Here we are approaching the holidays and thinking about the beginning of a brand New Year. This is a time when many people are beyond the excitement of Christmas and confronted with the reality of beginning another year with little hope of positive change on the horizon. An unfortunate statistic is that there are more suicides in the week between Christmas and the New Year than any other week of the year. As a coach you can provide that needed hope.
7 Benefits of Being a Professional Coach
Any of you who have been to the Coaching with Excellence live event received a copy of The Coaching Starter Kit. On page 17 you will see Thomas Leonard’s (founder of the International Coach Federation) list of the 7 Benefits of Being a Professional Coach. Thomas was a visionary in the coaching field and I would like to add my own comments to his list.
Benefit #1 – You double the rate of personal development. I’ve always heard that the best way to learn something is to teach it. In years of teaching in Sunday School and university classes, I’ve certainly confirmed this for myself. So often in working with a coaching client I find myself studying a particular issue myself. I’ve learned volumes about franchising, consulting, and speaking as I’ve helped clients become proficient in these areas. I’ve learned valuable principles about maximum success as I’ve coached people to their own highest levels of success. Don’t think you have to be the expert in everything to coach – trust me, you’ll learn 80 percent of what you need to know from your clients.
Benefit #2 – You can make an extraordinary living. Coaches typically make between $40 and $200 an hour. Once you understand the concepts of re-purposing your content, you can see how $100,000 a year is not unreasonable. You can put yourself in the category of any other highly paid professional and see your network of contacts open new opportunities.
Benefit #3 – You build lasting, empowering relationships. Having come from a traditional counseling background, this is one of the benefits I enjoy most. In traditional counseling, you have to maintain a professional distance from your clients and would seldom entertain the idea of actually being friends. With coaching, that is not the case. I have developed deep personal and business relationships with many of those I’ve coached over the years. Joanne and I have enjoyed many special occasions with clients around the country. And we are now connected to many of their friends as well. Just like in real life, some clients I want to just know as clients, but with many I build lasting personal friendships.
Benefit #4 – You become a master of life. I don’t know of any other profession or career that sets the stage so well for developing excellence in your own life. As I’ve walked through helping clients attain success in physical, spiritual, personal development, career and financial areas, it has prompted me to look for more success in those areas myself. It would appear hypocritical if I were calling people to levels of success that I did not believe were attainable myself. I sometimes have people ask me in the initial stages of phone coaching, “Dan, are you living the life you’re calling me to?” And I tell them, “Come see me.”
Benefit #5 – You are well-positioned for the next opportunity. Most of the clients I work with at this point are looking to develop creative ideas for high income. Because of that focus, I have people bringing me new ideas every day. I get to evaluate the best and most innovative ideas available anywhere. I get calls from all over the country from people wanting me to preview (and endorse) their latest, greatest business idea. A typical week often brings me 4-5 new book manuscripts and 1-2 new products to review. Just yesterday I received a complete set of time management tools (expensive binder, CDs and inserts for one year). I never get tired of seeing the new ideas – and it gives me a driver’s seat position for getting involved if I choose to do so. The coaching you will do will set you up to be on the cutting edge of the best new opportunities anywhere in the world.
Benefit #6 – You get to give your gift. In a recent survey, one of our coaches replied: “I’m actively coaching and utilizing what I learned at Coaching with Excellence to grow my coaching business! – My greatest hindrance is that people I know want what I have to give them with the word GIVE being the operative. Because I am a friend, they know me, I am a Christian – they feel it should be my ministry to just give them my time and experience….they feel it would be silly for them to pay for it. How do I find REAL clients?”
What an interesting quandary. Most people go to work and put on a different hat. As a coach, we get to just be ourselves all the time. My interactions with client, our neighbors, friends of our kids, church acquaintances, business associates and casual encounters in restaurants and airplanes, all have the continuing theme of helping people find and fulfill their highest calling and purpose. But that does raise the issue of when does that person become a paying client as opposed to someone who just receives my coaching for free? I don’t have hard and fast rules about that. But I find that giving freely just leads to more requests that then are paying clients. Many of the referrals I get come from people where our life paths crossed and I was able to help them through a challenging time – but perhaps as friend or chance encounter rather than as a regular client. It doesn’t matter – the “giving” part of my coaching comes back magnified. Much like the Biblical “Law of the Harvest.” Several years ago I had a gentleman contact me about the Sunday School class I was teaching at the time. He wanted to duplicate that in his own church in Florida. I gave him all my notes and class outlines and met with him to offer anything else I could. I then discovered he had just sold his business for $18 million and didn’t know what to do next. He became a $2500 client and has used me as a consultant for his new business and for doing workshops at his church. As near as I can calculate at this point, I have generated about $60,000 as a direct result of this man’s influence and have in addition created some priceless contacts in the publishing world.
Benefit #7 – You will be appreciated. When you truly do “coach” someone to a higher level of success in their life, they will love you for it. I don’t know of any more gratifying work than to be involved with people as they are moving from mediocrity to excellence. And they will see you as part of that rewarding process. Does everyone make that successful transition? Of course not. Right now I have a couple that came to me after receiving a substantial inheritance from his father. They presented that this provided them with an opportunity to move into an entrepreneurial business and experience the freedom of being on their own. Now, after two personal sessions followed by some very direct questions, I find that their marriage is essentially gone; she does not support anything but having him get a “job” and his ADHD is severe enough to explain his scattered work history. I don’t see any easy solutions for this. And the tough questions I am confronting them with are not likely to make me a loved friend. I accept the responsibility to speak the truth when necessary. My goal as a coach is not to make them feel better, but to be better. Fortunately 90% of the time I can just enjoy the process as people grasp new vision and new levels of accomplishment. And I appear the omnipotent hero!
You can listen to a new teleseminar on Can I Be a Coach? to hear about the current trends in coaching and how you can be a part of the 48 Days Team.