During a coaching session with a client recently, she looked around in my office and asked; “what all are you involved in? In other words, what is everything you do for a living”. My natural tendency whenever this question is asked leans towards listing everything I do and because the list is long, she said; “you do a lot”. She took it a step further by asking a follow up question; “how in the world do you find time to do all of that”?.
Even though “doing a lot” could be a measuring gauge for success in our society, I was challenged to re-think and re-consider how I brand myself. I recognized quickly that branding is all about ‘packaging’ which also requires wisdom. I was reminded of a statement I once heard which basically said “If you lack knowledge, go to school but if you lack wisdom, go on your knees”. Needless to say, I went on my knees to pray for understanding and wisdom on how to articulate what I do without sounding overwhelming in the future. “Sure enough, help came from above. After persistent prayers, actively listening and patiently waiting, the revelation came. I was finally able to sum up what I do in a meaningful way.
Yesterday, I was meeting with the same client and after the session, she said; “Even though I know I need to do something with my life, there’s no way I can even dare to go your path. I don’t even have the capacity to do everything you do; you are such a lady”. This was my moment to define my ‘purpose’ and awaken her soul so I seized the opportunity. “I do only one thing”, I stated. With a bizarre look on her face she said, “you are kidding, right”?. I leaned in gently and with a smile on my face I said; “This is the one thing I do. ‘I am a servant leader who influences people to identify/nurture their strengths and overcome their fears and in doing so, they come to their own truth and are empowered to live a life of purpose and impact”.
Her reaction was a real “Kodak” moment. Oh, how I wished I could capture it on camera! She gave me the most confident look she has ever worn since I met her and with a sigh of relief she said; “how do you do what you just profoundly stated”?. “This goal is accomplished through coaching, speaking, teaching, leadership training, consulting, mentoring, writing and ‘walking the talk’”, I replied. What came next was totally unexpected for me. With tears rolling down her cheeks she said; “I completely agree with you. Now I understand why I was so drawn to you and why every time I leave our session, I tell myself I have to return for more”. I knew that one day, I will come to ‘my own truth’ and find my way out of my dark world”.
My personal ‘take-aways’ from this experience cannot be numbered however; I would rather give you the opportunity to find the morale for you. I was deeply touched and reminded of an insightful statement I once heard; “The return on your investment should not only be measured by the wealth you build but by the lives you change in your journey”.