I’ve met some very special people over the last year through networking. Some more memorable than others; some even memorable for the best reasons… their authenticity and genuine kindness. One such person is Velcia Scott. You won’t find much of a digital footprint for her, yet, but it will come. Velcia is a very special kind of coach. She helps people with their image, their self-esteem, self-respect, their true voice, their motivation, their missions, vision, and value statements, their “Why”, and much mush more. She helps executives get over their self-imposed impostor syndromes, and she helps people look in the mirror again with honest and loving eyes. Velcia is a silver lining in human form.
I befriended Velcia, or should I say she befriended me, as I met her at her husband, Eric’s NLP seminar and she grabbed my attention and insisted we would be friends. It’s hard to argue with that. Velcia very quickly decided she needed to help me grow my business. The only problem is that I hadn’t yet defined exactly what that would be. I was working on getting a community magazine published and struggling with the conflict between loving to meet people and having to sell them advertising space. It didn’t feel like I was being genuine in my reasons for meeting people. Ah, a sales dilemma… this is a story for another book… I’m so grateful that Velcia was determined and she continued to ask me questions about what I liked & disliked most in the interactions I was having. The honest answer was I loved the ego stroking I was getting in being able to give useful advice to these entrepreneurs I was meeting and seeing how they appreciated it, up until I started to show the true colours of the ad-rep. Velcia & I revisited the positive side and what I liked was being a consultant. The challenge I had was that I gave it all away for free, so even I hadn’t placed a value on my experience or knowledge. How could I possibly earn a living at something I didn’t yet value, much less defined? How could I be a consultant?
Velcia experienced my confusion and lack of self-confidence, reached into my pity-pot and found a way to offer me a hand in getting out. I had to take it. She broke me out of my patterns with the same question I’ve asked clients for years in many roles I’ve had, only I never dedicated my own thoughts to the answer for myself… she asked me to define my ideal client. Well, I was determined to not sound like I never thought about it and found the most clever way of describing everybody, without saying everybody was my ideal client. She saw right through my BS, called me on it and got me quite angry… at myself! So, I let myself cool down, then I called her to ask for help in what I did wrong. Her kind guidance led me to better understand why I needed to define a specific ideal. How that clear vision in mind would help me attract that person, but devoting a focused creativity to the task, and how that would also attract everyone else who wanted to be like my ideal. Ah- Ha moment #1!
So, I defined a man & a women and explained my reasons clearly to her. Then I waited for her to call me on being still unclear… it didn’t come… right away.
Here’s what I defined:
Man: 50 years old, Less than 5 years in his business, recently left corporate life for entrepreneurship, decision maker, curious, open to learn, desires to grow, leads with his heart, creative spirit, loyal.
Woman: 35 years old, Less than 3 years in his business, recently left corporate life for entrepreneurship, decision maker, curious, open to learn, desires to grow, leads with his heart, creative spirit, loyal.
Notes on why these choices:
A 50 year old man is feeling he is at a pivotal point in his career and needs to grow at all cost, or wither away. He has had enough failures from his own efforts and is ready to accept help.
Women entrepreneurs often learn this lesson faster than men do and are more eager to let go of the ego and seek help faster. Velcia confirmed my impression.
Men & women older than these ages tend to have already sought help and feel they know or have already overcome their personal challenges. My help may not be as welcome.
Having left the corporate world recently indicates a fresher need to do things differently than the usual. The emerging entrepreneurial spirit tends to see success as a pursuit of learning and improving trial and error. They seek mentors and guidance to shorten the learning curve.
A decision maker allows me to talk to the right person and to build the right relationship from the start.
The curious, open to learn, and desirous of growth personality is one I have always related to and had success building win-win relationships with. It’s a person like me and we learn together as much as from each other. It’s just plain nice.
The person who leads with their heart and has a creative spirit will relate to my way of speaking and understand why I say and completely believe I wear my heart on my sleeve.
The loyal person will value trust and honesty as much as I do. I want to focus on helping, not wondering about motives. I work best with the same mindset.
So, now I have a clear idea of who I want to work with and off I went looking for them. Only in the context of the magazine, instead of for finding clients for consulting. Did I ever tell you I am sometimes more stubborn than is good for me? This was one of those time. In fact it blindsided me. I was still accepting my impostor syndrome. Not accepting that I could actually be a consultant. Then I let go of the coach thing… mostly. I went so far as to research fees and how to justify them. I launched my TOMA Marketing company with little intention of passionately pursuing this as a career option. To add to this companies service package, I added a writing service, thanks to some advice from a friend who makes some money as a freelance writer and ghostwriter. Then I let that sit a little and jumped onto something else.
That’s my Renaissance Soul for you… do a little of everything and let each piece grow slowly… but they do grow consistently… even if slowly. You see I got a call from a prospect I met for the magazine who had read a nice email I wrote recommending a service provider I respect. This prospect was in the process of rebranding her interior design company and asked for some help writing content for the website, intro letters, marketing campaigns, etc… I said “why not?” After all, I had started the blogging on GoRead & The New Renaissance Mindset and felt reasonably confident about my abilities. While I had offered to help them with any marketing as some form of consultant, it was clear to both them and I that my passion wasn’t there. I believe it has something to do with my still not being comfortable billing as a consultant. But as a writer, I felt more confident. So, I interviewed her and the article will be appearing as one of my “The People In My Neighbourhood” articles in about a week. So, I moved from being a consultant to being a writer. The later feels much better to say. What’s next?
Remember my friend Richard? He is a journalist, writer, and about to launch a podcast business. He also wants to interview me for his first podcast. Another Win-Win transaction. I get exposure, he gets a guinea pig who trusts him and his guidance. Well, we were discussing what he would interview me about…. a consultant? a business coach, a personal educator, an artists, or some title I haven’t yet embraced? I needed to decide so he could craft a great interview. He explained to me he needed some info to craft a wining intro and asked me to list what I have accomplished, but in some magical, mystical way that I didn’t realize that was the question. He prefaced his question with an example about himself, then I think I got it and ran with it… this is more or less what he got from my list.
“Mario is a published author of poetry and internationally recognized artist with over 500 pieces published to the public. He has a degree in education and is a certified Life Coach. His experiences in business spans over twenty five years, crosses various industries and gives him a vast understanding of how businesses work. When asked what makes him different from other coaches, he says it isn’t so much what he gives that is different, it’s what he does that is different. He listens and listens, and listens until he gets the root of the need and then he shines…”
He went on with a little more, but I was blown away and didn’t write it down. What I did get was a need to define this much more. And the need to decide what I want to be. I want to help others succeed. My tagline went from “I’m in business to help you succeed. How can I help you?” to “I help people get their greatest work into the world. Imagine, how can I help you today.” and then I started understanding something about myself… Bringing out the best in others is how I find the best in myself. All this seems to tie together somehow and I will allow myself the space to let it become clear in my mind and my heart. In the meantime, I’m writing and loving it. If sharing anything I learn about myself helps others on their journey, I am blessed. If this leads to revenue, I am grateful. For now, I am very happy to continue writing and discovering this tremendous world.