Each time I attend a networking meeting, seminar or any business-related event, inevitably I will meet different types of coaches. They range from business coaches, health and fitness coaches, life coaches, relationship coaches or wellness coaches. And it’s no surprise! Coaching is a billion-dollar industry and growing!
When I am speaking to them, I typically ask questions like:
- What do you enjoy most about being a coach?
- How did you get started as a coach?
- What are your biggest challenges being a coach?
- What are some things that you have done to expand your coaching services?
- Where do you think you could improve as a coach?
The interesting thing is that although the market the coaches serve may be different, their responses to the questions are usually very similar and have common themes.
What this tells me is that it doesn’t matter what type of coach you are, there are some common things all coaches need to know. Here are seven things every coach needs to be aware of so that they can serve more people, make a bigger difference and enjoy the rewards of being a coach.
- Never stop growing. Every coach really should adopt a student mindset, meaning that you continue to learn from others. The chances are that there are other teachers or experts who are doing what you want to do and you can shorten the learning curve by modelling them.
- Don’t confuse activity as progress. Being busy doesn’t necessarily equate to making forward progress. Knowing the right actions to take that is actually going to make a difference in your business is so important. The right actions will almost always be around creating new value or solving a problem for a potential client.
- Be clear about the #1 skill of a coach. This could be a big one for a lot of coaches. The #1 skill of a coach is to find and keep paying clients. While learning the skills of coaching is valuable and will help make you a better coach, all that is of no use unless you have clients to coach. Otherwise you have a hobby or an imaginary coaching business.
- Create supportive environments. An example of this could be the actual space where you do your coaching and ensuring that it inspires and motivates you to do your best work. Another example could be having a supportive network of people to reach out to for help. The truth is all coaches need to have a coach themselves and having a coach can be part of that supportive environment.
- Don’t try and serve everyone right away. A lot of coaches come across as being desperate for clients and one of the common mistakes they make is to market themselves as a coach for any topic or issue. While there may be some truth that coaches really can coach anyone, what will work better initially is to choose a market or topic to focus on. Over time, a coach can expand into other markets or topics once they have gotten proven results.
- Be open to change. Chances are that a lot of things a coach will try will not work out, especially if they are still an inexperienced coach. This is where a coach needs to be flexible and open to change. That could mean trying a totally new campaign or promotion, changing a strategy that may not be working or even going back to basics on how to grow a coaching business. It is very likely that there will be resources available to support any change that needs to be made.
- Be willing to be in the trenches. This is another way of saying that it takes work to establish yourself as a coach. All too often, coaches give up easily when things may not be going as well as they had expected to. The coaches who succeed long term are the ones who have gone through good times and have also had their fair share of challenges. It takes focus, discipline, persistence, commitment and eventually hard work, to achieve success as a coach.
Coaching can be a very rewarding profession, both personally and professionally. With more and more people making the transition to become professional coaches, the ones who will succeed over the long term are the ones who are aware of these things and are able to make the necessary adjustments to take advantage of it.
Question: What is one other thing you believe every coach needs to be aware of?
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