You know when you sense a business need/opportunity, but you’re not quite sure about going ahead?
I’ve had some questions lately about evolving into a new-ish area of business direction, and in the past couple of weeks, I’ve been listening.
Here’s the expanded offering I’ve been looking at: some of my clients, for whom I did intensive one-day Clarity Therapy sessions, have engaged me to give ongoing business/clarity/marketing advice.
These situations evolved into what we’d typically call retained coaching relationships (though I’ve always had some reservations about that “coaching” term applied to business. I don’t know why. Maybe it just felt kinda woo-woo-ish to me!)
Those reservations began to dissolve, however, once I saw the practical value of actually being an outside voice for other small business entrepreneurs; and then this 40-second video by Google CEO Eric Schmidt pretty much put all my resistance to bed:
“The one thing people are never good at, is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really helps.”
One reason I went to a Mastermind session in Boston a couple weeks back was to discuss this idea with a bunch of smart people who don’t really know me. The input was quite valuable, actually; and those folks definitely reinforced my growing conviction that the need is definitely there (particularly for my area of interest: solopreneurs, consultants, and small business owners/executives).
So, I next asked a number of people in my “inner circle” of advisors to give me input. Should I expand my business model to offer longer-term advisory services – start with the epiphanies that come with the one-time Clarity Therapy session, but then offer the possibility (to a select few) of an ongoing relationship to help with strategy and implementation?
The answer was a pretty resounding “Yes!” – particularly since the marketplace was already sending a clear message about the need. The affirmation, advice, and cautions of others (some of whom have far more experience on one or both sides of business coaching relationships) was a huge help. Thanks so much to Peter, Sarah, Jesse, Phil, Stephanie, Michelle, Braydon, Shonali, Val, Tom, George, Jim, Pete, Catherine, Marion, Amanda, and any others I may be forgetting.
I see this as being a Small Business Advisor/Clarity Coach – with a particular emphasis on strategy, marketing, and network connection-making. A big part of this, I have found, is creating a “safe place” for open discussion – an outside voice, an advisor, and a friend. It’s lonely out there, and we often can’t read the label of the jar we’re in (you knew The Jar was going to show up somehow, right? :>)
It’s pretty exciting, especially when others tell you to get moving. More to come, but wanted you friends in my extended network to know how this was taking shape. Should be an interesting 2014 as Clarity Therapy evolves into Clarity Coaching as well!
Related blog post: Baby, It’s Warm Inside (this network)!
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