For the past 3 months, I have taken part in my biggest challenge of the new year: writing my business plan for Green Hope Coaching. That was only intensified because it was part of the Ropp Triplett Business Plan Competition put on by the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs. I am delighted to share that I placed 2nd in the competition. First place went to my new son-in-law’s sister, Rachel Davis & Studio Silhouette. So she’s nearly family. I am thrilled.
INTENTIONALLY thinking through what GHC needed to be about became powerful. (I wrote more about that on March 22-just-one-more-p-u-s-h ) I wrote a plan 3 years ago when I started GHC, but it did very little more than help me start dreaming. Valuable in and of itself to get me started, but that’s where it stopped. But my new plan- only a beginning to laying a groundwork for the future of GHC- has already been a great help in the determining next steps.
Part of the value was coming to terms with what I wanted GHC to be and do. One of the questions that prompted deep soul searching was “What is your internal reason for starting your own business?”
What is my WHY?
Of course, in part it is to generate income for my family. But there is so much more WHY beyond that.
1. My husband and I have spent 25 years of our married life in pastoral ministry. When we resigned from the pastorate in 2005, I began to research what I could do using my love for people and their stories as well as my desire to come alongside them during times of crisis and joy.
Through the Strengths Finder Inventory developed by Marcus Buckingham & Donald Clifton, I have identified my strengths as:
- MAXIMIZER: Focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence.
- DEVELOPER: Recognize and cultivate the potential in others.
- INDIVIDUALIZER: Intrigued by unique qualities of each person.
- WOO: Love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them.
- STRATEGIST: Create alternative ways to proceed.
I begin to research coaching and recognized WHY it was a good fit for who I am.
2. Our family experienced several years of family counseling in an effort to restore our own ability to function well as a family. At the end of our time in counseling- dealing with healing our past hurts, I sensed a need for additional help with our next steps. I found some people who were very good at asking me the right questions to move me to the place I wanted to be.
I understood WHY I needed and benefited from coaching in my own life.
3. In August of 2006, our youngest daughter, Leisha, was killed in a car/ pedestrian accident. In our journey to find hope in a very dark time, we were reminded often of her words not long before her death. I was teasing her that she was so anxious to get her driver’s permit because she wanted power. She thoughtfully replied, “Mom, I don’t need power. I want to influence. I want to say to people, I’m going, come with me! ”
I knew that I couldn’t be part of helping others if I stayed stuck in my own grief. Part of my WHY is that I too wanted to say “I’m going, come with me!”
4. As I’ve pondered her words over the past 8 years, I realized another reason those words struck a huge chord in my own heart was because years before- when I was about her age, I wrote very similar words in my own diary. “Lord, I want to influence. I want to go M.A.D- make a difference in the lives of people. “
I knew WHY I needed a platform- a place to speak my message- that allowed me to influence others to be intentional.
Kathy Burrus, Green Hope Coaching was founded 5 years later in 2011.
5. However, I sensed I was creating a lot of ‘activity’ but not having the level of transformation in my clients I had hoped to achieve. I was also giving away more than I was taking in. I spent most of my life as a pastor’s wife giving my ‘coaching’ away. I knew I had to address the ceiling my own thought processes created and generate income with my skills.
In 2012, I chose to ‘close shop’ for the year as I helped both my daughters prepare for their weddings. During that year,
- I observed the relationships of the soon to be newlyweds,
- I recalled the dreams and expectations my husband and I had early in our marriage.
- I watched and listened as our parents and our family and friends spoke of ‘the way it was’ and ‘how did we get here.’
As I listened, I began to narrow down what I want to be about.
- I know that my heart is deeply concerned for the today’s families, but most specifically for the marriages that head up those families. Hence, I knew the love aspect would focus on marriage.
- I know that the aspect of loss will be part of the coaching I do, because it is such an integral part of my own story. Most often, clients do have to deal with the loss of something – dream, relationship, job, etc. before they are able to move forward in their story.
- I know that life coaching is very broad – but it leaves the door open for the client to identify what specific area they want to work on. The primary topics here will be related to connecting with values, accomplishing a personal or professional goal, and identifying obstacles that are keeping goals from being reached.
Working through this one question on my business plan, “WHAT is your WHY?” helped me to understand the past 3 years of GHC were more about my journey to be influenced to intentionally design hope for my life, love & loss, than about my business. I am in a new place now- personally and professionally.
I am Kathy Burrus, Green Hope Coaching! I exist to influence others to intentionally design hope in their life, love and loss.
What is your WHY?
In business? At home? In your relationships?
If your answer is ‘money’ to any or all of these questions: Ask WHY again.
Why do you want to make money?
- To get more stuff
- To build a bigger house
- To pay bills
- To get out of debt
- To help my kids in school
- To take my family on a great vacation
- To give more generously to my church and community
- To live more freely
- To ________
What is your WHY?
What does it tell you about you? About your priorities? About what you value most?
We would all benefit from the process of writing a ‘plan’ for our life? But maybe we need to start with this one question.
WHY do you exist? God had a very special purpose that he planted deep within you. What is your WHY?
(By the way, I’m a life coach! I get to help people answer questions just like that one. Shoot me an email if partnering together would help you find your WHY?)