“So, what?” David asked.
David is in his 70s, wears glasses and sports a gray beard and a balding head. He looks like Socrates – in a suit. This combined with the fact that he’s quite brilliant made the question seem even more astounding to me. Stunned, I sat across the table from him and my initial internal reaction was, “What do you mean, ‘so what?’ (Followed closely by, “Are you freaking kidding me right now?”)
I had just finished explaining to him some of what I do and how I do it. I discussed the different ways in which we think about information: strategically, creatively, critically and conceptually. I explained what those things really mean and how people apply those aptitudes. I discussed limiting beliefs and limited interpretations of reality. I spoke of authenticity and authentic empowerment. I described how we can change our synaptic pathways, re-frame our thinking and make more conscious choices. I explained how early in life we sub-consciously establish the foundations of our belief systems and how to challenge those long running templates and completely change our perceptions. I had, quite literally, explained how we can change the way we see our history, our universe and ourselves and completely change our reality!
And Socrates said, “So what?”
What I came to understand is that what David meant was that while all of this is all well and good for personal development, facilitating an increased understanding of self and providing interesting insights, what is important is where the rubber meets to road – how does this connect with our primal selves that make decisions? How does it make us money, save us money, empower us or maybe just get us a date?
People who have effective coaches, business or personal, see the benefits of it and profess that coaching is invaluable, yet market penetration in the industry is low. It is true that there are a lot of both life and business coaches that simply aren’t qualified. Others don’t reach the right audiences. Some don’t know how to brand and/or present themselves. And some simply don’t articulate the “so what.” Evidently, I was one of the latter.
So here is the “so what:”
In this world where almost every product and service is a commodity, the only metric we can use to truly set us apart from the competition is what we do differently. Many businesses use metrics such as “better,” “cheaper” and/or “faster.” But those metrics are incredibly fragile. “Better” is subjective. You can be trumped on “cheaper” or “faster” at any given moment. But when you are authentically “different,” you have no competition.
When I was a radio broadcaster I was told that Vin Scully said that when he was getting started in radio, his mentor told him, “The only thing you can bring to your radio show that no one else can, is you.” Apple computer illustrated this in the 80s when they advertised, “Think different.”
My coaching platform is founded upon authentic empowerment. And I help my clients do the same. By showing up authentically, you give your clients and potential clients permission to do the same. When they show up authentically, you can more easily determine how your products and services align with their core value systems. And when you illustrate this to them, they feel connected to what you have to offer. And that is a mind set that is much more difficult for your competitors to shift. In addition, you can more easily determine if a potential client is simply not a fit for you. You can save a lot of time, energy, money and headaches by avoiding the client that shouldn’t be yours to begin with.
Be more authentic. Make the changes that will create stronger connections with your clients and avoid the potential clients that drain resources. Differentiate and increase profitability. And enjoy what you do that much more – because who doesn’t love really being themselves?!
“So what?” So there!
It’s your kingdom. Make it REIGN.
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