MindSonar for the self-employed

Here in the UK, the number of new businesses starting up each year is rising significantly, with 660,000 being set up in 2016. However, statistics suggest that as many as 40% of start-ups don’t make it to 5 years. I suspect the same is true for many other countries too.

It’s not surprising therefore that coaches are often approached by clients who are in the early years of their business . Many are wondering why they are struggling to keep the business afloat and are suffering from more stress and unhappiness than when they were employed. Many are already considering ending their business to go back to employment, where they felt more comfortable.

A MindSonar profile analysis for these clients can be incredibly powerful. It enables them to identify any Meta Programmes they are operating which are not helpful for a business owner, and which might be getting in the way of their success and happiness. Once problem areas are recognised, coaching can then enable the client to identify the Meta Programmes they want to develop in themselves and also ones which might be best strengthened in the business by outsourcing a service or employing someone else.

The Meta Programmes likely to be causing such problems vary depending on the individual and their circumstances. However, I often come across problems in such clients who have particularly high scores for one or more of the following four Meta Programmes.:

1. Options
These clients have lots of ideas about the directions in which they could take their business or the ways in which they could market their services, but do not have a planned strategy for implementing them. They talk of the all the possibilities and they usually have lots of unfinished plans and ideas. MindSonar provides a way for the client to identify this way of thinking and so enable them to determine how to address the problem. This could be choosing to develop a higher Procedure Meta Programme in themselves, or to outsource some elements of their business to someone who already has a well-developed procedural approach.

2. Reactive
These clients have often thought a lot about how to develop their business and have a lot of knowledge about what can be done, but they have taken few or no actions to implement their ideas. They can always think of another piece of research which is needed before action can be taken. Once this is recognised by the client, they can work with their coach to enable the client to develop a stronger Proactive Meta Programme.

3. Proactive
Strange as it sounds to some, there can also be problems for self-employed clients with a very high Proactive score. They generally have good ideas about what they could do in their business, but take a scattergun approach to implementation. Typically, they’ve tried out each of their ideas but without any level of consistency. They do not often spend time waiting to see what the outcome of each action is as they quickly move to the next. Once recognised, coaching can then be used to enable the client to develop a stronger reactive Meta Programme.

4. Internal reference
Although a good level of Internal reference is helpful for the self-employed, if it is very high it can lead to a reluctance to learn from others, and even a reluctance to research their market. This can lead to failed marketing and product development as customer needs are not being met. Consequently, coaching can to enable the client to develop a stronger reactive Meta Programme can prove useful.

Working with these clients to identify triggers and activation statements and to activate resources is a helpful start. Combining this with solution focussed work such as Intensive Goal Description can bring about quite dramatic changes in their experience of running a business.

As I mentioned earlier, there can be problems for the self-employed with other Meta Programmes, particularly if they are a sole trader. This is not surprisingly as many are trying to cover many roles from marketing and accounts to being the specialist in their own field. The strength of MindSonar is that it can be used to help them recognise, and further develop, flexibility in their thinking styles, thus helping them become more successful in their role and, hopefully, less stressed.