If you’ve ever worked with a coach, consultant, an expert or teacher, you know the value of getting an outside perspective. But there’s a downside too. And if you don’t manage the risk, it can cost you time, money, momentum and confidence.
What is the risk, and how can you manage it?
This was the topic of Episode 75 of My Circus Life.
This article addresses the power and costs of getting outside perspective.
Tomorrow I’ll share a framework for managing the risk that will save you time and money.
The Power of an Outside Perspective
Sometimes we get too close to something to see it clearly. We get stuck in systems that are outdated or simply no longer work for us, or lose sight of the bigger picture of our outcomes and our purpose.
This is why so many entrepreneurs and business owners work with coaches. In case you have an outdated view of the term (hi Mom!), coaches are no longer just for athletes and sports teams.
Outside perspective — whether in the form of fresh eyes on your manuscript, an audit of your business, or learning from a new expert — is often the quickest way to get unstuck.
The business coaching industry is an $11 billion/year industry and growing.
Plus, as humans, we are wired to learn. We have a natural desire to seek out new topics and master new skills.
That natural tendency helps explain how the market for online courses jumped from about $35.6 billion in 2011 to $107 billion in 2015.
If you’re reading this, my guess is that you know the value of hiring a coach or investing in a course. You’ve likely invested in one or both.
So let’s talk about the dark side.
How the Search for Outside Perspective Gets Out of Control
There’s a point at which your quest for clarity can lead you into muddy waters. If you don’t manage the risks, it can cost you time, money, momentum, confidence, self-esteem, and more.
Here are the two main ways the pursuit of outside perspective can get out of control.
(1) Seminar Soup Syndrome
The first time I served on the event crew for Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within, my mentor Loren Slocum warned us about Seminar Soup.
She described the people who went “seminar-hopping,” going from one event to the next but never pausing to integrate what they learned. Despite attending these events and being of service to others, they weren’t making changes in their own lives.
This doesn’t just happen with live events. How many online courses do you invest in? How many of them do you finish? (How many do you even start?)
How many books do you read each year? How many podcasts do you listen to?
But how much are you integrating?
The pursuit of growth can send us on a quest for more and more information. But unless we integrate what we learn, we are not acquiring true knowledge.
(2) Shiny Expert Syndrome
We may feel that we’ve outgrown a certain system that was once serving us. Or we may feel stuck in implementing a system we learned from one mentor or coach. So we seek a new approach, a new method, a new mentor.
It’s common to develop Expert Reverence Syndrome when we meet a new teacher or expert. Under the spell of the new mentor and the new way, we may develop a belief that the new mentor is the guru we’ve been seeking. Everything else that came before is worthless.
We may end up discarding things that work, just because the new teacher shares a different way. And that different way may not actually be in alignment with our values or working style.
Tweaks vs Overhaul
Sometimes we do need a complete overhaul our current system. But it is more likely that we simply need to make a few tweaks, fill a hole in our knowledge or skill gap, or adjust our mindset.
The Costs of Too Much Outside Perspective
There’s an obvious cost of time and money when we invest in courses, events and working with new mentors that don’t serve our current needs.
But the costs are greater than time and money. When we constantly shift from one mentor to another, or one program to the next, without giving ourselves time to experiment with a strategy, we may sabotage our momentum just as we are about to break through. Momentum killers are confidence killers.
We get a lot of different alternatives but no clear path. This leaves us feeling Confused, Hopeless, Anxious, Overwhelmed, and Stuck. CHAOS.
So, how do we straddle the line between constructive outside perspective and the type that leads to CHAOS?
I shared some tips in today’s broadcast, which you can watch here.
And come back tomorrow for a 7-step framework to help you get the right amount of outside perspective without falling into CHAOS.