How do you know you have made progress?
How do you know when you have moved on and made true progress towards your goals and away from those things that you so desperately want to avoid?
That’s a question I often ask myself and also for my coaching clients I often need to point out.
Events in the past few weeks for me pointed out my own progress, hence i wanted to share some of these, just to illustrate how you can find feedback on your progress or lack of it.
About three years ago, I was at frustration point with my business and was looking for other ways to get to the next level. I had recovered from a seriously unwise investment decision which had lost me a lot of money and I was now riding the highs of my new business coaching business, yet had very little time for myself and I was still working all the hours I had. I was looking for an easier way, another way, something that could help me, because I sure hadn’t hit or found happiness in the process, even though I knew i was working in a field that I really enjoy.
Somebody, who I still don’t know, sent me tickets by e-mail and by post for a seminar called ‘breakthrough to success’ in London, by a person called Chris Howard, whom I had never heard off. I reluctantly went to the seminar thinking I have nothing to lose, I will check it out and can always visit my London based friends or go shopping in case I don’t like it. The seminar did delve into some core personal issues as opposed to my business frustrations to start off with, which took me by surprise but the seminar also showed me how to run a business of my kind at another level. So at the end of the first day I knew I had to get to know the person behind the seminar Chris and find a way of learning from him directly, they then announced form stage the only way to do so was to join the Billionaire Adventure Club, which is exactly what I went after. If I had a financial controller or advisor they would have boycotted that idea, so call it a massive stretch.
At the same seminar I met two ladies who I managed to become friendly with and had lunches and breaks with, they had ambitious business ideas and we had a great time sharing experiences. How does this all lead to where I am today?
Well last week I met the two ladies again for the first time since the original seminar, their business has taken off and their comment to me was ‘wow, you have moved forward and look so calm, happy, focussed, healthier and generally different in all possible positive ways.’ I do have a coach and I sometimes ask him the question too, what change do you see and invariably he tells me I am calmer and more focussed. Personally I do think I have solved a whole lot of inner turmoil and I do feel calmer, recent diet changes definitely make me feel healthier and yes, I do know exactly what I want to achieve and I am moving towards that. Getting the mental part of me to catch up with the ambitious driven side of me was the hardest part and if anything trips me up, it is the mental side going nasty on me (in technical terms: beating the crap out of myself). I have a coach for that reason and often learn from other people along the way that make significant comments.
This week then I was at a seminar to instill confidence in people in Ireland regardless of the economy and I met some people that would be called the movers and shakers of Irish business, Bobby Kerr from the Irish dragons den and Insomnia coffee. In previous years I would have listened to the seminar and never managed to have a conversation with them, this time I was comfortable chatting about sailing to the man. I also got to spend time with Mark Pollock, who I wanted to meet after reading his book ‘Make it happen’ last Christmas. I you think you have a challenge, find out this guy’s story, he had everything going for him olympic sporting career, top class degree, great job lined up and then turned blind. He has since gone on and completed several adventures from trekking marathon distances for days on end in the Gobi desert to a south pole expedition. He is incredible and I am really grateful to have firstly completed another goal, to meet him, but equally to find out the guy has great heart and allowed me to spend a little bit of time with him just chatting. When someone makes a great impact in your life, let them know and be thankful for it. Thank you, Mark!
Then yesterday I visited the seminar again that started off some of this journey, and one of the exercises asks you to look at the things you are frustrated with and hand on heart apart from wanting things to move quicker, which is my impatient nature coming out, I actually finally found a place where I am generally confident, happy and know that I am heading towards the right level whilst doing things I totally enjoy doing. By joining the billionaire adventure club at the time, I did get to know Chris and some other great mentors such as Dave Lakhani and Keith Cunningham, which I still contact for advice and some great fellow travellers, which have become good friends. We also did some incredible things for a small community in Peru and children in Cambodia with Friends International. Friends International is one of my favourite charities and I am promoting their Childsafe campaign through our Rotary district in Ireland and Northern Ireland, which I chatted about to Chris during one of the breaks.
So how do you know you have made progress? In my view it’s the people you meet, new peer groups (sometimes you may need to upgrade them as you move forward) will give you an insight in your levels of confidence and the change in you. Equally trusted friends and ideally your coach will have seen you progress. My clients know they have the biggest cheerleader in their corner when they hit the results they work towards. Revisiting the seminar to me pointed out how much I had moved, not just small things, but actually massive stretch leaps forward, which took a good bit of faith, sometimes tears, desperation and serious frustration to work through, but I coulnd’t help but feel a little proud of myself for trusting the process and seeking out mentors & coaches along the way.
Thank you guys, you know who you are. If there is one thing I would recommend you to do to move forward, find mentors that are ahead of you in business and a coach that you can trust and then follow their advice and go with their tools. My clients that have the best results trust my tools, which are not always straight forward business systems, yet I only use what is right for the client and when I have tried it before and it has worked. Don’t forget to have fun on your journey, I have had tears, but equally some incredibly fun experiences so far and I am sure there are plenty more to come, fun experiences that is!