How coach.me took me from coachee to coach and back again…

There and back again
There and back again

Coachee

Like most of you I’m on a constant self improvement journey.

Over 435 days ago I downloaded coach.me with a goal of building habits – such as lose weight, be more productive and other lifestyle goals. The benefit I saw in coach.me was the constant reinforcement and feedback which perhaps other efforts had previously lacked.

A subsequent reading of Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit” has further reinforced that coach.me is on the right track.

Formerly Lift, Coach.me is an online app and website that is your personal one on one coach, going  everywhere with you, helping you achieve any goal, change any habit, or build any expertise.

The concept is cleverly simple: Choose a habit, do it, check in. Build a streak, resist breaking the streak and keep doing whatever you want to do. The app is free to use, and there’s a great online community of people who are a step ahead of you and are willing to share their experience and advice.

It’s also possible to follow other members and give and receive “props” (thumbs up) from people. Great additional positive reinforcement.

I joined up and activated a couple of goals that seemed important to me at the time – daily cold showers, something about weights and measurements and a couple of random habits. I started checking in, building streaks.

Over time I mixed up my habits. There doesn’t appear to be a limit but with too many I found the actual process of checking in became onerous so I’ve stayed at around 6.

I also built up the confidence to answer questions in the Q&A and realised

“hey, I actually do know this stuff”.

It’s an interesting change in mindset to move from being good at something to the realisation that, for whatever reason and in whatever capacity, I’m some sort of expert.

Coach

Late in 2014 I received an email from coach.me asking whether I was interesting in “Accountability Coaching”. For $15 a week, an Accountability Coach takes coach.me to the next level by giving you one on one direct access to a person whose job is to help keep you on track. Through asynchronous chat, your Accountability Coach provides tips, direction and feedback when things are going well and also helps get you restarted if you start to stray.

“Well”, I thought “why not?”

Coach.me provided a webinar with training plus additional resources, plus, of course, an “Accountability Coaching” habit to track along with support from other Accountability Coaches. If you’re starting to get the impression that the coach.me people are pretty awesome, you’re on the right track.

I started coaching and a couple of clients found me and I started working with them. They seemed to enjoy the experience.

I was then approached by coach.me to be a “featured coach” in their weekly newsletter. I’m not really sure why they picked me, but I’m grateful.

“Well”, I thought “why not?”

Erin at coach.me suggested I create a plan – so I did (it’s here), coach.me featured me and about 50 people signed up in the first week. Coach.me has a permanent free 1st week code – COACHME – and, as expected, some people were just trying it out, but amazingly about 40 stayed past the first week.

So far I’ve helped about 50 people on “Inbox Zero” and “Slow Carb Diet by Tim Ferriss“. I’ve discovered that my style doesn’t suit everyone and not everyone who says they want to fix something actually has the time, energy or focus to fix it. It’s good fun and I feel I’m adding real value. Some of the comments are private, but I can share this testimonial:

“INBOX ZERO. OMG It’s actually empty. Not just “empty of newish stuff and junk” but EMPTY, for the first time since 2001. I had gotten my Inbox down to a couple hundred saved messages earlier but now it’s EMPTY. I went through some of those couple hundred saved messages and some are clearly out-of-date (now deleted). The rest got group-glumped into “archive” where they are searchable if needed and will probably never be seen or wanted again. Computer memory is cheap (and virtually limitless). Open loops in my own brain are neither.” – Lee.

Coachee

This is all pretty cool and coach.me generously shares the client fee 50/50. That’s handy pocket money to offset the time investment, but coaching isn’t about the money.

An unexpected benefit of all this coaching is that I am learning from my clients. As they ask questions and probe my knowledge I’ve found I’ve clarified my own thinking around my habits. It’s one thing to be able to do something, but how do I explain to someone else what my thought processes are. Are they even my thought processes or do I just think they are?

I’ve also had to become more effective at dealing with the coaching workload outside of business hours. I’ve got a full time job so I need to be strict – coaching does not occur during daylight hours Monday to Friday.

To get up at 540am I need to go to bed on time at 10pm. (And, yes, there’s a habit for that too!). And if I’m getting up at 540am I’m not going to muck around before getting down to business, so I’m better prepared first thing.

Quite obviously I’m also getting better at my habits so I can stay ahead of my awesome clients! I need to be teaching them and working with them and helping them over the obstacles. This is all much easier to do if I’m in the position I should be.

So coach.me has taken me from ‘coachee’ to ‘coach’ and back again. I’m a better person for the experience.

Joining coach.me is a no lose proposition. I highly recommend giving it a try

Action steps:

1) Go to coach.me or download the mobile app. It’s free.

2) Find something you should be doing, sign up to the habit, and start coaching yourself.

3) Contribute. Follow your friends and help out with the Questions and Answers. Be part of the community.

4) If you think you have some coaching in you, sign up.

Good luck.

For more information about what I coach, my coaching link is below:

Get coached on Coach.me

How to compare Australian freight quotes

australian freight quotesThis article originally appeared in www.mylogisticsmagazine.com

No matter how complex your freight needs, everyone involved in freight management will at some stage benchmark their existing carriers. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as perceived high freight costs, service issues or “it’s been 10 years since we went to market”.

When comparing alternative freight companies there are a number of issues to bear in mind. The Australian freight industry is particularly diverse and the first quick glance at two freight solutions can be misleading.

Here’s some quick, effective freight tips that may save you thousands of dollars:

1-      Watch the zones.

Sydney isn’t always Sydney! Postcode 2210 can mean different things to different freight companies. Make sure any comparison includes all service providers’ comprehensive zone listings. If you have a customer or a warehouse that’s in a cheap zone for one carrier but an expensive one for another this can have a major impact on the overall freight cost.

2-      Watch the cube.

If your freight is not really heavy, pay special attention to the cubic rate. If the rate is the same, but one carrier is charging 250kg per cubic metre and the other is charging 333kg per cubic metre this is equivalent to a 33% rate premium.

Be mindful not just of the overall cube, but be careful of regional cubic variations (e.g. Tasmania and the Northern Territory may be at a higher cube).

3-      Watch the surcharges.

Freight companies love surcharges – length surcharges, home delivery surcharges, dangerous goods surcharges, remote delivery surcharges, regional pickup surcharges, etc. Sometimes the rate might look awesome, but if all your consignments are subject to a surcharge then your real freight cost is going to be higher.

By far the most important surcharge to watch is the fuel levy. With some companies running at over 20%, small variations in the rates can have a big influence on the freight calculation.

4-      Watch the small print.

At the back of the proposal will usually be 1-2 pages of terms and conditions. These can be very important and must not be ignored. They were probably written by lawyers but you still should be able to understand how long the rates valid for and if you are committing to a minimum spend with penalties for not sending enough freight.

5-      Watch the service standards.

What does “Priority” mean? How is it different to your current “Overnight” service? Is Mackay a 3 day or a 4 day service? Look for service standards and definitions. Will the new carrier require an earlier pickup, and what effect will that have on order shut off time?

From an IT point of view, is the new freight carrier compatible with your freight management software? Will you have to change to suit them?

6-      Watch the future.

Will you be able to monitor the effect of the change in the future? Has the new quote been especially shaped to meet a specific set of circumstances? What happens if your order size increases or decreases? Know the answer to these questions before you make the change.

Freight management isn’t easy. Sometimes these decisions can be for contracts worth much more than an amount that would typically require senior management sign off. If you have covered off on the points above you will be more confident in your decision.