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Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London


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Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London

  1. 1. Insights magazine is now published quarterly. September: Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations With God July: look for our new PUBLISHED! magazine. Insights Bonus: Annual Superstar Showcase—Limited Edition All of our fabulous 2010 cover interviews, all in one place—ad free FREE when you Subscribe (1-year)We will private label Insights for you as your own publication! Circulation: 17,500+ Insights online, downloadable & available in Print. Enjoy on your Kindle & iPad! Insights Magazine is a member of Expert Insights™ Family of Opportunity Insights and PUBLISHED! magazines The Coaches Edge: Extraordinary events Write Away, Write Now!: Where writers and opportunity meet The Coach Exchange (tce): Coaching network and showcase venues Top Global Resources Directories: The best coaching and publishing has to offer Publisher: Expert Insights™, Charlotte, NC 28213 All Rights Reserved: Reprint or use of any content prohibited without permission.
  2. 2. Message from the Publisher, Viki Winterton:Message from the Publisher, Viki Winterton: Insights Magazine brings you leading experts in coaching and empowerment, sharing their wisdom, vision, secrets of success and personal defining moments of inspiration. We hope you will enjoy your new Insights. In this Issue: Marianna Lead, Ph.D., PCC, Author, Founder of the Goal Imagery® InstituteDiscover how a holistic approach better meets the needs of both coaches and clients. Page 4Jodi Orshan, Marriage and Family Therapist, Life Coach, Creator of The Parenting Pyramid Understand the process and benefits of proactive parenting. Page 10 Jean M. DiGiovanna, Founder of ThinkPeople® and Workshop University® Find out what it means—and what it takes—to “have it all.” Page 14 Ben Croft, Leading Business and Executive Coach Marketer Consider how strategic alliances can benefit your business. Page 20 Ginger London, Ordained Christian Minister, Author, Speaker, Life Coach Discover how life coaching and Christian ministry can be bridged and what makes a great Christian life coach. Page 26 Janet Leathem, Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Learn to live a balanced life and promote optimum H.E.A.L.T.H. Page 35 Azzah, Psychological Counselor, Intrinsic Observation Specialist Explore who you are not in order to reveal who you are. Page 42 Bill Cumming, Executive Director of The Boothby Institute, The Coach‟s Coach How can loving kindness change the world? How can it change you? Page 48 Insights Expert Directory, Events and Resources Pages 56-59 Celebrating All the Experts Who Have Graced 2010 Insights Pages! Page 60 A special “thank you” to media personality, Stacey Chadwell.
  3. 3. Marianna Lead, Ph.D. is a PCC as well as the Founder and Executive Director of the Goal Imagery® Institute. A Transformational Coach and Clinical Hypnotherapist, she is a pioneer in tapping the subconscious power of emotions and imagination for achieving individual and organizational goals. Dr. Lead was the creator and host of Life Coach TV, a popular primetime cable TV show in New York City, has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, and has also designed and taught numerous courses at New York University. I: In 2006, you were the first expert invited to introduce coaching at the world- renowned Smithsonian Institution. How has the coaching industry changed since that time? ML: Overall, coaching has increased greatly in awareness and acceptance by the general public. It grew tremendously in its popularity and use by individuals and organizations. Internally, there is an evolution towards becoming more comfortable with dealing with our clients‟ feelings and accepting those feelings as part of their coaching experience. Until recently, in our zeal to separate ourselves from psychology, we often drew a line when a client would even mention a negative feeling. It would raise the red flag of crossing over into therapy, and as crazy as it seems now, we weren‟t supposed to ask our clients how they felt about something. But that has gradually changed over the last few years. I: We do talk about how people feel now, because it‟s relevant, as long as we‟re not diving into the past, right? ML: That‟s another conversation, but my argument was, if you can talk about your feelings to your barber or your hairdresser, why wouldn‟t you mention that to your coach? It‟s a significant part of the coaching experience now. I: As the popularity of coaching has -4-Photo by Beatrice Sniper
  4. 4. increased, so have the number of coaching schools. With so many coaching training programsavailable, what lead you to create your own?ML: Because I‟m such an advocate of dealing with feelings in the coaching relationship, I came upwith the concept of Emotionally Charged Coaching™. I actually felt it was necessary to take a muchbroader, more holistic view of what needs to be taught in coaching school.I felt that no one was answering the question of how to deal with emotions in the coachingexperience, and as a hypnotherapist, I was very comfortable dealing with emotions. I understoodtheir relationship to the subconscious.There were a lot of schools of thought that developed in an attempt to integrate emotions intocoaching, including brain-based coaching, ontological coaching, and NLP coaching. Some of theseschools focused on the importance of thoughts, some focused on the importance of feelings, andsome focused on your sense of being and self-awareness.I felt that all of these aspects were equally important and needed to be integrated to create a trulywell-rounded foundation that united mind, body, and soul—to create a program that was trulyholistic.I: With coaching becoming more and more popular, why are so many coaches still struggling to findclients? Is coaching still an attractive career choice?ML: I definitely think it‟s still an extremely attractive career choice, and yes, it‟s possible to makegood money being a coach. What coaches need to understand is the concept of authentic marketing.Regardless of what school of thought you are following or what training you have, there is somethingvery unique about you as a person and in terms of your interests, your professional experiences, andyour skills. All of that tied in with your coach training experience is what makes you unique.As a coach, you need to take time—as much time as you need to take—to really understand who youare in terms of your professional self-awareness, so that you don‟t sound like everyone else.I: I agree. You want to have your authentic voice speaking.ML: What‟s interesting here is that when you develop that authenticity, even people who are shyabout offering their services don‟t feel so shy anymore. When you become fully aware of your gifts,you are able to naturally and authentically present yourself and what you are offering—instead of“selling yourself,” which is a negative concept.I: Do you also teach branding and marketing skills in your coach training program?ML: Yes, and I teach it throughout the course from the very beginning. Most other schools that Iknow of teach one class at the end of their training that is devoted to marketing. Usually it‟s a shortclass, and that‟s that. Then, their coaches are basically on their own.To really have an integrated sense of who you are that ties in with your training, your personality,your interests, your professional skills—all of you—is a process that cannot be taught in three or fourhours at the end of your training.Thats why I start teaching authentic marketing from the very first lesson, and it‟s woven into all ofour coach training. Throughout the seven-month training, our students are also learning to evaluateand re-evaluate who they are professionally and personally, so that when the course is over, they‟recompletely ready. They have no fear of offering their services and marketing themselves, and theyare ready to stand out from the crowd.I: What is your coaching philosophy, and what is Goal Imagery? -5- (Continued next page.)
  5. 5. Marianna Lead, Ph.D. continued . . . “Goal Imagery® is a unique model that helps to synergize our conscious goals, our subconscious needs, and our true authentic core of being . . . We believe that the process of reaching a goal may be just as personally fulfilling and meaningful as actually attaining the goal itself.”ML: Goal Imagery is a way of helping organizations and individuals achieve their goals quickerand easier by tapping the subconscious power of emotions and imagination in combination withproven goal-setting strategy and project-management techniques.Goal Imagery is a unique model that helps to synergize our conscious goals, our subconscious needs,and our true authentic core of being. Essentially, Goal Imagery coaching combines traditionalcoaching skills with subconscious and holistic techniques. As a result, Goal Imagery coaching helpsclients to set goals, make decisions, and take actions that are completely congruent with who theytruly are at the core and essence of their being.We help people use their natural strengths, skills, resources, and creativity in order to achieve the lifethey desire. We believe that the process of reaching a goal may be just as personally fulfilling andmeaningful as actually attaining the goal itself.While traditional coaching tends to deal only with the present and the future, Goal Imagery coachingtakes into account the fact that most of our present and future challenges are based on our pastexperiences, on our culture, and on the way we were brought up. Goal Imagery provides the tools tore-evaluate, to readjust, and to reframe past experiences, to make achieving success and happinesseasier in the future.I: Since your training deals with the subconscious and emotion, does that mean you cross over alittle bit into therapy?ML: I hear that question a lot, because we, as coaches, are still not 100% confident and positive ofhow we are different from psychology, per se. Having said that, I always tell my clients and explain tomy new students that you can be therapeutic without doing therapy.I‟ll give you an example. Whether you take an acting class, a drawing class, or a dance class, it‟screative, it expands you, and it‟s extremely therapeutic—but it‟s not therapy. You can use therapeutictechniques and create a therapeutic experience without going into actual therapy.I: As someone who has played a major role in the development of an award-winning New York Citychapter of the International Coach Federation—and you served twice as the President—and assomeone who is very active on a global level, how important is it to be part of the coachingcommunity?ML: I think it‟s extremely important. Coaching is a constantly evolving profession—we never standstill. If you aren‟t involved in your coaching community, you‟re out of the loop.For those people who have difficulty getting out of the house—you can utilize the Internet. You canget on your computer, and if you belong to a large organization, you can constantly be a part of thatevolving community. For instance, I‟m very active with the International Coach Federation, and thereare newsletters, articles, research—there are constantly new resource materials available.In addition, it‟s also very important to stay connected to the coaching community for the purpose ofnetworking and referring clients to one another, because there so many different slices of the market,and every coach has their own niche, and more and more niches are surfacing every day.For instance, as a transformational coach I deal mostly with life and career challenges. Whensomeone needs to understand their finances better, I would probably refer them to a coach with a -6-
  6. 6. financial background. When you belong to a professional group, it‟s always easier to get clients, tolearn more, and to grow professionally, and even personally.I: You donate your time to the ICF as a Credentialing Examination Assessor. What is the generalattitude now toward ICF accreditation, both for coaches and for people who are looking to hire one?ML: That‟s a very good question. Since coaching is not a licensed profession, unfortunately, virtuallyanyone can call themselves a coach; however, the public is becoming more educated and morediscriminating about who they‟re going to choose as their coach.Things like training, past experiences, credentialing, and certifications become the guide for a newclient when they‟re choosing a coach. As a matter of fact, that question and that answer feeds intomarketing for coaching: What are your credentials? What do you have to offer? How are you going tohelp your clients? Do you have a specific message that can relate your talents and skills?I: Does being an ICF assessor help you in mentoring your students to gain their credentials?ML: Of course. I have an insider‟s view, and since I‟ve been doing this for a few years now, I knowexactly how to train my students for the oral exam. It‟s not a secret that the exam is based on ICFcoaching core competencies. However, just to read them is one thing, but to live them as a coachwithin a session is a very different thing. Again, it‟s a process, and this process is not taughtovernight.I: For about five years you were the creator and executive producer of Life Coach TV, a popularprimetime cable show that helped the ICF in New York City greatly increase its membership alongwith public awareness of coaching. It also served as a model for other ICF chapters in the UnitedStates to create their own local shows. Where did you get the fantastic idea to create the show?ML: When I initially joined the New York City ICF Board ofDirectors—which was in 2003—there was very littleawareness of coaching outside of skill sets such as sportscoaching, acting coaching, and so on. There was a need tointroduce the idea of life coaching to the general public.As a board director, I felt it was my responsibility to bringall of my resources to the table. One of those resources wasmy acting background. As a Screen Actors Guild (SAG)professional actress and theater director, I knew aboutproduction, how to conduct an effective interview, and howto create an interesting and informative show that couldbenefit not only the chapter, but the coaching industry as awhole. The show dramatically helped in almost doubling ourICF-NYC membership—and it provided an opportunity forour coaches to connect with the general public and sharewhat they knew, how they coached, about their coachingstyle, and about their coaching niche.All of this really increased the awareness of coaching by thegeneral public, and specifically in New York City. When I leftthe board, I trained some of the board directors to take Photo by Beatrice Sniperover, and it‟s still alive and kicking under a new name.I: What a great testament to your work. What advice can you give someone trying to decide whichcoaching school to choose, and what are some key questions to ask when interviewing a school?ML: It‟s a very important decision, because it‟s anywhere from a six month to a two yearcommitment. Deciding where you‟re going to be for that period of time and who you‟re going to learnfrom is critical. -7- (Continued next page.)
  7. 7. Marianna Lead, Ph.D. continued . . . Key Issues to Consider When Selecting a Coaching School Coaching Philosophy: Every school has its own approach and a specific coaching philosophy. You need to be in sync with that coaching philosophy if you want to become part of it. Usually this information is clearly defined on the school‟s Web site. Method of Training: Next you have to decide for yourself if you want to be trained on the phone or in person, or using a combination of these two methods. Questions to ask yourself include, “What is my learning style?” “How do I learn?” and “What makes learning easier?” Budget vs. Costs: What is your budget for your training? When Photo by Beatrice Sniper you interview a school, you must ask what is included in their quoted price, because I notice that many schools charge extra forthings like exams, certification, and learning materials. All of that adds up. Also, if you have to travelsomewhere, that also adds to your cost. There may even be an extra charge for some courses whenyou want to get their full training and become certified. These costs are often not included in theadvertised price you see on the Web site. Your cost may sometimes even double from what you thinkit will be. It‟s extremely important for you to understand what your complete and total cost is goingto be, and if that fits into your budget.Instructors and Class Sizes: Consider who your teacher will be and how many people are going tobe in each class. In coach training, small classes are critical. Needless to say, the teacher‟s expertiseand even their teaching style is even more important. If possible, I would recommend that youarrange a time to have a conversation with the actual person who teaches the course, not just withthe receptionist or with someone who handles sales for the training. If the school is large, this maynot be possible, but it‟s worth a try.How the Size of the School Affects What You Receive: Nowadays, bigger is not necessarilybetter. In fact the opposite may be true depending on a number of factors. Find out what the schoolactually offers in terms of how big or how small the classes are, who is teaching each class, etc. Don‟tlook at the size of the school, but look at what you are going to get as a result of your training andhow you are going to be trained.Alumni Support: What does a school offer in terms of follow up and support? Is there any marketinghelp for their coaches? Are they going to consistently support you when you are done with yourtraining? I think these are important questions to keep in mind and to ask.I: These are all very good points—especially about costs.ML: When I opened up my coaching training course, of course, like every other business person, Iwanted to be competitive with other schools that offered similar services, so I was trying tounderstand the pricing for a similar amount of hours and training. It was the most confusing researchbecause of that problem.I would see someone advertising themselves for $3,500, but when I dug deeper, I found that if Iactually paid for the whole thing, it would cost me $8,000, which is a huge difference. It was verydifficult to understand who‟s charging what and why, and to discern what the bottom line is—what Iam going to spend at the end of this.I decided to make it very easy to understand in my program and to make sure that all of mymarketing materials clarify that it‟s all inclusive, so people don‟t have to get a headache trying tofigure out how much it‟s going to cost them.I: What made you choose this arena for your life‟s great work? -8-
  8. 8. ML: Every friend, every colleague I had told me I was crazy. They weretelling me there were so many coaching schools, why would I want to add “I want to knowone more? that [my students] graduate as capableI wasn‟t really sure in the very beginning, but what I always knew was that coaches, that theyI am a teacher at heart. Anything I know and am excited about, I want to can do what I do,share with others and teach them how to do it even better than I can. Thatwas my initial impulse—just to teach what I learned and to share what I‟m that they feel goodexcited about. Then I said to myself, “Everybody is trying to tell me that about offering theirthis is not a good idea, that there are so many coaching schools, and that services, and theynew coaching schools come along every day. Why would I want to have my feel confident theyown? Maybe we don‟t need one more.” can produce resultsBut as I was looking around and saw that everyone had so many different in their clients.ideas about what a new coach should know, I really felt that we desperately That’s the trueneeded a more well-rounded education where you wouldn‟t have to chose measure ofbetween the importance of thoughts versus feelings, or the importance of success . . .being versus the importance of doing. I wanted to create a truly holistic My studentsschool that would unite all of the above—plus, things that I‟ve learned andtaught at NYU and other educational institutions, such as Positive define myPsychology, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), and Emotional Intelligence. success.”I think when you finish any training, you are going to be attracted to some techniques more thanothers, and you‟re going to want to learn more about this or that, and that‟s great. But I think thatyou have to have an overview of all the tools that are effective.I: What is your definition of success as it pertains to coaching schools or the coaching industry?ML: I teach my own classes, which separates me from directors and founders of many schools. WhatI think is important for any teacher is knowing that your students really get it by the end of thecourse—I want to know that they graduate as capable coaches, that they can do what I do, that theyfeel good about offering their services, and they feel confident they can produce results in theirclients. That‟s the true measure of success—seeing the results from your students. My studentsdefine my success.And, to answer the second half of your question about success in the coaching industry—it‟s all aboutus helping our clients to reach their goals and dreams. Actually, that‟s how I came up with the namefor my institute. Goals represent consciousness since we consciously choose what we want toaccomplish. Imagery represents our feelings, the subconscious, and imagination. Therefore, GoalImagery represents the unity between conscious and subconscious—a truly holistic approach tosuccess.In closing, I want to offer your readers a $500 scholarship to my Goal Imagery Coach Trainingcourse. All they have to do is mention this interview. My Web site is -9-
  9. 9. Jodi Orshanis the creator of The Parenting Pyramid, apractically perfect plan for successful parenting.Through her program, The Parenting Plan,parents can create a happy, successful, lovingfamily following three simple steps. Jodi is atrained marriage and family therapist, life coach,and parenting expert with over thirty years ofexperience.I: I have two little girls, so I‟m just dying to know,what does a parenting coach do?JO: A parenting coach works with parents, eitherindividually or as a group, to educate, mentor, andsupport the parents to better their parenting skills andthe level of enjoyment associated with parenting. Ittakes parents from where they are to where they reallywant to be.I: Why did you become a parenting coach?JO: I‟ve worked with parents as an educator,counselor, and therapist for a long time. I realized whatI ended up doing the most of was this incredible jointventure between me and the parent to help them beproud of what they were doing as a parent. With all ofmy experience and talents it was really a perfect fit tobecome a parent coach.It is my passion to educate and mentor people as theyare molding the lives of their children.I: What is The Parenting Plan?JO: It is a plan I developed for successful parenting.It‟s a model based on and very similar to a successfulbusiness model really.The Parenting PlanStep 1: Develop a Vision StatementTogether we determine the parents‟ vision statement.Each parent needs to understand and state the valuesand goals that are most important to them for theirfamily. This is the foundation of the individualizedparenting plan.Step 2: Assess Strengths and WeaknessesEach parent has to understand their own parentingstyle. We work with parents to determine what theirneeds and talents are along with the needs and talentsof all of the individuals in the family. Just as with anybusiness, families need to assess everyone‟s strengthsand everyone‟s weaknesses so that they can create anaction plan accordingly. -10-
  10. 10. Step 3: Create an Action PlanWithin an action plan, we develop with parents the tools and strategies needed for success. Parentsget to learn and practice these strategies with coaching support.I: Why is The Parenting Plan so successful?JO: It‟s so successful because it is a plan. Most parents enter into parenthood with a limited set ofskills and knowledge and, truthfully, no real plan. A lot of parents say, “I love my kids with all myheart, I never want to hurt them, and I want to protect them from harm.” That‟s it—there is no otherplan.Most parents are reacting as they are faced with various parenting situations instead of beingproactive in their approach to parenting. Often the parents are going against their better judgment,giving in, and indulging their children with stuff in an effort to keep them happy and to avoid conflict.Sadly, this is all too common; the kids are running the family, and the family is running out ofcontrol. “Most parents are reacting as they are faced with various parenting situations instead of being proactive in their approach to parenting . . . the kids are running the family, and the family is running out of control.”I: What is the Parenting Pyramid?JO: The Parenting Pyramid is the shape and form of the action for your parenting plan. The Pyramidclarifies the family values. It empowers parents to set rules and limits, and it gives the parent creditfor all the special extras that are within the foundation of the Pyramid, which is that bottom base thateverything is built on; it clarifies the rules for actions and behaviors—all the rules for safety.The next level of the pyramid focuses onbehavior. It‟s built upon the first level. The rulefor this level states that you must be respectful ofothers along with all other living things and theland that we share with the world.Finally, the top level involves the things we like tohave and do in life that result in happiness andcontentment—all of our joys and all of ourpassions. These things are all placed in that littleupper box, and each level builds on the levelbelow it. So, all the activities and gifts andpossessions a child may want that are placed inthat top category must still all be safe for themand for their age, must be safe for others, andmust be respectful to the people and thingsaround them.I: What are the most common mistakes parents make when raising their families?JO: One of the most common mistakes parents make is they slip their “parent‟s say” down and relyon a philosophy that lets their kids say, “Give me, take me, buy me,” and hope that the children willthen appreciate their efforts and then learn to be loving, respectful, unselfish human beings.Let‟s face it, in reality, the “Give me, take me, buy me” philosophy just reinforces raising immature,selfish children. It is not a successful plan for parenting.I: Not everyone is able to have a two-parent home, so is this plan also successful for a single parent? -11- (Continued next page.)
  11. 11. Name continued . . . “It is best to start early. That way parents get to be proactive in their parenting. It is always harder to change behavior patterns midstream, but it is never impossible.”Jodi Orshan continued . . .JO: This is gold for a single parent, because to have a plan really gives meat and a backbone to thestructure of the household. The Parenting Plan gives that extra needed support and strength toparents who are doing this tough job all on their own.I: Are there any other places you can apply the principles of The Parenting Plan?JO: That‟s a very interesting question because, in reality, the principles of The Parenting Plan can beapplied throughout your whole life: at home, at work, or within a community organization.It‟s always the most beneficial, in any situation, to follow these three steps:1) Define your goals and values.2) Determine people‟s strengths and weaknesses.3) Develop a specific plan of action to accomplish your goals and to do so with integrity.I: How long does it take to learn The Parenting Plan?JO: It really all depends on your starting point. Some families are very clear on their goals and othershave never really given it any serious thought. Some families have a solid plan, but it may need sometweaking, especially when a child enters a new stage in life or a new area of development. Otherfamilies, have—let‟s be honest—less solid parenting skills. It always varies. Each family has its ownunique needs and its own unique set of skills. -12-
  12. 12. I‟ll tell you this: the plan is an active, fast-paced, participatory process. In between weekly phonesessions, there are homework assignments for the parents to work on. Your personal coach is alwaysavailable through e-mail for additional support.I: Who can benefit from The Parenting Plan?JO: I have worked with parents across the spectrum, from those with babies still in utero to thosewith adult children. To be honest, it‟s best to start early. That way parents get to be proactive in theirparenting. They have a plan and they can go with it. It is always harder to change behavior patternsmidstream, but it‟s never impossible.I: How do parents meet with you?JO: We meet through phone contacts. Anyone can contact me through my Web site,, or they can call the phone number that is on the Web site.I actually have an introductory offer that allows parents the opportunity to speak with me or with oneof my coaches by phone or using Skype for twenty minutes for just $25. We offer this option so thatparents can see if they‟re comfortable with this whole setup and want to learn more about TheParenting Plan.I: What would be your definition of success in regards to parenting?JO: Success in parenting is defined in two ways. First, you are successful if you‟re proud of the wayyour children have turned out. That‟s a long-term goal, but you can live it in your day-to-day life.The second way to determine parenting success is to assess the level of peace in your household. Thefact is, whenever you have a group of people living together, there are ups and downs, happiness andclashes. But if the general feel in your home is respectful and peaceful, it adds a true love in yourcoexistence—that‟s success by any definition.I: What are three fundamental key ideas that you could share with our readers to help them today?JO: First, define your goal. Know what kind of family you want to have and the values that will helpyou reach that goal. Also, learn some good, solid parenting skills. Know how to set a limit and keepthat limit. Finally, remember that you are in this is for the long haul. Parenting is not a true/falsetest, it‟s not multiple choice, it‟s not even a single-essay exam. It is a long novel, so just paceyourself and enjoy the ride.I: In what ways do you implement this in your life?JO: I am very proud and happy to say that I‟ve raised four beautiful, brilliant, talented children onmy own. They were fun and adorable children, but as the challenges went on, it just kept gettingbetter and better. Even the teenage years—while I feel gray hair appeared on my head during thattime—were actually quite a fun ride, and I am reaping the rewards of my efforts because, with thesechildren now as adults and myself now as a new grandma, life is just beautiful. -13-
  13. 13. Jean M. DiGiovannais the founder of Workshop University®. Jean isa powerful facilitator, speaker, and certifiedcoach with a unique gift for helping people findtheir voice, speak their truth, and achievebeyond what they thought was possible. Shehas over twenty years of experience in training,consulting, and instructional design, and hasdelivered hundreds of workshops and seminarsin business and life strategies to Fortune 500companies, nonprofits and academia.Jean launched ThinkPeople®, a corporatecoaching and training business in 1998. Yearslater, she began running public workshops andseminars and colleagues began requesting herhelp with their own seminars. As a result,Workshop University® was born in 2004.Prior to founding ThinkPeople®, Jean served asa Business Operations Manager for CambridgeTechnology Partners, Nordic Region of Europe.She contributed to the company’s growth fromninety to over four thousand employees in nineyears, and from one location to over thirtyworldwide.Jean is a member of the National SpeakersAssociation and International Coach Federation,has spoken both nationally and internationallyand has been published in Boston Magazine,Mass High Tech, Trainers Warehouse and theBoston Globe. She was named one of the Top 10Coaches of Boston by Womens Business Bostonin 2007 and is a published co-author of Successis a State of Mind alongside Mark Victor Hansen,Les Brown, and Deepak Chopra. Outside ofwork, Jean enjoys art, travel, and the outdoors.She is an abstract artist, jewelry designer, andan avid Latino dancer.I: I want to start off by asking one of my favoritequestions: what is your definition of success?JD: That‟s a great question. Many years ago Ithought of success as achievement—acquiring things,achieving things—but I‟ve come to recognize over thepast decade that success isnt always about acquiringthings and achieving things; success is about makinga difference in the world—figuring out where yourtalents and gifts match what the world needs andfollowing that.I: What is the biggest misconception about success?JD: I think the biggest misconception is that successis a place to get to. We think of success and we think, -14-
  14. 14. As soon as I get that beautiful home, then I’ll be successful, or As soon as I get that promotion atwork, then Ill be happy and successful.The reality is, success isnt a place to get to. Success is a way of being. To me, it‟s a state of mind.Its about thinking about success as being possible in every single moment—we just have to look forit.It‟s about examining how we relate to success; it‟s not so much about what success is, but how werelate to it. It‟s about asking ourselves, “Do I relate to success as something that I believe is far outthere, and when I accomplish this, that, and the other thing, then I‟ll get it? Or do I look at my lifeand my daily actions and consider what I have been successful in today?” That‟s really, I believe, amore powerful way to think about success. “Success isnt a place to get to. Success is a way of being . . . Its about thinking about success as being possible in every single moment— we just have to look for it.”I: What are some of the biggest challenges you‟ve experienced in achieving success?JD: There are many, and I continue to be challenged with maintaining success. One thing I didn‟tmention before is that success is really about how you measure it, not about how others measure it.What do you deem as successful, and how are you achieving results according to that measurement?There are three main challenges I have faced:Challenge #1: Thinking that I have to do it all in my own. Being an entrepreneur, its notuncommon that we as solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and small business owners feel the need to do itourselves.Challenge #2: Trusting that there are plenty of resources to go around. It can be difficult totrust that there are plenty of people to go around, plenty of business to be had, and plenty of moneyand wealth and abundance to attract. So often we think from a place of scarcity, and that can stop usin our tracks.Challenge #3: Staying motivated and focused. As a solopreneur, it can be difficult to staymotivated when we‟re sitting in our offices, working remotely, and feeling isolated. I think it‟s soimportant to continue to stay connected to our colleagues, mentors, and those in the community sothat we dont feel that lack of motivation and action that is needed to really move things forward.I: I agree with you. I liked the second challenge you mentioned especially, because a lot of people,will be attracted to you and your business simply because it‟s who you are. It‟s not just about themessage, because our messages will likely be the same, especially if we‟re in the same field; it‟s whoyou are that draws people to you.I cant compete with you, because you and I are going to say it and do it differently, and people aregoing to like you over me or vice versa for different reasons. Like you said, there are tons of peopleout there you can help. It‟s not just one person that you and I need to fight over.When we take on that scarcity mind-set, we lose out on opportunities to work together, to collaboratewith people in our field.How did you overcome the challenges you were facing?JD: A couple of different ways actually. It‟s kind of funny to me when I say, “I‟ve overcome thatchallenge,” because I continue to face it every day or every month, and it‟s more about rememberinghow to handle it. -15- (Continued next page.)
  15. 15. Jean M. DiGiovanna continued . . .One of the ways I‟ve overcome the first challenge, the tendency to try to do it all on my own, is byrecognizing how much more fun and less stressful it is to actually work with other people—not only tohire people to work with you, but also to seek out mentors. The other thing that helped me overcome that challenge was learning to let go. We‟re attached to our business ideas, our passions, and sometimes we feel the need to control things. Its really when we stop and allow ourselves to let go of that control that we can bring other people in to help us. That‟s so critical to building a business, because I don‟t believe it‟s possible to do it all on our own. I: I agree. Not only that, but you get to brainstorm together and come up with even better ideas. JD: Exactly. You come up with things that you wouldnt have ever thought of on your own. Looking at the second challenge—trusting that there‟s plenty to go around—again, it‟s something I continue to practice. There are always things that come into my field of influence that trigger me, but it‟s in that moment when I actually say, “You know what? I just have to reconnect with the premise and perspective that there‟s plenty to go around,” that I can start to overcome this challenge. Coming from abundance also requires focusing on recognizing and letting go of past beliefs about scarcity. Sometimes those beliefs are so ingrained that we‟re not conscious of them. I‟ve done and continue to do work on my own self-growth and development. I‟ve always had my own coach, even though Im a coach as well, and I continue to grow in that area. When it comes to the third challenge—staying motivated and focused— a couple of things have really helped me. One is that there was one year when I just felt like I was feeling too isolated, so I literally ended up creating a mastermind group because that‟s what I wanted. “If there’s something The reason I bring that up is because, if there‟s something you need in you need in your your business that you‟re not getting, sometimes you have to just gobusiness that you’re not out and generate it yourself. Create mastermind groups. Find coachinggetting . . . go out and buddies that you can talk to every couple of weeks for the purpose of helping each other move through challenges. Work within an generate it yourself.” accountability partner whether it be a colleague, a friend, or a mentor.Another thing that has always helped me to stay motivated and focused is to actually work outside ofmy home office. I‟ll go to a cafe for several hours. I‟ll take two- to three-hour chunks of time becausewhat I find is—and again, it depends on if you‟re an extrovert or an introvert, and I am an extrovert—so often I am more energized when Im around other people. Even though I may not be talking tosomeone at the café, it‟s still helping me to get my creative juices flowing by just being surroundedby that energy.I: Those are great suggestions. Once you‟ve achieved success, how do you keep your momentumgoing and sustain it?Three Tips for Maintaining Your Momentum#1: Evaluate Your Inner Thought ProcessesAs soon as I become aware of something—for example, I may notice I‟m not focused, or my energy islow—I have a choice in that moment. I can choose to focus on what I‟m not doing or what I havent -16-
  16. 16. done yet, or I can choose to focus on what I have succeeded in today and on what I haveaccomplished. What happens is that as soon as I move toward that place of acknowledging what‟sworking, I suddenly have more energy.#2: Pay Attention to Your Level of EnergyI call this my Alive-O-Meter. How alive do I feel about taking something on, and if I‟m not actuallyfeeling that energized, what‟s in the way? What is it about that thing or maybe the person I‟msupposed to work with? I really start to dig into that and get curious about it.#3: Learn to Love Your MistakesI know it sounds kind of funny, but we have to acknowledge that we‟re human beings, we makemistakes, and we fail. Those with the real power—and I would say these are the people whosucceed—are those who are able to look at themselves and their circumstances and ask, “How can Igrow? What did I learn? What am I going to do differently next time?”I: How can you still be successful in the face of everything that‟s happening in the world?JD: It is tough. There‟s so much negativity, there are so many tragedies, especially with so manynatural disasters occurring, and we, even as business owners, cant help but obviously wonder, Whatcan I do to help?The way that I handle it is by continuing to send what I can send; whether it‟s giving my time or mymoney towards something, I can send love and compassion to those areas of the world that are notdoing well.When things dont go right for me, I begin to start noticing myresistance. I have to ask myself, “What am I resisting here?” I have toget curious about it. Again, if we can actually start to work with ourresistance or our energy that‟s low, we can actually move through itfaster.It also helps me to remind myself, “This too shall pass.” I have toremember that this—whatever it is—is not the end-all, be-all. Yes, theeconomy may be challenging at times, but I need to assess how I cancontinue to tap into my gifts and talents and provide the world withwhat I‟m really meant to be doing.I: Is it truly possible to have it all?JD: I love that question. I get that a lot. I used to do a lot more lifecoaching, but now I‟m doing more business coaching. I would haveclients who would ask me that. I believe that “having it all” is truly amatter of perception. Sadly, many of us really don‟t believe it‟s possibleto have it all. Can I have that great job and the wonderful relationshipand the beautiful home and the great family? Can I have all of it?When we don‟t think it‟s possible, then we don‟t ever attract that caliber of “having it all” into ourlives.Having it all really requires a shift in our thinking, and this shift involves asking ourselves, “How muchdo I deserve? Do I deserve to have it all? Am I going to allow all of the success and abundance andmagnificence in my life? Will I allow it?I always challenge people to explore what they are not allowing, where are they getting stopped, sothat they can open that up more and move through that. Of course, practicing patience is very mucha requirement for this, and being patient is not always easy. But it definitely has helped me to remindmyself that I do deserve to have it all. It may not all happen immediately, but I‟m going to go takethe actions and the steps that are required to have what I really want in my work and in my life. -17- (Continued next page.)
  17. 17. Jean M. DiGiovanna continued . . . “We go out into the world to become successful, but what can often happen is that we get caught up with what is supposed to happen or what we should be doing or what other people think we ought to be doing . . . The world needs to hear you and who you are, and that’s what people really want. It’s a lot easier than trying to be somebody else.”I: Sometimes it seems like what we perceive as “having it all” is not really what is intended for us, oris not what would honestly fulfill us in the long run. Sometimes life takes you where you really needto be and fulfills that for you, and then you think, Oh! I would have never considered that was what Ineeded, but it’s better than I ever expected.JD: What you just said sparked a thought in my mind that so often we get attached to some futureplan of what we‟re looking to achieve, and we miss out on those opportunities and those interestingpaths like you mentioned that are there and show up, and we wouldn‟t have even recognized them ifwe weren‟t open to them.I: Exactly. You mentioned earlier that part of what success means to you is making a difference.What can our readers do to make a difference when working at home?JD: One of the things that I encourage people to take on when they want to really make a differenceis to actually try on a new perspective. This new perspective involves asking yourself, “How can Imake the person in front of me successful? How can I make my wife successful or my husbandsuccessful? How can I make my boss successful? How can I make my mentor successful or mybusiness partner successful?” What I truly believe is that when we take on that perspective, we actually work and live that way of thinking. When we consider how to make the other person successful, we will automatically make a difference, because what happens is, as soon as you think about the other person and how you could impact their life or make life better for them, immediately your attention goes away from you and over to them, and there‟s no way that something positive cant happen out of that. It‟s a fun challenge to ask my clients to try that perspective at work and then also when they get home with their family, and see what shifts in their life. I: That‟s a great idea. What have been your greatest lessons learned that you can share with our readers today for achieving success? JD: There are several, and I‟m happy to share some. Lessons for Success 1) Just be yourself. This is one of the biggest lessons that I learned over a decade ago. Don‟t pretend to be someone else because, in the end, yourself will always catch up with you. We go out into the world to become successful, but what can often happen is that we get caught up with what is supposed to happen or what we should be doing or what other people think we ought to be doing. In the end, we‟re not actually aligning our true -18-
  18. 18. self with our core values, and our soul kind of gets depleted and zapped. Our energy gets zapped,and then we wonder why.The world needs to hear you and who you are; that‟s what people really want. It‟s a lot easier thantrying to be somebody else.2) Life is too short to feel drained. Notice who or what is draining energyfrom you, and begin to look at how to shift that. Start doing what lights you up “Notice what orand brings you passion, because when you‟re in that state, you‟re going to who is drainingattract so much success in your life. energy from you, and begin to look3) If you don’t know where you’re going, any road actually will not getyou there. It‟s so important to set a direction, to set a clear intention of what at how to shiftyou want to achieve in the next month or in the next three months. Let that be that. Start doingyour compass. Let that be the stake in the ground that says, “This is what I what lights youwant.” Think about the future and the results you want to produce, and by doing up and brings youthat, you‟re actually propelling it toward you. passion.”4) Don’t go it alone. This is something I‟m continuing to get better at and amlearning so much about. I grew up learning to be independent and take care of myself, a woman inthe professional world, and I came to realize that I don‟t have to do it all on my own, and I don‟tactually want to. I encourage people to realize this too.5) Have fun. Laugh, see the humor in life, because life is too short to be intense and to takeeverything so seriously. Simply follow your passion in your work and in your life.I: Those are all wonderful points. I especially liked what you mentioned about authenticity. How cansomeone hold up a mask constantly? It would be so draining to constantly have to be that personthat you‟ve created rather than just being yourself—instead you can just be.How can our readers find more information or how can they get in touch with you?JD: My current business is called I help solopreneurs package theirexpertise into workshops and webinars so they can reach a larger audience.The other place to look is Launch Your First Webinar at This issomething I‟ve been focusing on over the course of the past year. I help people get their message outthrough the use of webinars. Those two Web sites are great places to find me and to learn more. -19-
  19. 19. Ben Croftis widely recognized as one of the world’s leadingbusiness and executive coach marketers, havingworked with thousands of coaches around the world.Since graduating with an honors degree in marketingfrom one of the UK’s leading universities, Ben hasworked solely on marketing for coaches around theworld, living and consulting in the UK, Australia, NewYork, and Buenos Aires. He has lead marketingcampaigns for coaches that have lead to multiplemillions of dollars in sales, his one event series aloneseeing 6,700 business owners registered to attendwith a marketing budget under $10,000.Ben’s specific area of expertise lies with seminars,event webinars, workshop marketing for coaches,strategic alliance marketing for coaches, and socialmedia marketing for coaches, for which he hascreated what is now the world’s leading course forbusiness and executive coaches.Ben is very much a practical marketer in that hisstrategies, tactics, and action plans are focusedtoward achieving the harder results of marketing,therefore generating high-quality leads that have ahigh propensity to turn into coaching clients.I: What is your story? You‟re twenty-eight years old and youcurrently live in Buenos Aires and, as I understand, you havespent at least four months in five continents over the pastthree years. How did you come to all this?BC: I guess I‟m in a fairly fortunate position in that straightaway from University I went into specializing in businesscoach marketing, and as a result of that, it‟s taken me allaround the world.It‟s an industry that is obviously fairly new, and there arevery few people in the world who have become specialistbusiness coach marketers, and as such, this has beensomething I‟ve been in very high demand for.I absolutely loved living in Australia. We started off travelingthrough many countries in Africa, leading ourselves to theMiddle East, Dubai, and then through to India and SoutheastAsia and into Australia. Then we came back around to NorthAmerica, and now we‟re in South America.We‟ve been very fortunate in that time to meet up and formstrategic alliances with many of the largest coachingorganizations as we passed through. For example, in Texas,we stopped by the ICF conference last year, and we‟ve beenable to meet up with lots of new clients and prospects.We‟ve gotten to a point now where, with our ownconsultancy, we‟re almost at capacity, and that, I guess, is -20-
  20. 20. why we‟ve come to the point where we‟re able to put on the event that we‟ve got planned for July,which is the World Business and Executive Coach Summit.I: How did you get into coach marketing?BC: It‟s actually quite interesting. I got into coach marketing when I bumped into a gentleman at abar one time and got to speaking to him about marketing. He asked, “What have you been doing?” Isaid, “I‟ve just graduated from University. I‟m in that place now where I‟m looking for a job.”He said, “That‟s interesting. What did you study?” I said, “Marketing.”He said, “Oh, that‟s very interesting.” I asked, “Why is that?”He said, “I own the largest marketing consultancy in the city.” I said, “Oh wow, that‟s nice—have yougot any jobs?”He said, “No, I don‟t have any jobs at the moment; however, I know everyone in the industry, andeveryone‟s always coming to me asking if I know of someone in marketing, and I say that I‟m sure I‟llbe able to find someone for them.”We had a couple of drinks together, and I said goodbye and gave him my contact details. The nextday I was at a graduate recruitment fair, and I got a call from the same guy, and he said, “Hey, Ben,I got you an interview.”That interview was with a fairly well-known company, Action Coach, which is the largest businesscoaching company in the world.As a result of this gentleman‟s personal recommendation, I ended up getting a job and went straightaway into the deep end working for thirty business coaches. From there, I grew my career,specializing in business executive coach marketing.I: What is your biggest achievement in your marketing career?BC: I put on a series of events in Australia with a very limited budget. I lead the marketing for it, andwe ended up getting 6,700 business owners to attend, which at the time I believe was one of thelargest business coaching events ever in the world.Also, having my first book published this year, Social Media for Coaches, was a great achievement forme. I had the foreword written by Brian Tracy. That was pretty exciting.I think what is going to be my biggest and most exciting achievement will be when we launch theevent coming up in July, which will be the first personal event I‟ve run myself.I: Social media has been a big buzz for some time. You have the world‟s leading course on socialmedia marketing and business coaches. What would you say should be the starting point whenlooking to integrate social media into a marketing plan?BC: Most people are using social media to a certain level, even if they‟re just dabbling in it. Perhapsthey‟ve set up a profile and they‟re looking into it and they don‟t know what to do. That‟s the case forthe majority of people. It has only been in the past year or two that people have started to realizethat this is a mainstream tool for communication.The biggest problem for most coaches specifically is that they don‟t have a plan. They may have amarketing plan, and contained within that marketing plan is social media, and they‟re saying, “Weneed to find out about social media. We need to do something with social media.”What they don‟t do is they don‟t put together a social media marketing plan. In its simplest form, allthat plan requires is for somebody to do a situation analysis starting with where you are now—how -21- (Continued next page.)
  21. 21. Ben Croft continued . . . many friends you have, how many followers you get, how many leads you‟re receiving currently, where your current situation is now—and then to define your objectives. You may not be exactly where you want to be and you might be saying, “We‟re here, and we‟d like to get this point now.” Once you‟ve identified those two points— where you are and where you want to be—you can then start selecting your strategy, your tactics, and your actions to make sure that the actions and strategies you‟re going to be taking are going to contribute to those goals. My strategies include setting objectives, measuring your results, and alsoselecting a starting point, but very few individuals I have worked with actually have a social mediamarketing plan in place. We‟ve worked with thousands of coaches in around the world, and I thinkI‟ve come across two so far who had a plan in place. I would say that would certainly be the startingpoint.Just get that plan in place because then you can measure and identify your progress. You canobviously then break that down into which of the strategies and tactics are working the best for you.It‟s important to pinpoint the best things that you are doing that are getting the greatest results.Where many coaches are going wrong is that they‟re trying to do everything, and they don‟t need todo everything. They only need to do a few things with social media to get some fantastic results.I: I‟m on your business and executive coaching group on LinkedIn, and I know that you give outwonderful information. You talk about how to be more strategic, and you offer a ton of informationnot only there but on your blog as well. I highly recommend anyone to sign up for your groups,because you know what you are talking about. And you‟re right, a lot of people don‟t have a plan, andyou know how to streamline it for them.We want to ensure our readers take away as much practical advice as possible from our articles. Thatbeing said, what can you say are the top three marketing strategies that should be integrated intoeveryone‟s marketing plans? “Good marketing in the 21st Century doesn’t require an epic budget . . . You don’t need a big budget of financial resources, cash in the bank, or investments. What you do need is time. Good marketing is all about time.”BC: I‟m a firm believer and a strong advocate of the fact that good marketing in the 21 st Centurydoesn‟t require an epic budget. You don‟t need a big budget, and I say that hesitantly, because whenI say “big budget,” you do need a big budget—you just don‟t need a big budget of financial resources,cash in the bank, or investments.What you do need is time. Good marketing is all about time, but if you invest your time correctly, youdon‟t even need to be investing so much time that it‟s overwhelming you.With that in mind, here are three strategies that I would say every coach should be using. And when Isay every coach, I mean every coach. -22-
  22. 22. Three Marketing Strategies Every Coach Should Be Using#1: ReferralsReferrals will be always be your best strategy. Paul Simister conducted a recent study and publisheda report along with it. It‟s a brilliant study on coaching and the marketing benchmark. I‟m notassociated with him in any way, but I have to say that it was a fantastic study.His study showed that a large majority of coaching leads come through referrals. With that in mind,how many coaches have a really strictly defined referral process in place? Very few. So it‟s veryimportant to have a referral strategy in place. You can Google one. You can read books about it. It‟sgoing to be your number one strategy, so you need to be really good at it.Once you have a referral strategy in place, you can just keep implanting it, making it easy for peopleto refer other people to you, and making sure they know exactly what to do and the benefits of doingso. It doesn‟t necessarily mean you‟re going to be giving them some kind of commission, it can justsimply be that they get acknowledgement for their referrals.#2: Strategic AlliancesI‟ll talk more about strategic alliances a little bit later, but they‟re the most leveraged marketing youcan do. Find someone with the same target market as you and ask them to send a message out totheir database for you in return for a value-added piece. Build the relationship up with them to apoint where they are comfortable enough to do that. This strategy is going to be some of the bestmarketing you can do.You can spend weeks, months, or years going after a big database, or you can find someone whoalready has a database created. Of course, when they market to that database for you, it‟s going tobe a lot more effective than if you‟re marketing to their database yourself saying, “Hey, I‟m great!”versus them saying, “Hey, this guy is great!”#3: Social MediaI‟ve already talked about this strategy, and it is a given in this list.I: One of the biggest challenges for those in the coaching and personal development industry isfinding prospects who have a high propensity to convert to clients. Where is the best place to findtargeted prospects?BC: Again, one of the key strategies I work with my clients on is strategic alliances. You have todefine who exactly your target market is. Really, really define who it is: How old are they? What dothey do? You also have to find those organizations out there that have a very close, tight-knit fit withexactly who your target market is. Then simply go and build relationships with those organizations,and they will provide you with access to that target market.In terms of social media, there are somefantastic tools you can use. You can use thingslike Facebook Social Ads, Twellow, and TweetAdder. These are fantastic ways to findprospects and build up your network.But if you‟re looking to get direct access, reallygreat conversion rates, and a high level ofleads coming through, the best way to do thatis through strategic alliances.I: What is the best way to differentiate yourselffrom the competition?BC: The best way to differentiate yourself fromcompetition would be to create a niche for -23- (Continued next page.)
  23. 23. Ben Croft continued . . .yourself and decide on a niche market. A niche could be a group of people, or it can be a specificproduct that you‟re offering. There‟s a lot of buzz around this, and the point that needs to be made isthat the more defined you are in who you are targeting, the more relevant you can be.For example, when you‟re marketing as a business coach, you may decide to write a blog aboutbusiness growth tips and tips for small business owners. For example, your blog title might be “SevenStrategies to Grow Your Small Business.”When you write a blog called “Seven Strategies to Grow Your Small Business,” all of a sudden, youare in competition with every other blogger out there, including people like Seth Godin, Jay ConradLevinson, Brian Tracy, and all of the big names. If you target it down a lot more and create a point ofdifferentiation and call it “How to Grow Your Toronto-Based Professional Services Business,” all of asudden, if you‟re a Toronto-based professional services small business—and you can narrow it downeven more than that such as “How To Grow Your Toronto-Based Small Business Law Firm”—immediately you‟ve got relevancy.If you are in that target market and you‟re one of those people, which is probably only 200 to maybe500 people in the world, you‟re going to read that. You‟ll think, “Wow! This is for me! I am a Toronto-based law firm owner. I‟m going to read this.” Whereas if it‟s small business advice on how to grow your business, there are millions of blogs on that. That change alone is going to give a great point of differentiation just because you‟ve claimed that niche. You can almost become Toronto‟s leading specialist for how to grow a Toronto-based professional services company. There are probably not many people doing it—maybe one or two—there may be nobody. You can become Toronto‟s number one business coach for professional service companies, and that gives you a massive point of differentiation and is going to draw a lot of attention to yourself. I: There‟s a lot of talk these days about the importance of defining standards in coaching—what are your thoughts on this?BC: Myself and some of the leading marketers in coach marketing are all eagerly watching what‟shappening as coaching almost commoditizes. What I mean by that is that more and more people aregoing to start seeing defined standards in coaching.Right now, some people say that coaching has almost been a Wild West of standards in terms ofpeople coming up with accrediting bodies. There are some big companies out there doing somefantastic things. People at ICF are doing some great things by bringing in standards, certifications,and regulations in an industry that needs regulating.As that happens, there will become expectations. When you get an accountant, for example, you getan accountant based on their tenure, their experience—it‟s almost like a commodity. Whereas withcoaching, it‟s so varied, and because of that, as it moves toward the point where people come toexpect that a coach is a coach is a coach, they start looking for points of differentiation to make theirdecision. Say you‟ve got three coaches lined up in front of you. If one has something about them thatis specialized in what it is that you do, you‟re more likely to go with that coach.Still, as we stand, there‟s far more demand than there are coaches, so we havent quite gotten tothat point, but as we move toward that in the next ten to fifteen years, we‟re going to see thatincreasing. -24-
  24. 24. Going back to what we were talking about earlier, the importance of niche is so much more importantin regards to this, and it becomes so much easier to market your coaching business by having adefined niche.I: Your company is called Modern Methods Marketing. What is Modern Marketing in your eyes?BC: For me, Modern Marketing is all about relationships. It‟s taking the interruption out of marketing.Once upon a time, your options to market included things like telemarketing, advertising in thenewspaper, sending newsletters, and doing direct mail, all of which interrupted people‟s dailypatterns. Now it‟s all about relationships and conversations. Instead of saying, “Hey, I‟ve got this,would you like to buy it?” now it‟s “Hey, how are you? Tell me a little bit about yourself. Okay. . . tellme about what you‟re looking for.”Then once I know what you‟re looking for, I‟m going to go away and produce what you‟re looking for,and then I‟m going to come back and offer it to you based on what you‟ve asked for. When you comeback and offer what a potential client has asked for, they are more likely to say yes, and it alsomeans that you‟re in a relationship. You‟re in communication. You‟re finding out specifically what it isthey need and you‟re delivering it, versus interrupting them and trying to get their attention at apoint when they aren‟t ready to buy from you. It‟s a lot more expensive, quite frankly, and now, ifyou‟re doing it right, marketing is so much of a lower cost than it has ever been.That‟s Modern Marketing. It‟s all about relationships. It‟s all about building up communicationsbetween people and genuinely understanding their needs rather than having to guess and hopefullypigeonhole people into what you think they need; It‟s about finding out what they actually need.I: What do you think the number one priority should be for a business coach in terms of marketing?BC: The number one thing that a business coach needs to do in terms of marketing is to work outexactly where they are positioned in the marketplace. What is it that they are actually selling? Whatis their positioning within the market? They don‟t want to just become lost in the crowd.You‟ve got to realize that prospects who would consider bringing on a coach, most of the time, arenot out there actively looking for a coach. People don‟t go searching for coaches. If you actually lookat the number of search terms used around coaching, it‟s very low.What you‟ll find is that people are introduced to coaching, and they start forming a relationship withthe coach. They begin to realize how coaching could benefit them. The most important thing for acoach to do is to start building relationships. Start finding those people who have a high propensity toconvert to client, start building a relationship, and go from there. -25-
  25. 25. Ginger Londonis an ordained Christian minister, teacher,author, speaker, and life coach. She is thefounder of Ginger London Ministries in BatonRouge, Louisiana.Ginger is the author of four study manuals: TheMaking of a Spiritual Diamond; UnderstandingYour Calling; Discerning Your Boaz for theSingle Woman; and Friends, Foes, and FellowChristians. She is a writing contributor of eighttopical articles and biblical profiles for thenationally acclaimed Women of Color StudyBible released in January 2000, and nowreleased Aspire: The New Women of Color StudyBible.Ginger is the owner of and life coach forEssentials for Life, a coaching ministrydiscussing the issues of life for victorious living,which includes conferences, individual andgroup coaching, teleseminars, and ministrytraining essential for helping individuals andgroups discover their strengths and abilities tolive successful lives and to experience work andcareer success.Ginger has preached and taught both nationallyand internationally. She hosted the televisionteaching ministry, “The Ginger LondonMinistry,” which aired for three and half yearson Cox Cable Faith Net Channel in Baton Rouge,Louisiana and surrounding parishes. She hasbeen an instructor for nationally acclaimedChristian leadership conferences and has overtwenty years of experience in helping peoplethrough ministry.I: How did you get started in Christian ministry?GL: It was an exciting journey for me. I becamesaved through Jesus Christ when I was a young girl,but it wasn‟t until I graduated from college aftercompleting my undergraduate degree that I startedlooking for something exciting to do with my life.I worked in accounting for several years, and then Imoved to New Orleans, Louisiana to take a job with alocal CPA firm. That was during the 1980s. During myemployment there, I realized that althoughaccounting was a good profession, it just wasn‟texciting enough for me. My clients in the CPA firmwere mom and pop clients who would bring in theirreceipts in a brown paper bag every month.After working there for some time, I discovered that Iwanted to do something more exciting. Apparently, -26-
  26. 26. not only did I have that feeling, but I guess the CPA firm that I was working for was thinking thesame thing, because one day they called me in and asked, “Do you like your job?” Of course whenyou‟re asked that question you‟re going to say yes, but deep down, my answer was really no. I thinkthey sensed that I was unmotivated by the job, and so at some point they actually fired me. Theysaid, “This is not for you. You have to find what is for you.”I began to search, and I worked at a Vo-Tech school in Chalmette, Louisiana. At that Vo-Tech schoolwas a woman who would come by my desk, and she would say, “There is something more that Godwants to do with your life.”At that time, I wasn‟t as spiritually mature as I am now, and I didn‟t really understand what shemeant by what she was saying. I thought it was just something good.As we were preparing to close the year out and move into a new year, she came by and said, “Don‟tlet this year end and the New Year begin without rededicating your life to Christ. God has big plansfor your life. You have to get connected to God.”Again, I thought she was saying something nice. When the New Year came, I was at church on thatSunday. The pastor finished his sermon and was getting ready to do the altar call for prayer, and hesaid, “Wait. I want to say this. God is saying to someone in here not to let the old year end and theNew Year begin without rededicating your life. There is something big that He wants to do with yourlife.”I could have fainted because they were almost the exact words that the woman had used. Ihesitated. I looked down the aisle and I thought, That’s the longest walk in history! I finally got upout of my seat and walked down the aisle, and when I reached the front and sat in one of the chairsthere, I looked over to my right and there was an older lady sitting up front. There was a beautifulglow on her. She looked at me and she nodded, and she moved her lips and said, “Yes, it‟s you.”That‟s where my journey in Christian ministry began, because I became actively involved in thatchurch. It was through my involvement there that I discovered that I really enjoy helping people. Igot involved in the counseling ministry, the recovery ministry, and the new members ministry of thechurch.Even with all of that, there was still some searching going on. I went through cosmetology school,and it was okay for a while; I discovered that I was able to be creative when I was studyingcosmetology, but there was still something more.While I was involved in the church ministries, the pastor was teaching on the subject of fasting andprayer. One of the elders in the church said, “You should go on a seven-day fast and seek God‟spurpose for your life.”I literally fasted and prayed for seven days with only water and studying God‟s Word. I studied all ofthe Scriptures that were related to purpose, gifts, being predestined—all of those things, and afterthose seven days of fasting and prayer, I knew exactly what I was supposed to do.I went to the Pastor of the church and told him what I had discovered, and he surprisingly said to me,“I‟ve been waiting for you to come to me to let me know.”From that moment on, it was full speed ahead for me. I started teaching at the church. People werereally blessed by it, and I am still humbled by it. I kept thinking, Wow! Are they clapping for me?Then I started putting on events and people actually started coming.From there I went to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma for my graduate studies in theology.It was there that I was able to harness all of my gifts and abilities and learn how to present them,how to package them, and how to use them to help other people live better. It was a shaping anddefining period of time for me, and it helped me to shape my gifts and talents. -27- (Continued next page.)
  27. 27. Ginger London continued . . .When I came back home from graduate school in the mid 1990s, I started doing conferences. I leadseminars and workshops. People starting coming, wanting to know if I coached people. I had neverheard of coaching, so I had to start doing some research. That‟s how I got actively involved inministry and, for me, ministry is exciting, because the word actually means to serve people.I: What initially happened that made you aware of life coaching? GL: It all started when people began coming to me and asking me if I coached. Coaching wasn‟t a term that was used years ago in the Christian ministry realm. It was known then as mentoring. Most people would ask, “Do you mentor people for ministry?” or “Do you mentor people for spiritual growth?” People started coming and asking me if I coached people, but I didn‟t really know what coaching was. I said, “I‟m really not sure what coaching is. Let me find out what it is.” I went on to say, “I do mentor people.” When I started researching and learning a little bit more about life coaching, I understood what they were asking me. They were asking me if I could coach them in getting their business started or in discovering what their gifts were. They also wanted me to in work with them to see if their idea was plausible or if they could actually succeed at what they had in mind.In my mind, that was mentoring, but I guess they had some experience with coaching, and so that‟show I got interested in life coaching. From there, I started researching to learn more about lifecoaching. By that time, there were some Christian authors who were putting out books aboutChristian coaching which helped me tremendously. I thought, Great! There’s someone else in thebody of Christ that already knows what this is. I started studying what life coaching is all about fromthe Christian perspective.I: How is helping people defining how you are now doing your life‟s work?GL: It made me aware that some people need help with life problems, and some people need helpwith life purpose. It helped me to avoid placing everyone in one box. When you study counseling—and coaching is not part of the curriculum—you have a mind-set that people come to you with anissue that they want to work on.People started coming who didn‟t have issues; they had ideas. The more I learned about coaching, Iwas able to actually separate that or compartmentalize it in my mind: There are some people whohave life problems that they want to work on, and that‟s counseling. Then there are those who havelife purpose issues, or life purpose agendas that they want help with, and that‟s more appropriate forcoaching.It helped me to redefine my perspective of how I was seeing people, which was great for me. Notthat I thought that everyone had problems, but sometimes when a person is trained in counseling,when they sit down, they automatically zero in in on the counseling mode and it is easy to want to tryto fix everything, or to try to figure out what the issue is and where it‟s coming from. With lifecoaching, it‟s just an exciting time. It‟s all about the other person‟s agenda, and you‟re just excited toshare with them as they discover what that agenda is or realize that they have more strength thanthey thought they had and more resources than they may have realized.I: How does Christian life coaching help someone? -28-
  28. 28. GL: Christian life coaching is an intentional focus on designing life as God intended it to be for thatparticular person. It‟s coaching from a godly perspective.Christian Coaching is about . . .Discovering Who You Are in ChristMost of the time—both for Christians and for those who are not Christians—people are trying todiscover who they are. The difference is that Christian coaching helps people to discover who they arein Christ. They‟re asking, “What does the Bible say about me being successful? What does the Biblesay about who I am and how God created me?”Demolishing Negative Mind-SetsChristian coaching helps people to demolish mind-sets that may be holding them back. There arenumerous Scriptures in the Bible that talk about having a right mind and what needs to be done totake on the mind to be successful and to be victorious. A lot of times people are bogged down in theirminds with negative, self-defeating thoughts. Christian life coaching helps people to demolish thosemind-sets.Empowering and EquippingChristian coaching empowers and equips people to be all they can be or all that God has createdthem to be. There‟s an interesting Scripture in the Bible: Jeremiah 29:11 says, “„For I know the plansI have for you,‟ said the Lord. „Plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a hope and afuture.‟” I think that sums up exactly what Christian life coaching does. It helps people to understandthat they have a hope and they have a future.You are equipped to do everything you were intended to do, and if not, you have the ability tobecome equipped to be all that you can be in Christ.I: A lot of us know what life purpose means when we‟re talking aboutlife coaching in general, but what does life purpose mean inChristianity?GL: In Christianity, life purpose means finding out who God created youto be and what God‟s plans are for your life. Christians realize that as itrelates to living we don‟t have our own agenda. We don‟t get to pick ourown passions and desires per se or schedule our own agenda, butinstead we seek God to find out which direction He wants us to go inour lives and what is it that He has assigned us to do.As a Christian, once I realize that, I can begin to equip and preparemyself to walk in those steps and to fulfill what God has purposed formy life. Until I do that, my life is somewhat unfulfilled, because I knowthat I‟m created in God‟s image, and that means that I have the abilityto think, to be successful, and to imagine. I have gifts, abilities, andtalents, and I can pull all of that together and begin to discover exactlywhat it is I am called to. Am I called to be a business owner? Is it mycalling to be a teacher? Am I called to be a housewife? Am I called to bea life coach? I have to start by asking, “What is it that God haspurposed for my life, and how do I live that out according to Biblicalprinciples?”Questions for Helping You Understand Your Life Purpose:#1: How am I created? We are created in the image of God.#2: How do I find out what my divine assignment is, or my calling, as some people wouldsay? The most important way to begin the journey of finding your purpose or assignment is withclarity—believing that your life has purpose. In addition, it means spending time getting to know -29- (Continued next page.)
  29. 29. Ginger London continued . . . yourself and paying attention to the intricate and important details and experiences of your life. The more you know about yourself, the easier it will be to discover your assignment or purpose. Ask yourself the question, "Who Am I?" Then enjoy the journey in discovering wonderful things about yourself. Other steps include:  Being clear on your core values and beliefs—these are the fundamental principles of your life that shape and define who you are.  Self-reflection—be sure that you are living a life that is consistent with your core values and beliefs.  Knowing your gifts and strengths—start using them daily; become clear about them and the things you are passionate about.  Finding opportunities to do what you are interested in or passionate about.#3: What is the stewardship of gift that I have? This is what God has given you that you areresponsible for. Are you gifted at teaching? If you are, you are responsible for making sure that younurture and mature that gift and that you don‟t mishandle that gift. Are you talented? Can you sing?Then it means that you have to nurture that gift and protect it, not abuse it or misuse it.#4: Am I positioned in the right place? I know what I‟m supposed to do in life, but am I in theright place, and am I targeting the right people? Am I making the right connections so that thepeople I‟m assigned to can actually receive what it is that God has placed inside of me? It comesdown to knowing your life purpose; for Christians, it‟s knowing what God has called you to do.I: How can life coaching be bridged into Christian ministry?GL: One of the ways it can be bridged into Christian ministry is for leaders in ministry to understandthat there have always been areas within Christian ministry that were functioning in some capacity ascoaching already.For example, in the church, we already have one-on-one sessions where people can come forcounseling or support. We also have groups that meet in the church. We have specialized programssuch as learning how to manage your finances. We have small groups. And we have products oncertain areas that help people. As the leadership in the church, we have to understand that wealready have some areas of ministry that are functioning in some capacity of coaching.To bridge coaching and Christian ministry, there has to be a foundation laid in the church. Thatfoundation has to start with the leadership, extend to the congregation, and then we have to find thepeople who are gifted or who have a desire to help other people.Those who are already doing life coaching—Christian coaching—need to educate ministry leaders onwhat life coaching is through a seminar or workshop style event. The leadership needs to understandwhat life coaching is even before putting the Christian descriptive to it.Ministry leaders need to understand what Christian life coaching is and how it aides ministry. Howdoes it help a ministry to become more relevant today, to reach more people, or to be able to makeavailable to people more resources, more support, and more encouragement?Next, we need to move on to the congregation. There needs to be some teaching in general to thecongregation members about what life coaching is so that they‟ll know that there‟s an area ofministry that‟s available to them to help them reach their greatest potential as individuals. They‟rewanting to seek out those who feel called to help people, and the church would call it The Ministry ofHelps. -30-