A few months ago I started writing poetry.
In truth, I’ve been writing poetry all my life, in moments of contemplation, in moments of love, in moments of difficulty poetry, has always been something I’ve turned to.
And yet as I began to write it I had a thought. Who’s going to hire me because I write poetry?
I WRITE ABOUT LEADERSHIP
Mostly in the past, I’ve written about leadership, about how to build a coaching business, about how to coach well, or how to live well.
Instead what was coming out of me was meditations on death, reflections on love, questions about what meaning there was to life, and what it’s like to go through pain and heartbreak.
I mean who wants a coach who talks about that stuff? Don’t we all want a guide with the answers? Don’t people LIKE my answers?
But on some level that didn’t matter.
I just had poetry pouring out of me. So that’s what I wrote. And because I’m committed to showing my work and being honest about who I am. I shared my poetry.
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED
And then a funny thing happened. I got a referral from a former client. It wasn’t a direct referral. This client had a client who wanted to refer their boss to me. Someone very intelligent and powerful. Someone who ‘could win a Nobel prize in the next decade or so.’
On the call, this woman told me: “I’ve been reading your poetry and something about it gave me the feeling that you’d be the perfect person to coach my boss.”
HUH? I thought to myself.
Maybe poetry can get you clients.
The truth is people long to be themselves, without apology, without exceptions, without limitations.
As leaders and coaches, we can either pretend to be what we think people want to see (which is what is more common than not) or we can be ourselves. Both have the potential for attracting people.
Some people are looking for the illusion of perfection or excellence. Hoping to steal some of the perfect paint and paint it on themselves. But other people are looking to be themselves and if you are willing to be yourself, with courage, humility, and a little humor that will inspire them.
You can attract people using listicles and the answers, it might actually be easier. Or you can attract people by being willing to be yourself.
The question is what do you want to rely on? And what do you want to build your leadership and business on?