School of Coaching Mastery

Coaching Blog

Why I Love Mentor Coaching My Coaching Students

Posted by Julia Stewart

Tailored coach training

Written by Julia Stewart

If you're a high achiever, then one of your main stumbling blocks to becoming a coach is taking the time you need to master your new profession. Your time is precious, because you're already successful at something else.

Degree programs and coach training schools really won't really work for you, because they're:

1. Time consuming.
2. One-size-fits-all.
3. Don't cover exactly what you need, when you need it.

 

What you want is learning that is tailored to what you need, when you need it, no more, no less. Someone who could curate the thousands of learning tools out there, so you don't waste time on the superfluous, would be awesome. There are plenty of mentor coaches who claim they can give that to you, but coaching and training are two different professions and coaching is a lot pricier. So what do you do?

 

What you probably need, but may not realize it, is someone who can get you unstuck when your fears, insecurities and the 'voice of reason', that vampire that stalks every entrepreneur who dares to chase a dream, start harrassing you, because they will.

 

You need two things:

 

  1. A systematic method for closing your knowledge gaps and getting the experience you need. That's what training is.
  2. A process for becoming who you need to be, day by day, despite your fears. That's what coaching does.
I started School of Coaching Mastery in 2007, because as a certified mentor coach, I was tired of working with people who wanted to become coaches, but had little or no training. They simply didn't know what they needed to know. But I also get frustrated by students who get training, but no coaching, because they're starting their businesses with an unnecessary handicap.

 

What I really love is mentoring my coaching students. They get exactly what they need and I enjoy hearing how much stinking fun they're having with their new coaching businesses. I've been mentoring coaches for over a decade, but I made it official when I launched Elite Mentor Coaching for High Achievers last year. It includes private mentor coaching and access to the SCM modules and programs you want, like Coaching Groundwork Advanced, Master Coach Training, Positive Psychology, Group Coaching, and more, when you want them, no more, no less. Maybe I should call it, Stewart's Tailored Coach Training!

 

Here are a couple of testimonials from recent clients:

"Results are what you’ll see what you take full advantage of the Elite Mentoring Program for High Achievers. Working with Master Coach Julia Stewart, I found the clarity I needed and the insights that inspired me to take action and keep working. Within weeks, I doubled the number of coaching clients I work with, expanded my professional speaking business by adding three new clients and launched my website. Within months, I designed and delivered a nationwide professional development program for a new client and launched a popular group coaching program. Trust Julia with your highest aspirations. Stay open to new possibilities. Do the work and you will create what you really want, and more." - Nancy McCabe, Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Founder of Results Business Coaching


"When I hired Julia as my mentor coach, I wasn't entirely sure I needed it. I had quite a bit of education and experience already and the industry does not require certified coaching credentials to be recognized as a coach. I wasn't sure it would be a good investment for the money. After coaching for 3 months with Julia and taking several classes at SCM, I can say that not only was this a great investment but possibly the best investment I have made in my career. I would recommend this to experienced coaches as well as inexperienced coaches. The value of the service far exceeds the cost, which makes this a savvy investment in YOU!" - Patrice Swenson, CCC, Life and Business Coach and Founder of Rainbow in the Puddle

 

I have an opening for one new client, right now. I may have one or two openings in early January. If you're ready to succeed at becoming a coach, or want to be added to my mailing list, click below to find out more and fill out the form, while you're there:

 

ELITE MENTOR COACHING FOR HIGH ACHIEVERS

Topics: group coaching, become a coach, Coaching Groundwork, coaching success, Become a Masterful Coach, Mentor Coaching, coach training schools, Master Coach Training, Positive Psychology

Should Life, Business, or Executive Coaching Be Government Regulated?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Is coaching regulated?
Written by Julia Stewart

 

People often wonder if the coaching profession is regulated. And professional life, business, and executive coaches often wonder, with trepidation, if coaching should be regulated. This article will help answer those questions, but the conversation about coaching regulation will likely go on for years.

 

To be clear, these questions have different meanings depending on whether you're thinking of hiring a coach, or you're thinking of becoming a coach, or you're already a professional coach:

 

  • If you're thinking about hiring a coach, then you want to know who will be the best coach for you, whether they should be licensed or certified, and whether there are training requirements for professional coaches. If you've been given a great recommendation for a coach from a trusted friend, these issues may matter less to you, but they still matter.
  • If you're thinking about becoming a coach, then you want to know what requirements you have to meet before you can accept paying clients and whether jumping through those hoops will be worth it for you.
  • However, if you're already making a living as a coach, you may regard these questions as threatening, because any changes in regulations or requirements where you live could impact your ability to keep making a living doing what you love. That's frightening. And if you're in the US (or anywhere else), witnessing the current Federal government shutdown, then the idea of getting government involved in your livelihood probably makes you apoplectic!

 

To professional coaches: relax. Your government isn't coming for you.To my knowledge, and I keep my ear to the ground on this, no government is currently regulating professional life, business or executive coaches (If you have knowledge to the contrary, please share it in the comments section, below). There have been attempts to regulate coaching in countries where it is widespread, but so far, coaching has established itself as a profession that doesn't target vulnerable populations, nor those who are in crisis, nor do coaches give advice on health, mental illness, or finance; three areas that usually require credentials. If you're a new coach, you can begin charging clients whenever you like. There are no legal hoops for you to clear.

 

To potential coaching clients: the onus is on you. Caveat emptor: let the buyer beware, is the rule of law that governs coaching. There's a huge variance in the effectiveness of professional coaches, so be sure you hire a good one.

 

By the way, some professional coaches are dead set against government regulation, while others are hoping for it. I put myself in the middle. Responsible coaches owe it to our clients to help them understand what to look for in a good coach. I think the ICF and IAC are in the best position to do this, but all of us need to pitch in, including coach training schools.

 

New professions can best prevent government interference by taking responsibility for their own standards. This Coaching Blog is widely read, so here are a few standards I believe you should look for when hiring a coach. Usually, the more of these you find in a coach, the better. 

 

1. Get recommendations from people you know well and trust. Did your best friend have a great experience with a coach? Then begin there. But ask your friend if the coach paid them for the referral. That's a common practice. A reputable coach will always tell you, up front, if they paid for your referral.

 

But what if you don't know anyone who has worked with a coach?

 

2. Look for coaches who are certified by the IAC or ICF. Yes, there are good coaches who aren't certified by these organizations, but increasingly, better coaches are getting these certifications, because they are a stamp of approval from a trusted source.

 

3. Look for coaches who have joined a professional organization, such as the IAC or ICF, that requires members to sign a code of ethics. Of course, unethical coaches can sign codes, but if the coach is upfront about the ethical code they are bound by, then you at least have something with which to measure their behavior. The good news is that these organizations have online coach directories of their members.

 

4. Only work with coaches who use written coaching agreements. Your agreement should give you an idea of what to expect and will likely reflect the code of ethics followed by that coach.

 

5. Work with coaches who have a substantial amount of coach-specific training. Most genuine coaches have had coach training, including the ones who've been practicing for decades. The ICF only allows coaches with at least 60 hours of coach-specific training to join their organization, so that's a good threshold to consider, but their entry-level certification requires 100 hours. If your coach is in training, but shy of that number of hours, most likely they will charge you less. Generally, you can expect to pay more to coaches who are trained, certified, and experienced.

 

6. Be especially careful of 'coaches' who offer get-rich-quick schemes. Most complaints about coaching involve non-coaches, who leverage the public's ignorance about coaching to sell snake-oil. They often focus on wealth, money, or that euphamism for money, abundance.

 

I'm sure some professional coaches will disagree with the above standards. You're welcome to your opinion, as I am to mine. Perhaps you'll help educate consumers by writing about it on your own blog.

 

Here are some places to find coaches:

 

Find a Coach Here

 

Photo by Mr Mo Fo

Topics: life coach, executive coaching, become a coach, ICF, Business Coaches, IAC Certification, coach training schools, Million Dollar Coach, FIND A COACH, coaching ethics

Your Million-Dollar Coach Has Been Recalled By the Manufacturer

Posted by Julia Stewart

Million Dollar Coach

Yesteryday, Coach Maryam Webster shared some 'million dollar coaching for conscious business owners' on Facebook. Of course, what she really did, was warn the innocent away from a predatory type of 'coaching'. Her message included:

''Before buying into any six figure type training, ask to see the teacher's financials...Then run. Far away from cookie cutter trainings and teachers like this...Forget the 6 and 7 figure coach, author & speaker trainings. Those who make money their central theme are playing on your basic survival fears..."

Be sure to read the entire conversation on Maryam's Page (you may need to log in to Facebook, first) before you spend a dime on programs like these, because they are almost always scams...

As I said in my reply to Maryam, I've written on this topic a number of times. I shared several horror stories here. I wrote more recently on the meaninglessness of titles such as 'life coach', here. Do read these posts before working with a 'wealth coach', 'million-dollar coach', 'six-figure coach', 'seven-figure coach', or anybody who calls him/herself a 'coach'. You could save yourself thousands of dollars and years of heartache.

Some of these so-called 'coaches', gurus and teachers have been sued by the likes of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Others have gone to prison. Their victims have been emotionally devastated, bankrupt, lost their homes, or even lost their lives.

It's a serious problem, but not an easy one to fix. Coaching has a reputation for being high-paid, but to my knowledge, it's still not regulated by any government in the world. Plus most people don't know what it is, except that it involves people talking to each other. That makes it the perfect get-rich-quick scheme for any sociopath who can talk. There are an awful lot of them out there.

Genuine coaches provide valuable services and are nearly always certified by reputable coaching schools and professional associations. They have testimonials from real people you can talk to. Their clients rave about them and you can find them online and research their reputations. Coaches who are certified by the ICF or IAC are usually a good bet. And I stand behind the coaches who are certified by School of Coaching Mastery.

So why's there a kitten in the picture, above? He's Josey, an abandoned formerly feral baby cat we found half-starved, terrified and awfully lonely. He was desperate enough to let some gigantic strange creatures take him in and feed him and now he's a delightful member of the household. Josey was lucky. Imagine what could have happened to him if a sociopath found him, instead of a family of animal lovers.

When you have a dream of building a 'conscious business', or of answering your calling, or even of becoming wealthy by sharing your brilliance with those who want or need it, you're as vulnerable, and often, as innocent as a kitten. You probably need help from someone who can help facilitate your dream, such as a good coach, but you and your dream can be destroyed by a greedy sociopath. Be careful who you share your dreams with!

Today, Gina Spadafori shared on Facebook that P&G has voluntarily recalled the type of kitten food I feed to Josey. It may be contaminated with salmonella. He was lucky again, because his chow was made in a different batch.

It got me thinking how great it would be if we could recall toxic 'coaches'. It would save a lot of innocent people from being preyed upon. And it would definitely improve the reputation of the coaching profession.

But fake coaches manufacture themselves. They remind me of Sturgeon's Law: 90% of anything is crap. That doesn't mean the top 10% isn't fantastic. In my opinion, million-dollar coaches occupy the bottom 10% of the crap pile.

There is no way to wipe them all out, but you can protect yourself. Stay out of free, or suspiciously low-fee, seminars and webinars. They are designed to get you to spend irrationally. Don't be swayed by money-back guarantees. They usually mean nothing.

Instead, work with certified coaches and get recommendations.

Maryam asked me online what we should do about this problem. I'd like to see a coordinated marketing campaign by coaches, coach-training schools and professional coaching associations that warns the public about unscrupulous coaching practices and how to hire a good coach. I'm not the person to organize this. Do you know someone who is?

If you care about people in general and the coaching profession specifically, please share this blog post or voice your own opinions online. You could save someone from making a horrible mistake.

Find a Coach Here

Topics: life coach, ICF, Business Coaches, IAC Certified Coach, certified coaches, coach training schools, Million Dollar Coach, teleclass, six-figure coaches, six-figure coaching business

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

7 Concerns About the New Board Certified Coach (BCC) Credential

Posted by Julia Stewart

BCC - Board Certified CoachYesterday, I received a letter in the mail congratulating me on my new BCC (Board Certified Coach) credential from CCE (Center for Credentialing and Education).

 

It was nice to get, but no surprise.

CCE, a non-profit which has been certifying a variety of counselors for years, recently stepped into the realm of business, executive and life coach certification, with this very impressive-sounding new credential. But any executive, business or life coach who was previously certified by the ICF or IAC and who could demonstrate that they already have coach-specific training, got grandfathered into the BCC for $100. The only catch was that we had to take a norming exam to help CCE establish appropriate exam questions for future coaches who test for the BCC.

Even though I have reservations about the new BCC life coach certification, I decided to take the plunge and get it for the following reasons:

  • Life coach certifications from independant not-for-profit certifiers are generally the most respected in coaching, because with no regulation, coach training schools (at least the ones that are disreputable) sometimes have very low coach certification requirements (or no requirements other than a fee). 
  • I think competition between not-for-profit certifiers is good for coaches, their clients and the coaching industry, because it forces the certifiers to listen to us and upgrade their services in order to stay relevant. So a new not-for-profit coach certifier may be positive for the profession.
  • At this stage of the game, no single life coach certification organization is the recognized leader, worldwide. The ICF claims this distinction, but most coaches do not agree, especially in fast-growth markets, like Asia. So it may be a good idea to be certified by more than one not-for-profit life-coach certification organization.

That said, I have plenty of reservations about the new Board Certified Coach credential and don't plan to use 'BCC' after my name in most situations - at least not yet. Here's why:

  1. As one of my colleagues, who is certified by both the IAC and ICF, recently commented, a certification from an organization that mainly certifies counselors may further confuse the public about the difference between coaching, therapy and counseling. Appearances to the contrary, business and life coaching are completely different from either counseling or psychotherapy. Coaching is based on different paradigms and does not target clients who are mentally ill or in crisis. A decade or so ago, when I became a coach, the profession of coaching was under attack by psychology professionals, who claimed we were practicing therapy without a license. Then a landmark lawsuit in the state of Colorado established life coaching as a separate profession from psychotherapy.  Furthermore, the reason coaching is still not legally regulated anywhere is because coaches don't work with vulnerable populations. Since that landmark case, therapists and counselors have jumped on the coaching bandwagon in large numbers, because they aren't hamstrung by regulations, they've seen how effective coaching can be and because they can charge more for it. As another coaching colleague commented: The confusion between coaching and therapy isn't because coaches are practicing bad therapy; it's because too many therapists are practicing bad coaching. One of the reasons I decided to get the BCC anyway, is so I can watch from the inside how CCE's influence plays out and can speak up as needed. If CCE does its job well, it could actually cut down on the confusion and erroneous assumptions that counselors and therapists sometimes make when they hang out their Life Coach shingles.
  2. CCE bases the BCC credential solely on college degrees, coach-specific training and passage of a multiple-choice test. Reputable life coach certifications always require demonstration of coaching skills. Why? Because unlike virtually any other profession, including counseling and psychotherapy, efficacy in business and life coaching is not based on expert knowledge, but on the skill of assisting coaching clients to leverage their own knowledge, thoughts, actions, gifts, etc. In other words, coaching is a skill set, not a knowledge base. A degree has little or nothing to do with competency in coaching. Coach training is a very good thing, but doesn't automatically ensure a skilled coach.  And multiple-choice tests measure knowledge, not coaching skills. To get my stamp of approval, CCE needs to add an oral test to their certification requirements.
  3. CCE claims its multiple-choice test is the first scientifically-based measurement of coaching knowledge, but is it really? The 'science' is based on the answers to test questions that coaches who are certified by the 'less scientific' IAC and ICF gave on BCC norming tests. In other words, it's piggy-backing on knowledge collected by thousands of non-science-based coaches and calling that scientific. In any case, one of the reasons coaching has rocketed to the forefront of human development is because coaches have been free to mix findings from neuroscience and positive psychology with ancient wisdom traditions, plus their own insights and intuition, to create new approaches to human growth. Science is good, but results are what matter.
  4. CCE claims to be the first certifier of coaches that is itself 'accredited'. That's good, but it may not mean what you think. Usually, when we talk of accreditation in education, what we're referring to is the 'gold standard' in accreditation, which in the United States (which influences education around the world), means that your educational institution is accredited by a not-for-profit regional accrediting agency that is in turn, approved by the U.S. Department of Education. CCE is not accredited by such an agency. I tried to trace its accreditation back to the USDE, but only got as far back as an agency that accredits engineers (not exactly related to coaching). To my knowledge, no not-for-profit coach certifier, nor educator of coaches, possesses the gold standard in accreditation. That doesn't mean they aren't good, it just means they don't have the ultimate stamp of approval in education. (Beware though, of phony 'associations' that are invented by un-scrupulous 'coaching schools' or more-aptly, certification mills, just so they can claim to be 'accredited' by somebody.) CCE's accreditation doesn't make it a better source of life coach certification. In fact, they may not understand the profession of coaching as well as either the ICF or IAC.
  5. There has been some suggestion (unconfirmed) that the CCE may require its Board Certified Coaches to administer a psychological profile that measures the mental health of new coaching clients, in order to refer them out to psychotherapists. This would be no more appropriate than requiring Certified Financial Planners to test the mental health of their clients (after all, behavioral economics is the latest hot specialty for therapists), or requiring bartenders to test their customers for alcoholism (shouldn't some of those barflies be in rehab?). I know many psychologists believe 90 - 100% of all people are at least neurotic and could benefit from therapy, but coaches aren't in the mental health business, are untrained in the area of diagnosis and in many locations it would actually be illegal for an untrained professional to try to diagnose a mental illness. What coaches are responsible for is helping their clients reach the clients' desired results. If coaching isn't effective in reaching those results and the coach suspects psychotherapy could help, they can best serve their clients by sharing that observation and declining to waste the clients' money by continuing the coaching. But coaches testing for psychopathology? That won't serve coaching clients (but might serve counselors and therapists), because the real test of whether coaching will 'work' for a client is not the client's diagnosis, but whether or not the client is ready to take full responsibility for his/her own life. If it comes between keeping my BCC or succumbing to a requirement to administer  psychological tests, I may give up the credential and I'm sure I'm not alone. But I am so far taking a 'wait and see' attitude towards this.
  6. CCE's ethical standards for BCCs are more appropriate for counselors and therapists than for life coaches. That's not automatically bad, but suggests that CCE itself, is confused about the differences between counseling and coaching. For well-written and appropriate ethical standards for coaches, view the ICF's ethical standards.
  7. The BCC hasn't yet stood the test of time. Thus far, the Board Certified Coach credential is not widely recognized, nor is it the the gold standard in coaching. At this writing, Master Certified Coach credentials from the ICF and IAC share that distinction. For the time being, I would recommend the BCC only as a provisional certification, on the level of the ICF's ACC (Associate Credentialed Coach), that a new coach might want, while they work toward a more recognized coach certification.

What do you think? Share your comments and concerns about the new Board Certified Coach credential in the comments area below.

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Topics: Coaching, executive coaching, certification requirements, Coaches, coaching clients, ICF, coach, Become a Certified Coach, CCE, life coach certification, certified life coach, certified business coach, future of coaching, coach training schools, coaching vs. therapy, Master Certified Coach, BCC, IAC

10% of Coaching Schools Go Out of Business Every Year

Posted by Julia Stewart

coaching schoolsThe Sherpa Executive Coaching Summary, a large-scale annual survey on the state of executive, life and business coaching, was just released yesterday, with a startling statistic that 10% of all coaching schools worldwide go out of business every year - every year.

I've heard this statistic tossed about in reference to specific years, but now it's becoming an annual trend? This flies in the face of an old coaching myth, that the real money is in coach training, not coaching. That couldn't be further from the truth.

Why are coaching schools going out of business when the profession of coaching is still growing?

1. One theory is that there are too many coaching schools. As Donna Steinhorn mentioned in her recent The Truth About Coach Training post, 10-12 years ago, there were only a few coach training schools, but now there are well over 100 coaching schools, worldwide. Sherpa says there are actually over 300 coach training schools in the world. In fact, peer.ca, which tries to compile all the coach training schools worldwide, lists 508, as of today.

That means around 50 coaching schools will go out of business this year. Will one of them be yours?

2. Another theory is that many professional coaches, believing the myth that 'the real money is in coach training', started coaching schools when their businesses were challenged recently during Depression 2.0. If that's the case, I'm guessing most of them have/will go out of business, because it is actually much more expensive and time-consuming to run a quality coach training business than it is to run a coaching business.

Personally, I made more money per hour as 'just a coach' than I do running School of Coaching Mastery. Education, done well, is labor-intensive and labor is expensive.

Why do I do it? SCM is a labor of love for me. I have a vision of one million master coaches worldwide and I'm just getting started.

3. Another theory of why 10% of coach training schools go out of business, is that coach training has become a commodity. There is so much competition that schools are competing on price, rather that value. This was further supported by the incredibly high unemployment rates of the past few years, when people were desperately trying to start coaching businesses with little or no money.

When money is extremely tight, unlikely promises, such as the promise of one coaching school mentioned by Sherpa, that you can 'Become a Certified Professional Life Coach in Just 16 Hours' for $397 or $497, or whatever the price du jour is, become alluringly tempting. If such a school also brags about their 3000 successful graduates, you have to wonder about their criteria for 'success'. I've talked to quite a few 'graduates' of these 2-week wonders (because eventually they realize they need more training and contact me) and not one of them has told me they ever got a single paying client.

So in the race to the bottom, some schools, even the huge schools that were founded in the mid-nineties, have become less profitable. And if you're not in it for love, you'll get out if there's not much profit.

School of Coaching Mastery is about to turn five years old in March. We've weathered Depression 2.0 and our international Ultimate Coach Training coach-students are spreading their masterful coaching skills to thousands of grateful (paying) clients. 

I wouldn't close this coaching school for anything. I've got too much work to do to get those one million master coaches out there changing the world for the better.

What do you think? Do 10% of all coach training schools really go out of business each year? Why or why not? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section, below.

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Topics: Coaching, executive coaching, coach training, School of Coaching Mastery, free coach training, Business Coaches, Life Coaches, coach training schools, coaching schools, economic downturn

What is Coaching Success?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching Success Kit You could say that all coaches are in the business of success.

Our clients hire us to help them succeed at big goals, life dreams and personal growth. Good coaches know they transform their client's lives, so it's only natural that every coach wants to feel successful with their own goals and dreams.

Just like our clients, we coaches have our own personal definitions of success.

My definition of success is that I get to be my best self, doing work that I love, that is changing the world for the better. Oh yeah, and I get paid for that! I know I'm succeeding when I'm lit up daily and having fun most of the time.

To reach this level of success, I had to learn and relearn my vision of myself and how the world works. I then had to practice thousands of hours to master this new way of seeing, being, and doing. Along the way, I had to craft a business that would support me while I spread this thing called 'coaching' that seems to change everything.

How do you define coaching success for yourself?

If you could use some help with your definition, I've put together our top 3 most popular ebooks into one free 'Coaching Success Kit':

  • It starts with 'Become a Coach!', an ebook designed to help the new coach get started in this booming industry and it includes 8 hours of recorded coach training, plus a side-by-side comparison of some of the top coach training schools.
  • Next, there's the Coach 100 Business Success ebook, with tools to get you started with one of the most effective processes for filling a coaching practice EVER (while becoming a masterful coach, at the same time).
  • Finally, there's the Seven Secrets of Mastery Certification ebook, with tools and tips on how to inspire yourself and achieve an elite coach certification. It includes a quiz that will help you determine, once and for all, whether you even need to get certified. 

If you know how to coach masterfully and you know how to fill your practice with clients, then you have what you need to achieve coaching success, however you define it.

Coach Michael Jay Sullivan left this unsolicited comment about the Coaching Success Kit on Facebook last week:

"It's amazing how transformative for me Julia's free Coaching Stuff in a box has been. Better than some of the paid training I've gotten." 

I love unsolicited testimonials; they are usually the most honest!

Get your Coaching Success Kit

 

Get your free Coaching Success Kit here.

By the way, please tell us how YOU define coaching success, in the 'comments' section, below.

Topics: coaching business, become a coach, Coach 100, coaching success, Facebook, Coach Certification, How to Become a Certified Coach, Become a Masterful Coach, how to become a certified life coach, coach training schools

Can Coaching Be Wrecked By Cheap Coach Training Schools?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coach Training

 If you're reading this article then, obviously, you spend time online reading about coaching.

And if that's the case, then you must have noticed all those ads  that promise that you'll be a master certified coach in two days or 16 hours, or whatever. Sometimes, they also advertise their tuition, which is cheap, cheap, cheap.

You can imagine how those schools are regarded by real professional coaches. Mark Joyella (@CoachReporter), who writes for the Coaching Commons, tweeted about them (I'm paraphrasing), 'Sure and next weekend you can become a brain surgeon!'

I'm thinking those ads mainly appeal three types of people. Those who:

1. Think they already know how to coach (a.k.a. arrogant)

2. Are only interested in coaching for the money (a.k.a. greedy)

3. Are clueless (a.k.a. gullible)

Those who're attracted to us don't fit those descriptions, so I never considered weekend coach training schools our competition. 

But I reconsidered that when I heard that one of my most respected competitors, Barbra Sundquist, is closing her 'Become a Certified Coach' school at the end of this year [12-11-09 Update: Barbra isn't going out of business, but simply closing the doors of this particular program. See Barbra's comments in the comments section, below.]. Barbra cited a number of reasons, including rising competition from cheap, highly advertised, schools. That got me thinking...

What if the proliferation of bogus coach training schools drives out most or all of the legitimate schools?  Where does that leave the profession of coaching? Will the majority of coaches then be unskilled or disreputable? Will the reputation of coaching drop to the point that real professional coaches quit?

I'm not trying to be an alarmist here. You can't prevent a potential problem if you're not willing to look at it. Coaching has enjoyed incredible freedom in the past 20 years. But the success and freedom of coaching has sometimes attracted people with the wrong motivations.

I admit, 2009 has been a challenging year for School of Coaching Mastery, as well. Several of our students didn't pay their bills. But that forced me to consider just how committed I am to coach training and I realized that if it came down to choosing between my home or my school, I'd give up the house!

So I'm in it for the long haul. But what about you? If you're committed to coaching, then you're probably just as disturbed as I am about the proliferation of schools and coaches who don't cast a good light on this profession.

What do you think needs to be done about it? Do coaching organizations like the IAC and ICF have a responsibility to do anything? Do they even have the authority to do anything? Or do coaches themselves need to take more responsibility for the image of the profession?

There's lots of hang-wringing going on in private forums, but coaching is about action. Do you need to take action?

Please post your views on this in the area below and if coaching is a really important issue for you, please also share this article with the social sharing tools, above. 

Topics: coach training, School of Coaching Mastery, become a coach, Coach Training Programs, coach, Become a Certified Coach, coach training schools, Barbra Sundquist, IAC

You're Coaching, But Are You Actually Open for Business?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Are you open for business?Most of the coaches I talk to fit the following description:

Coaching, But Not Actually Open for Business

They think they're in business, but they're not. Confusion is holding them back. Confusion turns away coaching clients, just like the business in this picture turns away customers. 

The reason I know this is that unlike most coaching schools, I (or someone else at SCM) actually talk to the coaches who visit our site. We listen to what they are up to and help them find the resources they need. It's a labor-intensive process that average coach training schools skip. But we're not average.

Our Enrollment Advisor, Donna Miller, commented on this to me the other day. Most coaches are either coaching, but have no business, or they've started a business, but they're not sure how to coach. Those are bad combinations. They send the same mixed message as the business pictured above. The open sign is on, but the security gate is closed.

If your coaching business is struggling, ask yourself if you're actually open for business.

Here's My Stand:

There is (or should be) an enormous difference between amateurs who coach and professional coaches. If you want a successful coaching business, you need to  be coaching a whole lot better than your client's best friend, next door neighbor and office mate, because those folks are all "coaching" too (and a most of them are coaching for free).

A good coaching school will give you clarity and clarity creates success. It's not magic, but it feels like magic. Mixed signals will keep you stuck. If you are stuck, get the clarity you need. 

One place you can get clarity is in our "How to Become..." free mini-course series. The next one is on How to Become a Certified Coach.

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Register for 'How to Become a Certified Coach' Here

Topics: coaching business, free coach training, becoming a certified coach, Coach Certification, IAC Certified Coach, Become a Certified Coach, How to Become a Certified Coach, Certified Coach Training, coach training schools, coaching career, certified coach

How to Become a Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

Confident CoachThere's never been a better time to become a business or life coach.

There's also never been a more confusing time to become a coach! It used to be that you could rely on the better coaching schools and professional associations to provide solid information on how to become a coach and that is still true.

But these days, "black hat coaching schools" are buying website addresses that sound like well-known coach training schools and coach certifying organizations and passing themselves off as the the real thing. How do you know who to believe?

Add that to competitive marketing among the hundreds of legitimate coach training schools, plus the lack of universal standards in the coaching profession and the new coach is often confused, at best, and paralyzed with uncertainty, at worst. Confusion and paralysis are the enemies of success!

Get clarity, confidence and the information you need, without all the hype and distractions.

I designed the "How to Become a Coach" mini-course for people who are considering becoming professional business or life coaches and need clarity in order to make the best decision. If that's you, then I invite you to join us. (Don't worry, School of Coaching Mastery isn't a fit for every coach, so I won't twist your arm to become a member.)

This 4-hour "How to Become a Coach" course is free and meets in two 2-hour virtual classes. You'll attend our unique eClass system, which combines the best of teleconference classes with the best of webinar training. You can do everything in our virtual classes that you can do in a live class (except get stuck in traffic on the way).

Get answers to questions like these:

  • How can I start attracting clients quickly?
  • What do I really need to get started as a coach?
  • What can I charge?
  • How soon can I make a living?
  • How do I know what niche or specialty to offer?
  • Do I really need coach training?
  • How long will it take me to become a masterful coach?
  • How do I know which coaching websites are legitimate?
  • Do I need coach certification? Which one?
  • Should I have my own coach?
  • What are my next steps?

You'll leave with clarity, a plan of action, a path and your next steps.

Find out when the next course is and register for How to Become a Coach.

Topics: coach training, become a life coach, become a coach, become a business coach, webinar, becoming a certified coach, coach training schools, coaching schools, how to become a coach

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