If you want to make a big difference in the lives of others while working from home, coaching might be a good choice for you. There are many types of coaching these days from life coaching, to business coaching, to performance coaching and many more. How do you choose your focus? How do you find hungry prospects wanting your expertise? I’ll give you some tips for getting started.
For years I lived on the road. I was speaking, training, and doing workshops before I added performance coaching to my business model. This involved helping entrepreneurs like me keep going through the inevitable challenges of starting and building a business.
The Difference it Made in My Life
This career change made a huge difference to my quality of life. I found I could make a much bigger difference, because of the depth of help I could offer. It helped my quality of life, too. As an online coach, I could now help people solve complex problems while living abroad, or sitting on a lanai in Hawaii. When I shared my message through speaking and training, all I could hope for was shallow awareness building in my listeners. It was a one-off information sharing, not an on-going mentorship. Coaching offers deeper transformation in people because it happens over time and is customized for each person.
Even though automation and technology are taking over, we are complex beings and still favor talking to and learning from another living being. Coaching is one of the few professions where the human heart is still winning over artificial intelligence.
Right now, coaching is what fitness used to be ̶ a fringe movement that’s gone mainstream. People are slowly recognizing the benefit of having a coach in their lives for everything from boosting sales, to losing weight, to going through a divorce, to building a business to transitioning your career.
The Humble Beginnings
When I started out, I had no certification. I just winged it. I figured I’d been teaching groups for long enough, so I could just teach the same thing to individuals.
It worked for a while, or at least until I came up against people’s inner sabotage. I had no tools in my toolbag for that. Every time I needed a new tool, I’d get more training. I learned about brain performance for high-achievers whose brain would short-circuit under pressure. I got a Business and Leadership Certificate to better when my primary audience became—business leaders. I mastered self-hypnosis when I discovered people had core beliefs that blocked their success. I got a Life Coach Certification to help people whose business was great, but they’d sacrificed their health and relationships to get there.
Some can do away without certifications, but for many, having a framework, a system, and training makes them feel more comfortable moving forward. Certainly, this is what motivated me to get my certifications. I was always a tough customer whose success I cared for deeply, and I wanted to explore the best ways to help them.
The various certifications and many years of experience as a speaker and coach make up my coaching toolbox. I then shared all that with my partner, Dave, incorporating all his years of coaching tools. We now call it the “MindStory Method,” and it’s changing lives.
How is a Coach Going to Change Anyone’s Life?
You can take a workshop, read a book or watch video. But sometimes, you have a more complex issue, and you need a safe place, away from family and colleagues, where you can sort through those issues. You need personalized attention to your particular situation and learning style. You want in-depth help over time so that the learning sticks. You may also want accountability so you stop procrastinating and get into action. Anyone who’s had a great coach, knows the power of that combination and knows its worth the investment. Coaching is for people who want to get successful rapidly. It’s how humans learn. Think about it. It’s the modern version of an apprenticeship.
How to Identify Your Coaching Expertise?
Think about the kind of questions people ask you about regularly. The ones people get stuck on. What is the thing that you repeatedly see that trips people up? Those are areas that you could be coaching on. In my case, I served change leaders like CEO’s or team leaders. Their biggest issues were self-motivation, motivating others, dealing with people who want to sabotage a change initiative, and how to resolve conflicts.
These were the subjects I started coaching on. 98% of these originate in the mind. Once I realized this, I got real traction with my clients. Until then, no matter what strategies I used, they were not making the slightest difference. If you’re going to be a coach, realize that mindset is crucial, and getting some type of mind training will elevate your success.
Many people ask what a coach can earn. It varies greatly depending on your skill level, the market you serve, your coaching format, and the results you can deliver. Some people offer a VIP day where they roll up their sleeves during a super-charged, result-oriented day until they find a solution with their client. Some coaches offer a three to twelve-month individual program, or group program whereby they meet once a week or every other week.
In my experience, most new coaches under charge and therefore under deliver. They ask a small amount for 1 or 2 coaching sessions and then wonder why they can’t get results for their clients, and can’t pay their bills. They give up and try something else. If you start out asking for a significant investment of time and money you’ll notice two things change. You’ll get people who are more committed to change, more wiling to invest in themselves, more willing to do the work and easier to work with. You’ll have the time to go deep and get them lasting results. You’ll be able to pay your bills so you can grow, hire help, and not dilute your focus. That said, many coaches offer a first session for free to demonstrate their ability and to see if there’s good chemistry between you.
Explore Your Niche as a Coach
If you’re looking for an effective way to find your niche and discover what to offer as a coach, try The Explore Your Passion Worksheet. This is a fun, creative process to find or further clarify a focus for building a coaching or consulting business. It is much easier to build quickly if you focus on a certain solution for certain type of person. It’s also helpful if you’re wanting to transition away from your present focus. Why does everyone tell you to niche? Think about it. An expert who helps people lose weight is up against the entire market of people trying to help others lose weight. It’s the most crowded market in the world. Someone who coaches women to lose weight after childbirth, is going to find it much easier to market herself. People want to feel like you’re an expert who can help someone just like them. It's also much easier to get referrals when you're that specific. You can join groups where those kind of people hang out.
During the process you brainstorm on discovering your passion where you find the sweet spot of your unique qualities, your main skills and what excites you. Then, you explore which communities would most benefit from your expertise, what hurts, what's changing for those communities, and how that expertise can benefit those specific communities. It’s basically combining all that with what the marketplace will bear, what people will actually pay for. It's a complex process if you try to do it in a linear way. This way you brainstorm anything and everything to get past the inner editor, and then you narrow it down to a few specific areas, and one specific community. By the end you create your Expertise Mission Statement. It only takes about 20-30 minutes and has been entirely life-changing for people, so check that out
What About Self-Study and Online Courses?
Sure, you’ll get benefit from them. But most people who are left to their own devices won’t even get started, or they make costly mistakes and quit prematurely. The self-study route takes longer and costs more. Granted, it’s a considerable investment to hire a coach, but it’s the smart person’s way. You can save yourself a lot of heartache, money, and time by doing so.
Still, it’s a Lot of Money
I hear you. Think about it like this. During a coaching program, you’re getting full, personal attention with a customized process that transfers expert knowledge over to you so you can see yourself succeed faster. For many people it’s totally worth the investment. For example, I had a client who struggled for years to get out on the speaking circuit. After many embarrassing failures and setbacks she called me. Within 12 months she was earning five times as much money, was seen as a leader in her field, and got to travel to exotic places with her partner making a huge difference for people. What she paid was miniscule in comparison to what she got back.
Start with The Right Mindset. Then Think Strategy
Maybe you’re just getting started in your coaching business. Perhaps you’re looking to jump up to the next level by offering more services, leveraging your existing offers, raising your prices, or you just want to secure longer-term, more profound results for your clients.
As a warning, no amount of strategies in the world will work if your mind is working against you. Get the coaching or the tools to believe in yourself first, even if you haven’t had a chance to prove something to yourself yet. People want a coach who knows their own worth and who is confident in the value they offer.
Coaching is an Intense Process
One reason not to undercharge is that coaching can be an intense process for both sides. You not only spend time on private sessions but in between sessions you may be researching on their behalf, messenging them or connecting them with resources. As a dedicated coach, you also may be holding clients in your consciousness throughout the day, problem solving for them. You are combining all your years of wisdom and applying it all in in a way that suits their learning style and unique situation. Sometimes you give them a new perspective that changes their life for the better in an instant. What’s this moment in time worth? Finding that sweet spot for people is complex and therefore totally worth the investment.
The Dangers of the Comfort Brain
“But this is all too complicated." “I don’t know what my focus is." “I can’t be bothered to complete yet another questionnaire?”
If you follow my process, it will help you get through several mindset issues that you may be facing. The process will give you focus. And just so you know, thoughts of unclarity are often a smokescreen for something more profound, the fear of getting out of your comfort zone and putting yourself out in the world that you’re not used to. The fear of failure and things not working out.
Truly successful people get used to being uncomfortable, so if you start training your brain to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, you’re ahead of the other 98% of the people. Most people back down from discomfort, only seeking what is familiar and being stuck doing things in their comfort zone. You, on the other hand, won’t be able to help yourself but be successful.
This is where a coach can be immensely helpful. Retraining our survival brain is possible, but it does require some hand-holding.
During this time of upheaval in the world, a profession like coaching is one of the best you can choose. You can start making good income, while also making a big difference for others, providing for your family and contributing to the economy all at the same time.
If you feel a calling towards this, and you want help to build coaching skills, get profitable quickly, and partner with like-minded people --- do check out a free tutorial video HERE on the MINDSTORY METHOD for more information.
Be sure to research other ones as well so you find one that’s the right fit.