This post is by David Jehlen. He’s the Director of Coach Development for The Book Yourself Solid School of Coach Training and one of my closest collaborators. Enjoy and offer your thoughts by commenting. Because if you’re not in the conversation, you can’t influence the conversation. – Michael

You like almost every entrepreneur, service professional and small business owner have a big vision for how you will uniquely impact and transform your clients and marketplace. Sweet.

You want, no, NEED to be fully self-expressed. You need to know that the very essence of who you are has made the difference in a way that nobody else can. Exciting, right?

But there’s a problem.

The quest for self-expression often inadvertently leads to self-absorption. This is not intentional, of course, but can be so insidious that without realizing it, your dream and vision can turn into a nightmare of frustration, paralysis and crushed confidence. This is not a fun place to be.

How does this happen?

  1. By trying too hard to be unique and independent, you lose focus of what others need and become isolated instead.
  2. By thinking that the only way to be truly self-expressed, you must create 100% original intellectual property (i.e, your own system for solving your client’s particular problems). This is not easy and requires lots of time. Time you usually don’t have when you should be attracting more clients instead.
  3. The struggle to create awareness with limited time and increased frustration perpetuates a vicious cycle of disappointment and poor results.

Be self-expressed AND booked solid!

Ready to break the cycle and realize just how groovy it is to have all of the ideal clients you want while being 100% YOU?

The formula is simple but it’s definitely not easy. It requires your focused dedication. Your dreams are worth that, aren’t they?

  1. Embrace and leverage the power of a network. I’m not referring to the cheesy networking concept of “card pushing.” Instead, as we teach in Book Yourself Solid, identify the top 20 influential people in your market and connect with them. See what you can do for them and you might be amazed at the results. Also make a point to connect a lot more with your peers, the people you know you can probably help and who might help you too.
  2. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Study, tap into and connect with what’s already out there and working. It’s much easier to develop your own intellectual property when you have the revenue to pay your bills. Obviously, you don’t want to rip off someone else’s work. There are great options like certifications, licensing and franchising that allow you to use an existing, successful system.
  3. Develop your unique perspective and one-of-a-kind systems while you are building your business and increasing your revenue using, proven, successful systems and strategies.

If you follow these steps you really can be fully self-expressed while avoiding the gloomy place called self-absorption.

Others who are doing it!

As the Director of Coach Development for The Book Yourself Solid School of Coach Training, I get to interact, coach and work with some of the most amazing people around…the Book Yourself Solid Coaches in Training.

I would like to introduce you to some of our newly certified coaches! Each is uniquely expressing themselves as they bring their life experience and individual swagger to their Book Yourself Solid coaching business.

Chantal Debrosse  Chantal is passionate about helping highly motivated small business owners who are on the brink of overwhelm to gain clarity in order to get more ideal clients, more money, and more time.

Ana Melikian  Ana is founder of AMAZE Coaching, she works with coaches and consultants who have great ideas and services, but are overwhelmed with online marketing and technology. She assists them to get unstuck from the technology quicksand so they can get more clients and increase their income.

Tracy Burrows Tracy is passionate about helping service professionals get more clients. Every successful business must start with a rock solid foundation and Tracy uses the Book Yourself Solid marketing system to help her clients achieve this.

Hope Bockus Hope wants to see massage therapists utilize their talent while teaching them to get more clients than they can even handle.

Shawn Dill Shawn helps strong, philosophical chiropractors find success so that they can touch more lives, educate the sick about true health care and serve our profession by proving that chiropractors CAN make a tremendous living without selling out the principle.

Francine Graglia Francine helps service professionals get more clients…even if they cringe at the thought of marketing and selling.

Andrei Jablokow  Andrei is passionate about helping service professionals get more clients. When you’re done working with Andrei not only will you have a sustainable and repeatable marketing system that works, you will also enjoy marketing and selling.

Jim McNerney Jim helps Wellness Coaches to transform their businesses to peak health and themselves to being fully self-expressed. He will help you avoid the years of struggle and wheel spinning that he went through and achieve your booked solid business vision.

Peter Watz Peter shares his dynamic +20 year sales career reflecting pioneering experience and great performance in the computer and Internet industries. He remains on the cutting-edge, driving new business through key accounts and establishing strategic partnerships and dealer relationships to increase channel revenue. Peter lives in Sweden.

Sarah Thompson Sarah helps people start successful small businesses by writing their business plans and by helping them get more customers by using the Book Yourself Solid System. She has over fifteen years of experience in financial modeling, corporate finance, operations and human resource management of small and medium sized businesses.

Jamie McKean Jamie is a business coach, business mentor and business consultant, not afraid to get stuck in to get great results for clients who want to change but don’t know where to start. Also a published author who’s appeared on TV, but most proud of his beautiful daughters and very patient wife.

Congratulations on all of your hard work! You are well prepared to do big things helping others transform their lives and businesses. 

For the rest of you, who do you serve and what do you help them do? When you know that, you can choose to be fully self-expressed in your desire to, as Michael says, “Stand in the service of others, as you stand in the service of your destiny.” Go for it and go big!



I think an easy way to tell if I’m expressing myself or self-absorbing is that how I feel about it when I do it. When I get into that space between strong intention and no attachment, I know that’s where I like to be.

David Jehlen

Learning to let go of attachment to outcome isn’t always easy but it’s very powerful. Thanks Kemila.

Brent Burns

Hi David,

Great post, point #1 especially resonates with me. Whenever I attend a “networking” event, my primary goal is to meet new people and then I challenge myself to connect them with someone in my network. This is a rare concept in small town Iowa and I have to help most of the people I try to connect actually do the “connecting”, but once I do, I have made a friend for life. This one of those times when the saying “what comes around, goes around” has a positive effect! Keep up the good work!

Brent Burns
Book Yourself Solid Certified Coach
Owner – Sylvan Learning Center in Spencer, Iowa

David Jehlen

I love it Brent! It’s bewildering just how distorted the word “networking” has become. Honestly connecting with people can indeed create friends for life…and create some big-time business success.


Congratulations, David, on your new post as Director of Coach Development of BYS.

I love your 3 points, and so important to remember that truly, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. And developing systems in conjunction to uniqueness, is primordial; henceforth, my Intellectual Cleavage concept.

However, number 1 hits home. It’s about inclusivity and being a connector. Also, keeping attachment to outcomes in check, and connected to what makes us feel good while in the service of others, it’s a good measurement-stick for “what’s the difference” between self-expression and self-absorption.

Good job, David! ♥

David Jehlen

Thank you Ali! As a master connector, you are a great example of how to successfully self-express. And who wouldn’t want to learn more about Intellectual Cleavage?

Ali R. Rodriguez

You know what to say, David. You rock, my friend:)

Kelly Harrell

The subject of this post is especially intriguing to me, and is something I’ve been mulling over for a bit during my year here in Australia. Self promotion is often not a comfortable thing for many Aussies, and it is the rare occasion that I hear someone admit (much less declare) themselves to be an expert on something.

Their feelings about this make a lot of sense to me as I am uncomfortable with self-promotion, too – especially in my American culture where there are hundreds of millions of people all striving to be “special”, to “stand out”, to “be someone”.

This experience of living here in Oz, on a continent of somewhat similar size, with a population that is only about 7% to 8% of that of America, has been a great teacher for me. There is still tremendous opportunity here in Oz and not a lot of people vying for a niche. The competition in many places in NOT fierce. So, self-promotion is very subtle and much more relaxed than back home in the US (at least that’s been my experience).

In the US, though, it has often felt like we are all scrapping for ever-narrowing niches. Self-promotion sometimes feels like it carries a charge of a battle for survival = fear. Perhaps this is just the nature of an ever-growing and crowded market.

Thank you for sharing your insights on this and I very much hope that you will post more on this subject. It is, in my mind, a topic that would benefit from a great deal more exploration and discussion.


David Jehlen

I find your juxtaposition of the US and Australian marketplaces fascinating. The US is certainly crowded with competition but no matter where we are, if we shift our focus from competitors to creating friends and alliances while letting our true personalities shine through, we will connect with those we are meant to serve. I appreciate your insight Kelly.

Jeff Madsen

Great information and some levity! It can’t be beat – thanks folks!

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