For those of you who have been coached, you know that good coaches are good listeners. They are gentle guides who ask you really great questions to get you to uncover those answers that lie deep within you.
But the really great coaches out there are the ones who challenge us to think in new ways and reach for higher levels of success. Sometimes, they challenge us in some not so gentle ways.
I was working with one of my coaching clients the other day. This individual works in a field that is highly competitive and highly regulated. As we talked about some personal branding strategies he might use in the social media environment to take his sales to a higher level, I watched him fall back into the excuse that he is prohibited from developing a strong expert presence because of industry regulations.
I let him go on for a while bemoaning the fact that he was helpless. I listened patiently, as any good coach does, but then I asked him to list all of the things he is good at, the things that set him apart, what he’s won awards for. I saw him smile because he knew where I was headed with this challenge. At this point, I suggested he pick up a different crayon and color his world differently.
I shared with him the story of a friend of mine who is an expert in the world of model trains. He also happens to be a financial planner who works in a highly regulated industry. When my friend blogs, Tweets, posts, writes articles and speaks at events, he is doing so as an expert in the field of model trains, but somehow he always finds a way to let people know that his day job is that of a financial advisor.
Write about and speak about the things that give you joy even if these things are not related to your business. Writers have the opportunity to give a bio at the end of their articles and speakers have the chance to introduce themselves or be introduced by another at events. This is where you can let people know what you do so well for a living.
So when you feel boxed in, try coloring your world with a different crayon.
What things could you speak or write about that will help to position you as an expert?