Coaching is insidious (but in a good way).
It gets under your skin and becomes so much more than a skill. Coaches can see potential in everyone, even (especially?) when they don’t see it in themselves, and coaching becomes a vital part of our every day lives. In short, it becomes an essential element of who we are.
A Coach’s Kid
A few years ago, my youngest daughter was sitting at the dinner table with a pal and me, telling us all about her 6th form friends. She described one as ‘someone who makes poor decisions, repeatedly’. My pal asked her to explain what she meant.
“Francesca just chooses the wrong things to do in terms of behaviour and actions. Even when it becomes apparent that she’s made a poor choice, she then goes on to repeat the same poor choice, often”
Bearing in mind this was my 16 year old talking, my pal’s eyebrows raised in surprise. “Gosh” she said, “you can tell this child is a coach’s kid!’
That’s what I mean by coaching getting under your skin. Once I discovered coaching, it became part of who I am, and how I live my life; including how I parent.
Our Coaching Businesses
We can extend that innate part of us that assimilates coaching into our lives to our coaching businesses too. We each start our coaching business with the intention of helping other people to reach their potential.
Yes, some coaches are all about the money (and that’s ok by the way!), and they decide that they want to earn £500ph as an executive coach.
For others, it’s about the giving back (also ok, and incidentally no better or worse on the moral scale than being in it for the money. Just saying.).
There are many reasons to get start a coaching business, but one of them is always to earn our living from coaching.
I Am A Failure
As coaching becomes part of who we are, so our businesses become an extension of ourselves. What that means is that when coaching businesses fail to thrive – and 82% of them do – the individual coach sees that as a personal failure. Worse yet, they often think that the failure is of them as a coach. They believe that if their coaching was up to scratch, they’d have clients.
I’m writing this article to tell you, categorically, that this belief is not true. Your inability to get coaching clients is not a reflection on your coaching skills. It is a reflection on the other, vital skillset a coach need to run a financially successful business; business development skills.
You Can Succeed
The skills needed to create a coaching business that is emotionally and financially rewarding are separate to your coaching skills. Your coaching skills are the ones you use in the delivery half of your business; the client-facing half.
Business development skills are the skills you need for the other 50% of your business, the creating opportunities to do the delivery half. They are equally important, and without them, your coaching business will not thrive.
Business Development Is Counterintuitive
Anyone who has come to coaching from a career in which they were employed, has a gut feel for how business development works. It feels right to cast your net wide, and offer your coaching to absolutely anyone who might benefit from being coached (and that’s everyone, right?).
Sadly, the absolute opposite is true.
When it comes to your coaching (the delivery side, remember?) then yes, you can coach absolutely anyone. However, when it comes to your business development (the ‘creating opportunities to do the delivery’ side), you need focus more than anything else.
The reason you need laser-focus is that we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with marketing messages. Apparently, we see more than 3000 of them a day. They come at us from all angles, from social media, print media, TV, radio… the list is endless. What this bombardment means is that we as a species have become experts at filtering out what doesn’t directly relate to us.
What that means is that if you say (either virtually or otherwise) “I can coach anyone who…..” absolutely no one will hear you. The reason for that is that no one sees themselves as ‘anyone who’.
Get Some Focus To Your Actions
If you’d like some support with the kind of actions you could be taking, can I recommend two places to start? One is no-cost, the other is low-cost.
- No Cost: Join Coaching Republic (click this link, then click ‘get started’). It’s our free, online community for coaches who are struggling to find paying clients (if you’ve got clients paying mates-rates, they don’t actually count as a proper client. Again, just saying!)
- Low Cost: Read A Coaching Business In A Book. It’s our entire business development process in a book, with the added support of downloadable worksheets to help you. Bonus: if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can download it for free.