I believe that as coaches, entrepreneurs, and business owners, we make the greatest impact in the world when we stop looking around and start looking within.
While it can be tempting to spend our hours and our days "seeking inspiration" in the early days of our business, the real magic happens when we power down and tune in. Below, I've compiled a few resources that I hope will be of service to you as you're tuning in and considering your unique way of serving the world.
start here - resources for new coaches:
- You Want to Become a Life Coach? Three Key Things to Consider
- 5 Key Questions to Ask When You're Looking for a Coach
for refining your coaching practice & your life:
- International Coaching Federation: great resource for finding accredited coaching programs
- Get a Life Coach: great info on the industry, with some specifics on coaching in Madison
- Co-Active Coaching: a way to test the CTI waters for $20
faq: answers to the most frequent questions i receive from new coaches:
Do you like being a coach?
Yes, I love the work that I do in the world, including the part of that work which involves coaching. Coaching is part, not all, of my business - which is what feels most aligned with how I like to work and how I feel I can best serve others and the world.
Where did you do your coaching certification and training, and how did you like it?
I did my coaching training and certification through The Coaches Training Institute. I had a phenomenal experience - so much so that I quit my job after the first course, went on to do their intensive, year-long leadership program immediately after finishing my coaching certification, and have partnered with them as a consultant for a variety of projects over the course of the past several years. The program is brilliant, state-of-the-art, and transformative. All courses are co-led by two excellent CTI faculty members. The program does a wonderful job of equipping new coaches with core coaching skills and application.
Completing the program will not necessarily translate to a thriving coaching business; this will be up to you and will likely require hard work and a bit of blood, sweat and tears. Succeeding as a coach requires succeeding as an entrepreneur, which is a distinction that I personally don't feel is talked about enough in the coaching industry at large. I frequently witness the heartbreaking cycle of new coaches paying thousands of dollars for coaching training and certification, starting a coaching business, and then realizing that they don't like (or perhaps hate) the "business side" of coaching. Successful coaches love coaching and they love running a business. If the latter doesn't appeal to you, I beg you to consider your choice carefully (and to read this blog post for more on the topic).
CTI has courses throughout the world; check their website for locations and pricing.
How do you get clients?
Please stop asking this question, and instead come back to your Why. Why are you starting this business in the first place? Who do you feel most called to serve? In what way will people's lives be better because of the transformation that you are capable of helping them create? What is the need in the world that you believe can be met through what you are offering? If you don't know, or you're not sure there is one, then please - stop what you are doing, stop trying to 'get clients,' and spend some time out in nature, sitting in the bathtub, or with your journal and pen thinking deeply about these questions. Hire a coach who can help you uncover them. Get clear. Think about service. Then, and only then, think about clients.
Okay. Now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about where your clients might be. I recommend starting close to home. Trust is a foundation of any coaching relationship, so I recommend thinking about people in our trusted inner circle who you might powerfully serve through coaching. When I first started my business, I gradually increased my courage to tell people what I was up to by first telling my immediate family and closest friends, then some of my cousins and relatives, then some of my girlfriends from yoga teacher training, and then some of my friends and former colleagues. All of my earliest clients emerged from this process and were either friends, former colleagues and coworkers, or partners/friends of friends and colleagues.
Next, think about your own story and past. Oftentimes, we can best serve people who share some piece of our own journey. For me, for example, many of my clients are a) in the corporate world, b) looking to transition careers in some way, c) interested in starting a business, or d) interested in growing/refining and existing business. Write down your own story and journey. What do you notice? And how might you powerfully serve others who are either on a similar journey? These important pieces of our journey do not have to be restricted to big life transitions. I often smile thinking about my last women's coaching circle - all of us are dog owners, dog lovers, and/or rescue dog advocates. While of course I did not specifically recruit dog owners for the coaching circle, I'm also not at all surprised that we had this in common. Get creative in tuning into your own story and your own journey, to uncover possibilities to serve others.
Finally, come from a place of gratitude - always. When thinking about potential clients, ask yourself, "would I be thrilled to serve this person?" and "would I be incredibly grateful and honored to enter into this partnership?" If your answer is anything but a "hell yeah," politely and kindly decline the opportunity and move on. Anytime I take on a new opportunity, I pause and ask myself, "do I feel grateful thinking about this opportunity? Is this answer coming from a place of gratitude? And is this the best use of my talents and passions?" If the answer is no, I decline. This is not easy. It forces us to get very real with ourselves very quickly about how we can best serve the world. And, by continuously coming from a place of gratitude, we are able to best serve others and best serve the world.
If you'd like to explore this topic further in the context of your own business and create an action plan that's authentic to you, drop me a note to learn more about the upcoming Boost My Biz workshop.
But there are so many coaches.
Yes, there are. There are also so many lawyers and realtors and leaders and financial advisors and doctors and teachers and consultants. It matters not what other coaches are doing; it matters that you are starting your practice because you believe with all of your heart (and hopefully a bit of research) that this way of serving the world is 100% aligned with your purpose, your passions, and your unique genius. The moment you stop paying attention to what others are doing and start putting that energy into your business, your authentic way of serving the world, and doing things in way that feels right for you is the day that your coaching practice will thrive.
upcoming offering: boost my biz: hands-on intensive for coaches & entrepreneurs
This upcoming intensive is for coaches and entrepreneurs who want to take their practices and their businesses to the next level. You bring your real, concrete challenges and opportunities you're working on in your business. We work through them real-time, peeling back the layers of what's getting the way and co-creating a plan for authentic action and meaningful results. Details to be announced.