First Thing New Coaches Should Focus On
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When a new coach reaches out to me the message is usually something like this:
*I love connecting with new coaches and of course the feedback thank you for taking the time to write!
Thank you for your wonderful resources. I really appreciate you*.
I have just started coaching and love it. I want to quit everything else and just focus on coaching it is so amazing and rewarding.
I am currently in XYZ job and have ABC vision for my coaching business. There is so much to do!
What do you think I should be focusing on first?
I have answered this question so many times now and I’m noticing that a part of my answer is always the same regardless of the coach’s current job and regardless of the coaching niche the new coach wants to get into.
That is usually a sign that I need to write an article!
So, here is my message to new coaches…
Dear New Coach,
I get that you are passionate and excited about coaching. It’s awesome, rewarding and is a whole lot of fun! The buzz, camaraderie and excitement of all the new things we learn is mind blowing.
I know my mind was blown after I attended my first life coach training way back in 2006. I felt invincible. “Leap and the net will follow” was my motto.
Guess what I did first?
Even though I had no business experience and 3-days of life coach training under my belt, I was, for some reason, 200% convinced that I was going to have a six-figure coaching business in a year or less (it’s what I thought everyone else around me was doing and I’m just as smart as they are so I’ll do it too**.)
So, I quit my high paying job.
I spent money on business things that I didn’t really need yet. I wanted to do it once and do it right from the beginning. The problem was, I didn’t really know what ‘right’ was yet because I was still so new to the game.
As prescribed by most business gurus back then, I also took massive action. I attended regular networking events, cold called everyone in the local business directory and met anyone who wanted to learn more about what I could do. I gave free sessions.
I had a killer website and even put an ad in the printed Yellowpages (showing my age).
I diligently tracked all my leads, and really did the best I possibly could given the skills and resources I had available to me at the time. Then I hoped for the best.
But you know…
Working your butt off does not mean that your doing the right work.
It wasn’t too long before I was crawling back to my old job and building my coaching business on the side so I could continue paying the bills.
I really felt like I had failed back then. It was a low point for me but also a wake up call that changed my life.
A New Focus
After my wake up call, I decided to stop being a neurotic, desperate ‘life coach’ working hard to get the next paying client (not fun) and instead focused on doing what I liked doing. Coaching.
That is the first time my coaching business started to become easier for me.
So my #1 tip to you as a new coaches is this…
Learn to coach. Prove to yourself that your passion for coaching is more than a passing fad. Make sure you love doing it. Become great at it and enjoy the process.
200 Coaching Hours
Do this by getting 200 hours of coaching experience under your belt before investing in too much other stuff. Reduce your spending on your coaching business to the bare minimum and stop investing in more training.
Also, don’t expect too much from your business until you’ve gained 200 hours of experience. Give yourself permission to learn and have fun becoming a coach.
Looking at this practically, you need about 33 clients at 6 sessions each to pull this off. And at 3 clients a week it will take you almost a year and a half to get to 200 hours of coaching! So, plan it out. And hey, if you can get to 200 hours in a few months that’s fine, if it takes a few years, that’s fine too.
These sessions can be free or paid work. I did a mix of both. I had paying life coaching clients and also offered free sessions to people I knew and liked from networking events. I did what I could to fill the time I set aside each week to coach people. I got creative.
What to expect during this phase
While you are earning your 200 hours, you will start to see patterns and indicators about where to go next. You’ll discover where your clients get the best results. You’ll get direct and indirect feedback. You’ll have a sense of what type of coaching you like to do and what comes easily to you.
Then you’ll be ready to settle on a niche, develop your signature program and a whole suite of coaching products to sell from your website.You cannot force these things (although you can fast-track a bit by doing a workbook like this). Time, experience and awareness are what you most need in the early days of becoming a coach.
Remember, your successful coaching business is not a destination its a way of life.