The most common question I get as a jewelry coach is how to become extraordinary. How to get into the limelight, and why are all these books showing you how to be successful in one afternoon or adapt 8 new habits, not working? Why does the miracle happen to others and not you? Here are the 18 reasons why jewelry professionals hire a consultant or coach!
I have spent years giving consultancy to jewelry companies and retailers. This is my main job, and I answer their questions using the insights I gained from 25 years of working in the jewelry industry.
Last year, I also started working as a jewelry coach. I work with goldsmiths, designers, and others who want to make the next big step in their career. A coach's work is to listen and guide the person in front of you in their thought process. Encouraging them to take the proper steps for them specifically and help them overcome their doubts or insecurities. It's essential to me to see them thrive, and coaching is surprisingly fulfilling work.
I want to share with you something important, something that I think is worth talking about.
Bear with me and allow me to take you to a party. Do you like parties? What happens when you meet new people? Whether you are in the U.S. or Europe or anywhere in the world, chances are you are meeting someone new, and after exchanging names and so on, the next question is a dreaded one: "What do you do?".
Why dreaded? Because more often than not, this question will determine whether you are worthy of the other person's time. Now, this sounds utterly shallow, but if your job isn't impressive enough, chances are that you will find yourself rather quickly on your own again. Nibbling on peanuts and with a wine glass in your other hand, searching for a kind or familiar face in the crowd. Just so you can restore yourself and regain a feeling of self-worth.
Living in a meritocracy means that you get the message you can be anything, and you are responsible for your success. Sidenote: therefore, also for your failure. The American Dream is one such tale that's told over and over again.
The winner's mentality is getting all the praise. Other traits such as creativity, decency, kindness, and so on are not the kind of things one can mention at a party, but we shouldn't throw them on a pile of unimportant traits.
Getting back to our subject: goldsmiths and designers, and other jewelry professionals hire a consultant or a coach because they want some guidance in their next adventure, their next steps.
Creative people often hear things like; "so you took a hobby and made it a job?" and other ''fun'' remarks that will make them feel undoubtedly a tad undervalued. Of course, we need to take into account that people rarely are very mindful of their words. I advise my clients not to focus too much on what people say. But for most of the creative bunch, work is utterly personal.
I am setting a stage here to put things into perspective. We always talk about the winners. I am personally 'sick' of anybody claiming what Steve Jobs did or said. It's not that 'one thing' that made him successful, and you are most definitely not him. Neither are you Bill Gates or Zuckerberg or Bezos or the Queen of England for that matter. These people are the 1% that stand out. They are most undoubtedly brilliant. They are also very determined and had a fair share of luck. Timing and money did the rest. They are not always the most comfortable people to be with, but that's irrelevant, of course ;-)
Fated to be ordinary, and that is beautiful!
The beautiful people I work with are ready for the next step. Usually, this next step is a new professional phase in which they want to grow their business and fame. They want more clientele, more recognition, and many times they want to become more of a brand. Oh, and they want more financial success.
Each one is unique, yet it often comes down to the above mentioned 4 things. And what they encounter is a world filled with competition, and the only thing that sets them apart is their unique set of skills and personality.
Transformation is always going to be awkward and uncomfortable.
This is the first thing they should know. It's not going to be easy, it's hardly ever going to be comfortable, and you'll encounter many obstacles along the way—some within yourself, some to no fault of your own.
I can't tell you how much I admire all my clients and all people who seek to change their lives and careers. Sometimes leaving behind a relatively comfortable seat.
The first thing I tell people what to do, which is very weird perhaps, is to stop checking social media competition. Your peers. Primarily if you work alone, it can be depressing to see someone who does something similar to your work, shouting how ''proud to announce" they are or showing their latest sales success. We all know it might be not entirely true, yet it does make us feel a little sadder, even if we press that Like button.
Not because we don't wish them well, but because in some way their success is not ours at that very moment. Self-doubt starts, and many artists can get into a loop of thinking that anyone is doing better than they are.
Stay friends but don't follow their updates.
It's mental hygiene when you need to focus on inspiration and growth.
Accept you are fated to be ordinary. You might want to be the Steve Jobs of the jewelry world, but chances are you are part of the 99% of ordinary people and typical jewelry professionals. Even those who excel, the designers you admire so much, have stiff competition from heritage brands such as Tiffany, Cartier, Graff, and so on.
When you accept this, you can focus on what you can do and, more importantly, what you really want in life and business.
So it's not uncommon that I'll start with a question about how you see your ideal life. How much time would you like to be at work? And how many hours would you love to spend differently; with your family, friends, hobbies, or even things like charity work or as a caregiver to someone close to you?
We first look together at your life as a whole before we establish where to go next.
Allow heroes to inspire you, not blind you on your own path
I won't dive into an entire coaching session with you here, but what I am trying to say and will never stop saying is that you should be inspired but not blinded by the light of those you admire. You should take what you need, but not believe everything you read about what others did to get to where they are now.
If getting up very early in the morning is working great for your productivity, then that's something you should apply. But don't believe the countless YouTube Inspirational Channels, nor the endless row of books about self-improvement. They make you feel that each of their tips or suggestions is the missing key to your success or the reason for your failure.
You are probably a very ordinary human and beautiful in that, and you will encounter combining a career with a family, financial worry, uncertainty, and rejection. What sets you apart is when you decide to take a leap of faith and go for that next step. Here is where growth starts!
If you are looking to impress the next random stranger at a party, then don't come to me ;-) But if you are looking for your own story, your own success, finding yourself at the steering wheel of what you think success is for you, then hell yes….I am here! To cheer for you and applaud you. And if you want, to guide you and be there for you.
Why people come for coaching might be a lot more than these options, but I find these to be the top 18 topics that I hear most.
This is just a handful of topics in which people seeking coaching set their goals to define success for themselves.
Understanding your dream is where it all starts, accepting that you are not likely going to be the next Cartier and that that is fine!
Achieving success is hard work, many awkward moments, accepting to be comfortable with uncertainties, even the financial ones at times, and much luck, as I mentioned before.
But I believe in you. Whether you are a goldsmith, a designer, a trendwatcher, a blogger, a trainer or a wholesaler, an appraiser or diamond buyer, a gemstone cutter, or a retailer, you all have the potential to be successful. Create your story, know and use your personal and professional values, don't be afraid to ask for advice or help, and embrace being extraordinarily ordinary and therefore able to reach, sell and engage with the other 99% of ordinary people in this world.
Success is there when all areas of your life are thriving. Success is definitely not putting work before family or friends. Success isn't just a financial reward or fame. It's that perfect mix of feeling that everyone and everything that matters to you is in harmony.
I hope you are the next stranger I meet at a party and that you will tell me not what you do, but who you are and why you do what you do.
I would be pleased to meet you!