So what if you want to be a coach but don’t know what direction to take or where to go? Having an interest and a passion is a good place start. Often that’s how many coaches start out, teaching what they most need to learn, because it’s what interests them. For example, I had a client who had no idea what direction she was going to take when we started working together. All she knew was that she wanted to help people.
So I said, ““It’s great that you want to help people, but what are you good at?” She responded, “I’m really good at procrastinating!” I laughed and said, “Okay, well then, should we move a little faster on this? LOL!” She replied, “I sure know how to make excuses. I don’t know if I can help others with that, but it’s what I’m really good at. In fact, I’m so good at procrastinating that it’s actually caused me a lot of pain. At times it has even made me feel bad about myself. I’ve found every excuse in the book when it comes to procrastinating.”
“Are you still working through it?,” I said. She responded with, “Yes, it’s always a challenge, but I’ve turned the corner. That’s why I want to help people with the steps I’ve gone through to make the shift. I’m a different person now that I’ve I decided to take action.” I said, “Great! There are a lot of people that you could help take action since most of us procrastinate to some degree. You can help others move past procrastination and lead them to more productive lives. That can be really life changing for a lot of people.”
Once deciding this was the direction we wanted to take her business and brand we came up with the name, Stop Procrastination Coach. She then began teaching what she most needed to keep learning. Since she had already gone through the pain and the challenges that procrastination brought her, she also understood how to move away from it and help others do the same.
“Do you think there are a lot of people who procrastinate? “Do you think you have a market for that and can you teach a course on this?” Of course she agreed it would be a large market and she was excited to begin a speaking career around her expertise as well. She quickly started getting speaking presentations where she would sell her coaching programs. I was in an audience with her at one of her presentations and was amazed at how good of a speaker she was right out of the gate. She was real, engaging and funny! She had a down-to-earth personality that instantly drew people in. She had a natural sense of humor and used her own personal stories and some fun self-defacing humor to make her points during the presentation. At the beginning she had no idea what she would teach and coach others on, but it was right there in front of her from her own life lessons.
You don’t need to have a background as a therapist or counselor to be a coach. For example, many life coaches have backgrounds as successful business people, entrepreneurs, educators, human resource administrators, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers or counselors. Many turn to life coaching because of the opportunity to work with people who are already functioning well to help them function even better.
You can get training as a coach, but it’s not required. I do suggest that you work with a coach, consultant or another expert so you can learn how to incorporate their coaching systems into your own coaching business. Or, if wish to get accredited you can check out International Coach Federation or the International Association of Coaching. But what is most important is that you give your clients real value and have a professional code of ethics as you work with them.
Coaching is a wonderful career that allows you to help others become more accountable, learn new skills, hold them accountable to achieve goals, help them overcome obstacles, inspire hope and empower change.
Five questions to ask yourself when defining your coaching business.
- What skills do you have that you can coach others on?
- What support can you offer to help others overcome personal or professional obstacles that prevent them from achieving their goals?
- What is your background and how can you use what you’ve learned to help others?
- What credibility or awards have you achieved from past experiences?
- What areas can you help others cut their learning curve?