July 27, 2015

It's a marathon, not a sprint



In May of this year, a long-time social media contact got in touch with me and scheduled a coaching consultation. She knew she needed coaching and was ready to roll. We spoke a couple of days later and put our first session on the calendar. She knew she was going to be busy, so we put our first session on the calendar a few weeks out.

Weeks passed and our first session approached. We got on the phone, but she wasn't feeling well, so we rescheduled.

The next week, she still wasn't feeling well, so we rescheduled.

Eventually, she discovered that what she thought was a simple illness was something more complicated that would require time and medications to heal. A couple more weeks went by.

FINALLY, we had a date on the calendar where she was feeling better and was ready to move forward.

Then *I* got sick.

And we rescheduled.

More than a month after our first scheduled session, we still haven't met. But guess what: Her speaking gig isn't until October. We've got plenty of time!

This is a bit of an extreme example of what can happen in trying to work out a coaching schedule between me and my clients, but the point is this:

When you don't give yourself enough time to go through the coaching process, to fit the sessions into your schedule, to do the homework, to practice, and to work around unexpected situations (my clients have had car accidents, births and deaths in the family, plumbing emergencies, illnesses, last-minute work trips and meetings, sick children and more that interfered with their careful planning), you are undermining your own possibilities of success.

If you're a less-experienced speaker, it's even more critical to give yourself plenty of time to fit your coaching and your implementation around your schedule. Think of your preparation as more of a marathon than a sprint. It's going to take some time to get to the finish line. Give yourself the time!

We're all busy, so when you call me for coaching and your presentation is in two weeks, how can you expect stellar results when you know you're going to be scrambling to get it together - and maybe dodging emergencies and unexpected monkey wrenches at the same time? Never mind my unexpected emergencies and monkey wrenches.

When you get the gig, that's when you call for the consultation. Presentation is still five months away? PERFECT. Take the time - you'll need it!

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