Top Ten Worst Reasons to Become a Coach

People ask me every week to help them become coaches. I always want to know their real reasons for joining this fantastic profession, because over the years, I’ve seen a lot of coaches who had a miserable time building their businesses. Very often those coaches had fallen prey to one of the following misconceptions about coaching (which are frequently perpetrated by coaching schools – even the ones that are accredited.) 

Top Ten Worst Reasons to Become a Coach:

1. You’ve been coaching all your life and now you want to get paid for it.
2. You want to make lots of money.
3. You lost money on your last business and you think you won’t have to invest much money to set up a coaching business.
4. Coaching sounds easy.
5. You’ve heard that coaching is one of the fastest growing businesses in the 21st Century and you want to get in on it.
6. You’ve been in an accident or have been diagnosed with a debilitating disease and you think coaching will be physically easier than anything else you could do.
7. You just lost your job and you need to make money fast
8. You’re an author, consultant or online marketer and you’ve heard coaching is the way to boost your profits.
9. You’re broke and you’ve heard you can charge hundreds of dollars per month per client for just talking on the phone.
10. You’re a ____________ (hairdresser, bartender, lawyer - fill in the blank with whatever you currently do), so coaching should come easy to you, because you talk to people all day, anyway.

You may have noticed a trend here: People who go into coaching because it sounds like easy money almost always get burned. Do it because you love it or do it because you’re called to it. Anything else is a lousy reason.

Here are the top ten clean* reasons I became a coach:

1. Coaching supports my spirituality
2. Coaching supports my love of people
3. I like doing what I’m good at

4. Coaching supports my personal evolution 
5. Coaching supports my love of learning
6. I get to work with cool people
7. I get to be creative everyday
8. Coaching supports my personal development
9. I love Thomas Leonard’s work
10. Zero commute (Okay, this last one is just a side benefit!)

*The term, "clean" is taken from the environmentalists. Clean energy is fuel that does little or no damage to the environment. Think: wind power vs. fossil fuel. Less damage makes it less costly. A clean reason is one that eats up less of your personal energy ~ or even gives you energy. A great example is my #1 clean reason, above. If you pursue a career you hate, because you think it will make you a lot of money, that's a pretty costly reason.

I’m a happy successful coach, not because my work is easy or because I make miraculous amounts of money, but because I love what I do so much that it has become my play. 

Make a list of your own reasons for becoming a coach. If they sound anything like the ten worst reasons, either find cleaner reasons that genuinely inspire you, or find a profession that you really love.

As your father always said, “Someday you’ll thank me!”

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2007

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