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Need Some Help Getting 'Unstuck'? Find a Coach

Need Some Help Getting 'Unstuck'? Find a Coach

December 20, 2009

Why did you go into business for yourself in the first place? Can you remember?

Chances are you liked the idea of having more autonomy, more freedom, more money, and more control over your time so you could enjoy it all with your family.

If you're like a lot of entrepreneurs, it hasn't happened - not because you have a bad business model or aren't successful, but because you're stuck.

You're stuck thinking that it all depends on you. You're stuck feeling like nothing will be done right if you're not there. You're stuck doing the same old things the same old way, because that's the way you've always done them. Sure, you may have more money, but you rarely get to enjoy it with your family, because you're always working.

So how do you get unstuck? As they say, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Let's assume we're already there. What now? Well, there's a lot you can do on your own to help you identify what's currently working in your life, what's not, and what you can do about it. I call it '10 Steps to Personal Unstucking,' and I've listed them here.

Step 1 What's not working?

What always seems to be bothering me? What's the thing I keep struggling with? What is my 'way of being' or perspective on the world: negative (jealous, scared, frustrated, annoyed, confrontational) or positive (strong, powerful, hopeful, energetic)?

Step 2 What is the impact on me?

How is my current way of being causing me pain, emotionally and physically? How are my sleeping, eating and drinking habits? How are my relationships?

Step 3 What's the impact on others?

In what ways are the people I care about the most not getting the best of me? How am I holding back or not being the fully loving, powerful person I can be?

Step 4 What's the inevitable future?

What will happen if I continue in my old way of being?

Step 5 What's my 'new possibility'?

What is the opposite of my old way of being?

Step 6 What's the pleasure I'll get?

What would I get out of this new way of being? In what way will it improve my emotional state? My physical well-being? My relationships?

Step 7 What's at risk?

What did I get out of my old way of being? How was it helpful? How do the results of continuing in the old way compare with my new way of being?

Step 8 What's my stretch?

What simple action can I take today, this week or this month, so that my new way of being starts to manifest? Tip: keep it small and involve other people.

Step 9 What's my anchor for the future?

What simple body motion (i.e. putting my hand over my heart, touching my wallet) can remind me of my commitment when I start drifting back to my old way of being?

Step 10 What support do I need to do this?

Who can I confide my 10 Step plan to who will keep me accountable?

Each step in the process is important, and you need to do each of them in order to realize the real impact. But today I want to really unpack one of the steps: Step 10, which deals with the support you need to make this all happen.

You've already recognized that it's a mistake to think that you can do everything in your business, that's one of things that got you stuck in the first place. So don't do the same with your plan for getting unstuck; you can't do it alone. You need support, encouragement, accountability - what you need is a coach.
A good coach isn't a boss; a good coach is a mentor, a guide, a 'safe person' you can confide in and who will help you develop a plan and keep you on track.

I've offered one-on-one business coaching as part of my business for many years now, and have helped hundreds of clients get unstuck and stay that way. A word of warning: There is no authoritative licensing or certification process for professional coaches, so if you choose to go this route, do your homework. You want someone with real-life business experience, and you want to check references.

Sure, entering into a coaching relationship is an investment of time, and money. But if it's a good one, it's worth every penny. Go back and look at your answers to Step 4 - what's the inevitable future? That future isn't inevitable. You can change it, if you get unstuck - and you can ask for help. That's not a sign of weakness - it's the sign of a brilliant business person.