3 Top Tips on How To Stay Calm Running Your Coaching Business | By Ruby McGuire

Woman Reading a Book at Home

When we're being of service to others it's easy to over-give and to lose ourselves in the process. We're passionate beings who want to help and help and help, but at what cost to us?

I've been running my coaching business for nearly 4 years now and I've definitely done some things the super hard way! A couple of years ago I realised I'd hit a state of crash and burn. I had a recurring cycle of flat out – burn out and something needed to change – aka me!

What I realised was that a 'coping' strategy isn't enough. You know the one where you hit burn out and then think a couple of hours rest will be good enough before you start racing ahead again. Self-care every few months just doesn't cut it. You need a maintenance strategy, not a coping strategy.

You have to look after yourself on a daily basis. How can you help other people where you're in a place of frazzle, your hair standing up on end and looking like a panda with black bags under your eyes? Oh, and then your poor family / friends / cat (insert whoever you want) only see you asleep all weekend on the sofa. Not really the life you signed up for as a coach, is it?

Running a coaching business can be stressful. Instead, run your business on the KISS principle – Keep It Simple Sweetie! There are some simple practices that can really help you to stay calm and in control. You know that balance thing you wanted? Putting these simple practices in place will help you with that.

Here are the 3 strategies that have helped me and my clients, with fabulous results:

Ruby - Stay Calm While Coaching1. Set clear boundaries (and stick to them)

This one's a biggie. You're running your own business – you get to choose how and when you work – how liberating is that?!

One of my boundaries is I don't work Fridays. It still feels very indulgent, and a bit naughty if I'm honest. In my previous life as Head of HR role I had Fridays off - and vowed Friday would also be a non-working day when I became my own boss.

It wasn't just about Fridays, I now aim to keep my weekends free too. I don't start work on workdays until 10am (self-care practices first) and don't answer email after 6pm, working only the occasional evening. Don't get me wrong, it's a challenge. I'm super passionate about what I do and have to literally book 'me time' out in my diary but I've set working outside of these times as an exception, not the rule.

QUESTION FOR YOU: What boundaries do you need to set in place, so that you have time for looking after you?

2. Create an overall task list and sort out your priorities

It's easy to get sucked into an overwhelming to-do list where you think everything is a priority. So, here's a quick way out of overwhelm and back to calm.

Do a brain dump - Write absolutely everything down on a list and figure out some dates when they need to be done by. Then either at the start of your day (or the night before) choose your top 3 tasks (MIT's – Most Important Tasks). Once you've achieved those, list the next 3 and so on.

This way you won't feel overwhelmed, you'll just be focusing on the most important things. It feels fabulous being productive and achieving things on your list. As Peter Voogd says, "If you've got more than three priorities, you don't have any".

Having a simple list of 3 things to work through can be really empowering, and it takes off a lot of the pressure and overwhelm. Try it, it's fun!

3. Reflect and Adapt

It's really important to spend some time reflecting and adapting. It doesn't need to take long, just have a handful of questions that help you reflect on how your day has gone. Here are some of the questions I ask myself each day – I have 9 in total.

  • What 3 things are you grateful for today?
  • What 3 things do you want to focus on tomorrow?
  • Did you spend enough time with your family/friends today?
  • What book did you read?  If you didn't read what creative thing did you do?

This practice gives you a quick snapshot of what's working for you, where you've not made time for the important things in life (including yourself) and what you might want to do differently the next day. For example, I really wanted to read more, so this practice has reminded me daily of one of my top favourite things to do.

Then when doing your reflective practice, if something's not working you adapt it going forward. Simples.

QUESTION FOR YOU: What method and questions could you use to reflect each day? Maybe it's journalling, maybe an app. Find what works for you.

So here's a quick recap of the top tips:

  1. Set clear boundaries (and stick to them!)
  2. Create an overall task list and sort out your Top 3 MITs (Most Important Tasks)
  3. Reflect and adapt

Before I go, I'd like to share a little bonus tip with you – probably the most important one really.

Make time for creativity and play

By throwing everything into your business you can lose part of who you are. Your business should be an extension of you, not all of you. For me I know that when I create, I clear my mind and lose myself in the moment, which is such an important thing to do when you're running your own business.

We all know that ideas come up when we take time away from the usual busyness of day-to-day life (walking the dog, washing your teeth, taking a shower). Neuroscience has now proven that a different part of your brain gets activated when you allow your mind to de-focus - a 'default' network that fires up. The brain is still active but it's a restful activity. The default network kicks in when you're day dreaming, being silent, meditating and visualising - or doing routine tasks that require no active thought.

QUESTION FOR YOU: What does the word 'play' mean to you? Make time for it (the key bit here is to make the time).

Most importantly, whatever strategies you choose to bring back balance into your life, remember to KISS! Keep It Simple Sweetie!

I'd love to hear about some of the tips and tricks you've used to bring back some balance into your life. Share in the comments below or ping me an email at ruby@rubymcguire.com.

Ruby McGuire

Contributing Author: Ruby McGuire, aka Queen of Connection is a mum, wife and cappuccino lover. She helps unseen solopreneurs step up and shine on/offline so they can make money doing what they love. She's a Co-Author of "Awaken Your True Potential", a Trainer, Noble Manhattan Support Coach, EFT Practitioner, writes for International Coaching News and more recently has become a regular author for IIC&M's Insight Magazine. Check out her podcast show "Rock Your Fabulous Biz", find Ruby at her pretty online home, www.rubymcguire.com or on Facebook. Failing that she may be satisfying her obsession of pinning on Pinterest!

PS. So what about you? Are you ready to stop being invisible? You didn't sign up to running your own business to struggle or stay broke. It's time that you and your fabulous business were seen, both on and offline. To check how well you're doing with your visibility subscribe and grab your copy of Ruby's free Visibility Quiz here.

 

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