How to Grow Your Business Intentionally and Authentically with the 4 Ps | By Marcy Nelson-Garrison

Last week's really helpful article described The 3 Stages of Building Your Coaching Business - and asks where are YOU in this process? This week's great follow-up article from Marcy Nelson-Garrison looks at the 4 Ps of intentionally and authentically growing your business.

The following article is adapted from an article that first appeared in Choice Magazine V8I1, March 2010.

Building a coaching business takes a lot of time and effort. It's a creative process that cannot be rushed - with a natural rhythm which is different for each person. Just like an artist, while we cannot rush or force the creative process, there are steps you can take to be more intentional with your progress towards full authentic expression in your business.

So, in this article we're going to explore the four P's; Passion, Permission, Play and Prototype - and how embracing them can help accelerate your movement in growing your business authentically.

The 4 P's of Intentionally and Authentically Growing Your Business Are:

  1. PASSION. You must create from passion regardless of whether you are putting together a business model, writing an ebook or designing a workshop or retreat. Your passion is the energetic compass to your essence, your gift and most importantly what you are hungry to deliver to your clients. It's important to carve out time to listen and let that energetic compass be your guide.  Ask your self; What am I called to do?, What am I hungry for? What gets me excited about the work I do? Passion is magnetic and will draw resources and help to you but more than that it comes from your core essence. Over-doing is a sure fire way to get disconnected from passion. It's important to guard your time and energy for the best possible results.
  2. PERMISSION. You have unique experiences, wisdom and expertise – claim it! You must give yourself permission to know what you know. One of the most important assignments I give my clients is to spend time with the question "What do I know?" Carve out a couple of hours to mind-map and reflect on this question in the context of the work you do with your clients.  For me it started with a simple question – what do I authentically know about creativity and the creative process. For you it might be asking what do I know about transition or wellness or relationships. Choose a context that you have passion around.
  3. PLAY. Creating is a blast, it's playtime and anything goes. Play means fully engaging in a creative brainstorming process without a judge and jury sitting on your shoulder. Schedule regular time to brainstorm and play with words and ideas. Add plenty of stimulus to get the ideas really percolating. There are a number of "fields" to play in when it comes to stimulus. I developed the three circles of stimulus to help guide clients in generating ideas. Begin spending more time in the outermost circle I refer to as the "Cosmic Soup". The field of play here engages imagery, intuition, prayer, play, movement, meditation, guided visualization etc. These methods offer the most direct route to your deep wisdom and knowing.
  4. PROTOTYPE. For the creative process to flourish and expand feedback is essential. You have to put your creation (your prototype) out into the world and see what happens. All feedback is useful even if it is not what you want to hear. It guides you to refine your message, your product, your brand. Feedback is in effect your creative partner. As you receive and use the feedback your ideas will evolve and deepen.

So, trust the creative process. As you create, hold your passion, direction and intention close to your heart and be flexible with the form it will take. Carve out time for creative play and to listen for your own deep wisdom. And most of all, trust the process.

Questions for you to consider:

  • PASSION: Are you creating from Passion - if not, why not? What's stopping you? Where do you need to trust your intuition more?
  • PERMISSION: What do you know? Where do you need to give yourself Permission to create, to be seen?
  • PLAY: Are you Playing enough? Where do you need to let go of the judge and "go for it"? How can you bring more Play into your work?
  • PROTOTYPE: What do you have that is "good enough" that you could put out in the world and ask for feedback on? What ideas do you have that you could develop an initial Prototype as a way of getting started (whether it's a tool, product, book/ebook, workshop, coaching program or something else?)

Marcy-blk prof-sm-squareContributing Author: Marcy Nelson-Garrison, MA, LP, CPCC is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, master’s level licensed psychologist, Choice Magazine feature writer and visual artist. She is also the founder of the Coaching Toys online store which features innovative tools and products for personal development, workshops, retreats, team building and client work. Marcy is also a product mentor and helps heart-centered professionals create authentic products and programs aligned with their personal manifestos. Learn more at and


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