The Deferred Readiness Model

In Change, Insight

I was giving a presentation yesterday evening at a networking event in Geneva and at the end of the talk the only question I was asked was ‘what training have you done to do this work’?  Now, in all my coaching and consulting years I’ve only ever been asked this question not by clients, but by other coaches/consultants or aspiring coaches.  And that got me thinking of how many aspiring coaches, consultants and other business people consider that they’ll be ready when they’ve done some more training, and then some more, and then just one more training…

And it doesn’t stop there.  I could expand the list to include:

I’ll be ready when I’ve

  • decided on sole trader or limited company status
  • … decided on my business name or brand or logo
  • …had my business cards printed
  • … worked out what my ‘thing’ or ‘niche’ or ‘purpose’ is
  • …built my website
  • … created my mail list, SEO, social media strategy
  • …sorted out[insert thing here]

(Hands up moment: yes, I’ve done all of these at some point!)

And I’m not saying training or any of these other things are not important or useful, it’s just how we innocently put them in the way and look outwards to determine how we act rather than inwards from a quiet mind to determine what’s necessary.  And many of these are not necessary – I’ve known people (myself included) who’ve had clients turn up and say ‘can you help me with this’ and then started work with them, and done some of the above afterwards as and when necessary.  And I know people who:

  • Created a company after their first client or worked on a personal basis for the first few clients
  • Had clients come up with a company name (Headstuff!), and in any case the customer decides the brand meaning anyway
  • Don’t use business cards, just ask others for theirs who they really want to work with
  • Go with what their clients ask them to do
  • Don’t have a website, Facebook page, Twitter account, Pininterest..
  • Don’t have a mail list or ‘big list’ or social media strategy (in Lean Start Up terms that’s known as a Vanity Metric!)

And I don’t mean any of this in a prescriptive or right/wrong way.  Just to be aware of where you are coming from when saying to yourself I’ll be ready when…’, when truthfully you’re already ready, have been for some time, and actually were born ready 😉

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