Ever heard a song and thought, “ I really like this… I have no idea what type of music it is… it’s a weird blend of things…hard to describe… I like it though!”
For example, consider a band who blends southern rock & roll, 1960s surfer music, and rockabilly… what kind of music is that??
What about two Mexican guitarists who spent 8 years in Dublin playing heavy metal rock; rolling what they learned into acoustic guitar arrangements to make a strange, unique mix of rock/flamenco/classical/jazz and guitar-thumping percussion??
What about a group of world-class musicians playing a mix of funk and rock music using everything from trumpets and saxophones to xylophones to bongos to electric guitars — all while dressed like mummies. Yeah, you read that right…
None of these bands (Southern Culture on the Skids, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Here Come the Mummies) have limited genres or musical categories. Their styles cannot be identified quickly, pigeonholed into an existing box, or condensed into a simple one-word adjective. They’re misfits…
I’ve realized this is exactly like my coaching style.
Right now I’m out on the island of misfit coaches who don’t fit into one simple precast category. There are life, business, real estate, fitness, mindset, results, wealth-building, executive, productivity, career, start-up, lead generation, leadership, content, and personal coaches just to name a few niches.
Like the bands above though, I don’t fit into any one of these niches at this very moment because I bring elements of each one into my unique coaching style.
I draw inspiration from sources everywhere and hold it in my memory until it’s relevant. It’s common for me to read the back of food labels, explore books from philosophy to real estate investing, watch Planet Earth, or ask 50 questions to the person next to me on a plane just to learn something new. My friends and clients can tell you I’m quick with a quote, story, anecdote, book passage, movie line, lyric, difficult question, or analogy to bring home a point. And I’m not limited to just one niche, which can seem odd to those who don’t know me well yet.
This blended style helps me navigate people and problems because I can always reach into these deep and wide experiences to find something relatable, something useful, or at least a question to get us where we want to go. I believe clients’ transformations and breakthroughs come at the expense of being willing to dig into their life and business in a new way, paying extremely close attention to how they’re processing things, and applying directed action to get the change they really want – which has very little to do with their coach’s niche.
Yet they get the benefit of my deep and wide “research” because I can summarize a concept or useful technique and spare them the time of going out to learn it on their own. Granted, the summaries often express certain misfit style…
In a coaching call clients are just as likely to hear me say crazy things like:
“Make more pots!”
“You are not a tree!”
“Show, don’t tell!”
“How is this happening FOR you?”
“Confucius says don’t kill mosquito with cannonball”
“In fierce conversations we MUST go first”
“Is that a Smart goal?”
“Don’t put a horseshoe in my pillowcase!”
and any number of wildly random (yet well-timed) abstractions.
Ok, the horseshoe one is just a joke. You see where I’m going with this though – that sometimes we have to break open the gates with a little humor, an odd analogy, or even a quote to solidify something important.
This style is fun to me. The mixture of ideas, things that work, things that don’t work, concepts, and truth nuggets from those who have gone before us helps me help my clients. With an approach like this we can break habits, patterns, or thought processes that are no longer serving them well. We identify a brand new way to think about their problem, their absence of a problem, or maybe even preempt a problem altogether.
Plus they get a fresh perspective. Sometimes it knocks them out of their current victimhood. Sometimes it gives them a laugh when they need it. Often it’s a simple piece of wisdom from Socrates or Thomas Jefferson that has been packaged up and sold for hundreds of years in other sales and marketing books. Maybe in that moment they just needed to hear the original gangster’s version.
My point here is simple though:
I don’t fit into one category and most of my clients don’t either. We are, however, similar in one aspect: we’re both out here with a burning passion to conquer something, to beat the odds, to excel in our industries, to WIN — even if it challenges conventional wisdom and can’t be easily summarized.
My clients understand they don’t want to be pigeonholed, boxed in, confined, limited to one category or easily classified. They’re unique. They learn deeply, widely, and with sincere passion. They disrupt because of their nature – not because they want to fit in with the cool kids.
They make their own music. They create their own style.
I guess we have that in common too: we’re a rebel just for kicks.
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