Coach Your Own BusinessThis podcast is entitled Coach Your Own Business – AKA, ‘why it takes a village and what’s wrong with the patriarchal, capitalist model of the lone hero idea of running a business.’ Which I know makes it sound like a college class that you’re only taking to get the easy credits, but I promise you it’s (hopefully!) a bit more entertaining than that. We’re going to be talking about how broken many of the models of being a business owner or entrepreneur are – and what we need instead (hint: it’s far more gentle, kind and transformative that you might be thinking.) We’re going to be discussing:
- Cowboys and how the constructed myth of the Marlboro cowboy still influences our toxic modern day business culture.
- Power imbalances
- Toxic ‘authority building’, coaches as gurus (and why they’re particularly rife within the online business community)
- AND why you don’t need ANY of it.
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” Be you own coach [00:00:00] Hi, Jo Casey, welcome to the Unshiny podcast. Okay. So today I’m going to talk to you about how to be the coach in your own business. AKA, why it takes a village and what’s wrong with the patriarchal capitalist model of the lone hero idea of running a business. [00:00:24] Well, which I just put as a subhead because it made me laugh. But yeah, it’s kind of what we’re going to be talking about, but hopefully in a way that is a bit more interesting than the class that you signed up for at college. Do you get the extra credits? Because it just looked easy. You have to do now I want you to think of. [00:00:41] The, the kind of the great American hero concept and, and Britain, we have our own version of it too. I I’m, I’m thinking particularly of the American cowboy idea, because I think it’s such a iconic, powerful and pervasive image, not just within the business world, but within a kind of Western culture. [00:01:10] Overall the idea. Of the lonesome, self contained strong decisive there will be pistols at dawn, if you cross them freedom, loving cowboy. I was doing a bit research into this and discovered [00:01:30] that. As with many of these things, it’s total bullshit. Cowboys work. In reality, it was a very common job that was held by many different types of people. [00:01:48] There was a huge amount of the Mexican population. What does Cowboys in the, the days of the war, the wild West Similarly African people of African descent. African-Americans yes, and women did it too. But that doesn’t fit with the idea that we have of the cowboy as being a white male. [00:02:10] Cowboys was wrangling cows. So how it translated into the idea of the gunslinger into the idea of the long guy on the holes is really interesting. And I discovered the, the idea of the cowboy says I conic image that is the real kind of mythology around it. Did not really come into play until the 1960s. [00:02:40] Oh, by the way, there’s a whole of the discussion to be had about, , the westerns and the idea of the Cowboys in the thirties and the forties. And then later on the 1960s and about, , colonialism and All of that stuff. And then white supremacist, racist, undertones. That’s another podcast for probably another person. [00:02:58] But if we think about the [00:03:00] cultural image of the cowboy, and honestly, I willingness to why this impacts your business. I promise we think about the cultural image of the cowboy. It wasn’t until Marlboro in the 1960s, decided to use that image of the Marlboro or cowboy and have that their advertising campaign around that, that, that the idea of the cowboy being the receptacle for. [00:03:30] Real manhood, real male identification really, really kind of took hold. This idea that well, here’s, here’s a quote. “I’ve always acted alone. Like the cowboy, the cowboy entering the village or city alone on his horse. He acts. That’s all.”. Henry Kissinger said that in 1972. So this idea that there’s this lone cowboy who acts that’s all it is is a real pervasive one that. [00:04:09] Has translated through to, , the idea of what makes a great leader and what makes a great business person, if you think of the real iconic people that we see as being the charismatic business leaders, the Richard Bransons, the I’m not going to say the orange mans name but , even Oprah, [00:04:30] Beyonce and Jay Z and. [00:04:33] The people who are seen as real,iconic business leaders, they have this idea, this mythology almost around them, that their success is down to just their pure strength of will and determination and their individualism I don’t know, these people. Personally, but this always an awful lot of stuff that’s going on behind the scenes. [00:05:03] And yet this mythology carries on. I think it’s safe to say that the kind of past. Five or six years, haven’t been that great in terms of how we relate to one another as humans. And, , we can call it late stage capitalism. We’ve seen the rise of fascism again in, europe and in the US I think a lot of that can be. [00:05:29] Not all of it, obviously, but a lot of that can be brought back to this idea of this toxic myth of individual freedom, individual freedom for some people, the white male. But let’s talk about how this then relates to you as a business owner. To me as a business owner. Because we also have a similar kind of idea of the lonesome cowboy in running our business. [00:05:58] I did the plucky, [00:06:00] solopreneur, the entrepreneur, , there’s, there’s the ads for that. There’s one for one of the cloud accounting systems at the moment. It’s like, you’re the sales person, you’re the delivery team. You’re the marketing assistant. You are the social media manager and you’re the bookkeeper and yes, that is true. [00:06:15] That is reality for many of us, certainly when we’re starting out. But what that can translate into is this idea that there is something inherently worthy and valuable in that, doing everything all on your own and don’t get me wrong. The reality is that certainly when we’re first starting out until we’re starting to generate enough income that we can bring on team members that we have to do all of those things. And there’s also something about the fact that running your own business, whether it be a company of, of one you, Oh, you, you have some people who are that too, , maybe you outsource some things. There is something fairly empowering about that. I love running my own business. [00:07:05] I am a massive introvert. I do not play well with others. Not that I get fighty with them. I just, , I’ll go very quiet and I’m not great contributing to a team, but I love the fact that I can take an idea or for a product or for a service, and I can create a sales page. [00:07:24] I can get out in the world and I can be running it, not to be making money for. I can be doing that really quickly. I [00:07:30] don’t need to ask anyone else, else permission. I don’t have to be at my desk for a certain time, unless I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to be at my desk. There is. Huge amount of empowerment that comes with that. [00:07:42] And that is a certain toxicity that comes with that. If it’s taken to its extreme and I’m somebody who has taken it to its extreme , I am somebody who , few years ago it was regularly working like 10, 12 hour days without rest. And, and it did not end well. [00:08:04]On the flip side, we also have. This pervasive message from a lot of people selling marketing programs, coaching programs, none of the people we know, none of us, there are some people out there who do, who do this, but this is joking aside. This is a really common idea. That you need a coach or you need to join a high-end group program, or you need somebody who is going to tell you what you need to do. [00:08:43] And this makes me especially uncomfortable once , you see how the idea of the expert, the authority figure is, is manufactured and constructed. Once you can see behind the scenes a little bit, but there [00:09:00] is this idea that you are on your own and you need someone to tell you what you should do. [00:09:07]Which can end up becoming incredibly disempowering there are, so many high-end coaches and coaching programs out there where the model is based on power over, they are the authority. You are there to learn student teacher, if you like, and. It seems to be particularly pervasive in the coaching industry. [00:09:37] I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s the industry. I spent a lot of time in, I think Maggie Patterson calls it the the celebrity coach , the celebrity business owner, the person who’s, they, they have this real iconic brand around their own personality around themselves. Very often, what is sold is the idea that you need their system, or you need their mindset hacks. [00:10:00] You need their secret sauce. And if you can just replicate that, then you will be able to have a business just like theirs. I have. Signed up for some of those programs myself. I, weep at the amout of money. I’ve spent over the years on those kinds of things. And I know so many otherpeople who have done a similar thing. [00:10:22]Millions of made from business coaches all over the world, selling their programs on the back of this premise. that not only do we need to learn [00:10:30] exactly how that teacher launched and runs their business, but that doing so will be only way finding success. But the reality is that it’s a litter of broken promises and maxed out credit cards and a dwindling sense of, I can’t make this work. [00:10:48] So there must be something wrong with me. Or as we’ve talked about in previous episodes, I have to be like them in order to make this work. It puts all the onus for making it work on to the person who buys the program. So all the responsibility for that and , yet, it puts all of the power in the relationship in the hands of the coach or you, Oh God, you hear things that make me wince it’s like, [00:11:13] if people are questioned, if there are questions asked, not even necessarily challenged, God help you, if you challenge them. But if you’ve got even questions or ask for clarification, it’s like, well, you’re just really not getting this, or you have to do it this way, or you’re just not coachable that phrase. [00:11:29] You are just not coachable can be such a can be used in such a toxic and damaging way. The reality though, is that this idea of the guru model. It’s fundamentally flawed. It’s just as flawed as the lonesome cowboy idea, you don’t need a guru. Most of the gurus are sharing what’s worked for them, maybe, of the best best of intentions, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to other businesses or stages of business. [00:12:00] [00:12:00] or they’re total bullshitters basing their guru status on a combination of ego and what’s called manufactured authority, which is. Basically putting a lot of work into appearing to be authoritative, like , you publish a book and you’ve got all your friends to buy it. And then, you can say it’s on the top of the Amazon bestseller list and you’ve been posting pictures of themselves next to Richard Branson or next to Oprah because you met them at an event and have a quick snap, take them with them. [00:12:27]And look, I’m not calling everyone who does this a total bullshitter. I’m sure there are a lot of people who are doing these things because someone else has told them that they can’t succeed without quote unquote building authority. And we’re all following a script of what our business leaders are telling us to do often, not out of malice or manipulation, butout of a desire to make a living and. [00:12:50] Because they believe this fundamental myth of the online business world. People will only trust an authority figure because we live in a patriarchal society and we need a patriarch to look up to. And yes, women also try and emulate this, this idea as well. It is it’spatriarchy in action. It goes back to this idea that only people of a certain status can be trusted and revered. [00:13:12]You don’t have a post-graduate degree from a prestigious college then you’re not as authoritative as someone who has, even though a college education is prohibitively expensive and not available to everybody, or, maybe you don’t have access to, or, maybe there was, academically. That would just wasn’t your [00:13:30] path. [00:13:31] don’t have a picture. of yourself with Richard Branson, , Prince Andrew has a picture of him and Richard Branson and it only cost $27,000 a week for a Villa on Richard’s private Island. Yeah. Those . Things. aren’t, available to everyone. And yet, what is it about having the picture of the person next to Richard Branson or saying they’re on a business treats on Necker Island, but gives us this idea that they somehow know more and we can learn from them. [00:13:59] And this isn’t about. Shaming people for being rich or for having privilege, it’s about busting the myth that having wealth or privilege automatically gives you authority over those who don’t. Because the flip side of that is if you don’t have, authority and privilege or certain level of it, then you are unable to have authority and for a long time, and certainly within. [00:14:24] White supremacist patriarchal system it is very difficult if you aren’t a white privileged man to be given that level of quote unquote, authority, just look what happens to women of color. Politicians, just look what happens to , if a woman dares to run for president or, goes out and isn’t model attractive. [00:14:49]Our, culture’s always promoted, powerful, rich white guys as the go-to experts for centuries. And that automatically diminishes [00:15:00] the value of the not rich, not white.not guy. In the process, and a lot of this stuff happens unconsciously. We don’t kind of think, Oh, why do I automatically assume that that person is going to know a lot about business? [00:15:14] Because they have a business that seems from the outside to be doing well and they dress a certain way and they talk a certain way. It’s because that’s what our culture tells us. And on the flip side is also probably telling you if you are not like that, that you. Can’t fit into this world. That’s what, when I talk about Feminine conditioning, that’s one of the messages that we have. [00:15:37]So I really want to invite you to unpick and move away from the idea that you need an expert to tell you how to run your business. And that doesn’t mean you go the opposite way and try and do it all by yourself and reinventing the wheel and exhausting yourself in the process. The truth as always is something else. [00:16:01] What we need is a different model of doing our business. One that places your power and agency at its center. So there are going to be times when. You will likely need or benefit from having some strategic help. I mean, somebody who is on, , how I can get that big picture of your business, who has experience of awesome insights into maybe, , how does the market [00:16:30] currently work or what are some of the things that, that could work for you and your, your, your, your business at the moment? [00:16:36] I recently hired a content strategist who was able to help me strategically map out six months of content because I needed her, her kind of her expertise and her outside picture, you will probably also need or benefit from a coach, a coach who is going to be able to hold space for you and help you work through the, the stuff that inevitably comes up. [00:17:05] Who isn’t there to tell you what to do, but it’s going to be there to help and to guide and reframe things for you so that you can fully empowered from a place of that equal power relationship decide what’s going to be the best next steps for you. Maybe you’ll benefit from having a mentor, someone who is that. bit further along the path from you. So for example, in my [00:17:31] work I tend to adopt different hats of strategist, consultant, coach, and mentor. , I operate in those, those different roles at different times, depending on. what, the client needs and where we’re at in the program and things, you more than likely need a sounding board. Just somebody you can go. [00:17:51] Can I just run this idea by you? Cause I’m not sure if this idea is just fabulous or terrible. beacause sometimes you just need an [00:18:00] outsideeye. You most definitely will need one, if not several ledge guardians. That is the person who talks you down from the ledge. They are also known as the keeper of the business matches for the days when you’re having the burn it all down times. [00:18:16]And you need a group of fellow travelers, folks who are on a similar path to you, who you can turn to for advice, for sharing experiences for kind again, when you did this, what did you, what did you find or, Ooh, tell me how that was for you. And Oh, I also felt a similar way. I’m not on my own with this, that whole idea of maybe sharing war stories or celebrating, or just people who get it. [00:18:44] People who just shop, talk with it means nothing if people aren’t in this world, so you need people who just get it. But being the owner of your magic and your business, that’s the essential bit. [00:18:58] And having support also essential. That way you have help for the areas that you need. There are times you’re going to need someone to teach you how to do some stuff. It’s going to be way quicker than working it out on your own. Why reinvent the wheel if someone’s been there before you and great teachers are wonderful and important, I have learnt so many amazing things from so many amazing teachers. [00:19:24] I would not be here. If it weren’t for those teachers, I will continue [00:19:30] learning from great teachers. There will be times when you need someone to just do the thing for you instead of you trying to do it alone. If you don’t want to learn how to build a website or basics of graphic design, then hire out if you can afford to if the money allows. [00:19:49] It will save you so much time and allow you to focus on your zone of juicy genius. And if you can’t yet afford it, then go about it in the simplest most straightforward way. Don’t try and get really fancy. Don’t try and do an all singing, all dancing, do a fit for purpose until you can hire someone to do the all singing, all dancing bells and whistles version. [00:20:13] There will be times when you need someone to help you see that big picture. To plan the path forward based on maybe their experience or their expertise, someone who can take that helicopter view and help you to take that helicopter view of your business because you spend so much time in it that it can be really difficult to be able to do that for yourself. [00:20:34] Having someone who will. Help you with that will save you so much time and so much money and energy and having a sounding board. So when you can guide you out of the maelstrom of thoughts in your head, in your mind of finding the right place forward for you. [00:20:57] That’s what great coaches [00:21:00] and masterminds are priceless not to tell you what to do, but to help you feel into your own true North of find your own path and trust your instincts around that. And there’s always going to be times where your fellow travelers always, always, always. And I say that, like I say, biggest introvert ever. [00:21:23] Big things that have made the hugest difference for me have been having buddies, people who maybe if they do the same type of work, maybe they do something slightly different, but who, who just know and understand the day-to-day reality of running a business like mine running a business, maybe they’re a bit further ahead. [00:21:45] Maybe the they’re not quite at the same level, but they just get it. When you have that, those kinds of layers of support, those circles of support around you, you get to choose your own path and your own direction guru free you. Don’t need someone to give you permission to try out new things in your business. [00:22:09] There is going to be no one path that is going to suit everybody. And that is the scary thing sometimes, but it’s also incredibly liberating. So much of the work, the emotional supportive work of owning a business is helping you to push forward on your own path. I [00:22:30] get that it’s so much more comforting and less scary. [00:22:34] If someone comes along and says, pay me this money, and I will give you the exact steps you need to take by. So tempting. That’s so tempting, but do you know, anyone who has worked for, because I don’t, there are certain aspects of people’s business model kind of go, Oh yeah, I can try something like that. [00:22:59] Or I could do some of that, but there are no guarantees that what’s worked for. Somebody else is going to work for you in the same way, because you are unique, your business’s unique, your clients are unique. And so. An awful lot of running a business is trial and error trying something, learning from it, improving on it, doing something different, looking what fits into your life and your energy and your capacity and what your clients need and what money you need to earn. [00:23:29] I need to creative act, running a business and. Creative acts aren’t built on blueprints. And I get the desire to hand over the responsibility to somebody else, to the guru who will say, do it this way. Do exactly what I say. Don’t deviate from the path. Keep going, take this step, then that step, then that one, if it hasn’t worked, you’ve not done it right, because that will tend to be the message of it. [00:23:59] If it doesn’t [00:24:00] work. And invariably won’t so I’m. Inviting you to do is to take the less traveled path. The one where you make your own decisions with support. When you get to tune into what your head and your heart say is right for you, but without needing to rely on magical thinking, or just wishing and hoping it’s far healthier. [00:24:25] And I would argue it’s a far more effective way of doing things. It helps to move us away from this toxic idea of. You need a guru to tell you what to do, or you need permission to do these things or [00:24:43] you have to do it all on your own and not ask for help. And this new way of, creating businesses and creating business communities, mutually supportive communities. So much more nourishing is so much more effective. It’s so much lovelier. As a way of putting your work out into the world. And that’s what I want for you. [00:25:08] That’s what I want for all of us.
[00:25:12] Thank you so much for listening. Take care of you. If you have any questions, if you have any comments, please feel free to get in touch with me, Jo at Jocasey.com and I will speak to you very soon.