A good life coach can be everybody else's best friend and their own worst enemy if they don't know how to say NO at the right times. Why? Because people will naturally want your help and will eventually, accidentally even, suck you dry. (Imagine what would happen to Sookie Stackhouse if she didn't take a "Back off!" attitude towards most vampires.)
A dried-up grape = a raisin. A dried-up coach = useless.
But saying NO requires discipline, because it feels good to help. And it feels really good to help for free. And it's real easy to get clients when you're doing a great job of helping everybody for free. But it's unprofessional.
Charity is a beautiful thing under the right circumstances. Coaching isn't one of them.
Charitable coaching is unprofessional, because when you coach clients for free, or for too little, it undermines their potential. People play small when they don't have enough skin in the game. That's just how we're wired.
It feels challenging - scary even - to ask people to pay for coaching. But get paid you must, unless you're independently wealthy. So that's another reason why coaching for free is unprofessional.
Here's a third reason why coaching for free is unprofessional. It allows YOU to play small, because coaching for free lets you off the hook when it comes to delivering great value.
I'm not saying that coaches should never coach for free of low fee. It's okay to do that at first (I even recomemmend it), or later if you're changing your business, but be sure you know what you're getting in return, such as experience, learning, referrals, or something else that will pay off in the long run.
Bottom Line: People reach their Greatness when they are givers, but you can receive even while you're giving. And if you don't receive for your coaching, the other people (a.k.a. your clients) won't reach their Greatness.
And isn't Greatness what coaching's all about?
Image by Bradleygee