My Name is Jennifer, and I am a Niche Switcher!

June 6th, 2012 by Jennifer Grainger

I’d never heard of having a “niche” until I was in coach training. (It refers to the specific group of people that have the “problem” that your business offers the “solution” for.)

Way back in the 20th century, as a freshly minted coach, full of enthusiasm and idealism, I was certain my niche was people on a spiritual path who had no one to talk to, because that was the “big problem” I’d experienced and wanted to help others so they wouldn’t be as lonely as I was in my journey.

I loved working with spiritual seekers, and I always made enough money to cover my business expenses, so making a living as a spiritual coach was not really important. That all changed when Dave and I decided to reshape our relationship from husband and wife to good friends, and I had to earn my own living.

My first business coach tried to discourage me because he said that unless you’re a big name, like Deepak Chopra or Wayne Dyer, you won’t make a living as a spiritual coach.

I trusted my guidance more than my coach at the time, and proceeded to spend the next five years bouncing from coach to coach who offered success if I just followed their formula. I burned through my life savings and all the credit I could muster until I had no more resources to throw at it. This was pretty clear feedback that my first coach was right!

The personal and spiritual growth I gleaned from those five years, and the resources I acquired, are invaluable. So my guidance was not “wrong.” It just didn’t lead me to the business success I was certain I would achieve in the time frame I’d expected.

Through a series of seemingly unrelated circumstances I stumbled upon (was led? guided to?) a married couple (Jesse Koren and Sharla Jacobs)  who offer heart-centered business training for Coaches and Holistic Practitioners. From them I learned there were business principles that I didn’t know I needed to know, and that without that knowledge I would just keep spinning my wheels “doing what I loved and expecting the money to follow!”

Here is what I found out. My “business plan,” which consisted mostly of visualization, affirmations, a really spiffy vision board, energy work, meditation and whiz bang internet stuff, while important, was only half the equation.

I wasn’t paying attention to basic good business practices, like tracking the return on my investment of time and money into my various offerings. And the bigger problem was that I had no clue about marketing, which I had confused with “selling.”

Just like most heart-based businesswomen, I have great resistance to anything that would be perceived as pushy or salesy. I didn’t know that marketing is just doing things that would make me visible to the people who are looking for what I have to offer. I didn’t know how to engage in conversation that naturally leads to finding out if they have the problem that I solve, and if they want to find out more.

OMG! Just like anything, it is so simple, once you know!

Jesse and Sharla offer a program called Double Your Practice in 90 Days, and in January I jumped in with both feet. The foundational piece of the program is to hone in on a specific niche and get out networking to be visible to the people who are looking for you.

I decided to “make my mess my message” (as coach Suzanne Evans offers) and make myself visible to women who were unhappy in their marriage. My “solution” to their “problem” was to help them either reshape the relationship so it worked for them, or show them how to have a heart-centered and compassionate dissolution that didn’t cost a fortune, while keeping the love intact, like Dave and I did when we ended our 25 year marriage.

The process I went through creating a What Do You Do statement for this niche (what to say when people ask, “so what do you do?”) reminds me of when I was 8 years old and learning to swim. Lots of flailing, lots of splashing, swallowing pool water and getting water up my nose, before I could actually swim.

It took a couple of months of “flailing,” but once I had my “hot” What Do You Do statement I eagerly began attending networking meetings. And the darndest thing happened.

While I was working my patootie off to be visible to the women whom I could help, and people at networking events were saying what a big need there was for my services, not one woman would identify herself as being unhappy in her marriage and wanting my help in sorting out whether to stay or go.

I don’t even know how it happened exactly, but one day I realized that the clients coming on board with me were mostly women who needed help making their businesses profitable! Having made every possible business mistake myself in the last five years I now know the truth of what it takes to build a business. Everything I learned from Jesse and Sharla was working for me, and I began passing it on to my clients!

So that is what makes me a niche switcher! From offering to help people in their spiritual quest, to offering to help married women unhappy in their marriage decide whether to stay or go, and now, coming out as a marketing coach, honestly, I feel like my life has been on a roller coaster traveling at “bullet train” speed, and that I have lived two full incarnations in the last five years! And I am NOT kidding!

And the even crazier thing is, even with being on the “wrong niche track” for awhile, I still  doubled my practice in 90 days!

In retrospect I see the experiences of the past five years have set me up to be a terrific marketing coach for businesswomen who are spinning their wheels because they don’t know what they don’t know!

When one of my clients comes to a growing edge and has to face the fear and do it anyway, I am right there with her, because I am not asking her to do anything that I haven’t done. I know what it feels like to be shaking in my Pradas when stepping into new territory. (Just kidding about the Pradas. Definitely NOT kidding about the shaking!)

Duane Packer, my spiritual teacher, often reminded me, “If you want something you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done.” Believe me, growing my business has been a personal and spiritual growth experience like no other.

BOTTOM LINE: Living in the unfolding of your life’s journey can mean a lot of side trips, backtracking from blind alleys and starting over time and again. Yet each experience is a building block for things to come. Staying focused on your desired outcome, and being willing to do things you have never done before may not take you exactly where you thought you were going, but it will take you on a journey of growth that continually asks of you to shed the false selves you were trained to take on, so that the light of your True Self can shine through. And that is a journey well worth taking!

TIP: Getting really clear on who you are here to serve and then positioning yourself so they can find you is key to business success. Getting educated on how to do this is essential!

P.S. If you’d like a free 30 minute telephone introductory marketing strategy session with me, go to my online calendar and book an appointment by clicking this link: https://my.timedriver.com/MF6TL

If you don’t find a time that works for you, email me your best days and times and I will do what I can to squeeze you in!

P.P.S. As Katherine Woodward Thomas and Claire Zammit co-founders of Feminine Power Mastery say, “You can’t grow yourself by yourself. We all need mentors to move us forward,”  

What’s your business/marketing challenge? Send me an email, jennifer@jennifergrainger.com, or give me a call, 209-369-6188.

And if you have any comments about this newsletter, I’d LOVE to hear from YOU!  Leave your comments below.

I’ll “see” you in our next newsletter!

Joyfully,
Jennifer

Posted in at a crossroads, Businesswomen, marketing, marriage, midlife woman | No Comments »

Living in the Unfolding

May 9th, 2012 by Jennifer Grainger

It has been three months since my last newsletter! I have been in “the void” following a couple of intense marketing workshops that have had me dissecting what it is I do, and then attempting to restructure it into a crisp “What Do You Do” statement that succinctly describes “the urgent problem my solution resolves.”

I listened to the advice from the workshop leaders and my tribe of people I met at the workshops who are also honing their What Do You Do statements. With each revision I’ve trotted off to networking meetings to try it out.

Time just flew by as I focused all my attention on finding the magic statement that would clearly identify who I was here to serve: women secretly thinking about getting a divorce, and the solution I was offering: to either help them reshape their marriage by renegotiating it so there was room for them to bloom and blossom, or taking them through the process of dissolving the marriage in a heart-centered and compassionate way that didn’t cost a fortune or make an enemy of their spouse.

The strangest thing happened. Every new client I got, with the exception of one, had a more pressing issue they wanted help with . . . how to get more clients and make sufficient income doing the work they loved!

This left me grateful to be able to show my new clients how to change their mind set from “hating selling” to “being visible to the people who are looking for the solution they offer,” but it also left me confused about my purpose.

I was certain my purpose was to change the face of divorce in America, given the beautiful way Dave and I stepped onto different life paths, ending our 25 year marriage without severing the love we have for each other. But what I found after months of networking is that apparently most women don’t want to make an appointment for a free coaching session to assess their marriage. I am guessing they don’t want to think about divorce until they are sure how it will all work out if they do get a divorce.

Couple that with a tremendous willingness and capacity to suffer unhappiness for years on end hoping something will change (I did that!), and my “solution” is apparently not one women were looking for.

Back to the drawing board!

So this has left me in marketing limbo, not knowing how to take my basic message of “carving away the good girl you were trained to be, to reveal the woman you were born to be, so we can sculpt the life your heart and soul are yearning for,” which I LOVE . . . and integrate it into the niche of helping women market their heart-based business to get more clients and be abundantly financially self-sufficient.

Or maybe there is another niche I am destined to serve. I don’t know. So I am living in the unfolding . . . letting the puzzle pieces come to me, knowing that at some point, it will all fall into place. Since I don’t know when that will happen, I decided it was time to resurface and let you at least know what is going on with me. It is also an opportunity to share my “living in the unfolding” process in the hopes you might find it useful for your own “unresolved dilemmas,” if you have any (smile)!

Here is what I have learned in the last three months. Life is an unending series of dilemmas. And the choices I make are the blueprint for what comes next.

I’ve also become convinced that the Universe has my back (and yours) because every “catastrophe” has resolved in a way that nurtured my ability to trust life. In a light bulb moment I “knew” that everything that happens, no matter how it looks, is purposeful and for my highest good.

When I stay in present time, and let each situation unfold moment by moment, holding the truth that even though I can’t see how there can be a good outcome, I can trust that if I stay connected to my guidance, stay out of fear, and just do the next thing in front of me to do, it will work out in ways I might never have considered.

Actually, it is easier than you might think, once you get the hang of trusting that no matter what happens you will always know what to do (or not do) in any given moment. The key phrase here is “in any given moment.” That means not projecting disastrous scenarios into the future and then worrying that it might happen, but instead to keep a steady focus on how you’d like it to be and to ask High Quality Questions around the desired outcome. This way the power of your thought is on creating the desired outcome rather than the undesired, disastrous one.

This “living in the unfolding” is working really well for me and my clients, too . . . lots less worry, more trust, which results in a calmer, more serene day-to-day experience.

There is not a lot of cultural support for living in the unfolding so you need to have some people in your life who are wanting to live with more joy and less struggle, too; who are willing to exchange worrying about what they don’t want, to focusing on what they do want.

Simple, but not easy.

BOTTOM LINE: We truly do create our own reality by how we choose to view the circumstances of our life. We get to name it as “it shouldn’t be happening,” and create a lot of drama and story about how bad it is (or “they” are), or. . .  accepting “what is” and taking it one moment at a time, doing what is right in front of us to do, trusting that it is purposeful in some way.

TIP: The single most important thing you can do to have more joy and less struggle in your life is to surround yourself with people who have given up the role of victim; who refuse to play the blame game; who believe the Universe is friendly, and that everything that happens is for our highest good.

P.S. Life Sculpting Coaching is a powerful, fast track system for getting clear on what is not working, what your options are in any given situation, then helping you gently carve away what is not working, and soulfully reshape what remains.

I currently have three openings for Life Sculpting Coaching clients. To see if this is your next step, go here and fill out the contact form requesting a complimentary 15 – 20 minute telephone session to see if my Be the Woman You Were Born to Be Program is right for you.

I’ll respond with an email containing a link to my online calendar of available times for you to schedule a convenient telephone appointment time.

If you have that feeling that you want something different for your life, but not sure what it is . . .  you just know that what you’ve got isn’t it . . . consider a free introductory coaching call to get a clear next step.

If you have any comments about this newsletter, I’d LOVE to hear from YOU!  Leave your comments below or contact me at jennifer@jennifergrainger.com .

Joyfully,

Jennifer

Posted in at a crossroads, becoming conscious, expanding consciousness, marriage, midlife woman, spiritual practices, spirituality in relationships | No Comments »

If You Are Hanging By a Thread, Get Ready to Snap!

January 26th, 2012 by Jennifer Grainger

Do you know how miserable it is to feel trapped in a soul-deadening marriage or long-term relationship with no apparent way out except death . . . yours or the other persons?

Well, I am here to tell you, no one has to die for you to be happy!

Make no mistake I know all about silent tears into your nighttime pillow; about lying awake in the early dawn ruminating on how to make the emotional pain of having failed at making the happily-ever-after fairy tale come true; of feeling like you can’t stay another minute, and not seeing any way to leave, while being desperate to find a way to stop the pain!

I know what it’s like to be “stuck at the crossroads;” about “having it all” from the onlooker’s perspective, and feeling guilty and selfish for not being happy when I had so much to be grateful for!

But just because my pain and suffering did not come from bruises or broken bones, or economic hardship, or neglect, and even though I had no “good reason” to be unhappy, I was!

Know what I’m saying?

In retrospect I see that a lot of my pain came from:

1. being so far removed from my authentic self that I freely gave away my personal power, believing that my happiness would come to me from someone or something outside of myself if I just did everything “right,” as I was trained to do.

2. being ill-equipped to vulnerably ask for what I needed in a way that didn’t come across as making my husband wrong.

3. trying to get the emotional nourishment that I never got as a child from someone who wasn’t equipped to give it due to his own childhood traumas.

Over the years, to alleviate the pain, I slowly closed my heart, and brick-by-brick a wall was built between us.

The thing is, my story of the fairy-tale-gone-awry is the case more often than not. And how could it not be?

I mean, really, how many of us grew up with conscious parents who knew how to vulnerably speak from their hearts, and had the communication skills to easily ask for what they needed from someone who was well-equipped to give it?

Right! Not very darn many!

No wonder the majority of  women are having such a hard time getting their emotional needs met in a structure (marriage) that was never intended to be more than a practical way to survive the harsh realities of life on the earth plane!

Just as every other structure we have counted on for decades (if not centuries, in some cases) is coming apart at the seams . . . government, health care, economics, education, employment . . . you name it . . . marriage is undergoing restructuring too. No longer is mere longevity the marker of a good marriage. Today we want an equal partnership with our soul-mate; to be heard, understood and respected, with plenty of space to continue to grow and explore the myriad aspects of our being!

And when there is no more room to grow, like the full-term fetus in the womb, we must be born into the next stage of growth, or die! (At least from the soul’s perspective.)

One thing I know for sure is that the escalating daily pressures caused by uncertainty and rapid change are going to be the last straw for marriages that are not nourishing the heart and soul of the partners, and that have been hanging by a thread for quite awhile now!

I can assure you that no matter how much it has been looking like there is no way out, and that the safest thing to do is suck it up and make the best of it, sooner, rather than later, these compounding pressures are going to cause that fragile thread to snap. It has to happen. The old ways will not survive these new times.

Unless you get ahead of the curve, and take charge of your life by intentionally and consciously creating and following a plan to find the “third option” (the one you haven’t thought of yet, but is definitely available if you know how, and where, to look) here’s what will happen . . .

. . . some otherwise seemingly insignificant thing will be said or done, and the lid will come off the reservoir of swallowed anger, frustration, resentment and grief that’s been sitting in your belly like molten lava in the depths of a volcano. In a flash, the emotion takes over and . . . KA BLAM . . . truth spews forth in an uncontrolled eruption leaving devastation in its wake and a BIG mess to clean up.

If you want to avoid a costly and destructive divorce, you need to tap into the love that is somewhere in your heart, bring it to the forefront, then set your intention to have a heart-centered and compassionate reshaping of your relationship, whether you stay together or not, by carving away what is not working, and reshaping what remains into the life your heart and soul are yearning for!

Here are 5 things you must do to craft a heart-centered and compassionate soul-u-tion:

1. Get very honest with yourself about whether there is any real hope of saving your marriage or if you have passed the point of no return.

2. Know there are always more than two options in any situation. It is possible to maintain the love and leave the marriage.  Brainstorm with me as your coach, or a trusted friend, or in your journal, any and all “out of the box” possible soul-u-tions to your dilemma. You don’t have to act on any of them, but you do need to let the ideas flow without censorship to receive divine inspiration.

3. Take an objective inventory of what is right in the situation, what attracted you to your partner in the first place, and what you would want to salvage?

4. Take the position that you don’t have to be mad at your partner to declare your soul contract complete, and begin the process of moving on in a way that is a win-win for everyone involved.

5. And here is the most important piece. You must “own” your part of the dynamic that contributed to the disharmonies you have experienced. This will be the foundation for a healthier and happier next relationship, whether it is with your current partner, or another.

To be clear, I am neither advocating for divorce, or continuing to work on a marriage that you have outgrown. My passion is to help you avoid a costly and devastating divorce by getting clear on what your heart and soul are wanting from you, and mapping the strategy for a heart-centered and compassionate reshaping, whatever it is, that is a win-win for all concerned.

BOTTOM LINE: The force of the Universe is pounding humanity with the impulse to evolve into our authentic selves. The evolutionary forces are exposing our secrets, revealing our truths, and shining the light into every deep and dark corner of our subconscious minds, whether we like it or not. (I haven’t liked it all that much a lot of the time!). The good news is that the truth will set you free! Really. There is great freedom in having nothing left to hide!

TIP: For centuries humanity has been manipulated by fear, shame and guilt. When you get a flash of insight into a “dark” truth about yourself, it is easy to experience a “crises of recognition.” It takes great courage to face it squarely and embrace it with love. Being horrified only sends it back into the darkness to come out another time when you are more able to love all of yourself. I can assure you no one will judge you as harshly as you judge yourself!

P.S. Life Sculpting Coaching is a powerful, fast track system for getting clear on what is not working, what your options are beyond the “stay or leave” choice, then helping you gently carve away what is not working, and soulfully reshape what remains.

What deep, dark secrets are working their way into the light of your conscious mind? Hard as it may be to face them, loving them is the key to breaking free! To assist you in bringing your “darkness” to the light, feel free to email your experience to me at jennifer@jennifergrainger.com and I’ll zap it with love and light . . . POOF!

Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Joyfully,
Jennifer

Posted in at a crossroads, marriage, midlife woman, spiritual practices | No Comments »