Denice Chenault

Let’s face it, sometimes people do not come into network marketing because their life is already going stellar! Many get involved because they are looking for something more—more money, more time, better health, or even to create more meaning in their lives. We can want it so bad and yet it can be heartbreakingly hard to create success when we need it most. To make matters worse, we soon find out that our personal shortcomings become glaringly apparent in the process.

At one point in my life I was a broke (and broken) single mom with a toddler son who had had her car repossessed, barely living paycheck to paycheck, and often ate grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for dinner. I needed hope, I needed relief, and I needed someone to show me a way to make my life different. An extra $200 a month would have meant the world to me.

I was shown my first “plan” about 17 years ago. It all made sense and I was intrigued but hesitant and didn’t know how to proceed. So I didn’t. Then Tom came along and I realized my life was forever going to be a crazy carpet ride!

I have now been in network marketing for 16 years. For about 10 of those, I believed that to be successful, I had to be something other than myself. I am an introvert, sensitive, and I wear my heart on my sleeve. My role model of success was my husband—vociferous, larger than life, commanding, and charming. I was at a crossroads on my career path when it occurred to me that I couldn’t be Tom, so I might as well be the best me I could be! I started studying female leaders in all areas and made a list of their qualities I admired and wanted to develop in myself. I realized my gift and passion was motivating, inspiring, and coaching people—especially women. I now do exactly that through speaking engagements, women retreats, and personal coaching.

When I first started working with women in my company, I would do the typical goal-setting coaching: “What did you do last week? How did it work? What are you committing to this week?” What I found is that even though people were setting their own goals and trying to be accountable to them through coaching, often times they didn’t follow through on what they said they were going to do. I just knew there was a missing piece I couldn’t get to effectively without some help. So I undertook a 10-month Life Coach training with Martha Beck, one of Oprah’s mentors. That training gave me what I needed take my coaching to the next level. It enabled me to help people get to their limiting beliefs so that they could move forward into their dreams untethered.

One of the most effective tools I use is one we all possess, and that is listening. However, most of us listen from the standpoint of preparing a reply to what someone is saying. I listen from a place of “what is underneath their words?” That requires a deeper listening from a nonjudgmental place, which is a skill that has to be developed. I actually listen for what they didn’t say. A coach is first and foremost a listener.

The next skill is questioning. As I coach, I am constantly asking people to “tell me more about that” or “why is that?” This is a process of “peeling back the onion.” Many times when someone is talking about what is holding them back, their first answer is what’s closest to the surface. By going a little deeper, question by question, I can really get to the heart of the matter, which is the real obstacle and not the easy or socially accepted obstacle.

Once I help someone get to where the limiting belief started, I then help them uncover a new, positive story (and equally true) to replace and detach from the old one. One resource for this is through Byron Katie and her process called “The Work,” You can try it on yourself by going to www.thework.com, it is quite miraculous.

Another point is that you must create an environment in which people feel safe. Women I coach know they can tell me anything and I will not judge them. In fact I let them know they are infinitely loved and there is nothing they can say that is wrong. A great coach knows that every person already has the answers within; it’s just a matter of clearing away some obstacles that might be blocking their best selves.

One of the side benefits of taking the Life Coach training was that it gave me firsthand experience at being coached and uncovering my limiting beliefs. It let me build a new story and inspired me to create the life I wanted. I learned it through doing it. I don’t think it is necessary for everyone to go through a formal coaching training, but I do think hiring a great coach for yourself first is an awesome way to start.

To be an effective and open coach, you must first work on yourself. If you don’t, you will bring any “unfinished business” of your past unconsciously into the relationship of those you are coaching. You can observe this easily with people who have “money issues.” Until they are able to change their paradigm around money, they will always attract those who “can’t afford to get started!” Always start with yourself. This is great news, because we all know that “network marketing is personal development with a comp plan attached.” We get paid to grow ourselves!

I am so blessed to be in a business that loves people, inspires people, lifts people up, and creates an environment of hope and possibility for all who are courageous enough to take the journey. Cheers and good luck with developing your own form of coaching!

DENICE CHENAULT and her husband Tom are 7-figure earners in their network marketing company of 17 years. A communications major trained in group facilitation and personal development, Denice believes network marketing is the only profession where women can create a life they love with very little start-up cost, no overhead, no boss, all while utilizing their innate skills. Denice is a student of Martha Beck Life Coach Training and loves empowering, inspiring, and coaching women.