It is five years since I started on this ‘life coaching journey’ officially so I thought it was pertinent to document it as I have come a long way, baby!
Like most coaches, I had dipped my toe into the world of self development for many years before but this was the time when everything became real.
Here are some of my lessons I have learnt along the way and tips I can share.
Coaching is a wonderful concept. It truly is a solution to ease overwhelm, confusion, a feeling of being stuck and move forward. Also it is a wonderful opportunity to dream big. To have the space and focus to figure out what we want from our lives, to get specific and then make a plan to make it happen.
Why the hard chairs?? And the pashminas?? And the coffee breath? I love learning but I really love learning from the comfort of a great chair. I get it. I know why it is important to do group exercise but I don’t necessary want to bare my soul to a stranger for 2 and a half minutes and then swap over. When I am hosting live events, I always want to take care of everyone and make sure needs are met.
You don’t have to and you shouldn’t coach everyone. Yes in principle I could. My tool box is extensive but that doesn’t mean I should or would be the ‘best’ coach. I know who I can help; creatives, mums, freelancers, actors, those who want to start their own business. If you are considering retirement at 62 I am coooould coach you but I know there will be someone better.
The above statement has taken me a long time to get to. I still have to resist helping everyone.
Boundaries are everything and it is your responsibility to set them as the coach, Your clients want to know the rules…kind of like when you go to someone’s house…you want to know where you can sit down, where the bathroom is, whether you can help yourself etc. You never want to be dangling in the hallway.
Setting up how you want to work is essential and figuring out what it is you offer. Ultimately it is about providing a service and your clients going away happy and getting results. For me I love to write up every session and send to my client- that way in the moment the client can just chat and brainstorm and simply get their ideas out. However some people say it is the responsibility of the client; to write and then take action. But I know my clients find it useful so I do it.
Be you. There is so much noise online now and everyone is offering ‘the solution’ to take you to six figures whilst you sleep in a hammock and type on your mac book air. I know it is simple but don’t try to be anyone else. I know when I am being myself because when I am I work with more clients and those clients are my ‘ideal clients’.
You can always learn more but just start now. There will always be a new programme, package, book, audio series, podcast that you should action before you feel ready. Actually that is a lie. You are ready now. Self development is wonderful however there are points when you are developed enough you just need to start.
Videos are brilliant. I have a whole blog here about my equipment. Clients want to see your face and know you are real and they are in safe hands. So even if it feels scary, show up.
Don’t be afraid to share. Again, showing a shiny version of you can isolate people. It doesn’t engage a conversation. However I always ‘show up’ in a professional way and although I talk the ‘real talk’ you don’t need to see me just as I have woken up. Unless of course you are actually in my house and therefore it is likely I am making you a cup of tea...
Collaboration is amazing. Interviews, guest blogging, joint videos are all wonderful. However only work with the people that make you feel great.
Not everyone is going to like the fact you are a life coach. You may be a trigger for some people. They may not get it. It may change your relationship. Nuff said.
Be open to the possibilities. Becoming a coach has opened so many doors I wasn’t expecting; writing a book, writing curriculum and speaking at top universities, speaking events, working with 600+ clients, opportunities to meet some of my heroes, creating residual income, being able to work around my family.
Evolve. When I started this ‘journey’ officially, I was 30, I wasn’t in a great place. Everything felt like it had come to a standstill in my life. I was open to some big shifts in my life and boy did I get them. Nothing like studying self development to check in on your own self development. I took a year to complete it; starting at 5am every morning and working most nights and weekends whilst working a full time job. Plus shifting my thinking and looking at my life in this way certainly got worse before it got better.