Episode 22: My Journey, Your Coaching Library, and How You Can Get Free Coaching on this show

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In this introductory episode, Robert Harrison introduces himself and tells the story of how he became a self-employed service professional and mentor to other service professionals. 

In it, you will learn more about Robert’s journey in the service professional industry, how it all began, where his companies are now, and where his companies are going in the next few years.

Learn more about your new host while benefiting from his years of experience (trial and error).

He then discusses some of his favorite books & tools for coaches, and a few key principles to keep in mind as you begin your journey to service professional heaven.

In particular, Robert discusses the importance of NLP training to anyone self-employed or in the helping profession, why you want to learn more about it, and why it’s such an important tool for transformation in our industry.

Finally, Robert talks about what’s coming up in the next few episodes and how you can get live coaching on upcoming shows about your specific challenges in your business so you can take your business to the next level.

So listen in, get to know your host, and then get on the ‘Coaching the life Coach’ blog and give us your feedback, questions, and concerns so we can begin the coaching process and help you build the kind the business you’ve always dreamed about.

Transcript

Robert Harrison: Hello everyone and welcome to Coaching the Life Coach. This is Robert Harrison and in this first episode I want to just give you a chance to know me a little bit better. Tell you what you can expect in the next couple of episodes and also tell you how you can be a guest on Coaching the Life Coach. So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

[music]

And so I told myself if this coaching stuff really works, if NLP really works and I can set a goal, a huge goal and accomplish it, I should be able to prove it and what a great way to launch the business. So I told all my friends, I made an announcement here what we’re going to do, I’m going to double my  income within a year doing something I’d never done before to prove that my coaching skills are really what I think they are and that would be a great way to start my business. That’s exactly what I did. Ten months later, I got hired as a software engineer.

I’ve achieved all my goals so at that point I cashed my chips in and I started Leap Ahead Coaching. Now that was five years ago and since then Leap Ahead Coaching has morphed into two wings. There is Professional’s Edge which is the corporate consulting and coaching part of the business and there is Bay Area Hypnosis Center where we handle the transformative work.

All coaches should have coaches. All mentors should have mentors because when you’re actively in the process you are going to be more tuned into it. It’s the difference between riding a bike and watching a movie. You’re going to learn so much more. If you want to get good at coaching quickly, you need to have feedback. You need to see people doing it, who are doing it well and doing it effectively and doing it profitably and you need to have them give you feedback on a regular basis.

Do not be duped into working with someone who has not done what you are trying to do because then you won’t get practical knowledge, that’s what you need, practical knowledge. My current mentor from my hypnosis business Scott McFall has been in the process 20 years. He’s built and sold five clinics. This guy knows the ins and out of the hypnosis business and how to do it very, very well.

[music]

Robert Harrison: Now for those of you who don’t know me too well, let me tell you a little bit about the companies that I run. I have two branches of my company. The first branch is Professional’s Edge that is the corporate consulting business where I teach companies how to improve their communication between executives and managers. I help people achieve more in less time and I help them keep their life balanced as well. That is very fulfilling work and I love going into corporation and helping people get back in touch with why they went to work in the first place. The whole point of having a job, [indiscernible] a career and trying live the American dream and it’s so funny because a lot of us tend to lose sight of the ultimate goal in the first place. We forget why we’re working so hard—to get the house and to get the car and to get the family—it’s for happiness. So I love going into a corporation and teaching people how to achieve the greatest amount of happiness over the longest period of time. That is what I call the sustainable and ecological goal.

In the transformational side of my business, we have Bay Area Hypnosis Center. In this side of the business, we handle programs such as weight loss, smoking cessation, confidence, stress release, pain management and other personal transformative type services that you would normally fall under hypnotism or under different forms of therapy although we do not practice therapy, we are educational consultants.

I love both of the branches of the business and quite often they do overlap as you can imagine but in terms of the marketing, the structure of the business, it’s really important to keep them separate. One of the things you are going to learn about a lot of these shows is the difference between doing what you do well and how to market that to the people that can best benefit from your services in a way that’s going to work for everybody.

How did I get started as a coach? It started a long time ago. I would say the first big transformative piece for me was when I was about 18 years of age. My parents were going to a divorce and during that time I was seeking something outside of myself to help me understand what was going on and how I could have a little bit more control and power over it.

At that time in my life I found a book by Anthony Robbins called Awaken the Giant Within. Now if you are not familiar with this book now is a great time to do that. If you are a coach, you are going to want to read this book because this is the best known book to general society in terms of coaches. When people think of who do you know as a coach? Most of the people would think of Anthony Robbins. He is one of the leaders in the field.

So this particular book just blew my mind. I mean it really got me to think in ways I had not thought before and it took me into the realms of what I didn’t know. What I never even thought of before. There is a particular chapter in there, I believe it’s chapter 8 on questions and the title of it is Questions are the Answers. What I realized in reading that book is that I’ve been spending most of my life asking myself questions that didn’t produce the kind of results that I wanted. Like what’s wrong with me? What’s my problem? Why is this happening? Why are my parents getting a divorce? Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. What this chapter taught me was to ask questions like, what’s right with me? How can I learn this better? How can I make this work? What’s great about this situation? When I started asking those questions, my life took a rapid change and it started changing very, very quickly.

Fast forward a couple of years. I was working as a mental health counselor. Now the only reason I even got into the mental health industry was I originally wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write a novels and a friend of mine told me I could get great material working as a psych tech with the chronically mentally ill. So there I was working on my novel, working with the chronically mentally ill but I became more and more fascinated with the human mind and what makes people change.

Since I have been really studying Tony’s work, I noticed in the back of his book, if you look at the bibliography. He references a lot of NLP. That’s short for Neuro Linguistic Programming and a real simple definition of neuro linguistic programming is the modeling of human excellence. It’s how to model behavior in such a way that you can reproduce it, you can make it predictable and you can make it repeatable.

I remember getting this book and I remember reading about the fast phobia cure. That was one of the processes in the new technology of achievement by the NLP comprehensive team. It’s a great starting book for NLP if you’re interested in that. So I read about the process called the fast phobia technique and I remember there was another counselor where I was working and she had this huge phobia of dogs. Anytime she got near dogs, she just freaked out. I mean literary just scared the life out of her. She would tighten up, she would freeze, she couldn’t talk, she couldn’t breath and you would basically have to either remove her or remove the dog or it would just go downhill from there.

So I remember telling her one day in a passing conversation. You know I’m studying NLP, we have this process called the fast phobia cure, so why don’t we go ahead and cure your phobia then go have lunch? So I spent about 5-10 minutes max with her. When I started to ask her more about her phobia what I discovered was, when she was little, around 8 or 9 years old, a dog had jumped on her, attacked her and knocked her down a flight of stairs while biting her. So anytime she got within 30 feet of a dog even a Chihuahua, it could have been a toothless Chihuahua, she would have freaked out.

So we run the process and I took her over to Pet Smart. Well sure enough at Pet Smart, the only dog that was there was a huge, huge, Husky dog. I mean just a huge dog but it was a husky. So it was a big, big dog. I told her, “Go up and pet the dog. Shouldn’t be a problem at all, your phobia is gone.” She walked all the way up to the dog, before then she had never been able to get within 30 feet of a dog without freezing. She literary walked all the way to the dog, reach down to pet it, got her hand to about 6 inches away from it and she goes, “Nah, I don’t think I want to do that.”

Being ignorant at that time, I just assumed, “Wow I guess it didn’t really work.” When in reality, from a therapeutic stand point, it was the greatest achievement that she had made in the last 25 years of her life in terms of getting near dogs. It was unbelievable that she could even get that close to a dog and here I am and probably what I needed to do in retrospect is maybe run the process maybe one or two more times. But I could have simply been that she thought the dog smelled, that she didn’t want to touch the dog or she just didn’t feel it was necessary. But either way, if I had really noticed and had the acuity to notice what was going on, what I would have seen is that she was able to walk all the way up to that dog, put her hand within six inches of it and still feel calm and relaxed and then walked away. It was a huge triumph but at that time, I didn’t really see that. I didn’t know what I was looking for as a result so I put that book on a shelf and forgot about it.

Fast forward a few years, I ended up in Northern California where I just wanted to surf and write. I had no intention again of really pursuing this field but I was still working as a mental health counselor. Why?  Because I was an English major in college and it was kind of hard getting a job writing novels. There I was and I run into a guy by the name of Rick Matthews who knew neuro linguistic programming and for some reason I met Scott at the coffee shop and he said, “Hey have you ever heard of neuro linguistic programming.” Since I’ve heard about it and so fascinated before I said, “Yeah.” Guess what I found out? Northern California is the mecca of neuro linguistic programming. That’s where neuro linguistic programming was created in the ‘70s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder.

Needless to say I dove right into it. I signed up for the first training I could get into which was the NLP Practitioner Training. Back then NLP of California was own by Tom Dons [sp] who now owns NLP Comprehensive and they had the original 27 day format training. I got really, really into it. I took the training. I ended up working for the company, recording all the audios for them and that allowed me to take the NLP Practitioner training three times and it also allowed me to take the NLP Master Practitioner training twice and allowed me to take any other training they had multiple, multiple times. Plus I got to get to know the trainers very well like Robert McDonald, Tom Best, Charles Faulkner, Linda Fudo [sp], Tamara Andreas, Steven Andreas, Michael Grinder and some of the great Tim Halbum and it was an amazing experience.

I got really, really into NLP for several years. I used to watch Richard Bandler videos in slow motion with my buddy Rick on Saturdays and we would go for these walks and talk about NLP and practice language patterns, all these different things that had to do with human transformation. One day we were going to a walk, I remember looking at him and saying, “Man, this is so much fun. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this for a living?” and at that moment I literary stopped dead on my tracks and looked at him and said, “Why not? This is what I’m going to do for a living.”

Now remember, I was working as a mental health counselor at the time and so I told myself if this coaching stuff really works, if NLP really works and I can set a goal, a huge goal and accomplish it, I should be able to prove it and what a great way to launch the business. So I told all my friends, I made an announcement here what we’re going to do, I’m going to double my  income within the year doing something I’d never done before to prove that my coaching skills are really what I think they are and that would be a great way to start my business. That’s exactly what I did. Ten months later, I got hired as a software engineer.

Remember I was a writer and a mental health counselor, I knew nothing, nothing about doing technical work. I literary went to the library and got a book called Learn Java in 24 Hours. Now at the time, this was around ’99, Java, JSP, these are hot web programming and software engineering topics and programming languages, techie term to use. So I went ahead, got a book and learned it in 24 hours and struggled through it. Got another book, learned that, got another book, learned that and within 10 months, I had to drop out of my community college class—I only took about one and a half classes because I got hired at exactly double my income ten months later. The only reason I got double my income was because they offered me less and I said, “No I can’t work for less than twice what I was currently making.” There I was, I got in and within a year I tripled my income. Within two years I was a manager and I was in charge of the look and feel, what’s called the presentation layer of our software and I was working with the CEO and CFO on a daily basis.

I’ve achieved all my goals so at that point I cashed my chips in and I started Leap Ahead Coaching. Now that was five years ago and since then Leap Ahead Coaching has morphed into two wings. There is Professional’s Edge which is the corporate consulting and coaching part of the business and there is Bay Area Hypnosis Center where we handle the transformative work. So what’s great about both of these businesses is they are what I call good karma industries. I absolutely love what I do and I made a commitment to  myself a long time ago. I will only do that which is beneficial to society, that which will help others help themselves have a more fulfilling life.

So now that it has branched off into not only helping individuals improve their quality of their lives but also helping other coaches and other hypnotist and other service professionals improve the quality of their life and the quality of their business and the quality of their clients’ lives that they serve. The way we’re doing that, helping other service professionals is through a new website we put up in just the last six months called practicefix.com. There’s a newsletter that I send out to emails on a regular basis and we have bi-weekly conference calls. There’s also a resource form for all service professionals.

So if you interested in building your online business, if you are interested in learning more about front end marketing, back end marketing. If you’re interested in networking with other service professionals and this is one of the challenges for service professionals, it can be a very lonely business when you’re running your own show. So being able to network with other service professionals in similar industries makes a huge difference. There’s all kinds of free resources on the practicefix.com website so if you are a service professional I highly encourage you to check it out. We virtually mentor several hundred coaches all over the world and we’re also able to negotiate group discounts for those coaches on new training, services and tools to improve your coaching business, to improve your service professional business and if you’re a hypnotist also to improve your hypnotism business.

Here is what I can tell you, over the last three years, we’ve consistently in my coaching and consulting business brought in over six figures and we’re looking into doing even better this year. Each year it’s grown by approximately 25% and it’s going to continue to grow over the next couple of years. We’re also going to launching a new book in 2008 for Professionalsedge.com and that is Professional’s Edge How to Get Ahead at Work and Have a Life. That first chapter will be available via download from professionalsedge.com by the end of January.

The Bay Area Hypnotist Center, we are looking into opening three additional clinics in the next year up and down the peninsula so that we can really serve the Bay Area better and part of doing that is bringing other hypnotists in the Bay Area into the fold so to speak. I’m really excited about doing that. I’m excited about seeing those hypnotists prosper more and serve more people and become more profitable and I’m looking forward to having a larger reach in the Bay Area here.

This is Robert Harrison, this is Coaching the Life Coach, we are going to take a brief break for our sponsors and we’ll be right back.

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Robert Harrison: Welcome back this is Robert Harrison with Coaching the Life Coach. Just before the break we were talking a little bit about my journey. I was telling you a little bit about my companies that I am now running and about practicefix.com and how I got into coaching in the first place which was through the avenue of learning neuro linguistic programming. Since then of course we’ve added hypnosis, we’ve added semantic work, we have added [indiscernible] meditation and we’ve added all kinds of skills and drills. I’m really am a firm believer in constantly sharpening the saw.

So with that said it’s time to move into a few of my favorite books and tools for coaches. I mentioned this book earlier Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins. If you have not read that book, if you do not have that book in your library, go out and get it. That is a phenomenal book and it’s a really great start for any coach. It is a must read for coaches, it’s a great place to start because Anthony Robbins is probably one of the most well known coaches amongst Americana. He is very famous, he is [indiscernible]. I highly recommend it. Start with Awaken the Giant Within. There’s also if you like audio tapes a personal power series. Personal Power 1 and 2 and now there’s the whole Get the Edge program. All the Tony stuff I think is really great and it’s a good primer. It’s a good place to start if you want to be a coach.

Another important resource would be Neuro Linguistic Programming Training. If you want to become a practitioner, then become a master practitioner. This will not teach you how to run a business but it will teach you what to do with the clients once you get the clients in your office and of course on top of that you add a tremendous amount of practical wisdom through working with a lot of people and you’ll get very good, very quickly.

A great primer book for coaching is Coactive Coaching by  Laura Whitworth, Henry Kimsey-House, and Phillip Sandahl. This is a great book to start with for those of you who don’t have previous experience with coaching. There are a lot of great coaching schools as well, there’s New Field Coaching, I believe there’s a Coactive Coaching School and there’s a number of things on the web. Just remember guys, the most important thing to really get is that to get really good at anything, you need lots of and lots of practice. What’s really nice is to have lots of feedback while you are practicing. This is where a mentoring or a coaching situation really makes a difference.

All coaches should have coaches. All mentors should have mentors because when you’re actively in the process you are going to be more tuned into it. It’s the difference between riding a bike and watching a movie. You’re going to learn so much  more. If you want to get good at coaching quickly, you need to have feedback. You need to see people doing it, who are doing it well and doing it effectively and doing it profitably and you need to have them give you feedback on a regular basis.

A lot of times, it’s interesting too when a person calls me for mentoring or coaching, they’ll tell me what they think the problem is, they’ll tell me what they think is holding them back or I’ll ask them what do you think is holding you back? In reality, there is what they observe about their behavior and about their thoughts and about what they’re doing that they are communicating with me and then there’s what’s actually occurring. A lot of times, the bottle neck or what’s preventing that person from going to the next level is completely outside of their awareness which is why it’s so useful to have a coach. This is why people hire us in the first place, is because we are outside of their own scope of  awareness. We are seeing their lives from a fresh perspective or fresh point of view and therefore we’re not emotionally charged by their own fears and insecurities and we’re able to help them see things that maybe they wouldn’t see otherwise. This is something that we need to always do for ourselves as well.

In terms of learning how to market your business, a great place to start is Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port. He tells us this is the fastest, easiest, most reliable system for getting more clients than you can handle even if you hate marketing and selling. Is this the end-all be-all? No, but it is a great way to start. If you don’t have previous experience doing that, and by the way here is how to tell—if you’re not seeing clients, if you’re not getting clients—this is a great place to start and you want to do that. OK? I have personally taken Michael Port’s trainings and I like them very much. I think that the book covers most of it and the training courses is essentially to get you to do what’s in the book. I hope to get Michael Port in the show at some point. I highly recommend his book and his training because it’s really a good way to get you up and running.

Again everybody, accountability is what’s really most important and ultimately you’re going to need that one on one feedback, working with someone who has done what you are trying to do. Do not be duped into working with someone who has not done what you are trying to do because then you won’t get practical knowledge, that’s what you need, practical knowledge. My current mentor from my  hypnosis business Scott McFall has been in the process 20 years. He’s built and sold five clinics. This guy knows the ins and out of the hypnosis business and how to do it very, very well.

My business coach is someone who’s been doing business coach for 20 years in corporations all over the U.S. and she knows what she’s doing like the back of her hand. I’m going to try and get her on the show at some point, she’s wonderful too. It’s important that you learn from people who have done what it is that you are trying to do and have done it repeatedly.

The next book I want to recommend to you is the E-Myth Physician or the E-Myth Revisited. It’s why most small businesses don’t work and what you can do about it and it’s all about systematizing your business. This is a book by Michael Gerber. The reason I mentioned E-Myth Physician obviously I’m not a physician and most of you are not physicians but a physician’s business is more service oriented  like most of ours is where we’re dealing with customers/clients. You can even call them patients on a daily basis. So it’s really about how to run that operation more smoothly and to see it from a more systemized point of view. Again it’s another kind of highly recommended book.

In terms of negotiation, one of my favorite books is a book by Jim Camp and it’s called Start with NO…The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don’t Want You to Know About. That’s a catchy title but one of the great things that Jim Camp does in this book is he reframes the whole concept of hearing “NO.” If you get a chance to listen to some of his audio tapes, they’re also very, very good on negotiation. Remember negotiation is a tool that we use to help people make decisions. To help people make the decisions that they want to  make and it’s good for them and it’s important for us to really learn how to negotiate  properly.

One of the concepts I got from Jim Camp was idea of the emotional pendulum in negotiation and this is where if you’re too needy, if money is a real issue for you and you’re in front of  client and we’ve all done this at one point or another. You start to get needy, boy the client can smell that like a tiger smells blood and it just repels people. It will cause them to not want to do business with you. Just like it is for us when we go out into this world and we’re buying a new car or we’re hiring someone to help us out, we want to know that they’re making it about us and about really about helping us and being of service to us and if they come off as needy then it’s going to be really apparent that it’s about them and we’re less likely to do business with them. It’s important to just realize that it swings both ways. There is this thing called the emotional pendulum that’s out working on any negotiation that you have. We’ll cover that more when we go to the sections on Lead Conversion which is really important.

The next book I’m going to recommend is on management. For those of you who are solo practitioners, you’ve probably walked by the books on management many, many times in bookstores but here’s the hard truth. The reality of it is, you need to become an excellent manager even if it’s only you. Why? Because you are managing yourself. When you don’t have somebody there to hold you accountable on a daily basis other than yourself , you need to make sure that you’re managing your business in a way that is healthy for the business. In a way that is effective, in a way that is going to get the job done. So it’s a great book called The Daily Drucker and it gives a little write up each day, a little thought for the day. It starts with a quote then explains it and gives you a question you can ask yourself to prepare yourself to be a better manager that day. It’s a really great book, Peter Drucker is the father of management and he is well respected among the business community so I highly recommend that book.

Now on to my final book recommendation is Influencing with Integrity by Genie  Laborde. That is a great NLP book for a starting place. Either that or another book called NLP The New Technology of Achievement by the NLP Comprehensive Training Team, edited by Steve Andreas and Charles Faulkner. Both these books are excellent books. The reason why I’m particularly feeling good about Influencing with Integrity is that it talks about the importance of using integrity. NLP is a powerful technology and like any powerful technology, you can use it to do good and you can use it to do not so good and I’d rather that you use it to make the world a better place, OK?

NLP training, why is it so important? Why do I believe it’s absolutely necessary for any self employed person or particularly anybody in the helping profession is because NLP really helps you to see the structure of experience and how understanding how you think about what you think changes what you think. It changes how you experience the world and this is going to be the focus of the first couple episodes. We’re going to talk about the mind set that you need to have in order to be successful as a service professional and entrepreneur but also I want to talk about some of the basics of neuro linguistic programming and how you can really use that. So these are both great starting point books. There is also NLP the New Technology Achievement audio tape series and we’re going to be bringing on several very high level NLP professionals in the next couple of episodes so you can learn a little bit more about it and how it works.

Don’t worry about getting all this information in your bones right now I just want to give you guys some starting places, some good books to round out your library as a service professional, particularly as a coach. These are some of the most basic books that you are going to want to have. In NLP you are going to learn things like developing a well formed outcome. You’ll learn about skills like rapport. You’ll learn skills like sensory acuity and you’ll learn about skills like using language in a powerful way. All of these will help you  help your clients even better. It will help you see the patterns that your clients get into and how to interrupt those patterns and behaviors that are not useful and help them develop new habits and new patterns of behavior that are very useful towards their goals.

You’ll find that when working with clients, often it’s very difficult to just simply tell them to just change the content of their thoughts but if you change how they are thinking about their thoughts in other words the structure of those thoughts, how they are hearing what they’re hearing. You can change the tone, you can change the volume, or how they are picturing what they’re picturing. You can make it dimmer, you can make it brighter, you can push it away, bring it forward then it will change their experience. When you do that something powerful happens with those clients, they realize how subjective meaning really is. How they’re not really responding to the world, they’re responding to their map of the world and NLP talks a lot about our map of reality. My map of reality versus your map of reality and how they’re not always the same. In other words it’s almost like perceptual position.

I’m just telling you enough now to keep you interested. This is what we call a cliff hanger in the coaching process to make sure that you tune in next week for the next installment. I want to give each and everyone of you the opportunity to get free coaching on Coaching the Life Coach and the way to do that is to simply go to the blog or send me an email at [email protected] and let me know that you want to be on the show. One of the best way I know to teach people how to be an effective coach is to have them shadow me and have them actually watch me in the coaching process. This is how I learned from my mentors and this is how you can get really good, really quickly. So I want to give you the opportunity to get coaching directly for your business but in doing that we’re also going to get some live coaching examples actually on the show. You’ll find that you’ll learn far more from witnessing an actual coaching session than you will from simply hearing about how to do it or reading about it in a book.

If you’re interested in being on the show, being a guest and getting some live coaching for your business, I want you to just email me at [email protected] or go on the blog at Personal Life Media and we will look forward to meeting you soon. I will look forward to getting you on the show. This is Robert Harrison, this has been Coaching the Life Coach. For transcripts of this show or any show, please go to personallifemedia.com and I’ll see you next week.