I said recently that after two years I have decided to take guest post here at Coach the Life Coach.
I won’t take any old riff-raff to quote Basil Fawlty. I want ones that add real value to other Life Coaches without being blatant attempts to sell products or services.
Theresa sent me this for A Daring Adventure and I asked her if I could use it here as I think it is more relevant and useful.
I’m glad to say she agreed because it’s an awesome post!
8 Crucial Lessons To Kick Start Your Life Coaching Career
It’s been a year since I quit my cushy paying corporate job to create the freedom lifestyle I dream of.
As I reflect on what I have learned in the past year since deciding to go full force in being a life coach and a blogger, I’ve realized it is hard work. It takes time and effort. Persistence and dedication.
Yes, I will admit I was naïve or perhaps pompous to think I can successfully pull of transitioning from working in the corporate world to creating a fairly robust business within 6-12 months. Needless to say, I am just starting to scratch the surface (if that).
Now before I dive into the lessons learned, I think it is important to know a couple of things. Before I left my corporate job, I did take the time to get real with myself and reflect on my decision whether it was the right one for me.
I knew I wanted to be a life coach and help others realize they have the power to change their life. This stemmed from my personal experience of finding my way out of a mental rut through choosing to stop the blame and own up to my thoughts and actions.
In addition, I did save up to prepare for the transition. For me I felt comfortable to quit cold turkey at my day job with my savings and determination. However, some people may want to consider seeing some consistent income coming in before throwing in the towel.
The reason I am sharing a bit of background with you is because before you decide to just leave your current job, I would encourage you to take the time to think things through.
Have you put in all your effort to improve your current work situation? Do you have an action plan for transition?
If you answered no, I strongly encourage you to put a little bit more thought into it before saying adios to your job.
This is being smart and acting responsible because this is all part of building for success. And what I am sharing with you here is based on my journey and my experience.
As Bruce Lee famously said: “Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely yours.“
My hope is through my lessons I can shed some light to help you in your journey.
Here are the 8 lessons I’ve come to learn so far about blogging and being a coach in no particular order of importance:
1. Be You
There are countless times when my self-doubt creeps in and I think to myself who am I to inspire and help others live a better life, when there’s so many amazing gurus out there already.
What makes me different and unique? And my answer is always you. Your stories, your experiences, the way you speak makes you different from everyone else.
Whoever resonates with you will be attracted to you and will want to work with you so long as you provide value.
When I try to “be” someone else, I only complicate things and the monkey chatter in my mind goes off.
When I am just being me and not being attached to the outcome of how I look or am perceived, ideas, and words seems to come easily and effortlessly to me.
2. Know Your Why
There are times when there’s a lag of indication that things are moving along.
For example, I may be creating content, guest blogging and catching up on administration and doing work from a course and not “actively” working with clients.
These tasks are critical for building the foundation to generate traffic and clients. It is what’s going to continuously help me attract the people who find value in what I have to share while growing the business.
However, these tasks can get tedious. Often you are working away and you don’t see any results or tangible momentum you are creating in your business until after a few days, weeks or months later.
It is in these moments I feel unmotivated and impatient and need to remind myself of my why because I can’t see the efforts of my labor.
The why meaning, what’s the reason you decided to start being a coach in the first place? And why is it important to you?
3. Get Clear On Your Values.
Know what value and impact you want to give to those you want to serve. Get Tim’s book on Core Values -it’s worth its weight in cyber gold.
Tim’s Note: I may have slightly edited that last sentence. Ok, I edited a lot. She never said to buy my book, but you should, honest!
A month into starting my venture, I was so keen to get my new shiny website up and to do everything I can to tell people about who I am and what I want to do.
The thing is I neglected to realize, I need to also build credibility and value.
This means content building, creating information and products that my audience would need and resonate, and really getting to know my target audience and establishing trust because coaching is an intimate relationship.
This all takes time and it doesn’t happen overnight, unless if maybe I was doing all this on the side when I was still at my day job before I quit.
I spent so much time focusing on my website and thinking it needed to be nice and polished before I can start creating content.
If I were to do it all over again, I’d be simultaneously making time to create content for my site, for guest posts and reaching out to people, putting my sign up for coaching.
Tims Note: Theresa is NAILING is when it comes to guest posting!
4. Get Yourself A Mentor
For the first 5 months I signed up for every freebie offer there is, trying to soak up all the business marketing information that people send me, attending every webinar and reading everything, trying to do it on my own.
Looking back I was not very productive and got jaded and lost in the noise.
If I was to do it all over again, I’d follow 2 or 3 people who have already successfully been doing what I want to be doing or perhaps are just a couple of steps ahead of where I was.
Depending on who I resonated with, hire them and work with them sooner rather than later.
I found as soon as I did this, it helped me get laser focused as they serve as not only my mentor but also a trusted confidante in helping me become more productive and mindful in working towards my goal. Thanks Tim!
Remember to make sure it is a fit so that both your time, productivity and energy spent with each other is optimized.
5. Spend Your Money Wisely
Nowadays, creating a website is quite easy.
You don’t need to know how to code and you can find a lot of ‘how to’ information on the web.
However, before you go creating your website, it would be good to know what is the purpose you want to use it for?
Why do you want a website?
What value do you want it to bring to you and to your clients?
When I first started, I built my own website on weebly. And then because of the business direction I was heading and what I wanted to do, I knew I needed to look intoWordPress.
Tim’s Note: Do NOT use free sites like Weebly and Wix…ever! In fact only useWordPress.
I then hired someone to build my site for me because I didn’t want to spend time on the technology piece since it is not my forte.
Now looking back (again) I was too eager and was trying to close the gap of attaining success in a short time frame.
My emotions got the best of me and I ended up investing in way too much money for a marketing/website package deal from someone who was from an inner circle, and neglected to do my due diligence in checking references.
Needless to say, although the service was carried out, I felt it wasn’t a bang for my buck and realized I could have had things done way cheaper through Elance or Odesk and probably would have received the same type of service.
The advantage of what happened is I learned how to use WordPress and I am more tech savvy then I used to be.
The lesson here is: do your due diligence when it comes to hiring someone. Do your research, and do reference checks.
Take some time to think about what are your reasons for wanting a website? What function do you want it to serve for your business?
Furthermore, once you get your website up and running you need to drive traffic and build a list.
This means you need to develop an irresistible offer that entices people to want to sign up and get it. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it has to speak to your target market and provide some value.
The important thing is to get something up and you can continue to tweak as you grow and test out what works and what doesn’t so that you can begin building a list.
With respect to driving traffic, guest blog is key, especially when you score getting your article published on a high traffic website. Optimize the opportunity by creating a bio that allows as many linkbacks as you can back to your website. Most sites allow for up to 3 links.
6. Slow Down
When you start your business, nothing is more of a turn off when you are acting desperate and trying too hard to get the momentum going.
Yes, enthusiasm and passion is key but it is also important to chill out. The reality is your business probably is not going to skyrocket overnight.
As you may heard before, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master anything.
It really does come down to consistency, attitude and effort.
It’s so vital to ensure you have built a foundation or build a rapport/relationship that’s solid to enable value to be delivered instead of rushing through things.
Think of a dream home you’ve always wanted to have someone build.
You wouldn’t want to rush the builders to power through to construct your home so that you can move in sooner would you?
You want to ensure care and attention is given so that you have the peace of mind knowing that the home you are moving into has a solid foundation and that it was built with love.
Similar to your dream home, your clients want to take the time to understand the value you bring, and see for themselves whether or not the service you are providing is solid and of value.
So really take the time to build the foundation and the connection in developing your business.
Let it develop organically. If you find it’s hard to get something done and you are pushing against the current, then you have three options.
- Do the little bit you can.
- Step back and see what you can change and try again.
- Take your focus off it for a little while and focus on something else.
Focus on moving in a direction that pulls you and gives you a sense of ease, instead of continuing to push against the current. Often when you ease off, an insight or idea will strike you. And that’s when you get back into action.
So if your savings are running low, get creative to find other ways to make money temporarily that’s easy to bridge you in investing in your dream.
7. Create A Support Network
Working from home is great, but it can get lonely if you are a one (wo)man show. As human beings we are wired to want to seek connection with others.
So find people who are supportive of what you are doing and make time to meet up with them from time to time.
Or get to know others who are doing what you are doing, and reach out to them.
Chances are whatever you are going through they’ll understand and can help lift your spirit and help you brainstorm ideas and solutions.
8. No Is A Step Closer To Yes
Rejection is something I’ve always had a tough time with and it doesn’t help when I’m trying to make a living being my own boss.
So in the past year, I’ve had to develop a thicker skin and have had to learn to reframe the ‘no’ as getting closer to a yes.
Or ‘no’ as not a rejection to me per se to meaning just not right now. I’ve got plenty of no’s since I’ve started from guest blogging to proposing to potential clients, and I’m still here.
Sometimes I do ask the person why no?
If the person says something that I think I can change or accommodate on my end, I’d tell them and ask how can we make it work?
The key is to not dwell on the no, and to not let it discourage you. Instead pat yourself on the back for trying, for asking. And if it need be, it’s a chance to revisit what you are doing, to see what you can tweak to make your next ask a yes.
These are the lessons I’ve learned the past year and I hope you can take away something to help you build your budding venture.
Theresa mentioned this a couple of times.
To me it is CRUCIAL in growing my practice.
How crucial? Well I have been doing it for 8 years successfully yet I’m still paying a lot of money to do a 3 day course to improve my skills this weekend. I shall report back.