"The coaching profession has a problem that is twofold: there is a low bar for entry and a high bar for success" Rich Litvin, in The Prosperous Coach
This is a spectacular quote from one of my very favourite books, and it demonstrates some of the fundamental issues that leads to the vast majority of coaches struggling to make ends meet.
Here are the top 7 issues I have with coaches...
1. First up, you don't need to have any qualifications or credentials to be a coach. Now, while I'm not necessarily for or against that (after all, clients pay for results not certificates), the lack of regulation means that there are many more weak coaches than strong ones. For me, the bonus of certification, is that you have to complete a lot of hours of actual coaching which begins to hone your skills. For the uncertified, they have to learn on the job, which is fine provided you have clients, but...
2. Most coaches have little or no business skills at all. They have no idea how to find potential clients and can't create the circumstances for converting them when they do. And, let's face it, even if you are the most exceptional coach in the world, if you aren't skilled at bringing new clients on board, you won't ever succeed as an entrepreneur (or develop your coaching expertise).
3. Too many coaches have bought into the myth that social media and online marketing is a magic bullet. It isn't. In fact, standing out online amongst all of the millions of coaches who, on the surface, appear to have it all figured out, but are actually amongst the vast majority struggling to secure clients, is one of the most challenging ways to build your coaching business. This is especially true when offering low-cost online programmes that you think will be a no-brainer for your audience, but actually end up attracting nothing but dust.
4. Because of the lack of business skills and the desperate online attempts to gain traction, most coaches wind up desperately grappling for money and often work a second job to fund their passion. As a result, they more-often-than-not end up repelling potential clients, by coming over as needy and desperate, which only serves to intensify their dwindling cash-flow. And, being brutally honest, a coach without clients really isn't a coach at all.
5. The industry naturally attracts compassionate, soulful, and generous people who selflessly want to make a difference in the lives of others, but who have so little confidence and self-belief that they can barely hold space for themselves, let alone for their clients.
They are often so busy dealing with their own nagging self-doubt - I'm not good enough, I'm a fraud - and their meagre bank balance, that clients simply don't have sufficient faith to invest in them. On the rare occasion that they do manage to secure a client, they'll end up telling them what they believe they want to hear (people-pleasing), instead of fearlessly coaching them and articulating what they need to hear, in order to create exceptional results for themselves.
6. Many coaches have a distinct lack of respect for their own profession, demonstrated by the fact that they don't invest in coaching themselves. Despite continually waxing lyrical about how coaching can help their potential clients to achieve everything they've ever wanted (including big financial returns), they allow their own fear, of not making enough money, to stop them from investing in their own success, and then go on to complain when every potential client they attract, can't see the value or can't afford their services.
7. The fact is that, because they've not been subject to powerful and ongoing coaching themselves, the majority of coaches never do the deep inner work and true personal growth that is necessary to become a really masterful coach. Which in turn makes it impossible for them to demonstrate the potential of such coaching to others, or even to create the kind of coaching experience that will enable their clients to flourish. As a result, their clients will often leave underwhelmed by the encounter, and are unlikely to return for more, or refer others.
So, here's your reality check.
The fact is that no one ever really needs a coach. We can all get by (albeit in a state of mediocrity) without one. But, when you decide that you're ready to take your business to a much higher level, to dream far bigger and commit to massive success no matter what; that's when hiring a coach may just be the smartest decision of your life.
P.S. Next week, join me for my brand new Free Live Challenge, 5 Days to Create A Powerful Coaching Experience, where I'll be supporting you to improve your coaching skills, so that you can inspire your clients to fall in love with the coaching experience, and empower them to take unprecedented action to create major results. This challenge is ideal for both new and established coaches and consultants, who want to be more effective in their coaching and help their clients to really win!
Jo Davidson is a Business Coach, Author, and Motivational Speaker, who has forged a successful career supporting women entrepreneurs to fulfill their potential, by fearlessly creating a highly visible personal brand online, which enables them to attract and convert perfect clients without drama, and create a thriving community of raving fans. Connect with Jo today at The Fearless Women's Circle.