Avoiding the fakes – when you’re looking for an online coach

Having a life or business coach is an invaluable investment in yourself. However, finding one that has the right expertise and who gives you value for money can be a search with challenges, especially if you rely on the online coaching industry.

When you venture on to the web, you’ll find coaches for every aspect of life and it is spectacularly easy to find them. But, as the Romans said,

“Caveat Emptor,” or “let the buyer beware.”

I say this because the Internet has made it very easy for anyone to set them up as some sort of guru, offering wealth and power in five easy steps, if you just pay for their book, course or one-to-one sessions with them. So, how can you tell the wheat from the chaff? Well, there are a few things you can watch out for.

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Exaggerated claims

Policing the Internet is a work in progress and currently it is still easy for those who want to trick you to get on the first page of results. These people know how to SEO their sites to the hilt. My advice is to look out for coaches who make exaggerated claims. Is the offer just too good to be true? Will you really make millions in a matter of months? Look for the coaches that don’t promise the spectacular and unachievable, who don’t use flashy language and who acknowledge you have to put the work in for any real change to happen.

Check their credentials

And I don’t mean their training certificates. If a coach claims they can help you to boost your income to seven figures, make sure you find out if they have been able to do that for themselves. Do your research to make sure the coach has achieved what they claim to be offering. But don’t stop there. Look deeper. Did the coach have a more advantageous starting point than you; in other words, did they work to get where they are, or have they benefited from a fortunate background? If you and the coach have very different starting points, then they possibly are not the one for you.

Watch out for the marketing tricks

Beware of certain sales tactics. For example, there are many who throw in an enormous number of ‘bonuses’, which is an attempt to make you feel more comfortable with the high cost of the course. Also, watch out for those who use special offers within a limited time period that are intended to make you pressure buy. This probably means they know the course isn’t worth the money they are charging. Instead, find one who understands the investment you are making and who can demonstrate that you will be getting value for money.

The free content

Like pressure buying, the offer of free content is another marketing trick. Sometimes the free content is a genuine offer. But, do study what you are offered gratis. Is it just a rehash of some information that is already on the site, for example? The quality of the free content directly relates to the quality of the course you will pay for. Is it going to be worth it?

Finally, you must go with your gut. What inconsistencies can you spot? Do they seem like a balanced person? Are they arrogant or do they brag about themselves? If something feels off, then it probably is. Trust your instincts before you spend your money.

 

 

Tips on startup cash

Tips on startup cash

As an entrepreneur I am well aware that managing your cash flow in the early days of a business startup can be challenging. Not everyone has the comfort of a generous investor who provides a safety net, and those that don’t have sufficient liquidity need to take a ‘bootstrapping’ approach. This has saved many a new business from failing before it has barely begun and in my opinion, if you can rescue your business by yourself, you will be better prepared for what lies ahead. Therefore, I have put together 8 tips about the various ways in which you can bootstrap your business.

  1. Generate cash quickly

A business model that has the potential to generate cash rapidly is most likely to succeed if you’re bootstrapping and relying on your own finances. Not all business models will do this, so from the outset look at how you can bring cash in from the start.

  1. Watch your expenditure

Open a business bank account at the first opportunity. Using your personal bank account is risky because it is harder to keep track of incoming funds and outgoings. Discipline yourself to watch where cash goes and what demands more of it and when. There are free tools available that track spending and you should be monitoring your expenditure on a daily basis.

  1. Reduce personal spending

This is just common sense. You may have your own business but that doesn’t mean you can immediately start living the high life. You don’t have a salary as such, so think very hard about every purchase and only buy what is absolutely necessary. If possible, look at other ways to save money, such as reducing your rent by sharing with a friend.

  1. Do the job yourself

It would be lovely to outsource some tasks, but this is both an unnecessary expense and one that stops you from learning more about your business.

  1. Learn a new skill

This is related to the previous tip – if you don’t know how to perform a task that is required by your business, learn it rather than ask somebody else to do it. If you need to write code but have never done it before, now is the time to acquire the skill. You’ll save money and have a new skill.

  1. Learn the art of thrift

Apart from reducing personal spending, look at ways to reduce business expenditure. Make good use of all the freebies available, such as free versions of Dropbox and other online tools. Do you really need an office or can you work from home? Choose the latter first until you actually need to pay for premises.

  1. Invest in your website and business incorporation

This is one exception to the being thrifty tip. Make sure you use a respected incorporation service, because in the long term a shoddy service may come back to haunt you. Also, buy the web domain you want from Day One and build your brand around it from the start. It won’t cost less if you wait and you’ll miss the opportunity to establish your branding.

  1. Refuse to take ‘No’ for an answer

You might find that when you are small some suppliers don’t want to work with you. It’s essential that you build a personal relationship with these people, because by doing so you are more likely to get the service at a price you can afford. Tell them your story and what you are trying to achieve – appealing to people’s emotions is all part and parcel of running a business.

I can tell you that none of this is a walk in the park as they say, but if you follow these tips, the pay-off is considerable and you’re more likely to find you have a solid, long-term business.

I hope you enjoyed this and found it useful. Please subscribe to my blog if you’d like to receive an alert when I post new content.

 

 

 

Perseverance is a Major Key to a Life of Success

Perseverance is a Major Key to a Life of Success

Each of us thrives on being successful and in doing so we often forget the difficulties lying in the path to success. We set targets and want to achieve them right away, but we are humans and may fall short on those goals. Failure at the start can lead to frustration, and it shatters the self-confidence you had at the beginning. You might consider giving up on your dreams because you don’t feel like you can ever succeed in life.

Success, despite the popular belief, isn’t a one-way path or a straight line. It is a muddled road with various ups and downs, and you should navigate it with popular care. You might fall or get lost in your way. But if you keep going, you will eventually reach your destination.

Have you ever wondered how some prominent personalities achieved great heights of success? What did those individuals do that set them apart from the rest of us? How did they stay positive, when faced with failure?  Undoubtedly, they must have some secret ingredient that helped them throughout their journey. How can we get our hands on that special ingredient?

Let’s ask a couple of successful people

Everyone knows the great Muhammad Ali, and when asked if he liked his training he replied: “I hated every minute of training, but I said to myself, ‘Don’t quit, suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

He ended up preparing for his fights, by pushing himself to the limit, he refused to quit when things got hard for him, and that made him the champion he is known today.

The author of Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling, is another example of success. The manuscript of the first book was rejected by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury took it. Here’s what she has to say about her failure; “Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.”

It seems to me that, they kept on going, remained persistent, and their perseverance helped them reach the peak of the mountain.

“When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”

What is Perseverance?

Perseverance: Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Perseverance is an essential element when you need to achieve a high level of success. It is a great tool to use, and it doesn’t require any college education or training. It comes naturally and requires a strong will.

It doesn’t matter what your goal is or how long it takes you to reach that goal. The chances of your success depend largely on your willingness to persist and persevere. Because perseverance breeds success and without it, you can’t possibly reach the sky.

Perseverance means, to go on no matter what is in the way, to remain steadfast in accomplishing the difficult task. It requires a higher level of patience to develop perseverance in you.

Perseverance has more benefits than to help you master the skill of patience. Here are some of the perks of perseverance.

Trustworthiness:  Someone who practices perseverance is more trustworthy than the rest, people know you are not going to quit, no matter how hard the situation gets. You will hold your ground.

Gives you self-confidence:  It increases your sense of self-worth and confidence. You start taking full ownership of the goals you have set to achieve. You become a firm believer that your destiny is in your hands. You perceive to control your own fate.

“I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed: and the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I fail and keep trying.” – Tom Hopkins

Heightens your Motivation

Perseverance essentially means you’re committed to your goal. But it enhances its value for you and intensifies your motivation level. It leads you to wonderful findings, and broadens your knowledge, about yourself and your goals.

It is a well-established fact by now, that success is not achieved overnight. There is no such thing as get-rich-fast successes in the world. The road to success is a slow and quite precarious journey at times. It takes hard work and time to build up and makes you solely responsible for your progress.

In short, it’s perseverance that’s the key to a successful life. If you keep persevering long enough, you will achieve your true potential. Just remember, you can do anything you set your mind to, but it takes action, persistence, and the courage to face your fears.

How has being perseverant helped you succeed in life? Let us know by sharing your story below!

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Being Human at Work

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When our oldest child entered middle school we found it necessary to meet with his principal. At that time of course, school was his full-time job — and there were developing signs that it was the wrong job. As parents, we felt the need to discuss a strategy to address the job-person fit. To be frank, the over-riding goal was not to boost his grades, but to protect him as a developing individual.

As things stood, his role was clearly a frustrating exercise. Sadly, he was showing signs of complete exhaustion. One very astute teacher put it this way: “He actually has 7 bosses and they all want something a little different. That’s not an easy task.” I couldn’t have put it better. He was drowning in the midst of the demands he faced. None of this emphasized his strengths — only his clear weaknesses in the executive functioning realm.

Our son brought himself to his role as student. But more importantly, he was a human being that was faced with the learning environment as it was presented. We held no judgements as to what was “right” or “wrong” about that environment — only that his experience with that environment was both unique and challenging.

What we asked of his principal was quite simple: 1.) That he had an opportunity to explore/discover something that brought him feelings of competence and 2.) that he still loved (or at the very least, respected) the process of learning when he left her care. She was the needed glue to help him to sift through the noise and find the signals.

Being human at work poses a related challenge.

When you ponder your work life, what immediately comes to mind? Do you feel supported? Respected? Are you challenged? Are you developing in a manner that is meaningful? Are the unique qualities that define the positive foundation of you, a part of that work life? Or like our son, are you faced with poor job-person fit?

These may sound like unusual questions. But, they shouldn’t be.

When I discuss negative work experiences with clients, expressions of feeling “drained, “lost” or “frustrated” are mentioned. When we are fighting for the elements that uniquely define who we are, we suffer. Our employers may miss out on our strengths. Our customers do not benefit from our talents.

We wage a talent war that no one can win.

This realization drove me to take a step back.

What might help explain why this dynamic — that when ignored can become utterly devastating. I recalled humanistic psychology. A reaction to behaviorism and the tenets of psychoanalytic thought (made known by Freud), humanistic theory offers an interesting framework as we approach the job-person fit. Humanism explains that we posses a drive toward becoming self-actualized. In other words, a drive to maximize our creative potential. (This line of thought came to the forefront through the work of psychologists Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.)

Its direction and tenor could easily apply to work life:

  • When considering people — the whole is greater than than the sum of the parts.
  • There is a drive to achieve congruence between our “real self” and the “ideal self”.
  • Some measure of unconditional positive regard is necessary to fully develop as an individual.
  • An individual is greatly influenced by his/her environment. Social interaction is key to development.
  • We are fully aware and have the ability to make a conscious choice. Our past experienced help drive future behavior.
  • Human beings are uniquely capable of intentional thought and goal directed behaviors.

I wonder how we can build this respect for individuals into every organization. How might current trends in HR support this effort?

I know there are many of us fighting for this. Is one of them you?

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