20 Reasons Why Your Coaching Practice Isn’t Thriving

Achieve Your Dreams, Perth’s pre-eminent business coaching service, specialising in lead generation strategies to increase sales, customers and clients and give you, the business owner, greater success and control over your business, presents another insight into Coaching.

If your coaching practice is not thriving it may be for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Niche

Your niche is too broad or too narrow. New coaches make the mistake of trying to coach everyone and it simply doesn’t work – provided there are enough people in your niche, it’s best to define it as narrow as you can. Once you do this you can advertise and attract clients in your niche.

As part of your niche and your business persona try to find a name that explains what you do rather than call your business by your name e.g. J B Smith – there could be others with that name and you don’t want to be a telephonist directing phone calls. A dating coach could call themselves ‘Find a Partner’, a retirement coach could use the name ‘Thrive in Retirement’, and a wellness coach could use the name ‘Healthy, Wealthy and Wise’. Of course business name are subject to availability and certain names can’t be registered.

  • Understanding your client

This is vital. You must have an in depth knowledge of how your potential client’s feel and how they suffer – you must know their pain points – this is the easiest way to attract clients – they have a problem they can’t fix themselves. Likewise you must know how to assist your client overcome their problem within their budget and timeframe.

  • No Lead generation system

Every successful business has an effective lead generation system and coaching is no exception. There are a variety of ways to generate leads including lead funnels, advertising, email lists, newsletters, blogs and large events and seminars organised by leading, well known coaches. Coaching is a trust based relationship, so it’s best if your potential clients can see and meet you – take an example from Tony Robbins. For lesser known coaches try workshops, webinars, Meetup groups and networking events. You must be able to recognise and target your clientele both in person, in ads and online. Knowing their pain is a great way to do this as people identify with their challenges.

  • No proven process

Most successful coaches have a proven process that they rarely deviate away from – MacDonald’s has a process so that every time you buy a burger it’s the same. You as a coach could do no better than follow that example. A good process to follow is the following:

  • Advertise and promote to your target market – define it as well as you can.
  • Generate leads from your promotion – you may only get 1 or 2 leads from every 100 potential clients that see your promotion.
  • Once you get the lead you will need to convert as many as you can into paying clients – this may be as low as 5% for inexperienced, unknown coaches – knowing this you can calculate how many people you need to reach to get one paying client – using the figures we have – you will need 1000 people to get 20 leads (at 2 per hundred) and from that 20 – 1 paying client (at 5%).
  • Ensure you qualify your client – once it becomes hard work they will use every excuse they can think up to cancel and you (and coaching) will be blamed. You may be tempted to take on unqualified clients – my advice is don’t – some potential clients love to vent, but have no intention of doing any work. If you were brilliant they may tell 3 other people, but they will tell 11 people how useless you were and how coaching could never work – likewise their friends will tell more people and your reputation is in jeopardy. You need to confirm with them that they have the commitment to change and the funds to pay you – do this several times during the conversion process – contracts may help, but are not foolproof – their firm commitment is best.
  • Ensure you and your client are a good ’fit’ and once you sign up the client ensure you give your best value and see if you can get more work – rarely do clients have only 1 problem.
  • Ensure you ask for referrals and testimonials from each client – post the testimonials on your site or in your ads.
  • Keep in touch with your previous clients with a newsletter every 3 months or so – let them know how you are doing and ask for referrals.
  • Product

People like to purchase products – they can see, feel and use products. Coaching is nebulous at best so you need to create products to assist clients to purchase your services. All you really need to do is to name your services and it will be seen as a product. If you are selling weight loss a good name may be ‘The Surefire Weight Loss program’ – for business coaches you could name your service ‘The Business Growth program’ – for dating coaches a name like ‘The Ultimate dating program’ might work well and for a Relationship coach a name like ‘Staying Together Forever program’ would help give potential clients confidence in your services.

  • Marketing

You are not marketing your practice in a way to attract clients. Marketing should be done from the client point of view – they are not interested in your coaching skills except for how you can assist them – they don’t want or need to know the coaching process.

  • No one knows you

It stands to reason that if no one outside your family and friends knows you or what you do the chances of making sales are very limited. All new businesses need to find ways to get known and the best way to do that is to promote themselves and their businesses. Start in your local community – you are already known to some degree there and expand what you already have.

  • No credibility

This is related to your niche and is ideally your niche is an area where you have authority, experience and expertise. This includes age – if you are 25 and a single Relationship Coach trying to assist married couples in their mid to late 40’s you will not be seen as someone with the life experience regardless of your education or coaching credentials. Likewise if you are a 75 yo career coach who retired 15 years ago, trying to assist people finding jobs, you will have to account for the rapid changes over the past 15 years in the job market.

  • Advertising

Advertising is the one area most small business fall down – most don’t start advertising until they are desperate and then Murphy’s Law takes over – they get no leads. When you are starting you will need an advertising budget of 50 – 60% of your projected sales and will need that for 3 – 6 months. So let’s quantify that – if you budget for $10,000 in sales over the next 6 months you will need $5 – 6,000 in your advertising budget and hopefully have that saved in a separate account. As you get known and get clients you can reduce the percentage, but don’t stop until you are fully booked 6 months in advance.

So let’s look at places to advertise. Now this is totally dependent on your target market – a retirement Coach would not advertise in the same market as a dating coach. So once you know the age group, gender, education level, relationship status, family status, income, etc. of your target market then you can start. There are other demographics like reading preferences, holiday destinations, entertainment preferences, shopping preferences etc. that may also assist in choosing the most cost effective media to advertise.

So as a coach it’s best to meet face to face or online where people can see you.

  • Meetup.com offers unlimited numbers in a group for around $US200.00 per annum (sometime less if they have specials) – you can have 3 groups for that investment. You can have ‘organisers’ who host events and so can run lots of events – make sure the people enjoy the activities your groups provide. You may also get the opportunity to ‘take over’ a group where the organiser has ‘stepped down’. A weight loss coach I know uses Meetup to attract potential clients and then sells them his services. I also know several photographers who use Meetup to assist people to take great pics, but then gets to be the wedding photographer and manages to do family portraits – because he / she is known. Meetup is in mostly every country and does better in urban areas where there are more people.
  • Networking groups can vary in cost – I used Eventbrite (pre pandemic) to promote my networking group. Some, like BNI are quite expensive – again it depends on your target market. There are many women’s networking groups. Try to form relationships with attendees rather than trying to sell and handing out business cards. Get to know the people you chat with and exchange contact details – follow up ASAP – invite them for coffee, lunch, to an event, to your office etc. Aim to meet 10 people per event and get them on your email list.
  • Workshops are relatively easy to organise – there are many venues, including some McDonald’s, who will give you free use of a room for a couple of hours. You can promote your event on Eventbrite for free or use Facebook, but unless you pay, your event will not be seen by many people – paying allows you to target your audience and can be done for around $US1 per day.
  • Webinars are also OK – Skype offers quite large audiences and there is no time limit as there is with Zoom. You have the chance to be seen, heard and display your knowledge – if you promote your webinar via Eventbrite you will also get attendees email addresses and sometimes telephone numbers.
  • Expos can be useful (the pandemic aside). If you are a Wellness Coach and you see a Wellness Expo go along, but be discreet because there will be paying stand holders – you may decide to take a stand yourself. But there is nothing stopping you chatting to other attendees, or even stand holders, and exchanging contact details.
  • Events can be a source of leads too – there may be an event in your area promoting budgeting – if you are a Money Coach there is no reason why you couldn’t attend and discreetly exchange contact information – you may already know some people, because it’s in the area you operate.
  • Flyers are usually fairly inexpensive. Make them appealing and deliver them to letterboxes in your area – start with 1 – 2 – 3,000 – your children will have lots of fun distributing them and it will be a family outing. Don’t expect any more than 1 – 2% of people to contact you. Make it clear you reside in the area, pick out 1 or 2 pain points, and have pics of the pain relieved – use emotional language and make sure you have a ‘Call To Action’ area.
  • Publications can be OK too – if you coach children you may decide to advertise in their school magazine. If you coach or identify with a particular ethnicity you may find they have a weekly or monthly publication. If you cater to a particular industry or profession you will find they have a monthly magazine – note some of these can be very expensive.
  • Posters can be a good source of getting your business into the community. If you coach children ask each school if you can put up a poster. If it’s legal, you may paste posters on ‘telegraph’ poles, light poles or traffic lights. Ask related shops if you can display a poster in their window and if it’s legal paste a poster in the side and back windows of your car. Having your car sign written is also an option to investigate.
  • Notice Boards are OK too, but have a limited life span – usually no more than 2 weeks, but it’s usually free, but you have to use their ‘card’. Many are in shopping malls, public places – town halls, libraries, and some are online. Make the ad appealing to your target market.
  • Write a blog and publish it on your website – try to capture email address by offering free articles. Read associated blogs, especially in your community and request to be a guest blogger and invite other bloggers to write on your blog. Once your blog is picked up by Google you may find you have a steady number of visitors to your blog and website.
  • Online platforms are many and varied. The best known are Google and Facebook. Facebook you can target your ads to areas and demographics and limit your budget – the lowest is about $US1.00 per day – I’m not sure you can with Google. Make a Facebook business page and write there quite often – Facebook send your message to a small percentage of your friends, but you can increase that by ‘promoting’ your posts. You can also make ‘events’, but to get them to any reasonable number of people you will have to ‘promote’ your event. Eventbrite will list your event for free and have a large number of events and visitors per week. LinkedIn is a professional platform and well worth investigating to find and network with other coaches, and possibly find clients.
  • Coaching Directories are great – many have the facility for clients to state what they are looking for – most of these are paid, but there are some free directories – maybe worth investigating?
  • Newspapers can be quite expensive and it’s hard to control your target market. National Newspapers should be avoided if you are just starting – they are expensive and most people will probably miss your ad anyway. Regional newspapers, especially if they have a ‘Coaching’ section are much better value – at least try for 1 – 3 months – if no responses then cancel. The Public notices section isn’t the best place – your coaching target market is unlikely to look there.
  • Radio, provided the price and the market is favourable could be your best bet, but ensure you match your target market – if you are a retirement coach there is no use advertising in an area where the audience is 25 – 35. Check whatever the representative tells you – there are sites that tell you the audience demographics, including listeners, age and interests. Check for specials – our local radio station runs a special every year in September – usually half priced ads until Xmas – again be wary – if Christmas is not your target audience then give it a miss. If you pay for advertising enquire about a ‘talk back’ radio show where you can answer listener’s questions. Look into local FM radio stations – many are small, but may suit your audience and budget.
  • TV is probably outside the affordability of most newish coaches. However there are local Cable TV networks in some parts of the USA – they may be affordable. Production costs could be prohibitive, but check them out – spread your advertising budget around – if no results, then cancel your ads.
  • Satisfied clients or people you have assisted are probably your best and most effective promoters. Also your family, friends and colleagues, both old and new, may be able to assist you.
  • Overpricing

New and unknown coaches are exactly that – they have few clients and no reputation. I have checked out coaching directories and some coaches charge ridiculous prices and have ridiculous terms – one coach wanted $US350 per session with a minimum of 8 sessions all paid upfront – dreaming I think – there are very few people who would take that risk. You have to make it easy for the client – you must minimise the risk. I am not an advocate of discounting, but some money is better than none. Why not offer the first 3 sessions for $50 each and then revert to your usual fee – which should be the lower end of the scale – you have made some income and have the chance of more work and referrals? As an example there was a dating agency started in Germany – she charged $10 per session for the first 20 clients and is now charging well over $1,000 – satisfied clients are your greatest advocates. If a Tony Robbins coach or a national coaching company or franchise is charging $300 per session, you are unlikely to get that – capishe? As your practice grows you can increase your fees, but never increase the fees of a current client – you are likely to lose that client and your reputation.

  • Strategic alliances

Work out who sees your potential client before and after you and see if you can’t contact these people and let them know what you do. The easiest example is a couple getting married – who does the organising – the bride and her family usually. Who does she contact before the wedding – a wedding planner, wedding dress shop, maybe suit hire for groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen, church, jeweller, car hire, florist, wedding reception place and travel agent (honeymoon). What does the family need after the wedding – a place to live, furniture, electrical appliances, removalist, they may need a cleaner, a pool guy if they have a pool or spa and a whole host of others. This is called a supply chain – most people needing anything have one. Make a list and contact all the people in the list and ensure you refer everyone you know in their market to them – hopefully they will reciprocate. Get to know all the local religious leaders and tell them what you do – many people ask them for advice. Note: Medically trained people will usually refer to other medically trained people – a doctor will usually refer to a psychiatrist or counsellor rather than a coach, but there are more and more holistic medical professionals, so get to know your local doctors.

  • Under estimating the time it takes to establish a business.

It’s easy to think a business or athlete is an instant success, but that rarely is the case – there are many years the public doesn’t see – e.g. Facebook was started in 2004, Amazon started in 1994, Apple 1976, Google 1998 and Microsoft 1975. Each of these businesses is a household name, but they are the exception, rather than the rule. Each took advantage of technology at the time and was in the exact right place at the exact right time.

Antony Robbin met and worked for Jim Rohn in 1977, Jim Rohn started giving public lectures in 1963, Jack Canfield wrote a book in 1976 and went on to co author the first of the Chicken soup series in 1993. If you research other famous coaches you will find a similar trend. None of these famous coaches were ‘overnight’ successes so imagine how long it will take to establish your small coaching practice. If you estimate 10 – 15 years you have a good chance of being correct. Realise, though, that that is 10 – 15 years of hard work, constantly promoting yourself and your practice, and possibly aligning yourself with other successful people and coaches. Are you ready for the long haul?

Sport stars and athletes typically start around 5 – 10 years old, train hard, make sacrifices, usually meet a good coach along the way and make a ‘breakthrough’ in their late teenage years – instant success? I think not!

  • Not getting known in your community

Every business has to start somewhere and your best bet is your local community, especially if you grew up in that area, but even if you are a newcomer, the same principles apply. If you live in a large city start in your suburb and gradually extend your reach. Meet all the local community leaders, including the heads of local large businesses. Introduce yourself, explain how you assist people and especially if you can assist them, their employees, or associates – leave business cards and keep in touch – form relationships. Join the local Lions, Apex or Rotary clubs and attend functions and meetings. Attend community gatherings and introduce yourself to speakers and leaders wherever possible. Sponsor a kid’s sports team – go along to their games, get to know the parents, donate a trophy – get your name on it if possible. Present it at the annual presentation evening. Attend functions organised by the club and get to know the committee members. If there is a local Business Association join that and also the Chamber of Commerce – not only will you meet people, but also may get advance notice of upcoming events. Assist non profits raise funds, maybe make a donation, get to know the organisers and staff. If you are passionate about a cause – maybe saving pets in shelters – volunteer there. Get to know the reporter at your local newspaper, especially the one responsible for community affairs. Send pieces of publicity to them – announcing your existence, a new product, a new event, or your struggle to overcome adversity – people love to read about local people. Do the same with your local radio stations, including the FM stations and if you have Cable TV – get to know the people at the station. Speak or volunteer at local events – if you are female join every women’s group in your community. Attend Expos or other events and get to know the organisers. Offer to assist minority groups, the poor, the unemployed, former prisoners, and people who suffered a major financial or emotional loss – start a non profit to assist with payments for people who genuinely can’t afford your services and organise fund raisers, both local and online and let the media know – everyone you assist will be extremely grateful and talk about you and your services. All of the above activities are designed to boost and enhance your name and business in your local community, but nothing is instant – this is a journey rather than a destination.

  • Waiting for people to contact you

Even though you are paying for ads, the response will be slow, especially at the beginning – you may have to ‘tweak’ the ads to get a better response. You must be proactive and call at least 20 – 50 people in your target market per working day – this takes an hour or two – keep records and call every 3 months or so – form relationships where possible. The response rate will be similar to distributing flyers, but your name will be known by one more person (and they know at least 250 other people) every time you make a call. Invite them to have coffee, to a networking meeting, a webinar, expo or anything else you are organising, but qualify they are in your target market. When you meet ask about them, form a relationship, exchange contact details, ask if you can add them to your mailing list, and explain how you can assist them, their family, friends and associates. Record personal details and invite them again if you felt you ‘clicked’.

  • Explaining coaching instead of fixing problems

People have problems they can’t fix that causes them angst and anxiety – they are not interested in how coaching works, only that it does work and won’t cause an injury – they want the problem gone and for many, instantly. They are not interested in you, your credentials or how many degrees you have – only that you can fix their problems and within their budget. Talk about them, their problem, how they will feel once they are free of their problem – in other words talk solutions. They will assess your capabilities during the initial meeting – be confident, lead the conversation, keep them on the topic, make them feel the pain and the relief and you will have a good chance of gaining a client. Ensure you qualify they will do the work, stay the distance and have the budget to afford your fees.

  • Not enough capital or business expertise

I have read many times that small businesses fail due to two main reasons – lack of capital and business expertise. As an employee you do your task or tasks and your boss, manager or sometimes whole departments look after other aspects of the business. If you aspire to own a small business you need to learn to do every part because there is only you.

Of all the tasks associated with managing a small business the most important is making sales or income – without that you have no business. This means as a small business owner you must have some sales or selling ability – there are no exceptions! You need people skills.

Starting a small business takes time, so don’t quit your day job to become a full time coach in your own business – most will run out of funds and have to find another paid position. If you have flexible hours you could maybe take an afternoon off and devote that to developing your business. You could coach after hours, or on weekends, or start work earlier or later, or maybe coach during your annual holidays. Since the pandemic many people are working from home – this may give you flexibility as long as you complete the tasks for your employer first. You may have long service leave coming and could use that time to develop your business. You may be able to take unpaid leave or a sabbatical from work.

As a guide, if you quit your employment you will need at least funds to support yourself and your bills for at least 6 months, plus $5-10,000 saving in a separate bank account to launch your business. Depending on your lifestyle that could be several thousands of dollars. My advice, only quit your day job when you have your calendar fully booked with paying clients for the next six months.

  • Spending on the wrong kind of advertising

There are a variety of ways to spend money on advertising your practice. Choose carefully and only pay for ads that appeal to your target market – don’t get drawn in by fantastic offers, or expensive SEO – most are useless. It’s a fair bet that no one outside the C Suite in Google knows or understands the Google algorithm. Likewise people offering to get you a 6 – 7 figure income in 6 months.

Share your advertising budget around – start small, get advice and see how your ads go – change them if no results and if still no results cancel them. Some will work better than others depending on your content and the media. Stick with those that get results and maybe try others again as you get more experience and income.

  • Not enough time to promote your business

Most people claim to be ‘time poor’ these days, but with a little organising, you can usually schedule more into your week. You have 168 hours per week – you need to sleep around 56 hours, work and commute around 50  hours and that leaves around 62 hours per week – that’s almost 9 hours per day on average – 6 hours per working day (assuming you work 5 days) and 16 hours each day over the weekend.

Usually if you schedule things in your calendar it will be done, so how many hours do you need to promote your business. A good guide would be 10 – 18 hours per week, but it’s absolutely essential to do all things listed in the ‘Not getting known in your community’ section.

  • Coaching what you like rather than what the client needs

People have a myriad of skills and hence there are a wide variety of coaches coaching a wide variety of skills. From my experience people need coaches to assist with money issues – assist them find a job, career, career changes, getting promotions, education choices, business choices, having a successful business, increasing sales, reducing expenses. Health issues – lose weight, get fit, diet, self destructive behaviours, dealing with depression, OCD, ADHD and associated conditions. Relationship issues – family, friends, social life, people skills, low self esteem, self defeating beliefs, loneliness, isolation, divorce, helping their children cope, separation and finding the ‘right’ partner. Lifestyle and satisfaction issues – where to live, immigration and emigration, relocating, finding their life purpose, discipline and accountability, being organised, achieving life satisfaction, aligning their values with their employers values, work / life balance. This is not to say coaching in other areas will not be successful, but it may be harder to find clients willing to pay you – clients want a return on their investment.

  • Not coaching when the client is available.

Being in a small business usually means catering to the customer or client – they pay the bills. Working 9 – 5 isn’t always a choice – people may need to see you after hours or on weekends, or even public holidays. Being a coach entails all of this and even more on sales generation, administration, management, finance and time management.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful and helpful and we are happy to answer any question arising from this article.

Thanks for reading.

We would welcome approaches from other bloggers to write a guest post, or be invited to write a guest post.

Developing A Successful Coaching Practice

Parents are a lottery – some are excellent, most average, and some with problems, but you carry their genes with any and all inherent problems. The things you learn as a child are carried into adulthood – things you consider as normal. Societies tend to force conformity among members, so if you rebel, or you can’t keep up, you may get pushed towards the edge and end up in untenable situations. All this time the world is changing around you. Pressures come from all sides – health, relationships, family, social acceptance, money, economic cycles, climate change, advertisements, negative media, new gadgets, new challenges, new paradigms. Coaches are needed to assist clients with these changes.

Most coaches don’t earn very much – one study found almost 90% of coaches earn less than $10,000 per annum – the top 1% earn 6 – 7 figures – this is your aim. Many coaches combine consulting and training in their coaching model and each strand helps provide leads for the others. It also helps to get known in your community, which is the most important aspect of developing a successful coaching practice – more about that later.

You will need training, practice and experience. There are many coaching schools, but most are there to teach, very few assist you to build a thriving practice – some, will list you on their website, but most people don’t go to a coaching school to find a coach.

Find the most successful coaches and emulate them – you will find they have a solid niche, a lead generation system, a conversion strategy and they advertise and promote themselves and their practices – this is most important. Do market research – look for the most successful coaches in your community – check their website, meet them, and adapt your practice what you can without copying. Find out their speciality and refer clients to them and ask for referrals to your practice. Make alliances with associated local businesses – if you are a Dating coach, make an arrangement with the local wedding planner, jeweller, florist, church, caterer, car hire, and wedding reception places. Ensure you explain to each of these owners how you can assist couples have a richer, more satisfying relationship and give out and collect business cards – call owners if you refer.

Marketing is the key to a successful business – if people don’t know you exist you are unlikely to make sales, and hence will have to give up your business. Marketing can be tricky, but you have to have a product that appeals to your community – I doubt executive coaching would work in a rural area, nor farming practices in a large city – successful areas include money, weight loss, health, career, relationships. You also have to have a ‘hook’ to get people to call or contact you – emotions win out in this area, especially fear – ‘people who smoke are 10 times more likely to die a slow, painful death’ is stronger than ‘give up smoking and run a marathon’, but you also need positive results once you get to talk to the client to convince them to spend their money. Apart from paid advertising, which we will address later, you need to get known in your community – contact all community leaders, and tell them how you assist people in your niche. Maintain a blog, maybe guest blog or get guests to blog on your site, maintain a customer database, send out a newsletter, distribute flyers and put posters up in relevant places. Getting yourself and your service known is vital – you need to contact at least 20 – 50 people per day and tell them how you can assist them. If you sell executive or career coaching contact every HR manager in your area and form a relationship.

Many large corporations allocate funds to train and improve staff, most small businesses don’t, so if you are a business coach concentrate your efforts on larger corporations.

Clients want instant success and many think the coach has a ‘magic wand’ – this is great to win clients, but needs managing once the client is signed up, otherwise it will lead to disappointment and termination of the coaching contract. Only take on clients willing to do the work required and committed to changing their behaviour.

Now we would like to talk about your advertising budget. You will need a sizeable budget to get clients, especially if you are totally unknown. Coaching requires trust to win clients and that requires time. The basic equation is invest heavily to get known or don’t invest and remain an unknown with little or no income. There is an old saying that goes something like this, ‘People buy from who they know’, and it appears to be true. I would suggest a budget of 50 – 60% of your predicted sales per month, but you will need access to that amount, or better still have that saved. You will need to advertise for 1 – 3 months before you will see substantial results. Use local radio stations, cable TV if you have them, Facebook advertising in your area, with a targeted audience – Google you can’t control so well and your ads will be scattered. As you advertise you may be offered the opportunity to be interviewed, have a live call back show, speak at events, or get a local newspaper write ups. Places to advertise – Mainstream radio and TV, cable TV. Local TV interviews, talk back show. FM radio – talk back show. Local and national newspapers, local and national magazines. Podcasts

It will take 10 – 15 years for you to establish your business and that includes constant advertising, although after the initial advertising period, you will be able to reduce your advertising budget percentage to sales – maybe 10 – 20% of your sales. During this time keep overheads as low as possible – work from home, until your business can sustain office space – most commercial leases are long term and hard to break.

Before you spend a cent you must have a niche – this is ideally an area where you have authority, experience and expertise. This includes age – if you are 25 and a single Relationship Coach trying to assist married couples in their mid to late 40’s you will not be seen as someone with the life experience. Likewise if you are a 75 yo career coach who retired 15 years ago, trying to assist people finding jobs, you will have to account for the rapid changes over the past 15 years in the job market. Here is a list of problems defined by age – this is not all inclusive, but may give you a guide:

18 – 25 – social acceptance, education, mating, relationships, leaving home

26 – 35 – settling down, finding work, buying a home, travel,

36 – 45 – family, divorce, schooling, getting ahead, better pay and salary

46 – 55 – divorce, widowhood, parents aging, kids leaving home, redundancy, career change, retirement planning

56 – 65 – retirement, widowhood, empty nest, sickness, parents passing, kids moving away.

66 +          relatives passing, spouse passing, hospitalisation, loneliness, chronic sickness, death

You must have a clear message for your potential clients. It must be in their language, be about them and how you assist them and you must allude that the process is easy, even though you know it’s not – no one will sign up if they think they have to work harder than they already do. There must be nothing about you, how coaching works, your credentials etc. – they aren’t interested – they want their problem solved – the fact they came to you is enough. If they ask questions, that’s a good sign and answer them. Manage their expectations, but make it a fun experience. Once you get a client ensure you map out how to move them from where they are to where they want to be – be conservative here – if you think it will take 3 months, say 6 months – much better to finish in less time. Ensure they have the budget to pay you until the end – if they have to leave for any reason, you will be blamed, and that could affect your reputation. Do nothing to tarnish your reputation.

Have a clear process and stick to it until you feel confident enough to make detours. As a minimum you will need a way of attracting interest (your ‘hook’), a way of converting leads into paying clients (meeting in person (best), over the internet, by telephone, and you may make a PowerPoint Presentation to assist you – keep it positive, concentrate on your client’s challenges, their pain points and how relieved they will be after their coaching), a way of assisting the client become successful (your plan for each client); make it fun and exciting and ask client’s for  referrals.

Referrals are vital and mostly free. They can be sought in the following places: BNI, Meetups, Lions, Apex, Rotary, Chambers of Commerce, locals Business Associations, Coaches groups – Noomii, other coaches, professionals – accountants, lawyers, religious leaders and organisations, politicians, large companies, Facebook and other forums, LinkedIn, HR managers, expos, trade shows, exhibitions, hobbies, ex pat organisations, run small ‘needs’ groups, AA, Al anon, gamblers, drug addiction, prisoners, migrants, especially if you speak their language and understand their culture, sponsorships – Macca’s and kids sport, schools, uni / college students. Some of these are expensive and some are inexpensive – most work depending on your niche and a referral carries ‘weight’ from the trusted referrer. Ensure you thank the person who referred to you and try and reciprocate.

Give back to your local community – help associated non profits raise funds, speak at community gatherings, start a non profit to assist with payments for people who genuinely can’t afford your services – most will be extremely grateful and talk about you and your services. Never turn away a client who is prepared to go the whole journey, even if you work for a very low fee.

Your fees must be affordable for your area and clientele. Maybe use an ‘Introductory’ offer for the first 3 sessions at a very low price – most people won’t ‘use’ you, but it’s an excellent way to introduce a client to the benefits of coaching. You may want to use ‘Free Trials’ but get credit card details. As your practice grows you can increase your fees – don’t increase a current client – your present and former clients will become advocates for your service. There was a dating agency started in Germany – she charged $10 per session for the first 20 clients and is now charging well over $1,000 – satisfied clients are your greatest advocates.

Good luck with your practice.

Finding an Attractive Partner

Achieve Your Dreams, the world’s pre-eminent site for supporting men and women who have suffered a relationship loss, and promoting better relationships presents another insight into assisting men and women to find better and more satisfying relationships.

This blog is intended for adults wanting to understand relationships and forge strong lasting relationships.

Members of both genders often feel intimidated approaching potential attractive partners and this is normal. They see these people receive lots of attention and they are rarely without a date. But before you assume too much consider for a moment what sort of offers they are receiving and don’t underestimate your chances.

Males and females both go through an experimental and gaining experience stage – this will usually end in their twenties, depending on cultural norms, so information presented here refers to after this stage.

I have spoken to several fairly attractive males and females and you may be surprised about their experiences. Attractive females are often seen as ‘trophies’ and don’t get too many offers from ‘average’ guys – now considering average is around 75% of the population that’s a huge slice of the population. This is usually because the average males consider they have no chance and so don’t approach. Those that do approach are often being ‘egged on’ by mates, want to gain status or can suffer personality disorders. Suffice to say few have much to offer an attractive woman in real terms. Attractive males are seen as a ‘must bed’ by many women, despite their relationship status, but are not seen as a good bet for a long term relationship; too much competition and too hard to keep, leaving many attractive males alone.

Even in these ‘enlightened’ days where society allows women to approach a male, most women prefer a male to approach them. Women are still worried about giving off the ‘wrong’ impression and appearing ‘easy’, so many won’t make an approach to a guy they don’t know. Most women can flirt and ‘encourage’ a guy to make an the first move.

The thought of making an approach to another person is often enough to make one feel ill, but it doesn’t need to be this way. With practice you can overcome these emotions and make your approach seem like it’s the most natural thing in the world. If you make it a ‘life or death’ situation you are going to be extremely nervous and emotional. I’m sure you will agree this is not the ideal state to be in. We are taught ‘stranger danger’ in school and with good reason, but we are now adults. It’s not easy to approach a stranger without practicing. Why not say “Hello” to everyone on your travels (discretion may need to be exercised if you are female) without any expectation of a reply – you are giving, not seeking! Some people will answer and others may not, but that’s not important – once you get used to talking to strangers it becomes second nature – you will appear friendlier and your emotions will remain under control – why not try it?

Just a word about confidence for both genders. There is an old saying that goes something like, “You have to love yourself to be loved!” Genes dictate your outward appearance, so accept what you have – if you are 6’6” your chances of being a professional jockey are pretty slim; likewise if you are 4’11” your chances of being a professional basketballer are similar. You can dress to accentuate your assets and disguise your lesser features, but you are what you are, accept and love yourself – as the words of Max Ehrmann’s poem Desiderata state, “You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” Enough said!

Part of your confidence is knowing what you have to offer to your partner. Once you work that out you will be way ahead of your competitors and instead of asking for a date, you will be offering an opportunity to a potential partner. Humans have a built in aversion to being asked for something and the automatic response is usually no – making an offer will produce a considered response!

Security is a big thing in most women’s lives – this stems from lawless societies and sabre toothed tigers. Each woman has her own version of security, but for many it’s tenure – a man to protect her, to cherish her, talk to her, allay her fears, build a life together and maybe have a family. This is important for the next step, especially for males. Note there is no mention of material things here!

It’s important that a couple have lots in common – according to experts they must agree about money, religion and having children to have any chance of success. It’s best to meet a partner where you feel confident – an activity you excel at, or are at least competent. Look for potential partners in these places for the greatest success.

An attractive woman may receive more than 50 emails a day from a dating site, she may get up to 20 offers a day, so she is used to being approached. She has heard almost every ‘line’ invented and will have answers ready. Your only real chance is to be sincere and genuine. When you approach you must do it confidently and without hesitation – she will probably notice anyway. Look at her as you approach and smile. Start with ‘Hello, I’m (your name)” and make your opening gambit – practice this so it’s smooth and confident. A very neutral opening approach is, “I couldn’t help noticing you and had to come over and say hi.” She will or won’t respond – if she doesn’t she is not worth the effort, but if she does, then follow up with something about the place where you are, “It’s noisy in here”, “Lovely outfit, dress, necklace….” Continue the conversation trying to find commonality – people you both know, places you’ve both been, workplaces, schools, towns, cities, entertainment venues, etc. Find out what she likes and make an effort to ask her out somewhere you will both enjoy and make the arrangements. Exchange contact details and politely excuse yourself. If you are at a venue, ensure you show you are enjoying yourself.

If you are a woman trying to get an attractive male’s attention then understand men are not as adept in this area. I have spoken to many exasperated women who have sent gestures to several men without any response. Men are slower in this regard and although some are very alert the vast majority aren’t – men may see your gesture, but think it’s for the guy behind them. Subtlety is not the domain of males and even though every woman in the vicinity will understand the male may miss your signals. Better be closer, smile and maybe open a conversation – whatever you are comfortable with will probably work best.

So the date arrives – both are expectant. You want the date to be fun and for the person to associate you with fun times, but you also don’t want to waste time if your date is looking for something very different from what you want. Your date can’t read your mind, regardless of how they may feel. You must somehow find a way to be serious and let your potential partner know what you are looking for. This can be accomplished by adapting the feedback sandwich. It is often used in Toastmasters and in the corporate environment. I refer to the feedback sandwich as PIP, which stands for Positive-Improvement-Positive. Our PIP is pleasure, information, promise.

So you meet and compliment each other – share what you are doing, laugh, smile and have fun for about one third of the time allotted. Then you may say, “I realise this may be a little premature but in the interests of clarity, would you mind sharing what you are looking for in a relationship?” This will give you a good indication of which stage they are at in terms of a permanent relationship. If they have no idea, they are not ready to commit and go back to having a lovely time. If they can describe what a relationship looks like for them, then listen and tell them your version. If you have a match then OK you can promise to work towards your goals and go back to having a great time. If not, you know you aren’t suited and continue your evening without regrets – remember you didn’t expect anything.

Both genders are looking for the best deal available at any given time – as long as you know what you want and are prepared to ask for it, then you will avoid the mistake so many couples make by assuming the other party wants the same as they do.

So this is what we covered in this blog.

  1. Attractive people get lots of attention, but what sort?
  2. Development stages Age – teenagers and ready to settle down
  3. Sometimes the choices of attractive people are limited
  4. Men have to approach women
  5. Don’t make it a ‘life or death’ situation – it’s a journey – practice makes perfect
  6. Practice delivery
  7. Confidence is everything
  8. Know what you have to offer
  9. Women want security and to be loved
  10. Look in places where you have something in common
  11. The approach
  12. Make it fun, but make them an offer on the 1st date
  13. People can’t read your mind
  14. Both genders are looking for the best deal
  15. Don’t assume – ask for what you want

Thanks for your support and Good Luck.

© Achieve Your Dreams 2015 – 2021

Defeating Poverty and Inequality

Achieve Your Dreams, the world’s pre-eminent site for supporting men and women who have suffered a relationship loss, and promoting better relationships presents another insight into assisting men and women to find better and more satisfying relationships.

This blog is intended for adults wanting to understand relationships and forge strong lasting relationships.

This post is slightly different from the usual posts – it’s not exactly about relationships, but something that has a huge effect on them – poverty and inequality and all its associated consequences.

The Earth has enough resources for its total population of over 7 billion, but unfortunately approximately 1% of the population controls 99% of the resources and these lucky few are not about to relinquish control any time soon – these people enjoy power and all the privileges it brings.

I have a friend and we have devised an economical way to help redress the imbalance. This idea is radical and can only be implemented by powerful people. We approached a government embassy, but were dismissed as cranks because we wouldn’t disclose the details. The idea and its implementation has to remain top secret until the details and legislation are finalised and drafted and our approach was to work with high ranking government officials to do just that.

The idea is simple and can be effectively implemented. Funds are collected and redistributed through a worldwide agency to those in need. Alliances and partnerships with private industry will make it much more effective.

The world’s commerce is already saturated and until more of the population can afford to purchase more things this situation will continue – so it’s in the interests of the corporate world to support this idea, once the details are worked out and finalised.

This means that it is too big for private individuals – it must be adopted by powerful governments to be successful. Many governments talk about this, but little progress is made – in the course of our investigation we found reports and recommendations tabled in the 1960’s that identified the problems, but these were never adopted or implemented. The funds raised are outside government spending budgets – it’s a tiny charge to those who can easily afford it.

Maybe it was too much to ask government officials to even talk to us – maybe we need a groundswell of support from those affected – let’s begin and aim for 100,000 supporters – can we get those? Maybe? A good start is to join our Facebook group and start petitions – what do you say? This is our Facebook group address https://www.facebook.com/groups/425009191946590

So this is what we covered in this blog.

  1. Different post
  2. The earth has enough resources
  3. Controlled by 1% of the population
  4. Idea
  5. Top secret
  6. The idea needs to be picked up by powerful people and organisations to be implemented
  7. I will need around 100,000 supporters – who’s in?

Thanks for your support and Good Luck.

© Achieve Your Dreams 2015 – 2021

Money and Relationships

Achieve Your Dreams, the world’s pre-eminent site for supporting men and women who have suffered a relationship loss , and promoting better relationships presents another insight into assisting men and women to find better and more satisfying relationships.

This blog is intended for adults wanting to understand relationships and forge strong lasting relationships.

Attend our Facebook meeting – register https://www.facebook.com/events/434739934266825

There is an old saying that goes something like this, “When money troubles walk in the door, love flies out the window!” Money is probably the #1 topic of disagreements in families – or more precisely, lack of money, its allocation, where it’s spent, and debt, which can be crippling. Things aren’t much different in the business world – who gets what benefits, or in the corporate world – who gets paid what. Since we specialise in relationships, we are going to talk mostly about families, which encompass all family relationships.

So let’s start with financial literacy. Here is a good definition:

“Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgetting, and investing. The lack of these skills is called financial illiteracy.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Financial literacy refers to a variety of important financial skills and concepts.
  • People who are financially literate are generally less vulnerable to financial fraud.
  • A strong foundation of financial literacy can help support various life goals, such as saving for education or retirement, using debt responsibly, and running a business.” https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/financial-literacy.asp

So now we have a working definition let’s see how we can recognise financial literacy in others. The easiest way is to watch another person’s spending habits. Do they live within their means? Do they spend indiscriminately? Do they consume rather than invest? What’s their belief about debt? Are they already in debt? Are they managing debt, or is it becoming a problem? Most people will give you clues – what type of car do they drive, how do they dress, what sort of lifestyle do they live and how much do they earn. If they spend more than they earn there is a big chance they are using debt to fund the difference.

“Love is Blind,” so they say and it often is. Many feel strong emotions, the brain is flooded with strong chemicals (Mother Nature’s way to propagate the species) and we don’t want to lose our chance at love. Granted! But, before you make a long term commitment a frank and honest conversation must take place about money and debt and the position the parties are presently in. If the other person won’t have that conversation – run, as fast as you can. Don’t agree to be part of a loan for expensive luxury items – cars, boats, holidays, rental bonds on luxury apartments or houses – you may become responsible for the balance of the loan if your partner does a runner.

If you agree to cohabitate ensure you have a firm agreement on money strategies. How the bills are divided, personal spending money, medium and long term goals, future investments (income producing assets only – not your own property), future incomes, including having children, and anything else important to both of you. If your partner has a large debt, servicing that debt will come into the calculation of how much you can borrow to invest or buy your own home.

Attend our Facebook meeting – register https://www.facebook.com/events/434739934266825

Also important is your views on money. People fall into 2 broad categories – investors or consumers – the wealthy tend to invest and the poor tend toward consumption. If you are an investor and your partner is a consumer both are likely to be frustrated, likewise if both are consumers they is a possibility of uncontrollable debt, and if you are both investors you may have to delay your gratification until you can afford what you want. There is a great book called Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki that may be of assistance – many libraries would have this book and it may be available at used book stores as well as online.

There is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debt. Good debt is used to purchase income producing assets – investments that add to your income. Credit card debt used to maintain your consumption is an example of bad debt, others are ‘pay day debt’, so called interest free debt to buy furnishings – many people can’t make the instalments and are charged huge amounts of interest, and ‘after pay’ (usually pay in 4 instalments) – to pay for consumer items. This is reasonably new and very lucrative for the providers and the merchants.

If you find you can’t pay a bill on time call the provider immediately and be truthful – explain the circumstances and ask for their cooperation – most will have a policy in place. Do not use ‘Pay day’ lenders, or other short term, high interest loans no matter what the temptation.

If you are in debt you must first take responsibility for the debt and make a plan to get out of debt ASAP. You may be able to get a second job, make other income or reduce your expenses. Start with the lowest debt and pay it off, each time you do you will have more available funds to repay the other loans. Get advice and assistance – many people assist in this area. Do not get a ‘consolidating’ loan to pay off your previous debts. Strangely more debt doesn’t fix the problem – it makes it worse. Most are expensive and include a fee for the person arranging the loan. In some cases you may be committing an act of bankruptcy in Australia.

Bankruptcy can have serious mid term implications – get good advice before you make the final decision.

Attend our Facebook meeting – register https://www.facebook.com/events/434739934266825

So this is what we covered in this blog

  1. Financial literacy
  2. Watch spending habits
  3. Have the conversation
  4. Agree on money strategies
  5. Consumer vs investor – Rich Dad Poor Dad Robert Kiyosaki 
  6. Good and bad debt – investing
  7. If you are in debt – make a plan
  8. Get assistance
  9. Don’t borrow to pay debt
  10. Take bankruptcy seriously

Good luck.

Forging New Relationships

Achieve Your Dreams, the world’s pre-eminent site for supporting men and women who have suffered a relationship loss , and promoting better relationships presents another insight into assisting men and women to find better and more satisfying relationships.

This blog is intended for adults wanting to understand relationships and forge strong lasting relationships.

I often talk to people who find it difficult to meet new people and make satisfying, rewarding new relationships. They are often surprised when I tell them they were once very good at making new relationships and ask, “When?”

I ask them if they are parents and if so ask them if they have ever watched their toddlers around other toddlers and the penny drops. If you watch toddlers they approach other toddlers and join in with the game – they don’t need rules, invitations or anything else. They will play until they are bored, the kids leave or they have to leave. They have no idea who they played with – they just played, and they won’t remember. As children grow they learn rules, prejudices and later rejection.

It’s important to note that the rules and prejudices children learn are their parents, carers and peers, but many keep these with them for a lifetime – mostly along religious, race and colour, but sometimes social standing. Parents and teachers want to protect their children and students and teach ‘Stranger Danger’ – usually along the lines of don’t talk to strangers. Now, this works well whilst we are children, but what happens when those children grow and move away into unfamiliar areas, still with the same ‘scripts’ running in their minds? I’ll leave you to figure that out.

Many times the first move from home is to a university or college, or maybe to take up a position in another city or country, or maybe join a division of the armed forces, or maybe a sabbatical to another country on a work visa, or maybe to join a lover in another city or country. If you are moving try to find all you can about your new place of residence, even take a holiday if that is possible. Every city has its own culture, sometimes even its own language and dialect, learn this if you can – even if they speak the same language as you, sometimes words can mean something completely different – beware.

Almost all humans respond to a smile and friendliness, so show yours. If you are moving to learn or further your education or to join the armed forces you will have lots of others around the same age, taking the same subjects etc. Say hello and see what happens – don’t be offended if you don’t get an answer – some people are more wary and can take time. The important thing is you have taken a step to meet a new person. Join as many extracurricular activities and you can. If you moved for career reasons you will have work mates and colleagues – find a mentor within the corporation as soon as you can. Find people who share your interests inside and outside your daytime activities – Meetup.com is great for that and get out and explore your new city – ask directions, ask people for information – most will answer. The important thing is you need to make an effort – you joined their city. Try not to concentrate on the differences – concentrate on the sameness.

Remember you will have lots of ‘hidden’ prejudices that you ‘acquired’ while growing up – many of these you won’t be aware of, depending on your age. Remember your eyes and ears are not cameras and recording machines – what you see and hear needs interpreting and sometimes you will see and hear what you expect or want – again be on the watch. Try to be as non judgemental as you can – give everyone a chance, rather than prejudging.

At the base of your skull is a small, but very active part of your brain – it’s called your Amygdala and its job it to keep you safe, especially from predators. It takes its job very seriously and activates tremendously fast – it’s what will stop you in your tracks if it sees anything that resembles a snake, or any other danger – it will take longer for your brain to assess the danger, but its protected you. It’s the same thing that warns you when you want to do something a little different – thank it and reassure it that everything is OK. Show you are not a threat and show your hands to the other person – this, according to some is the basis of shaking hands.

Respect the personal space of others – people born in rural areas usually need a little more personal space than those born in urban areas. Both brains will be accessing each other for non verbal clues – this is both natural and a much better indicator – you won’t know this is happening as it happens automatically in most people – it’s the ‘gut’ feeling you get about another person, despite what they say and how they are dressed. Words can mislead, but it’s extremely hard to match lies with correct non verbal language and your brain is equipped to ‘see’ this. Remember to look at the person when you are engaging. Search for common interests and values.

If you like the person, let them know – they will probably know this anyway, but dismiss any doubt – try to make an arrangement to see them again and get contact information from them. In some cultures for a female to ask a male can be considered ‘very forward’ and in most the male is expected to make the ‘first move’, so take the cues and man up – females can do their ‘coy’ act later. To find a friend you must be a friend.

So this is what we covered in this blog

  1. Watch small children
  2. Smile and be friendly
  3. Be non judgemental
  4. Show you are not a threat
  5. Show your hands
  6. Respect personal space
  7. Look for common interests and values
  8. Take the initiative.

Good luck.

Maintaining Relationships

Achieve Your Dreams, the world’s pre-eminent site for supporting men and women who have suffered a relationship loss , and promoting better relationships presents another insight into assisting men and women to find better and more satisfying relationships.

This blog is intended for adults wanting to understand relationships and forge strong lasting relationships.

Some relationships are strong and need little maintenance – these are usually longstanding relationships that last for many years – most people have these – even though it can be months or years since the last contact the conversation flows like it was yesterday.

However most relationships need a little more care to maintain. Here are a few pointers to assist with this end.

Contact people you care about regularly, and this includes your parents. Even though they ask you the same awkward questions each time you talk, they only do this because they care – the day will come when you can no longer contact them. Included in this group are siblings and relations. Even though you maybe many miles away and extremely busy, that is no excuse with the technology available in the 21st Century.

You will see and talk you your close friends and coworkers almost on a daily basis, but what about your former friends, colleagues and others you have met in the past. Keep in contact where possible and remember the old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know!”

Show people you care about them. This can be particularly difficult for some people, but try. Everyone needs to know they are cared about, regardless of how you may perceive them and their life. Special events may be very important to your friends – try to remember birthdays and special occasions – there are many apps to help remind you of these important events.

Be excited to reunite – show excitement when you see people who are special to you – it may mean more than you realise to them. If someone phones or calls around unexpectedly, unless you are in the middle of a major crisis, make time for them – switch off or put phones on silent, switch off tv’s and other distractions.

Use active listening skills, try not to interrupt or finish sentences, but listen and relay back to the speaker what you think you heard – this minimises misunderstandings. Try not to get defensive or plan your response while the other is speaking – you may miss important information. Acknowledge that you have heard what the speaker is saying, you don’t have to agree with it, but once the speaker knows they have been heard it will reduce the possibility they will get frustrated because they don’t feel they are being heard.

Our memory works by being reminded of things that have happened to us, and that’s OK – it helps the conversation to keep going – try not to ‘top’ the event the speaker just mentioned – it may be very important to them  – you will get another opportunity to share your memory another time.

Share the conversation. This should be quite natural to most, but to some they want to be the centre of the conversation, and are sometimes unaware of this. I once had a friend who could turn the conversation to him within 3 sentences and keep it there, regardless of how the conversation opened. Sadly I had to let go of this friend. The best conversations flow – you say something, the other person adds to it and so it goes. The conversation will naturally change subjects as they are exhausted.

Be reliable. If you make arrangements keep them unless an emergency arises and then message or call to let them know. If you are unsure you can do something tell you friend you will confirm at a later date and do it. Your friend may be really looking forward to the arrangement you made and will feel very let down if you don’t show.

Maintain trust. Friends swop personal information and mostly expect their confidences to be respected. Don’t betray confidences or gossip about your friend, regardless of the temptation. To get a friend you must be a friend.

If you follow these simple suggestions you will get a reputation as ‘friend material’

This is what we have covered in the blog today:

  1. Contact regularly
  2. Show you care
  3. Be excited to reunite
  4. Use active listening skills
  5. Share the conversation
  6. Be reliable – message if you can’t make a meeting
  7. Maintain trust – don’t gossip or betray confidences

Good luck.

To Repair a Relationship

Achieve Your Dreams, the world’s pre-eminent site for supporting men and women who have suffered a relationship loss , and promoting better relationships presents another insight into assisting men and women to find better and more satisfying relationships.

This blog is intended for adults wanting to understand relationships and forge strong lasting relationships.

Most relationship issues are caused by misunderstandings. Something you or the other person said or did is taken out of context and blown up in the imagination, where anything is possible, and experience hurt.

Human’s tend to judge the world by their values and understandings, so someone may do something that upsets you – someone may let you down, not return your call, not invite you somewhere, may find a new friend and not spend as much time with you, there was an incident at work – the reasons are endless. These kinds of events can happen in friendships, between siblings, with parents, relations, at work with your boss and colleagues and even with clients and suppliers if you own a business or any other type of relationship.

In long term relationships like husband / wife, partners etc. the issue may be deeper than misunderstandings, but they do occur. In many cases this issue is disappointment – what’s happening is not the same as what you imagined or expected – your partner puts work ahead of you, is often unavailable, doesn’t listen to you, refuses intimacy, or you suspect them of cheating – again the reasons are endless. Remaining silent often causes emotional pressure so you explode, or may lead to resentment and hate. Honesty, total honesty, is the only way forward.

Maybe surprisingly, a ‘repaired’ relationship is often much stronger and deeper after differences and expectations are aired.

Ok, that said here is a guide to repair a relationship

  1. Calm down. Use breathing or visualising techniques to remain calm. When emotions are evoked it’s hard to remain objective and find solutions.
  2. Contact only if safe. If there is any possibility you could be harmed or put in a compromising situation it’s best to have a meeting with another person or a professional present. Otherwise contact the person and try to make arrangements to meet. If the person is too far away to meet then arrange an online meeting or phone call. Maximum an hour at a time.
  3. Plan what you want to discuss and write it down – you may forget otherwise.
  4. Meet in public. It’s always best to meet at a neutral place – a public place where you can chat and allow sufficient time – otherwise you may be giving off ‘hurry up’ vibes that could easily be misinterpreted.
  5. When you meet ensure you smile and give a hug if it’s appropriate – this gesture can disarm the other person.
  6. Don’t accuse. Approach with an open mind and apologise for anything you feel is your fault. Use ‘I’ statements rather than ‘you’ statements – ‘I feel I am being ignored’, rather than ‘You are ignoring me’ – the latter will make the other person defensive and little progress will be made.
  7. State your side and what you want – listen to their side. Using the above example, ‘I feel I am being ignored, and I would like you to spend more time with me.’ Shut up and listen to the other person. Stay on the topic and don’t allow old accusations into the conversation. Reiterate back to the other person what you heard and get confirmation before proceeding. Get the other person to do the same. Suggest a break if things get too hot and even go for a short walk to regain equilibrium – maybe the bathroom if you are inside.
  8. Clear up misunderstandings or walk away. If you are making progress then continue, even if it takes several meetings, weeks or even months. Test for change and remind the other person of their commitment to make changes. Don’t make threats, but make it known that you are seriously looking for change and a solution. If you are getting excuses and the other person is blaming you or not taking responsibility then walk away – some people can’t take responsibility for themselves and their action – they will never change despite promises to the contrary. Remember the old adage, “Actions speak louder than words!”
  9. Not all relationships last a lifetime. It’s hard to lose a relationship, but remind yourself you managed before you met the person in question and you will manage again. If it’s one or both of your parents, then remain strong – it may be better to forge a life without them – only you can make that decision. Try not to ‘burn bridges’ or become overly emotional – you will appear more credible and envisage a bright future no matter how it may seem at the time. Millions of others have done it before you and millions will do it after you.
  10. Move on – get assistance if you need it. Whatever the outcome try to move on – grief is real and it takes time to emotionally adjust to an emotional loss – it averages around 2.5 years, but can take as long as 5 years. If you feel you aren’t coping get professional assistance.

If your loss was caused by a sudden illness, death or suicide then you can’t follow these steps. Instead, make sure you don’t blame yourself, regardless of the state of the relationship before the loss occurred, or what the other person said. They made a decision that you had no control over. Memories are precious and try to keep the positive memories by surrounding yourself with mementoes. Slowly work through your grief, and get assistance if you need it. Keep as positive as you can about your future and form as many other relationships as you can that give you support. There are some organisations where you can meet others in a similar situation and that will let you know you are not alone.

Good luck.

Antidote to the ‘I Want’ brigade

Achieve Your Dreams, the world’s pre-eminent site for supporting and promoting men, presents another insight into assisting men to find an attractive female lifetime partner.

This blog is intended for single and unattached heterosexual males over 18 years, looking for a monogamous relationship and caters to divorced, widowed and separated men who are looking to start another relationship.

I found a joke in a post in a group on Facebook and its very clever and very funny and I laughed – see pic above. After I stopped laughing I reflected on the joke and wondered about relationships and our society. The woman in the pic thought she had found an opportunity and jumped at it, only to find out that there was information she didn’t know – the man stammered and obviously wasn’t as well endowed as she had originally thought – I wondered how she would manage her disappointment. Would she enjoy what she had or would she blame the guy for her mistake, eventually pushing him away and ending up with a broken heart, alone and possibly very lonely?

Over the past 50 years it seems to me people have concentrated more on what they can get, as opposed to what they can give. There could be any number of reasons for this, but the facts remain that relationships are not seen the same way and divorce rates have skyrocketed in the same period. Could it be that our quest for instant gratification has got to the point where we think of a partner as a TV remote – press a channel for what we want at this moment and when we don’t get it, we respond with blaming and vitriol? When the TV stops working we get an updated version, throwing away the old TV? Humans aren’t the same as an inanimate object like a TV – the TV is programmed to do what the operator selects immediately – humans have emotions and needs.

So this leads me to think about another strange happening in the past 50 years – entitlement! Somehow we think we are entitled to the best of everything without putting in any effort – the influence of TV and mass media? Every man and woman wants the best deal they can get with a partner, and that’s fine, but where does it stop and what is the cost? How many totally gorgeous women are there in the world? How many Adonis’s, with a six pack and a seven figure income? Not many of either. If we use an average distribution curve (bell curve) we will find around 70% of any population is average, with roughly 15% very attractive and 15% not so attractive. Assuming an equal proportion of each gender and 7 billion people in the world this means that 3,500,000,000 are pursuing the 15% who are attractive (525,000,000) and the balance (2,975,000,000) will miss out – hardly! Beauty is a function of the viewer, or as the old adage says, “Every eye forms its own beauty, or Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” There is evidence to suggest we ‘celebrate’ beauty and the more attractive get better opportunities and so the more attractive may gravitate towards a geographical area.

There is also evidence to suggest we only see what we are looking for, and so if we are looking for the most attractive partner we may not even see a less attractive possibility. I once read that at a party with 50 guests and equal numbers of each gender we may not ‘see’ many of the possibly partners, because most will be ‘noticing’ the most attractive of each gender. Although it may seem natural the most attractive partner may not be the best in the long term. They will age, there will be more competition and we have a tendency to endow attractive people with many of the positive traits – only to find out our assumptions weren’t correct. It appears the ‘best’ long term partner is one where we share a lot of similarities – culture, values, aspirations, money, politics and child rearing.

Regardless of who we choose each party has to contribute something – it can’t be all ‘give’ or ‘take’ – no relationship will last long under those circumstances. Over long relationships things will ebb and flow and during the ‘down’ times support is vital to maintain the relationship. Many will be disappointed with their partner – we are all human and come with strengths and weaknesses. Concentrating on the strengths will be more beneficial in the long term than complaining about the weaknesses. Take responsibility for your part in the giving and take only when you need it – imagine your relationship as a huge bowl where both are contributing to filling it and taking only when needed!

For more information get this FREE eBook https://ayd.net.au/books-and-offers/

Good luck on your journey

Vulnerability

Achieve Your Dreams, the world’s pre-eminent site for supporting and promoting men, presents another insight into assisting men to find an attractive female lifetime partner.

This blog is intended for single and unattached heterosexual males over 18 years, looking for a monogamous relationship and caters to divorced, widowed and separated men who are looking to start another relationship.

On the Catholic calendar today is All Souls Day, where those who have died are remembered.

Over the weekend I was reminiscing about my deceased parents, who were Irish immigrants to England. Both felt they weren’t welcomed in their adopted country and kept to themselves. Dad had a sister who lived reasonably close, and mum a brother who lived some distance away, but neither visited that often and I had 2 male cousins who were 10 and 12 years older than I was. Needless to say we rarely had visitors.

I am the eldest of 6 children, and have often thought how similar I am to my dad. Despite living in the same town, which was not large, for almost 50 years, working for the same company for almost 30 years before he retired and visiting the same Club for almost 50 years dad had no friends – mum was the same – she had work friends later in her life. Both had to deal with life’s problems alone, and they didn’t communicate with each other effectively at all. They were strong.

I left home at 20 and moved to Australia. I have lived in different places, been married twice and have met lots of people along the way, but no real friends and I have had to deal with life’s problems alone. Like father, like son? Dad was friendly and would say hello to everyone. He knew everyone at the club he frequented and was on the committee for many years. I have often wondered why I am so similar to my dad – genes, upbringing or something else?

I was talking to someone over the weekend and the subject of vulnerability cropped up and I couldn’t stop thinking about that word. After a few hours I began to believe this may be the problem we both shared. I modelled myself on my dad, who I saw as strong, dependable and frightening – he was much taller and stronger than me as a child. He portrayed his strength to the world and never asked for help even when he needed it, although he was often first to offer assistance to anyone in need. Nobody really knew him, except maybe his sister, whom he fought with. He was always cheerful, and never showed he ‘needed’ anyone – how could anyone get close to someone like that? I have been the same.

I have spent the afternoon researching vulnerability on the internet, and I found it interesting and enlightening. According to research professor and author Brené Brown, who is a leading expert of the subject, and states in Rising Strong, “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage,” She also states, “What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.” According to Wendy Miyake in How Being Vulnerable Can Expand Your World, “Few of us consciously choose vulnerability. Why? The stakes are too high. If we reveal our authentic selves, there is the great possibility that we will be misunderstood, labeled, or worst of all, rejected. The fear of rejection can be so powerful that some wear it like armor.”

Women can see vulnerability as a weapon they give to men to take advantage of them, and men are prone to see it as a weakness, so I will leave you with some words from Tony Fahkry, in How To Embrace Vulnerability As Your Greatest Strength. “Vulnerability is a double-edged sword. Those who protect themselves to avoid getting hurt, fail to appreciate intimacy and close relationships. The wall you construct prevents your true nature from being known to others. It was Rumi who said: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” You must accept your vulnerability if you wish to live a wholesome life.”

For more information get this FREE eBook https://ayd.net.au/books-and-offers/

Good luck on your journey