“Just keep moving” is my new motto. I’ll tell you why.
On Monday, Hurricane Ian swept over us. Fortunately for us in the Cayman Islands, he was only at Category 1 at that stage. I decided to go for a jog in the pouring rain and strong winds. It was quite a struggle as you would expect. Especially considering that I have only been for a run once in several years! But I kept myself going by singing “Just Keep moving” to the tune of Despacito. And to be honest it was refreshing and exhilarating!
I find the same philosophy helpful in building my coaching business. And I think it is the same for any kind of entrepreneur. Let me start by saying that if you are thinking of becoming a coach, make sure you are in a paid job first. Because the first year of coaching is an apprenticeship. Since coaching is all about service, I thought of it as voluntary work. No matter how you think about coaching, it is absolutely essential to learn the skills and keep practising. So giving away your time is a great way to do this, as it takes the pressure of you to perform perfectly.
The main challenges I have had are to do with people’s attitudes towards coaching. Let me admit here, that the first time I heard someone say they had a life coach I laughed out loud! So I do get it. But just for fun, I will outline the different responses that people have when I offer them a gift of a coaching session.
Reactions to Offers of Coaching
- There are those who are absolutely definite that they don’t want coaching, but then tell me all their problems anyway. They send me numerous texts complaining about their work, the people in their lives, and everything else they can think of. What they really need is counseling, not coaching. I have a lot of compassion for these people, but they can take up a lot of my time if I let them. So I have to set boundaries with them. And I just keep moving.
- Then there are those who are scared that coaching is sleazy, unpleasant or corrupt in some way. They seem to be so suspicious that if they let their guard down and accept one session, I will somehow magically suck up all their money out of their bank account without them having any control over it. They make all sorts of excuses to avoid a free session. “I will be away at that time.” Considering that I work online, it really doesn’t matter where you are in the world! And of course I schedule appointments for people at times they are available. “But I can’t afford it.” I’m wondering what the price is they can’t afford since I didn’t quote them any price. “I won’t keep to the things you tell me to do.” Coaching is definitely not about me telling anyone what to do! It is about drawing out of you your own wisdom, intentions and choices. Again I just keep moving.
- The third group are those who do accept one or more unpaid sessions. They enjoy it and benefit from it. They are happy to make changes in their lives and acknowledge the results. But there is no way they will commit to paying for it! They are not aware of their huge potential, so they don’t see the value in paying for it. They are too scared to even have the conversation about price, because they assume I would be charging astronomical prices. Sadly they miss out on the whole process of finding a customized coaching package with a price that suits them. I can identify with this group, as that is exactly where I used to be. And I honestly don’t mind that I have given my time, because my gift is a gift without strings. Everything is a positive experience and an opportunity for growth for me.
- Lastly, there are the ones who are aware of the fact that coaching is helpful to them. They value that help and are financially, and much more importantly, emotionally able to pay for it. I would have to say they are my preferred group! They are fun and dynamic and ready for the challenge of change. These are the people I can really help to make a difference! And I learn from their coaching probably as much as they do! I am so grateful for these people because they trust me enough to allow me to coach them. The feeling of knowing I am helping someone change their own life is why I do what I do. And it has a ripple effect. As they change, they have better relationships, both at home and at work. So the truth about coaches and their clients is: together we are changing lives and making the world a better place for everyone.