Just The Facts Please

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. – Mark Twain

A couple of months ago I was stressing about my dwindling income from going part time at my "day job" to focus on building my coaching business.  I'd had a few strategy sessions with potential clients who really wanted to work with me, but 1:1 was cost prohibitive for them at the moment.  Then, I got this brilliant inspiration to start a group program for them.  It would be a win win, since they would be getting a great deal and I would have the push to move forward in developing lessons for my program.  I got together a group of 60+ people in my free Stop Spinning Your Wheels program and more than doubled my e-mail list in less than a month! I also got really good feedback from people on my posts and promotional information.

Well, let's just say, when I finally launched the paid program, I did not get the response I had hoped for. The folks who had been potentially interested had life events come up, and though I didn't send nearly as many e-mails as recommended for a launch, I still lost more people from my list due to the increase in messages.

For a day or two I started to panic - this was not going according to my plan.  And to make things worse, I beat myself up a little because I knew the advice I'd gotten from the marketing programs I'd worked with said to focus on building your 1:1 clients before even attempting a group.

I stepped back and reassessed my situation.  I had several people who had indicated they would join a group if available, and probably would have if the timing had been right. Because some of the group participants I did have were part of trades, the income generated would not provide much of a cushion to my income.  But as soon as I gave up the expectation that it would, I could step back and see clearly what I did have going for me.

By that point, I had four people committed to the group who had interacted with my groups and/or other groups I am in. Setting the timeline for the group would give me the push I needed to get the lessons done so that I have them for future groups and 1:1 clients.  The positive feedback and enthusiasm I got can potentially build up for a more engaged audience in the future.

So often we get so caught up in our thoughts or expectations around an issue, it's hard to step back and see the whole picture.  Thoughts that might get in the way of this include expectations, judgments, evaluations, labels, black & white thinking, blame, perceptions and false feelings (thoughts that masquerade as feelings such as neglected or harassed).

When we stop and step back from all of those thoughts, we can observe just the facts.  This allows us to see clearly without judgment or expectation.

Once we get that clear picture, we can reconnect with our feelings around the issue and get a better understanding of where they are coming from.