Why Doing Less Will Help You Achieve More

3 Ways to Beat Procrastination

The 7 Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs

The Truth About Why Most Start-ups Fail

I’m willing to place a bet that at some point, as someone motivated and determined to improve your personal or professional life, you will have been swayed by a headline similar to those above. We feel an irresistible, almost visceral magnetism towards statements our brains experience as ‘positive advice’, things we need to do in order to become that Super Me.

This explains the recent success behind self-help books and magazines; titles such as the above stimulate primitive parts of our brain, giving us answers to questions we ask to ourselves consciously and unconsciously on a daily basis. They give us things to do in order to create that perfect life and solve the puzzles that preoccupy us.

But do we really need more things to do? Will you beat procrastination just by knowing the 3 ways to beat it, and will you also become a successful entrepreneur once you are in on their seven carefully guarded secrets?

The answer to these questions, lies all around you. Take e.g. one of the most popular and esteemed self-help books of all time: ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey. According to Google, the book has sold more than 25 million copies in 40 languages worldwide. Would you trust that reading the book has led to 25 million (more as many borrowed the book, listened to it on audio or bought it from another buyer) leaders, managers and motivated individuals in general to also become highly effective in what they do? Quite doubtful.

Knowing what to do is one thing, doing it is another. And sometimes doing it, is not the answer at all. Sometimes all you need to do is take a step back, and think about your problem with more clarity, looking at the big picture.

I discovered this the hard way when I was running a skin clinic before the pandemic came to shut the business, as it did to many other small businesses. I had acquired this existing clinic which was based on that location for over 12 years, and was quite excited about this. I was determined to make this business work, and was pouring my heart and soul into it, working 7 days a week. I quickly identified what I thought was the problem: pricing. We had the lowest prices in town and weren’t making much profit. So I got advice and assistance and started upgrading my equipment, did some work to the clinic itself to make it look more appealing and modern, focused on the staff delivering premium customer service, trained them to sell a new top quality skincare range, and raised the prices.

And then…crickets. The clients’ response to all these changes was lukewarm, to say the least. Several regular clients even stopped coming, despite us having trained the staff to reach out to them with lovely phone calls, letters in the post and offers they couldn’t possibly resist. This led to great frustration on my part and that of my staff. Could they not see how much better we were than before?

Once I took a step back and looked at the situation with more clarity, I understood the true nature of the problem. The issue was twofold:

  • The clients weren’t visiting the clinic because of the wonderful customer service or the top of the range equipment. They were visiting it because it had the reputation of being the cheapest in town. They were looking for cheap deals, not for quality of service or equipment
  • The only treatments the existing clients were prepared to invest in, were quick fix medical style treatments such as dermal fillers and Botox. They weren’t educated, and therefore not interested, in skincare solutions that require regular maintenance and time investment, such as using clinically effective skincare products in order to maintain the effects of the treatments.

Once I identified the true issue, I applied a two-part solution:

  • I intensified my outbound marketing efforts and invested in a case management system which helped me get new clients in that look more like my ideal clients
  • I used inbound marketing in order to educate people about the role of the nurse so that she could introduce more treatments that are in line with what the existing clients wanted. Furthermore, I encouraged the nurse to also educate people about the importance of skincare maintenance

The solution was there in front of me, but blinded by The Advice, I was looking at the wrong place. My real problem was that I wasn’t yet serving my ideal clients, and didn’t quite understand the existing ones. Once I saw this misunderstanding, the solution to the problem became much clearer. I didn’t need to introduce more things to the clinic. I needed to understand better what the current clients needed, while consistently attracting new ones that fit with how I wanted my clinic to be run.

Clarity of thinking leads to the right solutions. And you would be surprised to find how often that solution means doing less rather than more. Removing thinking that leads to a misunderstanding of the problem, and regularly taking a step back to look at the big picture, might be the single most important skill to help you achieve more at work and in life.

Playing Music Benefits Your Mental Health

Have you ever regretted not having had the opportunity to learn to play your favourite songs on your favourite musical instrument? Maybe at some point in the past you were motivated to learn an instrument, but life got in the way with all its challenges and busy demands?

There is increasing evidence on the benefits of being engaged with music on our mental health. And, it seems, the benefits not only come from listening to music, but also from playing music.

In a fascinating conversation with professional musician and ‘musical de-stressor’ Mark Deeks, we discussed the healing powers of music and the benefits on our mental health of singing in a choir or learning to play the piano.

Mark also dispelled some common myths which are holding back busy people from learning to play the piano. These range from ‘I don’t have the time’ (you can make progress just by devoting 15 minutes a day on playing) to ‘I will need to figure out how to play scales and play classical music’ (Mark teaches a method which doesn’t require either).

Mark has spent more than 20 years working as a musical director, pianist, arranger and teacher, and has built a really diverse group of musicians as a client base. From artists such as Faye Tozer of Steps to black metal bands Winterfylleth (a band Mark ended up joining) and Drudkh. He has given Lenny Henry piano lessons, and written versions of songs by metal stars Sonata Arctica for symphony orchestra and choir.

 You can find information about Mark’s ‘Not Another Piano’ Book here

Solopreneurs looking to beat overwhelm and create a life of freedom, clarity of purpose and accountability, join my FREE facebook group here

The Art of Conversational Sales

Most of us solopreneurs are in it for the love of what we do. Typically we are experts in the services we provide, whether we are therapists, coaches, artists or small business owners. This leads us into countless enjoyable conversations with our clients, patients and fans.

However, conducting a sales conversation typically feels like an entirely different matter. The context in which we often conduct such conversations seems to be very different, and this often makes us dread these conversations. 

I recently spoke with hypnotherapist and sales expert Philip Carrington-Spence about the art of conversational sales for coaches and therapists. In this almost hourly live chat we discussed some typical pain points for solopreneurs when it comes to making sales calls. If you are wondering how to improve your sales skills then I strongly recommend you taking some time to watch the enclosed video and find out:

  • Why sales conversations needn’t be boring and dry
  • Why you shouldn’t be afraid to charge high ticket prices
  • The number one tip for conducting successful and natural sales conversations
  • Why you should be aiming to get a lot of ‘no’s’, despite of what the sales guru’s say

Check it out below, and as ever I would love to hear your feedback!

PS Coaches and therapists wishing to learn more about the art of conversational sales, join Phil’s group for like-minded professionals here.

PS2 Solopreneurs such as small business owners, therapists and creatives wishing to beat overwhelm and find clarity of purpose, accountability and freedom in their lives, join my group for like-minded professionals here.

How Comfortably Do You Sit?

We all love our comfort, and dwell in it most of the time. Unfortunately, in order to make all important changes to our lives, to become experts in our field or to learn something new, we will need to get out of it. And there in the cold, outside that comfort zone, that’s where fear resides.

Having the right strategies and tactics is one thing; sure, you need clear and smart goals and an action plan to take you from vision to action. But I have seen time and again people with the most sophisticated action plans failing to realise them when these plans leave the drawing board and enter the real world.

Unless you have a strong and determined mindset; unless you are committed to invest time and effort until you excel in achieving what you desire and turn actions to habits; unless you are prepared to continue making mistakes and learning from them over and again, you will revert back from your fear zone to your comfort zone. 

But the see-saw can go either way. If you continue adjusting your balance, it will eventually tip forward rather than back, pushing you into your growth zone. And that’s where magic happens 💫

You’ve got this!

PS there are some exciting and interesting discussions right now in my FREE facebook group for solopreneurs seeking clarity and freedom ! Have you checked it out yet? Click here to join the conversations!

Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Mondays

Like the song suggests, research has shown that Monday is the least productive and most hated day of the week.

The problem with Mondays is….that they come after Sundays. Many people associate the former with the start of new to-do-lists, projects that need to be started or resumed, chasing up suppliers, getting dreaded emails from accountants or creditors that need to be actioned etc. Sundays on the other side, are days of relaxation, reflection, rest and family time.

The key to changing this lies in how you prepare for the week. You can remove a lot of the Monday morning overwhelm and stress by planning the day’s tasks in advance.

As a solopreneur, your day of reflection is typically a Sunday. I find Sunday evenings the ideal time to set 15-30 minutes aside to plan the week ahead. Write down three important tasks you want to complete every day that week, starting on Monday. Yes, three only!

Adding more than three tasks to your daily to-do-list, is likely to dilute your results and reduce your effectiveness. The more tasks in the list, the less chance that you will get them done! It’s likely that you will choose the most ‘fun’ tasks to start with and end up just doing them, ignoring or postponing the things you know deep down will make a bigger difference to your results, but take you out of your comfort zone because they are not ‘fun’.

Better to have three important tasks in your daily to-do-list, and get only one done, than eight tasks of which you finish five, none of which is essential! Be honest to yourself and pick out next week the tasks you know you really need to complete. Then focus on completing them as early in the day as possible. ‘Eat That Frog’ like a wise man said! You will be amazed at the results, and the more you put this into practice, the less overwhelmed and stressed you will feel at the start of the week. 
Go get ’em!

Here’s to a productive and exciting week,
PS there are some exciting and interesting discussions right now in my FREE facebook group for solopreneurs seeking clarity and freedom ! Have you checked it out yet? Click here to join the conversations!

What is your relationship with time?

Have you ever wondered why some people get so much more done, despite having exactly the same available time as you do ?

Time might feel like a linear concept for most of us, but this is mostly an illusion. In reality, you are the source of your time and therefore you can create all the time you need for what is important to you.

Especially in our western societies, it has become a badge of honour to be ‘busy’. But when you take a closer look around, you will see that most busy people are merely busy fools. They are extremely busy doing the wrong thing purely for the purpose of being too busy to confront and do what they really need to do.

It might sound counterintuitive to suggest that busyness is a form of laziness, but this is exactly the case. Consider this: 5-10% of what you do is responsible for 90-95% of your results. If you want to be a successful business owner, then the factors that will determine your success are the effectiveness of your marketing, the number of conversations you have with your ideal customers, and your skills in convincing people that you have a solution to their problem. Most importantly, that their problem is expensive enough to invest in!

As an artist, your success is largely determined by your ability to network with influential people in your niche in order to get access to these prestigious gigs, gallery exhibitions and high profile fairs, as well as your ability to convince the right people that your art is worth investing in as it will embellish their lives.

These are all activities that will take you out of your comfort zone. However, your ability to work hard on the other 90-95% doesn’t give you a competitive advantage. You will find that most solopreneurs work as hard as you do.

Don’t let time be a constraint on what you can achieve. Instead of complaining about not having time, ask yourself: “how can I make happen what I want to achieve within my self-imposed limitations such as working two hours a day, or when kids are asleep, during the holidays etc?” If you don’t have the answer, this is not a sign to give up. Reflect until you find a way. This is important stuff.

I don’t like New Year resolutions; if something is important enough, then why wait until the 1st January, or any other arbitrary date to start working towards achieving it? However, if you do decide to make a resolution this year, then decide to focus on the 5-10% that makes the difference in your business and life and I promise, this will make 2021 extraordinary. Continue to focus on the 90-95% that doesn’t make the difference and your year will be similar to the previous ones. Your choice either way!

Not Another Cemetery Of Dreams

It’s that time of the year again when resolutions are being made. The previous two weeks, rested in the knowledge of our well-deserved break, our brains plotted the Big Escape from our bad habits and mediocre activities, just like an exhausted prisoner planning his escape from Alcatraz. With a fresh mind, we have promised ourselves the world. Chances are that you will have planned one or more of the following triumphant resolutions for 2021:

  • I will stop smoking
  • I will lose weight
  • I will start taking massive action in order to take my business to where it needs to be
  • I will see my friends and family more often
  • I will set myself more challenging goals
  • I will create more art
  • I will work smarter, not harder
  • I will spend more time with the children
  • etc, etc

Looking back at your majestic goals for 2021, you lie back contented with a big grin on your face and a warm glow in your belly, thereby forgetting that you had promised yourself the same (or something similar) last year, and the year before, etc.

Resolutions don’t work. There, I said it. You might see some short term results due to the placebo effect of your enthusiasm, a bit like an underperforming football team that suddenly gets two good results after the coach is fired, only to return to mediocrity a few weeks later. The results won’t last.

The problem lies with the way resolutions are formulated. As you can see in all of the statements above, they are all stated in a future tense. It’s something that will happen in the future. But this gives your unconscious mind the wrong signal: if it’s something that will happen in the future, it means that it’s not happening yet. And if it’s not yet happening, it is no more than a possibility, so why even try? (our unconscious is notoriously lazy)

Why wait for an arbitrary date in the future to start taking action? What is the message you unconsciously give to yourself when you state that you will start doing it later? How is your unconscious mind supposed to take something seriously when the command it is given states ‘this is a goal I will start pursuing as of the 1st January of next year’?

If you really want to achieve your goals in 2021, then start planning now. The best time for planning is yesterday, the second best time today. Set yourself a compelling goal that is aligned to your vision and values. Then break down the goal into smaller steps, and decide what is the first step you are going to take TODAY to get your closer to your destination. Small steps might seem insignificant in the big scheme of things, but you will be surprised to see how much of a difference they will have made by the end of the year, if these steps are taken consistently every single day.

The True Reason Why You Are Self-Sabotaging

As a life and business coach, I often hear people talk about self sabotage. After the initial smalltalk at the start of the session, my first question is usually related to how the past days or weeks have been for the client since our last session, and what progress they have made with their homework (taking action is the single most determining factor of coaching success, along with the quality of rapport between coach and client).

My initial question is often met with a sheepish smile. The gaze is fixed downwards as the client guiltily admits they have done pretty much anything else, except of the one thing they agreed at the previous session would make the biggest difference towards achieving their goals.

Clients may talk about specific actions they aim to take to improve their lives. They may want to meditate more, or to do more yoga or introduce a new exercise regime. We will sit together and plan goals and actions. We will work out a specific, realistic and time bound action plan, check what can get in the way and mitigate for these potential obstacles. The client appears motivated and keen to make the change. Yet the change doesn’t happen.

As coaches we have a supportive relationship with our clients. Like a sports coach who prepares the sportswoman on the training ground and gives her instructions before the game, we are there to set the scene for success and cheer the client to get them in the right frame of mind to win. However, once the game starts, the client is now on their own and it’s up to them to do what needs to be done in order to succeed. With the coach unable and unwilling to be constantly around like a Big Brother in order to give guidance, standards can slip and firm commitment loosened.

When the client and I pull out the looking glass to work out what got in the way, all sorts of reasons are given why they didn’t get round to doing what they agreed should be definitely done only a few weeks ago. But the reasons sound like excuses:

* I was interrupted

* I got busy

* I had a rough week

* I woke up too late

The explanation is often simpler: the way the client approached the task or activity didn’t align with their values or overall vision. If you approach your physical exercise or yoga as a chore when ‘having fun’ is important in your life, you will end up resenting it and not doing it. If you feel forced to get up earlier in order to do what you committed to because you feel you have to, your unconscious mind will come up with all sorts of excuses.

I can give more examples. There are the professionals who have identified that their biggest pain point is finding more clients. However, they are not putting in the work to find clients, despite being clear on their action plan. They procrastinate because they haven’t quite figured out who their ideal client is, or because their business activities don’t align with their mission, what they REALLY want to do (rather than what they are expected to do).

There are the clients who stay in destructive or negative relationships despite constantly repeating to themselves and the world that they deserve better. But deep in themselves, they value the relative security that relationship brings higher than their freedom or independence.

Because of all of the above, working on the client’s core values and vision is high on my agenda. The work saves a lot of time as self-awareness about what drives people in life, helps them to approach things differently.

Whenever you find yourself wondering why you are not making any progress with a task, ask yourself whether your actions and habits are in line with the core values you want to be living by, as well as your vision of how you wish to run your personal and professional life. Then realign your goals and plans so that your actions and habits become more consistent with your overall vision.

Purpose is about why we do what we do. Values are how we achieve our purpose. Frequent actions become habits. Habits are what we do every day that reflects our purpose and values. The following diagram gives you an idea of how all these different aspects are hierarchically related:

The Vision-Action Pyramid

A relatively easy way of finding out what your values are, is by using the chunking up method of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). This is a process of expansive exploration for higher meaning. Ask yourself what the purpose or intention of your behaviour is. Keep asking for this higher meaning and if you get stuck, then ask yourself ‘what is this an example of?’ Once you can’t ask any further questions without repeating yourself, you have identified a core value which drives your behaviour.

If you are repeatedly failing to create a positive habit of doing something you feel strongly you should already be doing, take some time to reflect on the higher values that guide your life. If having fun is one of your core values and your goal is to lose weight or improve your physical condition, you may consider putting some favourite motivational music on, to get you in the mood for your exercise regime. Or you may want to attach physical exercise to another activity which is more ‘fun’ (e.g. reward yourself with a small treat after the activity).

More complex values that are difficult to weigh up against each other (such as security versus freedom in the example above) might need some additional work to unpick, and therapy or coaching are often of great assistance in that case. But raising your awareness about what drives you in life, will create much of the clarity you need in order to help you make choices which lead to the life you truly want.

Kostas The Coach is a Psychologist, Life and Small Business Coach and NLP Practitioner based in Llantwit Major, Wales. I help solopreneurs and therapists who experience the stress of overwhelm and burnout to find freedom, fulfilment and clarity.

If any of the topics discussed here has intrigued you, I would love to hear your thoughts. You can email me on Kostasthecoach@gmail.com or schedule a free 30 minute call with me at https://calendly.com/kostasthecoach/30min

My Story: How I Came to Help People Overcome Adversity and Find Personal Freedom

I have always believed in personal freedom and everyone’s right to be given the space and time to become the best version of themselves. At the age of 15, I was already on a mission to become a psychotherapist. Way before my classmates had figured out what they really wanted to do, I had taken the decision to study psychology. I wanted to understand how people think and behave, in order to help them.

When I embarked on my clinical psychology studies, it was like a home coming. I felt that I had already found my mission in life. But nothing could be further from the truth. While I became well versed in the science of psychology, its methodology, research methods and theories, I burned myself out in the process. My dream of becoming a therapist shattered right in front of my eyes. Once I had started to study and understand therapeutic practice, it all seemed too laborious, long and focused in the past to me. I didn’t have the attention span, nor the patience to follow through a therapeutic intervention all the way until the end. I was looking for a leaner, practical, more present-focused holistic process, and I couldn’t find that in the therapy approaches I was introduced to.

However, my mission of helping people didn’t die with my dream of becoming a therapist; I continued doing what I wanted to do: helping people improve their lives and find happiness and satisfaction. I started working as Research Assistant on a project focused on increasing the wellbeing of stressed and burned out teachers, before my personal circumstances changed and I moved from Belgium to the United Kingdom.

What do you do when you move into another country where you don’t have any work contacts yet? You volunteer! Volunteering is powerful and inspiring. It’s a great gift to be able to put your skills into practice in order to help people in need and transform their lives. Being a volunteer also led to my first job in the United Kingdom, as street crime caseworker for the victim’s services. There I had the privilege of witnessing the miracle of transformation and change unfolding in front of my eyes. People who had been stuck for years in a detrimental mindset and destructive behaviours, transformed their lives within moments just by taking the decision that they wanted something different than what they had been experiencing thus far. Once the decision was taken, change occurred an accelerated quickly.

Along with my career path, a personal transformation was also taking place. As an introvert, I had to overcome many personal barriers in order to help others: my own limiting beliefs about my own abilities, my impostor syndrome (classic issue for most coaches and therapists, as I discovered later) , shyness. But never once did I question people’s ability to change and transform into anything they chose to.

I soon discovered as a senior manager and team leader working with teams, that individual performance increased when staff members were coached to find answers and solutions with me in a supportive role, rather than me taking the lead and telling them what to do. This gave them control and helped them own up to their roles, tasks and processes. Coaching was key, and I finally discovered my preferred method of helping people achieve their goals. I then went on to become a Life and Business Coach and NLP Practitioner.

At the same time, I gained appreciation for the power of team work and collaboration and found out that it leads to better results. It’s always preferable to get people on board rather than getting into conflict with them. The same applies to working as a musician and composer. In my musical work, I exercise creativity and personal freedom and seek absolute control about the creative process. However, collaborations almost always yield better results. The whole is more than the sum of its parts, when working together towards a bigger goal, such as recording an album or organising a tour.

With the years, I have been drawn more and more into working with small and ethical businesses as they make the world a more diverse and unique place. I understand the struggle of solopreneurs and small business owners as it’s similar to the struggle of creatives: they are people who are very skilled at their craft and niche, but when it comes to it, they often don’t know how to market their products and services!

Witnessing this struggle with the people I worked with, I went on to study digital marketing in order to be able to help them market their products and services more effectively. The principles of marketing are universal and can be applied equally to music, coaching, and small business.

But I felt I was still lacking something, despite my fresh marketing knowledge and understanding. I was lacking business experience. Naively, upon my move from England to Wales, I decided to buy and run a beauty business. I did this for over a year. Sadly, the business failed due to the pandemic. Some hard lessons were learned; first of all, make sure your business is always aligned with your values and beliefs. In my case, the business I took over was set up by the previous owner on very different values than mine, and the clash of values often caused cognitive dissonance. I wanted to help people to be happier and more confident about themselves, but not in this way. You need to find the right intersection of doing what you love, while remaining aligned to your values and at the same time, making the profit you decided your deserve. This includes working with the clients you love to work with. And whilst you are at it, ensure these are also the clients that are able to pay for what you decide your services are worth. Pricing is a big thing in retail, and if you don’t set it up correctly, you set yourself up for failure.

Business failure gave me personal understanding of hardship and the low point of being in the midst of adversity: guilt, feeling inadequate, stress, desperation, the crashing of a dream of having financial and personal independence.
It also taught me that everyone can bounce back from it. This might not seem likely whilst you are in the midst of failure and adversity. But it’s important to keep believing that there is a way out, because there always is. There is help out there and your failure already contains the seeds of your future success. All you need is a mindset shift, just like the people that inspired me in my previous work for the victim’s services, and an action plan.

As a trained coach I learned to focus on solutions and in developing a practical mindset to tackle obstacles. As an NLP practitioner, I learned to trust in the unlimited resources of my unconscious. I am now guiding people to do the same.

Even in the midst of the greatest adversity, it’s possible to shift your mindset quickly and focus on positive outcomes with the help of a coach. Once your mind has decided on the change, the new found sense of control helps you to accelerate this process. The river becomes a funnel and flows quickly into the sea of unlimited potential. I’m just there to guide you and feel privileged to be part of the process. People always underestimate what they can achieve in a short period of time. But once the mindset has shifted, there is no way back. You have been transformed and you are a different person with all new found knowledge, skills and confidence.

I love witnessing this process of transformation, and helping people to go through it. It’s now crystal clear to me that this is my mission in life.

Kostas The Coach is a Psychologist, Life and Small Business Coach and NLP Practitioner based in Llantwit Major, Wales. I help solopreneurs, therapists and coaches find the ideal intersection between profit, joy and values in their lives, amplify the voice of creative people and assist businesses to grow sustainably while remaining aligned to their why.

If any of the topics discussed here has intrigued you, I would love to hear your thoughts. You can email me on Kostasthecoach@gmail.com or contact me via telephone or SMS on 07725653870.

7 Questions to Help you Create the Best Version of Yourself

Many of us are currently at a crossroads. The unprecedented global pandemic has forced us to step back and reflect upon our lives in a way we haven’t been able to do since a long time. Ancient routines have been abandoned and new ones are being formed. We are reviewing the way we have been living our lives, and in some cases even take radical decisions to transform them.

While many people have developed a sense that they need change, they don’t always know how to go about making it happen. Something is niggling inside. Perhaps a feeling of slight discontent, or dissatisfaction about where they are at the moment. This doesn’t necessarily mean that if you feel like this, you are unhappy. Happiness consists of little moments. It’s perfectly possible to enjoy the occasions where everything falls into place, and at the same time suffer from an overall feeling of dysphoria, without being able to put your finger on quite what the issue is. Often, feelings of general discontent are related to living with a value crisis. Values are abstract, and while situated at the core of who we are, we tend not to think much about them in our day-to-day lives.

Humans are good at living with internal contradictions, in fact our lives are full of them. A churchgoer leaves his church after a sermon about practicing altruism and compassion, and goes back to thinking that some people deserve misery and pain. A professional sportsman, having declared his love for the team and unwavering loyalty to the fans, accepts a transfer to another team which offers a better financial deal. A honest company worker, having declared on several occasions that she is unable to tell falsehoods, lies in order to avoid getting into trouble.

We all have broken our internal code from time to time. However, when we live prolonged periods of our life not in accordance with our own values and beliefs, we inevitably reach the point where something starts to bother us inside. Those are often the seeds for a desire for change, away from the internal dissonance and towards a better version of ourselves.

Deciding you are ready for change is only the first step towards achieving it. In order to be successful, this decision will need to move on to the phase of planning and then implementation. The foundations need to be laid for making this change sustainable and long-term. Possible obstacles will need to be considered, and a plan to deal with the occasional slumps and setbacks, will strongly help to maintain the momentum. It is vital to know WHAT to do and HOW to do it, and people will often successfully employ self-help books, life coaches and accountability buddies for additional support at this stage. But most importantly, you should not lose sight of WHY you decided on this change.

Knowing your ‘why’ and acting in accordance with it, is your safest bet to remain aligned to your values and your beliefs. If you are not sure where to start, the following 7 questions will help you understand your current self a bit better, focus on the right things, get unstuck and take significant steps towards the desired change. Take some time to reflect on the answers and write them down. They will give you a solid basis to understand what you will need to consider in order to create the best version of you:

  • What did you enjoy doing as a child? How did it make you feel? What stopped you (if anything) from continuing to do that?
  • Thinking back of your life, what activities have consistently produced the greatest sense of happiness and satisfaction? Are there any common themes?
  • What do you currently do that you really enjoy doing? What, if anything, can you do to do more of it?
  • What are your areas of experience or expertise that you enjoy? How could you make the most out of them?
  • What keeps you awake at nights? If you had a magic wand, what is the single biggest thing in your life that if removed, would not keep you awake any more?
  • What patterns in your head prevent you from achieving your goals? What can you do to silence them?
  • What would you be doing right now if money was no object?

You will have noticed that every single one of these questions touches on fundamental aspects of your being, such as your values, the things that make you ‘tick’ and your mindset. While change needs its time to fully unfold and show its long term benefits, approaching your current reality armed with the right set of questions, will get you in a position where you will be able to accelerate that change and make the most out of it. Taking the time to reflect on these questions and answer them for yourself honestly and transparently, will be your guide to start creating the new ‘you’, the best version of yourself.

Kostas The Coach is a Psychologist, Life and Small Business Coach and NLP Practitioner based in Llantwit Major, Wales. I help people of various backgrounds find the ideal intersection between profit, joy and values in their lives, amplify the voice of creative people and assist businesses to grow sustainably while remaining aligned to their why.

If any of the topics discussed here has intrigued you, I would love to hear your thoughts. You can email me on Kostasthecoach@gmail.com or contact me via telephone or SMS on 07725653870.