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Before You Become a Coach: Seven Serious Questions to Ask Yourself

Posted by Julia Stewart

Become a coachWritten by Julia Stewart

Are you wondering if you should become a coach? Or how to get started as a coach? Or whether you should get certified as a coach?

This time of year, I hear from folks all over the world who are thinking about becoming life, business, or executive coaches. Their questions inspired this post.

Although the questions vary, the subtext is always the same: Can I succeed, as a coach?

That one, I can't answer, but you can, after you've asked yourself the right questions.

Here are seven questions to help you determine if becoming a coach is right for you:

1. What's your reason for becoming a coach?

  • If you love to help people, or you got coached yourself and loved it, or personal and professional development are your passion (see #7); these are great reasons. If you're out of work and out of money, or you just got diagnosed with a serious illness; these are poor reasons. As with any business, you'll need time, energy, money, and passion to succeed as a coach.

2. Is now the right time for you to become a coach?

  • Speaking of time...timing is half the secret when it comes to succeeding at anything. Do you happen to have the time, energy and money to work on your new business, right now? Or did you just fall in love, are getting divorced, making a big move, or going back to grad school? Major life transitions take up huge amounts of energy, focus, and time (and usually money). Starting a new business is a major life transition. The more you pile on, the harder and slower it will be to succeed. I'm not saying it can't be done, but be prepared.

3. Do you have the skills you need to become a coach?

  • Virtually everyone underestimates the skill required to become an effective coach. Most think they learned what they needed in school or on the job. Probably you have some of the skills and that's good. But it's extremely rare to have all the skills needed, without substantial coach-specific training, or a decade of full-time professional coaching. Get training, rather than education. Education gives you context, history, theories, etc. What you need is skill. Get the skills you need to succeed more quickly.

4. Do you have the financial resources to become a coach?

  • Coaching is often cited as one of the easiest and cheapest businesses to set up. While that may be true, as with every business, "it takes money to make money". In the case of coaching, be sure you have an alternate income source until your coaching practice is full. You should have clients within your first three months, but a full practice can easily take a year, sometimes more.

5. Do you have the emotional resources you need to become a coach?

  • Great coaches believe in learning opportunities. There's no better learning opportunity than starting a new business, because it'll bring out all your insecurities. Capitalize on this opportunity by working with a mentor coach. S/he'll believe in you until you believe in yourself and will help you build a community of ardent supporters. 

6. Do you have the business know-how to become a coach?

  • People who already have experience running a small business, tend to hit the ground running, when they launch coaching businesses. If that's not you, work with a mentor coach who knows the business of coaching, inside out. Get advice also from a small-business attorney, accountant, financial adviser, and more.

7. Do you have the passion to become a coach?

  • This is the biggy. If your answers to the first six questions feel like too much work, maybe you just don't have the passion for coaching. On the other hand, if you feel curious, excited, but with a few butterflies (think: waiting inline for the ferris wheel), you've got that illusive IT, the passion needed to succeed. Passionate people dive in and do what others complain about, cut corners on, or procrastinate over. Passion will carry you forward. Add a great strategy to make it simple.
If you can say, YES, to #7 and can arrange for the other six, then coaching could be an awesome profession for you and, YES, you can succeed at it!

 

Ready to become a coach?

 

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Topics: executive coach, mentor coach, coach training, become a life coach, become a coach, Coach 100, become a business coach, becoming a certified coach

How to Plan This Year's Coaching Success in Just Fifteen Minutes

Posted by Julia Stewart

coaching success

Written by Julia Stewart

Here's a nifty tool for your annual coaching business plan. It harnesses the power of the 'top ten list', works for any type of small business, and it only takes fifteen minutes to create an effective plan for coaching success.

Follow these steps to plan for this year's coaching success:

  1. Make a list of the Top Ten things Your Business Did Right, last year. These could include a new strategy for attracting clients, raising your fees, upgrading your skills and credentials, hiring an assistant, increasing your sales, etc. This list should take 5 minutes to complete, tops, but spend at least ten seconds appreciating yourself for doing these things right.
  2. Now make a list of the Top Ten Things Your Business Did Wrong. Be honest, but don't wallow. Did you spend too much time on Facebook? Did you focus too much time or energy on a business strategy that just isn't working out? Did you spend too much money on tools, memberships, or trainings that didn't enhance your business? Did you fail to hire a mentor coach, even though you knew you needed one? Did you let your self care slide? Did you network, but didn't follow up on leads? If you suspect something you did or did not do is costing your business, you're probably right, so write it down and then move on.
  3. Prioritize your lists by numbering them in the order of best things you did and worst. You've probably noticed a pattern or two by now. That's good; it'll help you with your next list.
  4. Now write a top ten list on what you'll do this year for more success. With your last two numbered lists, this'll be pretty easy. And this is the list that'll help you succeed this year.
  5. Of course, lists like this one are useless unless you find a way to remind yourself to follow through on them. In this case, you need to follow through for 12 full months. You could post your Top Ten Things to Do This Year list on your wall or make it into a screen saver, but over time, it'll become invisible to your eyes. So here's what I do: I schedule it to be emailed to me once per month. I use a free service called, Yesware, to send this list in a reminder every 30 days, so I can check to see if I'm following through. It's already helping me prioritize what gets done.
There you have it: 15 minutes spent to create 365 days of coaching success.

 

Want more coaching clients in 2014? Try Coach 100 Business Success:

 

Get Paid to Coach. Join Coach 100.

Topics: coaching business, mentor coach, Coach 100, coaching clients, coaching success

Coaching the Curse of the High Achiever

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching for high achievers

Written by Julia Stewart

Have you ever wondered why someone as smart and talented as you hasn't already achieved everything you want?

You're not alone.

Let's face it, you could be twice as smart as Gromit, but still be playing the part of the dog, instead of the master. 

Even if you're a natural-born high achiever, your life may not look it, even though it 'should'.

I coach high achievers, so I'll share some clues about this counter-intuitive curse with some help from the Harvard Business Review.

Harvard knows a thing or two about high achievers.

In The Curse of Being a High Achiever, Harvard Business Review shares common characteristics: 

  • Highly motivated 
  • A doer
  • Driven to get results
  • Competitive
  • Craving positive feedback
  • A safe risk taker
  • Passionate about work
  • Guilt ridden

Mostly great stuff, so what makes high achievers so cursed?

HBR says High Achievers get so used to success that they stop taking risks and then their careers plateau. I'd agree that fear of making mistakes is a chief reason for low achievement, but there are a number of more subtle reasons that high achievers don't succeed.

  • You may be surrounded by people (possibly since birth) who are so self-absorbed that they never acknowledge you. When you don't feel seen and validated, you naturally accomplish less.
  • You may get acknowledged only when you do things that help others achieve their dreams.
  • Others may become so dependent upon you that you expend considerable energy just keeping them afloat, let alone achieving. This is somewhat similar to Gromit's problem. Wallace gets into hot water with his Walter Mitty inventions and Gromit saves the day.
I call these relationship habitats. Once I had a very smart coaching client who never reached her dream of becoming a physician, because no one else believed in her or her dream. I had another client who became a physician only because his parents wanted it. Which leads to another big reason you may not be reaching your goals.

 

  • You don't know what you really want, so you end up achieving something else.

What's the secret to overcoming the curse of the high achiever? If high achieving is holding you back, HBR says, "Then you must adopt counterintuitive practices that give you the courage to step out of your comfort zone." 

In The Curse of the Were Rabbit, Gromit saves they day by looking well past the obvious to see that (spoiler alert) Wallace is the actual Were Rabbit. Gromit then takes steps to change Wallace back into himself and thus salvages both Wallace and the town's vegetable patches.

But Wallace and Gromit still maintain their same relationship, with Wallace the master and Gromit the dog. We, the audience, know better and that's what makes the film amusing.

It's possible (quite likely, actually) that Gromit loves Wallace so much he wouldn't have it any other way, but it's equally likely that he isn't really aware of what he is doing.

We never know whether people will support us in our dreams until we make a stand. Only then will we know which matters most to us. And before we can do that, we need to know what our true dreams are and, most likely, we need someone who genuinely believes in us and acknowledges us and our dreams.

It's a 'catch 22'. We can't find out who will believe in us until we make a stand, and we can't make a stand unless someone believes in us.

This is why people hire coaches.

Never underestimate the power of your relationship habitat, because it will make or break you.

If you want to make major upgrades to your life, career, or business, hire a coach who honestly believes in you. It's not magic, but it'll feel like magic to you.

 

Learn About Elite Coaching for High Achievers

 

Image: Theatrical Release Poster from Wikipedia

Topics: Coaching, mentor coach, coaching clients, coach, Mentor Coaching

3 Major Upgrades You Must Make to Become a Group Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

Group CoachingIf you want to become a group coach and enjoy smooth sailing, you need to make three major upgrades, first. Make these three important upgrades and you and your clients will experience the power of groups and coaching success - and you'll be a happy coach.

Why would you want to become a group coach, anyway? Most coaches offer a variety of services within their businesses and group coaching is often the first additional service, beyond one-to-one coaching, that they add, because it allows them to leverage their time, offer a lower-priced option, while making more money. And clients may get even more value from a coaching group, than from personal coaching, so it's a win-win all around.

Here are the 3 Major Upgrades You Need to Make to Become a Successful Group Coach:

Upgrade #1: Your coaching skills. Ten years ago, when I first became a group coach, I thought group coaching would be easy for me to add to my business, because I had been facilitating groups for decades as a college professor. And although my first foray into group coaching was so successful that I had to immediately add a second group to make room for all my clients, I found that coaching a group is much more challenging than I had expected.

Many group coaches make the mistake of leading a workshop or teleclass, instead of coaching a group and they miss the opportunity to customize the experience for each group member. I knew the distinction, but had to learn the hard way how to run a genuine coaching group. It's not as easy as it looks.

Let's face it, most workshops and teleclasses sell for far less money than group coaching; some are even free. If you're going to charge the average group coaching fee of $200 per month, per person, for 4-8 people to coach with you 3-4 hours per month, you need to provide far more value and personalization for each member than you would in a workshop or teleclass. Learn these advanced skills and hit the ground running with your very first group.

Upgrade #2: Your marketing. Lead great coaching groups and you'll have 4-8 times as many happy clients raving about you and your coaching. That's the good news. Filling groups has its own set of challenges. You'll need to reach more people who want to work with you in a group and they need to be able to meet at the same time each week. One common frustration to filling coaching groups is that you'll sometimes attract people who really want to join your group, but can't meet at the same time. This means you need to get really smart about attracting the right people, so you always have a group of eager potential clients with whom to fill your coaching groups - and you need to get smart about scheduling them.

Will you attract group coaching clients with an amazing blog that's optimized for search engines? Or maybe you should attract them by becoming a networking whiz. Or maybe your speaking skills will attract coaching groups to you. Be extra smart: develop multiple ways for clients to find you.

Upgrade #3: Business Administration. Once you start coaching groups, you need to expand your administrative tools and practices. Even getting paid gets dizzyingly complicated if you don't have a great system in place. Get an online payment gateway to manage your clients' payments. Get an email system to keep them up-to-date (and also use it for marketing). Get a virtual assistant if you're not tech savvy (or don't want to be). You'll also need an upgraded approach to scheduling. It's much harder to get 8 people together at the same time than just two.

If you'd like to learn more about coaching groups, sign up for the upcoming Q&A: How to Coach Groups class coming up in two weeks. If you're really serious, take our Group Coaching Mastery course or join the Become a Certified Group Coach program. (Your 'How to Coach Groups' fee can be applied to the course and program if you decide to join them later.)

Register for How to Coach Groups

Topics: group coaching, mentor coach, becoming a certified coach, How to Become a Certified Coach, How to, teleclass

Life Coach Salary Rate: the Free Guide to How Much Coaches Make

Posted by Julia Stewart

Life Coach Salary Free eBookHave you ever wondered about life coach salary rates or how much money executive or business coaches make? Or are you setting up a coaching business and wonder how to set your own coaching fees? Or are you wondering if you should become a coach? If you said YES to any of these then you need to read the new information-packed FREE eBook: Life Coach Salary.

We took several of our most popular coaching blog posts and added the 'How to Set Your Coaching Fees' worksheet, previously only available to SCM students. Then we combined them into an information-rich free ebook. It's a quick read that will help you understand how much professional coaches make, how coaches set up their businesses for profitability and how to set your coaching fees with confidence.

Let's face it, confusion is the enemy of success. This free eBook can wipe out your confusion about coaching costs and help you take the next step toward becoming a successful life, business or executive coach.

You'll learn:

  • Worldwide trends in executive, business and life coaching
  • How much do executive, business and life coaches make?
  • How many clients does the average business, executive or life coach have?
  • Why every coach needs a steady paycheck
  • Why coaching costs so much
  • Why setting your fees too low can backfire for you and your clients
  • How to set your coaching fees so your clients get what they want and your coaching business is successful
I reference large-scale coaching surveys from the ICF and Sherpa Coaching, plus information on setting fees from three top mentor coaches, Donna Steinhorn, Barbra Sundquist and Mattison Grey.

If you want a full coaching practice, you can't afford not to read the FREE Life Coach Salary eBook:

Get the FREE Life Coach Salary eBook

 

Topics: business coach, coaching business, executive coach, coaching blog, mentor coach, become a coach, Free, ICF, Life Coaches, life coach salary, Mattison Grey, How to, Donna Steinhorn, Barbra Sundquist

Life Coach Salary: 15 Reasons Your Coaching Fees Are Too Low

Posted by Julia Stewart

 

Life Coach Salaryby Julia Stewart, MCC

Last night, I taught a Q&A tele-webinar on How To Set Your Coaching Fees for my clients, students and guests. They asked great questions and I know the class was a real eye-opener for them.

The class was inspired by questions from one of my Elite Mentor Coaching for High Achievers clients and is also included for members of the new Just In Time Coach Training and other School of Coaching Mastery Programs.

Bottom line? Life coaching is an expensive, highly personalized,  high-end service. Attempts to make coaching more affordable and hopefully, easier to sell, tend to fail. Compass Coaching is an example. All logic to the contrary, sometimes a service sells more easily when it's expensive. (Just ask a behavioral economist how logical people are about spending money!) And of course, all of this applies to business coaching and executive coaching, as well.

Long story short: if you missed the tele-webinar, or even if you were there, here's a list of 15 reasons your coaching fees are probably too low. I've divided the list between A. Your probable reasons for undercharging, B. Why that doesn't work for your clients, and C. The reality check. I hope it's helpful!

A. Why You Charge Too Little For Your Coaching:

  1. You don't see the value in coaching. This is way more common than you might think. In fact I didn't see it until I'd been coaching a while. What changed? I worked with incredible mentor coaches who helped transform my life. Then I watched myself transform my clients' lives. Then my clients started saying things like, 'If I weren't paying you $350, I'd find a way to pay you $10,000!'
  2. You have a disempowering story about why people won't pay you more. Yes, a lot of people have been out of work for a long time. But 90% are still working and many of those are making more money than ever. And coaching continues to be the 2nd fastest growing profession in the world. But those are generalizations. The truth is, people who see for themselves the value in coaching will find the money to pay for it. For example, if you're a career coach who has a great track record helping people get hired, an unemployed person will pull together the money to hire you.
  3. You're trying to sell coaching to people who don't value it. For one person, $25 per month will be too much to pay for coaching. But for someone else, anything less than $500 may be too little, because they want the best coach they can afford. Like it or not, people frequently measure how valuable something is by how much it costs. And in the case of coaching, clients actually put more effort into their own results when they pay more, because they want their money's worth. So don't waste time on the 'client' who's interested in coaching with you, but not interested in paying, unless you sense they are that rare person who will knock themselves out even if you coach them for free - and you really want to coach them.
  4. You don't think you're worth it. Okay, let's say you're a new coach and you've seen the credentials and track records of your competition. Pretty intimidating? It may be tempting to compete on price, but will that really satisfy you? A better strategy is to do everything in your power to get results and credentials as quickly as you can, so you can compete, period. Coach a lot of people for free for a set period of time, but be sure each client knows you want a testimonial from them in exchange. Become a certified coach quickly. Join the IAC and ICF.
  5. You're trying to coach too many people. When I first became a life coach, I thought 30-40 clients was a full coaching practice. And to make a good living, I really did need a lot of clients, because I was only charging $100-200 per month for each. That left me in a chronic state of always needing more clients. I wish someone had told me that most successful coaches have less than ten clients
  6. You don't know how much money you need to make. As I showed my class last night, your coaching fees aren't your life coaching salary. When you subtract the money it takes to make money, including your business expenses, taxes, and benefits you'd normally get from a salaried position, it takes a lot more money than you might think, especially if you only have 6 clients. Be sure you do the math.
  7. You want to coach low-income people who could benefit from coaching. Nothing wrong with that, unless you put yourself out of business. Better to charge a fee to most of your clients that's high enough to allow you to offer some scholarships. You can also volunteer your coaching services to an organization that provides coaching to low-income people.

B. Why Charging Low Fees Doesn't Work For Your Coaching Clients:

  1. People perceive life and business coaching as a highly-personalized, high-end, expensive service. That's what they're looking for and it's usually what they want to buy. When you charge less, you look like a bargain-basement coach (who may deliver bargain-basement results). One-to-one coaching delivers dramatic results and if the price tag is inconsistent with that, you run the risk of confusing people (and confused people don't buy).
  2. When people buy a high-end service, they're saying to themselves, 'I'm worth it!' That feeling is what they want. And when someone decides it's time to get a life coach to help them upgrade their life, that feeling is a big part of their resolve. They may actually be disappointed if you don't charge enough to make a statement that from now on, things will be different for them.
  3. People want their money's worth, so the more they pay, the more value they'll get. Your high-paying clients will work harder and achieve more. And you'll be less likely to slack off, too. As one of my colleagues told me, every time she signs on a client with her new higher fee, she thinks, 'Holy crap! Now I have to deliver that much value!' and that's a good thing.
  4. Your clients deserve better service from you. I tell my clients that it's my goal to give them exactly what they need. They're all high-achievers, so I'm confident they won't become needy just because I'm extremely supportive. But a coach who's trying to make a living with 30 low-paying clients is spread too thin between serving clients and constantly needing to market and sell in order to keep the numbers up. That means less attention for each client. And it may mean that you're needy, because you always need more clients. A needy coach is never at her best.

C. The Reality Check:

  1. Coaches worldwide average around $200 per coaching hour. Even if you choose to discount your fee, you don't need to charge a lot less than that.
  2. According to Sherpa Coaching, most professional coaches average just six clients per week. That means each client needs to pay a hefty fee in order for the coach to earn a substantial salary.
  3. Even if you have only 5-10 coaching clients, you will need to spend some time and expense on marketing and sales and you need to be paid for your entire week, not just the time you spend coaching.
  4. When you add up what it costs to be in business, including business expenses, income tax, retirement investments and, if you live in the US, health insurance premiums and 100% of you Social Security and Medicare payments, you may find that earning a $100,000 take-home salary from coaching may easily require $150,000 in annual income.

Well there you have 15 reasons why your life coaching fees are probably too low. What are you going to do about it?

Set your coaching fees with confidence. Get the new FREE eBook:

Get the FREE Life Coach Salary eBook

 

Image by richiemontalbo

 

Topics: professional coach, coaching business, life coach, executive coaching, money, mentor coach, coaching clients, ICF, Business Coaches, life coach salary, Life Coaching, IAC, Coaching Compass

Coach Training: How to Maximize Your Time and Money

Posted by Julia Stewart

 

Coach Training

 

 

Blog post by Coach Julia Stewart, MCC

There are two groups of coaches that School of Coaching Mastery hasn't focused on enough.

 

1. The first group includes:

  • Coaches for whom our class schedules just don't work (Often they're located in Asia or the Pacific Rim)
  • Coaches who learn best by reading and listening to audio recordings
  • Coaches who want great coach training for less money
These coaches can benefit from the 24/7 availability of pre-recorded MP3 coach training audios and downloadable written coaching guides. SCM has all that for our coach training students, but we're about to make it available in a new program called Just In Time Coach Training.

2. The second group includes what I call, 'High Achievers who want meaningful success'.They are my ideal coaching clients:
  • Coaches who are already succeeding at something and don't have time for endless hours of training
  • Coaches who want to succeed at coaching quickly and need a personalized program to do so
  • Coaches who want personal mentor coaching and personalized coach training to maximize their time, effort and money

I've been coaching clients like these on the side for years, but just made it formally available in a program called Elite Mentor Coaching for High Achievers (EMCHA). And it's going so well that I'm opening it up to three more coaches. EMCHA includes everything that I think you need to succeed, no more no less. Of course, you add your brilliance and you're the one taking action.

I started School of Coaching Mastery in part because many of my mentees really needed more training. But then some of my coach training students have struggled because they didn't have mentor coaches. With EMCHA, you have it all.

What do these two really different coach training programs have in common?

  • They both include Just In Time (JIT) Coach Training
  • They both include optional live training:
    • EMCHA members get free SCM Curriculum coach training personally curated by me for them
    • JIT members can join any SCM Curriculum coach training module at $40% off
  • They both have special introductory pricing right now
  • The special prices are available to a limited number of coaches between now and October 31st

Go here to learn more about Just In Time Coach Training and register:

 

 LEARN ABOUT JUST IN TIME COACH TRAINING

 

Go here to learn about the special offer for the next three members of Elite Mentor Coaching for High Achievers.

Go here for more about Elite Mentor Coaching for High Achievers:

ELITE MENTOR COACHING FOR HIGH ACHIEVERS

Image By Tony Crider

Topics: mentor coach, coach training, Coach Training Programs, Mentor Coaching, coach training schools, coach training program, life coach training, coach training school, mentoring

The Truth About Coach Training

Posted by Donna Steinhorn

Coach TrainingIn 2008 Donna Steinhorn and Julia Stewart led a teleclass series on The Big Fat Lies That Coaches Cling To. The following article, written by Donna, is an adaptation from one of those teleclasses...

When Julia and I started out coaching, it was pretty easy to decide about coaching schools since there were only a few to choose from.  And for the most part, the handful of coach training schools were all ICF accredited and the only certification in town was the ICFs.  So basically the decision came down to live training or teleclass training. 
 
But times have changed.  Today there are over 100 coaching programs.  6 month programs and two year programs.  Accredited programs and programs without accreditation.  Certification programs through universities.  Live training, Teleclass training, hybrid versions, CD versions.  There are programs specifically for therapists transitioning to coaching, Christian Coaches.  Peer coaches.  Corporate coaching training, business coach training, life coaching training….and the list goes on.  The same is true for certifications.  There are the “independent” credentialing bodies of the IAC and the ICF.  The schools who credential their coaches…the certification courses.  
 
Lie: I need to have a coaching certification….Having letters of certification after my name assures potential clients of my expertise.


Truth: Clients have no idea what any of the letters after coaches' names are.  Unlike JD or MD, or PhD, there are hundreds of different designations and other than coaches, not many clients know what an ACC, PCC, MCC or IAC-CC are.  Nor for the most part do they care.  Now that is beginning to change as our profession matures, and a few universities have begun to create degreed curriculum in coaching.  But for now, most of the university programs are certificate programs, and even the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at Penn State is not actually a university accredited program.
 
On the other hand, there are increasingly more corporations and companies that are looking for credentialed coaches.  Some don’t really care what kind of certification that is, while others do actually seek an ICF credentialed coach, so if you are a corporate coach, you will want a credential.  

And the truth is, as the coaching profession continues to mature, I believe credentials will become increasingly more important.  The question remains, which credential will that be?  Right now, the ICF has been around longer, but there are some who point to the fact that in order to become an ICF credentialed coach, you have to attend an ICF accredited school, and be mentored by an ICF credentialed coach.  They question how truly independent that makes the ICF.
 
The IAC is still in it’s infancy, but since they do not accredit schools, they have a greater degree of independence when it comes to their credentialing process.  And of course, as the universities build out their coaching curriculum, there is always the possibility that a uniform credential will come out of that, but only time will tell.
 
Next, let’s address a very popular lie... 

Lie: You need to finish your coach training and be certified before you can coach

Truth:  Not only do you not have to be certified before you begin coaching, but in the case of the ICF, you must verify hours coaching in order to achieve any of the certifications, and in the case of the IAC, you're more likely to pass if you have had a good deal of coaching experience.
 
Now I’m not saying that with no coach training you should hang out your shingle as a coach.  It’s best to have some core training under your belt, to have experienced coaching yourself with a qualified coach --not a buddy coach --(I’m always astonished at people who want to be coaches but don’t see the value of coaching for themselves??) and to have had some practicum experience, coaching and being coached while be observed by a credible mentor coach.
 
By way of illustration, I’ve taught and mentored hundreds of coaches, and talked with hundreds more.  I’ve conducted practicums, certified coaches, and listened to hundreds or hours of coaches coaching.  And I have to tell you, there’s good coaching, great coaching, and quite a bit of bad coaching out there.  And more often than not the bad coaching came from folks who have not taken any coach training nor experienced coaching themselves.
 
Lie: I don't need coach training to pass IAC certification.   

Truth: Although it's true that a tiny percentage of applicants have passed one or both steps for IAC certification with little or no training, the vast majority of IAC certified coaches have had extensive training or mentoring that enabled them to get certification.
 
The question of whether or not you need coach training also comes up in another way…

Lie: If I have an allied degree, in counseling or social work, or organization development, I don't need coach training.   

Truth: You may or you may not.  Coaching, while using some of the skills you may already have, is a different skill set, and taking specific coach training is the best way to ensure that you are providing coaching and not something else.  I have had several clients who were helping professionals who were transitioning into coaching. They could tell you that there was a definite distinction between coaching and therapy or counseling, and until they took coach training, they often strayed between the two.
 
Lie: All coach training is created equal.  

Truth: Of course, that's not the case.  It's important to check the reputation of the program you want to attend. To know what the curriculum will cover; who will be doing the teaching; whether the school focuses on skills, marketing, spirituality, business or more; how the coursework is delivered, and what is expected of you? Whether the school philosophy is aligned with your own.   

And while we are talking about schools, let’s address a lie that I’m often asked when people are looking at coach training, and particularly looking to find a cheaper alternative to a coaching school….

Lie: You can learn everything you need from recorded or written coach training materials.


Truth:  You can learn a great deal from recordings and written materials, but ultimately it's live coaching skills practice and classes where you interact with the teachers and students who can ask the questions you didn't know to ask, that will benefit you the most.

Coaching is a profession. The definition of a profession is:  "A paid occupation, esp. one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification."  If we are to continue to grow and become part of the mainstream of helping professionals, we must align ourselves with that definition.
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Topics: business coach, mentor coach, ICF, Coach Certification, IAC Certified Coach, IAC Certification, certified coaches, coaching schools, coaching skills, teleclass, Life Coaching, IAC

8 Reasons Some Coaches Don't Have Enough Coaching Clients

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coach chasing client

Is It Really So Hard to Get Coaching Clients?

A few weeks ago, a colleague said something to me about 'coaches who can't get clients' and a nerve broke for me. I'm fed up with the image of the coach who's always chasing clients, but never catches them. Chasing doesn't work. But getting clients is simple.

I've heard this whine for years. And it usually comes from people who, themselves, are having a tough time of it. And often they are hanging out with people who are also struggling. Therefore, they reason, it must be hard for everyone.

 Well I'm here to debunk this myth: Coaches DO get clients. Plenty of them.

How do I know that coaches get plenty of clients? Because I mentor them and teach them. It's just as common to for me to hear from coaches who have too many clients and want to redesign their businesses as it is to hear from coaches who don't have enough clients.

Even in 2009, the worst year for the economy that most of us have ever seen, my students were building their businesses with new paying clients. Some of them were supporting their entire families with their new coaching businesses and commanding fees that impressed even me. And veteran coaches reported that they were doing fine. Some were doing better then ever.

Does that mean that coaches didn't notice the recession? Sure we did, but less than you'd think. I noticed a decline in the number of new coaching students, for instance, but the number of coaching clients that I have has stayed steady. 

In every business, some people don't succeed. But if it's a growing business like coaching, you can bet more people are succeeding than failing.

There are 8 reasons why some coaches don't have enough coaching clients:

  1. They're new and they haven't given it enough time, yet.
  2. They still need training.
  3. They haven't defined what 'enough' is.
  4. Their environment isn't supporting them.
  5. They aren't doing enough to succeed.
  6. They're doing the wrong stuff.
  7. They've got shadow issues holding them back.
  8. They're in the wrong business.
All of these eight 'problems' are simple to solve: Get more experience. Get the training you need. Set realistic goals on how many clients (and how much money) you want. Redesign your environment so it supports your business. Work harder and more consistently. Get a better strategy. Work with a coach to get over your garbage. Face the music, if necessary, and change careers.
 
Getting enough coaching clients is simple, but not always easy. But if you really love your work, you'll overcome every challenge, because it's so darn fun.
 
Several years ago, I hit a dry spell in my own coaching business. I had changed my business model and clients weren't coming to me as easily as they had previously. To make matters worse, I was shopping for a home, so it was no time for a reduction in income! Then I remembered my own business-building program, Coach 100, and I decided to take my own medicine.
 
Did I get plenty of clients? Yes. Was it a lot of work? Yes. Was it worth it? Well I love to coach, so yes absolutely! I bought that home, too. And this was before I started the school, so my only income was from my coaching clients.
 
This year, I've had it (Had it!!) with the old lament that coaches have trouble getting clients. That's garbage! So I've launched a new Coach 100 Mentor Program to prove it. It's for coaches who are ready (Really Ready) to get out of the garbage that's been holding them back and step into their true Greatness, thriving business and all.

Don't join us unless you're willing to abandon ALL your old excuses and are willing to do what works in your own unique way and fill your coaching practice once and for all.

There are some sweet deals for the coaches who join the Coach 100 Mentor Group early. If you're tired of making excuses, check it out.

Do you agree or disagree that getting coaching clients is simple? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, below.

Join here.

 

 Check out the Coach 100 Mentor Group here.

 

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, Career, group coaching, money, mentor coach, Coach 100, coaching clients, coach, economy

Coaches: Work for Us

Posted by Julia Stewart

Construction workerWe're looking forward into the next year or two and foresee a number of positions we'll need to fill. And where possible, we'd like to fill them with coaches.

 Possible openings run the gamut from Instructors and mentor coaches, to 'Online Social Butterflies'. They include both paid and volunteers positions. Not all positions are open, yet. We want to make sure we build a great pool of applicants, so we can move fast, as opportunities develop.

If you're interested or even just curious, visit our Business and Life Coaching Jobs page. The link to fill out our preliminary application is at the bottom of that page.

Let's do great work together!

Topics: business coach, mentor coach, Coaches, Life Coaching, coach training instructors

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