Why I Don’t Coach Coaches Part 3 (and my advice for life coaches)

In part two I go over why hiring a coach as a life coach is not a good idea. Basically, I don’t want to be involved in the coach coaching industry, having coaches go in circles, or follow the myth of spending money to make money over and over with no results. I also hint that deeper issues may be involved in why coach coaching (or rather just coaching about coaching more specifically) is generally a bad idea.

Since I don’t want to leave coaches with nothing to do, or an endless feeling of being stuck, and more over because I want to give them some tools they can use regardless of coach coaching, I have decided to do a whole detailed post on what should be tackled instead.

For coaching, mindset and energy is everything. Following all the external techniques and going through the motions will get you burned out with nothing to show for it. So my first piece of advice for coaches is to get in the right mindset. Sometimes coaches want to hang out in coaching groups, do coach coaching and coach each other with free or paid coaching sessions. They also want to talk about marketing and what is not working and why. This is mostly a waste of time. The first thing a coach should do is get away from other coaches and back into the real world, I mean the world where most people either haven’t heard about coaching or if they have, they think is is a scam and a waste of money. So, first of all, a coach needs to get out into the world. Any other social group will do, but the most important thing about the group is that the group is a group of people you enjoy. Don’t go hang out just to hang out and try to grab coaching business. Don’t join a group for the sole purpose of filling up your coaching practice. Right now it seems like a tempting thing to do, because nothing else seems to be working. Put the whole idea of coaching and having a coaching practice down and go do something else.

But, what specifically should I do? You might ask. People are begging pleading for me to tell them what to do so they can have a successful coaching practice and make money. If you want someone to tell you what to do, you should probably drop coaching altogether and go work for someone else. There are plenty of jobs where someone else will be happy to tell you what to do all day and/or night. You will like that much better and feel much more fulfilled than trying to open your own coaching practice. If you are in this spot, it is likely because somewhere along the way, someone gave you the idea that you would make a great life coach and should open up a coaching practice. If you are still struggling to get any clients and want to ask for exact directions of what you should do every second like follow a formula, please just put the coaching stuff down now.

There are plenty of places that want a dedicated employee who does what he or she is told and follows directions. Just go do it and you will be so much happier I guarantee it. What about money? You might ask. Maybe your previous job did not net you much money, so then just find a job that pays more. Maybe you should go get those free coaching sample sessions to help you find a job that is a right fit. Plenty of coaches would like the practice and now you know where to find them. When you are making the kind of money you would like, or at least better than what you were, be sure to tell all your friends about the great career coach you had that guided you along a better path. This is perfectly okay since it is not coach coaching since you have decided you no longer want to be a coach based in this blog post.

Just because your career was not good a fit, does not mean that now, life coaching is a good fit for you. Sometimes, people hear about something, think it is the next great thing, the next great money maker, the next great way to make a living and hop into it without questioning whether their talents and skills are really suited for it. Sometimes people need to be coached out of being coaches. You already know if you are in this category and somehow made your way to this blog thinking you would make a great coach, but now realized how wrong you were, and how you are still uncertain on what you want, but are certain you want some kind of structure, some kind of step by step plan on what to do rather than trying to create a business from scratch. This is a very good realization to have. Yes, the world needs coaches, but it is okay to admit to yourself it is not for you.

Now, the rest of you, the ones who don’t actually want to be told what to do, know they probably make lousy employees and are also tired of being bossed around by someone else, you don’t necessarily want to be a life coach either. I know I know, I just got rid of a good part of my audience by telling them that life coaching is clearly not for them, and now I am reaching out to you, the people that don’t take advice, even though you are probably good listeners. Now is the time to be brutally honest with yourself and ask yourself a series of hard questions before you waste any more time and money on doing stuff you probably don’t want to do.

Question number one

Do I like listening to peoples problems and bullshit?

If the answer to this question is no, life coaching is not for you. People will come to you with things they want to resolve, goals they want to achieve and things they want to move forward with in life. It will end up with a lot of stuck thinking, negative thoughts, roadblocks and other potential obstacles. If you don’t want to hear people talk about what is going wrong in their lives, or even sit and listen in general, please get out of coaching. If you can’t stand listening to people, I don’t know why you ever even thought that coaching was an appropriate profession for you at all. Please select another path where you don’t have to sit and listen to crap.

If the answer is yes, then continue on to the next question, because you are clearly interested in people, and hopefully helping them.

Question number two

Do I feel I have to give people advice and tell them what to do when they are having issues?

If the answer to this question is yes, please become a consultant, and not a coach. If you feel that advice is what you want to dispense, and that you know best, I wouldn’t suggest setting yourself up as a coach. Some people have a sort of hybrid practice between coaching and consulting. Just admit that you are primarily a consultant and you dispense advice. The coach training was probably great in that it gave you the listening skills so you could better dispense advice, and yes, sometimes people come up with their own best advice on their own, but don’t’ go around calling yourself a coach. Call yourself what you are a consultant, such as a marking consultant, a technology consultant etc. Leaving the coaching piece off just might make more sense.

Question number three

Do I really trust that people have there own best answers, or that most importantly they need guidance?

If you don’t really believe in the whole coaching philosophy, why are you a coach in the first place. Please set yourself up as a consultant, please see question number two. I don’t know why you more or less skipped it and some how passed it, but go back and reassess yourself. Most likely you need to just get out of coaching and set yourself up as a consultant, or set up two independent completely separate services, coaching and consulting, and refer your potential clients to the one most appropriate for them.

Question number four

Do I want to discuss the future, or do I believe that the issues rely on an unresolved past?

If you want to steer sessions around to things your client doesn’t want tot talk about, focus on the past, or think that an unresolved past is the reason people can’t move forward, you don’t need to be a coach. Invest in therapy training instead and become a certified therapist. Coaching is not about that and if people want to discuss those types of thing instead of moving toward their goals, coaching is not a good fit for them either.

Question number five

Do I consciously or subconsciously believe that marketing is the devil incarnate and something to be avoided at all costs?

Remember, especially in the beginning, but even later on, much of your time will not be spent in one on one coaching sessions, but rather getting the word out there that you are out there and available to offer coaching sessions and help people achieve their goals. If you think that marketing is evil, and that you are doing evil by promoting yourself as coach, get out. You will be spending much time doing marketing, and if you think it is a bad thing, you have just above all, undercut yourself. You can spend years, but if you don’t put in the effort to let people know you exist, it will be completely pointless and you might as well have not completed the coach training to begin with.

Question number six

Would I really rather talk instead of listen. Do I have a great monologue I want to give that will point people down the right path, with my life philosophy, interesting anecdotes, impromptu lectures and just general things I want to say to people?

If the answer is that yes, you really would rather talk than listen, ask yourself how much is that true. If you feel the need to fill every blank space of silence with words, engage in monologues and monopolize a conversation, Life coaching as a profession is not for you. Sure, you probably get lots of clients because you spend a great deal of time talking about life coaching, your journey. You are probably a big hit at parties where people stand around and listen to your every word. You are a great story teller and probably love when people listen to you. It is fine that you like to talk, but sometimes the most important thing a person can do is listen. If you are so focused on talking about yourself, you will never get to the things that the client needs to talk about in order to have their own insights. The crux of coaching is asking powerful questions, but that can only happen if you listen to the things your client is saying. If you aren’t going to do that, please save us all the time and money and get out of coaching. There are plenty of people that just want to hear you speak.

If you got through those six questions, still certain that you want to be a life coach, know that you want to coach people, but are still uncertain what to do, but don’t want someone giving you advice, don’t turn to life coaching. I know, I know, it is still real tempting about now. You are probably thinking to yourself, I am a perfect candidate for coach coaching, it would actually suit me, I would be the exception rather than the rule, nope guess what, you wouldn’t. Instead I would highly recommend an entirely new way of looking at these issues, learning to read the tarot, and that will go in my next post, tarot reading recommendations for life coaches.

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