It also wouldn't be here without a team of people supporting every single episode week after week. I want to give a special shout out to my operations manager Robyn Blanton, who does so much behind the scenes to keep not just the podcast, but the entire business of Coach with Clarity going, Robyn, I'm so grateful for you now and always. And I also want to give a shout out to Britany Felix and Alex Stennett over at Podcasting for Coaches. They are responsible for making me sound good week after week. I couldn't do it without them. And I will tell you right now that if you are considering creating or growing a podcast in support of your coaching business, you absolutely need to be connected with Podcasting for Coaches, Britany and her team know their stuff. So just head to podcastingforcoaches.com if you want to learn more, and tell them I said hi.
So now I have a confession to make. Sometimes when I am brainstorming topics for podcast episodes, in addition to thinking about what would most serve you, as my listener, I also think about what I need to hear. It never ceases to amaze me how I might record an episode several weeks or even several months in advance. And whenever that episode airs, there's something in there that I needed to hear in that moment. It's almost like past Lee was time traveling and dropping a message I needed to hear right at the moment I most needed to hear it. So while sometimes that happens magically on its own, other times I pause and think about what's coming up and what do I need to tell myself at that point in time. So here we are, it's September, we are closing up the third quarter heading into the fourth quarter, I will be launching the Coach with Clarity Collective again very soon and so I'm about to go into a pretty high ops tempo period in my business. And I just realized I totally went back into military lingo on that one. When I used to work for the Air Force, it was all about ops tempo; so the pace of operations. And even though that is a military term, I find it very useful in the world of entrepreneurship because we go through periods in our business where we're really busy, and launches happen to be a high ops tempo period. So I was thinking about what I would most need or want to hear during this time. And that morphed into thinking about the things I should probably stop doing in my business in order to support myself, in order to support my mental health, and in order to keep the love and energy flowing inside Coach with Clarity. So in today's episode, I am going to share five things that I need to stop doing in my business and maybe a little bit of tough love for you as well. Maybe one or two, maybe even all five of these things are things that you might want to stop doing in your business too. So I hope future Lee finds this episode helpful and I also hope you find this episode helpful as well.
So let's kick things off with the very first thing we need to stop doing in our businesses. And that is caring about what everyone thinks about your business. Now as a recovering people pleaser, this is a hard one for me. It does matter to me what other people think of my business. It matters to me what other people think of me. Now I'm much better than I used to be. When I was in my teens and 20s, I really cared what everyone thought of me. As I've gotten older, the people whose opinions really do matter to me, that population has gotten smaller and smaller and smaller. But it's still something that I struggle with. And so if you find yourself worrying about “What will people think if I do this?” well you're not alone. For me, this has been a skill I have needed to develop, it has not come naturally to me. But over time, and with practice, I have been able to relate to other people's opinions of my work and of me in a very different way than I did 10/15/20 years ago. And I really credit my work with the three M’s in supporting my development in this particular area. Now, if you are not familiar with the three M's, no worries, that is the cornerstone of the work I do as a coach, and what I train my coaches and students in when they complete their Certified Clarity Coach training program. The three M's stand for meaning, mindset, and mindfulness. And as far as I'm concerned, these are the pillars of a successful business and a fulfilling life. I talk about them in depth in my book, ACT On Your Business: Braving the storms of entrepreneurship and creating success through meaning, mindset, and mindfulness and you can find that on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle. Just head to coachwithclarity.com/getthebook, or you can go to Amazon search ACT On Your Business, search my name, and it will come up. You can also check out episodes 77 through 79 of this podcast to learn more about each one of the three M's. But for me, what really helped me change how I approached what other people thought of me was that first M: meaning.
For me, meaning is all about knowing what matters most to you, knowing what your core values are, and deciding what actions you want to take and what decisions you want to make in your life so that you are living in alignment with your values. And what I realized is that when I turned over my power, to the opinions and thoughts of other people, that was not in alignment with my core values, and it certainly wasn't how I wanted to live. And the minute I realized that people pleasing and putting other people's opinions before my own, brought me out of integrity with myself, then it became just a little bit easier to tackle those issues, and develop a new way of handling other people's thoughts and opinions about me. So now I am at the point where I have decided that the only people's thoughts and opinions that I want to really take under advisement, particularly with regard to my business. Well, number one: my own. And then number two: my stakeholders. So in my case, my stakeholders are my existing clients, my future clients, people I want to have a stake in my business, like my husband, my business coach. These are the people who matter to me. These are the people whose thoughts and opinions carry a lot of weight. Now, that doesn't mean they're more important than my own. And in fact, I still put my own opinions, my own intuition, and my own beliefs, above all, but I do take into consideration the thoughts and ideas of my stakeholders. But I'm now at the point where if someone is not a stakeholder, then their opinion goes way down on the priority list. So who doesn't matter? People who don't understand what I do as a coach, people who don't understand my business model, people who are not my ideal clients, and certainly people who are internet trolls. I bring this up because when I work with my clients, and let's be honest, I feel this way too. But this has been coming up a lot actually, in my work with some of my business coaching clients. They're really concerned about “What will people think if I publish my website? If I make this social media post? If I do this Reel? What will people think?” And so I used to actually focus on that question and try to find an answer. “What would people think if I did that?” but instead, I start questioning the premise. And then I asked, “Well, what people? Who are we really worried about here?” And the more specific we can get about who we're worried about, then we can develop a response. If we're worried about nameless, faceless people that we don't know. Well, we can decide, are they a stakeholder in my business? If we're thinking about a very specific person that we know, again, we can ask ourselves, are they a stakeholder in my business? Now, I don't mean to minimize any anxiety or fear or anguish that comes up around this. And in fact, I think the first step is to acknowledge those feelings and understand that of course, sometimes it's uncomfortable and even scary to put ourselves out there when we are afraid of being judged. So I'm not asking you to ignore your feelings, I'm not asking you to discount them. But I am asking you to consider that your feelings are a data point, but not necessarily the data point you should be following when making decisions about your business. Let's prioritize your thoughts and opinions and those of your stakeholders, over people that you don't necessarily want to have a say in your business.
So I know I usually give the Clarity in Action moment at the end of every episode. But today, I feel like peppering in multiple Clarity in Action moments throughout and you can choose which ones you want to do. But the Clarity in Action moment for this first thing we should stop doing in our businesses, is to actually sit down and make a list of your stakeholders. And I want you to put your name at the very top, you are the chairperson of your board of directors, you have the final say. Your stakeholders are on your board, they can sit at your table, and we want to know who they are and we want to understand exactly how they contribute to the health and welfare of your business. But you my friend, you lead that board. And you have final say in who matters and what matters, and the choices you are going to make in your business. So your Clarity in Action moment, if you choose to accept it, is to sit down and really list out who your stakeholders are. Create your own internal board of directors, they don't even need to know they have a seat at your table if you don't want them to. But it's good for you to understand whose opinion and whose guidance matters most to you. And to understand when that guidance is helpful and when as the chairperson of the board, perhaps you need to go with your own gut. So that's the first thing to stop doing in our businesses, caring about what everyone thinks about your business. Let's be really clear around who matters in our business, and whose thoughts and opinions we do care about, so we can release those of the people who are not a stakeholder.
The second thing to stop doing in your business is to make too many changes too quickly. I see this happen a lot. And it's certainly something that I did early on in my business, I would create a new offer, I would try a new strategy, I would introduce something new in my business. And if I didn't see a quick return on that investment, whether it was time, energy or money. If the return on that investment wasn't quick enough, I would abandon it and go on to something new. This could be a form of shiny object syndrome, where we get enthralled by the next big bright idea that we want to bring into our business. But I think for many of us, there's more to it than simply being distracted by another idea. I think for many of us, we are concerned that we are doing something wrong, that we are wasting time, wasting money, that we're going to fail. And so we're trying new things almost out of desperation, like “Please just let this work. Please let this be okay.” And we're not giving this idea enough time to take shape and grow roots inside our business. Sometimes certain tactics that we implement need 60/90/120 days to see how successful they are. One example I can think of, if you are running Facebook ads, you have to give yourself time to gather data for Facebook to learn about your audience and where to place your ad. And personally, this example is top of mind for me because I just started running Facebook ads a couple of weeks ago. And it is taking everything I have to sit on my hands and not make changes during these first few weeks when we're still figuring things out and Facebook, and we are learning how to make this work for us. And it's hard because I've not yet seen the return on my investment that I hoped for. But I also know these things take time. So we need to know when to stay the course. We need to know when to be patient. And we need to trust that if we're putting something into place let's give it time to really establish itself so we can see just how well it's serving our business. If after an appropriate period of time, we're still not seeing the return that we want, then of course, we can make some changes. But let's not rush the process. Sometimes we need to slow down in order to speed up.
Now the third thing we need to stop doing in our businesses is well, honestly kind of the opposite of what I just said, it may be time to stop doing something, especially if we do it just because we've always done it. So whereas sometimes we might be making too many changes too quickly. Other times, we may be doing the same old, same old because it's what we've always done. It's what we're comfortable with, we don't want to make a change. But whatever that is, is no longer serving us. And that's when it's time to make a change and to release some things from our business. I am the first one to admit that this can be a very difficult thing to do, especially if it's an idea or a program or a tactic that has worked really well for you in the past. And one example I can share with you is my Facebook group. So in August of 2018, I started a Facebook group, initially, it was called from Therapy to Coaching; eventually, I changed it to the Coach with Clarity Community in order to welcome a broader audience. And for about two/two and a half years, that Facebook group was a wonderful channel in my business to connect with potential and existing clients. Then over time, I realized that I was putting in so much time and energy and money into the administration of this Facebook group. And I just wasn't seeing a return on that investment. It was not operating at the same level as it was in 2018 and 2019. Now, I think there are a whole host of reasons for that. I mean, certainly in the pandemic, I think a lot of us were just feeling overwhelmed. Some of us were starting to rethink our relationship with social media, I think the Facebook algorithms changed. So people were not seeing content in groups as much as they were before. And I also think that I need to own some of it as well. I was feeling burned out, I was going through my own personal health struggles at the time, and I wasn't showing up in the group the way I used to. So I think there were a lot of factors at play that led to my Facebook group not being as effective a tool as it once was. So I have to own my part in that. And I can also understand that there were some environmental factors as well. But the thing is, even though I knew this Facebook group really wasn't working as well as it had been, I kept going with it for, I think, almost 18 months. I really struggled with whether or not to close the group. And I kept going back and forth and back and forth. And in many ways, it was easier to just keep doing it, than to actually make the decision to close it. So I fell victim to the very thing I'm telling us we need to stop doing. I kept doing something long after it was time to make a change. And I know why for me, I didn't want to let people down. I didn't want to close off a potential resource. I had a lot of mixed feelings about ending that Facebook group. But I did. I closed it in April of 2022. And to be quite honest with you, I have not noticed a significant difference in my business whatsoever. And I think it's because I've been able to develop other ways of connecting with potential clients and colleagues. Now, I am not going to sit here and say I will never have another Facebook group again. I may. I may reopen the old one, I don't know. But what I know for right now is that having that type of free Facebook group was not serving my business and it's not something I want to do right now. I am exploring other ways of cultivating community. And I may have some exciting announcements coming up, maybe end of this year/beginning of next year around that. But for now, I know that a free Facebook group is not something that I want to spend my time and money on for my business. And that's a decision I probably should have made a lot earlier in my business, but I was afraid to. So when it comes to making changes in our business, we need to find that balance between not making changes too quickly, and not staying the course with something that is no longer working for you.
So I'm going to give you a combo Clarity in Action moment for these two things. When you start something in your business, whether it's a new marketing tactic, whether it's a new offer or group or program, whether it's an ad strategy, you name it. When you decide to do something your implementation strategy should also include a review plan. How long will you implement this strategy or this idea? And at what point will you stop and measure your progress? What will you measure in order to determine whether this is working for you or not? And then how often will you return and do that same type of analysis. So that's the thing in our businesses, we constantly need to be measuring what we're doing, to know whether it is effective and efficient. So that's your Clarity in Action moment, you can do that for the existing marketing tactics and programs that you have in your business. You can also do this moving forward. When you create an implementation plan, I want you to think about “What do I need to measure in order to know whether this is working and how often will I review that data?” that can help you stay the course on a new idea. And it can also help you see when it might be time to retire, an idea that once worked for you, but maybe isn't any longer.
So now the fourth thing that I want you to stop doing in your business, and I promise I will stop doing it, too, is trying to be in all of the places to serve all of the people. This is such an easy trap to fall into, especially if you are an online business. Because there are so many places we can be. Just social media alone, there's countless platforms, there's Facebook, and Instagram and Twitter and LinkedIn, and Tik Tok and Snapchat, and oh my goodness, it's a lot. And I know there are some that I haven't even named. And I also know people who are just killing it on a particular platform. And so it's easy to think, “Man, I should really be doing that too.” But the problem is when we try to be in all of the places, and we try to do all the things for all the people, we just spread ourselves so thin, and it increases the likelihood that we are going to experience burnout, that we are going to resent our businesses. And we're going to look for ways to escape. At least that's been the case for me. I believe that as coaches and as business owners, we do not need to be in all of the places, all of the time. And in fact, I created the Coach with Clarity Client Creation Kit, in part to address this issue. Inside the kit, I include my matrix, which helps you determine a marketing strategy that works for you, that's based on your strengths and your priorities and it doesn't require you to do all of the things. In fact, it only asks you to do one, maybe two things to begin with. And I walk you through exactly how to figure out what those things should be. I'm actually really proud of the Client Creation Kit, I think it's a really robust offer. And it's only $37. So if you've not gotten your Client Creation Kit yet, you can go to coachwithclarity.com/CCK – stands for Client Creation Kit. So coachwithclarity.com/CCK, and you can get yours for just $37. And then hopefully you find that inside the kit, the matrix will help you determine where you want to be so that you don't have to be all the places, for all the people. That's not going to serve you, it's definitely not going to serve your business.
So here is the final thing I want you to stop doing in your business. And stay with me for this one, because I realize it's going to sound a little unorthodox at first. But I promise, this is something we need to stop doing, especially as coaches. We need to stop trying to please our clients at all costs. So I get it, you're probably thinking, “Well, wait a second, my client has hired me. They're paying me money. What do you mean, I'm not supposed to please them? Aren't I supposed to show up and serve them and support them?” Yes, yes, you are. But that is different than trying to please them. Sometimes as coaches our job is not to make our clients happy. It's not to tell our clients what they want to hear. It's not to soothe their egos. Sometimes as coaches our job, actually, I'm going to say all the time as coaches, our job is to ask the hard questions. To facilitate your clients growth process. And we can't do that if we're concerned about making them happy, or pleasing them, kind of in that people pleasing way. In fact, that can inhibit our ability to show up and really powerfully serve our clients. So I'm not saying that we need to be hardcore bootcamp drill instructors. In fact, that is not my style at all. But we also don't want to placate or pacify our clients either. We cannot be afraid to be truthful and transparent with our clients. And so that's why from the very beginning before they even become your client, when you're still in the process of connecting with people, and you're having those initial calls, we want to be really clear about what our role is as a coach. And it's not to be a yes man or yes woman or a yes person. Our job as a coach is to facilitate our clients growth, to serve as their partner. And because we're partners, we are equal. The power dynamic in this relationship is equal and so that means asking questions that are intended to build awareness and to support our client in deepening their own insight. And we can do that in a way that is empathetic and supportive. And of course, this comes after we have invested the time in establishing the relationship and in building rapport. But once you have that solid foundation with your client, you do them a disservice by engaging in people pleasing behaviors, and saying what they want to hear instead of what you know, to be true. So that's why the final thing we need to stop doing in our businesses is trying to please our clients at all costs. Because here's the hard truth. When we prioritize people pleasing, and pleasing our clients, really what we're doing is prioritizing our own need for approval. And that cannot be the priority in our relationships with our clients. If we've done the hard work of establishing the relationship of building rapport, and creating a connection, anchored in mutual respect and trust, then that relationship can survive a hard truth when delivered compassionately, of course. But we cannot effectively serve our clients when we prioritize our own need for approval over their agenda and their success. A true client centered approach means asking the tough questions, and even providing a little bit of tough love when indicated. And when the relationship has been developed enough that it can sustain it. Honestly, my friend, I think that last one might be the most difficult of the five, at least it is for me. The first and the last ones are hard because they're both about what people think of us. And as humans, we are social creatures, we want to belong. And we're wired to seek approval from others because that means we're safe. So there's a reason for this and it may feel counterintuitive, to do things that could potentially anger or upset someone else. So we really need to think about what our motivations are, whose agenda we are centering, and how we can move forward in a way that is compassionate, yet also powerfully serves our current and future clients.
So maybe your final Clarity in Action moment today, and I can tell you, it's definitely mine – is to journal on this if it speaks to you. If people pleasing has been an issue for you in the past, or if it is still one today, maybe this is something to journal on. And I would really encourage you to think about the ways in which people pleasing behaviors actually centers the self versus the person we're trying to please. And from there, then we can explore ways to compassionately support our clients and our people, even if that means asking the tough questions. And I can tell you, this is something that I explore regularly with my private coaching clients, and also inside the Coach with Clarity Collective. So if you would like support in this area, please reach out, send me an email, it's firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me over on Instagram and TikTok @CoachWithClarity and you can send me a message and we can explore whether the Collective might be the next right step for you or if you and I might be a good fit for each other for private coaching. Because this issue is central for a lot of coaches. And so we need to actively work on it. And seeking outside supervision and support from a coach you trust is a wonderful way to do just that.
Well alright, my friends. That is it for me this week. I hope you have found this episode helpful. I hope future Lee finds this episode helpful. And I can't wait to continue the conversation next week with another brand new episode of the Coach with Clarity Podcast. So if you are not already following or subscribed to the show, take a minute to do that now just hit the little plus sign or the button that says subscribe or follow. It's free to do so and that way you can ensure the next episode of the show automatically shows up in your feed next week. Until then, my name is Lee Chaix McDonough, reminding you to get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity.