Rise Above the Hype - How to be a Standout Coach
You’ve pictured the dream life of a coach in your mind - 6 figure income, month long vacations on tropical islands, the freedom to set your own hours - and it all seems so reachable, so easy. And you’re not wrong. That type of lifestyle for a coach (or your variation of that) is a definite possibility, but what you don’t hear through all the hype is: it isn’t a guarantee.
That doesn’t mean it’s up to luck or fate either.
In fact, it’s all in your hands. Whether you reach your goals or end up quitting your coaching business because you're not seeing results is dependent on one thing only - YOU.
If you want to place bets on your success, you’ve got to increase your odds, and that’s what I’m going to share with you today.
You’re probably thinking that this will be just another article about how to build a business, get more clients and increase sales. What the hype machine won’t tell you is that all of that comes later.
The first thing all successful coaches do is work on themselves.
Coaching Won’t Solve Your Problems
The coaching industry is booming, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. You’ve probably seen videos or articles of successful coaches sipping drinks on a beach, traveling the world and beaming with a bright smile. They talk about their journey from 9-5 office drone to self-made millionaire, and your eyes widen as you picture yourself in their shoes.
Many coaching programs use these success stories as a way to show you what’s possible as a coach. It’s so tempting because it seems so easy.
You think to yourself, if you could just become a coach, all your problems would be solved!
This happens to a lot of coaches, and then they sign up for a program, start their business and… nothing.
Why? What happened?
This familiar story happens time and time again because of one missing element - personal development.
Many coaches starting out approach their business from a place of fragility rather than power.
They see coaching as an answer to their problems rather than an incredibly useful tool to improve themselves and then go on to help other people.
The “fairytale” life of a coach is possible, but there are no fairy godmothers. There’s just you, and you’ve got the magic wand, now you’ve just got to figure out where to point it. The first place? The mirror.
Invest in Yourself First
It’s easy to get caught up on the details - marketing strategies, website design, business plans. All of that stuff is really important, but it’s not the first thing you should consider.
Imagine you wanted to open a store, maybe a cafe with healthy snacks and juices. Now imagine you’ve named the business, created a business plan, did all the marketing, branding and advertising, hired employees and it’s day one of your business.
You open the doors, customers flood in, and you’ve got nothing to offer them. You have no idea how to make a smoothie or a granola bar, and hungry customers are lined up around the block waiting for the delicious treats they’ve been promised.
What do you think would happen? All your customers would leave, write a terrible review, tell all their friends what a horrible experience they had, and then they’d never come back. No amount of apology could fix the fact that you just weren’t prepared.
This would never happen, right? Who in their right mind would open a cafe, or any store for that matter without a product?
Guess what? Coaches do it all the time. And then their business fails.
Your product is your service, your coaching, so before you even open your business and think about all those details, you’ve got to first have something to sell.
This is why it is so important to invest in yourself before anything else. You need to learn the skills of coaching before you sell yourself as a coach.
You need to work on yourself, so you actually have something to offer your potential clients.
Develop Your Skills
Let’s revisit that cafe example for a moment. Maybe you took some time to learn how to make healthy snacks and drinks. Perhaps you spent a week or two reading a few books and articles and experimenting with some recipes.
On opening day, customers pour in and as they bite down on their treats and sip their juices, you notice a few smirks and a couple disgusted faces, but most of the room is full of shrugs. You haven’t wowed them. Do you think they're going to come back? Probably not.
Developing your skills as a coach doesn’t mean reading a little advice here and there. Do that and you’ll be a below average coach.
Instead, to become a great coach, invest in learning the skills and techniques first. Get certified, and then continue growing and enhancing your skills for the rest of your career.
Look at growth as an ongoing process and a valuable investment and you’ll wow your clients - and they’ll come back time and time again.
You can’t expect to open up a coaching business, sit down with some clients, ask a few questions and grow to a be a successful coach.
What you put in, you’ll get out. The more you devote to become the best coach you can be, the better a coach you’ll be, and the easier success will come to you. Take a moment to image the most successful coach you know of - think about how they carry themselves, how they spend their time, how they communicate, what their presence is like. Then imagine yourself as that person.
Going to take some work to get their right?
Align With Results
The only way to turn fantasy into reality is to take action. That seems logical, but it’s often overlooked. We dream and plan and maybe take some steps, but without intentional action, we falter.
That's why the Mentorship Method is so powerful. In traditional coaching, coaches ask leading questions to guide clients to the right answer. But the Mentorship Method is more results-oriented, combining coaching with consulting, mentoring and teaching techniques.
Asking questions is a great way to discover answers, but it's not always the best way to find actionable steps. As a coach, leveraging your experience and expertise as a mentor, drawing up plans and monitoring progress as a consultant, and guiding through instruction as a teacher can help your clients see results much faster than just Q&A.
As a coach, focusing your aim on results, not just answers, isn't a skill exclusively for your clients, you'll need it for yourself too. That’s true for every type of coach, because one of the biggest problems we face as a society is filtering out all the noise, clearly defining what we want and creating an actionable plan to make it happen.
Clarify your vision in your mind. Make it as real and alive as possible, and then figure out how to make it happen. If your answer is one step - become a coach, then you’re missing the mark. The answer will involve many, many steps - tasks, actions and hard work.
To be results oriented means to be action oriented.
Grow Yourself to Grow Your Business
What all of these tips have in common is that they focus on improving yourself first.
Too many times, coaches start their business because they want to live a “fairytale” lifestyle and they believe coaching will solve their problems.
But solving your problems only first comes by looking at yourself.
You need a mirror - you need to focus on your reflection and make adjustments, so you can fit yourself into your dreams and goals, rather than trying to force them to fit with you. This doesn’t mean you need to be perfect, nor does it mean you have to go through years of therapy.
What it does mean is that in between you and your goals is some hard work, and that hard work isn’t driving traffic to your website or writing blog posts.
That hard work is making sure you know how to leverage your expertise as a skilled coach that drives your clients towards action-oriented results.
It involves you knowing your strengths and weaknesses and taking personal responsibility for your results.
As you develop yourself, shift your mindset, and learn the skills you need to become a better coach, you increase your odds of success. You put success in your own hands, take charge of your future, and run towards your goals with confidence because you know that you’ve put in the work - the right kind of work.
You wouldn’t open up a cafe and have nothing to sell or settle for shrugs; you’d open up the cafe and have customers drooling over your menu and widening their eyes at how delicious the food is.
So, don’t open up your coaching business without first learning how to become a coach, and don’t open up your coaching business and settle for mildly satisfied clients that walk away saying “I guess I learned something.”
Open up your coaching business and watch your clients propel toward success as you help shift, steer and guide them in the right direction.
Take control of your success.
If you’re ready to do the work it takes to become a coach, check out Coaching Mastery Certification and our free training Your New Career as a Coach to support you to build a successful career in coaching.
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