Lindsay Dotzlaf

Turn Your Dream Project into Reality This Summer: From Idea to Launch, Your Best Summer Awaits!

Mastering Coaching Skills with Lindsay Dotzlaf | One Question to Future-Proof Your Business

Ep #185: One Question to Future-Proof Your Business

I’ve been having lots of conversations with my colleagues, clients, and friends recently about the shifting entrepreneurial climate. It’s prompted me to think about how I have to evolve as an entrepreneur to match what my people need, but this process can often feel like a punch in the gut.

If you find yourself saying, “It’s not working,” whether in relation to trying various things to get your business gaining momentum, or in relation to something that was previously successful in your business that has now stopped working, this episode is for you. There’s one powerful but uncomfortable question you must ask yourself in this situation, and I’m offering it to you in this episode.

Join me this week to learn one question that will help you make the necessary pivots or changes your business needs. You’ll hear the importance of learning to evolve as an entrepreneur, how you might be unwittingly ignoring the issues you’re facing, and how to come up with a new plan if what you’re currently doing isn’t working. 

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!

If you want to hear me talk about mistakes I’ve made in my business over the past year, join me for Behind the Curtain, a video and audio series dedicated to all the mistakes I made that stopped me from hitting my goal over the past 12 months. Click here to check it out!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why, sometimes, it’s easier to do what you know, even if it’s not working.
  • One important question you must ask yourself and your clients in a changing entrepreneurship climate.
  • What’s required of you to come up with a new plan if what you’re doing isn’t working. 

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • For even more resources on making your work as a coach and success for your clients easier, I’ve created a freebie just for you. All you have to do to get it is sign up to my email list at the bottom of the home page!
  • Get an exclusive peek into my coaching journey from 2023! Dive into a series filled with vital lessons from real experiences to fuel your coaching path. Sign up now!
  • 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 me for Behind the Curtain, a video and audio series dedicated to all the mistakes I made that stopped me from hitting my goal over the past 12 months. Click here to check it out!
  • If you have a topic you want to hear on the podcast, DM me on Instagram!

Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills episode 185.

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 have a short but powerful question for you today. Are you ready? And before I tell you what the question is, I want you to know this is a question for you and it’s also a question you can use with your clients, all right? So this is like, I love to do this, it’s like a twofer. It’s like this is for you, for your learning and whether or not you need it right now, great, but maybe your clients do. And it’s a tool you can use with your clients.

So one thing I’ve been noticing recently, I’ve been having lots of conversations just with colleagues, with friends, with clients, and there’s kind of a thing happening right now, which I think is real, I don’t think it’s by any means just thoughts. I think it’s a real thing where the entrepreneurship climate is just shifting a little bit.

I also think that’s totally normal. Before I was a coach I owned another business and I’ve just seen this happen. It’s like ups and downs, right? And one thing that I have really been thinking about in my business is how do I, as an entrepreneur, evolve to kind of match what people need right now and what the climate is in the world?

And one thing I have noticed a lot, again, a lot of my friends, a lot of my colleagues, whoever, my clients saying is it’s just not working. And it’s one of two versions. It’s either it’s not working as in it’s never worked and I’ve been trying the same thing over and over and over. Or I’ve been doing the same thing for a long time and all of a sudden it’s not working and I don’t want to make any changes.

So think about this for you, where is this happening for you? I’m sure we can all think of this in some area of our life. Or think about if there’s a specific client that comes up when you think this, right, when you think about this concept of just being not willing or not ready to make some changes even when it’s not working.

And here’s my question for you, what are you willing to do? What are you willing to do to create the results that you want? Now, before I did what I do now, before I was teaching coaching skills and before this podcast I was a general life coach. And my clients would come to me all the time, even clients that I’d been coaching for a long time or they were new clients, but they would come to me with, I’ve been trying this thing, like I am willing to stay at it. I’ve been trying it for a really long time.

A lot of them were entrepreneurs, not coaches but all different types of entrepreneurs. A lot of them I didn’t really know their business specifically but I would just know, I would just coach them on their mindset, on all the things that were happening.

And so it was always so interesting when I would see them come with like, I’ve been working on this over and over and over for a year and I’m just, like it’s exhausting and it’s not working. And the braver I got as a coach, the more I would realize that the most powerful thing you can ask that client is, why do you keep doing it then? What are you willing to try? It’s not working, let’s just say it’s proven. You’ve been trying it for a year, and I know this is true for some of you as coaches because I’ve heard you say it, where you’re maybe talking about your business or you’re talking about some new thing that you want to create, or something that you know you want to have down the line, and you just keep going and going and you can coach yourself to stay with it.

And that’s amazing. It really is. Like that is truly a gift. And at some point you want to ask yourself, and especially if this is coming up for you right now with kind of the changing climate, what am I willing to do? Not like what am I willing to do, I’m going to sell my soul. Not that kind of evil what am I willing to do. But what am I willing to try? What am I willing to experiment with? Where am I willing to get uncomfortable? Basically, like how much willingness do I have to get this to work?

And the interesting thing for me is to watch when it’s my colleagues, when it’s people that I know they’ve been doing the same thing over and over and over and it’s been working so well, and then it’s all of a sudden not. Now, I’m not saying when something all of a sudden doesn’t work, that you just immediately make a change. Maybe you do, but that’s not always the answer. It could be an easy solution, right?

But when you’re so willing to keep going, even when it starts not working and then it continues not working and continues not to work, you just want to question, what am I willing to try? How will I know if it’s time to make a change? You just have to answer that for yourself. And that’s a question you could ask your client, right? How will you know when it’s time to make a change?

And the truth is that for most of us, even when things aren’t working, and this is true for your clients too, we can have compassion for it. If you’ve ever had a hard day, month, year, whatever in your business, you can surely find compassion when a client is stuck doing the same things over and over and over thinking they’re not working, but they’re willing to keep going, or they’re scared to make changes.

You can certainly probably find some compassion for that because sometimes the truth is it’s easier to keep doing what’s known, even when it’s not working or when it has clearly stopped working, than it is to channel the energy to ask yourself to find a new plan, right? And it doesn’t always mean we’re going to throw it all out and make something totally new.

There are things right now that I’m trying in my business that are new. They’re fun. This is one way to really think about it, like what could be fun? How can I make this fun? If I am going to make changes, even if they feel scary, what might feel fun? You could ask yourself that, ask your client that, but to really just pause and say, what am I willing to try?

And just notice, for those of you paying attention to my business, it’s not like I’m getting rid of offers, or like The Coach Lab is still thriving, right? I’m still selling that. It’s not like I’m throwing everything out, but there are, I am making subtle differences in the way I sell, in the way I market, and just being a little more bold, making some changes.

So for you, what could that be? Where do you feel stuck right now? Where are you stuck and you’re ignoring it, and you’re just going and going and going, even though it isn’t working? And for some of you, I know because I’ve been there, this is going to feel like a punch in the gut like, oh, she’s right. I’m totally doing the same thing over and over and over, and it’s definitely not working.

The uncomfortable thing to ask yourself is, what am I willing to change? What am I willing to feel in order to make the changes? What am I willing to try, even though I know it might not work, right? We can never know ahead of time for sure what’s going to work, otherwise you would already be doing that. But remind yourself also, if what you’re doing now isn’t working, why wouldn’t you try something new?

Now, this is very different than trying something new and then waiting, not waiting but sticking with it to see if it will work, right? Because there’s also the other side of this, of course, the opposite, which is like try something new, try something new, always something new, which kind of can keep your audience a little confused, I think, if we’re talking about a coaching practice.

Or it can just keep you confused, right? Keep you in constant new creation mode instead of slowing down, trying things, really evaluating them, really deciding if they’re working or not, and giving it time to work, and maybe even asking yourself ahead of time, how long am I willing to give this to see if it works?

When we try new things in my business, this is one question we answer. So we’re trying some new, we’ve been trying some new things with ads, and we’re just trying things, right? It’s like, how many times, like a masterclass for example, how many times do I want to try one with this specific topic to see if it goes well, right?

Because one thing I’m doing is practicing them. So that means the first time I deliver it might not be the absolute best. But how will I know with that first one if it’s a good topic and I could just be better at it, or if it’s a bad topic and I need to switch, right? These are the types of questions that we ask. How long are we willing to give this to see if it works?

And sometimes that answer might be, like there might be some sort of time constraint that you really are within. And sometimes there’s not. For those of you, for example, who are building a business, and you’ve been at it for a long time and you’re feeling really frustrated, and there’s not really a time constraint besides just the arbitrary, like I set the goals and I want to get there.

If that’s you, because I know this happens for so many of you, and I first just want to say, it’s okay. You’ve got this. If you keep going, you can make it work. But don’t lie to yourself and say it’s working if it’s not, right? You might say, okay, what is working? Do an evaluation. What’s working? What do I want to keep moving forward? And what’s really not working? How do I know? What do I want to change?

And maybe just change one thing at a time. It might be one big thing. It might be one small thing. If it makes you uncomfortable, that’s probably good.

Okay, that’s it. That’s it for today. What are you willing to do, to try, to feel, to experiment with? Ask yourself this question. Ask your clients this question anytime you’re feeling stuck, or sometimes just for fun, even if you’re not stuck. It’s just a fun question to ask. It can be uncomfortable sometimes. Maybe it doesn’t always feel fun. It’s a great question to ask, how about that? Sometimes it feels fun. Sometimes it doesn’t. See what you come up with. I believe in you. I am cheering you on. You have no idea, I am your number one fan. Promise.

All right, I’ll talk to you next week. Goodbye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at That’s Lindsay with an A, See you next week.

Enjoy the Show?


Copy of Bio Image

Hi I’m Lindsay!

I am a master certified coach, with certifications through the Institute for Equity-Centered Coaching and The Life Coach School.

I turn your good coaching into a confidently great coaching experience and let your brilliance shine.

50 Questions for Coaches

Questions are powerful! Grab my 50 questions for ANY coach for ANY client

follow along