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Why prepping before new client meetings may be holding you back

Many years ago I set myself the simple goal of being able to run a coaching session at the drop of a hat.

Until then I’d spend hours preparing each session, only to find most of what I’d done in advance wasn’t even covered, let alone useful.
It took me two years but I did it.
Next, I set myself the target of being able to deliver a great presentation to any type of audience large or small, on any topic in my sphere of knowledge on the spot, with or without a slide deck.
That took me a year and a half, but I did it.
Next, I took aim at the process I’d been taught for starting work with a new client, having them complete detailed questionnaires on their business so I could spend hours putting together a “value-add” report that basically told them what they mostly already knew. I decided to trust in the gut feeling I had that everything I needed to know I could learn from them as and when it was needed.
That took just two months, and it was done.
This journey made me realise that much of the time I was investing to try and add value to clients BEFORE we started working together, BEFORE I knew what the value should be and BEFORE we knew what we should be focused on was really just about my own insecurities.
My lack of true belief that I had the expertise and all I really needed to do is find the right approach, be in the moment, ask great questions, listen with the intent to help and trust in my ability to add value.
Then I discovered that not trying to solve the problem in advance, learning my spiel to perfection or knowing all the answers before I’d ask the question actually made me better, and I realised how much it had been holding me back.
If you’re spending hours in advance preparing for your first meeting, you’re not just working too hard…

…you may also be holding yourself back.

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