Expert coaches aren´t created overnight. Becoming a top expert coach is a lifelong journey that begins with you making a decision - a life-altering choice that defines you as a person.
Making the decision to shift from your regular job into coaching is a major transition that can seem quite scary. However, it is the first as well as the most important step you will take to get started.
Something Magical happens when you fully commit to your life vision/mission.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no one could have dreamt would have come their way.” ― W H Murray
I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
Once you´ve decided you want to pursue coaching as both a career and a passion, you need to be aware that the road you are on will not always be an easy one. Fear will accompany you and do its best to distract you from your goal. It will build up walls and call on its close ally “resistance” to slow you down and trip you up along the way.
Life brings all this to you so that you can then coach others through this saying, “Been there, done that and so can you!”
To help you stay motivated, here are some of the most common ways fear shows itself and some seriously powerful tips on how to push past it.
This is a natural fear that comes to everyone who is starting something new. It doesn’t matter how experienced you may be, or how motivated and determined you are - a new endeavor is always the most challenging at the beginning.
The most effective way of dealing with “not knowing where to start” is to take action. Do something that you know can push you into doing something more; taking that next step and then the next. Get the momentum going and then build on it until you realize that you actually know exactly the direction your coaching career is headed. I have found the only misstep is to not get started. All roads lead to Rome.
One great thing about technology today is that the internet is overflowing with smart ideas and information that can help you as you are getting started.
Read stories and watch videos about the humble beginnings of now successful coaches. Let them inspire you! And use what you learn to fire up your knowledge, skills, and network as a coach.
Remember how your first job interview went? Your palms were probably sweaty and your voice may have been shaking because of this same kind of fear. The fear of not being good enough is a dangerous one. Allowing it to seep into your mind and take up residence will keep you from doing anything significant in lifetime.
Ban this fear from your mind by remembering that nobody started as an expert in any field, not even in coaching. Everyone starts at the bottom.
It doesn’t matter how you began. It matters that you begin. It does not matter that you don´t have all the skills and experience you need. It matters that you do your best to learn those skills and gain that experience starting today. And while talent can be a valuable factor in success, in the end, it will be hard work and persistence that get you to the top.
Date: Two Decades Ago
Place: Kingston on Thames (Outside London, England) A tudor mansion.
Person: A new coach in town, me.
Situation: Training and coaching the elite of a huge multinational company
Reputation: This place is where you go when you have been designated as a High Potential for the company
Inner Thoughts: These are really talented and smart people and some of them are British royalty!!!
Fear: This has been a short career and I do not measure up to these people!
Reality: I figured out that 80% of what they needed to know to excel was inside them, not my head and what I needed to do was ask them questions that revealed that knowledge to them.
Outcome: I was asked back again and again to guide them in stretching to reach their Personal Best through self-discovery.
Have faith in your dreams and your goals; have faith in yourself.
Just like with anything you do, there is always a possibility of failure. Yes, you read that right. I´m not here to lie to you. I can't guarantee your success.
The female Billionaire owner of Spanx’s father taught her at a very young age to welcome and embrace failure because it means you are trying and will eventually succeed through your persistence.
The truth is you will only become an expert coach and a truly successful one if you work hard enough, if you develop the right skills, focus on being a good person, strive for excellence in your field and get very good at marketing yourself. In many cases, having the right mentor is a key factor as well.
As you climb the ladder of this new career, you will have to do a lot of things by yourself and one of those is getting clients. The most cost-efficient way you can do this is online. Build a strong online presence that highlights your abilities, credentials, and achievements and what you have to offer.
Demonstrate your knowledge and skill by sharing solutions to your ideal clients´ problems. Blogging or vlogging are excellent ways to do this.
Focus on building relationships and strengthening your KLT (know, like, trust) factor. People need to know who you are and what you can do for them. When they get to know you, they get to like you. And when they like you, they begin to trust you. We all prefer buying from people we trust. It´s no different in the world of coaching.
You have to understand that deciding to become a coach means you are willing to take a risk.
The time, effort, and money you invest in your decision can be gained back, (if you do what it takes to become an expert in your field.
The outcome is in your hands.
I understand though how this fear, especially if you have a family, can hold you back; keep you from doing what you feel called to do.
In order to keep it at bay, you must remember how naturally coaching comes to you, how it doesn´t feel like working at all and how your abilities as a coach have the power to transform lives.
Have you not been complimented by others for your people skills?!
Think of all the good things that this career can do for you and for other people. Financial success and security will follow if the necessary hard work and passion are there.
To avoid being worried about your finances, establish a separate source of income that you can rely on just in case things do not initially go as planned.
Have a backup plan. Consider starting out part-time as you transition and build your support systems.
Someone once said, Be stubborn about your dreams, but be flexible in your methods. That´s the motto I live by.
It´s funny how after working so hard to get something we really want, we can actually fear getting it! The feeling of being right there at the top and not knowing how to handle it or not knowing what to do next can be quite overwhelming.
The best thing to do here is to channel your opportunities to other people who might be needing it. Once you hit your peak, do not forget where you came from. Reach out to those in need. As Zig Ziglar once said: You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.
Heading to that direction is the only way we can handle success without blowing it up; and it´s the only way to keep on growing.
Do not fear success when it could mean better opportunities and better lives for not just you and your family, but also for your clients and the people who love them.
Now that you know how to deal with these fears, use them to keep yourself motivated and moving towards your ultimate goal: becoming an expert coach.
Each time you feel confused or afraid, just keep on renewing your commitment to your craft and you’ll do just fine. Dream on, coach on!
Be mindful of and grateful for the Abundance you have now.
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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