You see a wall, I see a door. Let’s talk!

June 14, 2019
You see a wall, I see a door. Let's talk!

You see a wall, I see a door. Let’s talk!

Several years ago, Rajeev (name changed) met me one day, a little puzzled.

I was working in one of the MNCs as Manager – Learning & Development. Rajeev was an expert in MS-Excel and delivered MS-Excel sessions at our office as a trainer. He was working in another organization in the ‘Procurement’ team and being passionate about Excel, delivered a limited number of sessions outside of his organization. His sessions at our office were extremely popular.


We sat in the cafeteria. He opened up. I realized that he was in a dilemma. Caught between a regular job that was paying him rather well and his passion that kept him really excited, he was unsure of where he wanted to be in the future. He was staring at a wall.

Incidentally, at that time, I was preparing to move into a new job as Head-Learning & Development at another MNC. I had already served my notice to my current employer.

A door on the wall

I saw a door on that wall. What if he became a full-time Excel consultant? I realized that, for his leap of faith, a ‘guarantee’ would help. I extended an offer – I could be his first client to get him started. Smiling, he took the offer. In a couple of years, he built a highly successful consulting and training practice.

A couple of years later, I saw him struggle with the scale of his business. Although it was a good problem, there was too much demand and he was finding it difficult to say ‘no’ or to manage the demand. He was not in favor of creating a team of trainers. He was worried about client attrition – that his trainers might take away his clients. This is a typical issue that worries, among others, lawyers and Chartered Accountants. Now he was staring at another wall.

Another door on the wall

We got talking. I saw a door on that wall too. I asked him if he could groom his spouse to take on the Basic training so that he could focus on the Advanced version and also focus on the high-end consulting projects. Repeating my earlier offer, I got her started in my organization. It worked.

Today, several years later, Rajeev is a sought after consultant operating across several cities in India. His wife is a trainer in her own right. Together, both of them are doing extremely well for themselves.

The above example is just an illustration to support the title, ‘You see a wall, I see a door. Let’s talk!’

Over the years that I have been coaching, I have innumerable such examples.

I am currently coaching someone senior who is in the process of quitting corporate life. When we began the coaching conversation, he had decided to quit corporate life but was unsure of what to do next. In short, he was staring at a wall.

During the second coaching meeting, I was exposed to his fiery passion to support the girl-child. I saw a door. Through my contacts, I was able to connect him to a large non-profit in his city that is dedicated to supporting the girl-child. He met them and they have offered him a senior role. It worked.


Whether it is life or a career, there are times when we are stuck and face a wall. Being stuck does not necessarily mean that it is an adverse situation. It could also be an opportunity like the example of scaling up that Rajeev was facing. However, facing a wall unceasingly is not a great thing.

My Quote #345 says, ‘Beyond a point, being stuck is not a good thing. Move!’

The advantage of working with a coach is that the coach is not grappling with the same issue or affected by the same constraints and therefore, can think objectively. Additionally, the coach is always working in the client’s interest.

If you are looking for a breakthrough in your current context, you are, in fact, looking for a door. By the way, isn’t Life’s progress about finding new doors?

Now that you know that when you see a wall, I see a door, let’s talk.


Write to me at [email protected] Let’s get talking and discover new doors for you.

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