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What does it mean to embody a great or masterful coach? 

I remember once standing in the lobby of a coaching event and a new coach came up to me and said someday I want to be a coach like you. What did they mean? I wondered to myself. 

Yet I get what he’s talking about. Within a few minutes of meeting a coach, I can often tell how I feel about them as a coach. Sometimes I get this wrong due to my own biases and filters, but often I get it right. And it’s not because I’m psychic or incredibly intuitive. 

There’s just something about a truly great coach. A way they hold themselves, a way they speak, a way they listen, even just the way you feel when you sit with them. 

This is the embodiment of a great coach. It can seem mysterious, but it really isn’t. 

 

What does it mean to embody a great or masterful coach? 

Anyone can call themselves a coach. Anyone can ask a few coaching questions. But there’s something that set’s some of the world’s best coaches apart. 

  • Creativity
  • Depth
  • Authenticity
  • Integrity
  • Commitment and the ability to help others commit 
  • Clarity with finances
  • Spirituality or relationship to the divine 
  • Purpose and vision
  • Professional ethics

I didn’t become a coach to get rich. There are easier ways. I became a coach to embody the spirit of someone who changes lives, my own first, and those of people I care about. 

Maybe you became a coach for this reason too. If so, stop focusing on the skills, the nuts and bolts. They matter, but the context of your focus matters more. 

Focus on embodying a great coach, focus on BEING a great coach. 

And in the process, you’ll learn everything you need to do and to know.

Anyone can call themselves a coach, anyone can ask some coaching questions. 

But being a great coach, even when you’re walking alone in the woods, or cooking dinner. 

That’s rare and really something worth working towards.

Poetry Can’t Get You Clients

A few months ago I started writing poetry.

In truth, I’ve been writing poetry all my life, in moments of contemplation, in moments of love, in moments of difficulty poetry, has always been something I’ve turned to.

And yet as I began to write it I had a thought. Who’s going to hire me because I write poetry?

 

I WRITE ABOUT LEADERSHIP

Mostly in the past, I’ve written about leadership, about how to build a coaching business, about how to coach well, or how to live well.

Instead what was coming out of me was meditations on death, reflections on love, questions about what meaning there was to life, and what it’s like to go through pain and heartbreak.

I mean who wants a coach who talks about that stuff?

Don’t we all want a guide with the answers?

Don’t people LIKE my answers?

But on some level that didn’t matter.

I just had poetry pouring out of me. So that’s what I wrote. And because I’m committed to showing my work and being honest about who I am. I shared my poetry.

 

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED

And then a funny thing happened. I got a referral from a former client. It wasn’t a direct referral. This client had a client who wanted to refer their boss to me. Someone very intelligent and powerful. Someone who ‘could win a Nobel prize in the next decade or so.’

On the call, this woman told me: “I’ve been reading your poetry and something about it gave me the feeling that you’d be the perfect person to coach my boss.”

HUH? I thought to myself.

Maybe poetry can get you clients.

 

THE TRUTH

The truth is people long to be themselves, without apology, without exceptions, without limitations.

As leaders and coaches, we can either pretend to be what we think people want to see (which is what is more common than not) or we can be ourselves. Both have the potential for attracting people.

Some people are looking for the illusion of perfection or excellence. Hoping to steal some of the perfect paint and paint it on themselves. But other people are looking to be themselves and if you are willing to be yourself, with courage, humility, and a little humor that will inspire them.

You can attract people using listicles and the answers, it might actually be easier.

Or you can attract people by being willing to be yourself.

The question is what do you want to rely on?

And what do you want to build your leadership and business on? 

My 3 Secrets to Winning the Coaching Adventure Game by Francesca Woltanski

Today we have a special post from our friend and fellow coach Francesca Woltanski. She highlights her experience with the Coaching Adventure Game and tells us how she won! Check it out below.Read more

Boundaries, Love, And Why I Blocked My Ex On Facebook Part 2

So why didn’t I trust her?

 

Sure there were moments where I thought she wasn’t fair to me. Sure, I worry about how she’ll paint our relationship when she talks about it, but generally, I experienced her as a kind and loving person. 

 

She cherished me and let me go. 

I wanted to cherish her and let her go as well. 

 

I realized that if I trusted her to take care of herself and to feel the love I had as I set my boundaries, there really wasn’t anything to be scared of. I could block her on Facebook, and she would figure out I did it because I loved her and myself. Because I trusted her to be at peace with my choice and what was right with me. 

 

And this is the 2nd lesson I learned about boundaries:

 

LESSON #2 – YOU DON’T JUST SET BOUNDARIES WHEN YOU DON’T TRUST SOMEONE ELSE. YOU SET BOUNDARIES WHEN YOU CHOOSE TO TRUST SOMEONE FULLY, IMPLICITLY, AND WITH LOVE

 

When you trust someone, to take care of themselves, to be with your no, to find peace inside themselves, to be complete, to love you, setting boundaries is easy. For most of my life, I didn’t’ set boundaries because I was afraid I’d be rejected and abandoned. 

 

I thought the fewer boundaries, the better. And when I did set boundaries, they often had a flavor of anger, push back, or spite. But this process has slowly taught me that offering a boundary to someone you care about, perhaps even without explanation, is one of the most powerful gestures of trust you can offer

 

In truth, I have no idea how my former partner will take me blocking her. It’s at least 6 months before we can connect again. She may have or be thinking all of the things I was scared of. She may not even notice I blocked her at all. 

 

But the choice felt right to me. 

 

I want to get back to where I can be truly happy for her. Where I can see her radiant on Facebook and be so grateful she shared that radiance with me. Where I can see her with someone else and know that she’s created new love in part from the lessons of love we learned from one another. 

 

I know my next partner will have a lot to thank her for. 

 

And I know that blocking her now. Allowing that little jolt to fade, giving myself the space to be alone, to find joy in solitude and singleness, will help me get there. 

 

I trust her. To walk her own path. And to find a way to honor the path we walked together. And I trust myself. To set boundaries and discover what those boundaries are here to teach me. 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

My wish for you as you read this is that you find a way to practice with your own sacred boundaries. To offer them as a gift to those you love, even when they don’t totally understand, even when you don’t ‘think you need them.’ 

 

The practice of boundaries can be like this, not aggressive or aversive, but loving and kind in so many ways. 

You Don’t Need A More Productive Way To Produce Suffering

Dear Future Client,

You became a coach because you thought in some way it was the answer. Maybe at this point, you don’t even remember what the question was anymore.

For me, the question was about finding purpose in life, doing work that mattered, having a sense of freedom, and making enough money so my father would be proud of me. Despite the fact that he says he proud of me all the time. But I may be luckier than you in that.

And yet here you are, a few months or years into your coaching journey and you still haven’t arrived yet. Maybe you make the $10k months every Facebook group I get invited to raves about, or maybe you’re close, maybe you even make more than that.

And yet you haven’t arrived. You don’t feel free. You don’t feel successful. You keep looking over your own Facebook wall into someone else’s life who seems to have it sorted out. Maybe you even think I have it all sorted out.

You portray an image of success that covers over a subtle form of self-doubt. You don’t really know if you’re a good coach. You find yourself frustrated with your clients. Tired after a day of sessions. Feeling both free to do incredible work and trapped by the incredible work you do.

So you go out and hire someone to improve your deal flow, to get you more clients on linked in, promote your product to a broader audience, and help you with Facebook ads.

But the truth is you don’t need a more efficient way to produce suffering. You don’t need a better system to help you find again what you’ve already found.

Please stop hiring experts and gurus and people who have the answers.

Instead, it’s time to look at the very heart of why you suffer. To discover the parts of yourself you’ve stepped over on the way to success.

Sure I can help you get better at sales, sure I can help you figure out how to hire a better assistant, sure I can help you develop some basic systems to put your attention more on what you want to do.

But all of these things require you to let go of who you think you are as a coach and entrepreneur. They mean flying in the face of the scrappy do it yourself, figure it out, hire it out identity.

That’s something they never tell you about, the existential crises of being an entrepreneur.

So when you’re ready, I’m here. When you’re ready to let go of a more productive way to produce suffering and find the leader inside of you, the one who can create something truly unique to the world.

When you’re ready to stop looking for answers and find yourself instead.
I’d love to talk to you.

Not because I have any answers, but because I love looking.
With people who are committed to curiosity.

Love,
Toku

Boundaries, Love, And Why I Blocked My Ex On Facebook

 

Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously. – Prentis Hemphi

Last week I decided to block my ex on Facebook.

She didn’t do anything wrong, she didn’t start dating someone else (or if she did I don’t know about it), and I’m not mad at her. I blocked her because I love her, and I love myself as well.

I’m going to my best to explain why I did it, what I learned about myself, and hopefully, you’ll learn something about how to love yourself and others in the process.


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Things I Don’t Understand About My Coaching

There’s something compelling about reflecting on your work and what you’re creating with your life. You probably know the answers you always give at cocktail parties or events by heart, but if you dig deeper into the nature of your work, you may find things about it you don’t understand. In being with those questions, you may discover something totally new about your work and life that creates more wisdom and love. Read more

YOU DIDN’T NOTICE

 

You may think your life was handled until the past week. You may now be discovering that there are places in your life that are out of integrity, that can’t manage some pressure or change. Nothing to beat yourself up about, but an incredible opportunity to learn. 

 


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SURVIVAL BEGETS SURVIVAL

I was talking with a client recently about why people are buying so much toilet paper. I meant it seems crazy, right? Hand sanitizer makes sense. Maybe even rice and beans, but TP? 

But it actually reveals something significant about human nature. 

 

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What It Means To Be Human

 

To be human is to be sick. 

Despite our best efforts, our most incredible drugs, our most brilliant minds, sickness is human. 

 

And so with this crisis, we come face to face with this truth. 

Not because this is exceptional. 

Getting sick is incredibly ordinary. 

But because we’re seeing it all at once. 

 

We are all staring into the face of what it is to be human for once together. 

We are all seeing together how frail life is. 

We are all seeing together how hard it is to keep us going. 

 

And it’s SCARY AS F*CK!!!!

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