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Confessions of a Success Sherpa

by Faith Monson

Sherpas are the guides who help mountain climbers safely reach the crest of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.  I don’t climb mountains, but some days, it feels like it.  Instead, I help my clients reach their personal peak—in business and in life.

Sometimes, it feels as if we’re climbing up hill, carrying heavy baggage, breathing thin air.  When that happens, it’s my job to know the safe trails, recognize the skills and limitations of my client, and be a ceaseless source of encouragement.  It’s a combination of recognizing real-life pitfalls, knowing the path, and believing that my client can do what he or she has set out to do.  It’s hard, but it’s worth it for the view from the peak.

Every good guide has his or her own tools for tackling the trail.  Here are few of my favorites:

A 360 evaluation.  Since people are usually blind to their own true strengths and areas for improvement, I take a look at what others have written, such as testimonials or interviews.  It’s amazing what will surface when we step back and see what other people value about my client that he or she didn’t even think was important.

Competitor research.  I look at my clients’ competitors until I find something new and different or better and excellent or something that gives me a new perspective on my client’s approach. I want to see the variety of ways the best people in their industry are presenting themselves and their services.  Once we have a fresh look at the competition, we can best decide how to differentiate, where we can adapt something they’re doing, or where the market sees a gap we can fill.

I’ll be sharing more of my Sherpa Secrets over the next few posts, with a goal of helping you think about the tools, mindset shifts and approaches that can help you get unstuck.  There’s a reason people hire Sherpas to climb Mt. Everest –it’s because they couldn’t get to the other side without help.

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Filed under Coaching, Dreams