April is a special month for Coaching Concepts, because it is when I first established my coaching business in 1995. So, each April I think about how my business is doing, and reflect on how to become an even better coach for my clients. My work is very important to me, and a source of much fulfillment, even joy. These days, one can take advantage of a plethora of experts who blog, broadcast, research and write books on myriad fascinating topics relating to professional and personal development. I’m particularly interested in leadership, creativity, communication, and emotional intelligence. Coaching is a profession that provides me plenty of room for stretching myself as I work with some of the brightest folks around…both clients and colleagues.
Combine all the learning opportunities with the chance to support others in their own professional development, and what could be better? This week my fourth cohort in Georgetown’s Leadership Development Program begins. I am so excited to meet the five adult students I’ll be teaching/coaching/mentoring/advising for the next six months. They teach me so much as they journey through this rigorous, amazing program. In addition, I’m honored to belong to a group of coaches that I meet with monthly. We share resources, learning and laughter. What a gift. I’ve also just joined a cadre of faculty members at Georgetown who have committed to hold one another accountable to practice and perfect our skills as experienced leadership coaches. That should keep me humble!
The biggest challenge for me as an entrepreneur and small business owner is to set boundaries. There is so much that interests me, so many alluring opportunities to learn and serve and grow. My father always told me that my biggest problem was that I could not say “no.” I’ve learned that I have to say “no” in order to be able to say “yes” to what I truly want in my life and work. Each year, more interesting requests and intriguing opportunities come to me. This requires me to be ever clearer about what I truly need and want in my coaching practice, and in my life. I endeavor to choose wisely how I invest my time and talent, so that I don’t burn out trying to do too much. And every year it becomes more evident that the “being” part of me is what is most important to nurture. The “doing” part flows best from that centered place of knowing myself.
Finally, I’m so very grateful that Coaching Concepts is in its 19th year. It is not easy to be a small business owner, as many of you know firsthand. You – my clients, colleagues, friends and family – have been a source of great encouragement and inspiration to me over the years. Thank you for being a part of my life, and my work. Have a beautiful month.
Sharon Keys Seal