In the words of the immortal Rabbie Burns, “O wad some Power the giftie gie us -To see oursels as ithers see us!”
And to see our business “face” as others see it.
Which is to say that I’ve just come to the realisation that I haven’t been communicating effectively what it is I “do” from a business viewpoint.
Even (especially?) with this blog.
And what makes that acknowledgement even more discomforting for me than it might otherwise be is that, along with other blogging consultants, I’m in the habit of explaining to business people that one of the main advantages of a blog, as compared to a traditional website, is that your readers can get to know you and your business in a more transparent and personal way.
So it’s fair to say I’ve been going along on the assumption that people who read this blog, regularly and/or frequently, would have a fairly good idea of who I am and what I “do”.
I’m thinking now I may have been kidding myself.
Because over a coffee last week, a business acquaintance, who I thought had a pretty good idea of what I do and who told me he reads my blogs, told me also that he didn’t really know what I did.
Then I remembered seeing either an email or comment some months ago from a blogging colleague, a very smart guy, who had indicated that he had not been clear about it either.
Obviously I needed to hear the message a couple of times. But discomforting feedback is often or always more valuable than praise and reassurance. Anyway, I figured it was time I posted something here to clear the air, so to speak.
So here goes. Basically, I’m a business coach. What I “do” is that I work with successful business owners and entrepreneurs
who want to take their business to the next level without getting burnt
in the process.
And in fact I started blogging as a way of promoting my services as a
coach, after I’d been to a coaching conference in San Francisco and attended a session with a great guy named Hal Macomber, a project management expert whose topic was, from memory, “becoming an e-celebrity through blogging” – at a time when I didn’t have a clue what blogging was. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to be a celebrity, more that I was interested in the idea of expanding my coaching business by becoming better known internationally. Blogging seemed to offer that and at a very low or no dollar cost. That impression was reinforced later when I did a course with another blogging coach, Andy Wibbels, now a best-selling author on blogging for small business.
Little did I know back then that blogging was to become an obsession a passion for me!
After trying various blogging platforms, topics and names, I started the original Thinking Home Business on the Typepad platform. I think part of my approach was that, as I’d had years of experience about working from home I had a topic I could write about without much stress.
Then as time passed I noticed a couple of things:
- I seemed to be posting more about issues to do with blogging and social networking and not quite so much about the working from home aspects
- the visitor stats indicated that the blogging and social networking posts were getting proportionately more attention than the working from home ones.
I then made a conscious decision to write more about what seemed to be of greater interest to readers.
Which is how Thinking Home Business started to be more about reflections and opinions on blogging and social media as well as, but by no means exclusively about, the practicalities of being a home
Then as I
blogged I got more involved in and passionate about blogging, social
networking and other Web 2.0 wonders, and more enthusiastic about spreading the word about how they can help business. I began to describe myself as “a business coach and blogging evangelist” and put that on my business card. I wrote a “getting started “blogging manual for business owners and put myself forward for speaking engagements. In due course invitations came to speak to local groups and even state and national conference gatherings, not about coaching but about business blogging.
All of which is fine. In fact a great buzz. I really enjoy doing presentations and panel appearances on blogging and Web 2.0 for business.
And I like writing,
None of which activity is in conflict with the coaching. In fact, as coaching is a lot (all?) about more effective communication, I make good use of my coaching skills in the “other than coaching” work I do, such as in presentations and workshops on business blogging. And even in writing books about, say, recruiting.
So I’m still a coach.
As far as blogging on the subject of coaching goes, I’m re-focusing on that on my deswalsh.com site – and it’s my intention also to get back to contributing as a member of the coaching group at Coachamatic.
By the way, if you’re one of those business owners or entrepreneurs who want to take their business to the next level and you think we might be able to work together, I have a
few timeslots available at present, so why not drop me an email (deswalsh(at)gmail(dot)com) and we can set up a call to chat about it – no obligation, no
here about my coaching.
Of course, one of the great things about a blog, compared to a traditional website, is in a situation where I find I’m not communicating effectively I have the opportunity to explain to many people at once and in the confident expectation that many will actually read it. Whereas with a website it would surely take much longer to get the clarifying message out.