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Business Coaching: Building a Business to Momentum

March 12, 2012
The business coaching exercise today is always the first thing I do with everyone I coach. You’ll figure out what stage of business development you are in, set a goal based on that stage, and begin to envision what is possible. In other words, identify what is so, what you want to accomplish, and what you desire.
Last week In the What is So Exercise one mom told us that so far she has a camera, one lens, a shared family computer, a “good eye”, and beginner level skills. She does not yet have a separate bank account or the software she needs. Another mom has 2 cameras & lenses, studio space, established bank accounts, a CPA, advanced technical skills, a local photographer network and more. They are at different levels of bringing their company into existence!
I don’t know about you, but lots of women judge them selves when they describe how far they’ve come with their business. “I’m confused. I don’t know how to do it.  I’m a loser. I’m never going to succeed.” Sound like anyone you know? And this kind of self ‘dis’ is just as common with both moms I described above! It’s crazy, isn’t it?
Did you learn to appreciate what works when you were a kid? Most of us didn’t. We learned to focus on what needs improvement, on a “critique” as the best way to grow. Well, we took it too far! So many of the women that I coach feel stuck in ‘not enough’! We all do it sometimes, but when it gets in the way of acting on what we want most in life, it’s got to go.
What’s the antidote to that bad habit of cutting yourself down? Appreciate what is so – what you DO have in place that you can claim as part of your business foundation. Own what is “good” instead of focusing on what you “lack”. This is key to building the business and a deeply satisfying life. Appreciation is powerful! With self-acknowledgment you start to access deeper feminine strengths that you can count on.
Your business coaching exercise today is three part. First, use your What is So exercise from last month to identify which of these five stages mirror your business today. Last month in the Business Building Webinar the women found these stages “extremely helpful” and said, “it’s a relief to stop feeling like I should be in stage 4 because I don’t yet have the system and structures in place! I’m in stage 2.”
How about you? Where is your business right now? I’ll apply it to a photography business:
The Stages of Bringing a Business into Existence and into Momentum
  1. Pre-Formulation: This is the time of conception, just starting to put your ideas and vision together. When I’m coaching a woman at this stage she says things like, “I love taking pictures and I wish that I could use that to earn some money for my family. But, I’m not sure I’m good enough.”
  2. Formulation: Like being 4 months pregnant, you are on the path to building a business. Maybe you’ve set up a blog (but you’re barely writing in it), opened a bank account, came up with a company name, learned your camera inside out, and offered free photo shoots to friends and family to build your portfolio.
  3. Concentration: This is the “doing” stage (remember the first couple months after birth!). You are putting 10 in to get 1 out as you work on website, financial systems, designing logo and ads, learning new software, setting up online accounts, and getting some clients. If someone asks, you can finally say (without choking) “I’m a photographer with my own business.”
  4. Low-Momentum: Whew! Finally, that intensely concentrated time of doing, doing, doing starts to pass and now you are putting 5 in and getting 1 out. Things are starting to happen on their own. Happy clients refer more clients. You trade tips with other photographers.
  5. High-Momentum: Like a snowball rolling down the hill, things are really starting to grow. It’s still a lot of work but your systems are in place, your reputation proceeds you, and it’s more like putting 1 in and getting 5 out. You start to look for ways to innovate, improve quality, and extend your reach. You are a confident photographer.
So where are you? Take a minute and write down the stage you are in and what you are in the midst of doing right now that is building your business. (This is not the list of what else you need to do! This is the list of what you are currently doing. What is So is good, right, and…what’s so!
I can’t wait to hear about what you discover.
Warmest regards,
P.s. This was first published on Me Ra Koh’s SOAR blog monthly business coaching.
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