There is no wrong choice

“How will I know if choosing you to work with me is the best choice?” That’s the question a potential coaching client asked me earlier this week. I think he was surprised at my answer.

“You don’t” I told him. “And it may not matter.”

OK, maybe that is not entirely true. Each of us responds better to one kind of person or approach better than others. I get that. But in the end, the exact process or person is less important than one thing – doing the work.

I have spent a lot of time looking at what works and what doesn’t work in business and personal development. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to others in all the fields I work in, and ask them what makes the biggest difference between their success stories and their less successful stories. These were people with different approaches and different styles, but their answer was remarkably similar. What makes the difference is a client’s buy in and willingness to do the work.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe process is important. I, and others in my fields have spent a lot of time developing processes that work for their clients. I, for instance, have spent a lifetime learning and developing processes that work, that help my companies and clients succeed. Some of that learning has been hands on, as I’ve built companies and divisions of companies and helped lift people and organizations up. Some of that has been in formal education, like my John Maxwell training and other programs. I am always learning and honing the processes I lead my clients through. And the processes work.

But I don’t kid myself that my process is the only one that works. There are others that have processes that work.

I am a constant reader of self development books and articles. People ask me which ones work. My answer: Most of them.

If we do the work.

People I talk to in all my industries say the same thing. That while every process has pros and cons, every self help book has good stuff and weaker stuff, they all work… if you do. That nearly every client failure comes less from the process being flawed, than the client bailing on it, not doing the homework, not being willing to change. (“Let me see,” I told one client. “You want change in your life, but you don’t want to change anything IN your life?”).

If we want to succeed. If we want to grow our life or our organization. If we want more money, more balance, more growth…. anything different and better, we can get there by a variety of paths. That is the truth. You don’t particularly need me, but you need to commit to growth and change, and do the work.

That’s where coaches and consultants come in. Most of us don’t persist when left to our own devices. We beg out. We cheat. We do the parts of it all that we like and ignore the hard stuff. And the growth we want just doesn’t happen. It’s not that we are wimps or bad people. We’re just human. Change is scary.

Change with someone who has seen change work, is less scary. Change that holds us accountable for our actions is change that actually happens.

So the truth is, picking me or picking someone else is not that big a deal. I have a process. It works. But someone else has a process too. Likely it works. Or, if you are the disciplined sort, pick a good book (I can recommend a bunch of them, no matter what you want to go in your life.) and follow their process.

The thing is, and I have learned this the hard way, and over time. Each of us really CAN have the things we want in life. Each organization can reach for the stars and become the organization they want to. It’s in us. Each of us. No exceptions. But only if we pick a process, a proven way that works, and stick with it.

So yes, process is important. A good fit is important, but in the end, WE are the most important factor, whether we are looking for a better life, better relationships, financial growth, corporate growth, or any good thing. But in the end, it’s our work and sticking with it that matters.

That’s it, The gig’s up. What are you going to do next?

Be well. Travel Wisely.


PS – This principle kinda works with most things. In most of our decisions, there is rarely a good and bad choice. There are just choices, each with consequences and things that will happen that may be different, but are both good. Relax!

The only bad choice is doing nothing.

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