Last summer, towards the end of a marketing mastermind group I was leading, I found myself wishing I had that kind of support for my own business. As an oldest child and a former therapist, the role of helper is a comfortable one for me. But I knew I needed somewhere to go where I could get mine. I wanted to work with someone who I could learn from and who both supported and challenged me. I had been following various online biz superstars but none of them felt right. None that is, until I came across a sales page for a workshop called Creating Irresistible Presence.
Creating Irresistible Presence, otherwise know as CIP, was created by Sarah Robinson. Now at that point I didn’t know Sarah Robinson from Adam’s house cat (a phrase Sarah and I both use, being from the deep South). But I did a bit of research and saw that Sarah was a business coach and her blog, escaping mediocrity had a large and very committed following.
Several things really caught my attention. The first was Sarah’s sales page itself. I was impressed that Sarah’s CIP page was not your typical hard sell sales page with the big yellow boxes and red arrows. Instead, it was friendly and really well designed; it was actually more of an invitation to a party.
The next thing I noticed was that Sarah had been trained as a Shakespearean Actor and was bringing parts of her acting training into the workshop to help us create our irresistible presence. This resonated with me because my husband, a broadcast engineer, was also a trained actor. Back in the day, Duane was with the San Francisco Shakespeare Company for a couple of years. He often brings fascinating insights into situations based on what he learned from his acting training.
Third, I am not much on going to conferences and I’m really somewhat of a homebody. I have a hard time being confined to a hotel room for more than a day and even then it better be interesting. Anyway, this three-day workshop just so happened to be located in Atlanta, just 2 miles from my house.
Hmmm…. this Creating Irresistible Presence thing was speaking to me. Why? I started to think about it. I knew I wanted and needed someone outside of myself to help me hone my business. I was doing well in my small local pond, but I wanted to bring what I do to a larger market and I knew I was going to need some help to get there. Sarah Robinson’s page spoke to me.
When I told my husband about CIP he whole-heartedly got why I was interested and even paid for my registration as a gift to me. When I told other people about it they were a bit baffled. They said things such as, “But you are so outgoing and don’t seem to have any issues in being a presence to reckon with”. But I knew I was ready for my own coach to take me beyond where I could/would go alone and I was ready for that.
I set out for CIP, not really knowing anything about it. The first night, there was a Tweet Up at the hotel and that night as I walked in, even then before it started, I knew I was in the right place. yes she had amazing speakers and the people that I met were doing or contemplating doing great things. But what was the best and totally unexpected thing was how Sarah was able to be with each of us when coaching us to get really clear on what was next for us. She was able to help each person stand in his or her truth and know what that felt like so we could call it up again. She taught us that you couldn’t create irresistible presence without having clarity. Clear away the garbage, find your purpose, hone it and you will find your right people, and you will have the confidence to bring your unique gift to the world.
Sarah was able to stand with and for each one of us. She was the midwife, not distracted by emotion and feelings, helping us birth our core truth. She whispered to find it, feel it and claim it.
At the end of the workshop I signed up for one of her mastermind coaching spots because I knew I wanted to give myself what I give others; focused attention, direction, support and accountability. It was an amazing three days and it has been an amazing eight months.
Many of my CIP mates have gone on to put in place what we worked on those days and it has been wonderful to witness and support. They are my friends and Twitter buddies and we take care of as well as cheer each other on. When Lisa Robbin Young announced to me that she was almost ready to post her Twelve Days of Christmas Series that Sarah had suggested that we both do, that got my ass in gear. I thought to myself, If Lisa can do it then by God, I am going to get it done too. Now that may sound competitive but it was more like we would catapult each other to greatness. For my series, I gave out something that was online that was special to me each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas. It was fun and my list grew.
A few months later, Sarah suggested that I was ready to do a 30-day series choosing 30 guest bloggers with larger lists than mine to do one post each. This would give me the opportunity to promote others on my site and would draw some of their followers to my site, giving me more exposure in order to gain more readers myself.
That series idea languished on my To Do List for months. But something would always stop me. I was too busy with clients. I couldn’t decide on the series name. I couldn’t possibly ask 30 Big Dogs to write a post for my site.
A couple of weeks ago, after a meeting with my Mastermind group I acknowledged that I was really just stuck. It was through talking about it to my group that I realized all my excuses were just so much BS and that the bottom line was that I was afraid to test out whether I was good enough.
You see I had spent my childhood as a Navy brat moving from place to place and having to make a name for myself each and every time we moved. I have lived in Atlanta 31 years and feel secure here. By avoiding this series. I was avoiding confronting whether I was “in” enough for Big Dogs in this new online world to help me out.
I know it seems strange but there are all those kid feelings lurking right under the rational explanations for why I wasn’t getting this done. When I stopped and felt it there was me at 12 trying to fit in when I had moved to yet another new town. No wonder it was safer to just avoid it altogether. But I had signed up to be accountable and when I understood the essence of what was going on, and that I was not 12 and if someone said no it was not about me, I was able to let it go.
The first thing I did was scale it back top a ten-day series that made it feel more do-able. I named the series; Unleash Your Blog’s Potential and Run With the Big Dogs.
I then got out the Big Dog list and started writing. The bottom line? I now have my eight big dogs signed up (I will do the first and last post so I only needed eight). Actually, it was easy. A couple of people said they couldn’t so it because of a timing issue and to ask again another time. Chris Guillebeau said he was really under the gun with a book he was writing and conference he had coming up and had turned down five other requests just this week but because I had helped him with his book signing he was saying yes to me. The rest enthusiastically said, “Yes!” Expect a post in a couple of days about the Big Dog series that will start June 20, exactly one month from today.
I am so glad that acted on my realization that I needed someone to do for me what I did for others. I chose well but I really made Sarah the perfect coach for me. There is a concept called the assigned author. It is at play when we clean up our houses spic and span because we are having a party. Basically it is at play when we choose to assign our power of action to another. There is nothing wrong with this approach if you need help getting something done. Whether it is signing up for a dance class or hiring a bookkeeper to come every Wednesday morning. It works but we are really still in charge of our own actions. So I made Sarah and my mastermind group my”assigned author” for me to learn what I needed to know next and to take the time I needed to spend on my business that I couldn’t seem to do on my own. Not only do I get a lot of good ideas from them, it is a whole lot more fun to have people on your team who help me move from knowing what to do to doing what I know. When I have that in place I am more charged up in my working with others. I have created a Summer Mastermind Coaching Intensive to offer that kind of support to others. And you can also get a great deal on Sarah’s Creating Irresistible Presence scheduled for Sept 28, 2011, if you sign up soon.
Do you have a small business you are grappling with? Are there places in your business you are stuck in a holding path? Are you ready to get what you need in place to take the next steps? I’d love to hear about it and will respond to each comment.