I’m a firm believer in talking through your problems. Something I’m noticing though, particularly working with business owners, is that social media is creating a bubble of introspection. Nobody wants to speak to friends or family about their troubles, partly because they have to create an image of invulnerability, but also because people aren’t really interested.
Some clients feel that the perception of their lifestyle is such that people think they’re lucky and shouldn’t be moaning. Others understandably don’t want to unload onto their nearest and dearest because that time is all too precious. Their time with a coach means they can get out all the niggles and frustrations and reach solutions for themselves.
The reality for most small business owners is that while they seemingly have a great life, working to their own tune, the pressure can be overwhelming. The finances, new business development, keeping on top of the latest social media innovations, and scanning their industry to keep ahead of the game – all these pressures can reach boiling point and it becomes all too easy to forget why they did this in the first place.
Too many clients are telling me that they’ve been on the verge of cracking. In general, they are taking on too much, and not making time for real life. There’s a sense that they must constantly come up with their next project, often to the detriment of what needs doing now.
We achieve more, better, by doing less. Take one client, who was overloaded with business – great on the one hand, but much of it was demanding and tedious and unrewarding. We’ve done an audit of all her areas of work, and she has delegated elements, dropped elements, and held onto the parts that she really loves. She’s now got time for her family and the work she is doing is fulfilling and enjoyable. Added to which, she identified activities which relax her and is taking the time to do those, giving her a much-needed ‘mindfulness zone’.
Coaching provides the confidential space to be authentic – get things out of your system that you would like to talk about with friends except it would probably ruin a good night out. Coaching is effective because you’re given the time to speak, and by hearing these issues out loud you very often answer your own questions.
Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Having to maintain the stoic business person mask is really exhausting, so consider coaching as a way to take stock, and remember that you’re doing what you do to enjoy it and create a great life.
“My goal working with Cathy was to maintain a good work life balance, not to feel guilty when I’m taking time out for me, and to maintain a calmer persona under pressure. I’d had reservations that it wouldn’t have any positive change, and I’d be throwing away money I didn’t really have spare for coaching at the time. But it’s turned out to be the opposite and is worth every penny of investment in myself. I would say to anyone considering working with Cathy, do it! Investment in ourselves is the greatest investment we will make.”
Kerry, Business Owner, Travel Industry
“I have been working with Cathy for a number of months now and it has helped me enormously. I have found greater clarity in my thinking and established some goals and changes to the way I work. As a result, I am feeling more relaxed but I have also achieved more in my work. Cathy has helped me to recognise and deal with my self-sabotaging negativity and to stop taking on more than I can cope with (most of the time). Cathy is very soothing and thoughtful, and gives me a lot of space to explore the issues I want to.”