I was sitting down for coffee with a client, Josh, when he told me something I never thought I’d hear.
“Ashley, I think I want to become a life coach.”
I was shocked! Josh had never expressed interest in becoming a coach before. In fact, we had been working mostly on his career path in the finance sector. But when I asked him why, I couldn’t help but relate to his answer.
He let me know that our work together had inspired him, and he felt called to becoming a coach and helping others the way I had helped him. It turned out, our career coaching sessions had helped him discover an entirely new path he never expected.
It’s not entirely surprising that Josh felt compelled to move into coaching. The coaching business model, from life to career to business, has been steadily increasing in popularity for years, and it’s not hard to understand why. A study of Fortune 100 executives showed that coaching helped increase work quality and productivity by 48%, and improved relationships by 77% and teamwork by 67%. Both Bill Gates and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt regaled the benefits of coaching. And not to mention, it’s a pretty lucrative career, with the average salary climbing upwards of $62,000 per year in the United States.
You might be asking yourself, is coaching right for me? Maybe you’ve considered it before, or seen something that’s made you wonder if you should take steps toward becoming a coach. Maybe just this article is sparking some creativity and desire in you!
If these four reasons I’ve listed below resonate with you, it might be time to get started and launch a coaching business.
- You believe in self investment
Part of being a successful coach in any sector, be it life or career or even executive coaching, is investing in yourself. To be a successful coach, you have to take the time and energy to really make yourself the best you can be. Remember, your goal is to help other people succeed and be the best versions of themselves possible — And that starts with you.
I’ve spent countless hours and dollars investing in educating myself, attending events and conferences all over the country, reading every book on coaching I could get my hands on, and more. That’s the type of investment we’re talking about. Yes, it can be scary to spend so many resources on yourself, but you have to realize that as a coach, you are your business. You wouldn’t open a clothing store without any clothes in stock, so don’t go into coaching without first stocking yourself full of experience, knowledge, and preparedness. And remember that self-investment is an on-going process. It doesn’t stop once you get your first client. You should always be prepared to improve yourself at any opportunity.
- You have the mind for business
Having a successful coaching business isn’t just about being good at helping people. You have to have solid business acumen, or your newly launched career could go flat. You’re starting your own business, after all, and you have to rely on yourself to take care of everything, from strategy to finances to marketing and social media management. If you feel confident wearing multiple hats and juggling many different aspects of business management, coaching could definitely be the right path for you.
- You’re a good listener
Yes, your main job as a coach is to guide your clients and talk them through obstacles, but you may not realize that to be successful at giving advice, you need to be a great listener. You can’t know how to help until you truly understand the other person’s motivations, goals, and mindset. Spending time really listening to your clients and getting to know them and what makes them tick will ultimately help you be more successful in helping them.
It’s okay if listening doesn’t necessarily come easily to you. Here are a few things really good listeners will do:
- Not speak when the other person is speaking, so you can really absorb and retain the information you’re receiving.
- Let them know that you’re listening (with either visual cues, such as nodding your head, or verbal cues, such as “yes,” or “uh-huh”).
- Keep clear of any distractions, such as checking phones or laptops.
- You know how to say “no”
Unfortunately, not every potential client will be ideal. Maybe they’re too stubborn, or too toxic, or just not the right fit for a number of reasons. You have to really believe in your clients to help them succeed, and if that trust and belief isn’t there from the onset, it can take a huge amount of time and effort trying to build it, and that’s just not good for business. It might sound like the opposite of what you should do to grow your business, but being able to say no to clients that you don’t trust, believe in, or feel you can adequately coach is crucial in maintaining your coaching business model. It also frees you up to say yes to better opportunities, paving the way for more success in the future.
I know becoming a coach can sound enticing — who doesn’t want to change lives? But it’s not as easy as snapping your fingers and becoming Oprah. If you’re truly called to this profession, you’ll have to work incredible hard, and love what you do. You need to continuously build the skills you need to be the best coach you can be, and pass on that knowledge and expertise to your clients. And at the end of the day, you have to want it, and believe in yourself. So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to get started and launch your coaching business?