TL;DR - A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Break it down into manageable bites. Set the bar enough so that even on a bad day you still accomplish the bite.
A strange thing happened just now as I was thinking about what value to give and content to post for you fathers who are interested in working for yourselves, I suddenly had a name cross my mind, “Amundsen.”
Roald Amundsen, to be more exact, and in doing research into his name, it just so happens that today marks the 110 year anniversary of him being the first explorer to reach the South Pole.
I first read about Roald Amundsen in a book a while back (forgot the name) about the importance of preparation and how making mile markers attainable on the worst of days but make sure to keep to them even on the best of days maximizes our chances of success.
As the story goes, there was another team that was also racing to be the first explorers to get there by the name of Robert F. Scott.
Team Amundsen was way better prepared & methodical and thus actually ended up making it there a whole month before Team Scott made it; Team Scott actually ended up perishing on the way back from the pole.
The key to Amundsen’s success stemmed from a knack for preparation and also aiming towards a very attainable progress marker where every day regardless of conditions out, they’d adhere themselves to it religiously, through good or bad conditions.
He broke the journey into bite-sized chunks and made sure to keep rationing the bites all the way to the destination and back.
This is totally something I feel fathers looking to work for themselves can adapt into their pursuits.
Start small. Set the bar low so that you can make progress on an especially bad day but also pace yourself on a good day.
No one expects you to create a multi-million dollar business from day one.
In asking multiple groups of fathers the questions of what’s holding them back, the most frequent responses were money, time, what to do, instability, fear of failure, and circumstance.
I’ve stared down all those things and still face some of them to this day 4.5 years into this journey but as you’ll see other fathers who have made the leap say, “the best decision I ever made.”
If you’ve got dreams, don’t let those things get in the way.
You’re the boss. There are ways to get around those hurdles if you’d only give it some thought; understandably everyone’s cards & best hands to play are different, the trick is doing the best you can & learning along the way.
Take advantage of this group and share your struggles as there are a ton of fathers in here who have made the leap to work for themselves and can support you on this journey.
The year 2022 is around the corner, so if you’re on the fence about getting started, you got time to prepare before it starts and hit the ground running.
Let’s GO! 👊
The past 2 weeks have both been amazing as well as stressful for a Vancouver Canucks fan; especially for me as a life coach.
To put it bluntly, we all got to see the contrast & difference in results between a bad and a good coach.
The styles they implement affect the players in such a way that affect the overall performance we see on/off the ice.
For those of you who aren’t fans, the Vancouver Canucks started off the season with an absolutely horrid start and fans in this city were crying out for some changes.
We’d been going through a half-rebuild, cutting corners to become a playoff contender.
Had it not been for a few amazing picks in the drafts and quality pick-ups, we’d be in a way worse position today.
Long story short, the front office needed a dramatic overhaul so last week, the ownership took matters into their own hands and started implementing change.
The previous coaching staff employed a style of coaching that was taken very negatively by the players, evident in the practice of benching players underperforming, not fully utilizing players yet expecting chemistry, and only playing certain players who were performing.
It was evident to me the morale was extremely low and confidence was dismal.
But once the coaching changes were made, the new coaching staff especially came in with a new style and demeanor.
And it was incredibly evident based on coaching interviews and the subsequent results on the ice.
They allowed underperforming players to get more time to build confidence & morale, they gave them opportunities to play in situations they wouldn’t normally play (PK, PP), and were given the highest chance to perform.
The end result is a 4 game win streak to start the new tenure for this new coaching staff & management.
You can even see it on the faces and play of the players on the ice; there’s a swagger I haven’t seen in a long time.
But the coolest thing for me is how this relates to the style of coaching.
The worst thing about poor coaching is the emphasis on the coaches’ ability to direct (in fact, that’s not actually coaching), the true purpose of a coach is to focus on the players’ abilities, facilitating & squeezing every ounce of potential they have to offer on & off the ice.
The same goes for life coaching. My goal in coaching is not to direct someone to live what I think is best for them in the current state, my goal is to help someone fully understand who they are now, see the options available in front of them, and squeeze their best potential out of them while holding them to the direction they’ve set.
You’re the player. You’re on the ice. You’re wearing the skates and holding the skate.
My job is to make sure you’re given the opportunities to shine and what you don’t see, the areas I feel can be improved upon to draw out the best, I work with you on.
That’s the mastery of coaching.
If you are wondering what this may look like in your own life, reach out for a friendly conversation. I’d love to show you what it is I can do & answer any questions you may have about working together.
GO CANUCKS GO!
TL;DR - If you’re a father looking to work for yourself, discovering your inherent giftings & strengths and aligning as much as you can to them will increase your likelihood of success & overall level of fulfillment.
Recently I made a single post in various Dad Facebook groups I’m a part of and the feedback from it was incredible.
This post asked if they were or what was holding fathers back from working for themselves.
The disparity between those who had made the leap of faith and those who were held up by something was quite profound.
One of the most common obstacles fathers who hadn’t made the leap faced aside from money & family circumstances was the uncertainty of what to pursue.
To me, this uncertainty is actually a better problem to have than money & family circumstances.
Because of this prevailing roadblock, I’d like to use this post to explain how I went about it to hopefully encourage & help a father make that leap; beyond that, that the things I’ve learned can help save them from making the same roundabout way in their own journey.
My belief is that a father lives an example of how life is done, the pursuit of their dreams being one of those important roles; it’s not enough to tell our children their dreams are important, we must demonstrate.
My journey into working for myself very much aligns with this belief.
From trying to pursue a trade, non-profit work, and various other gigs, I ended up at a leap off point to go into working for myself.
Before jumping into it, I knew there were certain giftings that God (if you’re not a believer, it still applies) had given me but instead of discovering more fully, I took what I knew and ran with it.
Knowing I was technologically gifted and could navigate the digital world, I ventured into the digital marketing arena.
Looking back, I would say this venture was only utilizing 20% of my potential; suffice to say, I wasn’t fulfilled doing it.
Through various successes and failures, I ended up transitioning to software as a service as it was a growing trend (still is) thinking I’d make it big.
I really enjoyed the work and felt that I was coming to life like I hadn’t ever before; I’d say it was probably 70-80% of my potential.
Yet still, something felt lacking and fulfillment was definitely not something I’d say I was experiencing.
Oddly enough, my ideal audience and clients were professionals in the coaching space thus through marketing to them, had a ton of profound conversations that led me back to something I discovered 6 years ago.
In 2015, a mentor of mine brought me through Clifton Strengths (an assessment for gauging strengths; also pictured), and through the discovery, we learned I would make a great coach or counselor.
With this knowledge in hand & coincidentally circling back to that discovery inadvertently, everything in my life changed and suddenly it all made sense to me.
Even looking back at my life, there are areas that I can distinctly see as being in alignment with coaching.
You see, I also had an incredibly strong desire to serve people and was always very intentional living this way.
In discovering the IKIGAI (pictured), my singular answer to all 4 of the questions of what I’m good at, what I love, what the world needs, and what I can be paid for was coaching.
That leap-off point was almost 10 months ago now and I can report back that the results are astronomical in terms of personal growth, level of fulfillment, presence with myself and others, and the passion & drive to see this through until I die; this feeling I want for so many other fathers out there.
And what I help with now is exactly what I detailed above and stems from my own life experiences growing up desiring a present father & appreciation from my mother.
So if you’ve read this far and are contemplating undergoing a journey into working for yourself, my encouragement is to start from the inside out. Discover your giftings, strengths and find maximal alignment to them rather than pursuing endless shiny objects that ultimately won’t fulfill you. That IKIGAI tool is amazing but it’s exponentially more effective when we discover more of ourselves to narrow the questions we ask to get the answers we need.
If you're looking for some guidance in your own journey, reach out to me for a free consultation call. The best thing about coaching is that the answers are within you already and it's my job to draw the best out of you & hold you to our trajectory together. If you've been looking for a sign to take the leap of faith, this is it.
My name is Theophilus Zhuang and I'm a transformational coach who loves speaking about legacy and life purpose. My belief is that life is best lived from the inside and in maximal alignment to for utmost fulfillment. Here you'll find my musings.