I attended a networking event not too long ago. The room was fairly full of small business owners hoping, as I was, to make a connection that might lead to a referral. As this wasn’t my first rodeo, I have a well-practiced response to the inevitable question “So, what do you do?” I respond with “I help make peoples dreams become their reality”. That usually gets their attention. Everyone’s got a dream that they aren’t living. I then tell them that I’m a life coach that specializes in small business owners and addiction recovery. Occasionally I’m asked why I’m drawn to these two vastly different crowds. And if time permits I explain how they truly aren’t that different. See both have control issues, struggle with some semblance of life balance, and both really want something but the obstacles ahead seem so daunting. That’s where I can help. Sometimes I’m asked who my ideal customer is for each. They assume that surely there must be two separate lists and are shocked when I tell them in either case that I want to come alongside those that are seeking, struggling and/or scared.
Seeking – I love sitting down with those who have an idea or concept for a business but that’s as far as they have taken it. They have a wonderful end state in mind where their product or service will greatly supplement their current earnings or even replace it. They are seeking guidance though on how to start. What’s first, when and where often come up as well. This morning someone woke up with a dream of life without substance use. They too have this incredible end state in mind, but are in need of guidance as to how to begin. Both have usually sought out information on the internet only to quickly become disheartened by the glut of useless info out there. And so they both sit with unfulfilled dreams. Both are in desperate need of someone who has walked that path before. Who can show them the pros and cons of those different paths and walk with them the path they choose. Seekers are, in my opinion, the best because they are the most eager to try something new, to dare to explore, to strike out on what promises to be a wild and wonderful adventure. Find someone to help you begin.
Struggling – I feel especially close to those that are struggling. I know all too well the frustration of trying to break through to the next level and nothing seems to be working. I’ve also experienced the thrill of the big breakthrough and the resulting struggle of maintaining the momentum. Small business owners know the above scenarios all too well. There are a number of folks who also woke up this morning struggling with substance use. They’ve tried numerous meetings or programs with little success. They are doggedly determined to keep pushing on but they, like the business owners, are losing a little more faith each time they try and fail. Sometimes I meet folks who have obtained sobriety but are now struggling with the wreckage their use caused. Both they and the business owners are fighting to maintain the momentum. If this is you please know that there is hope; it can be done; don’t give up! Maybe someone with fresh eyes can help.
Scared – The third type I feel drawn to is sometimes but not always found in the above categories. They know what needs to be done and they are scared to death to pull the trigger. Take the business owner who knows that they need to bring on a partner in order to grow. They struggle with not the need, but relinquishing some control. Now before you go looking down on them answer this: How many of you would be scared inviting what might be a stranger in to help you raise your child… Change is scary but fear can be and should be overcome. I occasionally am asked to visit someone in the hospital or jail that is in the throes of addiction. They can easily see the need to change but are scared to death of the change required. Their addiction has been going on long enough that every part of their life revolves around it. They know that this single change will reverberate through their entire existence and they are terrified to pull the trigger. Again I know both scenarios all too well. The military taught me how to overcome fear and then awarded me with a medal for simply putting it into practice. I gladly share my story of overcoming both in business and my own addiction recovery with everyone. Fears can be met; there is no need to live in fear of the change.
If you have read this and thought “man Thom needs to speak with _________,” then pass along my contact info. My purpose in life is to not hoard all my life experiences but to share them. My passion is to come alongside those described above and help them grow.
Thom Straley - Thom is the Executive Director at Step Seven Ministries & is a certified life coach specializing in addiction recovery and small business growth as Aim Point Coaching. To learn more about Aim Point Coaching, visit Thom's website by clicking the link above!