would cause people to judge me. As I have gotten older, I have slowly broken out of my shell and stopped living in fear. Coaching has allowed me to eliminate most fear in my life and instead of fearing strange or uncomfortable situations – I look forward to them.
It was not easy for me to speak in front of 200 people at a conference in Dallas. The most I had ever spoken in front of before, was about 40 people at one of my HUD classes I teach. I turned that feeling of fear into excitement for all the opportunities speaking would bring me. Not many people are asked to speak in front of that many people and I felt honored. I also though about how good it would feel once I had completed the task and conquered a natural fear of public speaking.
I think much of our fear is driven by what we think other people think about us. We may be scared to speak up in a meeting, or in school, or may be scared to talk to a potential romantic partner. I love this line that I heard in one of my CDs, I think it was Harv Eker quoting a mentor of his:
“When I was younger I spent all my time worrying about what people thought of me. When I reached my forties I realized it was a waste of time and I stopped caring what other people thought. When I reached my sixties I realized that no one gave a damn what I thought, they only cared about themselves.”
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Fear usually comes from past events that we cannot change or future events that we cannot predict. I am not suggesting people stop taking the time to analyze situations, people should still be cautious. However, when you run into a situation that makes you fearful, think about what is causing the fear. Is it actually something that should scare you, like a 200 foot cliff?
The person makes the money, the money doesn’t make the person
Many people become scared of losing their money once they become successful. A great philosophy I have adopted is that “the person is more valuable than the money.” Donald Trump made a fortune, lost it and then made an even bigger fortune. Many of the richest people in the country have faced serious “challenges” that caused them to lose their money at some point. They realized it was them who made the money in the first place, if they made it once, they can make it again. The value was not in their assets or cash, the value was in their mind and their ability to create.
Too perfect, removing stress
The most important thing I did during coaching was to read: Too Perfect: When Being in Control Gets Out of Control. I did not realize it when I started coaching, but I had a huge amount of stress in my life. I worried about the market, my listings, my clients, my quality of work and money in general. This book is all about obsessive compulsive traits that occur in most people. I never thought I was obsessive compulsive, I am not a clean freak and take plenty of time off. However, after reading the book, I realized there are a lot things I do that would be considered compulsive. Most of the traits I possess relate to business: spending too much time on tasks that aren’t important, wanting every task done perfectly, always wanting to get the best deal and worrying about these things if I thought I had not done them to my satisfaction. I realized that many of the obsessive traits in the book are possessed by many successful business people.
What changed for me, was when I realized that if these things were not completed perfectly, it probably would not hurt my bottom line that much. I also realized that I would save a ton of time and worry if I concentrated on the most important tasks and either delegated or spent less time on the less important tasks. The time I have saved by not being so concerned with every task being perfect, has made me more money than any mistake I made on those tasks. If I do make a mistake, I can’t change the past, I can only do better next time. I realized I worried a lot about things I can’t control, like past mistakes. In fact, most of my stress came from worrying about money I spent, a task that may not have been done right or someone sending me work that I have no control over.
I have learned to forget about the past and not worry about future events that have not happened. I plan for the future, but I do not worry. I have learned to do the best I can in a reasonable amount of time. My stress level is almost non-existent now, I am no longer anxious and I am happier just by reading this book.
The War of Art
The War of Art, is another fantastic book, that I read through my coaching program. The basic idea is that we all face resistance in our lives. Most of the time this resistance comes when we are about to complete a task or about to complete something very important in our lives. The resistance causes us to procrastinate, puts obstacles in our way or make us think there are more important things to do when we are about to complete a task. Think about large projects you have completed before, usually the hardest part is finishing those final touches and pushing through at the end to complete the project.
The book makes us aware that the resistance is not real, it is made up by our minds and we have the ability to ignore it. I have adopted my own personal philosophy; Conquer the Resistance! Whenever I am doing a task that is becoming cumbersome, when I am about to finish something big, or even when I am working out, I think about resistance. Is it really that hard to complete this task, or am I making it much harder than it really is? I find I get more done and I can even work out longer and harder with this line of thinking.
Besides the general philosophies I have talked about to this point, I have learned many specific actions or tasks to help me improve. I will briefly go through some of the most important things I do to improve my life.
- Goals-One of my coaching tasks was to come up with 100 goals in my life. It may be surprising to most, but this is not easy to do. I came up with 80 goals my first try and my coach said the average person gets to about 50. I learned to make big goals that challenge me. If I make a goal I know I can reach, then it’s not a big deal when I reach it. If I make a goal that I know is a stretch, then I know I will have to work hard or do things different to reach that goal. Even if I don’t reach my challenging goals, I will almost always be ahead of where I was if my goal was easy to reach and I didn’t have to work for it.
- Visualizations-The law of attraction considers visualizations to be a huge part of improving your life. The subconscious learns through experience and what we tell it. If we experience riding a bike, the subconscious learns how to do it. If we constantly think about something we want, our sub conscious does its best to get us that thing. If we imagine having a certain car every day and really believe we can have it, our subconscious will do its best to bring us that car. Even better than imagining the car is to actually see the car in person or drive it.
- Affirmations- I just mentioned our sub conscious learns by what we tell it. If we constantly tell ourselves we are a great businessman, then eventually we will believe it and our subconscious will as well. Affirmations are sayings or phrases that we want in our lives that we tell ourselves over and over. I wrote a ten year dream story for my coaching, meaning I wrote down everything I wanted to have in my life in ten years. I recorded the story on my phone and listen to it everyday. In that story I described my perfect house, it took about three months to buy that house, not ten years.
- Daily routines-Every day I try to set apart time to work on myself. This is a work in progress, but some things I try to do these every day to get my mind right. I write in a journal for everything I am thankful for, I review my day and what went well and not so well, I listen to my affirmations, I look at my vision board and I meditate on occasion.
- Vision board-A vision board is a bulletin board or book you place in your office or bedroom. On the vision board you place pictures of things you want, sayings you like to think of and anything else you want in your life. This gets your subconscious thinking about what you want in your life.
- Track wealth-The more you think about money and they more you focus on becoming wealthy the more your subconscious will try to help you get money. Tracking net worth, income, assets and cash flow is great for your business as well as your mind. If you can put up graphs in your office of net worth and track it weekly, that keeps it active in your mind and makes you subconscious want to help you increase that net worth.
- Master Mind Group-I started a master mind group with two other people. Every week we meet and discuss our lives, goals and actions. It is a great way to get input on your business and life in general. We also come up with actions each week and if we don’t complete them, we face penalties.
I have gone over a lot of content in this article and there is a lot I left out. There is a reason many books are written on this subject, it is impossible to cover it all in a simple article. Coaching has improved my life greatly by reducing stress and improving my attitude. It even improved my relationship with my wife, after we both took a Myers Briggs assessment and discussed our personalities together with my coach. The coaches at Jack Canfield said most people increase their income three fold and gain at least 33% more free time after coaching. I have not finished yet, but my income may very well triple in the next year and my free time has increased greatly.
What about you? Have you ever considered coaching to improve your life? Share your thoughts in the comments below!