Being OUT LOUD; the exception
I have been studying the current wisdom on how to market your coaching business this week and I have to tell you the common consensus seems to be that it’s really good to write a blog – and to write it consistently. This apparently has the effect of keeping you in people’s minds. More importantly though you should be trying to connect the message in your blog to your offering eg it’s no good writing about snails if your expertise is lions.
This thought makes me feel a little queasy as I’m not sure if my blogs always hit the mark – I sometimes feel I just write about whatever is happening in my life and then draw some life lessons. I think that’s ok from a life coachy point of view but is it ok from my niche point of view?
Dang – that niche thing again. Those clever marketing experts are all agreed – if you want to increase sales you have to nail your niche. Well OK, my niche is being OUT LOUD which I relate to being honest and direct and just saying what you think – because that’s a much better way to go than hiding and being scared to say things and bottling everything up till you explode basically. And also if you say stuff the chances are the stuff you say will surprise you and galvanise you in to all kinds of unexpected actions.
So I thought to myself let’s have a little look at my blogs in the past and see if I can detect a common theme. This went fantastically well I have to say – I can report there is some method in my madness and however obscure, all roads truly do seem to lead to saying what you think, expressing yourself fully, telling the truth, however painful. In short, being totally, utterly honest.
Until I got to blog number nine entitled The Gift of Freedom (.http://www.outloudcoaching.com/the-gift-of-freedom/) written more or less a year ago. I know this because I was busy telling the world about my marriage as we were celebrating our twenty eighth wedding anniversary. And next week would you believe, we are celebrating our twenty ninth!
And here’s the thing – I explained how quite often the one thing Micky and I don’t agree on is being too OUT LOUD. He was of the firm opinion there are some things in marriage that are best kept to yourself. And I wasn’t sure – how can I be a true advocate of being OUT LOUD if I am only OUT LOUD some of the time? I think Micky was saying that it’s possibly better to keep quiet (or the technical term – IN QUIET) if the other person is going to get really hurt or actually you might change your mind five minutes later. Or maybe he was saying that it’s healthy to have some secrets even in a long marriage such as ours. I think that might be something called maintaining the mystery – like having separate bathrooms … but I’m not sure, having never been a particularly mysterious person.
Anyway I’ve given his point of view lots of respectful thought and reflection over the past year or so but I am here to attest that there is nothing quite like experiencing something for yourself to help bring home a lesson. In a stunning example of learning through experience, I have been able to find out for myself whether I truly believe in honesty on all occasions or whether there are indeed some times in life when it would be better to bite your lip, button up and keep your own counsel.
The thing is Micky told me something a couple of weeks ago which in all honesty I would rather he hadn’t. The thing he said has rather knocked me for six and made me feel very aggrieved and very blue – and the annoying thing is he also argued that he was only being OUT LOUD!
Fair enough obviously and credit for trumping me at my own game and all that, but did the man not realise that there are exceptions to every rule? Could he not see that whereas being OUT LOUD applies in many, many circumstances and for many, many people and can generally be regarded as a rule of thumb in 99.99% of cases, where my feelings are concerned, he really needs to tread very carefully indeed.
So there you have it – by all means be OUT LOUD with all your heart and to the very best of your ability and I am without doubt the best coach available to help you do that. But if you are a considered (original word, taciturn, changed by someone) middle aged man with a highly sensitive wife of almost thirty years standing, do not be tempted to change the habit of a lifetime and be direct and honest. Even if she tells you that’s what she wants. She doesn’t.