Author’s note: It’s difficult to write about personal growth and achievements without coming across as egoistical or self-inflated. For that reason, I debated long and hard whether to share these thoughts. My motivation in doing so is to help others in a similar situation to mine see that such journeys are rewarding and can produce great results if you believe in yourself and are willing to put in the effort.
According to LinkedIn, today represents the fourth anniversary of my coaching practice. In truth, today is simply the day that, back in 2013, I updated my LI profile to reflect my new work (I had officially been at this two weeks prior to that). Nor does it factor in all of the planning that led up to my “launch” (such as discussing, debating, pondering options, networking, branding, etc.) or the many weeks of relative radio silence that followed (the only noise at times was that of crickets and the wind blowing my shingle back and forth).
Nonetheless, I look back at this four-year journey I have so much to be excited about and proud of. For starters, I have had an awesome ride that I could have never predicted. All I knew when I first started out was that I was trying to transition into the coaching space in a brand new market where I was a relative newbie. Who and how I would serve were complete unknowns to me, as was the very survival of this ambitious (some called it “gutsy” or even “reckless”) endeavor. But I did know that I would give it my all and make every effort for this to be a success.
Perhaps the biggest benefit from this journey has been the many new clients, friends and followers/subscribers that I have been privileged to make/collect. They (other than family, of course,) are what I live for in my quest to serve.
I am convinced that most of these relationships would not have developed had I not committed to rigorous study and self-improvement. This includes completing a doctorate and coaching training. But it also includes the many books (print and audio), articles, blog posts, videos and other information sources that I have vigorously consumed in order to become more capable of giving to others. As so many leadership experts say, you can’t give what you don’t have.
I am also deeply grateful to have been able to share written and spoken content with so many. There is no way that I could have predicted when I started that four years later I would have written and published a full-length leadership book, a leadership eBook, as well as countless blog posts and print articles. This happened because I saw writing as a vehicle to share my ideas and add value to the marketplace, and then I sat down and got to work.
The same is true for my teaching. I have had the privilege to lead learning dozens of conversations in companies, organizations, and online, as well as to keynote for multiple organizational events and graduation ceremonies. So many of these opportunities came from relationships that I had built, which often stemmed from content that I had shared. But it couldn’t have been sustained without a deep commitment to learning and to providing engaging, valuable content to learners.
A few other things that I have learned along the way:
- Believe in yourself. No one else can will you to victory. You need to get clear on what you’re after and pursue it vigorously.
- And invest in yourself. Invest in your own learning and growth as much as you can. It will pay multiplied dividends over time.
- Build your inner toughness. We all face challenges, especially the solo=prenuer. Work up your strength and internal fortitude so that you can face challenge head on and persevere.
- Develop (or sustain) a growth-mindset. Recognition that we can all change and succeed in new ways if we set our hearts to it.
- Think in terms of momentum. Once things start to get rolling for you, be prepared (in a good way) for the opportunity that follows.
Here’s hoping that year five will produce even more awesome results for me to reflect back upon next year.
Naphtali Hoff, PsyD, became an executive coach and organizational consultant following a career as an educator and school administrator. Read his blog at impactfulcoaching.com/blog. Get a free chapter of his new book, Becoming the New Boss, by clicking here.