Every now and again we read something that immediately changes our life. This happened to me recently when I read Multiple Streams of Coaching Income by Andrea J. Lee. Andrea opened the door for me to think beyond the traditional one-on-one coaching offering.
The minute I started calling myself a “coach and author”, I felt tremendously liberated. All of a sudden, the scope of my work was extended 10-fold. I’d always had a goal of reaching — and influencing — 1,000,000 people. I certainly could never do that with one-on-one phone coaching alone.
Thinking of myself as an author also changed how I work. While I still maintain an individual folder for clients, all coaching sessions are now recorded in one place. This allows me to see patterns and trends in coaching issues and to identify ideas for articles or ebooks. It also gives me a central place to record ideas or ‘pithy’ sayings that lend themselves to a blog entry, a tweet, an article or an ecourse.
How about you? When people ask you “Who are you?” or “What are you?”, how do you respond? If you add the word ‘and’ to that response, what happens? Does it broaden your horizons? Does it point out the importance of multiple roles? Does it give you a new way of looking at what you do? Does it give you ideas for how to bring the elements together in your day-to-day work?
If you are already defining yourself as two things (for example, I am a wife and mother) add the ‘and’ to the end of that. Perhaps your new response is now ‘wife, mother and writer’ or ‘wife, mother and reader’. The important part is to look at your standard definition of self in a new way.
As I was thinking of samples for this, I thought about the fact that I was a daughter. I added the words ‘and friend’ to that and was struck anew with possibilities. I realized that while I choose to live with and assist my aging mother, I wasn’t sure that I was really being a friend to her. Did I share the way I would if it was a friend sitting next to me? Was that creating barriers in our relationship, or maintaining the ‘because I’m the mother’ thing we often seem to have going. I plan to work with this awareness and see what changes I can affect in my life. I hope you will play with this as well!