In our western society, we often conflate success with our income. But intellectually, we all know that financial success doesn’t equate a joyous life. So, let me ask you, what does success mean to you?
Many coaches become coaches because they want to get off the corporate hamster wheel, make a bigger difference in the world, and feel successful on many levels. And yet, one of the biggest gripes I hear from “successful” coaches is that they don’t feel successful much of the time: it still feels like they do a lot of pushing; they question whether they are making a big impact with all of their clients; they experience a high level of stress; and they say “yes” to opportunities they really want to say “no” to but feel it would be imprudent. In other words: same hamster, different wheel.
The key to success is to dial in what success really means to you and use that as a filter for the choices you make in your business and life.
When I first heard this quote from Jim Collins, it struck a chord with me that has never stopped vibrating:
“Good is the Enemy of Great”
It is a quote I say to my clients and to myself on the regular. What I have seen over and over with the hundreds of clients I have worked with is that true success is directly impacted by our own willingness and ability to be discerning in our choices. That when we take a stand and only say “yes” to the opportunities for which we are truly excited, on all levels, the world responds to us with generosity. When we say yes to anything that isn’t what I call a “Powerful Yes,” we conspire with our own limiting beliefs about what we deserve and think is possible for ourselves and others. When we take a stand for what we really want, our businesses, clients, and success transforms.
Many of the clients I work with specifically come to me because they have fallen out of love with their business and, frankly, much of the client work they do. They make great money but they feel burnt out, uninspired, and want to build a financially successful business that they LOVE being in. The key to making this transition is discernment and a willingness to say :NO to the “good” so that you have room for the “great” to come in. This isn’t for the faint of heart. Saying NO to a $30,000 contract when you have plenty of space in your calendar can be very uncomfortable when you do it for the first (or fifth) time. But the clearer and clearer my clients get, the better choices they make, and the more success they ultimately have. And many of them admit that they wouldn’t have done it without my support and belief in them (Ah, the power of coaching!).
Today, I challenged a client to “Marie Kondo” her client opportunities going forward. I said, “What if you only said yes to the clients and opportunities that sparked joy in you?” Trust me, some of my clients cannot fully “go there” right away. Some have to gradually hone in their filters to get increasingly more discerning with each decision they are presented with until ultimately they only say “yes” to opportunities they are fully excited about. Making room for these new clients also means learning to gracefully complete with clients that no longer feel juicy, meaningful and joyous. All of my clients who were willing to do this from the beginning of our work together got to that juicy, meaningful and joyous place much more quickly. Their willingness to say “no” allowed them to have the space for the “Powerful Yes” to come in.
So let me ask you this:
What does success really look and feel like to you?
How would your business change if you used this as a fine tuned filter for your choices going forward?
If every yes was a “Powerful yes” in your business, what would be possible for you?
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions and feedback.
Tara Butler Floch