Yesterday I had my first session as a coach. It started at 10:00 AM in the morning and lasted about 70 minutes. I just felt great during the whole session and from the feed-back I got from the person being coached, the feeling was shared. What is this coaching about? And why and how am I doing it? Well, let’s take it one step at a time…
After several weeks of discussions and alternative scenarios, Diana and I decided it’s time to slow down the move to New Zealand for a few months. It doesn’t make any sense to pursue it on this economical context. The destination is still the same, but we delayed the date of departure. It’s the same thing as looking through the mirror and decide to postpone your hiking because it is so raining outside. We both agreed this is the best move we can make now.
So, after waking up with a buffer of few more months ahead me I had to face a challenge. What am I going to do? A part from this blogging on eDragonu, of course. While being a very fulfilling activity for myself, this blog – and the business behind it – doesn’t necessarily have to be the only activity. I had to do a short analyze and sketch the short term schedule for the next period.
It took no more than a few days and I came up with two main goals: teaching and coaching. The teaching will involve live training sessions on topics that I’ve been writing about in the last few years, like time management, personal development, productivity and effectiveness, and, of course, GTD. Coaching will have the same underlying fundament, it will only have a different, one to one approach.
Why Am I Coaching?
The short answer is: because somebody asked me to. The long answer has some more subtle reasons, of course.
First of all, I discovered over the years that I really like to coach. Part of my daily management routine, while I had the online publishing business, was managing my team. And that managing involved a lot of coaching. I may not named it like this, but it was exactly this. I had to coach my employees to stay on top of their priorities, their goals, to effectively use their time in the office, to become more productive and effective. And that was one of the parts I really enjoyed. So, the first subtle reason for coaching is because I really like it.
Secondly, I realized that I have a significant expertise in doing business. Being your own boss for more than 10 years isn’t something easy or at least easy to find. That part of my life leveraged something extremely precious, something that I’m ready to share right now. Being an entrepreneur and the manager of your own business requires a lot patience and skills. Knowing all the processes that a business require, first hand experience, is a huge advantage. And I’m going to use it.
Thirdly, I had a successful business. No need to brag about it, just the facts. I was doing well and the successful exit is one of the most visible proofs to that. Having a successful story behind you is the most effective advertisement you can get. Not to speak about the level of trust that this successful past as a business man builds between you and your potential clients. Success is something that can be learned, that can be understood and re-shaped by other people. With the proper coaching, of course.
What Am I Coaching?
Basically, I coach on whatever topics the client needs to. But in this specific case I came up with three main areas: time management, business strategy and productivity.
Time management is one of the most crowded areas in my environment. And I mean in Romania. We do face a very unfriendly time environment: from cultural habits of showing late to a meeting, up to sudden and insanely longs traffic jams (2-3 hours some times). One must do something about it or chose to get nuts. It’s not only about getting in time to a meeting, it’s about putting the proper value on your time. It’s your only limited resource, so, time management on a complete hectic environment is quite a challenge.
Business strategy is one of the key areas in which people have to take immediate action during this period. Yes, we’re on a crisis here and we just have to face it. It’s not only about handling financial pressure, it’s about redefining products, services and reinventing clients. It’s about creating a new business from scratch, if there is need.
Closely related to the one above, productivity is the clever answer to a crisis. Everybody can slam you with a lay off, but only the clever one will chose to push the acceleration pedal instead of the brake. Pushing brake is easy: cut costs, lay off people and keep a low profile till after the storm. But the clever one will understand that this crisis is also an opportunity. Just go a little bit faster than the other ones, by increasing your productivity and by keeping your costs at the same level and you’ll have a better face after the storm.
How Much Time And How Many Clients?
The coaching sessions will be in the same league as the first one: 45 to 90 minutes maximum, one session per week. It’s still early to predict the outcome but the first session was very promising. I don’t want to immerse myself in this one too deep, partly because I know I can get really deep and had difficulties to get out and partly because I want to keep a balance between my activities. I still give the number one priority to my blogging and personal development challenges. So, I guess a number of up to three monthly clients will be the top of my preferences at this moment.
All in all, I’m really glad I started this. I even redecorated my office for that. And it felt so good doing it 🙂 .