No coach is happy when a client quits. At this stage of my business, it’s no longer about the money but it’s about my heart breaking that a business owner quit on themselves and on the future that they wanted to build. Here are some of the things I’ve learned about clients who quit that I want to share with you:
1. Success research shows Perseverance is more important than IQ
Researchers found that something they called a high level of ‘grit’ (high level of perseverance and passion for the outcome of an expectation) is positively correlated to success in everything from the grade point average among Ivy League undergraduates, retention in 2 classes of United States Military Academy among West Point cadets to the ranking in the National Spelling Bee. In other words, the higher the grit, the higher the success. Strangely, grit was not positively correlated with the subjects’ IQ. One quality was completely independent of the other. So when I think about how this applies to someone who makes a commitment to a plan to improve their business, they don’t quit because they can’t do the work. They quit because they don’t have grit.
2. The Pit Of Despair
I’ve spoken in previous posts about this phenomenon. When a new plan gets implemented and it’s harder and takes longer than the client anticipated, clients fall into a psychological state referred to as the Pit Of Despair. Then they abandon the plan and have to start from the beginning again. If they persevere through this pit and keep on implementing the plan, they sustain a consistent level of success and excitement for the plan in the long-term.
3. Old Conditioning Rears Up
When the client’s commitment to the program or the plans they have to undertake challenge old conditioned beliefs that have been stored in the client’s subconscious- possibly for generations, their subconscious constantly tries to get them to abandon the discomfort of change and go back to their conditioned programming. For example, if a client has never invested at a high level in themselves or their business, every step of the way, they might be questioning the wisdom of the investment and their own ability to earn it back. If they quit through the program because of this programming, it’s even harder for them to venture out of the conditioning the next time around.
4. They Tell Rational-Lies
When a client is getting ready to abandon the program that they’ve committed to, I can always hear the rationalizations (rational lies) that they come up with about why the program won’t work for them. It’s too long, it’s too short, it’s too hard, I’m too harsh, their health is spotty, their son is getting married, their business is really busy. You name it. I’ve heard it all. The bottom line is they have very good excuses for why they can’t follow through on their commitment. It’s their way of giving themselves permission to quit.
5. Don’t Own It
My various coaches over the years have taught me this lesson. Clients are 100% responsible for their results-good or bad. There are no such things are bad coaches. The motivated client will get value out of any kind of coaching, no matter what it is. Anything that triggers others is about some issue that’s going on with them, not me. Once I learned these lessons, I learned to stop thinking about myself and start feeling compassion for my quitter clients. I now send them love and prayers for success that may be down a different path than the one we started together.
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