If I had my way, everyone would have a coach. Here are mine.
Every once in a while, in mid-sentence, someone will stop me and say, “Wait, what did you just say?”
I’ll repeat: “My business coach taught me that one way to do that is to (insert pearl of wisdom).”
But it’s not the pearl they want, it’s the shell: “YOU have a coach? Isn’t that what you do for the rest of us?” Suspicious looks ensue.
I’m re-surprised by this every time it happens. It’s not in any way unusual for coaches and consultants to have coaches and consultants of their own (and for that matter, for psychologists to have psychologists, which I now confess was a surprise to me at first).
I am blessed to have two startlingly great coaches that feature prominently in my life. And since they are apparently not supposed to exist in the astral plane I inhabit, I’ll introduce them to you so you don’t think they’re my imaginary playmates. Plus, they add so much to my existence that I’ll take any excuse to talk about them:
Judith Morgan Author/Small Business Expert Currently of London (though I hope for a consult in flip-flops someday) https://judithmorgan.com
Judith is, to steal her own phrase, “…part love, part humor, part brilliance, and part harangue.” (She is judicious with the harangue, but pitch-perfect when she uses it.) She is a no-nonsense, fiercely honest, extremely funny, and incredibly knowledgeable small business coach.
She works with people who employ themselves for money; self-employed, solopreneurs, small business owners, freelancers, and all the other permutations.
She matches my energy and raises me even more of it. Her clients can turn to her with questions, woes, ridiculous worries, confusions, logistical nightmares, critical attacks of imposter syndrome, and so much more—and she always has a way to talk us down off the proverbial ledge and back into our own dreams.
Author John Parkin says in his foreword to her fab new book Your Biz Your Way, “I go to Judith when I need answers. And I often need answers. Sometimes I go to Judith when I need to understand the question actually.” I love this book, which is a collection of her answers to 52 client questions that almost all of us have asked in our business lives.
She works with clients individually and via her group coaching programs. She writes, blogs, podcasts, has a terrific newsy newsletter and is active on social media.
What I think of when I think of Judith: She’s fearless, loving, wise, and funny. I turn to Judith and the group when “the spirit is willing” but I’m stuck in my own stuff and can’t see the right next steps for my business…or don’t trust myself to take them.
The first time I was introduced to George Kao’s website, I admit I was made wide-eyed by several things I found there:
He has an enormous body of knowledge that he offers from his website…free.
He was the first on my radar to suggest that we could best “market” ourselves by being completely open, ethical, kind, and even a tiny bit vulnerable. Just glance at the titles of some of his videos: http://bit.ly/2Eg6nIh
He has his dog Buddy with him in most of his videos, which are generally filmed in natural settings. Bonus points.
I bought and read his book, Authentic Content Marketing, in a single sitting; 2 days later, I sat with it for the better part of a day, filling a notebook with to-do items and scheduling them into my calendar. It is a concentration of advice that flies right in the face of our aggressive, formulaic, “crush it” business climate.
I’ve done both private coaching with George and also am part of his mastermind group, MasterHeart. He also offers some terrific learn-and-do online workshops that I’ve found to be the best way to bump up my own skills.
George strikes the perfect balance between the “softer” empowerment/management skills to keep us all healthy and growing, and the priceless nuts and bolts of what’s working out there, and how to do it. He’s working on a second book now on the topic of Joyful Productivity, and I have a feeling I’ll need another notebook.
What I think of when I think of George: Smart, soft-spoken, curious, and crazy-generous with his knowledge and content. I turn to George and the group for daily feedback of all kinds, specific ongoing knowledge/skills, and the kind of always-on community/camaraderie that punctures the isolation of being a solo businessperson.