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“Can coaching help me?” 7 questions to ask

Is coaching worth the investment?

Coaches can be the spark plug you need to move towards goals and become more aware of sabotaging patterns. A trained coach holds you accountable, charts your progress, and cheers as you make professional and personal strides. But how do you know which coach is right for you?

Before you choose to enlist a coach for extra support, get clear on the help you’ll receive. Research your coach’s background, training, and past success. Many coaches offer a complimentary session before you commit to working with them. Use that time to better understand the training and offerings of this professional. Here are a few questions you can start with:

Have you worked with other professionals in my industry?

Do you have a process for your work with clients?

How would you describe your coaching style?

What can I do to get the most out of our time together?

What is the most common struggle you see with clients?

Tell me about a time you helped a client and felt proud of their progress.

Do you provide outside resources — books, podcasts, worksheets?

Have you worked with a coach? Let me know @redheadlefthand.

A Coaching Question

Write down 6 words you’d use to describe yourself.

Now take a good, hard look at the words you’ve listed.

Is this who you want to be?

The way we see ourselves directly impacts the decisions we make on a daily basis. Sometimes an adjustment in perspective needs to take place before change can occur.

Bonus: I’m taking on two more coaching clients. Get in touch to see if coaching is right for you.

Now is the time to think about the Connection Economy — and your role in it (a free workshop)

Seth Godin dubbed the phrase “Connection Economy” to encourage meaningful relationships that inspire art, community efforts, and the pursuit of worthwhile work.

Right now it’s easy to feel stuck. It’s more important than ever before to be kind and present and approach others with consideration and respect.

We live in a moment in which the internet spreads information quickly (for better and for worse). We can use this to our advantage to help each other.

Task 1. Build a group

You want people who can call you out, people who can serve as your cohort and personal sounding board as you make moves (or sit on the coach and try to find a new Netflix series). We all have unique talents and traits to share; a group offers support, accountability, and the ability to help you level up. These people can let you know when you’re on track and nudge you gently should you veer off course.

Whether one other person or four, enlist a few friends. Ask, “Will you try something with me?”

Task 2. Designate a time

Set a day and time and commit. Make the details known.

Everyone is struggling with responsibilities, house work, inner battles. Make each other a priority and respect everyone’s time. You can choose to meet once a week or on Mondays and Fridays, for example.

Task 3. Finalize your reading list

You can find many books online. I’ve listed a few here as suggestions. If you have a book that has been important to you, use that one instead.

Sample list:
Linchpin
Poke the Box workbook
Superconnect
Business Model Generation
E Myth Revisited
4 Hour Work Week
Creatively Independent
Make Your Idea Matter
Host an unforgettable dinner party

Task 4: Put it into practice

The activities are designed to get you out of your comfort zone and reinforce what you’re reading. If you feel inspired to add your own twist, please do. The most important action is to set aside time for writing.

The writing prompts provide creative direction. Use what is helpful and change what isn’t. Not everything works for everyone.

FIRST MEETING

Reading: Bernadette Jiwa’s Make Your Idea Matter
Project: Tear out photos, images, and words from newspapers and magazines. Look for anything that inspires you. Rearrange the clippings onto a new piece of paper.
Writing exercise: Set your alarm for ten minutes and choose one prompt:

  • Imagine your dream life. Write down everything it entails. It doesn’t need to be complete sentences or thoughts, words are fine.
  • Write a series of questions. Every question you can think of. They don’t need to make sense, and you don’t need to have the answers. Just ask.

Group discussion: What is the difference between storytelling and dreaming? Do you set aside time to dream? What are some of the stories you tell yourself about yourself?

SECOND MEETING

Reading: Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week
Project: Do something new. Cook a different recipe. Sign up for an online class. Find a new place to explore using Google Maps.
Writing exercise: If you could do anything, anywhere, what would it be?

Group discussion: How do you define work/life balance? Is a distinction necessary? What helps you set better boundaries between work and home?

THIRD MEETING

Reading: Seth Godin’s Poke the Box workbook
Project: Print out the workbook and try to complete it in thirty minutes.
Writing exercise: Notice areas of hesitation while you complete the workbook. Is a particular topic more challenging than others?

Group discussion: What stops you from shipping? How do you get in your own way?

FOURTH MEETING

Reading: Project Exponential’s Host an unforgettable dinner party
Project: Plan an online dinner party. Get creative.
Writing exercise: Set your alarm for ten minutes. Choose one:

  • What are the traits you admire in others?  What are the traits you’re most proud of in yourself?
  • Assemble an imaginary Dream Team. You get five players. Who do you choose? What skills do they bring to your team?

Group discussion: What kind of people belong on your Dream Team? Who inspires you? Discuss how teams are formed and which environments contribute to their development.

FIFTH MEETING

Reading: Jess Pillmores’s Creatively Independent
Project: Challenge yourself to write the first draft of your very own ebook.
Writing exercise: Consider the uniqueness that you bring to your work, your relationships, and your family. What are the traits that single you out?

Group discussion: How do you stay inspired? What techniques have you found to be helpful during the goal setting process?

SIXTH MEETING

ReadingE Myth Revisited and/or Business Model Generation
Project: Brainstorm how you might turn $10 into $100.
Writing exercise: Write out a sample business plan. What would you do if you had no excuses, no responsibilities? Think back to the days of mowing lawns, selling lemonade, or babysitting.

Group discussion: How would things be different if you set aside time to write, dream, explore, or learn?

Modified from A Free Program posted February 26, 2013.

Power up your inbox (and your life) with these free newsletters

Your inbox doesn’t need to be a source of dread. In fact, with a little attention, weekly emails can deliver inspiration and insight to your daily routine.

Here’s a few to get you started:

For body and spirit

This quirky Texan churns out free weekly yoga videos so you can stay mindful and active all year long. Adriene’s approach to health and wellness is both refreshing and fun. yogawithadriene.com

For self-improvement

Tonya pours champagne flutes of encouragement to help women and men live artfully and well. Her free podcasts and behind-the-scenes glimpses into her community mix lightness and direction for those interested in personal development. frenchkisslife.com/about

For your mind

James Clear’s 3-2-1 Thursday newsletter offers an inspiring mid-week pick-me-up of facts, quotes, and questions that also act as excellent writing prompts. jamesclear.com/3-2-1

To boost creative zest

This Sunday meal of art, literature, and and science is a must. Paired with a hot cup of coffee, Brain Pickings is a necessary ritual for a positive start to your week. brainpickings.org/newsletter

To build community

David’s “One Email Away” connects strangers with opportunity. Whether you’re looking for a mentor or a hire, this email is a fine place to expand your network and contribute more generously to the world around you. portfoliocareerpodcast.com/oneemailaway

For your business

Seth Godin is dedicated to daily missives of advice for marketers, entrepreneurs, and social do-gooders. He delivers. sethgodin.com

Want more? 7 ways to raise your standards today

“You dont get what you want, you get what you tolerate.”

Tonya Leigh

Tonya Leigh has great perspective on living life artfully and well. She encourages her clients to establish a Red Velvet Rope policy — the idea that you treat your life like a carefully cultivated VIP nightclub. Imagine a strict dress code, exclusive invites, and the best party around.

Sometimes, without even realizing it, we lower our standards. The way we speak to ourselves. How we treat ourselves. What we think of our own accomplishments.

Our minds determine what we are capable of.

When you raise the bar on your own life, you raise your standards. When your standards are lifted, your life will automatically experience an upgrade. Here are 7 ways you can raise your standards today:

1. Upgrade what you put into your mind. The books you read, the podcasts you listen to, the magazines you consume, the accounts you follow.

2. Change your conversations. Notice when negative outweighs the positive. Focus on creation, not destruction.

3. Invest in yourself. Sign up for a class, set a goal you hope to accomplish by the end of the month, schedule time to hit the gym, find a life coach.

4. Stop worrying. Anxiety chases dreams. Make a list of your worries, then set it aside. Sure, some fear is justified and real, but worrying won’t help you level up.

5. Edit your relationships. Minimize time spent with gossips and energy vampires. Find like-minded dreamers who encourage each other to succeed.

6. Expect more. Expect more from yourself and those close to you. You’ll love the results.

7. Rewrite definitions. So much of the way we see the world and ourselves comes down to definition. Those definitions can be changed. Tony Robbins says most people simply give up, stop trying, and accept “That’s just the way it is.” It doesn’t have to be this way.

Raising your standards isn’t about making money or becoming famous. This is about mindset.

Expect more. You’re worth it.