As a coach, you serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for your clients and community. But what happens when you don’t feel inspired by what you do?
What to do when you no longer feel inspired by your work
You knew that going into business wouldn’t be easy, but you did it anyway because you knew it was a journey worth taking. That’s because you had a clear vision of what you wanted to do, who you were going to serve and how you were going to do it.
It’s when the reality of taking that journey each day doesn’t align with your expectations that you may feel frustrated or stuck, wondering if you should give up and try something else.
If you’re approaching this point and considering what to do next, take some time to reconnect with your vision and make sure it’s the journey making you feel uninspired and not the vision itself.
1. Reconnect with your vision
Before you do anything else, write down the answer to the following:
“What was my original vision?”
If you’re struggling to answer the question, you’ve found the problem.
If you have lost sight of your vision and can’t remember why you started coaching in the first place, every road you take will lead you to nowhere. You have to be able to see the destination (or at least know where it is) to steer the ship in the right direction.
If you were able to answer the question, let’s take it a step further with this question:
“What did you envision your life to look like as you pursued this vision?”
Let’s say you’re still dedicated to helping the people you originally set out to help. However, the day-to-day of doing so is not at all what you had expected or wanted from this. That’s where your problem lies.
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2. Troubleshoot the problem
Now that you have a good idea of why you’re feeling uninspired or unmotivated, it’s time to get really specific about what the problem is.
Answer the following:
“Compare your situation now to the last time you felt truly engaged with and passionate about the work you do. What’s different?”
Name all the differences, no matter how big or small they may seem.
Here are some places to start:
Then: Every day is exciting as you grow the number of one-on-one and group coaching clients you have.
Now: You longingly stare at the clock, wishing the paperwork would magically finish itself so you could get back to doing what you love.
Then: Your business is slowly starting to take off with all the word-of-mouth referrals coming from former clients.
Now: Your business feels like it’s stagnating. There are only so many people your clients can talk you up to and you just don’t have time to go hunting down new clients yourself.
Then: You have a small client set, but you feel immensely fulfilled by the work you do with each of them.
Now: You have a large client set, but you barely have time to celebrate any of their wins before you move on to onboarding the next one.
Then: You’re dedicated to helping a specific group of people and have advertised yourself as a coach strictly for them.
Now: You’re afraid that saying “no” to someone who doesn’t fit your niche will drown your business, so you take on any and everyone, even though many of them can’t afford your prices.
There are a number of ways in which things may have changed for you. But, like I said earlier, it’s the difference between expectation and reality that’s likely got you feeling down.
Now, it’s time to work on making them the same once again.
3. Make a plan for change
To join expectation and reality, you need to fix the thing that’s got you feeling stuck, which is why the next question to ask yourself is:
“If time, money, fear, doubt, etc. weren’t an issue, what’s the one thing I would do to get unstuck?”
Let’s say the issue is that you’re bogged down with paperwork as your business grows. The answer would be: Hire an assistant.
Or how about those of you struggling to make a profit despite the growing interest from prospective clients? For that one, you could say: Find a better niche for myself.
The answer is often right in front of you. It’s just hard to commit to it if you don’t recognise there’s a problem in the first place.
Once you’ve narrowed down the solution, create an action plan for it. The best way to do this is by using the Big Rocks method.
Essentially, this time management practice forces you to prioritise things that are most important to you, that make you happy and that will help you gain momentum in your business.
It also gets you to accept that it’s okay if you don’t do everything yourself. That, sometimes, it’s better to delegate tasks that you’re not particularly good at or enjoy. By freeing yourself from the constraints of ill-fitting tasks and focusing on the ones that bring you joy, you’ll feel inspired once again!
4. Schedule check-ins with yourself
As you start the process of reconnecting with your vision, make sure you schedule time to check in on your progress. The last thing you want to happen is that you lose sight of your vision, you start to feel uninspired again and you have to repeat this whole exercise once again.
You don’t need that kind of distraction from your business.
I’d urge you to schedule time every week to check in, first, with yourself and, then, with your team. This time, you’re going to reaffirm what you already know:
“What is my vision?”
Then, have an honest discussion with yourself and your team about it. How are you doing with it this week? Have you stayed on track? Are you working towards the right goals? If you’ve made a wrong turn somewhere, it’ll be much easier to get yourself headed in the right direction again if you make a regular habit of this.
If you’re feeling disconnected from your vision, or frustrated with the day-to-day journey of getting there, don’t give up! By removing obstacles that have fallen in your path, you’ll be able to see your destination (your vision) clearly once again.
Once you’ve worked through this exercise and identified the issues standing in your way, let us know if we can be of any help.
We understand how difficult it can be to try to make a difference in other people’s lives when you’re distracted by the business of being in business. So, if you feel like your website, marketing or strategy are getting in your way, we’d love to talk to you about what The Good Alliance can do to take that off your plate.
WRITER AND DIGITAL MARKETING SPECIALIST
Suzanne Scacca is a freelance writer, specialising in web design, marketing, and technology. She also teaches classes at Skillshare and is a sucker for movies, food, and dogs.