Passion trumps fear.


I just finished the first stage of what I hope will be a long and fruitful client relationship. I’ve been helping my client transition from one career to a completely new one. The objective was to uncover and define the Purpose, Mission and Ideal Customer for her new enterprise, and to develop her Authentic Brand Promise (ABP).  

The ‘ABP’ is a powerful statement explaining what you do, why you love doing it, the key problems you solve for your customers, the benefits you bring, and how you do this in your own unique way.

The process involves my clients downloading and completing a series of guided meditations with short questionnaires, which give them access to a deeper level of thinking. This is the gateway to understanding why they do what they do, what drives them, who they are here to help, and the true benefits they bring to their customers. I then conduct a series of coaching sessions to make sense of what we have discovered, and I then create their ABP – using the words and phrases they have uncovered from their subconscious.

The reaction I received when my client first read her ABP was wonderful: 

“Thank you for this wonderful Brand Promise.  I am thrilled and cannot wait to ‘open shop’ next year!”

I used to think that my work was done at this point. But I have learned that this is just the start. It’s not enough to accept and connect with your Authentic Brand Promise - you have to own it.

So the last coaching session in this first stage of the process is about creating an action plan to get the client from where they are now, to where they want to be. At this point we are often working with a little information and a lot of intuition. But that’s fine – the rational minds needs a plan to work with, however rough. The reality is that from this point forward all kinds of unexpected opportunities will materialise, and ‘chance’ meetings and connections will be made that change the plan. But we have a plan to get started with. 

And the last thing I do in this session is to identify the barriers to success. This is really important, because reality is now setting in, and the client is realising that a lot has to happen for he or she to get from ‘here’ to ’there.’ Or in other words, fear starts to take over from passion.

“Can I really do this?” the rational mind asks.

“I’m such a long way from achieving that goal, maybe I should revise it down a bit.”

So we call fear out. We name it and shame it.

Against every barrier (fear or concern), we identify the antidotes the client has in his or her armory to overcome and remove those barriers. And it’s not long before passion returns to centre stage, and fear is banished to the wings. We know that it’s still there, but it’s no longer playing a leading role.

The next step is for the client to go away and sit with their ABP, so it becomes theirs. This is a time for reflection, for changes to be made, and for ownership to begin. I am then ready to help the client work though their flexible action


So what have I learned from this process?

1. It’s not enough to have clarity of Purpose, you need to own it.

2. The rational brain needs to believe it’s in charge, even if in reality it isn’t.

3. Fear will always appear when we are moving into the unknown. Fortunately however, passion always trumps fear.




Justin Cooper