Entrepreneur Journal #8: What one year of coaching did for me
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It was the spectacular dull month of November 2017. Gloomy, uninspired, and wintry. I was only starting to think about going into entrepreneurship full-time. But it was still a thought far, far away from materialization. I realized taking this journey was going to be something completely different. A new mindset was needed. Tools and strategies to be learned.
Help was needed... I wanted to talk about this with someone who has gone through it or was doing the same process. And Facebook acted as Cupid and got me and Cristiana, together, as my coaching bestie.
I had never really heard about coaching before that first meeting with Cristiana. Now that it’s been one year, it makes so much sense.
I could have never imagined what one year of coaching could do for me.
I am a pretty happy, social, positive-thinking person. But having a positive, growth-focused mindset as an entrepreneur is one hell of a magic act.
When we started our coaching sessions I wanted to fix bad habits like working long into the night and improving my sleep habits. I was still not thinking seriously about becoming a full time entrepreneur. But the universe has its own ways, and sooner than later I was faced with a big decision: take the leap or find a new job. And take the leap I did.
The first months as full-time entrepreneur have been scary, like running-in-the-dark-with-scissors scary. It was a steep learning curve with maybe, too many mindset challenges?! Here’s some of the things I’ve been working on this past year: imposter syndrome, scarcity mindset, procrastination, being true to myself, accepting failure as part of the learning process, insomnia, brain clutter, employee vs entrepreneur, lack of vision and self-validation.
My Coaching Bestie
Back in November 2017, Cristiana was working on launching Publicama, her second business, a digital marketplace for academic works, giving students a chance to become published authors. She was developing a digital business, she was struggling to do it all and reached out for help. She too, wanted someone to talk about it all. So I saw her post on Facebook, and we got together.
Cristiana came prepared with a list of questions we could ask each other during our meetings and she introduced me to the concept of coaching in actual practice. It caught on like a bug.
Every session we’d have left us recharged, inspired, grateful and motivated to take the next steps in our growth. We have both achieved so much in these past few months - just by sharing our stories, talking from our experiences and supporting each other to go through the next milestone.
Coaching empowered me to work on the limitations I couldn’t break through by myself and were stopping me from growing in business. Coaching inspired me to develop personal systems that give me clarity about what I want and how to achieve it. It was what I needed to give myself permission to be my authentic, smile-wearing, marketing-geek self in business too.
Becoming my own cheerleader in what has been the best year of my life
I often play cheerleader for my clients. I see their potential and I want to help them achieve their next milestones in business. Yet, when it comes to practicing what I preach, I often fell short of cheering myself up. By talking about it with Cristiana, by doing a lot of introspection and following up on my progress, I have gradually stopped self-sabotaging, and in turn, allowed myself to be my happy, creative, kick-ass content marketing geek in business too.
I may not have managed to scale financially as fast as I wanted for my businesses this past year, but I learned what was holding me back. And I came to terms that this life, this journey, is an ever-going learning process so why not live it being my own person and doing my own thing?
The person I am today is grateful to the person I was back when I decided to be 100% honest to myself and accept the growth process. I wouldn’t trade what I learned this year about myself, marketing and entrepreneurship for anything.
2018 has been the best year of my life.
Coaching has had a lot to do with it, but so did getting married (never doing that again), getting the best sleep I had in years, taking risks, traveling to 6 countries, achieving my reading challenge (I’m on Goodreads btw), and doing this crazy entrepreneurship thing.
It’s thanks to my coaching bestie that I am aware of all of these wins.
Our bi-weekly sessions helped us both realize we’re doing good, we’re growing, and learning. Sharing our stories helped us come to terms with the process. Things take time. Growth takes time. Let’s give ourselves the space and time to align our minds with our goals. Let’s give ourselves time to learn and become better. Let’s be kind with ourselves during this process. Let’s stop judging ourselves so harsh.
What is coaching
A coach is someone who helps an individual to learn, grow, plan and achieve goals. During the process of coaching, there are mindset exercises and questions that help the coachee become aware of the solutions available, courses of actions he or she needs to take. Coaching empowers the coachee to take a deep look inside and find that answer within.
There are many types of coaching (life, health, business, marketing, parenting etc), and many ways to go on about it. We tried to keep it simple and effective. We have always showed up 100% present, honest and ready to put in the effort for our sessions. During our many sessions we have come up with an easy structure to help us go through the important stuff and keep track of our progress.
Coaching is different than consultancy. That took a while to sink in. I have been consulting brands and entrepreneurs for years now on how to achieve their goals in marketing. But you see, our coaching has been more about mindset work than marketing goals.
How our coaching works
We have three big things we each take turn to talk through.
We start with our wins, go through challenges, and then set up objectives.
Through questions and introspection we help each other become aware of our growth, and limitations as well. This process helps us realize when we had achieved our goals - even if at times it didn’t seem like it. This process helps us realize there’s more than one solution to our problems, more than one way to achieve our goals. This process empowers us with self-confidence. It is the coach who asks the right questions, but for it to work the coachee needs to find the answer himself.
We are relentless cheerleaders for each other and relentless in bypassing our defense mechanisms.
We are both 100 percent honest in what we bring to the table and that makes a world of difference.
We put in the effort to show up for our sessions as we both are coach and coachee.
We do the work in-between coaching sessions too through affirmations, mindset journaling, reading, meditations and more.
We purposefully make time for coaching sessions.
We learn individually and share during sessions so we both have something new to learn.
We stick to the structure (wins, challenges, objectives)
Our thoughts create our reality
This process has been so effective in helping us find clarity, vision and motivation to invest in making our dreams come true that we started sharing what we learned. We started a podcast (episode one is live on YouTube), co-hosting a Facebook group for Romanian boss babes (promise to take better care of that next year), I launched Marketing Talk (a YouTube show where I answer your questions about marketing), and actively started to coach other boss babes too.
I was in my early twenties when I first learned about how our thoughts create our reality. And it was then when I first started to reshift my mindset.
22-yr old I suffered my first heartbreak. It made me realize how many options I have to change and live my life. It also made me aware of my thought patterns.
I’ve always been interested in how our minds work, and I started reading Joe Dispenza’s book on how the brain is constructed, how it works and how we can shift our thought patterns. The moment I started reading about neural circuits, something clicked.
“A neural circuit is a population of neurons interconnected by synapses to carry out a specific function when activated. Neural circuits interconnect to one another to form large scale brain networks.” Source: Wikipedia
I studied myself for a while. Really listened to the way I talked, the words I used, the reaction I had. Kept a journal for a couple of weeks until I caught on my patterns. And then I started to do something daily to reprogram myself and create a new neural circuit that would overdrive the negative one.
Through trial and error, affirmations (yes, those work), journaling, creativity and mindset work I managed to quit cigarettes, alcohol and fixed my sleep issues (this one took me 4 long months to achieve). The realization that I could construct my reality was life-changing. Coaching has had the same impact.
Coaching = growth
As an entrepreneur, coaching has helped me grow at an insane pace in terms of mindset. Just one year and I’ve never been happier, wealthier, and more grateful for living this awesome life. If you’re pondering whether or not you should be doing it, the answer is simple. Do it. You’ll thank yourself later for having invested in your growth.
Ready to upgrade your life & business?
Coaching has helped me grow in one year more than I could have ever imagined. It has helped me identify and break through mindsets that were limiting my growth, both personal and in business.
I coach women who want to start on their own entrepreneurial journey and help them identify and work through their own limits. If you’re afraid, don’t believe in yourself, feel stuck, need clarity or have no idea where to start on your business journey, let me help you.
Our first meeting will be free of charge. Please reach out to me on Instagram to book our first coaching session and see if we click.