You know your business better than anyone else. However, there are times you can’t clearly see where your business is headed, or how to get where you want to be. Occasionally, everyone gets overwhelmed by the details of running and growing a successful business. A common reaction to this is to not take any action at all, either because you don’t know what actions to take or because the actions you have taken haven’t produced any tangible results.
Coaching is a tool that can be used to address any stagnation in life, including success in business. Coach yourself—and your business—by using the basic components of the coaching modality. The main components of the coaching process are creating a vision; asking pointed questions; answering these questions honestly; and creating and following an action plan to achieve the desired outcomes. Once you go through this process and realize that you are in complete control, you are empowered.
First, create a pie-in-the-sky vision of your desired outcome. Visualization is incredibly powerful in clarifying what you really want, and writing it down gives you something to focus on as you go through the process of creating it. Write your vision in the present tense; for example: “Our skin care facility is so successful! Our clients are loyal and recommend us to everyone they know. Clients re-book before leaving, and this ensures repeat business and income. Our staff feels appreciated and is loyal to the company; we have very little turnover. Our retail sales far exceed the average. We created our own line of products and have experienced monthly growth in this area. Overall revenues and profits are up 30% from last fiscal year, and we are projected to be up 50% next year.” This is a very basic vision. Write one or more pages with every detail imaginable. This is a creative process and there are no limits here, so have fun and dream big.
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The next step is to ask pointed questions. The key to long-term success is to be totally transparent; you must be willing and able to answer questions with honesty and integrity while being completely objective. Some examples of relevant questions include the following.
- What role have you played in your facility’s current situation?
- Who or what is holding you back right now?
- What are you tolerating?
- Are there any “shoulds” or “should nots” at play here?
- What have you learned from this situation?
- What are the advantages of changing?
- Accomplishing what will get you closer to your dreams?
- What needs to happen to attain these outcomes?
Now that you know and understand where you want to go and what has kept you from getting there, you are positioned to make real, lasting changes by implementing action plans. Action plans work best when you have someone other than yourself who you are accountable to for encouragement. Ask at least one person you know and trust to serve in that role. Action plans should be completed weekly; hold your pie-in-the-sky vision as your end result while focusing on short intervals of action so everything feels more manageable. Your action plan for the week might include: Implementing a client feedback form; signing up for an automated e-mail sender; and planning a staff appreciation day.
When you identify what you want, are honest about where you are today, and follow manageable action plans to accomplish your desired results, you have the recipe for success.
Lila Shanti Pettyjohn is a licensed esthetician, certified professional coach, certified wellness coach and certified Reiki practitioner. She owns A New Leaf Wellness in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a holistic healing practice in which she uses her varied skills to helpclients heal mind, body and spirit. She also creates a line of hand-crafted, natural bath and body products. She can be contacted at 318-294-5926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.