A few weeks back, Seshu and I started a conversation. He was curious as to my thoughts on business coaching and its value. Was it worth it? What made it worth it? You know just a general conversation. We started to chat about it and before long I ended up visualizing something about running a business that seemed to make sense that it might better explain why I think business coaching is not only important, but the only way for the average person to find success.
BUT FIRST!!! Let’s all hop into the conversation with Seshu and I so this all makes a bit more sense. It’s about to get weird.
Seshu – Ok, truth or dare time. Would you, knowing all that you know about Intuition to Succeed, still join up and become one of Steve and Kelly's students? I'm considering signing up.
Jasen Arias – I believe that it has been, is, and will continue to be the best business investment we have made.
Seshu – Thumbs Up!
Jasen Arias – It has given us the opportunity to develop multiple facets of our business.
Seshu – Such as?
Jasen Arias – So all the other business coaching and growth we have taken on has never had a solid foundation to grow from. Steve has given us the foundation for a business that has allowed us to make strides with other investments that we can see the difference.
Seshu – Ah! That makes sense.
Jasen Arias – Like investing into a new website, or branding, or equipment
Seshu – He showed you the money!
Jasen Arias – All of which we could have done before but would have been like water in a bathtub with no drain. So no, it really hasn’t been about the money.
Seshu – Oh?
Jasen Arias – Nope. The money let us afford that, but that isn’t what has made other investments worthwhile. There’s a difference.
Seshu – Do explain if you can please …
Jasen Arias – Let’s stick with the bath tub analogy. You have four parts. The faucet, the tub, the drain and the water.
Ok! So now that we are all up on the conversation, let’s break down what I’m referring to here. Oh! and let’s be honest for a second. This isn’t some analogy that I have been thinking about for years. This is just off the cuff. So if you find a few leaks in it (pun intended), allow me a few towels.
So TUB = Business? Sounds strange right? Check it out.
Regardless of what business you are in, we all have similar struggles when starting our dreams. We search for inspiration; we search for help and support. We look for tools to make something better. We want to try new things to give it our own twist … our own personality. But at the end of the day, what we really would like are a few answers to know that we are doing something right.
My mind works really well with analogies. I love problem solving with them internally, and I love using them to help me explain ideas. So as I started envisioning a “Bath Tub”, as a way to explain why business coaching isn’t just about “the money”; it all seemed to click.
Think of it this way. There are four pieces to a bathtub. You have the faucet, the tub, the drain and of course the water.
The faucet is your resources. You struggle to learn how to turn it on. Then you need to make sure that it’s pointed in the right direction and isn’t spraying all over the place. You have to adjust to make sure it’s not too cold nor too hot. The water is too fast or too slow. Right? You know what I’m saying. Ever been to that friend’s house that the faucet is just completely whack?!?!? Barely touch it and it’s boiling, move it the other way and it turns off?!?!? HA. Good luck!!!! Who invented this wizardry?!?!? But this really isn’t about creating resources. Seems like it should be, but it’s not. So let’s move on.
The tub is your business. Trying to keep everything in place. Holding all that you are while adding more. You get to decide if you are porcelain or a free standing cast iron tub with feet. Maybe you have jets. Maybe you are a rusty mess, maybe everything is polished. That is all entirely up to you. The tub is your brand, your service, your products. But alas, this isn’t really how to become a better tub either. So let’s move on.
The water is all of your resources. While it all starts with the faucet, in reality it’s that faucet that feeds your growth. It allows you to add that knowledge, clients, equipment and cold hard cash. That you keep in your tub. THIS is the area where we spend all of our time. Learning to shoot better, study more, blog posts, branding, marketing. . . . endless. It’s all here. But without fail our tub is never truly clean and we are constantly trying to scrub the soap scum while managing the faucet to keep the water on, let alone warm and clean. We are constantly trying to filter out the crap that we don’t want while using what we do. It’s an endless, thankless and frustrating job. But the management of that is exactly what we didn’t want to do and are forced to do as we reach for success. Unfortunately this isn’t a post about managing your business or keeping a clean tub … so we must move on.
That’s all that’s left right?
So what’s the drain. The drain is where you lose all your water. All that time that you are putting in. All the money that you are making. All going down the drain. Some drains bigger than others. Some have the nifty catch to keep you from losing that penny that was stuck to some random body part. Right? Some have even been neglected to the point that they are all clogged up with nastiness. Gross! But it’s all kinda making sense isn’t it?
I believe that THIS is the most important part of your business and also the most neglected.
The reality is that it doesn’t matter how deep your resources are, how much you learn or how much money you make if it’s just going right down the drain. It also doesn’t matter if it’s all clogged up and your tub just overflows on to the floor and leaves you with soggy bath mats. It’s all a waste. And if you are running your business trying to manage the wasted water and not utilizing the good clean stuff, then how can you tell what is working or what isn’t working. Add as much water as you like, but the reality is that you are working really hard to fill something that has a giant hole.
I know you know what I’m talking about. That icky feeling of frustration from constantly pushing something up hill just to find that it’s even more sucky to try hold on while it’s attempting to roll away from you downhill. That sense of desperation and anxiety? It sucks!
Lucky for all of us there are people out there that can give us a better drain for our tub. One that you can open and close and teaches you how to keep it clean. THIS is what Steve Saporito has been and is to our business.
Think of that and let the drain idea soak in. If you can control the drain then how much easier is it to run your faucet? You no longer must crank that puppy full blast to get water to stay in the tub. In fact you can turn the faucet on juuuuust enough to give you the right amount of water that need, then turn it off. When you’re done, open the drain and, let the old water out and get ready for more clean water. Need to clean your tub? Want to change your tub? It all gets a bit easier and productive when you know how to work that drain.
We could go on and on I’m sure … that's why analogies are so fun, but my end point is this:
Searching for a business coach can’t just be about finding someone that helps you create more resources. Odds are it will just be incredibly wasteful. Your first coach needs to be your “drain” coach. You MUST find someone that is going to help you develop a way of implementing and testing your resources so that you can figure out what is working and what isn’t working. And when you have done that, you have to be able to clean it out and do it again. Growth is a constant cycle of trying new things, failing, tweaking and trying again. But it’s imperative that we find ways to slow down and focus on improving what we have instead of working so hard to fill our lives with as much “water” as possible.
This is your bath tub … don’t just let anyone into it, and when you do, make sure you know which part they are going to help with. Are they improving your faucet? The water? The tub? Or, the Drain? No one single coach is going to be the whole answer, but one of them will help you get the most out of the others.
Lastly, a quick shout out to two business coaches who have made the biggest difference to my wife, Christy and I. In addition to the hundreds of other speakers that have influenced us for the better, these two business coaches in particular have made a significant impact on our businesses and daily lives. We will never be able to thank either of them largely enough for the “tubs” they have helped us create:
Thanks for reading. Here's to keeping the soap out of our eyes.