PreneurCast is a marketing podcast. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
Dom talks to Robyn Logan of International Coach Academy about how Coaching can benefit Entrepreneurs. They discuss how a Coach can help you break through barriers and achieve your goals, and Robyn shares some Power Tools for listeners to try themselves.
Action Step: Try out some of Robyn’s Power Tools for yourself to identify where you might be holding yourself back, and consider hiring a Coach to help you move forward.
Pete talks to Robyn about how coaching can benefit Entrepreneurs
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Coaching in Business
Dom Goucher: Hello everyone. Welcome to this week’s PreneurCast with me, Dom Goucher, and sadly, without Pete for another week. He’ll be back next week. He’s still away at the moment. I’ve got a great interview again for you this week from Robyn Logan who is the CEO from International Coach Academy. I interviewed her earlier this week and we had a chat about coaching and how coaching can help businesses, business people, entrepreneurs get more out of their business by achieving their goals.
One of the great things about the call with Robyn is, in it, she talks not only about what coaches are and how they can help, but she shares some actual real-world techniques, what they call ‘power tools’ that coaches who are trained at the International Coach Academy use with their clients to help them achieve their goals. These are great because they actually map directly to a lot of the things that Pete and I have talked about in previous episodes. So, I’m going to get straight into the interview now. Hopefully, you enjoy it as much as I did and I’ll catch up with you at the end.
[Dom’s interview with Robyn Logan starts]
Dom: Hi, Robyn! Thanks for joining us today.
Robyn Logan: Hi Dom, how are you?
Dom: I’m pretty good, pretty good. I won’t talk about the weather because it’s a rule we have on the podcast. You’re down there – quite close to Pete, actually, in Melbourne way, aren’t you?
Robyn: I am. And, it’s a shame that you don’t want to talk about the weather because we had a really big storm tonight. This is actually one example where you could talk about the weather.
Dom: Maybe I’ll let you get away with that one, but otherwise we’ll just get on with it. Otherwise, I’ll get in trouble with Pete for letting the guest run riot. OK, Robyn, I appreciate you coming on the call this week. We’re going to talk about coaching because I’ve been interested in coaching for some time. It’s one of those things that you hear about and people say, “Oh, coaching is becoming really popular,” and so on.
But, I don’t really know a lot about it, and you, I would say, are somewhat of an expert, given who you are and what you do. So, it’s great that you’re on the call. Can we just start – what is coaching and who’s it for? What’s it for? Can you give us succinct answers to that?
Robyn: Yeah, it’s a good question, and in fact, we have an entire model devoted just to that question. So, without going into the full-length explanation, very simply, coaching is a methodology. For me, it’s a method; it’s a way of doing something. And, it’s modestly used to either create change or achieve a particular outcome. So, individual’s use it for all sort of things. Do they want to change their jobs or they want to change their relationships, or they want to start a business, or they want to be a better parent.
There’s a range of things that a person can use it for. And then, of course, companies use coaching a lot – executive coaching, business coaching, stating they want to increase performance or get a particular outcome that they don’t have. I guess that’s a summary, but the term actually is sort of banded around a lot and used by a lot of people.
For us, being a coaching school, teaching coaching, we like to be really specific about it. One of the ways to be specific and understand that is to compare it to what coaching is not. In fact, that’s even a better question. Do you want me to talk for a little bit about what coaching is not?
Dom: Yeah. It’s important, I think, to put this, as Pete likes to do, put it in a frame and give people a context about what we’re talking about. And sometimes, what something is not, is a good way to do that. So, yeah, go ahead.
Robyn: Yeah, I agree. So, first of all, it’s not therapy, and this is a good distinction to make. What’s the difference between coaching and therapy? Usually, therapy is perhaps a little bit more concerned with the past than coaching is. Coaching doesn’t really care why you behave in a certain way, or what your mother did or what your father did, or whatever.
It’s more concerned about where are you now, where do you want to be, and how can we get you there. So, that’s one thing it’s not. We have this sort of little quaint saying in our school which is – and I mean no disrespect to therapists or counselors out there. But if you’ve broken your leg, you go see a counselor and get it fixed. But if you want to run the four-minute mile, get a coach.
Dom: I like that because this speaks a little to Pete’s experiences with his Ironman triathlon. He got a specific sports coach to help him get from where he was – which was nowhere near the couch, but certainly nowhere near Ironman fitness, right the way up to competing quite effectively in the Ironman. So, that’s a good metaphor there.
Robyn: He didn’t get a physiotherapist, or he might have done that as well. But to really keep him on track, keep him accountable, and keep him motivated, these are all the things coaches do. The sports coaching analogy is a really good one. Often, I use that to explain to people. Just think about what a fitness coach or a sports coach does for you. Well, that’s what they can do for your life, or your business.
Dom: So, to bring this back to the listeners of our podcast – people that listen to this podcast predominately are entrepreneurial, they’re business people. They own a business, run a business, work in a business, want to start a business. How can coaching help that kind of person?
Because I think that’s the disconnect for a lot of people. A lot of people have got that misunderstanding that coaching is a bit like therapy. You’ve cleared that up. It’s more getting you from where you are, to where you want to be. Have you got an example of how coaching could help one of our listeners really?
Robyn: Well, if you’re setting up a small business or any sort of business, I think getting a coach is the best thing you can do because it can often be quite lonely setting up a business. You are the main person, you don’t have a big team of colleagues around you. So, a coach can sort of act like your board of management, if you like. And, they’re someone who’s always going to be an objective voice in your life.
They’re not going to be like your partner or your family, or people who either tell you what you want to hear, or don’t tell you what they think you don’t want to hear. Your coach is going to be real with you and say, “Listen, Dom, I’m observing – you tell me that you want to achieve this, you tell me that you want to have 20 clients a week and really leverage your time. But, I see you driving across town an hour to meet with each client, to do things and not gelling what’s going on here.”
So, a coach will really be straight with you. A coach will take your vision for your business or whatever it is you want to achieve, and hold it just a little bit higher than you would, yourself. They really will motivate you and encourage you, and keep you accountable. I don’t know why this is, but for some reason as human beings, if we tell someone else we’re going to do something, we’re more likely to do it than if you just tell yourself you’re going to do it.
Dom: Absolutely. This is great, and this is really why I wanted you to come on the call, because if I just go over what you’ve just talked though – a coach is all these things. All those things are topics that Pete and I have discussed in the past 40 or so episodes of PreneurCast. Accountability. A kind of mental ring, or a mastermind thing. Getting support. Getting feedback. And, setting goals and working towards them, and staying on track. All those things are wrapped up in a coach.
Robyn: Yeah. Totally. And, back to what coaching is not, you can get a lot of those things from a business adviser, or a business consultant, or a business mentor. This is the slight distinction with coaching – it’s a very client-centered methodology, if you like. So, a business consultant or mentor will say, “So, Dom, what sort of business are you wanting to set up?” Say, you want to manufacture coffee cups. So, a consultant will say, “Well, this is how you should do it. Here’s the solution. I’ve done it before, it looks like this. Here are the steps.”
Or you can go and get training. They will teach you how to do it. But, what a coach is going to do is really look to you, ask you powerful questions. And maybe this is one of the key skills of a coach, is they know how to ask a powerful question that will mean that you come up with your own answers. And then, it’s not that they don’t ever give advice. Sometimes it makes perfect sense to say, “Would you be interested in my experience in this? I’ve actually done this before.”
But that’s not their driving intent. The driving intent of a coach is to really help you work out what it is that you’re wanting to do – what business are you wanting to run, how should it look? And how do you think the best way would be to achieve that? And then, to support you. And it might be that the coach will say, “Well, it sounds like you need a bit of training. Maybe you should go off and get that.” But really they’re working with you for you to create your own path. And this is one of the reasons I got into coaching after years of being in consulting and training. Just to segue off for a bit.
The way I got in, I was doing corporate training in companies like Hordon, and some big blue-chip companies. And I’d go in and do some fantastic training, and then I’d do an evaluation three months later. What I discovered is that not much changed. But, I knew the trainings were good and I knew the curriculum was good. But what was happening is it had no meaning to the actual people, the students. So, I implemented this thing called coaching, where each week they had to come up with how that skill, or whatever it was that they were learning, impacted on their life.
In fact, I didn’t even call it coaching. I called it ‘authentic learning’ initially, because it really is that thing. It’s not even really rocket science; but unless something has meaning to you or it is something that you deeply care about or you have a connection to, you’re not going to achieve it if it’s someone else’s idea or someone else’s plan.
Dom: Definitely. I can really appreciate that. And, it’s a really good example. I really like that you’ve made that clear distinction between the consultant and the coach. Because again, a lot of people have had experience with consultants, or might have more of an understanding of that, that idea that I want to know how to set up a business, as you say, selling coffee cups.
So they go look for somebody who’s already done it. And that would be a piece of advice Pete and I might have given, in that you go and find an expert and you ask them to help you with the thing you don’t know how to do. And a lot of people are OK with that. A lot of people have that clear in their mind, but the one thing I think that people really don’t know how to do, is the thing that the coach can help with.
And that is that making sure all the lessons sink in, making sure that you take action on the thing you’ve learned, making sure that you are on the right track, you’re going the right way, you’re doing the thing that’s right for you, and all those things.
You mention this idea of powerful questions, and you said the coaches use this as a common tool. Are there tools, as you call them, techniques that coaches use that maybe might map to somebody helping themselves to start with, to just get an idea of what coaching might be and how it can help them, without having to go all out and go find a coach?
Robyn: Yeah. No, there are heaps actually. We have a whole lot of. We call them ‘coaching power tools’ that we teach our students, because we teach people who are becoming coaches. In essence, we are teaching them the tools they need to coach other people. And these power tools are very effective, powerful ways to think about life that are more likely to create a positive outcome than a negative outcome, and really they can be used.
We probably should rename them, ‘Coaching Power Tools for Life and Business,’ or something fantastic, because pretty much anyone can use them. You could use them to be a better parent, you could use them to be a better business person, a better teacher. We have a stack of them. I think the ones that are most are most useful to people setting up businesses, one of the great ones is ‘responsibility versus blame.’
We teach this one a lot, and we find also in companies this works very well because how many people do you know who are stuck in that blame mode? And, particularly trying to either set up a new business or create the business that you’ve got, into a more profitable business. You know the sort of people. People where they’re always blaming something or somebody else.
Maybe it’s the staff are no good, or their market, the competition, or a classic is all the export companies in Australia, and I know that because we were one of them and we are one of them. I think about 4% of our clients come from Australia, the rest are from around the world. So, when the US-Australian dollar did its little dance, and it was a massive revenue to a lot of export companies in Australia.
Now, you can blame the dollar for that, you can blame the US, you can blame the Australian dollar, you can blame whatever. But it’s never going to get you anywhere doing that. In fact, actually what it does, the thing about blame is that every time you blame something on someone else, you are actually saying, “I am not a very powerful person. I have no ability to change or create my situation. My life is in the hands of others or in the hands of my environment.”
This responsibility thing is a great way to actually take charge of your life and your business. We use that a lot. We have a little technique that we use, which is we invite clients – if they’re stuck in the blame game, to take 100% responsibility for that situation. We’re not saying it’s true, clearly, I’m not 100% responsible for my business, but these events did occur.
But, just to use it as a tool, a way of thinking. Imagine, what if you were 100% responsible right now for the situation you find yourself in or your business is in. If you were 100% responsible for it, what would you do? So, you can see that leads you into a more powerful path of action.
Dom: Yeah. The example that links immediately to mind, and this is also a thing I’ve discussed in a number episodes in the past, is outsourcing. We hear this all the time. “My outsourcers are terrible! My outsourcer has failed to do this thing.” And I would love just this one power tool if everyone could go away and sit down and say, “Did I do everything I could do?
Is it really the fault of my outsourcer that they didn’t do what they should have done? Did I really give them clear instructions? Did I really give them a clear timeframe? Did I really give them all the resources they needed to do the job properly?” So, that’s a great one. Just the first one of your seven is fantastic!
Robyn: Yeah. It’s really good. Another way to look at it is that is what you allow to be in your life now. So, if that outsourcer’s driving you crazy, then yeah, take responsibility for it. What would you do to make that not happen? That is a classic one, to blame the outsourcer. I must even admit, I might have done it myself on occasion.
Dom: I think everyone’s done that. But everyone has done, as you said, the first one you chose is one of the biggest ones because I think everybody does. Everybody said, especially in business, “It’s that way because of this,” or, “I can’t because of that,” or that kind of thing. And a lot of it, as you say, is, you called it ‘the blame game,’ and that’s right. That’s a great thing for people.
Robyn: Another thing I hate about it, I just have a personal thing against the whole victim mentality. I can’t stand being a victim, and I really find it uncomfortable being around people who have that victim thing going on. Really, that’s what blame is.
Dom: Yeah, that’s a good point, and it is quite a distinctive thing when you meet somebody who talks that way. So, that’s a really good place to start. What about other tools? Is there anything moving on from there?
Robyn: What else? Another good one is commitment versus trying. This is a good one because, likewise, we all know people who try – they’re always trying. “I’m really trying to get this business up off the ground. I really don’t want to leave my day job. I’m just going to get some income from this business.
I’m trying to get this to happen. I’m trying to get some staff, and I’m trying to get the website up.” What we teach is that there is actually no such thing as trying. And actually, isn’t there that Star Wars character…
Dom: Oh! I really didn’t want to say that because I thought you’d be mortally offended if I did! But, yeah, Yoda in Star Wars. That’s the first thing that jumped in my mind. The famous quote for the geeks like me, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
Robyn: Yeah, that’s it. “Do or do not. There is no try.” I love that! There’s other ways of saying it which involve a pot, but we won’t talk about that.
Dom: Yeah, and even for the quite colorful Australian that you are, I think we might pass on that one. But, you’re absolutely right. There’s trying and there’s doing. Again, amazing how it maps into what we talk about. Sorry, I interrupted that. Please, carry on.
Robyn: No, I mean, it’s a good one. And, once again, this is an entire module for us. We even go into what your underlying commitments are – the ones that you don’t even know you’re committed to, which is probably for another day. But, this one essentially is about, at any given time, we are all committed to something. The way to tell what you’re committed to in your life is just to look at life and see what’s in your life. So, what’s an example? Well, the example I sort of touched on before.
I have a friend who’s got a business building websites for people, and she got a client today and she was talking on the phone. She was like, “I’ve got to go anyway, I’ve got to see this client out in Montrose,” which is about an hour in peak-hour traffic at 5 o’clock. And, I’m like, “You’re mad! What are you driving all the way over there for? It’s a website. Just tell them you’ll do the call on the phone.”
This is a perfect example. I know that she wants to have more clients and spend less time driving around time. We’ve talked about it before, that it can be done. You say to the client, “Look, absolutely, I understand that you want to meet. But why don’t we just do the initial consultation on the phone and see how we go?” Then, of course, after the first hour, you can say, “I think I can build that website for you, and maybe we don’t need to meet.”
So, there are ways, if you’re committed. If you’re 100% committed to not getting in your car – I can imagine if you didn’t have a car, imagine you couldn’t drive, that’s what 100% committed to not getting in your car is. You have to sit and have a think about it, each person. It’s up to yourself to think what your thing is. But for her, she said she’s more committed to pleasing that client than to creating profit in her business. In that moment, she was more committed to pleasing that client and to being nice, and good, and doing the right thing, and not disappointing, than to actually getting profit.
Dom: Yeah, that’s quite a common thing as well for people in business, especially people in small business or working on their own, self-employed people. That is quite common that people don’t want to upset potential clients. Pete and I have talked about this a little bit, both on and offline – the idea that most of really genuinely, as you said, you need to know what it is you’re committed to and really want. Most of us really, genuinely, actually want to work with people that want to work our way.
Robyn: Mm hmm.
Dom: We don’t want to work with people that want us to do things we don’t want to do, but we do. So, yeah, the trying to grow your business and trying to focus on your goals is one thing, but being committed to it – and as you say, a good example is, “Imagine if you don’t have that car, imagine you can’t make that trip, what would you do?” which is a great way to look at it.
Another way of looking at trying versus commitment for me; when I was younger, a lot of people around me, and this applies obviously if, it’s not difficult to have people younger than me listening to the show; but there’s a lot of time spent in our lives, time spent with watching television, or playing video games, or whatever.
And, I don’t want to be the old man moaning about these things. But if you want to succeed, you’ve only got so many hours in the day. And if that thing that you said you were going to do didn’t get done today, what was it that you did instead? Because you did do something, and you have to look at your commitments. Did you sit and play Xbox for an hour or did you spend an hour writing the copy for the website, for example, that you said you were going to do?
Robyn: Yeah. And it’s fine if you did play the Xbox, that just means that’s what you’re committed to. Because, I think the worst position to be in is to be in that place of trying. Often what we do with clients is ask them, “Just think of something that you’re trying to do a lot, but not able to do.” Exercise is a good one. People always want to exercise more, so they have to get up at 7 am to go and exercise, but actually they’ll stay in bed sleeping.
So, the thing here is that you’re actually committed to sleep more than you are to exercise. Now, that’s OK. The important thing then is to actually acknowledge that and go, “OK, that’s what I’m committed to right now in my life,” and go with it. The not powerful way to be is just to be constantly trying to do something.
Dom: Definitely. I mean, I can speak to this myself, in the past, that I’ve come across quite a deal of tension in my life when, as you say, you’ve not identified the true commitment. There’s been a couple of time in my life in the past where I’ve been in the situation where I’ve been trying to do something, and in fact, I’d have been better off not trying.
I’d have been better off admitting I didn’t want to do it, or that I wasn’t going to do it right now instead of trying and exhausting myself, or getting into stress or tension or whatever. Just say, “I’m not going to do it right now,” and maybe allocating time to it next week, and allocating the time this week to something that I am committed to.
Robyn: Yeah, that’s right. You touched on something else there that coaches do a lot, is work with clients. It’s not an easy thing to work out what you are committed to; and sometimes, you’re actually trying to do a thing for not the right reasons. So, just to take a moment out and work out, “Well, hang on. What’s always a good measure to me, if I’m trying to do something and I’ve tried a few times, over a period of time?”
I keep talking about it but it never happens, that raises a red flag to me. So, I stop then and ask myself, “OK, do I actually really want to do this? Is there another reason that I am doing this that’s not actually something deep within me that I want to do?” And, often you’ll find, “Yeah, actually, I don’t even want to do it.” Just stop!
Dom: Yeah. And, that applies to a lot of things, including something that, again, Pete and I have talked about, but including whether or not you want to keep that particular client.
Robyn: Yes! That’s right!
Dom: That’s a big one. Where you constantly are kind of, “Uh, I don’t want to open that email from that person,” or, “It’s another one of those,” or, “It’s another job like that.” I think, again, that’s something that’s very common with people, and match back to not wanting to offend clients.
Robyn: No, that’s a really good example, that one, because to me is about working out what your standards or expectations are with working with clients and then being committed to those. The thing is, about commitment versus trying, for it to work, there actually has to be no judgment. You need to be able to do this without judging.
It’s not bad or wrong to not be doing the things that you’ve been trying to do. It just isn’t what you’re committed to. So, the same applies to clients. It’s not bad or wrong to not either be able to, or want to work with that particular client. It’s just that you’ve sat down, you’ve worked out what your key requirements are, your expectations are, the way you want to work with clients, and it doesn’t fit.
It doesn’t fit, and a really good way to language that is: this doesn’t work for me. Not it’s not right, or it’s not wrong, or you’re an idiot, or whatever. It’s just, here’s the way I work, and that particular thing doesn’t actually work for me. So, how should we go forward with that?
Dom: Yeah. And in a separate show, Pete and I have talked about that and how you might want to raise that topic with a client. There’s positive ways to handle that. So, that’s great. That’s ‘commitment versus trying.’ Any other tools that you’ve got?
Robyn: Well, it sounds like these are all crossing over lots of things you talk about.
Dom: It’s great! As I said, this is why I wanted to have you on a call because I could see this potential in the little bit that I did know about coaching. But so far, we’re really just hitting all the topics, I think. Hopefully, people have stuck with this episode because if you just look at the title and whatever the title I decide is going to be later on, people might run screaming for the hills.
“No, no! It’s so touchy-feely, and ‘how are you feeling about your father’ type stuff.” And as you say, all the things that coaching actually isn’t. In fact, this is really helpful stuff for people in real life, in real business, doing real stuff. It’s great. Yeah, pull another one out of the bag, if you can.
Robyn: Alright, the next one is a very practical non-touchy-feely one, and honestly, it’s so important. It’s called ‘action versus delay.’ I mean, really, this is just the cornerstone of all coaching. Pretty much, the idea here is, any action is going to be good. Any action is better than delay. And, once again, coaching’s not really concerned with working out why, but often people procrastinate or delay doing things that they know are either in their best interest or they need to do to get that website up or get that business happening.
And so, action versus delay is just simply about, after you’ve worked out your goal and your vision, and you’re clear on where you’re going, just jot down a few actions and just take three of them a day. They don’t have to be big; but it’s sort of a fundamental thing that in order to achieve any goal to succeed, you must actually be willing and able to take action persistently and consistently.
Dom: Absolutely. First of all, this is again, you’ve identified those actions, which is something a coach can help you with doing. Also, the coach can be there to help make sure you did them, which is handy. But, again, action versus delay is something that Pete and I have talked about. And, choosing those actions, those tasks, and making it easy, was actually the last thing, a couple of shows ago, that I talked to Pete about.
But, anybody who listens to the show knows that I have two favorite phrases on this topic. One is, ‘done is better than none.’ Because there’s a lot of people out there with none, there’s a lot of people out there with blank websites, big holes where articles should be, whatever it is.
Something, some action moving forward, even if it’s writing the title of the article or looking for an outsourcer to build the website for you – that’s an action that you can take towards getting the thing done. So, done is definitely better than none. The other thing, and I know you and I have briefly spoken about this when we first talked, is my all-time favorite little acronym, which is JFDI.
Robyn: Are you going to explain that one?
Dom: Well, I think people can maybe work that one out, but it’s got ‘just do it’ in there somewhere. I actually think we should have PreneurCast mugs made and t-shirts with JFDI on them. It really does embody that thing, as you said, take action and take action consistently is the way to succeed.
Robyn: I totally agree. That’s one of the valuable things that you’ve taught me, is this whole concept of the minimum viable product. That’s a classic one for action versus delay. Just figure out what’s the smallest, fastest thing you can do along the path to the big, huge thing you want to do, and just do it.
Dom: That is a very common thing, and Pete and I have talked about this on a number of occasions. The most common thing for people, when they’re stuck in this delay, is that they see whatever it is as a huge obstacle and they don’t break it down. This why, a couple episodes ago, Pete and I talked about this, because you can break anything down into chunks whether you don’t think that you do it all in one go, you don’t think you can do it all today, you don’t think you can do it at all, or you don’t think you can find anybody else to do it.
You can always break it down into actions that you can take towards getting that thing done. And, as you say, minimum viable product. If you’re trying to build the next eBay, you’ve got a big job on your hands. But, there are steps towards that and things you can implement today that will mean that next year and the year after, you can build on that foundation.
Robyn: Absolutely. The other thing is to look at what causes a delay, but that would be a whole other episode as well. But, it can be fear, it can be some sort of limiting belief, or it could be you’re just actually not committed to the thing you say you’re going to do.
Dom: I was just going to say that!
Robyn: People don’t take action. But, the other nice little thing we teach our coaches is a little analogy about two dogs. Have you heard this one? The bad dog and the good dog?
Dom: No, I don’t think I have.
Robyn: The bad dog is mean and angry. It’s a Native American fable or story. Inside of me there are two dogs. The bad dog is mean and angry. The good dog is good and kind. The bad dog fights the good dog all day. So, when asked which dog wins, the person in the story says, “Well, actually, the one I feed the most.” And, this is so true.
I mean, it’s true in everything, but it’s really true with action versus delay. If you delay something and you give your energy to that, or you feed that delay, through all sorts of things. You can feed delay through stories about why you’ll never succeed, excuses, blaming others, all sort of things. If you feed that, then it just creates more delay. But, if you feed the action by just, even when you don’t feel like it, by just simply taking two or three actions in the direction, you already know you’re committed to, then that’s the good dog; that’s the dog that wins.
Dom: That is getting a little bit deep for me, but it’s definitely… Sorry.
Robyn: You want to see that in writing, Dom? You want me to write that down for you?
Dom: No. But, you’re absolutely right. There is a book I read a while ago actually. A great book by Neil Fiore called The Now Habit.
Robyn: Ah, yes.
Dom: And, it’s exactly on that topic. You’re right. The more you look at something and that you feel that there’s a delay in that thing, you put a delay into it, then it starts having a weight. It’s still there on your mind. This is a major topic in the Getting Things Done model that Pete and I talk about a lot.
Just because you’re not doing it, it’s still on your mind that you’re not doing it, and suddenly has this power over you. Whereas just sitting down doing something towards it, a little bit, chipping away at it, is a positive thing. And, I like that story. I like the two dogs and the one that you feed the most. It does resonate with me. It’s a great example.
Robyn: It does always feel good to do something. I mean, I do that myself if I’m feeling a bit blah or down or whatever, I just go, “OK, I’ll just pick something that I can do, and I’ll do that.”
Dom: And it can be as simple as you’ve got an email from somebody and it’s got a long list of things to do. You can just open the email; and instead of looking at it and it giving you a headache, and you closing it again and your inbox becoming full of things you should do, you can open the email and you could send a reply saying, “Hey, look, I’ve got your email.
I’m reading through it. I’m working on it.” Maybe give an estimate of time or something like that, but just acknowledge that you’ve got it and you’re doing something. That’s action in and of itself.
Robyn: Yep. Absolutely.
Dom: That’s great. So, again, another classic that maps directly to our audience. This is really good. You’re doing well here!
Robyn: I know. Well, the thing is, you know, it’s not really rocket science, is it? These things, we almost already know them. And, in a way, that’s why a coach is a great thing, because a coach will work with you with these things.
I mean, honestly, I just would not be where I am today if I didn’t have many coaches in my life. From my very first business coach to my mastermind groups, to all sorts of different types of coaching. I just would never be without it, really.
Dom: And that’s quite an interesting thing for you to say. Not only are you… What is your official title?
Robyn: I’m CEO of International Coach Academy. Surely, there’s some intro at the beginning of the podcast where you talk about how I run an online coach training school, training coaches all around the world, over 90 countries, etc.
Dom: Maybe I’ll cut over that and put it at the front. You’re giving all my secrets away, stop it! But, seriously though, being the CEO of a coach training organization, it’s very interesting to hear you talk about how coaching has helped you and that you have your own coaches, or have had in the past, your own coaches, and what they’ve done for you.
But, you did, you gave it different names – the mentoring, as well as coaching. And all these things are a part of coaching, really. It’s a part mentoring, and just helping you find these things out, is what I’m getting.
Robyn: In my experience as well, it’s a bit of a generalization, but coaching generally attracts people who already are a little bit successful. It’s interesting, you generally find – it’s not cheap to get a good coach. I’ll never forget this conference I went to once. In a room full of coaches, it was the International Coaches Conference, and the speaker stood up and said, “Hands up in the room if you have a coach.”
And about, like, four people out of 50, put up their hands. And she just said, “If you’re not, right now, employing a coach and paying that coach just a little bit more than you charge yourself, then you’re not serious about coaching.” And I’ve never forgotten that. It’s true, you know? And I’ve always, always paid my coaches just a little bit more than I can really afford, to get the best coaching that I can get. And, you know, coaching’s a great thing. The minute there’s no value in it, you can just stop.
No one forces you to stay in that relationship. It has to be giving you value. And I can actually see monetary value that I get from my coaching. I can see results that I know wouldn’t be there if I was left to my own human devices, sitting there in my delay and blaming the Australian and US dollar.
Dom: That’s a really good example and a really good kind of tip if somebody wanted to get into a coaching relationship, to work with a coach. It is that perspective that it is an investment, it’s an investment in your success. It’s going to help you. It’s going to move you, and therefore move your business forward.
So, you should invest in it seriously. You don’t go skimping on it and looking for a cheap, or even an expensive option. You look for the best you can get, because it’s that serious an investment in your future and the success of your business. So, that’s a good example.
Robyn: That’s what I think, for sure.
Dom: OK, so we’re, as usual, getting close to time. Have you got one or maybe two more of these power tools that you can possibly squeeze in? I’m loving this, it’s great. It’s like somebody validating the entire history of this podcast in one call.
Robyn: That’s really good! I’ve got heaps of them, but I think I can just pick one to go out on. I’d probably go with ‘lightness versus significance.’ This is a great one. This is just basically about, I don’t know, you could just call it, “get a grip,” I guess.
Dom: That’s better! I was worried it was getting a bit deep there with ‘lightness versus significance,’ but much more in keeping, “get a grip.”
Robyn: We used to call it ‘game versus significance,’ but people sort of didn’t quite understand that. We need a good word for lightness. The significance thing is great. But anyway, what that’s about is really just don’t get too significant about things. You know, people get really wound up or invested, or attached to things happening in a certain way, and they’re never going to happen the way you think.
You know, I had two staff members resigning one day. I think I was talking to you on that day. I mean, that could have been a really bad day. I guess, for me – I’ve had life experiences, people close to me dying and stuff like that. So, to me, that’s a great way to put a bit of perspective in your life. Really, did somebody die? No, nobody died.
Does it really matter? No, it doesn’t really matter. What’s the worst that can happen here? The whole business will fall. Well, there you go. But really, it’s once again, all of these tools, we’re not saying this is the reality, this is how life should be. It’s more, here’s a way of thinking about things that is more helpful than some other ways.
And one of the ways that I think is really helpful to think about things, is to just have a bit more fun with it. Just sense of humor, not get too tied up in it. Don’t be significant about it. You could be in some other reality, in some other timeline, in some other country, in some other universe. It’s not that important.
Dom: That’s a really, really good point. And people that listen to the podcast know that Pete and I like to have fun with what we do. We like to enjoy our work, and we certainly enjoy doing this podcast. But it’s a big thing and it’s one of the lessons that I’ve learned in my increasingly extensive years in business, is that, as you say, lightness versus significance. Really, how significant, how big a deal really is whatever just happened? How bad can it get?
Robyn: A classic example is pushing the send button and it’s, “Oh my God! Did this just go to 30,000 people or something? It’s got the wrong link.” People can get really wound up about that stuff.
Dom: Yeah, they do.
Robyn: But take a sort of a light, or game, or fun approach. I’m actually certain businesses do these quite a lot now. I don’t know if you know the support software Zendesk.
Robyn: They have a great little video at the moment, it’s hilarious. Should support people say that whole campaign of things people say. Anyway, they’ve got that on the front of their website, and it’s really light and humorous. It’s so not significant about what they do. And, I’ve actually seen this happening a lot now – people being much less significant and just easy with themselves and what they do.
Dom: Yeah. Just showing a bit of humanity. I have a client, they sent out an email a while ago, and it has a duff link in it. Literally, they wrote in the next email they sent out, “Oopsie!” A bit of humanity. And they’re actually well-respected for that. The people that are their clients like that. They like that human side. And it’s becoming more significant the more that the internet opens up as an entity, individuals as well as businesses.
There’s a lot more personality out there now, so that’s a really good point. I’m really, really sorry to have to cut this one short. I’m really enjoying this call, and I really appreciate you coming on. There’s two things here, really. People out there listen to the call right now, may have, hopefully, one of two reactions.
They may either want to know more about coaching because they might be interested in getting in touch with a coach, but they also might even want to know more about coaching because they might want to use the knowledge and experience that they’ve got, like you did, to become a coach.
So, how can people find out more about coaching, and specifically, because you’ve been kind enough to come on the call and give us a great amount of information, how can people find out more about International Coach Academy and the things that you do there?
Robyn: Well, of course, they can go to our website, which is www.icoachacademy.com or if you just Google ‘Robyn Logan’ and ‘coaching,’ ‘coach training,’ you’ll find it. That’s a way to find out. We’ve got some information and we’ve got courses and things people can do to learn coaching skills or to become a coach.
If you wanted to get a coach, I would probably go to the International Coach Federation, which is the big body for coaching in the world, and they have chapters all around the world. They have a database of coaches that you can search. They’re the ICF for short, and I think their website is coachfederation.org.
Dom: We’ll look that up and we’ll put a link in the show notes.
Robyn: Something like that. So, you can go there and check that, or the other great way is just to find someone who’s had a coach and ask them. And, always, when you’re looking for a coach, make an appointment with two or three coaches and have a session.
Most coaches will do a complimentary initial session, which I would recommend because it really is that thing that it has to be a good fit. There’s many, many different styles of coaching. So, I would do that as well.
Dom: Great tips. And not quite coaching, but more consulting, I’m just going to step in and give you a little bit of a help out. Because what we do on PreneurCast is that we help people promote themselves, and drive traffic and business and things like that. All those things in the 7 Levers and Preneur Hierarchy.
So, I’m just going to pick up on the fact that you really didn’t big your organization up very much there. I gave you a really big opportunity to big up what you do, and you’ve given a great example of the kind of things that you do in your course. But you literally are a coaching academy.
You teach people how to be coaches. You have both online and kind of one-on-one interactive training that you do based around icoachacademy.com. It’s a great model that you have, and you have students from all around the world.
Robyn: Yeah, I can talk for hours about us, if you want.
Dom: No, I’m not going to go that far.
Robyn: Well, a bit more information then. If you wanted to become a coach – and we have two main groups that come to us. We have people who really do want to change career, they’ve had enough. They’re usually professionals with one or two careers behind them. They have some expertise and in a range niches. We train in at least nine niches: life coach, business, executive, career coaching, spiritual coaching, youth coaching.
So people in those areas who want to not do what they’re doing now, perhaps they want more flexibility in their lives, or they want to work for themselves but still use their expertise. They come and train with us to be professional coaches, and then they set up businesses as coaches and they take on clients. That’s one type of person that comes to us.
And the other sort is the sort of person who’s wanting to add coaching skills to what they’re already doing, to do what they do better. So they might be a teacher and they want to add a coach approach, which is sort of using all the tools we talked about today. Or, they might be a consultant and they want to add coaching services to what they do.
They could be a corporate trainer and they want to add coaching. We get a lot of real estate agents, surprisingly enough. Pretty much anyone who works with clients could do with a dose of coaching skills, really. We get a lot of those people. Our course is all online and flexible, but we run tailored classes which are a bit like the tutorials. We run about 80 of those in a week, in about four different time zones.
Dom: Did you just say 80?
Robyn: Eighty, Yeah. We have 80 classes a week.
Robyn: You already know that! The timetabling takes… Every time daylight saving changes, which it just did now, we have a full-time person who spends at least three full days sorting that out.
Dom: Are you blaming it or you taking responsibility there?
Robyn: I’m, um, celebrating.
Dom: That you’ve outsourced and delegated that duty?
Robyn: I hope somebody does that. Otherwise, if it was left to me, no one would be turning up to the right classes.
Dom: Excellent. Robyn, thank you so much! It’s great. That last bit there, it sounded a bit of a pimp, but it’s important because I wanted people to realize that there’s an opportunity for you to add those skills to your existing skill base. That’s a really important point that I wanted to make sure people got: that coaching isn’t just about being a coach as a full-time job.
But, you can also add these skills to benefit your day-to-day business in lots of different ways. So, really those power tools were fantastic, they’re really great. Hopefully, we can maybe get you back on. And if we can talk some more, some more things that map into the topics that Pete and I discuss on PreneurCast, and maybe Pete will join us next time as well, which would be great.
Robyn: That would be great. I mean, seriously, I’ve got to meet this guy. We’re both here in Melbourne. It’s nuts. That would be really good.
Dom: I think, give or take, you can stand on the side of the road and wait for him to cycle past, you know? But seriously, thank you!
Robyn: This whole virtual world is really weird.
Dom: It is, but thank you Robyn for taking the time. I know it’s a bit late where you are and I appreciate your time. And, hopefully, the listeners really got something from this call as well.
Robyn: Well, thanks for having me, Dom.
Dom: You’re welcome. We’ll speak to you soon.
[Dom’s interview with Robyn Logan ends]
Dom: That was a great call with Robyn. I enjoyed it as you probably could tell. I was getting quite into that. What I was really, really interested in though is power tools and how people can use them themselves without a coach. They don’t need a coach to look at and use the power tools. And I guess that’s our action step for the week, to look at those power tools. To go back and review them, the ones that Robyn mentioned, and just reflect on them, and see if you’re doing any of those things.
Blame versus responsibility, for example, and see if that can help you focus on what you want to achieve, and achieve it. Obviously, a secondary action step is, if you think a coach would be useful to you, to follow up on the leads that Robyn gave you, and go look for one. See if you can hire one to help you out and to focus on your goals, and to achieve them. As usual, this show was sponsored by both Read It For Me, and Audible books, and we’re grateful to that sponsorship.
Just to recap, Read It For Me is a book review service. Although, Pete and I, as I mention frequently, also don’t just use it to look at books that we might want to read and to very quickly get an overview of what’s in that book. We also use it to remind us of some of the great content in books that we already have read. Because the notes that are inside of Read It For Me, the membership service, are fantastic.
They’re multimedia learning and memory-oriented notes, and it’s a fantastic service. If you visit ReadItFor.Me/PreneurCast, you can get a discount on the membership, as well as a free trial. On that page is a video showing Pete and I going through the membership area, showing you exactly what you get inside. So, pop over there and have a look at that. A great way to kind of cover all the new and big business and personal development books, and certainly a lot that we talk about on the podcast are already in there.
If you want to consume the actual book itself and you want to do that in an efficient manner, one of the ways that Pete and I do that is by listening to audiobooks. Audible is one of the leaders in that service. They have over 100,000 titles. If you go to AudibleTrial.com/PreneurCast, you can get a free trial for their service and you can get a token to download one title from their service for free, which is great. That’s again, a membership service – monthly membership.
Both Pete and I use that to consume whole business and personal development books. They also have fiction in there as well, so it’s a great overall service for anybody who likes reading or just consuming information. Thanks to those two sponsors for this week. And again, thanks to Robyn Logan. That was a really interesting insight from somebody who really does know a lot about coaching and how coaching can help.
And it may be something that you haven’t thought about up until now. But hopefully, this opened your eyes and given you another resource to help you grow your business. Pete’s back next week. I won’t do that prediction thing where we say what we’re going to talk about because he could talk about anything. But hopefully, everyone enjoyed this show. Really looking forward to the feedback to this one on the blog over at PreneurMedia.tv or in the iTunes comments.
Please do give us your feedback. Let us know how you’re finding what we’re coming up with. If you like these interviews particularly, we can go and find more people to talk to – if you’re finding them useful or if there’s any topic you want us to talk about. This show’s gone on a little bit longer than usual, but I think it definitely was worth it. So, I’ll leave it at that, and see you all next week, with Pete.
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The Now Habit – Neil Fiore
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