As you may already be aware, I offer a free initial consultation to help you decide if small business mentoring, or personal development life coaching, is the right path for you, We also have to ensure the chemistry is right, as there must be a mutual trust and respect between us for our working relationship to thrive and succeed.
Usually I ask the majority of questions during an initial introduction, before listening intently to what is, and isn't, being said. But then I met Sally, who ripped up the rule book and started asking me questions, like I was being interviewed; and why not? Sally's logic was clear to understand. If she was coming to me to discuss issues of a private and confidential nature, she wanted to be sure she could like and trust me enough with her inner most thoughts, fears and challenges.
Whether I'm mentoring small businesses, or supporting individuals through their personal development life coaching, I strive to be as flexible and open as possible, so I was happy to lean into Sally's preferred method of working. I have subsequently thought our Q & A session would make an interesting blog article and podcast, to help introduce me in a little more depth to new acquaintances and prospective clients, so here goes.
[SALLY]: WHY DO YOU WANT TO HELP PEOPLE?
[Karan}: To begin with I'm naturally inclined. For as long as I can remember I have hated to see people struggle or in pain of any kind. Perhaps it's because I'm an empathetic and intuitive person, so I tend to feel and perceive what they're experiencing more than most? As a naturally shy and introverted person, I found it inexplicable in my younger years to routinely attract those seeking advice and support; and I'm referring to my middle and senior school years here. Once I grew into the working world, the trend continued and I didn't understand how or why, as an introvert, this could be happening to me. That being said, the joy I got from seeing my advice taken and paying off was like 40,000 volts through my body.
As the years have continued to march me into maturity, I now accept who I am, and I'm infinitely more comfortable in my skin. Yes, I'm still an introvert, but I have developed the skill of being able to turn it on and off at will, so I'm more of an ambivert now. Nothing I have ever done has stopped people asking for my help and advice, so here I am now leaning into this fact of my life, and making myself available to those who could use some help. I still can't bear to see others struggle, so now if I can help I will help, because I still get my 40,000 volts of joy.
[SALLY]: WHICH THREE BOOKS HAVE HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON YOU?
[Karan]: Tough question! In chronological reading order, my first is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I studied this for O-Level, and it was my first foray into fury against racism and injustice. A switch was flicked in my head whilst studying this novel, as I pitied Tom Robinson's desperate stoicism in the face of naked injustice and racism. I revered Atticus Finch's courageous battle for morality, whilst wanting more than anything to protect Scout's pure childhood innocence. How I wished Atticus' confrontation of the rabid dog (racism) had been more prophetic (he shot the dog, but couldn't save Tom). Injustice and intolerance continues to boil my blood.
Book two is Born To Win: Transactional Analysis with Gestalt Experiments by Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward. This book was revelatory because it introduced me to the Parent, Adult and Child ego states, and transformed my interpersonal relationships as a result. There are also several exhaustive Gestalt exercises included in the book, which are well worth completing in the name of personal growth and development.
Book three is Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This book had a disproportionately hard and heavy impact on me because it changed my thinking, and if you change your thinking you can change your reality. Even though it was written almost one hundred years ago, the principles are still as profound and relevant today. I urge anyone and everyone to read this book, whether they're a mentoring or life coaching client, because the personal growth available within those pages is limitless.
[SALLY]: WHAT THREE WORDS DEFINE YOU?
[Karan]: Loyal, intuitive and relentless.
[SALLY]: WHO INSPIRES YOU?
[Karan]: Good grief, we've not enough time! I'm a bit odd, because I can be inspired by anything and everything. I work hard to practice mindfulness, and by doing so I can find wonder, beauty, and lessons in most people and most things. Even people I don't like, and go to great lengths to avoid can inspire me, because they invariably teach me how not to do something, or how not to behave.
Getting specific, I have to start with my two children, who inspire me every day. I don't care if this statement sets off everyone's Boastful Mum alert, but my two children are what I call silk strong: they possess beautiful, soft, tensile strength. They don't talk the talk, they just are and they just do, and how this shapes their world, inspires me. I learn from them every day.
Emma González has caught my attention since 14 February 2018, when Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, killing 17 and injuring 15 or so others. Emma, along with the other survivors, hid in cupboards for hours in sweltering heat in some cases, before it was safe to come out. Despite being 18 years-old, Emma has not retreated into herself, but has instead taken what has happened and - along with other survivors - organised the #NeverAgain movement and March For Our Lives campaign.
Why have I picked @Emma4Change specifically, amongst the other Stoneman Douglas survivors? Because on Saturday 24 March 2018, against a backdrop of NRA-affiliated death threats and derision, Emma gave this speech (please pay close attention to the very end): Emma's Speech. This is innovative, fearless courage. Emma is taking what has happened and, rather than using it as an excuse to drop out and be a victim, she is forcing change. This ferocious courage inspires me.
Finally, all Paralympic athletes inspire me. When I start brewing a "poor me I can't do that because..." reason for not doing a thing, I think of these super humans and tell myself: "Karan, your excuse is invalid. Shut up and get on with it!"
[SALLY]: WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS?
[Karan]: A beautiful sanctuary to retreat to + love and family to nurture/nurture me + friendship to support me + good health for me and mine + an abundance of food and money + freedom and respect + to live and work in flow + peace of mind for fitful sleep.
Before I close my eyes each night, I conduct a mini-inventory to ensure I have my eight Vital Priorities ticked off for another day, and then fall asleep expressing gratitude for my innumerable blessings. As long as I have my Grateful Eight, I am successful. Don't get me wrong, I'm still working furiously hard towards my goal of owning an Aston Martin DB11, and having a weekend retreat in the Maldives, but they'd only be icing on my cake of success.
So there you have it, the questions Sally asked of me and my answers. What do you think? Could you and I work together? What are your answers to Sally's questions, and why? You're always welcome to share your answers in the comments section below, with me privately via firstname.lastname@example.org, or just for your own realisation and growth. Don't forget to enjoy the process!
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