Bad Advice for Coaches #1 Coach What You Know.

The irony of life coaching is that so many coaches want to take advice, mostly from other coaches. They think that by hiring a marketing coach, they will get their marketing in order. So, many marketing coaches have this piece of advice, what is your story about how you got into coaching? Then they suggest that you should coach based on the area you have experience in the past, having had past success in that field of endeavor.

The problem comes when people want coaching in doing things that have not been done before. There are always people who are the first to do something, the trailblazers, people who have pulled off something that no one else has ever done. Does that mean that if you want to do something that has never been done before, you should not bother with a coach because coaches only teach you how to do something that has been done before? Hell no.

I think so many people have this idea that that if it hasn’t been done, than obviously it can’t be done. There is also a certain amount of skepticism about anything new, be it a new technology or even a whole new way of doing things and seeing things, for instance a new never been tried before business model. Coaches are masters at changing mindset, so that means if you think something is impossible now, that very thing might be possible, but you just haven’t figured out a way to achieve it.

I will give you one example, no one would have thought that Microsoft was going to buy Github back in the days of Gates and Ballmer. They figured Microsoft hated open source so much, they would do anything to avoid touching anything with open source software upon it. Years later, Gates and Balmer have retired from Microsoft, and the new management decides to purchase github. Sure, it isn’t an all out embrace of open source, but it is still much closer than they were back in the day.

Or how about the fact that the Linux Kernel itself is created with free software version control, git. Linus was always very much into the open source side of things. He never cared for the idea that software source code must always be available. He was content to use bit-keeper, a proprietary piece of version control management. Then one day, he lost his limited license to use it. He spent a month writing git, putting freedom respecting software ahead in so many ways.

How about the Java Trap? Richard Stallman wrote an essay about the Java Trap, how Java required non-free libraries so we would have to rewrite the whole thing from scratch. Then, just like that, Sun Microsystems goes and frees it. That is right, the whole language is free software now. I can go download OpenJDK and run my Java programs now.

How about Flash? Remember when Flash was everywhere on the internet. We tried to get rid of it, and we struggled with it. Then one day, javascript comes along to make applications that run in the browser regardless of OS, iphones ban flash and that is it for the proprietary piece of technology. We no longer need adobe to view videos on the internet.

So, don’t stick to the ideas of what you think is possible, or do able or some kind of “realistic” game plan based on one persons version of realism. You should make the impossible possible and and the hard to do things do able. That doesn’t mean than you need to go over the top with blatant breakage of the laws of physics in front of millions of people, but defiantly don’t confine yourself just because someone tried to talk you out of doing something because they don’t think its possible, most likely they simply don’t have enough information to help you make choices that would allow you to do it.

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