I don’t know if you’re like me, but as much as I love the “New Year Energy,” I sometimes find it a little overwhelming… especially if my clients or I haven’t gotten clear on our new year goals, resolutions, intentions or themes yet.
That’s why I love the “Future Letter” Exercise.
It’s an activity we teach in the Coach & Grow R.I.C.H. Business Building System and it’s an excellent way to gain clarity on what you want for yourself and your business in this new year.
Here’s how to create your “Future Letter…”
1. Imagine that it is one year from now and that you are writing a letter to someone you care about who would want to celebrate your success. Write about what you see yourself accomplishing in your coaching business during the next year as if those things have already happened.
2. Think about how you want to feel about your business one year from now. Write what comes to mind when you are in that positive feeling place.
3. The Future Letter format helps you connect with what you really want to achieve in your business (vs. what you think you should do). Areas to address include:
- What your coaching business looks like (number of clients, type of clients, revenue generated)
- How you feel about your business
- Your coaching skills
- Your business infrastructure
- Your marketing strategies
- What your typical work day/week/month looks like
- Anything else that is important to you regarding your business
4. After you have written your Future Letter read it daily for at least one month or record yourself reading your Future Letter and listen to the recording daily.
I know this can seem like a trivial exercise, but the fact is, putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and getting down in writing the future vision you have for your business and life is the first and critically important step in achieving it.
Just yesterday I received the “Future Letter” from one of my private coaching clients. I literally got goose bumps as I read it because I could see and feel her achieving what she had written. It truly is that powerful.
Obviously, I can’t share my client’s Future Letter with you, but here’s an example to help get your creative juices flowing…
Future Letter Example:
Date: One year from today
To: Someone who wants to celebrate your success
“A year ago I got serious about building my ideal coaching business and I am so excited to share some of the many wonderful things that have happened during the past 12 months. You have always been so supportive of me so I knew you would enjoy hearing about my success.
Things really got into gear when I made a conscious decision to be the best coach I can be and to not settle for anything less than building a rewarding and profitable business. I demonstrated my commitment by blocking out 15 hours in my schedule every week to work on my business.
At first I had a hard time sticking to my schedule, but the more I did it, the easier it became. Especially when I started seeing results!
Once I started taking the right action, I consistently attracted new clients. My coaching practice grew throughout the year and I am currently working with 18 wonderful clients and earning an average of $6,000/month. I feel so blessed to be doing the work I love and sometimes can’t believe I get paid to do this!
In addition to my 1-1 coaching, I have formed a partnership with a coach in the area. We met at a local coaching chapter meeting and decided to create workshops together. We have a lot of fun and our workshops are one of the ways we each acquire new individual coaching clients. I feel so fortunate to have found a way to beat the isolation that might have otherwise occurred if I did everything on my own and did all of my work from home.
As you know, I’m a firm believer in continuing to build my skills as a coach. So this year I attended two powerful seminars and successfully achieved my coach certification. I love the sense of competency I have as a coach and know that I am on the way to achieving true mastery. Of course, as I continue to refine my skills it benefits my clients, which is the real measure of my success as a coach.
One of my other huge accomplishments during the past year was making the transition to a “True Business Owner.” A while back I realized that my success would be contingent upon really treating my coaching practice like a business, and I have. The guest bedroom has officially become my office and it is set up exactly the way I like. I invested in the necessary technology, including a comfortable headset, a beefy laptop computer, a DSL connection to the internet and of course, I had a separate business phone line installed.
Since organization has never been my thing, I hired a professional to come in and help me set up my files and my QuickBooks software. Once I got the systems in place I’ve been able to keep everything up-to-date. I also set up a merchant account for accepting payment by credit cards. All of my clients pay that way, which has simplified the billing process tremendously.
This year I also launched my website. I had it professionally designed and learned how to do simple updates myself. I love how it turned out! I didn’t want anything too complicated, so it focuses on providing value to my visitors by providing a number of helpful resources, such as book recommendations and downloads of some articles I have written. People can also sign up for my free “More Energy Thru Healthy Living” E-zine.
Speaking of my E-zine, I launched it 3 months ago and already have 350 subscribers! As you know, I specialize in coaching people who want to have more energy and lead a healthier life. I have so much fun writing the monthly articles and from the feedback I’ve received, the tips, insights and strategies I share have been really beneficial to my readers.
A key component for making this year great was creating a schedule that works for me. It took a while to make it happen, but I’m now really pleased with the way my typical month and week looks! I generally coach my clients the first three weeks of the month. My coaching days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Monday afternoons I handle admin items and on Fridays I focus on marketing and scheduling complimentary consultations with prospective clients.
During my week “off” from coaching I write my newsletter and engage in other activities that help me grow the business, such as working on my alliance with the health club, contacting organizations about speaking engagements and meeting with Helen about our workshops.
Going back to the idea of being a True Business Owner, I finally realized that a business like this requires me to do continual marketing, so I picked specific things to focus on to build my business and have really created a system that works. The best part is I no longer feel like I always need to be prospecting, which is how I felt when I was doing network marketing.
Remember how when I first started coaching I thought everyone I met was a potential client? I was constantly pitching my coaching services to people I met at grocery stores, on planes, etc. It was so exhausting. No more of that for me! Now that I have figured out who I coach and what I coach on I am able to develop specific marketing strategies that directly target people who want to have more energy and live a healthier life!
I’ve also continued to learn more about the sales, marketing and business side of coaching and really feel like my skills in this area have grown exponentially. In fact, much to my surprise, I love learning about these things and feel great knowing that it’s key to my long-term success as a coach.
One of the other big factors that contributed to my success this year was really leveraging the power of my thoughts and feelings. While I’ve always known the importance of making a committed decision, writing out my goals and believing in myself, I had never really taken it to this level before. And boy did it pay off!
In closing, I want to share the gratitude that I have for you and the many other people who have supported me in this endeavor. I appreciate it!”
Wasn’t it inspiring to read that?
Now it’s time to write yours!
Take 15 minutes now to start writing your Future Letter and leave me a comment below letting me know you’re taking action!
Michelle, you are so awesome and you give so much to the community. This is an excellent exercise and right in line with Science of Mind principles that say if you want something, be grateful for it as it has already happened. As you mention above, gratitude is so important in this process. I’m writing my future letter right now!
Love that Sage… Be grateful for what you want as if it had already happened!