• Nasreen Variyawa

Coaching is poetry in motion

“I rock my role as Author Coach because I champion of originality.

I never do anything just ordinary and that’s what I brand Nasreeniology.

Come on read on, let me influence your Coaching if you dare

Let Nasreeniology fill the blanks that will otherwise be left bare.”

1. Can I, Should I or Must I?

If you often ask yourself if you can, should or must go into coaching, you probably have a feeling somewhere inside of you that this is something you could probably excel at. Whether you can or can’t is something you alone know. What I know for sure is that if you have ever coached someone at work, at home, on the sports ground or over a cup of coffee, then you have innate potential that you should exploit. I am by no means implying that you do not need to be a certified coach, but I would like you to imagine what a power-house you could be if you pursued both your qualification and your innate talents. The bottom line here is that everyone needs to start somewhere. So, here’s an initial thought for you to begin with:

“You may never be able to change the world, but you can make a start

You’ll create some sparks in some minds, one by one from your heart.”

2. The ‘Itch’ that must be ‘scratched’

Once you have stopped sitting on the fence (a rather painful place to be) and have established your niched coaching business, it is normal to wonder how you will convert potential clients into paying ones. I am not talking about promoting your brand only here. As far as I am concerned, YOU are your brand and people buy into you before they buy into what you have to offer. When I first started out, I did a lot of pro bono work to establish my name and reputation. When people found out who the force behind some best- selling books was, they voluntarily hired me.

So, the first thing to do is to set up a FREE coaching call with your prospective clients. What you say, how you say it and how you make them feel is crucial to hooking and keeping your client. The world of social media offers some opportunities to get to know potential clients. What you want to do is put together a basic strategy for hooking your client. When they talk to me about their book ideas, I can already deduce where their books are headed and am able to help them gain clarity on the vision for their books quickly. I facilitate them to a stage in the process I call ‘The Itch.’ What this means is that I get them so excited with the clarity they receive that they are itching to get off the call with me and get straight to writing their books (with me as their coach of course). To give your clients an ‘Itch’ that needs to be ‘scratched’ you need to always:

“Plan before you speak and inspire meaningful action

Plan before you speak and aim for more than satisfaction.”

3. Ding Dong! Anybody home?

Negotiating and establishing a plan of action at the outset is probably one of the most important things you can do. I use a simple project plan that I share with my clients to map the details of writing their books, the number of chapters, the content, the deadlines and the final steps to finishing up their projects. Very often prospective authors come to me with ideas and talent but no real aptitude to approach the book. This is when I have Ding Dong! Anybody home? moments to deal with. When my clients and I mutually put their project plans together, the lightbulbs are switched on and they rush off to write their books. The takeaway here is to always provide something tangible for clients to work with because quick, visible results are money spinners.

“Planning is the key, a roadmap set in motion

Goals set in detail, reap rewards like a magic potion

4. Smoke it like a larnie and chat to Guru Gut

When I taught listening skills, I often taught the difference between listening and hearing and used the analogy of smoking cigarettes. In South Africa, poor people often smoke the leftovers (stompies) cast aside by other more affluent family members and friends, referred to as larnies. What I taught is that hearing is like smoking up stompies (you don’t really get to enjoy the pleasure that comes with smoking a full cigarette) whereas listening is like smoking it up like a larnie (you have all the time to enjoy a full cigarette). I always encouraged my audience to smoke it up like a larnie (shame on me). I shamelessly use the same strategy in my coaching business because I believe that before I can give my clients ‘The Itch’, I need to be able to tap into my intuition. I have named my intuition Guru Gut and tap into it after I have smoked it up like a larnie. This is the crux of coaching for me and I find myself connecting with clients in ways that are unsuspecting. You see, as coaches we tend to focus a lot more on the academia and a lot less on the people we are coaching. A one size fits all approach does not work in coaching. Each client is unique and to win them over you must be able to tap into what they are NOT saying and then give them the courage to write exactly that. Why? Because this is what sells a book. Therefore,

“Listen! Listen between the lines, listen so you know, exactly what’s on the mind

Guru gut is your trusted friend, don’t switch off the voice within

Let Guru Gut work his magic on you, there is more value in this than you think.”

5. Imagination is true intelligence

I can hear you scoffing right now but this is my story and I’m sticking to it. I have always used a combination of knowledge and imagination to do most of the things I have accomplished in life, including coaching authors. My vision for whatever I do has begun with the end in mind. Successfully coaching someone requires that you pay attention to what clients envision and use it on two levels. The first is to plan for them to write books that are in line with their vision. The second is to get them to express what they envision for themselves at a book launch, a conference at which they are invited to speak, a cover for the book, a blurb, a book signing or a networking event for authors. I have found that the latter gives clients more of ‘The Itch’ than any other kind of motivation. Asking leading questions about what their success looks like in their imaginations tells them that you are interested in getting them to succeed. To do this, you may need to change your own way of doing things, like beginning with the end in mind:

“Listen up, let me you tell you something wise, open up your heart and tap into your mind

Find the eye there that’s exists deep within, when you tap into it you’ll discover your imagination”

6. By hook or by crook

In this rapidly growing market of coaches, the only way to survive is to be authentic. Your clients must be respected and honored rather than be treated like fools. Being authentic means that you must be sincere, honest, dedicated, committed, explicitly trusted and yes, very original. Clients that come to you with their stories, memoirs, autobiographies and business secrets are all putting their lives into your hands. Whilst you cannot guarantee that every authors book can be a best seller, you must demonstrate that you will do whatever it takes to give their books due attention. Treat every client alike. Be fair and be helpful, even after their books have been published. This is what will bring you repeat business. It will also ensure referrals. Ninety percent of my clients have been referred to me by past or existing clients because I chose to hook them rather than crook them. So, remember:

“Trust, honesty and integrity, should be your qualities innate, it’s YOU they buy into, so stand out, don’t hesitate

People will remember you, not so much for what you do, but the impression you leave on them and the perception they have of you”

7. Soar or Saw

To give your clients the best, you must be at your best. It’s as simple as that. As a coach, soaring means that you will have to develop yourself all the time. Talking to others in the business, exchanging simple experiences, reading books, taking online courses, attending conferences, giving workshops, watching videos or using any other interventions helps you to grow. Experiential learning is wonderful if you can accept developmental criticism. Get a coach if you don’t have one. I have asked my coach to let me watch him in action and I have let my coach watch me in action. There is truly nothing to be afraid of if you approach your vocation in the spirit of continuous learning. In short, choose to soar at your vocation rather than saw it to death. You ought to:

“Review what you have been told, to see if there is any weight

And if there’s a chance you could be better, then learn the lessons in haste”

8. Coaching is poetry in motion

I believe in the power of one and what this means is that it takes just one of something to make a change. Whether that’s just a sentence or an idea or someone who believes in your vision, the world makes magnificent strides towards positive change through the power of one. As a coach, you have the power of one right there in your head, heart and soul and you ought not to forget it or take it lightly.

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