The latest catchphrase making the rounds in my circle of friends is “ain’t nobody got time for blowing bubbles.” It’s a fun, yet sometimes sarcastic, way of saying “crying or any form of vulnerability is for the birds.”
Oftentimes, when women reach a certain level of success, we feel we should hide our feminine side or, at the very least, apologize for even having one. We don’t want anyone to know we’re afraid or less confident than we say we are (or are sometimes at a downright loss for what to do!). We’ve come to believe that showing sensitivity or vulnerability can have an adverse effect on our careers by revealing our “emotional” side. Of course, the truth is we all fall short of having all of the answers. We crumble, maybe even cry, and find ourselves vulnerable. The key lies in how we turn this vulnerability into an asset.
A client of mine, a wealth advisor, approached me for coaching on how to deal with “mommy guilt”—being a business owner had its demands and left little time for being a good mom.
She had a business partner but had relinquished too much of her own vision in efforts to be a good partner. The passion she once felt for her wealth practice was dying a slow death. She knew she had a higher calling as a leader in her own business but became comfortable and complacent; she knew if she were to strike out on her own she’d have to get off her “assets” and break a sweat.
The fear of spending even less time with family, losing clients, and navigating a male-dominated industry without a male counterpart in a smaller office with potentially less staff were at the core of her concerns. She had been the one to exercise the finesse in the practice and now she would be called upon to lay down the law as well. Recognizing her feelings of guilt and fear was one thing, but taking responsibility for herself and taking action to conquer it all was quite another.
To be honest about your feelings when you are as powerful as she is takes guts. Who wants to admit some hidden ugly side of ourselves? But as I often ask clients: what’s the worst that could happen? Her response was: She could have the practice of her dreams!
Together, we devised a plan of how to address the issue of fear, guilt and working through a transition period. If we could work through the emotions behind her hidden vulnerabilities and create a strategic plan for success, she could not only experience bliss in everyday life but could also increase profitability.
So, here’s where we began:
Acknowledgement – The first step was admitting the fear of losing something: clients, reputation, revenue, or personal relationships.
Acceptance – Accepting that those things could occur.
Responsibility – Owning the outcome of whatever happened. I had my client repeat the phrase “I am responsible for my life, my business and my success or lack thereof and no-one else is.”
A New Vision – Together, we determined the vision for what she really wanted.
Strategic Plan – We outlined the plan and steps to get her where she wanted to be.
The four critical areas of focus in the initial phase of working with a client like this are: clarity, confidence, faith and a clearing to receive. Through my coaching and consulting, I guided her to transform her mindset to get clear about what she wanted and how she could have it. I held the plan in front of her and forged ahead each week, holding her accountable while building on the four critical areas.
Her vision and passion drove these results home: she’s now the sole proprietor of a wealth management boutique with a bold vision to engage, educate and empower people to have more meaningful financial success. Her new office is twice the size of the office she shared with a business partner. She has added two more staff members, mentored college students during the summer and built a strong brand.
In less than 9 months, she has a $24 million increase in Assets under Management, a nearly 30% increase in reoccurring revenue and a new line of business that generated $400,000 in revenue.
She’s more innovative in her approach and more deliberate, clear and firm when communicating the vision, mission and core values of the company.
And yes, she spends more time with her child, enjoying movies, games and play dates. They’re both happier than ever.
I’m proud to call her my client. She’s a force to be reckoned with. And we’ve only just begun. We’re getting ready for the next phase of consulting and her continued success.
Vulnerability is an asset to your bottom line. You just have to know how to honestly address it and leverage it. Perhaps blowing bubbles is not such a bad idea after all!
Lisa Thomas CEO/Sr. Business Strategist The P3 Group, Inc www.TheP3Group.com 910-221-9294
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Featured Expert Success and Leadership Coach on NBC
Lisa Thomas is the CEO of The P3 Group, Inc. and The P3 Group International, LLC, publisher of The P3 Power Boost Online Magazine, host of The P3 Power Boost Radio Show, and President of the Board of Directors of NetWorth. She is a 20-year veteran in business, executive leadership and performance coaching/consulting. She has worked extensive with corporate call centers, executives and small business enterprises. She’s been a featured columnist and business strategist on Affiliate NPR, WFDD, The Cary News, Fox 8 and numerous NBC affiliate stations.
Lisa is best known for her business and leadership acumen and is widely recognized her ability to develop leaders to be more effective. Lisa is also a sought after keynote speaker on various topics women in leadership face. She generously donates her time and expertise to a number of organizations and worthy causes, including NetWorth, the Business Succession Forum Network, and the Hazel B. Neal Foundation, for which she recently was recognized with the woman of Power, Purpose and Vision award. In her downtime, she can be found practicing yoga, cycling, swimming, reading a good book or spending time with family and friends.
CEO/Sr. Business Strategist
The P3 Group, Inc.
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