The parallels continue between how we encourage our clients approach excellence in sport, and how we, as sport psychology consultants, must all commit our ability, preparation, effort, and will in order to achieve success in our field. I return to the “awkwardness” that psychology consultants feel towards creating a business. Perhaps by reframing thoughts about branding and marketing efforts to largely be an extension of yourself and another application of the psychology skills we have honed over the years, it will feel more genuine. To take this a step further, consider an athlete you’re working with; would you ever ask them to leave their best skills at home or to not use a killer shot out of fairness to the other team? Indeed, we encourage athletes to apply their best effort and even act confident in situations where feelings may not support such behaviors. If an athlete is trying to win a game or Olympic medal, would you tell them to set aside their confidence in order to achieve authenticity? Essentially, athletes are “marketing” their skills and abilities to achieve an objective, much like consultants, who at times need to wear a business hat versus being in a consultant role; these are all elements of who we are.
As we develop marketing plans, check out the psychology of marketing and use your knowledge to be a great consultant. Many sites, like the “Psychology of Marketing” are dedicated to helping you gain an edge by applying your skills to business. The tagline on this site is “Capture Attention. Deepen Connection. Influence Action.” Yes! That’s what I want to do and this language feels sincere about what we’re trying to accomplish. This leads me to the importance of brand identity. Should we be the brand or should the brand be bigger than us? To illustrate, consider basketball in the 90’s. It was about Michael Jordan leading decisive victories, whereas today it’s the Chicago Bulls taking on the Miami Heat. The mission of our consulting businesses will guide these choices and selection of a business name and slogan. The answer is, of course, it depends and what feels right will vary based on the consultant. A business plan is our opportunity to stay true to our purpose and create an “image of potential” for being a sport psychology consultant, thereby increasing the probability of helping others and making a difference in our world.