Last Saturday I was at a Mom's Night In event. It was so fun to meet new moms and catch up with old friends.
As the night wound down I found myself chatting with an emerging mom-entrepreneur. She is incredible; a single mom, working a full time job and building her brand on the side...dreaming of the day when her dream will produce a full time income. She has all the components in place; her "why" is solid, she has a strong desire to help people and her personal story is powerful and relatable. She's the real deal. Yet, she admitted that her confidence to serve her clients was waning because she was temporarily struggling with the exact thing she was educated, certified and experienced to help them with.
A health coach, certified in nutrition who underwent a massive life change in her own health some years before, in her current state, the stresses of single motherhood and working around the clock had her struggling to get to the gym regularly. She was also partaking in some poor nutritional choices for the sake of ease. Quickly recognizing this, she was already getting back on track. But the mindset had settled in, "How can I be an authentic coach to others when I'm not always doing what I would advise them?"
She has a legitimate concern. Those of us who coach and advise need to walk the walk, or else we're frauds. And, Imposter Syndrome - one's feeling of inadequacy despite possessing the appropriate expertise in their field - is a hot topic right now, especially in the online coaching industry, in particular.
But, I am highly suspicious of those who claim to never struggle or need to adjust in order to grow personally and professionally. One of the hallmarks of successful people is that they are always seeking growth and they recognize that they are a work in progress. Business magnate, Richard Branson calls this the Growth Mindset:
“A growth mindset isn’t simply a positive mindset. This isn’t just about being happy. It is about a fundamental belief that you can grow, learn and change for the better – through failure and success alike. This mindset motivates you to try, to reflect, to get back up, to ask for help and to learn. Ultimately changed minds is what brings about a big change.”
No matter what our level of knowledge and experience; we must also continue to stumble, to learn and to overcome. That is why our clients relate to us, they need to know that we have been in their shoes, that we're actually just a bit further ahead and that is why we can help them. Even if you've mastered a specific skill, the world is ever-changing and your skill will need to be adapted in order to allow your continued success. The growth mindset requires us to face setbacks, to seek mentorship and continuously learn.
I told my new friend not to wait until she again felt that she was the "perfect" health mentor for her clients, her past success and continued endeavor of pursuing a healthy lifestyle is exactly what her clients need in her.
The growth mindset reminds us that maintaining our success takes as much work and personal development as attaining it. So, whether you are building your business, growing your business or you have your business right where you want it to be -- constant learning and evolution is necessary for your continued success.
My current three favorite resources for my own personal and professional development: