How to Become a Coach That Makes a Real Difference
The coaching space is crowded, but with the right tools, you can still make your mark.
As a young person, I was fascinated by entrepreneurship. Gradually, I learned that being an entrepreneur was about identifying a need in the market and creating a solution to meet it.
Being a master of commerce graduate from the University of Sydney, I was accepted by L'Oreal, the world's No. 1 cosmetic company. It felt like a girl's dream come true.
However, my personality type wasn't suited to corporate jobs as ideation is my strongest skill. I was always driven to create, innovate and solve problems. I loved consulting for other businesses. So, I left the corporate job after working for four Fortune 500 companies and started my own business. It was with this first business that I discovered my passion for psychology and human potential.
How I discovered coaching
I discovered coaching by watching a video on YouTube. This guy was sharing his story and mentioned that he was a life coach. At the time, I wasn't aware of this term before. But immediately I thought it sounded very much like something I should be doing! So I googled it, and as I had predicted, it was meant for me. I found a coach-certification-training program and quickly enrolled. I went all in and got certified on many coaching tools. But by the time I finished my first coach-training program, I wondered if someone would even want to pay $100 to tell me his or her personal story and let me coach him or her. Thinking back to that moment still makes me laugh.
I got certified as an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation and started coaching. After a while of searching for a website designer but being unsatisfied with anything I saw on the internet, I started building my very own website at 1 a.m. with one of those website-template builders and finished around 4 a.m. Over the years, I kept learning and adding more tools to my toolbox.
Don't get me wrong: You don't need extensive credentials to become a successful coach. I started running ads to my landing pages. Since then, I have gotten my Professional Certified Coach Credential from the ICF and just recently I received the highest coach credential, the MCC Master Certified Coach credential. I had imagined from the beginning that it was very possible that one day I'd get my MCC, but when I actually got it, it wasn't really about receiving the credential: It was about the valuable journey that I had gone through to master my skills as a coach.
Over the course of my journey as a coach, I've explored several coaching niches. I designed my own coach-training program and got it accredited by the ICF. I became a master coach and trained other coaches. Since I had so much experience in business and marketing and have been consulting for businesses for decades, I eventually chose to specialize in helping other coaches, consultants and experts build their one-of-a-kind expert-based businesses.
This way, I could make the most impact by helping other impact-makers make more impact through achieving their highest potential. My mix of experience in business, coaching and psychology put me in a position to help other entrepreneurs in a unique way. I'm currently completing my research for my PhD in social psychology, which I chose to start pursuing two years ago.
Other students had big dreams like me and wanted to become successful coaches too. Most of them never did. And I think most of the time it's because they didn't believe that they too could be successful.
The factors that made me successful
Here are the things that helped me find success in the coaching field.
To build a successful coaching business or any kind of business, you need to elevate your mindset and your self-esteem. You need to believe that you are worthy and competent enough to achieve any goals you set your mind to. In the coaching or self-development space, it is vital that you do the inner work to evolve not just as a coach or business owner, but as a human being.
Time and time again, coaches have not done the necessary self-work and are therefore unable to build a sustainable business. After some initial success, it all starts to fall apart. They get triggered and are unaware of the limiting beliefs they still have. They project onto clients with their own beliefs. They become defensive when they receive feedback they don't want to hear from clients.
As coaches or professionals in any field involved with helping people, we need to continuously work on having high self-awareness and keep evolving ourselves.
Know your "why"
A lot of people say they dream of becoming coaches and want to have a successful coaching business. But a dream will stay a dream until you go all in and turn it into a reality. People that are successful in the world of coaching and are able to build a sustainable business are the people that have a big "why." They are in it for reasons beyond making a living or building wealth. They want to make an impact on the world. This intrinsic drive keeps you going during the tough times and stops you from giving up on your dreams.
Grit and perseverance
Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint. When things get tough, most people will quit. The people that become successful are the ones that don't expect it to be easy from the beginning. They do whatever it takes to be successful. They fail and keep moving forward.
Learn and mentor with the best
In order to master your coaching skills quickly, you need to learn from the best. You can practice with thousands of coaching sessions but never get better if you don't know what to improve or you're not aware of what you are doing wrong. A great mentor can help you improve your coaching skills in a much shorter period of time. But at the end of the day, you need to do the work in order to improve.
It doesn't matter how great of a coach you are if people don't know about you. It is therefore your responsibility to make yourself known to your potential clients. If you don't have a business or marketing background, invest in working with a competent business coach or consultant.
Making the right career choice is essential to your future success. While choosing the right profession, you must also consider your dreams, goals and desires. Discover who you really are and what you stand for and make sure it is aligned with what you choose to pursue.
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