One of my favorite sayings is: Life begins at 40. And I believe that´s also the perfect time to launch a career as an expert coach & consultant!
While there are a lot of things you can do at the age of 40, if you have a passion for coaching but haven't yet had the chance to pursue it, why not consider doing that now?
Given that what you've done up to now aligns with who you want to be, you can use the experience you've gained over the years to underline your knowledge and serve as your credentials - at least partially.
Ready to find out how?
Here are 7 steps to move you towards becoming the expert coach & consultant you have it in you to be - yes, even after you turn 40!
Most expert coaches have a specific niche that caters to specific clients. Knowing your strengths and skills will allow you to identify what niche would be best for you to work in. You need to have a well-defined set of skills so clients will have a clear understanding of the solutions that you offer.
Being clear on your strengths can also allow you to work in multiple niches which increases your flexibility as a coach. In this way, you can help your clients in different aspects of their lives. You can be their personal, business, and career coach.
If you are not clear on your own strengths and skills, you will find it particularly difficult to help your clients find clarity in their lives. This also makes it challenging to convince others you can help them when you (and they!) are not sure what it is you have to offer.
All of us started with a need to learn. And even with years of work experience, none of us knows all there is to know.
That being the case, it is understandable that there are still things you need to learn - even at 40. Being an expert coach requires an openness to continual learning. This is the way you improve your skills and your effectiveness.
One of the most valuable things you may need to teach your clients is how NOT to become stuck in the everyday ups & downs of life. This is true of yourself as well.
So, look closely at your own struggles, seek awareness on what you are lacking and work to improve yourself and your situation. Identify the things you need to learn and spend time expanding your knowledge in that area.
Never be satisfied with the knowledge that you have.
Your service is the solutions you provide for your clients. By continuously growing your knowledge, you are also expanding and improving on your service.
Spend time working on your coaching skills as well. While you may know many terrific techniques, if you are unable to translate that knowledge into effective coaching, it will not serve you or your clients well.
Being an expert coach means having the ability to coach yourself.
You do not just wake up one day and - viola´- you are a coach.
You will need to learn the basics to get started. Read books on coaching, check out all the wonderfully helpful information online. Exhaust every available resource. Look for ways to learn more. Attend seminars and workshops where coaching is the central theme.
Seek support from other experienced coaches. Meet them and talk to them about their experiences. As experienced coaches, they can give you tips on how you can become like them. Some may provide their insights and services for a fee.
If this is something you can manage, consider working with a mentor to cut the learning-curve and speed up your progress.
Fear can be your own worst enemy. In any aspect of your life, fear is the ONLY thing holding you back. If you know exactly what you want and if you are capable of doing it, fear should never stop you from achieving your goal.
Do not let your fears overpower you. Know exactly what you are afraid of and find a way to turn it around.
Preparation is an excellent way to transform fear into success. Cover all your bases. Do what you can to avoid failure…
And when failure happens (because it will!), ask yourself what you've learned from the experience, decide what can be done differently and give it another go!
Being an expert coach starts with being sure that this is exactly what you want.
Understanding WHY coaching others is important to you will make it easier for you to help those people. Because the only way you can provide solutions for your clients is by being truly involved in their progress.
If you´ve been working in a different field, ask yourself why exactly you feel the need for this change.
Perhaps, this has been something you have always wanted to do or your current situation calls for it.
No matter your reason why, you need to see it clearly so that you can make a committed decision to move forward with your training.
After all, no one wants a half-hearted coach.
Have a transition plan in place to allow yourself to make the necessary life adjustments.
If you are used to a 9 to 5 job, being a coach may require you to have a more flexible work schedule. Most coaches who are just starting out usually follow their clients’ schedules. Of course, as you grow your client base and become more established, you can begin setting your own parameters.
Keep in mind that your transition plan should also take into consideration those adjustments the people closest to you may need to make. As you put together your plan, focus on the areas and the people in your life that matter most.
The final and most important step is for you to take action.
Decide on when you want to start and make all the necessary arrangements.
In many cases, this final step is actually your FIRST step to becoming an expert coach & consultant…
No matter what your age, you are capable of becoming an expert coach. Let your passion and dedication propel you forward as you pursue this inspiring and fulfilling career.
If you know in your heart of hearts that this is who you were meant to be and what you were meant to do, nothing can stop you!
William Holt is the go-to coach and trainer for executive women wanting to transition to coaching as a way of sharing their professional expertise with the world. He is also the creator of the Holt Coaching Method as well as the founder and leader of the LinkedIn Group - Executive Women´s Growth Forum.
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