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Postby Nottanewbie » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:46 pm

Trying to find a Sher coach or support group. All but one coach on this site seem to be in foreign countries (not that I'd need to meet with them in person, still...). The only U.S.-based one is ridiculously expensive.
I'm an unemployed senior. I've wanted to start my own business for years, but can't decide what kind of business. (Even the Sher seminar I went to, years ago, didn't clear up that topic for me) If I could find a local Sher coaching/support group that was free (in the L.A. area), I'd join. Is that impossible? I don't mind paying a coach, once I'm employed again, but I want to get started working on this now - and I have no income at all, currently.
I'm reading It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now." At 65, I'm aware of that. I'm more motivated when I'm unemployed, but still can't get through that fog that keeps me from figuring out what kind of biz to start. I've read Wishcraft and I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, and I've got Live the Life You Love (from the library). Still, I know I could actually get some forward motion going if I could get a coach or join a Sher support group.

Why so many coaches in Germany? Just curious. Thanks.
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Re: Coaches

Postby Elaine Glimme » Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:25 pm

I'll try to answer you, but please realize that I don't know anything about you. If I'm off base, just ignore what I'm writing.
Barbara Sher would say that what you love is what you're gifted at. So start by asking yourself what you love. There's a book for job hunters "What Color is Your Parachute?" You can get it at the library (free) and that's a great place to start, even if you don't want a job.

The trouble is that we think there is one thing that we love. When we find it, the world will turn rosy and we'll happily work twenty hours a day in pure bliss. This is true. Here's the catch. We can spend a lot of time waiting to figure out what one thing is that will make us happy, and meanwhile, we get stuck, and, in my case, depressed. The way to find it is to try something - almost anything. You probably won't hit your dream on the first try, but if nothing else, you'll find out what you don't want to do, and you'll be around people. Also, you said you're a senior. So you've probably already had a lot of experiences with good and bad jobs/careers.

You said you want to start a business. Do you like running an office and being in charge of people? Or do you want to be a one person show providing a service or creating a product, and doing all the management chores that go with it? Or giving the management/bookkeeping work to someone else and creating a product or service? Or designing a product or service, and then hire other people to to the day-to-day work? Just some questions to start you thinking.

One last question. Is money an issue? If so, you might want a good-enough job (maybe part-time) to tide you over til your business takes off.

I hope some of this helps.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
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Re: Coaches

Postby emspace » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:29 pm

Elaine, you make a lot a great points!

I think as with anyone of any age wanting to have their own business with no venture capital to start, it’s usually easier when you start with something you’re already doing and have been doing for a long time for no income. Once people start asking you “How much for that?” you know you have a possible viable business.

STAGE 1: Discovery

So, what do you do for fun, what have you been doing for years already, possibly your entire life, that you would be happy to do more of, possibly up to 24-hours/week. Do you make things? Do you fix things? Do you find things?

What do friends and family ask you specifically to help them with, that they praise you the most for?

If we asked friends, family, former co-workers and employers, teachers and mentors what they could always count on you for, what would they say? Are there any commonalities there?

STAGE 2: Commitment

Once you know what kinds of things you’re naturally drawn to do, you can start getting to work. Here is where you have to put in R&D to producing some results and seeing if there’s any interest.

If you’ve identified something in Stage 1 that you’ve already been doing a while, then try to find all those people who showed real interest in what you were doing. Invite them out for coffee and ask them what they think about whatever you do and, hypothetically, if they would consider buying this object or this service if it were offered. If not, why not? What would it take to make them a buyer? If yes, what would they pay? This is all just research. You don’t have to take their opinions as fact, but it might open up some ideas for you, give you some directions to take your germ idea.

Practice what you need to do to make people pay you for what you do. Practice a lot. You don’t have to become a master, but you do need to be noticeably better than the average citizen.

STAGE 3: Growing Your Customer Base

At this stage, you’re looking for your first paying customer. It’s important that the person values it enough to pay you for it. Only someone who pays you has a valuable opinion about what you’re doing right or wrong. When you have a paying customer, do get a testimonial from them: written is good, video is better. Ask if you can use their photo and testimonial to help get more business. Also, ask them to refer you to others they think would be interested in your product or service. Offer them a gift (discount on next purchase) if someone they refer becomes a client or customer.

Also, ask them to fill out a short evaluation of your product and service. Take their opinions into consideration when refining some part of your business or service.

Once you have your first customer, you need to leverage that person to help get the word out to more potential customers. The single fastest way to grow is to make your client or customer so happy with your work that they tell everyone about you. Word of mouth and referrals are by far the best ways to generate new business.


Since you’re currently stuck in Stage 1, we won’t go further.

Basically, instead of asking yourself what kind of business you should start, a better long-term plan is to start with what you already do without prompting, without monetary incentive, that other people think you’re already really good at.

Listen to what you hear from other people and don’t immediately dismiss what they say because you think it’s too obvious, too hard to make money from, or nothing special.

Since I’m not sure you’ll even be back to read this, I’ll stop there. If you do come back and can get an answer out of Stage 1, let us know what your gift is. We can help brainstorm ideas for how you can use that to build a business.

In the meantime, as Elaine suggests, having a temporary non-energy draining source of income to hold the fort until your business gets off the ground is a really great idea. It’ll also give you more clues for those things that you do naturally no matter what situation you’re put in.

Hope we hear from you again, Nottanewbie!
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