"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves."
Henry David Thoreau
1. Where were you in your profession and life before our coaching work together?
Lost is the word that comes to mind.
I was a very good professional doing great work but a lousy business owner. I was afraid of money and of asking for what my work was worth, I was in a very bad partnership struggling with the prospect of quitting my business and/or firing my business partner, I hadn't received a paycheck in about 8 months...
Recently married with my wife paying all the bills, thinking about having children but at the same time scared of not being able to support my family.
2. Where are you now? What's different? How do you feel about it?
Still great professional doing great work but with a totally different view of the world, of my business and of myself.
I own the business by myself now, our work is better valued, I have new, better and higher paying clients, I gave myself 2 consecutive raises in the last 6 months, I had profits last year and for the first time shared them with my team and made plans to do it again this year. It's still June and the year's already profitable.
I feel awesome and so does my team and we're planning to tackle even bigger challenges for the second half of the year.
3. What internal barriers did you face in making these tremendous changes?
First money. I'm certainly not money-driven but I used to be scared of money. Scared of talking about it, scared of handling it and especially of asking for it.
Then there was defining joy and success. That was brilliant work. Joy, as anything else, is different for each person and might even change over the years so figuring that out was a major step.
Then there was being afraid of conflict. Conflicts can be great when there's a purpose for them, like getting rid of something that's really bad for you. I was so afraid of conflict I let bad things keep happening just so I wouldn't have to argue.
Then there's purpose. Why do I do what I do... Why do I think it's relevant for the world. That's not answered yet but the picture just keeps getting clearer.
4. In making these changes, what did you find most supportive about the Coaching work with Prashant?
First of all his kind and most caring manner for helping me to explore and point out my biggest barriers. Exploring and figuring out your shortcomings then talking to someone about them is a tough matter for anyone. It's literally pouring your heart out. Prashant is great at this, great at putting you at ease, at not judging you, at letting you figure things out and speak of them at your own pace...
Second there's his life and work experience that let's him really understand where you're coming from, gently warns you when he thinks you're on to something, and gives you insights on things you might want to explore further.
Then, for giving me the tools and the support I needed to handle my issues and make a plan for whatever it is that I wanted to do.
5. What about your story do you feel might be most meaningful for others?
I don't know exactly what to say because everyone's issues and experiences are different. And it's not about me per se, but about what one can accomplish with the right mindset and guidance.
This work is meaningful and the guidance is extremely valuable. Making yourself available for it is worthwhile.
6. What encouragement do you offer to people who are currently living "successfully" without satisfaction?
Again, I only know my struggles but I'd say that there are two important steps and one important attitude. Acknowledging that where you are is not good and that you can and will do better is the first step. Having taken that first step is what led me to ask Prashant for his help and expertise.
The second is to seek guidance. Luckily I did and even more luckily it was Prashant's.
And the attitude is flexibility. To be able to change bad habits, insecurities, views, tactics and moves while keeping true to your better self. Bending without breaking.
7. Anything else?
The biggest part of it was getting me to think about some real, real, real tough subjects like defining joy, fulfillment, work, ending a unfruitful partnership, and many others.
These things have our work together written all over them. :)
My commentary on Leandro's Case
Symptoms of a "Conscious Entrepreneurship" challenge may include:
- Feeling that you have more to give;
- Strong desire to create impact;
- An awareness that your personal growth is as much going to affect your business as any outward steps you can take;
- Needing some practical support to land and activate your idea;
- Lack of clarity about next steps;
- Stuck in execution mode without much time for being strategic and evolving;
- Business is fine but not really growing, with a sense of missing opportunities;
- Team friction;
- Strategy, Culture, and/or structure needs to be revisited;
- Feeling undervalued;
- Too much emphasis on doing the change rather than being the change;
- Stress and anxiety;
- Difficulty delegating;
- Difficulty with decision-making;
- Not knowing when to invest.