Ep #104: Creating a Plan for Your Business

Mastering Coaching Skills Lindsay Dotzlaf | Creating a Plan for Your Business

Last week I had my very first in-person Coaching Masters live event and my coach heart feels so full. I wanted to talk about this on the podcast today because it was so transformative and I wanted to give you some insights and takeaways that you can use in your own coaching, specifically around creating a plan for your business.

The first live event I ever scheduled was for March 2020 so, as you can probably imagine, it was canceled. And while I was devastated at the time, it ended up being one of the best things for my business because I was able to grow into hosting this mastermind. I think the event in 2020 would have been fun, but this one was even better.

Tune in this week to hear about some of the things we did at the live event and how I prepared for it. I share some client examples and talk about how you can do what we did at the event to improve your own business.

Enrollment for the next round of Coaching Masters is open from November 14th through November 18th, 2022, and the program starts in January 2023. So, if you want to hone your specific coaching processes that lean into your values and your unique coaching style, click here to get on the waitlist!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why this in-person event was so transformative for me.
  • What I asked clients attending this in-person event to do for their businesses.
  • How you can use what we did at this event for yourself or your clients.
  • The questions you can ask yourself to create a plan.
  • How to push through feeling stuck.
  • The importance of creating a plan for your coaching business.
  • How to show up for yourself and your clients.
  • What Coaching Masters can do for you.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

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  • If you want to hone in on your personal coaching style and what makes you unique, The Coach Lab is for you! Applications are open, so come and join us!
  • Join the waitlist for Coaching Masters here!
  • Click here to submit your questions for my next Q&A episode

Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills, episode 104.

To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week, I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.

Hey coach, I am so glad you’re here today, as always. And I want to tell you a little bit about an experience that I just had over the last week, which was so fun, so transformative for myself and for my clients. And I just want to let you in on some things that happened, some little just insights and takeaways that I had that you can use in your own coaching. And also maybe convince you why you need to come join us in Coaching Masters so that you can have this experience with us.

So before we get started I do want to say if you are listening to this in real time Coaching Masters, which is my six month mastermind, is open for wait list enrollment. So if you are not in The Coach Lab you can go to my website, go to my Instagram, go wherever you interact with me and find the link to get on the Coaching Masters wait list. And that will just make sure you are among the first to know when enrollment is officially open, when applications are open.

And one little secret, if you are already enrolled in The Coach Lab and you’re already in that community the applications are open now for you. So you can go find the email that I’ve sent you, find the link and apply now. The spaces are limited, so I highly recommend if you know that this is your next step, if you know that this is something you’re wanting to do, go find the application, or email me or whatever you need to do to get that application and get your application in to save your spot.

If you’re new here and you’re like, “What in the world is Coaching Masters? I just found this podcast.” Coaching Masters is my six month mastermind where we really focus on coaching mastery and you really taking your specific style of coaching, making it your own, taking it to the next level, and really just leaning into this is who I am, this is how I coach. And creating that process and just really owning everything about your coaching and the mastery that you bring to the craft in every single way that you work with and help your clients.

So again, if you already are in the Coach Lab, find the application, get it in now. If you aren’t, just a few details, the applications open November 14th and they will be open for that week, that Monday through Friday. And then the mastermind starts in January, at the end of January. All right, I cannot wait to see you there. If you have any questions, please let me know. Otherwise, let’s dive into today’s topic.

So this is actually related to Coaching Masters because last week I just had my very first in-person Coaching Masters live event. Which is the event that goes along with the Coaching Masters mastermind. So it’s not something I sell separately, you can only attend if you are in Coaching Masters. And everyone that’s in the mastermind, they have the opportunity to come to this couple day live event and or attend virtually.

So this time I had about two thirds of the attendance probably, I don’t know, give or take, were live and the other third were virtual. So everyone that was there, live and virtually, everyone got to participate in two full days of learning, creating plans for their projects, and then of course the people that were there live got to also participate in a welcome dinner and a celebration dinner.

We had so much fun. My coach heart just feels so full right now. And I am, honestly, I’m still processing everything that happened over those few days. A few days seems like a very short time, but honestly it felt, when I was in it, like an eternity in the best way. We were just so immersed the whole time in what we were working on and what was going on and so much growth and so many just mind blowing things happened for me, for my clients, for everyone, that it was really just so powerful.

Now, I know this about live events, I love live events. And I have been wanting to include one with this mastermind for a while. The reason that I haven’t done it is I also wanted to be extremely clear of exactly what it was supposed to be. Like what it was going to be, not just I’m having a live event with my mastermind just to have a live event or to have an in-person portion.

I really wanted to know exactly what I was going to teach and the reason that I would be teaching it. Ironically, the very first time I launched Coaching Masters was in December of 2019 and I had planned a live event with that first group. And then, of course, 2020 happened. And then in, I think, March of 2020, I believe, is when the live event was supposed to be, March or April. And of course, that had to be canceled because hotels weren’t allowing events like that, travel was hard, all of that.

So the event was canceled. And honestly, I was devastated at the time. But it turned out to be one of the best things kind of for my business as I grew and grew into this mastermind and grew into hosting this mastermind. Because like I said, the very first time I planned it it was just more from a place of I love being together in person with my clients so let’s just decide we’re going to do it and then figure it out.

And I’m sure it would have been amazing. But the fact that I’ve been thinking about this now for two years of running this mastermind, I was just so excited to do it, so excited to be with my clients. And the material is something I’d been thinking about for a while.

So just a little backstory, what I asked my clients to do is come up with one thing, one project that they wanted to work on. And I gave them some examples of like what they could be, but then they all came up with something to come, to bring to this live event.

And I promised them that over those couple of days, I actually said this on the first morning, I said over the next couple of days you’re going to have an entire plan from start to finish on exactly how you’re going to create this thing. How you’re going to bring this thing into the world.

You’re going to know every single step, you’re going to have a list. You’re going to be able to go home, like when you get home I don’t want you to go home and just, “Okay, that was fun,” and then set it to the side and never look at it again. I’ve done this before, it’s not a great plan is not a good use of your time.

I wanted them to have an exact plan of how this was going to happen. And they all laughed. They all thought there’s no way, I don’t know enough, you know, there’s just no way this is going to happen. And it turns out, every single person left with their exact plan to create the thing. Most of them even started working on some content or some outlines or whatever made sense for their specific project before they left.

So not only did they have a plan, but they had started the actual project. So it didn’t feel like, you know, when they were home by themselves sitting at their desk at 2pm on a Tuesday, it wasn’t like, “Oh my gosh, where do I start? What do I do?” They had an exact plan, exactly where to start with a timeline and everything.

I’ll get a little more into this in a second, but I’ll give you some examples of projects that they picked. So some of them decided, a couple of them decided they wanted to start podcasts. Some of them decided they wanted to create a new offer or a new container.

Maybe they have a great one-on-one practice and they’re wanting to create a group program or a group offer, or even create a program or membership or that type of thing. Just a new container for their coaching, maybe a new process for their coaching. Some of them wanted to think about group launches, like how do they launch a group? How do they sell a group?

One of my clients created a marketing Bible for artists, which of course those are her clients. That’s incredible. So basically a full kind of workbook, that’s the title she gave it, but a full workbook that she can give to every client that starts working with her from this point forward. So really, it wasn’t just about creating that product, but about really thinking through each piece. What do my clients need to know? What is my exact process for selling art?

A couple of them wanted to create new Facebook communities, or a new community, something along those lines. And some of them that didn’t have a specific like, oh, I know, I want to start a podcast, I know I want to start this new offer, they created projects that were like, okay, let me think about how do I create a content plan?

Which I think this is so genius. How do I create a content plan for, in this case social media, but it could be for email, for my marketing? How do I create that content plan so I have kind of an exact replica that I just duplicate every month, right? So here’s the exact plan. I do this every month over and over and over. It’s just a plug and repeat. I think that’s so good.

There may have been others. I think that that pretty much covers all of them, or at least the general idea of all of them. And I was very clear that although what we do in my mastermind, we don’t talk a lot about marketing or sales, we stay very focused on the coaching. I knew that for this project it didn’t really matter what kind of thing they picked. So it didn’t have to be you can only work on your coaching process, you can only work on content for your coaching or for a community or something like that.

Which those things are all great, but what I know for sure is that all of the things, even if it’s creating new content, like a podcast that you’re putting out into the world, of course that’s going to come back around and help your coaching immensely. If you’re creating a new program or learning how to sell a new program, that’s going to help your coaching immensely, right?

Just even if it’s just because you’re getting more people, you’re attracting more people to you, you are really finding those clients, bringing them in, and now you just have more clients to work with and more people to practice your coaching on. And I just know that all of these things, like what’s the saying? Like all roads lead to Rome or something like that, I don’t know. I actually don’t know if that’s it. But all roads lead to better coaching, in my opinion.

So they all picked their thing and then we all got to work. Now they did come prepared. So we had already talked about it, of course, they were already thinking on their projects. But the very first thing we did was just coached on the projects, made sure that each one of them was very, very clear and knew exactly what they were working on for the next couple of days.

And then we started thinking about okay, what does it look like? Why do you want to do this? Tell me all the reasons, right? For example, if you’re creating a podcast, what are all the reasons you want to have a podcast? Some of them might be very specific to your coaching or to your business. Some of them might be reasons like I want to find my voice. I want to be more confident putting my content out into the world, right?

So just all the reasons, we listed them all. And then we went through things like thinking about what are all the obstacles that are going to come up for you along the way? What are all the roadblocks that are going to stop you? What are all the things that are going to get in the way?

Some might be actual things in your life, right? Like time, or my family, or my partner’s thoughts about this thing or whatever. And some of them are just internal. These thoughts I have about myself, these thoughts I have about putting this thing out into the world.

Then I asked them other questions. These are, of course, all throughout the day. I asked them other questions about, okay, what are just the first steps? Let’s start thinking about that. What do you think you have to do first in order to work on this thing? And it just kind of built up into, okay, now, let’s create every step along the way and make a timeline for what you’re going to do.

And I do want to be clear that when I say they have a plan that has every step that they need to do, some of the steps might look like, oh, I need to research this thing or I need to Google this. Or I need to learn how to do this specific thing with my emails. Or I need to decide if I’m going to hire anyone, or whatever. There are things in the plan like that, but I still had them put all of those in the plan.

When are you going to do this? Oh, you need to ask for help? Okay, who are you going to ask? You need to learn this new skill? Where are you going to learn it, right? You need to Google or like make a decision, we had so much coaching on decisions. What are all the decisions you’re going to have to make? And we just made them all right there, if they could. If they had all the information that they needed we made every single decision.

Some of them were very squirmy. But it was perfect because what happens in this container, and just wow, like what really blew my mind, and of course, conceptually I already knew this. But seeing it play out in real time just gave me chills. Because what happens is all these things that are kind of superficial things, like just making the decisions, and making a plan, and creating the how and all of those, when I showed them these things that you’re thinking through aren’t actually that hard.

Now, they might feel hard if it’s the first time that you’re doing the thing, right? If you’ve never had a podcast, or you’ve never created a workbook for your clients, or you’ve never started a Facebook community, or whatever the thing is. If you’ve never done it, it might feel hard. But when you actually just break it down to, okay, what’s every single step I need to take? What’s every single question I need to answer? What’s every single decision I need to make? Those individual things aren’t really the hard part.

And yes, we spent time thinking about all of these things, giving each other advice on all of these things, you know, asking questions about all of these things. The real goodness was all of the coaching that happened in between.

So sometimes I broke them up in groups and they kind of discussed and coached each other. Sometimes I coached them as one large group. I’m sure that the structure will be a little different moving forward because I learned so much this time. But between each question, between each working, we did some coaching.

And the magic is all of the thoughts that come up, that are always there, that are always playing in the background. It’s like the episode, the podcast episode I recorded about secret fears. All those little fears that are playing underground that are so easy to ignore, maybe, when you’re in the day to day. When you’re just coaching your clients or when you’re just doing the things that you always do.

But choosing something bigger to work on, choosing this project makes every one of them bubble up. I’m going to be terrible at this, this is never going to work. No one will listen, or care, or pay attention. I’m not like everyone else, I don’t fit in. I can never create these types of results that I’m dreaming of. Right, like all of those thoughts that are there, that are like those deep wounds that we carry with us, those are forced kind of up and out in a situation like this.

And it’s one thing I love about being in person and being in this type of environment where there’s so much safety and support created in the space. And not only is it created by the way that I lead the group, and that is one thing. But there’s also just something that happens when you see other people who you’ve come to know and love, when you see them say the thoughts that are in your head, right?

When you hear someone else say, “I’m so scared, no one will ever listen, or care, or pay attention to this thing I’m creating.” And that’s your thought too. But when you see them say it, you’re like, “Wait, what? Why would you think that? Of course, I think that because for me it’s true. But for you, why would you ever think that?” Right, because we see other people in such different lights and such different ways than we see ourselves. We’re so much more kind to other people, usually, than we are to ourselves.

So there’s something so powerful that happens when you’re in a group and all of these thoughts that come up are the thoughts that, really, we have to work on all the time, every day, right? And they do come up in the day to day. They do come up when you’re coaching your clients, and when you’re working on your business, and when you are, who knows, maybe even just in your life.

But when you can work on them and chip away at them and chip away at them and chip away at them, and in my opinion, this situation, what I created kind of helps take a big chunk out of it. It doesn’t mean that they will never be there again, because they will. They’ll probably be like, “Hey, remember me?”

I always think about like each new level, each new stage of growth that I have, these thoughts, my favorite thoughts do pop back up. They’re like, “Oh, here I am again.” But every time I can see, “Oh, this isn’t a problem. I’ve worked through this before. Of course this is my thought, this is always my thought,” right? It just takes so much power out of it.

One of my favorite things of being in community with other coaches and other people who are doing the work that I’m doing and kind of working on similar things is you get the gift of seeing yourself from someone else’s eyes, right?

Like someone might just say one thing to you that you’re like, “Wait, you think that’s true about me?” And it can just really blow your mind. It can really start, again, to chip away at some of those stories that you have about yourself. And, again, the more you do that, the easier it is to recognize when they’re just coming up again.

So we did a lot of coaching, a lot of planning. I am so grateful, it feels like such a privilege to be able to work on each of these projects with them and just know that I’ll be able to see them coming into fruition, coming into the real physical world over the next few months. It feels so exciting for me as the coach. And, like I said, tons of coaching. There was a lot of crying. A lot, lot of laughing, which I love so much. And just a lot of filling each other up and learning, and just mind blowing things.

And one of the things that I did tell them, which I would love to share with you as well, is in moments like this, when you’re creating something new or when you are working on something you’ve never done before, it can be really easy to get stuck in, “This is hard, I don’t know what I’m doing.” And what I would encourage you to do is take occasional breaks to think about, to kind of be in awe of the thing that you’re doing.

Because in the future, you’re going to look back and it’s going to be like, oh my gosh, this is when I wrote my first podcast episode. This is when I created the idea for this brand new group that I have. This is that one time when I created my social media plan for each month that I still use years from now, right?

And it doesn’t mean, whatever you create you’re probably going to change it. I’m sure it’s going to evolve, which is always something important to remember. But just being in awe of I’m doing this for the first time, I think that can help so much take you out of the “This is so hard, I don’t want to do it, I just want to stop,” right? Which is really easy to do when you’re in the beginnings of something because you can’t see the magic yet that it’s going to be, or the magic that’s going to come from it.

So maybe you write your first workbook or you create your first thing and like no one uses the workbook, or no one signs up for your very first group or whatever it is, that doesn’t matter. That’s still like the rough draft. It’s the first, maybe not even rough draft, it’s the first draft of this new thing that you’re creating. And by the time you’re on like the fifth draft, when it’s working and it’s a thing in the world, it’s so fun to look back. Even if it’s looking back in a way that’s like, oh my gosh.

Like I look back at things now, some of the first, maybe Facebook Lives I ever did, or some of the first posts I ever did about coaching. And it’s just I’m like, “Oh my gosh, that’s so cute.” Right? Like what was I even talking about? Or what was I doing? But in the moment, that was my best work, it was all I had.

And that is true for all of it, right? Like I don’t go back now and listen to my first podcast episodes, 100 episodes, about two years ago, I don’t go back and listen to those. I’m sure if I did they would be a little cringe. But I still get messages all the time, “I started from episode one, and you won me over a couple episodes in.” So maybe not, maybe I would love them. But that’s just not something I do often, like go back and binge my own content because I just know my brain is not going to be the friendliest to me.

But just noticing, oh, I’m right in the middle of the creation of this new thing, and this might be the thing that changes everything for me. And then the other piece of it is thinking about when you work through those thoughts I was talking about like,” I’m going to be terrible at this. I’m terrible at everything. This is never going to work. No one’s going to listen. Those aren’t results I know how to create.”

Like whatever those thoughts are, think about on a big level, on a bigger level if you think about the ripple of that thought. If you work through that and you chip away at that with everything that you do, how is that going to affect everything in your life?

Yeah, it’s showing up. Like it’s showing up in a big way when you’re working on this one big project, but also where is it showing up when you’re just being a normal human on the weekends with your kids? Or in your relationships? Or no one’s going to care, no one’s going to pay attention, I’m not like everyone else, like how can those thoughts be so pervasive in your whole life?

So for me when I think about this opportunity that I created for my clients and that they 100% showed up for and just ran away with in a way that I couldn’t have even expected. When I think about that, I think about those things, like how will this thing, working on this one project, which might feel small in the moment to them or might feel huge, depending.

But just working on those thoughts that come up when you’re working on them or when you’re creating the thing, how is that going to affect every facet of your life? Every facet of your coaching, of your business, of your life, of your relationships, of everything.

So that’s just what I want to offer today. If you have no interest in ever joining Coaching Masters, that’s totally fine. But the takeaways from this isn’t just to tell you about what we did, but to really think about that work you’re doing with your clients, right?

Sometimes I have coaches that come to me and say, oh, but we’re just so focused on the how, or my client only wants to focus on the how or on the actions. We totally did that over the last week when I was with my clients. We talked a lot about the how. A lot about the actions. And then we coached so much on all the things that came up.

So it’s like don’t be afraid of going there, or focusing in on something specific, on focusing on creating something new because all this stuff that bubbles up to the surface, that’s where the good coaching comes in.

All right, I hope this is super useful for you. And again, if you would love to join us and do this work in the next round of Coaching Masters, there will be another Coaching Masters live component to it, which I’m already excited about, I’m already planning. Come join us, I can’t wait for you to be there. I can’t wait to meet you. I can’t wait to do this work with you. And I will see you next week. Bye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at lindsaydotzlafcoaching.com. That’s Lindsay with an A, D-O-T-Z-L-A-F.com. see you next week.

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