This year I started a 12 month business coaching development program through David Guest Business Coaching Solutions. I figured after 24 years of working for someone else, now as a freelancer, it was time to invest in personal development that took me out of my comfort zone. If freelancing wasn’t risky enough, I needed to have someone to ask me some tough questions about the next phase of my self employed career and to get me to think, plan and achieve clear measurable and actionable goals for my business – and to hold me accountable to them.
Most of all, I wanted someone to give me another perspective and to force me out of my own self limiting beliefs so that they don’t stand in the way of what I want to achieve. I also wanted that person to be outside of my own network and profession; not within my sphere of current friends, family, business clients and acquaintances (and no, not even my Personal Learning Network). It was important that they had their own area of expertise and have networks in my local area. (I have often said that I want to work locally with businesses in the community and this was one way to be introduced).
In effect, I wanted to be challenged by new ideas, questioned on my beliefs and prodded into action.
So far I have attended a couple of sessions centred on Vision and Goal Setting. I’d be lying if I haven’t found these personally difficult. Days go by where I’m constantly mulling over what my vision is and what my goals may be. At times, I become fearful and anxious and the questions I ask myself are:
- Have I put enough thought into this freelancing career as I should have?
- What if I can’t find clients?
- What if I come across as a “product pusher”?
- What if I change my mind and the goals I planned are really not what I want in the end? Or…shock, horror, I change my mind!?
Start with the End In Mind
David asked us to start with our VISION – our legacy of our purpose and intent and our “why”. Our vision needs to enrol and to inspire and wrapped up with our core values, purpose and envisioned future. It is a vision that can stand 100 years…
The very first thing I wrote down was… “To remember what it is to be human“ . It came to me instantly and without any hesitation. I kept looking at this statement.
Why on earth did I write this?
Something about that sentence seemed a bit too ominous for my vision. It was as if I had already decided that in 2115 we were on our way (or have already lost) the meaning of what it means to be human. A dystopian and unrecognisable future with cyborgs who lacked empathy, emotions and true meaningful connections.
This sentence kept playing around in my mind. It took me over a week to come up with a new vision. Even though I had snippets of imagery in my head on what it may look like, I simply couldn’t articulate it well enough. It didn’t help having this video in my mind…
Or this in my future….
I read other peoples visions and goals for inspiration but nothing came close. I wrote ideas down, I crossed them out, I re-wrote them, I erased them again. I deliberated and pontificated with myself during my daily walks. I tossed and turned in bed. The rubbish bin full of crumpled up pieces of paper with half baked ideas and scribbles – testimony to my frustration.
Maybe I was over thinking this?
I had to take a deep breath and think about what I valued the most and what brings me joy when working with and for others and in a moment of clarity, it was simply this:
“ To make our work more human”
So that’s my vision. It is still compelling as the first but it has a positive message. That way, I can leave out opinions of a dystopian future…
But it doesn’t end there. Next up is we have to create an elevator pitch (Argh! More sleepless nights!) and if you read my previous post What’s My Niche? you can understand why this will be difficult. I am coming to some realisations about how I can take and share what I know to different audiences outside of just Learning and Development so that I can feed my own desire to continually learn about new industries, new environments and new ways of working.
In a way, by being out of my comfort zone and in “new” situations will mean that my mind will always be open and ready for learning, exploring and sharing.
And that, is what I really want.