-Sometimeswhat you don't dois just

I was talking to my brother-in-law the other day. He’s remodeling his house. I know how stressful this can be. (I’m only exaggerating slightly when I tell you my husband and I nearly got a divorce last year fighting over paint colors.)

With remodels, there are infinite decisions to make that you kind of have to live with for awhile — paint, fixtures, lighting, flooring, appliances, drywall texture, doorbells, mailboxes, blow-in or blanket insulation, siding… it goes on and on and on.

“I just have to make the right choice,” he told me. As he said it, I could feel the idea of that sending him into a mild state of panic.

In a society that values “freedom of choice,” we are a deceptively choice resistant bunch.

For example…

I help new coaches build a practice that actually makes money. The number one thing that keeps most of them stuck early on is the idea of “niche.” A lot of business experts advise, and I agree, to choose a specific area of focus (aka a “niche”).

Most coaches stay in limbo here for months, sometimes years, agonizing over the “right” thing to choose.

“I have to pick the ‘right’ thing,” they explain.

So they take business courses, fill out “ideal client avatar worksheets,” poll people. But, conveniently, never choose a niche.

“What if I get roped into an area I hate?” they obsess.

So they try to keep their options open. Which leads them to sound about as generic as it gets promising to “get you unstuck” or help you through your difficult life transitions. Snooze. All coaches are supposed to do that. It’s a part of our job requirement.

Somehow during all this indecision, they manage to stay busy — really, really busy – taking courses, polling people, redoing web copy, filling out ideal client avatar worksheets, polling more people…

Now I’m a huge proponent of taking action. But in a world of infinite options, it’s not enough to take any action because some action is just a waste of time and energy. By that, I mean, some action doesn’t have much bang for the buck.

Most of us don’t take the time to discern “right” action from action that makes us feel like we’re productive individuals making a meaningful contribution when in reality we’re just doing all that work to look like productive individuals making a meaningful contribution while simultaneously avoiding the scary choices we need to be making. And the clock goes tick-tock.

Why is Choice So Scary?

Choice is scary because it requires us to accept that we really can’t have it all. TWEET THAT

Not all at the same time anyway. The math goes something like this:

If you choose this, you’ve got to let go of that.

So we straddle as many realities as we can, deluding ourselves that we have something to gain via this scenario.

(In the mean time we are now waking up at 4am, neglecting our children, snapping at our spouse to get out of the way! and growing larger and larger as we consume peanut butter cups by the handful while glued to the computer.)

Or is that just me?

My hunch is this is exactly why so many of us are soooooooo overwhelmed, soooooo busy, soooooo tired, yet we can’t ever seem to find 2 minutes to sit down.

Tough love time:

You have to choose your regrets.

The alternative is to keep running like a mad hamster indefinitely.

Here are 5 Tips for Living with the Scary Reality of Choice:

  1. Choose your Regrets: I recently decided to pause all one-on-one work in my practice. It took me a lot of time to make this choice because I didn’t want to let go of the extra income and the intimate time with my clients. Eventually, I decided it was a regret I could live with. I gained more time in the day to be with my kids and more energy to show up as the mom I wanted to be.
  2. Stop Believing that Your Choice is Forever: Sure drywall takes a bit of work to redo but all choices lead to something really valuable: feedback. Early in my coaching career I chose a niche as a fertility coach. And I soon learned that, though it had been my struggle, I was NOT happy working with women struggling to conceive. So I went back to the drawing board and eventually found my thing around approval addiction. But I couldn’t have gotten there if I hadn’t started somewhere.
  3. “Leaving Your Options Open” is for Scaredy Cats: Where did this expression come from anyway? It’s a fear-driven expression based on the idea that you won’t be successful so you’d better have as many fallbacks as possible. The truth is, you’ve got to make the choice, then take action based on that choice, see what happens, then tweak your plan based on what you learned. No fallback here!
  4. Choose or Let Circumstances Choose For You: The irony is if you allow yourself to marinate in a state of indecision long enough you WILL find yourself getting roped into the wrong shit. For example, I created a whole business plan for 2015, added a new team member, joined an expensive mastermind, ALL while in a state of unconscious indecision. It turned out fine in the end but it was a heck of an inconvenience for a time.
  5. You Might Get Something Done: Take it from me, straddling multiple realities, all in a deluded effort not to miss out on anything, keeps you from accomplishing much at all. Choose your regrets, decide on your priorities and you might actually do something EPIC with THE most limited resource you have: your time. At the very least, you’ll have 2 minutes to sit down.

For more on this topic, read Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. To learn more about my business program for coaches who want to learn how to make money in their practice as quickly as possible while laying the foundation for six figures, click here.

YOUR TURN: Tell me a choice you’ve been avoiding… What are the trade offs? What “regret” do you choose? Post a comment below and I’ll randomly choose a participant to win a copy of my new favorite: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown!

{ 19 comments }

Stop waiting to be ready!

by Amy on April 6, 2015

I hate video.

I hate to be in front of the camera.

I hate planning out what to say… the endless false starts because I couldn’t remember my words or I stuttered or a kid walked in.

The experts say I have to edit my videos, add a fancy intro sequence, and hire a professional videographer.

Then there’s hair and makeup.

Ugh!

All of it feels soooo overwhelming. Which is why I haven’t done any video.

Until today.

I’m trying something new today in my business. Video!

Each week, I plan to offer a bite-sized biz tip for coaches (and entrepreneurs in general).

So today’s tip is STOP WAITING TO BE READY.

Take a sec, and get a pen.

Write down the word READY.

After you write it down, go back and cross it out! Preferably with a big red sharpie!

Then tape that piece of paper on your computer!

Because:

You will never be ready!

Which is why I decided to film my first EVER video for you in this series with no make-up (and very very bad hair!)

No editing.

No intro sequence.

No professional videographer.

Boom. Done.

It took me about 15 minutes.

The point is that if you’re like most coaches you’re making things to hard.

You still don’t have a freebie because you keep going back and forth over the exact “right” thing to offer. You keep making miniscule tweaks to that blurb you planned on posting last week about your free consult. You don’t call woman back… the one who wanted to talk to you about coaching… because you don’t have a coaching program “ready.”

For the love of all things holy! STOP THAT.

Building your business is NOT an intellectual exercise. TWEET THAT

No amount of proof reading, spell checking and market research is going to help you move forward.

What does work is ACTION, ready or not.

Because action gets results — Sometimes good results and sometimes bad results.

As an entrepreneur you don’t care.

You want the feedback.

You post your freebie? 100 sign ups today! Feedback!

You post your blurb to Facebook? Crickets! Feedback!

You call that lead back? She tells you she doesn’t want to sign up for a 3 month program, she needs a coach for six months! Feedback!

Every time you get a result, bad or good, you mine it for feedback.

Then you get back into action.

And see if it goes better the next time.

Now get out there and do something!

My challenge to you:

Post a comment below, telling me one action you’ll take in your business this week, ready or not!

{ 10 comments }

Love with Strings Attached

March 11, 2015

People are not perfect. They’re vain. Hypocritical. Annoying. Rude. They forget your birthday. They leave passive aggressive Facebook comments. They steal your handbag… My brother yells at me during sporting events, for example. (When the game is close!) The last time he did this (during the Ducks game), I left his house in tears. And […]

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You are five.

February 25, 2015

Who were you when you were five? When I was five… I loved flowers — I vividly remember the plants from my childhood – the sunflowers in my backyard, the rose bushes by the patio, the filbert orchards and the Oregon grapes with berries you couldn’t really eat. I loved to swim – that feeling […]

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The Ugly Truth About How I Met My Man (+ 10 keys to a happy love life)

February 11, 2015

I slept with my husband the day I met him. I was 18 years old. It was my first week of college. The next morning I tried to make conversation but he made his escape quickly. (He says it was because he had bad breath.) I figured I was used goods. Everyone knows that sleeping […]

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Sexy Moms, Little Golden Books and The Truth About “Perfect”

January 21, 2015

I used to want to be a “perfect mom.” Before the 3 you see up top, I’d fantasize about life with kids. I could smell the fresh baked cookies as I pulled them out of the oven, my hair perfectly coiffed. Somehow, I managed to look motherly yet sexy wearing a ruffly apron and high […]

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Why Good Things Terrify Normal People

January 14, 2015

I remember the first time I filled a group-coaching program. My first ever five figure launch! I‘d been dreaming of it for years but when it actually happened… I was thrilled for like a day and then terror set in. Has this ever happened to you? That thing you’ve worked so hard for, that thing […]

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Social proof sucks until you have it

January 5, 2015

I’m a student of marketing so I know about “social proof”… / Social Proof / The positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something. The fact is people find you more believable and trustworthy when other people say nice things about you. Doh! (This sends me right down the Approval bunny […]

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3 Things to Do When Your Soul Demands Inconvenient Change

December 31, 2014

Work — my passion, my calling, one of my greatest joys — hasn’t been feeling so joyful for a while. Months. Logically this makes no sense. I have the most incredible clients on the planet. I absolutely love my team. I actually help people and get paid for it. What is off? What is wrong?? […]

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The Yoga of Doing Hard Shit

December 17, 2014

I just got back from a yoga retreat where I did some of the hardest yoga of my life. Sure reverse triangle is a challenging pose… But Kundalini Yoga is a whole different kind of hard. It’s the oldest kind of yoga. The idea is to get energy lying around the base of your spine […]

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