by Faith Monson
Did you know that the people who climb Mt. Everest don’t do it alone? To get to the top, they need to hire a guide, called a Sherpa, someone who knows the territory and can help them avoid danger and achieve their dream.
As a success coach, I often feel like one of those Sherpas, toiling up the rocky ledge with my client. My job is to help them avoid problems and reach the summit, using the benefit of my own prior experience and that of my other clients. Unlike a real Sherpa, I also see my job as getting rid of baggage (emotional, not duffle bags).
Mountain climbers have ropes, boots, pitons, carabiners and a slew of other tools in order to safely make it to the top. Here, I’ll share some more of my Sherpa tools that help me get my clients to a higher vantage point.
Respect for the journey. Every client has followed a unique path to get where they now are. To help them, I need to understand and connect with their story, message, interests, passions, goals and dreams. I get them to express, understand and clarify how they believe they add value for their clients and how they want to add more value. I work with them to identify who their ideal clients are so that they can get more of them.
Validation and insight. I jump start, motivate, “inspire, support”, bring positive energy and encourage. This isn’t empty cheerleading. I help my clients gain confidence to say their dreams out loud and begin to live those dreams. I enable them see in themselves the uniqueness I see in them. My job involves highlighting, discovering, pinpointing and uncovering the special talents they overlook or underplay. And I help them get to the heart of their personal story, which is really the wellspring of their passion. It’s part detective and part investigative reporter, to find the strengths they don’t recognize, and a little bit of fairy godmother, to help them recognize the amazing talents that they’ve never seen in themselves.
Courage to live the dream. People come to me because they want to get unstuck, or they feel as if they’re missing out on some part of their creativity or success. Often, they’ve heard a lot of negatives in their lives, and very few positives. They need a caring, unbiased and trusted person who can encourage them to break out of their rut and strive for their dreams, someone who won’t be threatened as they change, someone who cheers for their success.
What mountains do you need to climb? It can get cold and scary out in the wind, finding your way. Why not invest in a guide who knows the path, who loves the journey, and who will get you safely to the peak. Someone who can’t wait for you to see the view when you get higher than you’ve ever been. That’s what a success coach does, and that’s why I love my job.