BY LEE BLOCK
I meet Divorce in the strangest places. I’ll never understand why people define themselves by their marital state. For instance, today I was in Starbucks and I met Divorce. I might have recognized her, but I have never been very good with remembering faces or names. I blame it on surgical menopause, which seems to have set off a form of early Alzheimer’s.
As I was waiting for my traditional Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte, checking emails on my iPhone and breathing in the lovely smells of coffee beans, a woman with her toddler son approached me.
“Aren’t you the woman who has the clothing website?” She asked me.
I looked at her blankly, because I did have an eBay resale site at one time in another life, but had no clue who this person was. My memory Rolodex was not working, as usual, so I just nodded and smiled faintly.
“I thought that was you! Our children go to the same school as well. I’ve seen you there, but wasn’t sure if it was you. My name is Divorce. Do you remember me?”
I didn’t remember her but told her I thought I might, but wasn’t sure, after all, I didn’t want to be rude. She placed her hands over her young boy’s ears and told me about her divorce.
It was at this point that I jumped in and told her that I was actually a divorce coach now and gave her my card. She then proceeded to give me further details about her legal situation, which is not, as a coach what I deal with, but I listened and nodded.
In between breaths, Divorce stated, “I don’t want to discuss it in front of my son though.” Kudos for that, although she sort of did and he sort of didn’t seem to be paying attention, I would place him around age 4 or 5.
Divorce told me that she had a huge network of support because her friends were also all going through divorce right now, which I didn’t know if that was her way of saying she didn’t need a coach, or just her way of letting me know she was okay. I just smiled.
As we walked outside, I told her to give me a call and we could chat and I could tell her a bit about what I did and how I got started. I explained that I helped with the emotional side of things.
“Oh, emotionally, I’m FINE. You know, I filed.” Divorce insisted.
“Okay.” I replied. “It doesn’t really matter who filed. Emotionally it is hard no matter what. If you want, give me a call, you have my card.” And, I walked to my car.
I was proud of myself on so many levels. In order to build a business, any kind of business, you have to put yourself out there and make contacts and sell yourself, and I am the first to admit that I don’t do that very well, and in fact, don’t like to do that. Okay, that is an understatement; I hate to sell myself. Sitting here safe behind the computer, I am great at it, but face-to-face, in person, I am not comfortable selling me.
So, I gave out my card and did a soft sort of sell. Coaching is built on your list and your clients. I have clients and I have a list, but I will admit that I have struggled with growing the client roster. I am not a salesperson. I don’t know how to close or push for the sale. I am the first to give away valuable advice and coaching for free because I just want to help people. But, today I took a small step forward when I met Divorce in Starbucks.