“It’s not what I expected.”
That is one of the most common phrases used when I ask clients about their experience in one of my coaching programs. It used to make me nervous, wondering how I might have failed them somehow or what was missing. When I hear it now, I smile a little and ask them to describe what they mean.
What always comes next is an explanation of how they expected to get certain bits of information, learn how to use it, and make noticeable progress toward a goal.
Then they explain that they got that, but in a totally different way. They learned things about themselves they never knew before. The world looks different than it did when we started and they’ve come up with answers to questions they didn’t know they had!
They expected information and got personal transformation.
The difference between what they expected and what they received is the difference between do-it-on-your-own and being coached. It is also the criteria by which you evaluate possible programs and coaches for your own growth.
JIC vs JIT
Products, study-at-home programs, and self-guided courses are great resources. They give us the chance to work on our own timeline and learn new facts and techniques along the way. Evaluating programs like this is relatively easy, but most don’t go about it right. Here’s what I mean.
Before buying a product or program, we need to establish our need. Ask yourself, “What do I need in my life or business right now?” And when I say “right now” I mean it! Not next month or year…now!
The importance of the immediate need is huge. How many things have you purchased and either let it sit on your shelf or never implemented the information it contained? It’s okay, we all have. This happens because we buy things that look cool or might help us down the road, but don’t have any immediate impact on our most important needs.
We normally buy based on a Just In Case philosophy. “I’m sure I’ll need it someday…” To be truly effective and stop wasting much time and money, we need to operate on a Just In Time philosophy.
Just In Time, or JIT, is basically this. (for example)
1. “I need to understand how to navigate and use social media.”
2. Search for a social media course that teaches what you need from a reputable person or organization.
3. Buy it.
4. Implement the information it provides.
Seriously, that’s it.
Can you see the difference in the two approaches? You’re much more likely to implement what you buy and benefit from it because it applies to what you need right now. Much less gray area and margin for distraction.
Information vs Transformation
The next thing to understand about informative products and programs like we mentioned before is that they are static. In other words, they contain information and it’s up to you to make it happen. An information product is about “what YOU can get out of IT.” Don’t expect anything else.
If you are seeking deeper and more meaningful changes in your business and life, an information style product can only take you so far. To go beyond, you need to look at a coaching program.
Instead of “what YOU can get out of IT,” coaching programs are focused on “What IT can get out of YOU.”
This is beyond information and tactics. Real coaching stirs you and creates reactions that are sometimes uncomfortable in order to complete changes. These transformations are what make the other areas of your life more dynamic.
Too many people think that adding information to who they are will make a huge shift in their business or personal life. It won’t. Transforming who you are has the ability to take old information and help you see it in a whole new way.
The information doesn’t change, we do. Take a moment and evaluate your life and business. Ask yourself…
- Is there a specific piece of information or knowledge I need to improve my life/business?
- Do I know enough already to improve everything, but need to grow who I am to make it work?
The answers will tell you where to look next. Take your life seriously; it’s the only one you’ve got. Decide what you need and get it, but don’t overload yourself with shiny objects and distractions for someday. Stay focused and make a difference that will last.
PJ McClure is an internationally respected expert who helps business owners and executives destroy roadblocks and seize opportunities to achieve their ideal vision of success. He is an award-winning speaker and the best-selling author of Flip the SWITCH: How to Turn On and Turn Up Your Mindset. You can download Flip the SWITCH for free by clicking here!