Podcast Episode 9
Building a Client Base that Fits Your Coaching Strengths
As a coach, one of the biggest challenges is to build a client base that fits your coaching style and strengths. In this episode of the Coaches Commonplace podcast, my cohost Dean Miles and I dive into some of the key steps to kickstarting your coaching business. We explore how to identify your unique coaching strengths and leverage them to attract the right clients who will benefit from your services.
Join us as we share practical tips on selecting clients based on our strongest coaching characteristics, enabling you to build a thriving coaching business that is in sync with your values and goals. In addition, we discuss the importance of emotional mastery and how expanding our range of emotions can enhance our coaching abilities. We also examine the critical role of attention and how it impacts our coaching effectiveness. This week on the Coaches Commonplace:
- Dean’s journey to coaching
- Gaining emotional mastery and expanding our range of emotions
- Becoming aware of where we place our attention
- Starting and building a coaching business
- Selecting clients based on our strongest coaching characteristics
Dean Miles [00:00:00] My mind goes to that, it’s been a good run. All right. Almost 21000 hours. They’ve figured it out. I don’t know what I’m doing, and my weekend is ruined. That’s not emotional mastery. I got triggered. I fell further than was necessary, and I just loitered and rolled around in it for the entire weekend.
Brilliant Miller [00:00:23] Okay, Dean Miles, welcome back to another installment of the coach’s commonplace podcast.
Dean Miles [00:00:31] Brilliant Miller. I look forward to these. They’re fantastic. I love every second of it.
Brilliant Miller [00:00:39] Me, too. Well, Dean, let’s jump in. I’ve said for a while that I want to tell more stories. I want to hear more stories. And I know everyone who’s a coach has a story of their journey to coaching, how and why they came to this practice. I want to hear yours.
Dean Miles [00:01:01] I used to be happy. I had a great job, a great career. I think it was like a Wednesday or Thursday evening. Late. I usually go to bed around 8:30 p.m., so it was late for me. Good friend of mine. Let’s call him, his name was Brian. Answer the phone thinking must be an emergency. There’s no reason. There’s no way he’s called me this late in the evening. He said, I need to coach you. And I was like, you need to what? He said, I’m taking this class. I’m getting certified as a coach. He’s like, You know me, how I procrastinate. I was supposed to have coached someone and recorded this thing. I knew you would answer the phone if I called you and you didn’t allow you to coach, you know, and Brilliant. Before that moment, I don’t think I’d spent 30 seconds in my entire life ever thinking about coaching. That planted the seed. I just love that whole process and the types of questions he was asking me. Rolled back in bed and my wife was like, Who was that? That was Brian, and I just got coached. The intentionality of the conversation, Ari, So that fast forward, that was like maybe June, July.
Brilliant Miller [00:02:19] What year?
Dean Miles [00:02:20] 2006. Brian then called back up and said, Hey, I’m working for this small coaching firm. Contract expanding we think it would be great for you want to come to work some of this with us. And so I had enough hours, vacation hours with pharmaceuticals, a double dip for a while. So I would take a week off or two weeks off, and then I would go, coach, this gig. And what they told the client is that their coaches are certified or are in the process of becoming certified. And so I signed up for a class, so therefore, I was in the process of becoming certified. And it was the biggest thrill. So then fast forward, now it’s October. I did that. Fast forward maybe about four more months. And I said to my wife, What do you think if I quit my work and did this full time? And she’s like, You should do it. I was like, Baby, you answered way too fast. Like, we should argue about this. I mean, I had a pension plan and 401K and company car and all the perks as a senior executive at Merck Pharmaceuticals. And she just said like that, do it. And I was like, Melanie, she’s like, what’s the worst that will happen? We’ll lose everything. We’re healthy. We’re smart. But, Dean, you were built for this. We always knew that we were going to own a business. We just never knew that you would be the product. And so that’s how I got into coaching. So quit Merck. My parents were upset. My grandparents cried. I’m not exaggerating there. They just didn’t know what it was. I mean, this was coaching and been around for a long time. But in the flyover country, if you weren’t high, you know, Fortune 50 company on the East Coast, West Coast, most of us have never heard of this and thought it was accessible for the masses. So no one got certified through active coaching. So KPCC. ICF credentialed. Continue down with that small firm for about six more months and then play 27, put out my own shingle, and off we went. But that’s how I got introduced and started. Crazy risky thing to go do.
Brilliant Miller [00:04:45] Yeah. You talk about your family not knowing what coaching was. I think that’s still the case for a lot of people. Coaching is this thing that people don’t understand. A lot of days I’m not sure I understand. You know, I have I have my own thoughts. Right. But what’s your view of how. Well, what I want to know first is what was it that your wife saw that she really supported him? And you mentioned she said you always knew you were going to own your own business.
Dean Miles [00:05:17] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:05:18] Yeah. That’s not it’s not like the common response when in the face of so much uncertainty. What do you think it was about, about her and about you and coaching that she just saw that potential and supported you?
Dean Miles [00:05:30] I appreciate that inquiry. And we’ve talked, you know, has been 17 years now. And as we reflected upon that one, this was during the Hillarycare kind of a time period. Health care was shifting quickly and there was a lot of mergers and acquisitions that were happening within the big Pharma. So I was seeing friends of mine getting laid off and not easily replacing their income. So that started some of the entrepreneurial side of what can I own? Or I can go earn a dollar and keep that dollar as opposed to earning someone else a dollar and keeping maybe a penny. That was one aspect of it. But then if I just go back to my earliest memories, like of like maybe junior high and high school, I was that friend that people would come to me with. I’m struggling with something or I’m thinking about suicide, or I need to have this difficult conversation with, you know, a sibling, a loved one, a parent, a girlfriend, a boyfriend. There was something about me that attracted people to that, and I didn’t know what that was or why that was. I just knew it kept happening. Yeah. And now looking back, I was doing it all wrong. I was just giving advice. I figured it out way too fast. I really wasn’t listening to them. And I solve their problems to the point. Collective coatings certification process. The first six months is just class work and then the last six months is practicum. You go find real paying clients and then you send those in and they have professors that will listen to these recordings. So Ron Renaud now is a friend of mine, now doesn’t know anything about me. He’s a coach out of New York City, and at this time I was still in those in Lafayette, Louisiana, during the time working for Merck.
Brilliant Miller [00:07:18] And explain, if you will, what MCC means. So I know that.
Dean Miles [00:07:22] So MCC is a master certified coach, so the ICF has three different levels. There’s Azeez is an associate certified coach. Then the next level uses your proficiencies and the number of paid hours is a professional certified coach. And at the highest level, I figured you had to have over 3000 hours, something like that.
Dean Miles [00:07:44] Is that right? I think I’m coming up on 21000 hours, by the way.
Brilliant Miller [00:07:48] Holy cow.
Dean Miles [00:07:49] Isn’t that unbelievable? Oh, I’ve got stories both good and bad. Theirs and mine. But I said so. So this is a very good coach to the point that he’s master certified and he’s listening to my recorded phone call. Now, of course, I sent him my best one. Because I had that type of an ego as a younger me, still a little bit of that, but it was raging 20 years ago. And he says to me, Dean, were you in sales? I was in sales. Were you in pharmaceutical sales? Again. He knows nothing about me. Yes. And he’s like, You’re going to struggle with coaching. And I was like, I’ve already quit my job, dude. You know? So thanks for the feedback. But what like, help me? He said, Dean, you’ve mastered the art of fake curiosity. He’s like you. You’re quick. You figured out what you thought was their problem, and then you led them to your solution. That’s not coaching. You’re going to struggle here. Well, that’s what I was doing. Junior high, high school through college. Even in my profession, wasn’t just as a salesperson. The office manager would pull me aside, the doctor would pull me aside. And we were having coaching type conversations and I was doing it just really, really doing damage to them. Here’s what you should do. Like, I have my own life figured out, but yet I’m going to tell them these different things. Coaching them gave me the tools to be a better coach. I had some natural ability. I just didn’t know what I was doing.
Brilliant Miller [00:09:35] I think that’s probably a very common experience for people who feel called in this direction. You know, they’re the kind of person that people come to, for whatever reason, and then they’re just looking at what is the training that will give me legitimacy or help me understand and develop my gifts. Right. Like, that’s actually one of the things I think is really cool is that we all do have strengths and gifts and talents and we’re called in different directions. We might not know what that means, you know, for how we describe ourselves to other people or the kind of degree we get or even the job we take. I’ve seen that over and over again with people that are called to coaching, and that might be part of why I think it’s not is not very well understood because it is pretty different from becoming a therapist. Right. Or a doctor or some other kind of, you know, consultant or something. Well from that day years ago, too. Did you say 21000 hours of coaching?
Dean Miles [00:10:42] Yeah, I’m coming up on 21,000. Yeah, I still have my tracker. So my, my first ten years of coaching. Roughly, probably a little less than ten years, was cooking a lot of oil and gas clients where I was three weeks of coaching and probably had about 200 hundred and 80 to just over 200 people as coaching every month. Wow. Well, when you do that and you’re doing two and three-hour coaching sessions, those are long days, man. I mean, before 4:30 in the morning, because everything was we were coaching from the corporate. So these companies like Precision Drilling, Patterson Oil, and Chesapeake Energy, these are large global companies are coaching the C-suite. But we were going all the way down to their rig manager, so we would go one my weeks, I would get in the truck with a superintendent and like at 4:30 in the morning and then we’re driving rig to rig to rig. Throughout Texas, throughout the Panhandle, North Dakota, South Dakota, over in Pennsylvania, and those fracking plays. And I’d coach the rig manager, the driller, the driller assistant, the green hand, a safety person. And then I would coach those that group and wind up in the truck and we would go till 9:00 at night now. And this was seven days a week.
Brilliant Miller [00:12:06] So part of what seems maybe not unique, but different from a lot of people who I think are working to develop and establish themselves as coaches is that you were inside and not only an organization like you were part of a coaching company, providing coaching to another organization where a lot of coaches are just starting out and they’re just trying to figure out how to get a client.
Dean Miles [00:12:30] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:12:31] You know, and then eventually, as you said, you left that. But what I have a lot of questions. I’m curious to know. One of them is, is this about how did you open these conversations with these men and women? Because I know it’s not uncommon. Like if that’s the kind of arrangement you have that they think this is, you know, it’s forced on them. And some executive or higher up has made a decision. That’s right. There’s something wrong with me. You know, I don’t want to be here. Like, it’s one thing to work with a client who sought you out, but when you’re working with a client, they didn’t ask for this necessarily. How did you open these conversations and what patterns did you find as these two or three? That’s a long coaching session, but what patterns did you find as these hundreds of hundreds of client sessions played out?
Dean Miles [00:13:20] Yeah, great question. I mean, I made some mistakes. Some of those are early ones. Said the wrong thing at the beginning and really infuriated people because they didn’t choose me and they didn’t choose the timing and they were just guessing at what this cost. And they were right. And they think all the other things money could have been spent on.
Brilliant Miller [00:13:40] What kinds of things would you say? I’ve known you for a while. I don’t see you as any kind of jerk. But what kinds of things would you say that was that would get people so riled up?
Dean Miles [00:13:51] That initial contract I was taking over for another coach. Right. So this person left, and then I came in. And I was like, No, I’m an INFP. I’m a number seven on aniagram just means I’m a people person, I’m a campaigner, I’m a hey right now, not trust balls and weird stuff, but I like people and I can be kind of loud. And so I sat down on a chair with I’m here. New coach. We start fresh. I thought that was a good way of saying it. Vice president at Chesapeake Energy stood up. Pounded on his desk. I am not even starting over. Wow. You’re telling me we’re starting over? I’ve done all this work with this other coach, and I’m starting over. I mean, this was the straw that broke that camel’s back. And he walked out. So I got on my phone. I called Brian, the guy we were talking about, and I was like, I think I just really messed up. Now what do I do?
Brilliant Miller [00:15:05] Even coaches need coaching sometimes.
Dean Miles [00:15:07] So he came back and I was like, Here’s what I meant by that. You aren’t starting over. We’re going to build off of all the work that you’ve done. I’m just saying, if there’s anything that you didn’t like there, I didn’t see we’re starting over. We’re starting fresh. He got over it. It was just the wrong words on his worst day. But, Brian, I tend to find a third of those clients. This is exactly what they’ve always hoped for. There was a third of them that were just okay. I’m curious. Probably going be a waste of my time, but I’ll play. And there was a third of their body language. I mean, this is a rough crowd, especially when you go out to these drilling rigs. Their B.S. meters are so strong and they settle things behind the oil patch. All right. I mean, they’ll just go and kick your butt. And I said, All right, here’s how it’s going to be. I have to be here and you have to be here so we don’t have to coach. So what do you want to do? Because they realize, I mean, I’m here, I’m working for somebody else. I got to be here and you got to be here. So now what do you want to do? I said, the company will buy us lunch or we can go grab lunch. And I just started with building a relationship. Most of them, not all of them, but most of them, I was able to flip, so they didn’t think I was coaching them, but I was absolutely coaching them through these conversations. And with time you build trust, they start to see improvements. And then, you know, once someone starts teasing you, then, you know, you’re in there and these contracts lasted for years. So you eventually get invited to weddings and bowling birthday parties and that type of stuff. It was very much like my DEA days. Now, just how fast can you build that speed of trust? And there are coaches that are good at that and there’s coaches that aren’t to be able to just be steady with those that aren’t ready yet.
Brilliant Miller [00:17:15] Yeah. This to me is one of those things that was not obvious when I began coaching about developing rapport. Yeah, that’s a thing. It’s a real thing, right? And that it’s something it is a skill. It’s something that you can have an intention about. It’s something you can organize your behaviors, your words, and actions. And how do you define or how do you think of rapport? What is it? Why does it matter for a coach?
Dean Miles [00:17:46] Or trust and confidentiality. I really see that is my product and without confidentiality and trust this is going to be a conversation that will sound like any other conversation that they could possibly have throughout the day or throughout the week. Yeah, the coaching conversations should be distinctively different. They shouldn’t be able to have this type of conversation really anywhere else, which means they have to trust me. So I start the coaching relationship with being vulnerable. And so I tell them, you need to trust me. And you should not trust me. You know, and that makes them like. Why would you say that? Let me tell you my story. When I was at Merck Pharmaceuticals, I was never one sales rep with an hour with an hour disease date until the company sent a consultant with me for that day to figure out how was I producing the results I was producing. 7 hours. Fantastic conversation with this guy who’s out there in the field with me as we’re meeting with some other reps as I’m driving him to the airport. Brilliant, he says. So who or what got in the way? Like, what else could you have done had you not obstacles? And I hesitated and he picked up on. He was paying attention. He’s like, No, no, no, Dean, you can trust me. Anything you say in the car stays in the car. Just helps us produce a better program. I didn’t obey my instinct, and I said it. Now you see anything wrong? It was just the wrong audience. Dropped him off before I could get back to my office. He already called my boss’s boss. His boss. And this stuff is rolling downhill fast. So I’ve been burned by it. And I want that person that I’m coaching to know. I’ve been burned by the person who says, You can trust me. So my goal in this coaching session, you should never leave the coaching session with the regret of a wish I wouldn’t have said that. So if you start talking and you’re like, I like where this is going to stop. And you’re like, Dean, I don’t want to talk about this. You know, this topic keeps coming up and they need to say to you, you need to trust me here, because this the same obstacles is there. We need to address this. But they always get to say yes, nor renegotiate. Miami, starting with that story, they realize that I’ve sat where they’re sitting. Yeah. And so I don’t have any regret. If I see you’re uncomfortable, I’m going to change the topic. Because you shouldn’t have regret.
Brilliant Miller [00:20:20] Well, sometimes, though, that point of discomfort is right. This. What’s that saying? It’s the edge of our comfort zone is where growth for us begins. And so that’s interesting.
Dean Miles [00:20:31] But not in the first session necessarily. Sure.
Brilliant Miller [00:20:33] Yeah. First session, while you’re building a relationship. Right now figuring out the purpose and the roles and so forth, that makes sense. But over time, I think sometimes that’s one of the hardest jobs we have as coaches, is knowing when to be someone’s cheerleader and when to kick him in the butt.
Dean Miles [00:20:49] You know, I designed that. Brilliant. I tell them my experience is one out of every three coaching sessions. I’m going to aggravate the hell out of me. So that sets the expectation for them because I will even, you know, it’s not exactly every third. I’ll try every single one, but I’ll ask them, Hey, are you in the mood today? Because I want to jerk your chain a little bit. And sometimes they say no, and I respect that because they’ve just had one of those days or one of those weeks. And that’s just not what they need right now.
Brilliant Miller [00:21:21] Yeah, well, that that’s another huge thing too, about asking permission, right? Like, first of all, being aware, being sensitive, and then asking permission before you start, you know, challenging or pushing and so forth. Miguel, back to the question I asked earlier about being inside an organization, inside a company for people, for coaches who aren’t in that place.
Brilliant Miller [00:21:44] Where they’re out on their own in the wide world of social media. You know, maybe they’re doing some public speaking. Maybe they’re going to lunches and networking or industry groups or whatever, and they’re just looking to build their own client list up. What have you found is actually helpful? And what maybe I’m going to stack questions here, but like what works and what’s a waste of time or what? What just isn’t worth the effort in your view?
Dean Miles [00:22:14] Yeah, a couple of things that now that I’ve got so many hours behind me. One, I wish I get smarter in looking at industries. And recession resistant industries. Because it seems like we’re getting more of these these economic flows. Because you need to get paid and to find that. So that’s what we learn about oil and gas. So my first two years put up all this clientele, but they were 100% with an oil and gas. And then late 2008, mid 2000, the price of oil dropped from over 100 bucks a barrel to like $39 a barrel. And we lost every contract we had. Wow. So were they the right clients? They were absolutely the right clients for us. But were they recession resistant? No, they were actually the complete opposite. So. So picking industries helps. So medicine. We suspect we picked a school of medicine within university systems. Or surgeons. Those are good clients that.
Brilliant Miller [00:23:28] Surgeons are surgeons, coachable?
Dean Miles [00:23:31] If you can find them. If you can find they all need coaching. Are they all coachable? No.
Brilliant Miller [00:23:38] Yeah, that’s like any group. Right? And I understand surgeons are very competitive, very driven.
Dean Miles [00:23:46] Yes. Yes. And so that’s where we kind of built on this idea, this coach Samuel Johnson, that we need to be reminded more than were instructed. So a lot of our language to the type-A personalities that could afford coaching to the level that I wanted to charge because I did and we I do have a mortgage I have to pay and kids and college and things like that. Was finding language that made my coaching style accessible to the type-A personality. Am I here to help you? I hear a lot of coaches say that. I’m not here to partner with you. My lay person. I don’t like that. I’m here to remind you. Of the things you already know that you’re not fully maximizing. And for those God like personalities that really need the most coaching, it works. That language worked on them.
Brilliant Miller [00:24:46] So that thing about identifying industries that you’re basically targeting or you’re developing business within.
Dean Miles [00:24:54] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:24:55] That’s interesting. And then how do you do that? Do you send them personalized notes? Do you go to places where they gather? Do you ask for referrals and introductions like how as a matter of actually developing business, how do you how do you do that?
Dean Miles [00:25:10] We picked the associations. So who’s a decision maker for a surgeon? As a private practice or as a larger group, it’s usually an administrator. And so there’s things like Sherm. I’m sure many of you that are listening are familiar. There’s a large H.R. type of association. We become very active in those, and we’re looking for those sub chapters of industries that are decision makers within groups that are recession resistant. So health care finance. And it just it takes time. We go to we go to those power lunches. We go to those those morning breakfasts, and they get to know us and they get to know us. And then we speak and we do keynotes at their events and we not charge or we don’t charge very much for those because that’s not that’s not our business model. We’re not trying to make money doing keynotes. Yeah. Trying to get access to the decision maker for the individual. They can afford my coaching. They also need coaching because they have influence on our communities. So it’s a win win win. But that’s in the it took us a long time to figure all that out.
Brilliant Miller [00:26:24] Yeah, that’s interesting. I had actually never considered this, but for people listening, maybe, maybe this is like a validation, or maybe it represents a kind of light bulb going on of a new possibility where, again, you’re with your own company now. Right. And I can see it behind you. Bridgepoint Coaching a strategy group. So you’re with your own company and you have a partner or partners in that time.
Dean Miles [00:26:52] A partner.
Brilliant Miller [00:26:52] And you’re going to these events and you’re seeking out decision makers who are looking for what you’re offering, or at least they’re open to it.
Dean Miles [00:27:01] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:27:01] And then you’re at some point there’s an ask, right? You’re building a relationship, identifying a need, and then you’re making an ask. And that’s interesting. When I say maybe a light bulb is going on, perhaps, you know, people saying, hey, I’m either going to present my brand more as the group instead of me as the individual will look to join one or look to create one partner with others and so forth. And I think there’s some real power in that that might transcend just the struggle of being a lone coach, you know, out in the lonely.
Dean Miles [00:27:36] Well, right. That’s exactly right. And just tried that. I mean, over 17 years you try lots of things, but we try the cold calls and we try to local Better Business Bureau. You know, in those luncheons, we tried Rotary Clubs. I really don’t think we ever get one client. And if any of those might have been someone’s friend’s brother in law’s cousin. Now that we got to a thing that had I not been that lunch and still could have gotten that client. It wasn’t until we got so niched to a larger organization of a specific industry push. And so I’m not going to give some of those up because I mean. Right. I mean, we own it. You know, we have been the platinum sponsor for this particular association of administrators. For eight years now. And they’re at every university in the United States, and we know all of them and they know us.
Brilliant Miller [00:28:40] That’s awesome. That’s that’s great.
Dean Miles [00:28:43] Just like another one that we’re not active with anymore. But there is the the Mountain West because dissolved, they got bought out by somebody else but the Mountain West Credit Union Association. So they’re are based in Denver, Colorado. They represent 450 credit unions in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming. I got to know the program director and then Dr. Dan Sant’angelo. And he did all the programs for these 450 credit unions. And I was made myself available to Dan all the time, talking about leadership, talking about coaching, and I would take them to lunch. So they they launch a scholarship program for all 450 credit unions. Guess who they picked?
Brilliant Miller [00:29:32] Awesome.
Dean Miles [00:29:34] They could have picked anybody, but we did. But that was our strategy, is finding the one person who knows everybody with an association. Yeah. And it’s paid off.
Brilliant Miller [00:29:46] Yeah, that’s awesome. And that’s not the kind of thing that a person can do in an afternoon. Right. It’s a commitment. It’s a there’s a strategy there. There’s a continuous and effort. Sustained effort. Yeah. So awesome. Well, thanks for sharing about your coaching journey and what’s worked and a little bit about what hasn’t. I love it.
Dean Miles [00:30:09] Yeah, you’re welcome. I don’t often get to tell that story, so thanks for giving me a platform.
Brilliant Miller [00:30:14] My pleasure. So, Dean, I want to continue our conversation, exploring things related to coaching, things that will help coaches to be to be successful, to be effective. You know, and I thought that a place that might be worth exploring is emotional mastery. Mm hmm. And. This because it’s something that our clients are, I want to say, struggling with, but it’s something our clients are facing, whether they’re aware of it or not. It’s something that every human faces. And I’m just I’m actually kind of geeked out by this idea that. The more effective we are in managing our own emotions, managing, understanding and mastering our own emotional states, the more effective will be as a coach. And that and the irony of a lot of that work is helping others to manage their own emotional states. Right. So. As I as I thought about this well, and I’m inclined I want to ask you to. How do you think about. And again, I’m using this term emotional mastery. But how do you think about emotional mastery? What’s that mean to you?
Dean Miles [00:31:37] Well, your timing’s impeccable. I’m in the middle. I’m on week four of an eight week class called Creativity and Personal Mastery. So you’re almost taking all the words. But as Professor Dr. Shriek Amaro. And it’s pushed me. I mean, towards I mean, the bar you just raise on all of us. Brilliant is mastery. So this isn’t dabbling. This isn’t just poking around with. This isn’t just hoping you’ve got a couple of good days strong together. What a good run. Yeah. Mastery. Mastery. Come on. Most of us are having to use caffeine and alcohol and pharmaceuticals to somewhat get this emotional state. You know, just between the ditches. Mastery. Couple of things that Dr. Streak Amar has made more clear in my mind. I think one emotional is the mental chatter that goes on in here and just what kind of mental model in my running this chatter through is a scarcity or is it generosity? Is it victim or is it privilege? All of those things interact with that chatter which trigger me, and then the emotions flow. And so two things that I recently learned among I’m nearly constantly either role playing, what’s going to happen? Or I’m replaying what already happened around two distinct things that get my emotions flowing. I was either felt embarrassed. Or I felt misunderstood. So I replay those a lot. If I was embarrassed or misunderstood or I role play a lot to avoid being misunderstood or to be embarrassed. I’m not even close to mastery, my friend. Yeah, well.
Brilliant Miller [00:33:27] You know, it sounds like you have some awareness, and I do. And some. Some significant measure of awareness. And I heard it said once that to be aware of limitation is to already be beyond it. No, it’s not literally true. But it’s interesting thought, right? Because you could be aware of something and still be tripped up by it or or whatever. But what you’re describing is that there’s these emotions that recur for you. And in a way, they drive they drive you regularly. Right. And it’s I think it’s normal for all of us. I remember doing a program with Tony Robbins years ago where as part of it, at the beginning, he asked us to write down what are the ten emotions that you feel most intensely, most often? And there were two list that was the empowering emotions and the disempowering emotions. And so everybody does this. And he points out, you know, he at one point in the seminar, he has us refer back to our list, and he points out that it well, first he asks us, how many of you actually found ten. Mm. And most people did not. And his point was this is totally normal human experience. Most people tend to live within a limited range of emotion. Right? And it is this it’s whatever. It’s frustration, it’s disappointment, it’s irritation. And then, yeah, there’s the whatever. Like there’s happiness, joy, gratitude. Those happen. But if you look at the percentages and I think there’s something to be said for awareness, there’s a huge thing. I don’t think that emotional mastery is possible in ignorance. So awareness, like many things in life, is, I think, a first step. And then also knowing what you want, right? Like, what is it that you want? But I also want to acknowledge here, too, this is I think it’s important to to to say that all emotions are normal and all emotions can be healthy. Right? It’s just the emotions that get in the way of us having the experience we want, being the person we want, creating and contributing what we want. So there’s a there’s a time and a place for all of them. It’s just the ones if they recur and they’re, I would say, problematic. But even the things that you’re saying, there’s disappointment, the shame, you know, for people, guilt, whatever, inadequacy, like there’s a message in all of that. There’s a time and a place for all of that. The real question then becomes, what do you do about it once it shows up? Right.
Dean Miles [00:36:00] Yeah, because I could when I would get tripped up. Now when I would get when I do get tripped up, I would fall further than necessary and I would lay at the bottom for a long time. So, for instance, I mean, this happens on a Friday. Late Friday afternoon, I’ll get a text from a client. Hey, let’s talk first thing Monday morning.
Brilliant Miller [00:36:25] Like, Are you really going to make me wait all weekend?
Dean Miles [00:36:27] My mind immediately goes to Sky’s falling. We need a cancel cable immediately. Somebody call and cancel that order for pizza. Like, we need to, like, turn off the lights right now. I seriously doubt in my mind goes to that if it’s been a good run. All right. Almost 21000 hours. They’ve figured it out. I don’t know. What I’m doing in my weekend is ruined. Wow. So then Monday morning, client calls super high spirits. They are. And I’m like, Hey, you know, I think what you all week and what’s going on? No, I just knew I was going to have a half hour was on while I was waiting to get on this flight. And I just love talking to you. Could you kind of put me in the right state to go do this next? My God. That’s not emotional mastery. I got triggered. I fell further than was necessary, and I just loitered and rolled around in it for the entire weekend.
Brilliant Miller [00:37:31] Yeah, that’s that’s funny. And I think we all have we all have versions of that, right. Like, I will share with you an experience I had recently where I was playing with Chat GTI.
Dean Miles [00:37:45] Oh, I love this already. Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:37:47] Even more amazing technology, Right. And. You know, if you know me, you. You know that I’m a person who. I’ve lived with depression for a long time. And, you know, like, especially if you looked at my music collection in high school, like, okay, this is.
Dean Miles [00:38:07] Dark, maybe.
Brilliant Miller [00:38:07] Dark. And and then there’s the whole thing of causation or correlation. How much of this music and these thought patterns are creating or just reinforcing, right? So at any rate, a lot of my journey over the last ten plus years has been really as best I can, cultivating awareness and then implementing practices that support me in not just avoiding depression. Because again, I think feelings of depression, they have a message. Yes, there’s a gift in those, but they’re not very rewarding. They’re not things that I want to dwell then I don’t want to fall into those and loiter in those. If if there’s a message I can get like I love Ram Dass statement. When you get the message, hang up the phone.
Dean Miles [00:38:49] Right and get country song. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:38:52] So nevertheless, here I am and they recur. There’s I’m thinking of a bit that Bill Burr, the comedian Bill Burr did once about about feelings of depression and utter hopelessness and even suicidality which is not a funny thing but you know, comedy I heard comedy described as the angry art form. Now you can say things humorously, or comedians seem to have the ability to say things that we all all think, but we don’t say in polite company. Right. But he does this thing where he’s talking about having live with depression and even something will happen and it will take him right back to this place of suicidality. Like I remember he’s talking about baking a pie for Thanksgiving. He screws of the pie. Oh, I’ll just kill myself. Yeah, right. And it’s scary.
Dean Miles [00:39:41] How.
Brilliant Miller [00:39:41] Fast a mind can go wherever it goes of like, I got to turn off the lights, I got to cancel the pizza order because you see this stimulus. Yes, right. And it takes you to a place. But then for others, especially in who maybe have a history of. Depression or darkness, that they can go right back there. Right. So I like I said, over a decade, over the last ten years plus, I’ve really been trying to understand and cultivate and learn to shift out of that when it doesn’t serve me right. So here I am, day with a little bit of low energy, feeling a little bit down, and I type in a chat. How can I kick feelings of depression for good? Like, how can I do this once and for all right. And it responds as it does in its concise, succinct manner. Where it opens. Combating depression can be a challenging journey, but it’s possible to improve your mood and regain a sense of happiness and well-being. I love that it’s a sharing. So there it is, like a setting, a context. Yes. And then it goes on and it gives me these seven things. And this is exactly to your point in that we often we more often need to be reminded than instructed.
Dean Miles [00:40:54] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:40:55] Because everything it tells me I already know.
Dean Miles [00:40:59] Hmm.
Brilliant Miller [00:41:00] But more kind of dispiriting is I’m already doing it.
Dean Miles [00:41:07] Like.
Brilliant Miller [00:41:08] I was hoping for that like eighth point that I just hadn’t thought of yet. Right. Because here’s the thing. Exercise, practice. Good sleep, hygiene, diet. Connecting with others, seeking professional help. Right. And then therapy was the Sabbath. And like, literally all of those I’m doing and I’m like.
Dean Miles [00:41:31] Chip.
Brilliant Miller [00:41:34] You know.
Dean Miles [00:41:35] Right.
Brilliant Miller [00:41:36] And that’s I didn’t necessarily mean to turn this into a conversation about depression, per se. But this idea that with coaching, with any endeavor. Right. And this is another thing I heard Tony say in that same program I went to, he said, look, success in any endeavor is 20% skills and mechanics. Right. And it’s 80% psychology. It’s no doubt.
Brilliant Miller [00:41:58] Complicated way to do. But then managing your mental state, to be able to organize yourself, your life, you know, your internal constitution, to go off and do that thing, that’s a different matter.
Dean Miles [00:42:11] I think I love this topic. And for those that are listening, primarily, we know our audience are up and coming or aspiring coaches. This is a real topic there. I haven’t seen a statistic here recently or really haven’t seen it since since we were in COVID emergency response, COVID. But the suicide rate of coaches is nearing that of therapist. And what would they think? Put an asterisk here. This is hearsay and what I’m about to share. But it seems to be the final level of hopelessness for these coaches is this gap between the life that they coach about to the life that they’re actually living and the further away that gets, the more hopeless or imposter they feel and then make the ultimate just terrible decision. And the same thing is happening to therapists and counselors. So I think this idea of emotional mastery. Within a space of being human. And that’s why I chose his words carefully. It’s my goal isn’t to not trip. My goal isn’t to not fall. My goal is to not fall further than necessary and then to recover in a healthy fashion as soon as possible. As opposed to my own unconscious not paying attention way, I’ll fall further than necessary and just stay down there way too long. For me. That’s that’s what good looks like. And so full time for us, I Bridgepoint is two weeks a month. So we’re working a week and then we’re off a week. And it puts us in a position to then bring our best selves back to these clients. We can really serve them well, and we’re also just modeling good mental hygiene so we could all make more money if we worked four weeks a month. Well, most of us have already done that, and that’s not us at our best selves. Yeah. So two weeks a month have that week of recovery. Go live life, go refill your buckets and then come back to those clients just at the top of your game.
Brilliant Miller [00:44:39] Yeah, that’s awesome.
Dean Miles [00:44:40] Price spread out and show it and be generous with it.
Brilliant Miller [00:44:42] That that’s awesome. And what you’re talking about. You know, you could work more. You could earn more money. When you show up each week, you won’t probably be in your peak form too, to best serve your clients or to enjoy life. Right. And I love the way I love the way this was described. And I’m reading Wim Wim Hoff’s book right now, and he talks about this, you know, that many of us are driven to earn more, have more right in our by our cultural conditioning. Bigger houses, nicer cars, more cars, whatever. And then he says, you can only drive one car at a time. You can only occupy one room at a time, you know?
Dean Miles [00:45:28] Right.
Brilliant Miller [00:45:29] So it’s not a matter of settling for anything. You know, but I also I want to go here for a moment to in response to what you’re saying about not falling farther than necessary or staying there longer. I also just want to acknowledge this thing about having what I’ve heard. I love this term, unconditional positive regard. I think that was Karl Rogers that coined that. Right. But offering unconditional positive regard to ourselves no matter where we are, because I think we can compound a cycle of suffering if we go, oh, I shouldn’t have fallen this far. I shouldn’t have stayed here this far.
Dean Miles [00:46:04] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:46:05] For this long. Right. And I, I remember days many, many years ago now where I didn’t like I literally I literally could not get out of a bed. It was like my body was fine. I was a healthy. Like, all outward appearances, you know?
Dean Miles [00:46:22] Right.
Brilliant Miller [00:46:23] 20 years old. Could not get out of a bed, couldn’t brush my teeth, shave like I didn’t. I don’t even. Looking back is still hard to understand. Like, I don’t know what that was about. I don’t.
Dean Miles [00:46:35] Know.
Brilliant Miller [00:46:36] I don’t even necessarily know how I got out of it. I mean, I’m fortunate. The first thing that comes to mind is very, very fortunate to have a loving family, you know? Yes. Who cared about me and so forth. But the point I’m just trying to make here is to have some compassion or acceptance for wherever we are. Right? Yes.
Dean Miles [00:46:56] I like that a lot. So does your shrink, Amaral. He teaches a lot of master doctoral programs, like at Cambridge. I think that’s where our Columbia doctor apologize if those are the wrong institutions. But higher education in Ivy League type institutions as well. I saw why that was important to say all that. Let me let me get to the point of what Dr. Rao says. He was reminding us of the of the story of the second arrow. And I think it’s a Buddhism based story where a father was talking to a son and happened to have a client who makes arrows. So they make these little patterns of arrows, as had them nearby. From my from my illustration is a yoga shot, an arrow. So the father asked the kid, you know, his son to get hit with the arrow. Does that cause pain? Yes, Father causes pain. If you got shot with a second arrow in the same location, would that hurt as much or more? It would. The first arrow was pain. And the second arrow is suffering. The first one was shot at you. This one you self-inflicted into the principle is is avoid the second arrow. Yeah. That’s what I’m trying to master. This is supposed to hurt, right? Which is why I think the emotions as they’re. It’s okay to experience pain. And thank you for experiencing pain. It’s a whole different conversation. This should hurt really, really bad. You should have regret. You should think about the actions you just took. But then to keep replaying it, which I’m really good at over and over, and I wish I would have, or if only I would have done this or. Why me? Why me? Ga ga ga ga ga ga ga. Yeah. That’s not pain anymore. That’s suffering.
Brilliant Miller [00:48:45] That’s right. And with this, too, I think about how. Some of this conversation about like cultivating emotional mastery can be a little bit like saying, well, how do you win a basketball game? Well, you just score more points than the other team. Oh, okay.
Dean Miles [00:49:02] That’s all you have to do. Yeah. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:49:04] You know, like, I saw this thing on Instagram. The next time you’re feeling depressed. Try not feeling depressed instead. Right. It’s like, Oh, okay, I got it. Thanks. Yeah.
Dean Miles [00:49:16] Yeah, that’s. That’s helpful.
Brilliant Miller [00:49:18] And that’s where then as I’ve looked at this achieving, like, what it really means and how to do it, what are the as I’ve heard it said, the levers and dials. What are the things that we can do that will actually make a difference? And I feel a little bit reluctant right now, even kind of sharing this as a sort of lesson. Right. But something that I found incredibly powerful are two things. One is a commitment. Right is like making a decision or being committed to something how powerful that can be. And I’ll give you one example that is along the lines for me of emotional mastery is I have made a commitment. To no longer complain or no longer gossip.
Dean Miles [00:50:05] Hmm.
Brilliant Miller [00:50:06] I’ve written it down. I review it at least once a week. That that’s a commitment I have. Then every day I find myself wanting to. Sometimes I find myself in the midst of a complaint or in the midst of sharing something that I heard about another person. And to me, I know that’s gossip. Right, right.
Dean Miles [00:50:22] Right. But that power.
Brilliant Miller [00:50:25] Of the commitment, like my life is different because of it. And that’s one thing. And I think that it’s easy to go through life without even knowing what we’re truly committed to. So the power of language to actually write that down, put it somewhere that we remind ourselves. You know, that alone, I think can be a transfer that can be transformational. Right. So that’s one thing. And that commitment, I mean, we all get to find those for ourselves, right? Like, it’s probably not.
Dean Miles [00:50:54] Don’t feel depressed anymore.
Brilliant Miller [00:50:56] Right. That’s I mean, maybe that would work for somebody. But but at any rate, number one and the other thing, this was something I did. I think I was on this planet for more than like 40 years before. It was pointed out to me that our attention is always somewhere like a laser beam, which as long as we’re awake, is we’re in at least like consensus consciousness, you know, ordinary states of consciousness, like.
Dean Miles [00:51:23] Yes, yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:51:24] Our attention is somewhere. But this is where mindfulness comes in. Being aware of where our attention is because the way we field the emotions that that seem to spontaneously arise within us are absolutely a factor of where our focus is, where our attention is. Now, it’s not to say we just ignore the unpleasant things in life. It’s not just a matter of ignoring, but there is something powerful about being conscious about where you’re putting your attention. So that’s one thing.
Dean Miles [00:51:58] Yes. Impossible. It’s possible to do that to the last three weeks. Not sure my class is. I’m having to keep a log. All right, so we got a time where that goes off, and it’s just it’s capturing the awareness. And if I could find what was a trigger that kind of put me in that state, that’s fantastic. But it’s is just starting with that awareness. At first, I didn’t think it would be possible to be as aware as I have now become. Mm hmm. But it actually, it. It is possible.
Brilliant Miller [00:52:30] Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. With with a commitment or an intention and with some some effort. And it really is like a muscle. It really is something we can build, right? This awareness. And. And then. And then another thing in this model, you know, was pointed out to me by Tony again, Tony Robbins, about not just focus that that’s a starting point. But then also our language, because there’s always a language pattern as a human being conscious or unconscious. Right. Vocal or sub vocal. You say it out loud or you keep it to yourself that there’s.
Dean Miles [00:53:07] Right.
Brilliant Miller [00:53:08] Meaning making machines going through less. Judging, evaluating, comparing, analyzing, assessing and how often we just let whatever that that little narrator inside our head. Say whatever its saying without a conscious generation of of language and meaning and that alone those go hand in hand. Of course what you’re focusing on and then what you make it mean. But those two things and this can be as I’m saying this, I’m also present to how exhausting this can be. I was like, Oh, are you saying from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed, you’re asking me to be aware of where my attention is and what the meaning is. I’m assigning to every interaction I have, to every event that happens to all the occurrences in my life. And it’s like. You are talking about the quality of your life here.
Dean Miles [00:54:01] Yes. Now, I think some people brilliant by personality, just by randomness of of personality. There are some people that I’ve met them. They don’t require that level of effort because under worst day. When they’re tired. When they’re not paying attention, they’re patient and they’re kind and they’re generous and they’re I mean, I’ve met those people.
Brilliant Miller [00:54:26] Sure.
Dean Miles [00:54:30] And then there’s the rest of us. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:54:33] And then there’s the mortals, right?
Dean Miles [00:54:34] Yes. That. That it does require effort. I have. There are those that just left. They’re not paying attention. They’re impatient. Now, if they’re not paying attention, they’re selfish.
Brilliant Miller [00:54:49] Yeah, well, I’m reminded of a statement Yogananda said about a saint is merely a sinner who never quit trying.
Dean Miles [00:55:00] Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:55:01] You know, And but then the last. The last part of this with emotional mastery, again, from the Tony Robbins model. And I think this is really profound and again, not obvious, even though it’s right in front of us, is our physiology is what we’re doing with our body. Right in every moment and in every in every regard from how rested you are to how hydrated you are, to what your breathing pattern is, to what your posture is, to how you’re moving your body, like everything that has to do with your body is going to have an impact on your emotions. And it’s this reciprocal effect that what you do generates an emotion, and the emotion tends to, you know, encourage you to do something else. And as you mentioned earlier, we’re often especially, I think, in our society, reaching for caffeine or alcohol or tobacco or a news feed or a video game or more work that we’re constantly doing that. And again, that’s normal that we’re always pretty much always looking to shift our state, our emotion in some way to avoid a painful one or to find a pleasure, a pleasant one, which are just two sides of a coin. But here’s the thing is that there are some behaviors, there are some patterns, some habits, as we know, that have a cost. Right. They’ll they’ll lead to an outcome A right. And B, they have a cost to our life, to how long we live, to how vital we feel to the quality of our relationships like this. So to me that this real work is what are the habits and the patterns that I can cultivate and implement into my life that will help me be do and have, you know what I want without paying any unnecessary costs. Right. And that’s all I get as I have this conversation. This can be pretty conceptual, but there’s also a part of this that’s very real. Like, we can live this experience, the challenges, a remembering it. Like you say, how can I be a reminder and be is finding out what those unique things are for each of us. Like what serves me to focus on what serves me to avoid focusing on what are the the language patterns that are really kind of screwing me up. What are the ones that are going to serve me? And then what are the things with my body that I’m either not doing or I am doing? And it’s like. In a way, it’s like a game. You know, or a science experiment if we’re willing to take it on with curiosity.
Dean Miles [00:57:30] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:57:31] A little bit of verve, a little bit of, you know, playfulness.
Dean Miles [00:57:35] That if I were to if I were to represent all the skeptics, because the majority of my life, I’ve been a skeptic of this. Oh this this level of cause and effect of. Come on. Brilliant. Listen. Right. You’re buried. Your beard’s gone too long. You’ve gotten you’ve got now foo foo you’ve got no, you know, scribble on us. That’s, that used to be my the mental model I would use for this of like that’s cute. All right That’s cute for those that want to spend too much time on this. And then I made a mistake two years ago of getting this. I mean, I’ve talked about this one on the podcast, this aura ring. Oh, you are a ring or I indeed.com. And this thing measures all kinds of biometrics. And one of the things that will give a push into the case and it’ll tell me to do like a mindfulness. Moment to do the seven minute breathing exercise, which I think is probably a nice thing to do, but whatever. Right. What? What a waste of time. I could go do something else for 7 minutes and so I would take it. So I would tell the app that I did it and didn’t do it to see if I could get a possible effect or if they would just give me the credit for it and it didn’t. There were other times when I didn’t tell it that I did it. And I would do the breathing for 7 minutes. In its impact on my overall well-being. I mean, measurable well-being. Stress levels, heart rate. Variability. Overall resourcefulness. Restorative process for the brain. That doesn’t feel equal that a seven minute breathing exercise should have that level of impact on my overall well-being in a 24 hour time period. Which is why the skeptics muse like. There’s no way. There’s no way. Yeah, well, I’ve had it for two and a half years now, and I’m telling you. It’s the best 7 minutes I can spend. Now you do 7 minutes of that. You do the hydration. You have a go to bed routine. You have a wake up routine. You’ve got to walk. Right. Which is you’re very consistent with. We so underestimate the impact of this on our emotional well-being. And that was me. My whole life thought the whole thing was snake oil.
Brilliant Miller [01:00:12] Yeah, well, that’s the that’s one of the challenges of of this is being inside ourselves. Just like when we’re intoxicated. We’re not always the best judge of how intoxicated we are. Like when we’re in an emotional state.
Dean Miles [01:00:27] Right? Right.
Brilliant Miller [01:00:28] It’s not always as evident to us, nor do we know what benefit is available. Right. And you talk about 7 minutes of breathing and that’s a gift. If you can give yourself that in the 1440 minutes of a day, minus the you know, however many 480 you spend sleeping if you’re lucky or whatever. So you’ve got like 1000 minutes awake.
Dean Miles [01:00:47] Right.
Brilliant Miller [01:00:47] Next seven. That’s amazing. One of the things I’ve discovered you probably have to is even three, literally 30 seconds, even a minute, right. Of conscious breathing can just be a huge shift. But one other thing on this. Before we before we move away from this topic of emotional mastery, which really could also be awareness, right? I think awareness is the foundation of mastery is is for coaches. You know, I say this a lot, that anything that helps you be a better version of yourself will help you be a better coach. So no surprise that this is and emotions can be their own reward, right? If we’re looking for a way to improve the quality of our life, it’s probably not going to come from another car or even another vacation or another spouse, probably. Right. But it’s not another relationship, right? Right. So it’s not in a thing. It’s not even in any individual experience that we would go book and do. But in the moment to moment, living of our lives and emotion can be in that regard, its own reward to deepen. The quality of our lives. But be for coaches, I think there’s an even greater imperative, Right? Because again, this is what our clients are faced with as well. And it doesn’t mean we need to necessarily like teach them the model, although sometimes maybe we do get a sure whiteboard marker and so forth. But being able to ask questions along these lines about when you see someone who’s triggered or you see a habit that’s not serving them, and especially if you do subscribe to the idea that I do, that all human behavior is a series of patterns and you can start to identify these things and help a client to become aware of them, understand the costs and benefits, the alternatives that are available now by understanding and living these principles of emotional mastery yourself, not only are you able to show up and be more effective and reap the reward of that, but then to help your client and it’s like. Realize I might sound a little dramatic here, but I think that’s a sacred privilege, you know, to be in that position.
Dean Miles [01:03:02] I would agree. And to have been in that position and to not have a well that is full, to be able to then make a difference. What a wasted what a wasted moment. Now. So if I think about and for our listeners. Aspiring coaches are coaches that are trying to go into the next phase of becoming a better coach, a great coach, and getting paid right, getting paid more. Your life needs to be authentic. And you’ll be living a life that’s worthy of someone else to admire. And I mean that in all the best ways. Like for me to go to a health physician who’s unhealthy themselves, I struggle with that. I understand they got a lot of things here, but for me, there’s just something that’s not aligned there. I prefer a physician who’s living out what their expectations in and counsel are for me. Right. I become a better coach and I get paid more. Because I’m living a life that’s aligned with what I’m coaching to.
Brilliant Miller [01:04:19] Yeah. And. And it doesn’t mean you’re perfect.
Dean Miles [01:04:22] No. My God, no.
Brilliant Miller [01:04:24] It doesn’t mean your life doesn’t have problems. Right. There’s something to be said for being congruent with yourself.
Dean Miles [01:04:31] Right. Right.
Brilliant Miller [01:04:32] So. Yeah. Awesome. Well, then, I know we’ve gone about as long as we had said we wanted to. Yes. Before we wrap, though, I want to talk with you a little bit about client selection. You just mentioned, you know, for coaches. So here we’ve talked about your coaching journey. We’ve talked about something that can help coaches be more effective and in emotional mastery. Before we wrap, I’d love to just explore this. Something that can help can also help clients be more successful, and it can help them earn more money in client selection. Is something you and I hear our mentor, Marshall Goldsmith, talk about a lot.
Dean Miles [01:05:15] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [01:05:16] And when we start, we often don’t know who our client is. Like anyone who will hire me, graduates who will let me practice without.
Dean Miles [01:05:22] My litmus test for sure.
Brilliant Miller [01:05:24] Yeah. And I think that’s really actually good advice when we’re starting is like, coach anyone and everyone to gain the experience. Right. To maybe you’ll build some referrals. Maybe you’ll get testimonials like from people or endorsements. But then also we’ll get clear like, Oh, I like this kind of person. I like a person, and maybe it’s the kind of work they do. Maybe it’s their their psychographics. It’s the way they see the world, the kinds of things they believe or they’re interested in. Right, Right. But what have you seen when it and we did talk about client selection some earlier in this conversation. But why in your view, why is client selection such an important thing for coaches to actually think about?
Dean Miles [01:06:10] Well, one is a good business practice. I mean, if you’re if you’re doing this as a hobby, maybe it doesn’t matter as much if you’re doing this as a profession, as a as a way to pay your bills. Then I think it’s probably the most important thing you’re going to spend time on is your ability to, one, articulate who this this right person is for you. Because a couple of things happened that I’ve learned brilliant. The more clearly I can articulate to myself, the more clearly those that know me can articulate to other people that may be looking for me. It’s a if I can’t describe what I’m looking for, then my friends and my network also can’t tell people what Dean’s good at. Yeah. My ideal client is looking to slow down. They’re looking to prioritize and they want to smile again. And it took me a long time to figure all that out. That’s my ideal client. Cause I have a lot of class. I don’t fit all of those, but that’s my ideal client. Now it will slow down. They want to prioritize and they want to smile again. Because I can articulate that, my network can articulate that. So if they hear an executive say, My life is so out of control, I’m overwhelmed, I’m overstressed, my priorities, personal, professional, are just not there. My team is doing lots of amazing things, but we’re not on the same page. And my wife says I’m unhappy. If they hear a level of that, my network says. I know the coach for you. He’s good at that. But it took me a long time to finally figure that out. Right. And to get these types of language things off, remember to smile. Yeah. What about you? What have you learned over the years?
Brilliant Miller [01:08:18] Well, I think a lot about what Marshall says, that client selection is the number one factor in coaching success.
Dean Miles [01:08:25] Hmm.
Brilliant Miller [01:08:26] That’s really interesting. And then I look at Marshall’s list of clients.
Dean Miles [01:08:31] Right.
Brilliant Miller [01:08:31] Right. And right. We don’t necessarily know which was first the chicken or the egg. Like, was Marshall a great coach and then he attracted a bunch of good clients. That’s what it would seem to be, because that seems to be the pattern of life is like, Oh, you’re really good in sports. And then you you perform well in college and then you make it to the NBA as like you go up some ladder, right? Or you start in your hometown and then maybe you go regionally in whatever you’re doing, right? And then you arrive at the top of the pyramid, so to speak. And it’s easy to think that that was Marshall’s approach, and probably some of that was true. He started somewhere to. But as I’ve heard him talk about this, he’s been very deliberate in who he chose to have as a client. And that, I think, has made a huge difference. And not to say that we all need to pick, you know, the top leaders at the world’s top businesses and organizations.
Dean Miles [01:09:26] Right.
Brilliant Miller [01:09:26] But I think there is value in thinking deeply about who it is we want to serve, what kinds of problems we want to help them overcome.
Dean Miles [01:09:36] You know.
Brilliant Miller [01:09:37] The way they think and see the world. And if nothing else, how like the kind of person that we want to spend our time with.
Dean Miles [01:09:45] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [01:09:46] Right. Because this is one of the I contend this is one of the great things about coaching, is that to a large degree, like in a way that especially if you work in a lot of other industries, you don’t necessarily get to choose your clients. You’re just you’re happy to have a client and you’re taking whoever comes in the door, whoever submits that info form on your website or whatever, right? Yeah. With coaching you have the privilege of being able to be selective and that helps to do that at the outset, not just. You know, after the fact.
Dean Miles [01:10:21] You know, I would say as soon as you can. Yeah. Right. Because there are there are seasons where you can’t. But as soon as you can or when you can, you need to build articulate who your ideal client is. So there’s those three. That’s more on the personal side and on the corporate side. I’m looking for those individuals that live on a life of adventure advocacy and all my core values I tend to attract in Tpz or NFP is R number seven and any grams. I also tend to attract the opposite eye and TJ’s because they’re curious about how are not you, but how do I bring that as a leader so that I’m can inspire and connect? It was also this idea of where strategy, execution and mood hit the bottom line. So this has to be about results, but it also has to be about people. And so that’s your organization. I know how to do that. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:11:19] Yeah. That’s that’s awesome. And thinking about to again, the results, not. The results that you can help people deliver right. Is still there’s a little bit of a misunderstanding with coaching. I is still 100% that clients responsibility to deliver those. You can just help them get out of their own way, so to speak, or getting celebrated.
Dean Miles [01:11:42] We’ll say you can accelerate the experience.
Brilliant Miller [01:11:45] Yeah, absolutely. And understanding, you know, the kinds of problems that they’re facing or the reality of their situation. And I’ll give you one example that that comes up for me when I think about this a lot is think of a a coach, an author and a speaker. Cameron Herald, He’s popularized this idea of creating a vivid vision. You know, articulating something in words is like a painting of the future of work, which is powerful. Right? But he he wrote a book that and I think his whole practice, unless he shifted away, is for the number two in an organization. Right. Because that’s a unique place to be, not to be the CEO. But whether you’re the CEO or you’re, you know, somehow otherwise, like the right hand person. And that’s pretty interesting because I think that gives him a marketing advantage. Like over, Oh, I coach executives or even I coach executives in a certain area, but I get what it’s like and issues of succession or whatever. And he can speak to them not only in a coaching session, but in a marketing way in terms that they’ll understand and resonate with and respond to. I think that’s.
Dean Miles [01:12:57] You remember it. And if you ever heard a client or just somebody at the golf course at the airport saying this is my reality, or I’m looking for a coach who has who can coach someone in this reality, you immediately think of him. That’s right. That’s I mean, that’s amazing.
Brilliant Miller [01:13:16] I’m looking up his website right now to see his books. Yeah, I’m. When I Googled Cameron Herald, he is the SEO whisperer. He is the founder of the SEO Alliance and the second in Command, Second in Command podcast. Right. And there’s many people who are in that place and they are looking for. Yeah, his book. He’s written a book called The Second in Command.
Dean Miles [01:13:44] He is so smart. Another guy who you and I know who’s in the coaches community, his name is Mitchell Levy. His thing is around credibility cause a credit dust. Is it your ability to articulate what you do in seven words or less? These are my words now, but is tied in with your level of credibility. Yeah. If you can see what you do in seven words or less, it increases your perceived credibility score. I think that was really good. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:14:21] I remember hearing Marshall talk about that. I help successful people. It’s something very close to I help successful people achieve lasting behavioral change.
Dean Miles [01:14:30] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [01:14:32] It’s like, oh, okay. If you if you’re a person that sees yourself as a successful person and you have something you want to change in your in the way you show up for other people, the things you do, I want that like boomerang understand it. I want it as powerful.
Dean Miles [01:14:46] Yeah, it’s so good. Often times when I meet new coaches because I was on the same place when the person ahead of me asked me the question, So who’s your ideal client? And announced to working on that? I get that you spend more time there because this matters. Every minute you waste on that is, I think, a client. You’re not going to it’s not going to find you. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:15:11] Yeah. And then, of course, you know, we write it down. That becomes our control, so to speak. We can compare reality against that. We can refine it. We can refine it any time.
Dean Miles [01:15:21] Of course, I sit and start over. But to have that and I love what Buckminster Fuller said, clarity is power. So having this clarity can help us in so many ways.
Dean Miles [01:15:32] You know, Sam Walton said about, you know, thunder Walmart, until it’s clear on the inside, it’ll never be clear. All the outside it is obvious statements.
Brilliant Miller [01:15:42] Right?
Dean Miles [01:15:42] But yet we stay in this unclear position for a long time.
Brilliant Miller [01:15:46] That’s right. Well, Dean, as we wrap up. What? Blessing, encouragement, Instruction, challenge. Will you leave? People listening with.
Dean Miles [01:16:02] Avoid the second arrow. That’s the language we’ve been using since I’ve been reminded at the house. If my wife hears me. Complaining. Replaying role playing. She’ll say, Hey, what’s that second arrow? And it’s just a great reminder. My daughter’s a junior in college, and she was going down some gossip. Replay train. Of course, she was hurt by something as like second arrow. She knows that is the second arrow. And then we just moved on, right? It was. It was really, really fantastic. So that’s what I like to remind everybody. Avoid the second arrow, if at all possible.
Brilliant Miller [01:16:44] Awesome. All right. Ironically, perhaps I will second that.
Dean Miles [01:16:50] Hey.
Brilliant Miller [01:16:51] Nice work by the second arrow. Okay. And maybe extend it. Helping your clients avoid the second arrow, helping them become aware of when they’re doing it, aware of the consequences of doing it, and aware of an alternative possibility.
Dean Miles [01:17:06] So such good emotional mastery.
Brilliant Miller [01:17:09] There we go. All right. Well, another coach’s commonplace episode in the books. Thank you for making time. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with you here in Zoom Land.
Dean Miles [01:17:21] Yes, I enjoy it. Always good. Remember wins with Bryant Miller. Yes.
Brilliant Miller [01:17:26] All right. Until next time.
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