Name: Hans Schumann
Business: Hans Schumann Coaching
Tell us about your business?
I help members of the LGBT community with their career decisions and life planning.
I have developed an action-orientated coaching process that combines tools, processes and models from world-renowned coaching experts with my own experience of overcoming years of struggle.
I explore with my clients what really matters to them and help them lay the foundations for living an inspired and fulfilled life. As members of the LGBT community we have to deal with all the issues that straight people experience, but on top of this we need to find ourselves in a society where we are perceived as “different”. In that search we may define ourselves with values that we perceive from the LGBT scene; but are they really ours? We are so much more than just LGBT.
This journey is for people who are ready to accept accountability for their own lives and change their current reality. You will have the opportunity to experience a new, empowering paradigm shift, in which your perception of yourself and the world around you changes dramatically and opens you up to love, gratitude and success.
What have been your greatest successes?
I have helped many clients find their passion, love themselves and create inspiring lives. If I had to name one outstanding success, it would be of a gay client who disliked his physic so much that he would never wear a t-shirt in public. He used all kind of fashion items to deflect from his body. We started working on his self-love and explored the fears and beliefs that caused him to go into hiding. Over a course of sessions he realised that this strategy did not serve him well to get what he really wanted: Love and acceptance. He experienced a sudden breakthrough and now feels confident walking the streets in a sleeveless t-shirt. He has even been to a naked coffee event- with no stress at all!
What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My greatest challenge has been my own personal journey. I lived a life according to other people’s values. I became a lawyer because I learned that this was a “sensible” job. As a gay man I pursued a lifestyle based around clubs, bars and sex because that’s what I perceived as the way gay men live. Neither nurtured me the way I needed and I became unhappy and for two years also seriously ill with inflammatory bowel disease. All medication failed and it was only when I started working on my mental state that I became better.
I learned about my values, reorganised my life, created new inspiring visions and cleared up negative beliefs. At the end of this process I was ready to leave the corporate world and started a business that is fun and inspiring to me: life coaching.
Now I feel fulfilled helping my clients create similar transformations in their lives.
You can find out more about my values work and personal journey here: http://hansschumann.com/blog/#!/2015/06/values-talk-at-lgbt-professionals/
What advice would you give to other small businesses in appealing to the LGBT+ community?
Much of the advertising to LGBTs is based on stereotypes of physical attraction, sex, party and flamboyancy. They are easy wins which work to an extent, but if you really want to connect with the LGBT community, understand them at a deeper level. Don’t treat them all the same. Each letter of the LGBT community has different needs. Each letter will have many sub-groups. Each sub-group consists of individuals.
Rather than playing to stereotypes and trying to please everybody, think about your perfect LGBT customer. What does she or he want and what do they need? The two are not necessarily the same.