When I first started my business, I followed all the experts - podcasts, Instagram accounts, Facebook, YouTube, books, and basically anyone who claimed to have any level of expertise in what I was trying to achieve. I would follow peers who seemed to have it all together or appeared to be eons ahead of me. I felt like a fish out of water, constantly struggling to understand what exactly I could offer my clients and how I could best deliver that value. One of the first things people tell you when you are just beginning is to “narrow down your niche”. Essentially, know who you are speaking to and why. And yes, this is hugely valuable advice. It is important to know who you want to work with and what you can offer them.
The problem is, when you are starting a business in a new profession, something that you haven’t done professionally before (as was the case for me when I began offering my coaching as a professional service), you don’t really know what value you bring or who you serve. And It's not always easy to understand what you offer in the world. You feel pressured to identify who you are, who you serve, and how you do it before you've even had enough experience to really know it in your bones.
I struggled to figure out who was my target, who was my niche, who was my ideal client. What do they need, what can I give them, and how can I deliver it? And I would agonize over intellectual challenges that would then be carefully mapped onto paper (or post-it collaged all over my walls). My logic was flawless. The end product (on paper) was perfect.
The trouble was that I was spending so much time in my intellectual headspace that I wasn’t getting enough actual, real life experience to back it up. I sort of knew what I was working toward, but would try to find the perfect word or feeling or description to showcase what I do long before I really knew what I was doing.
Sure, I was coaching – and well at that (if I may toot my own horn, but of course I may!) but I was trying to gain mastery over my craft and try out many different kinds of clients and types of offerings to see what actually felt resonant and aligned with who I am. I couldn’t narrow down “my people” because I didn’t know who they were yet. I couldn’t find the perfect package to offer them, not only because such a thing doesn’t exist, but also because I didn’t yet know.
And even still, now that I am four years into my business, I still find new footing every day, new clients that amaze and inspire me, new ways of working together with the people who I know will benefit the most from our time together. The point is, I am continuing to evolve - every single day. As a coach, as a leader, as an entrepreneur, as a wife, as a woman. I am a daily work in progress. And that means that the work I do is evolving alongside me.
As I learn new tools or methodologies for transformational change, my offering changes. As I deepen my intuitive abilities, my impact changes. As I trust myself more and do even deeper work on myself, what I create in the world changes.
There is absolutely no need to know it all right away. There is especially no need to know it all right at the beginning.
The only thing each one of us is obligated to do is to continuously explore the edge of our comfort zone, to push ourselves just a little bit further in our own lives, so that we may more deeply impact the people we work with, our families, friends, and communities. The more we evolve and learn and grow as humans, the deeper our influence in the world around us.
Because that is authentic leadership. And that is where true and lasting change can take place.
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