“Arnold, after a strong and successful start with my coaching business, I hit a slump this past year.”
John, you’re not alone.
Feeling lost, unmotivated, unproductive, angry, annoyed or stuck is hard to handle.
As Coaches we’re here to unlock, inspire and uplift. So when you find yourself feeling flat or uninspired, it feels like a double blow.
Whenever I’ve faced this challenge head on, I’ve emerged stronger.
And today, I’m sharing what I’ve learned to date.
I’m hoping these insights will help you see the light. Preventing you from feeling too discouraged when slumps occur.
Let’s get started.
Understanding the Slump
Every slump starts somewhere.
Sometimes, it’s external factors that change things in unexpected ways.
Other times it’s more personal:
- Challenging clients
- Burnout from overwork
- A proposal which didn’t go your way.
Here’s the crucial part: understanding the root cause of your slump isn’t about placing blame.
It’s about gaining clarity.
By pinpointing the reasons behind the downturn, you can tailor your recovery strategy to be more effective.
- When did you first notice the decline?
- What if any significant changes in your personal or professional life occurred around that time?
- How would you describe your client interactions?
- What level energy were you experiencing most?
- What if any patterns can you identify?
Self-reflection is challenging, especially if you’re feeling down. But it’s a necessary step.
By understanding the ‘why’ behind the slump, you’re better equipped to tackle the ‘how’ of getting out of it.
Tip 1: Talk to someone, seek feedback
How often do you emphasise the importance of communication and transparency with your clients?
Only to find when you’re faced with a challenge, these fundamentals go out the window?
Temporary amnesia kicks in and you forget to apply these principles to your situation.
Talking to someone, a trusted colleague, mentor or coach, can provide invaluable insights.
A fresh perspective can illuminate blind spots in your approach and shed light on areas you may have overlooked.
They can also provide encouragement, reminding you of your strengths and capabilities.
Tip 2: Be open and honest
How do you approach someone for feedback?
Start by being more open and honest about your situation.
For instance, when John emailed me last week, he was clear and direct.
Despite not being a client, my response was immediate.
“Hi John. I’m sorry to hear you’ve hit a slump. If at any time you wanted to pick up the phone and have a chat, I’d be more than happy to speak with you.
I offer that with no hidden agenda or expectation. I know from my own journey, the path can often feel lonely and challenging.”
‘Hi Arnold. Thank you. I have just scheduled a time for us next week to chat.’
Seeking feedback isn’t a sign of weakness.
Rather, it showcases your commitment to progress and your willingness to learn and adapt.
Embrace it as a tool for growth and watch things shift.
Tip 3: Reconnect with your ‘Why’
Remember that driving force?
The core reason fuelling your passion and dedication.
Over time, it’s easy to forget.
Reconnecting with your “Why” is like reigniting the spark that lit up your coaching dream.
Perhaps, it was:
- Your desire to transform lives?
- A personal experience which opened your eyes to the power of coaching?
- Or a passion for serving a specific group of people.
Whatever it is, take a moment to connect.
Dive into your memories and recall the moments that made you feel most fulfilled as a coach.
Journaling can be a powerful tool here. Try writing down the instances where you genuinely felt you made a difference.
Once you’ve reconnected with your ‘Why’, let it guide your actions and decisions.
Not only will it serve as your compass it will draw potential clients to the authenticity and passion of your practice.
Tip 4: Focus on things you can control and let go of the rest
Focusing on aspects beyond your influence is stressful.
Instead, ask how can you channel your energy towards areas you can directly impact?
For instance, you can’t control a potential client’s decision to work with you, but you can control how you show up.
Adopting a proactive mindset involves identifying actionable steps in any situation.
Hit a slump in client creation?
Perhaps, it’s time to:
- Ask for referrals
- Offer a new workshop
- Partner with complementary businesses
- Reach out to previous clients with a new offering
By concentrating on actionable areas, you’ll regain a sense of empowerment. Positioning yourself for growth.
Tip 5: Create a 30-60-90 day plan
Emerging from a slump requires a clear vision and actionable steps.
A 30-60-90 day plan serves as a roadmap. Breaking down your recovery strategy into manageable milestones.
This structured approach provides clarity and instils a sense of purpose and motivation.
First 30 Days: Assessment and foundation building
- Assess: Evaluate your current situation. Identify what’s working and what’s not.
- Set clear goals: Define what you aim to achieve by the end of the 90 days. Be specific.
- Reconnect with existing clients: Be curious and gather feedback.
Next 60 Days: Implementation and adaptation
- Roll out new strategies: Based on your assessment, implement new connections, creation or coaching activities.
- Monitor progress: Track the effectiveness of your strategies. Are you closer to your goals?
- Adapt: If something isn’t working, adjust. Flexibility is key.
Final 90 Days: Expansion and Growth
- Expand your reach: Consider hosting webinars, workshops, or collaborating with peers.
- Seek new opportunities: Explore new niches or coaching methods.
- Celebrate wins: Recognise your progress and achievements, no matter how small.
By the end of the 90 days, you’ll not only have a clearer direction but also tangible results to show for your efforts.
Tip 6. Hold yourself accountable
Accountability is the bridge between intention and accomplishment.
The difference between saying what you’ll do and doing what you say.
Being accountable means taking ownership of your actions, decisions, and results.
It’s about committing to your goals and ensuring you’re consistently moving towards them, even when faced with obstacles.
Accountability isn’t about being hard on yourself. It’s about recognising you have the power to shape your destiny and taking proactive steps to do so.
How will you hold yourself accountable to follow through?
Tip 7. Schedule time for guilt free fun and relaxation
In overcoming a slump, it’s natural to get caught up in busyness and doing stuff.
Scheduling time for guilt free fun and relaxation isn’t optional it’s mandatory.
It may also be the most effective way of exiting a slump quicker than anticipated.
You can’t run on an empty tank. Nor can you perform at your best when drained.
Take time off. Step away from the daily grind.
Recharge your batteries.
Return with renewed energy and a fresh perspective.
Remember, a relaxed mind, is a rejuvenated mind.
For John and I, experiencing a slump may feel disheartening but it’s entirely normal.
We all experience ups and downs.
The difference between those who rebound stronger and those who remain stuck, lies in your mindset and approach to adversity.
Understand the root cause of your slump. Seek guidance. Reconnect with your core purpose and the path will emerge.
Focus on controllable factors, plan strategically and hold yourself accountable.
By following these steps you might find you’re better equipped to navigate any downturn. Emerging even more resilient and resourceful than before.
Finally, above all else, prioritise your self-care.
Key Action Points
- Self-reflect: Understand the reasons behind your slump. Dive deep and be honest with yourself.
- Seek guidance: Talk to mentors, peers, or even past clients. Their feedback can be invaluable.
- Reignite your passion: Reconnect with the core reason you started coaching.
- Focus on actionables: Concentrate on areas you can influence and let go of external factors.
- Plan strategically: Implement a 30-60-90 day plan to guide your recovery efforts.
- Be accountable: Share your goals, regularly check your progress, and adjust as needed.