Emma Brown

My best move lately has been to hire a coach, to help me find the answers for myself and overcome the fear of mega-success.

Get a coach

High performance athletes have them, kids playing netball and cricket have them, and so do actors – so why don’t more entrepreneurs and business people work with coaches?

By far the best thing I’ve done all year is hire my coach. In the four months we’ve been together she’s seen me break down and cry (several times), she’s cured my fears around being mega-successful, and she’s helped me see what I want to achieve is possible by challenging my learned behaviours and patterns.

I’ve learnt a lot of practical stuff that I’ve adopted as daily discipline. Probably the most powerful concept she’s taught me is metaprogramming. Wikipedia tells us that neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) uses the term specifically to indicate the more general pervasive habitual patterns commonly used by an individual across a wide range of situations.

The metaprogram that I employ most frequently as an entrepreneur is “yes and no” thinking versus “continuum” thinking. Allow me to explain. Someone will say to me, ‘Oh, Em – your website is very basic at the moment and doesn’t reflect your vision for the business’. I’ll get exasperated, sigh dramatically, and then reply with waving hands, ‘I know!! I’ll get to it!!’ And then I don’t. Basically I’ve programmed myself to think that the task is just too big and unconquerable, so instead of getting in to action and taking baby steps (that would be continuum thinking) I dismiss it as too hard.

Now that I know this metaprogram, I see it all the time! I told my coach one of my health goals this week was to give up coffee, book a week at The Golden Door, and go to the gym six times. She giggled softly (she knows me well) and didn’t say anything (the mark of a good coach). After a second, the realisation penny dropped on my head and I said, ‘Oh, right! Got it! That’s a bit “black and white”/“yes and no” thinking, isn’t it?’ She continued giggling, agreed with me, and said, ‘Yes, Em, you could try implementing some of The Golden Door health habits into your life each day, limit your coffee intake and exercise whenever your schedule allows this week’.

And that’s the thing with coaching. They don’t fix you. They don’t teach you. They are just there to help you uncover the answers for yourself. It’s different to having a mentor, who’ll tell you what they know from experience, or a trainer who teach you new skills, or a counsellor who’ll work on a specific issue or problem to try to fix it.

My favourite quote that, for me, summarises continuum thinking perfectly, is from Martin Luther King: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Emma Brown, at 27, has bought two businesses and sold one. She is Chief Chick of Business Chicks, Australia’s leading community for women. She’s on the board of Entrepreneurs Organisation, and lives in Sydney with her fellow entrepreneur partner.

To read more of Emma’s blogs click here.


Rowan at creativepromotions.com.au writes: Emma, you are truly an inspiration. You speak in a way which is so matter of fact and so real. I forget that we I and others dont have to be alone, there are people who are there and willing to help. A coach is an excellent idea, and I will book this in as soon as my schedule allows.


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