A couple of nights ago I had a crazy restless sleep, repeatedly waking up feeling anxious from a dream and in a semi-conscious state thinking how important it was for me to know what was so valuable about what I did for my super-hero clients. Each time I woke up I would change position and try to go back to sleep thinking to myself… next time we meet, just ask and listen to what they say… you will get concrete answers, don’t worry. In the morning, I woke up feeling like I had been on a 7-hour roller coaster ride. However, it has become clear to me that somehow that night helped resolve something in a very similar way that I always resolve math, science, or other conundrums in my sleep.
Now that a few days have passed, I’ve had some time to decode the many complex messages and possible reasons for such a restlessness night. The “why” is probably the easiest, and likely due to the constant message from my coaching team and friends in business telling me to define my target market. This, I must admit, has been very difficult to do in a way that pleases them. At this point, my youngest client is 15 (and was 14 when we started) and the eldest 80. Just like from all my other clients whose age is between these two, the experience I gain from each one of these wonderful people has increased my knowledge of health as well as my capacity to coach more effectively. In fact, I believe that age is like time, a bit fuzzy… just think, the 80-year-old was once 15 and hopefully the 15-year-old will one day be 80. Anyway, not to linger on this too long, after one year of coaching and feeling like I do make a difference, I must answer intuitively and sincerely that my target market is people!
That brings me to the most important issue, not all people. Although I don’t have a specific type of person as my target market whose name, car, pet, kids, profession, etc, that I can clearly define, I am very aware of who I can’t and don’t want to coach. This has become very clear over the past year, and more specifically with three very nice people that are no longer on my client list. Meeting after meeting, it became obvious to me that there was no willingness to put in the work to explore their limits and to change, and we were both wasting our time. Good, situation quickly resolved. Move on. But now back to the ones that are willing to put in the effort, who are those? Well, in truth, I am privileged to coach several highly complex, intelligent people who have multi-faceted lives and are interested in vesting time and energy to go beyond their current limits and be their best possible selves. This may sound a bit vague to you, but it’s not.
That’s where the super-hero comes in. Just think about it, replace the word “hero” in super-hero by a combination of the following words (with the relative importance of each being dynamic); athlete, partner, friend, parent, student, son or daughter, architect, coach, doctor, ultimate player, lawyer, scientist, writer, teacher, photographer, business man, professional etc. and you have defined my clients. Now, you may ask, why super-heroes? Great question. If I trust my subconscious sleeping mind that my clients are super-heroes, then I guess the question of “how do I help?” becomes relevant.
Logically thinking about this and breaking it up into digestible parts, here go my ideas. After watching (and thoroughly enjoying) many super-hero movies over the last 5 decades one thing became clear to me. You never see super-heroes sitting down to a relaxed healthy meal or going grocery shopping at the organic food market. Also, they seem to be so busy solving the WORLDonopolis problems that they hardly sleep. I guess they get plenty of exercise putting into effect their superpowers, but food and sleep are essential for health and longevity. If you think about it, these, along with exercise, are the first things to suffer in a busy complex life. So this is my first and very important function, helping empower the empowered not to lose track of the basics. This is where my science and nutrition knowledge comes in handy. Since I am a natural rebel, I hate being told what to do. As such, I also don’t tell my clients what to do but rather study and give them the knowledge to make the decisions themselves. In my experience, this very fulfilling period takes 2-3 months of regular meetings and of personal experiments and self-exploration.
Once the basics are established (keep in mind, the details of how these basics are met adjust constantly as needs change), the door for each client’s greatness opens wide. This is my other important role as a coach, to help define and delineate the path to reach personal goals. Funny how this can be reduced to such a simple sentence, where in fact it is a very personal and complex issue. Here is where all the fears, doubts, insecurities, and “what ifs” are explored and dealt with in a positive and in-depth manner. Then comes the fun part, making it happen! Their successes are not at all my merit, but having regular meetings where there is an analysis of successes and failures and re-adjustment of the plan of action really helps. Currently, all my super-hero individual clients are at this phase, and I am so proud to be part of their process. Also, I must thank them for my restless night, which allowed me to define my purpose and function as a health coach.