The Business Empath's Guide to Consulting & Coaching

Do you feel overwhelmed by the issues and challenges your clients are experiencing? Do unhealthy work environments and power-over leadership practices burn you out and drain you?

If so, you might be an empath. An empath is someone with an extremely reactive neurological system which causes them to absorb both the positive and stressful energies around them. 

I'm an Empath.

I didn't realize I was an empath for a long time. I started to suspect that I was when I was presenting some difficult feedback to a client about their sales practices. I had sat with over 100 focus group participants and heard story after story about the impact of the company's unethical sales practices on their lives. And I was heartbroken when the client disregarded the feedback. 

Being an empath in a profession like ours, where you see the underbelly of organizations and leaders, can be hard. You have a superpower because of how well you understand the hearts and minds of everyone in your client...

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How to Confidently Articulate the Value of What You Do

Over the years there has been one particular roadblock that I watch both new and experienced consultants and coaches hit time and time again.  The truth is, I hit the same roadblock when I first started.

We all know we have tremendous value to offer our clients.

We can see the transformation that’s waiting for them….

…But when it comes time to put that value into words and communicate it to those same clients?

We freeze.

Unable to quantify our value.

This is what I want to start to unpack for you in this article.

Three Myths About Your Consulting and Coaching Value

To do this, I have to first expose the myths.

1. What you do isn't the same as your methodologies or tools.

Your value isn't found in your tools. It's in how you use your tools that matters.

A carpenter may have a hammer, screwdriver and drill and perhaps the best ones on the market. But as a customer we don't care about his tools. We care about how what he does with those tools to build something...

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10 Ways To Making Money And A Difference as a Consultant & Coach (Number 2 Is My Favorite)

If you want to start or grow a profitable consulting and coaching business you need systems and processes to consistently attract, impress and convert a steady stream of ideal clients and deliver exceptional results once you land them. 

To experience greater significance, isn't about doing different tasks but going about those same tasks with new eyes.

The perceptive eyes you need to cultivate includes reverence for your client's work and for your own. It's coming to a place of understanding and respect for the complexity that leaders manage when trying to guide human beings to work together. It's seeing your role beyond an "order taker" or "extra pair of hands" and owning your place as an essential strategic partner.

Related: How to Position Yourself as a Peer (and Stay out of the Dreaded "Pair of Hands" Trap)

Here's 10 ways to perceive the significance of your role and why consultants and coaches matter. 

1. Consultants and coaches exist to enhance leadership...

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Nice Consultants and Coaches vs. Good Ones

If you really want to make money and a difference as a consultant or coach, you can't get there by being nice.

You have to be good.

Nice on the surface appears more ethical and in alignment with one's integrity. A "nice" consultant or coach delivers what a client asks for. Doesn't get too aggressive with their marketing. And certainly doesn't push a client to pay them what they are worth.

But in reality - nice isn't nice. Being nice keeps feathers from being ruffled and maintains a surface experience of pleasantness while hiding or minimizing the real issues that are begging for transformation and the real reason why consultants and coaches exist.

Our profession isn't a new one. It's an old one. The office of an executive advisor was created thousands of years ago, at the same time the office of the king was established. In ancient stories, myths and spiritual traditions, the King always had a Prophet, Mentor, Magician, Guide or Jester that spoke truth to power. And helped the King...

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What is a Brand and Why Do You Need One?

You can look at building a consulting and coaching practice in one of two ways. You can think of yourself as a freelancer who simply is always on the lookout for the next job. Or you can think of yourself as a brand that attracts right fit clients for years to come. If you want a practice that consistently generates exceptional results then you, like all great companies, need to invest in building a strong brand.

What is a Brand?

Many people think a brand is nothing more than a logo. Or a trademark. Or that pithy tagline. The reality is that branding is all of those things and so much more. A brand in general is the promise you make to your future clients that you consistently deliver on. Your brand promise contains both the tangible and intangible value you create as well as the emotional connection they will experience when working with you.

Why Consultants and Coaches Need a Brand

There are five reasons why it is worth investing your time, money and vulnerability into brand...

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Is Your Client Taking Advantage of You?

There is a difference between a paying client and a strategic partner.

A paying client is someone who will sign on the dotted line and hire you to deliver your coaching or consulting services. 

A strategic partner is all together different. A strategic partner is peer who value all that you bring to the table and leverage your strengths to their fullest extent. 

Knowing the difference will dramatically change your impact, earning potential and long-term satisfaction. 

If we just wanted a paycheck, we'd stay employees. But we chose the path of consulting and coaching business ownership in part because of the control over our time and in part because we wanted to add significance to our success.

Related: How To Position Yourself as a Peer (and Stay Out of the Dreaded "Pair-Of-Hands" Trap)

Here's a few reasons to be on the lookout for as to why a client might hire you and pay you well while having zero intention of allowing you to influence them:

1. They...

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20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Own Business

As a business mentor, I obviously get asked all the time, "How do you start your own business?"

But the question I WISH I was asked all the time is, "How do you start the RIGHT business?"

Now that's a question! Sure, you need to know the smart and strategic steps to transition from corporate leadership to business ownership. But why settle for just a successful business when you can have a business that also delivers significance, purpose and meaning to your own life and the world?

Related: The Five Steps to a Business Launch

It takes literally the same amount of money, time and effort to build an off-purpose business as an on-purpose one. So, don't limit what is possible for you.

Use my questions to help you start the RIGHT business, for the RIGHT reasons...in the RIGHT way.

The Smart Startup Questions

Below are 20 smart questions that you should ask yourself to ensure that you have a business that you and your future clients will love.

  1. Why do you want your own business? What...
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Warning! Is Subcontracting Sabotaging Your Impact & Earning Potential?

One of the biggest mistakes that purpose-driven consultants and coaches make is pursuing a subcontracting business model.

What is a Subcontracting Business Model?

Subcontracting is what you do instead of doing the hard work to confront your fears about marketing and settling for a business that is based on:

  • Finding other more successful consultants or coaches and asking them to consider you for their overflow work
  • Looking for companies that have lists of coaches they interview when a need arises
  • Scanning for companies who have published RFP's (Requests for Proposals) and trying to win business that way
  • Joining professional networking organizations in the hopes of finding partners who will bring you into contracts that they have landed

Related: Consultants and Coaches vs. Subcontractors

Who This Model Works For

If you have no interest in being an executive advisor, speaking truth to power or becoming a thought leader or perceived expert in your industry - this model can work....

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How to Overcome Your Imposter Syndrome in your Consulting Business

4 - mindset mastery Jan 30, 2020

One of the most agonizing (and least talked about) experiences that keeps really smart people from building the consulting and coaching businesses of their dreams is the fear of not having what it takes. 

The fear might be not having what it takes to do the marketing and attract clients or even if they landed clients they wouldn't have the goods to back up whatever promises they made in their marketing.

This all-too-common fear is called Imposter Syndrome

The term was coined in 1978 by two clinical psychologists, “referring to high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud.’”

Imposter syndrome simply put is the worry that you have been "faking it" all of this time and you worry now with your own business you will be found out to be a fraud.

The impact of unacknowledged imposter syndrome fears is tremendous. This fear is the primary culprit behind...

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The Most Common Money Fears of Consultants & Coaches (and How to Get Over Them)

4 - mindset mastery Jan 29, 2020

"Money is congealed energy, and releasing it releases life's possibilities."
- Joseph Campbell

Most consultants and coaches experience fears around money. They  worry that they won't find enough clients to pay them what they are worth.

Money fears are totally normal and should be expected. After all, profits are a part of business. The presence of money fears can be good if they act as alerts to be strategic about investments and with marketing and sales. 

On the other hand, unacknowledged money fears and myths can sabotage your success. They show up passive aggressively and lead to decisions that ultimately will tank your results. 

Here's some of the most common money fears and how to get over them.

1. Invest Properly in Your Business

Money Fear: "I can't invest money in my business until it makes money"

On the surface, it makes sense that until your business is making money you might hold off on investing in it.

But the truth is - your...

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