Are you hesitant about putting your work out there?
What if you get clients that you can’t help?
What if there’s another course that will finally give you the tools you need?
If you’re saying Yes to any of the above, you are under the illusion that there is an end or final destination to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and experience.
Forever, there will be more knowledge out there that feels like it could be “the key”. Even if you get multiple Ph.D.’s, you’ll still feel like you don’t know enough. (Actually, with more knowledge, you’ll struggle even more to organize all the learned info into a coherent framework.)
No matter how much you learn cognitively, you still won’t feel ready to get out there. What’s the most reliable way to feeling more ready? To learn through actual experiences.
Everybody gets clients that intimidate them. Every expert sometimes feels like they don’t have the right answers.
You simply need to actually experience more of the real work.
It’s only by putting yourself out there will you discover how valuable people find your work… how much they appreciate what you already know. Not everyone will praise you, but we don’t need everyone.
You just need to observe who does indeed appreciate your work at this stage -- for they are your ideal clients now.
In the beginning of my coaching career, I was fortunate to meet a leader of a large organization who believed that I had some productivity skills that would be helpful to him. I felt intimidated by his great leadership experience. I didn't feel “ready”. But he clearly saw something I could offer him, some skill that was so natural for me that I didn't think it was a big deal.
It’s the same with you. You already know enough to really help a lot of people.
Stop asking yourself whether you’re ready. Instead, ask whether you see people struggling with something you already know. What have you thought a lot more about than the average person?
You don’t have to be fully integrated with that knowledge or tool, to be able to coach or teach. It can still be a real and ongoing issue in your own life… but at least you’re more aware of it than the average person, and you have some tools for solving the problem, even if you haven’t fully solved it for yourself.
Here’s the most interesting part -- it’s actually better for the client that you haven’t fully moved beyond the issue.
Because the more you can viscerally relate to them, the more they will feel seen and heard… and feeling understood makes them more open to your support!
Have you heard of the curse of knowledge? It’s where the expert has solved the problem and gotten so far beyond the original state of mind, that it’s hard for them to put themselves in the client’s current experience.
While you are still struggling with the very issues you want to help people with, it’s so important for you to journal:
It is such a precious time now, because you will eventually move beyond these issues and forget what it feels like. Trust me, you will forget. Write (or record) copiously now.
While you’re going through it now, share your writing publicly, as much as you can. (I call it public journaling.) Your writing will connect with others who are dealing with your issues (these are your kindred spirits, or your potential clients!) and they will appreciate your awareness and insights.
No one else but an experiencer like you can write (or record) about the struggles in a real way. Share what reflections and tools are helping you. By doing this, you’re creating true credibility.
Demonstrating that you really understand what they’re going through, may actually be the most helpful thing to your clients. Given that you’re just one or a few steps ahead of them, you can truly hold their hand and help them forward.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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