Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work with a really great coach? Today’s column contains seven proven coaching principles from the “father of personal coaching,” Thomas Leonard. 

In 1997, Thomas Leonard personally coached me on the launch of RealEstateCoach.com. Twenty-four years later, we’re still operating off the same fundamentals from the original business plan Leonard helped me create.

To have a better business and personal life in 2021, follow the seven key coaching principles below Leonard used to train thousands of coaches worldwide.

1. You attract who you are 

A fundamental principle in business and personal coaching is, “You attract who you are.” The people you attract mirror what is happening in your business and personal life. For example, if you’re going through a divorce, you will probably attract clients who are going through a divorce. If your life is in chaos, you will attract others whose lives are in chaos.

Consequently, it’s important to have clarity about who you want to attract. To attract your “ideal” client, make a detailed list of all the characteristics you would like your ideal client to have

Next, place a check mark next to each item that also describes who you are. The items you check will closely describe the type of clients you are attracting. To attract higher-quality clients, start working on implementing the items you didn’t check.  

2. Eliminate tolerations

Of all the concepts in coaching, eliminating tolerations can quickly yield major improvements in both your business and personal life. “Tolerations” are the little aggravations that waste your time and zap your energy

For example, assume you popped a button off your shirt. Each time you notice the button is missing and feel guilty about not fixing it, it drains your energy. While a small toleration may seem insignificant, the cumulative effect of 30 or 40 of these energy-zappers is huge. In fact, most people have at least 100 tolerations in their lives life right now. 

To eliminate the detrimental impact of tolerations, strive to eliminate one toleration per day. It makes no difference where you begin. It’s the cumulative effect you’re seeking to reduce. Eliminating a toleration a day can produce amazing positive change in a very short period of time. 

3. Make space 

Most people would like to be happier and make more money. They’re so busy, however, there’s no room for anything new in their lives. Whether it’s meeting your “soul mate” or having the perfect business, if your life is so packed you don’t have a minute to spare, there’s no space for something new to appear. 

This ties in with the concept of tolerations. By eliminating tolerations, you create more space for new opportunities to appear. If you don’t believe this, plan a two-week vacation and watch how many opportunities show up to fill your vacation space

4. Reduce adrenaline

Most Realtors are constantly running on adrenaline as they rush to appointments, gulp down coffee and try to do too much in too little time. As a result, they’re stressed out. When you’re stressed out, you attract clients who are stressed out. 

Adrenaline also damages your immune system by increasing your cortisol levels. This in turn can lead to cancer and heart disease. Two simple steps to reduce adrenaline include: 

  • Follow the 80-20 rule: The top 20 percent of your activities produces 80 percent of your results. The bottom 20 percent produces only about 1 percent of benefit. Eliminating that bottom 20 percent translates into a full extra day of space in your schedule.  
  • Any time you’re considering saying “yes” to a new project or obligation, decide which activity you’re willing to give up first before you add anything new. This is one of the best ways to filter out what is and what is not important. 

5. Standards and boundaries 

A standard is a level of behavior I set for myself. A boundary is a behavior I will not tolerate from others in my presence. The challenge for most people is their inability to say “no” to people who waste their time or “no” to trying to do too much because they feel they “should.” 

To enforce your boundaries, say “no” or simply walk away from people who make unreasonable demands. When you feel you “should” do something, ask yourself if this is one of the top three things you need to do today. If not, don’t do it! 

6. Extreme self-care

Not caring for yourself diminishes your attraction level. When you’re stressed out from working too much, you make mistakes, often worsening the stress and chaos you’re already experiencing.  

To stop this vicious cycle, begin by making a list of 10 things you really enjoy doing for yourself. This can include playing golf, taking a luxurious bath, reading, gardening, etc. Then, for the next 10 days, do two of these activities daily. At the end of 10 days, evaluate whether you had an increase in energy or efficiency. If you’re like most people, you’ll feel better and accomplish more. 

7. Create reserves

Are you living from commission check to commission check? Do you have money in the bank for personal emergencies and retirement? Do you have enough time to spend with those you love? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you lack adequate reserves in your life. 

An assignment Leonard regularly gave his coaching clients was to cut their expenses by at least 50 percent so they could start building up their financial reserves. A great place to begin is by getting rid of anything that is nonessential.

For example, do you really need a new pair of shoes when you already have 20 pairs of shoes? How about the $5 cup of coffee or that $50 dinner out?

You can also shave expenses by looking for ways to accomplish tasks with little or no money. If this sounds too overwhelming, begin with something simple such as buying food or supplies in bulk. Wear clothing you can wash rather than dry clean. There are so many ways to save time and money if you merely pay attention.

Leonard firmly believed the starting place for both business and personal coaching was eliminating tolerations. It makes no difference how big or how small. Based on my own experience, creating space (the vacation effect) will help you attract more business. In addition, reducing your adrenaline and engaging in extreme self-care decreases stress and helps you attract higher quality clients. 

Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.

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