When I coach my clients I often remind them that the surest way to accelerate their progress is to step outside their comfort zone. Of course it is one thing to teach it, and another thing completely to do it myself!
When Harv Eker and I were partners, he always did the selling and marketing of program. And me? I was the conservative guy in the background - designing the program, leading the seminars and doing the coaching. When I started ProCoach, all of that ended.
My original marketing strategy was to enroll members who knew me from SuccessTracs. That worked for the first few months, and then it dried up. Thankfully our members were getting great results, but we still needed more new people to hear about the program. Time for plan B!
I know I have a tremendous understanding of what it takes to be successful, but I have never considered myself to be an "inspirational speaker". Yet modeling others who are successful is much easier than reinventing the wheel. In the case of marketing ProCoach, that clearly meant I needed to conduct free marketing presentations like other speakers and coaches. As so often happens with growth, the need to go outside my comfort zone snuck up on me. I simply could not see another way to increase our membership.
Take a moment to consider the plan. I book a meeting room in a hotel, send a few fancy emails to my database and then cross my fingers and hope that the word spreads and people decide to register for my presentation. Then I travel to a strange city and, whether 2 or 200 people show up, I stand at the front of the room and give them an engaging presentation that persuades them to join ProCoach.
I don't know how this feels to you, but for me the idea was terrifying. Would they come? What would I say? Would they sign up? This was not stepping outside my comfort zone - it was smashing it!
As usual, my worst fears were not realized. We held 5 Secrets Of Success evening seminars in February (Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton), with a total of over 220 guests registered. The majority of them showed up, everyone loved the presentation and a many of them decided to join ProCoach.
Looking back today, just one month later, the fear is gone. I feel so much more confident than I did just 4 weeks ago and that confidence is affecting every area of my life. I now know that the long-term success of the ProCoach Success System is assured because I have discovered that I can market from the stage.
Stretching yourself is always difficult, but it is also the key to growth. Develop the habit of going into your "zone of discomfort" and your success will accelerate dramatically!
Andrew Barber-Starkey, Master Certified Coach.
PS - We are holding more Secrets Of Success evenings during March in Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary and Edmonton. If you live in one of these cities I hope to see you there!
In This Issue
"Secrets of Success" Evening Seminars - March 2005
Are you ready to learn what it REALLY takes to achieve genuine, sustainable success? If so, join us in one of the following cities for a life-changing complimentary evening seminar presented by the ProCoach, Andrew Barber-Starkey. The content is powerful and entertaining, and we promise you will leave with priceless success secrets you can put to use in your business and personal life right away.
Surrey, BC - Wednesday March 2, 2005
Vancouver, BC - Monday March 7, 2005
Edmonton, AB - Tuesday March 22, 2005
Calgary, AB - Wednesday March 23, 2005
The Secrets Of Success evening starts at 7:00 p.m. and ends at 10:00
For more information and registration CLICK HERE
The Art Of Declining Gracefully
As a coach I am always on the lookout for ways people sabotage their own success. There is one killer habit that I see over and over again in everyone from young children to highly successful business owners. People simply do not know how to say "no". As a result, they end up wasting precious resources - time, money and energy - doing things they never wanted to do in the first place. And in the process they do major damage to their self-esteem.
How about you? How often do you say "yes" when you mean "no"? If you struggle at all in this area, this article is written for you.
Why is it so difficult to turn down people and opportunities?
The reasons vary by person and situation, but the primary factor is that most of us have a huge fear of being rejected. We want everyone to like us, and we say "yes" to ensure that they do. But saying "yes" when we feel "no" is a major form of selling ourselves out. We are denying the truth of who we are to ourselves and to those around us. But our ego says it is worth it if this means people like us!
The second major reason we find it hard to say "no" is that most of us have a fear of conflict and confrontation. At some point in our life we have learned that it is dangerous when people get upset or angry so we avoid this at all costs.
Do not underestimate the importance of learning to tell your truth. It absolutely crucial to developing your confidence and self-esteem. It is also a required skill if you want to reach a higher level of success.
Here are some steps that you can use to say "no" effectively:
1. Begin by being clear and firm about your decision. Once you make a decision to say "no" regardless of the consequences, you are half way there. Your clarity and resolve help you follow through and send a clear message to the other person.
2. Begin by acknowledging, thanking, or saying something positive about the inviter, or their invitation - something that is true for you. For example, "Thank you for thinking of me"
3. Make sure that the reasons you give for declining are about YOU, not about the opportunity or about the other person. For example, you could say that you already have a number of charities you donate to and your budget is fully allocated for the year. Or that you have made a promise to yourself not to lend money to friends. This reduces the chance that the other person will take your "rejection" personally, and makes it very difficult for them to debate your position.
4. Honor yourself by communicating your decision immediately. Avoid the temptation to say: "I'll get back to you" when you already know you want to say "no."
5. Do not apologize or defend your decision. You have a right to express who you are!
6. Tell your truth, even if you feel scared or intimidated. It is better to say "no" and have a big blow up that it is to sell yourself out by lying. Don't worry about handling the situation perfectly - just do it!
Tip from the ProCoach: Take a moment right now to identify one place where you are saying "yes" when you mean "no." Now make a decision to come clean and use the steps above to resolve it.
Ask The ProCoach
Question submitted by CM in Edmonton
"I was at your recent "Secrets Of Success" evening in Edmonton. In your presentation you said it is possible to achieve success even if you do not know what you want and where you are going. You said that all we need to do is take the next step and we will get there sooner than we think. Well, I feel like I am not going anywhere.
"Everything you said sounded good, but the place where I get stuck is in figuring out what the right "next step" is. Have you got any suggestions on how I can identify the steps that will help me succeed?"
Great question. Do you remember that I suggested all of us know what general direction we are going ("up") even if we do not have a clear picture of what our destination looks like? For example, I have a strong feeling that I am going to write a book, but I do not know what it will be about yet. So there is no point putting pressure on myself to figure out the title, content etc. That would waste time I could be using more productively. There is also the risk that if I try to force myself I might come up with an answer that comes from my head instead of in my heart. That could lead me in the wrong direction.
The higher self, which speaks to you through your heart, has no interest in specifics. It does not care if you earn $100,000 per year or a million. Those are meaningless numbers to it. It is just seeking what calls to it. With an income goal that might be the experience of abundance, significance or freedom.
The way to identify a useful next step is to connect with your heart and listen to what it has to say. The simplest way to do that is to sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, take a few deep, relaxing breaths, and then go inside and ask yourself a simple question. For example, you might ask yourself, "What is one small step I can take today that will advance my journey towards the success I am seeking?" Or you might ask, "What is one thing I am avoiding dealing with that is hindering my progress?" Practice makes perfect when it comes to making the distinction between answers that come from your heart and those that have their source in ego, fear, greed and societal conditioning.
Also keep in mind that you are not looking for one single answer. There is no one, perfect next step for you. There are many, many different steps you could take that will advance your ultimate journey. There are also many steps you could take that will not move you forward. If you do not go within for the answers, you may find yourself taking a lot of action on the surface but not moving forward very far.
Do you have a question about success? Send it to
The ProCoach will answer one stimulating question each month.
Member Success Stories
Spotlight on Scott McDermott
ProCoach: When did you join ProCoach?
Scott: I actually joined SuccessTracs when it first started in May 2000. I got such great results from the program that when you started ProCoach this time last year I joined right away. Why would I mess with something that was really working for me?
ProCoach: So I have been your coach for almost 5 years. Tell me a bit about what has happened for you over that time.
Scott: When I first started I was working as a draughtsman and things were not that great. I did not enjoy my work, my life was out of balance and my wife and I basically lived from pay cheque to pay cheque. I spent a lot of time watching TV back then.
When I started using your system, things did not change overnight.
But as time went on I started to wake up. I rediscovered my passion for health and fitness, and I remember you and I having a conversation early on about me buying a gym. You told me to take small steps rather than leaping in all at once. That turned out to be good advice, since the gym I was thinking of buying was not a very good business, and would have been a poor choice for a first step.
However, I did keep working on developing myself and taking small steps. I decided to build my own gym and nearly 3 years ago we opened for business. I learned a lot in the process - and some of the lessons were not pretty. Like when the bank pulled my financing 3 months into construction - leaving me with a quarter million dollar contractor bill and no means of paying it. But one of the things I like about the ProCoach System is that it just keeps a person moving forward step-by-step and the results kind of sneak up on you.
So I kept working at it and we got the gym open and the members flooded in. The business has been far more successful than I had imagined. In fact last year the Chamber Of Commerce and residents here named us "Business Of The Year". That was really cool because we were up against some really big, established businesses.
ProCoach: Wow, things have really taken off for you.
Scott: Oh, that is only part of it. Financially things are going exceptionally well, which is nice. And last year I created a CD audio series on fitness called "If Your Body Were A Car, You Wouldn't Treat it This Way" which has received rave reviews from some very significant sources. I have been doing some speaking gigs and am now in the process of getting my book published.
I think the biggest thing is that I am now fully engaged in my life rather than watching it slip by. I am so passionate about what I do now, and it never used to be like that. I always knew that I had the potential to go further, but I never seemed to be able to get going on it.
ProCoach: How has using the ProCoach Success System helped you?
Scott: The system keeps me focused. I am a guy who really needs structure and so setting my priorities on a quarterly, weekly and daily basis is huge. Without that structure I tend to get tossed around like a feather in the wind. I also love the live seminars. Every quarter it gives me a chance to step back and look at my life from a distance.
I want to say that a huge part of my growth has also come from the courses I have taken - Warrior, Wizard and all the rest of the Peak Potentials courses. But using the system has been very instrumental in helping me apply all the lessons I have learned. I have listened to Tony Robbins tapes before, but no lasting changes occurred. ProCoach helped me implement the changes I needed to make.
Another change that has occurred for me is that I see myself so much bigger than I used to. When I first did the Big Dreams process in SuccessTracs I laughed at my dreams and said, "How could I ever have these?" I wrote them down anyway because you told me to, and soon, achieving them became a natural progression. I have already achieved almost every Big Dream I set back then and will complete more of them soon.
ProCoach: What do you like most about the ProCoach Success System?
Scott: There are lots of pieces. I love the Weekly Success Planner since it keeps me on track and moving forward. I also like talking to my Success Partner every week. That forces me to be accountable to the things I said I would do. The Success Express Game is fun and I find myself competing in a way that keeps me moving forward. Then there is the Laser Coaching. All of our sessions have been great, but you and I had one session around how I schedule my time that was absolutely instrumental in helping me get the book done.
ProCoach: What advice would you give to members using the system?
Scott: I would say set yourself up to win and don't be so hard on yourself! The system takes time, and the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. When I first started I used to do my weekly workbook only once or twice a quarter and I didn't have a partner. Now I fill out my Weekly Planner every single week and reap the benefits consistently. It's not about perfection, it's about progress. The system works. Trust it, used it in whatever capacity you can, and it is okay to expect miracles because they will happen.
ProCoach: Anything else?
Scott: Well I just want to say your system is phenomenal. It works really well, not just for me but for all the other people I see using it, too. It has been a huge part of my journey and I thank you for it! I have so much momentum now I can't even imagine where I am going to end up. But I know it is going to be a great place and that I am having fun getting there!
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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.
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