(Photo courtesy of purplelime)
“Most people are walking around, umbilical cord in hand,
looking for a new place to plug it in.”
– Cavett Robert
It’s my final day in the office before I head off for my winter vacation, and this is the last piece of writing I’m doing in 2014, so… By the time you read this, I plan to be nearing the end of my trip to Cape Verde, and excited about coming back to London. I trust that 2015 is unfolding beautifully for you. In this article, we’re going to be exploring the third of the 3 transformations you have to go through to become a professional coach: Your commercial transformation.
Livelihood: Your commercial transformation
When I was growing up, my friends and I were all told something similar; go to college and get a good job working for a solid company and with any luck you’ll find a career. By the time I discovered my true calling, I’d spent over 10 years in employment, and had a good job managing IT projects and organisational change programmes.
Within a couple of weeks of discovering what I really wanted to do, I made a decision. I managed to secure a temporary contracting role with another company, and handed in my notice. My immediate purpose was to generate time, flexibility and income to fund me in retraining as a trainer, coach and consultant. But there was a bigger context for this…
I’d started my commercial transformation.
Most of us have been schooled / trained / conditioned for a very particular kind of commercial existence…
– We’ve learned to be employees, working at organisations owned by other people
– We’ve been taught that money comes from our job, at a salary determined by others
– We’ve often been sheltered from the commercial realities of the organisations we work for
– We’ve absorbed all kinds of dingbat beliefs about money, selling, and leadership
– We’ve been hoodwinked into believing that someone else knows best, that criticism is something to be afraid of, and that approval matter.
Some of these may apply to you, or all, or none of them. As far as I can tell, this is the prevailing mindset in the western world for now. But it’s starting to change…
Many institutions are starting to crumble, and more and more people are yearning for work that aligns with their beliefs and values; heart-centred work. The Institute for the Future predicts that many current jobs will be replaced by computers and robots within the next 10 years. They also make a prediction of the main type of jobs that can’t be replaced by machines…
Transformation professionals. Coaches, therapists, consultants. Trainers, healers, shamen.
In the future, there may be large organisations employing transformation professionals, but today, most of these people work for themselves. Sadly, the vast majority of them don’t make a decent living. Why? Because they stalled partway through their commercial transformation.
As with impact, your commercial transformation has a lot to do with your grounding. Not just your grounding in the inside-out nature of life, but your grounding in the nature of business, selling, money and leadership.
Why leadership? Because most of us have been conditioned to be led by someone else, hence the uncharacteristically pithy Cavett Robert quote at the beginning (apparently he was normally a kindly old gentleman). If you’d have shown me this quote back in 1998, I would’ve told you the key was to plug that umbilical cord into yourself; to take responsibility for yourself and your results. This is what most people do when they start their own business, and it’s one of the reasons so many of them get stressed out, burned out, and find themselves back working for someone else within a couple of years. While I think it’s important to take responsibility, I now see it slightly differently. I now believe the key is to realise that your “umbilical cord” is already plugged into life itself. If you’re willing to take responsibility for prioritising your own evolution, clear up the misunderstandings that have been holding you back until now, and move forward boldly, life will support you. Just as it has done every step of the way.
Wishing you increasing clarity in all things,