It’s 4th quarter, tail end of the multisport season, and time to start thinking about goals and objectives.
I like how Jesse Kropelnicki breaks down the sorts of goal setting we can engage in on xtri.com. First and foremost are the things over which we have 100% control. She calls them objectives, but the nomenclature doesn’t matter so much as the control aspect. Next are the things over which we have much control through proper preparation, but not 100% . Last on the priority list are when we start dealing with other people, who are notoriously non-responsive to our desires to manipulate their impact on our goals of relative performance. Unless you go all Tonya Harding on someone, which I don’t recommend. There are costs to that approach.
This is good information for athletic goal setting, but right now my interest is more about professional goals. I’m at a juncture in my career where I have a few irons in the fire that I hope will pay off in the future, ideally in the form of residuals. Some of this is due to involvement in other peoples’ businesses, which are situations over which I have influence towards the successful outcome, but not as much control if it were my own business in something that is mine and I truly love doing. Plus I could use some extra cash coming in now and in the immediate future.
Goal: Implement performance coaching / mentoring business targeting clientele that I enjoy working with providing services that leverage my capabilities.
Objective: Make enough money doing this to fill in the gaps near term and possibly grow to a primary source of income several years down the road.
I had a great conversation with Rebecca Merrill of Merrill Leadership yesterday morning. Very bright person with an interesting background who has built a thriving executive coaching business in a self-renovated beautiful older home in downtown Durham, NC. She was kind enough to share her story with me and provide me a few nuggets of wisdom about my professional aspirations. My main take-aways:
- Don’t get hijacked by certification seeking. Go ahead and get started now. The credentials and reputation I have now are enough to get rolling. Add certifications if and ony if the clientele’s needs demand an expanded skill set. Health coaching certification is out of my price range at this point, but perhaps it’s something I add later. There are other ideas too.
- Target clients through my existing network. Business development requires ongoing contact with potential clients and people who might know potential clients. As valuable as hobnobbing at Chamber events can be, it’s not my cup of tea. Leverage the phenomenon where I turn into an extrovert (relatively speaking) in an environment of multisport athletes.
- Identify a niche of clients that I enjoy working with and respond to their needs. This is a correlary to #2, because if I stick with people in my current network, I’m more likely to relate well to them and enjoy the interaction. Also, I’m a firm believer in the niche marketing approach of identifying and responding to the changing needs of a particular group, rather than coming up with “the answer” and evangelizing until I find people who bite.
- Need a brand. The brand already exists by default, but it’s time to articulate it in a sentence or two that I can share with someone as we pass by in a group ride peloton. It’s generally called an elevator speech, but I spend more time on my bike than I do in elevators.
- Dedicated store front. This blog is cute and interesting and all, but serves a wide variety of communication purposes, some of which are consistent with my professional goals and some not. I’ve got my eye on a domain name or two through which to ply my services and relay my professional brand in a more focused manner.
These lead me to begin taking the following actions:
- Articulate the brand by identifying personal strengths, weaknesses, interests, and target customer needs.
- Solicit feedback from my network regarding greatest pains not being filled by the current suite of service providers.
- Build a delivery framework and pricing for the services I can best offer.
- Nail down a domain name and get a new website rolling.
- Volunteer to mentor troubled youth at a local non-profit to boost desired experience and do something positive for the community.
Thanks for listening. Input welcome.