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Friday, June 24, 2011

Last night I received an urgent call from a coaching client. His voicemail sounded a bit frantic, so, although I typically call clients back withing 24 hours (included in my coaching services), I called him back right away – even thought it was Saturday at 10:00 pm.

“Hi Joe,” I said. “What’s up?”
“I did it Scott. I did it. I can’t believe I did it but I did it.”
“That sounds like a song from ‘My Fair Lady’ – what did you do, exactly?”
“I quit my job.”

Joe came to me two months ago for help in growing his carpentry business. A solo entrepreneur, Joe had been unemployed. Suddenly. He tapped his unemployment and struggled to find a job. But instead of just sitting around and feeling sorry for himself and his predicament, he took action. What did he have to lose after all?

Then in the midst of his modest entrepreneurial efforts – he called me for help. I know it sounds a little like Dr. Mcoy from Star Trek, but Joe literally said to me on his first call, “I’m a carpenter Scott, not a business man!” We started to work together.

At almost the same time, he found a part time job at the QuickMart selling slurpies and gas. (Gasoline that is – I don’t want to imply in any way that slurpies give you gas).

Now his business is going full steam – he is working, working, working. And he is still at the QuickMart. He has no time to WORK ON his business – he is so busy WORKING IN his business. This is the #1 mistake most business owners make, BTW. No accounting system, no marketing plan, no business plan. Giving invoices to people in Excel worksheets – or worse yet paper! Everything piling up. QuickBooks? He hasn’t even purchased the software. Still using a gmail for email – no no domain name – no corporate identity. And the QuickMart. No time.

So giving three weeks notice was a big deal for Joe.

Turns out, Joe is also an “admitted people pleaser” – he says, “I can’t say no to anybody for fear that they won’t like me.”

I often say to people that you can’t separate business coaching from personal coaching. Why? Because YOU are the source of your success. I don’t care how great your business plan or market plan is – if YOU don’t have it together, you will never get your business to sustain in any way that means anything.

Because I not only have a Masters degree in Business but a solid background in the counseling profession, it was natural for Joe and I to work on his “people pleasing.”

So giving three weeks notice was a REALLY big deal for Joe.

Are you unemployed?  

What are you doing? Sitting around feeling sorry for yourself? Or are you challenging yourself while you are looking around for work? You could be training for a triathalon, getting your DTM in Toastmasters, writing a book, launching a new career, starting a new business (whether a trade, service – or even a sales rep for an MLM like Juice Plus -- $50 bucks is all you need to get going with that business).

If you were hungry and you only had one fishing pole and you just went to the same pond – different spots – to try to catch the same type of fish with the same lure – you might go hungry. This is – unfortunately what many unemployed folks do. Sitting on the side of the pond lamenting how they are hungry. Truth is what they are saying is that they are hungry because they are holding out for a trout. They could get another pole with a DIFFERENT lure and go for bass. They could set traps for rabbits. They could plant a vegetable garden. They could buy a bow and arrow and go hunintg. But no, they just sit on the side of the bank and go hungry.

If people like Joe are quitting jobs, there is still plenty of work to go around.

Are you sitting on the side of the bank?