As I leaned into the trunk of my car to lift my golf clubs out the cell phone in my pocket started to ring.
I instinctively slid my hand into my pocket to answer it, but almost immediately decided against doing so and hoisted my clubs over my shoulder.
I met my friend in the Pro Shop and we checked in and paid for our round. On the buggy ride to the first tee I pulled my phone out and looked at the number.
I shrugged. It wasn’t one I recognized and I wasn’t about to call a total stranger when the point of the day was to enjoy some down time and forget about work.
I cannot remember how the round went, although knowing my golf game, it was probably badly.
After I had returned my clubs to the car, changed into my normal shoes and jumped into the drivers seat I pulled my phone out.
There was a voice mail that either wasn’t present, or I had missed the first time.
It was from a lady looking for a Life Coach and asking if I could call her as soon as convenient.
I decided to call her from the parking lot and got out of my idling car as it cooled down from the intense Florida heat before I headed home.
A Lost Client
I was too late, she had already hired a coach who answered her call no more than five hours earlier.
I was crushed.
This wasn’t last year, or even the year before, this was 2007 and I was hardly tripping over clients.
All the way home I berated myself for not answering immediately and that self recrimination went on for more than a few days.
It would be easy to think that this is a post about always being ready for the prospective client and to make sure you pick up that phone whenever and wherever it rings if you want to be successful.
I have just spent a super time back in the UK for a trip that included my niece’s wedding.
For over a week I didn’t send a single e-mail.
My laptop can neither send nor receive e-mails and my phone can only receive e-mails. And even then, only if I was at the house we were staying in and logged onto the wi-fi network.
My phone has been like that for about two years.
It started off accidentally when I messed up the account details, but I have left it like that because it removes that temptation to always be ‘on’.
And guess what happened whilst I was away?
I got home to find that, miraculously, the world was still turning.
Sure I had rather a lot of e-mails to respond to and two client inquiries that may or may not be lost because I didn’t respond more swiftly, but that was about it.
You may be thinking that it’s easy for me to be so blasé and that I can afford to lose clients, but apart from the fact that isn’t the case, it’s more simple than that.
My Point In Being A Life Coach
A core value of mine is ‘Freedom’.
Another is ‘Fun’.
And yet another, ‘Integrity’
How can I be operating with integrity if I am ignoring the fact I love to feel that sense of freedom and have fun?
Hold on to your hat for a shocking revelation.
I’m not rich.
And here comes another.
I don’t care.
That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to be, but that I do what I do because I love it not for financial gain.
if you can find anybody on the current Coach the Life Coach course who doesn’t genuinely and honestly think I love what I do then I will not only refund their money, but give you a place on the next course for free.
Here’s the deal.
If a prospective client is so desperate to work with a coach that he or she cannot wait a few days to do their due diligence never mind a few hours, how good a client do you think they’re going to be?
My guess would be, probably needy and impatient. Not a great combination.
After the last newsletter explaining some language difficulties I was having, I handed over a paying client to a Life Coach in a better position to help my client than I was.
I didn’t do that for any other reason than it felt like the right thing to do.
It also felt right being off line for so long back in the UK (once I got over the initial discomfort), and in retrospect it was right to have ignored my ringing cell phone and gone and enjoyed a round of golf back in 2007.
Coaching isn’t an endurance sport and you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to do it. If you do, you’re missing the point.
Yes it can be hard, especially to begin with and if you don’t have any help, but most things worthwhile are.
That’s exactly what makes them worthwhile and why we can get so much pleasure when we succeed.
But, and it’s a big but, your life should be enjoyable and if being a Life Coach negates that, then either hire help or pick another profession.