A few months after finishing my coaching training in Paris in 2016, I created a Meetup in order to exchange about our challenges and to knock down myths about being a coach.
But mainly because after 6 months of school I didn’t feel trained enough to start coaching clients towards the accomplishment of important objectives and as the school never mentioned this, I wanted to know if others also shared my point of view.
These are the topics I shared with the group and also my first challenges:
- The French market is not as educated regarding coaching as I expected, which means getting clients is been a mission on itself. I spend more time doing Marketing for my services than coaching.
- My school doesn’t provide a useful professional network.
- It is hard to find a coaching specialization, as I am trained to help everyone on every life area. This confuses people and makes it even more difficult to target and find clients.
- During the practice I realized that Life Coaching is very close to psychology and the line that separates both is very thin. You have to be very clear in your positioning or you can end on the wrong side.
- Meetups are full of self-called coaches who organize workshops to market their services or post their services in Facebook groups to get clients. I’ve seen literally everything. (Many funny stories here). At some point I was embarrassed to say I was a coach.
- I saw a few job opportunities for corporate coaching, but it is difficult to get one of these jobs when you are starting or if you don’t have the right contacts.
- I didn’t feel prepared enough after the training, so I took courses, assisted to conferences and read books non stop to improve my practice. This helped a lot but was a financial investment I hadn’t considered.
- I am surprised to keep discovering people that call themselves coaches when they are not. This creates confusion and diminishes certified coaches work.
- Every coaching training is different. Some are great, some are a joke.
- It was difficult to find a coach supervisor that suited my needs. Also they are expensive. I ended finding mine online, Madrid based.
- I hired a coach to find my “uniqueness” as a coach. Worked partially. I extend on this in the following paragraphs. (“My learning”).
- I still love coaching and I see that it is a powerful personal development tool, that works effectively, profoundly and faster than other practices I’ve experienced.
What new coaches shared with me:
- Some said that one year after starting their practice, they still didn’t have enough clients in order to make a living on that. Although they were told by their schools there was a mature market ready for coaching.
- Other coaches were angry with their school and not happy with the training received or the lack of support after getting the certificate.
- Some didn’t want to call themselves coaches due to the abuse of the word.
- Many didn’t like spending the week selling themselves and were considering doing something else.
What I learnt during the last 2 years:
- Coaching is a trend and many people become coaches because of the wrong reasons, without having done the inner growing process themselves. This is not that obvious, so we need to be careful and do some research when we choose a coach to work with.
- A good way to educate the market is to write articles where you explain what you do.
- I coached many women and they accomplished their objectives. I can confirm that coaching works.
- I wish everyone studied personal development. Becoming a coach changed my life for the better as it’s a door that once you open you never close again. All the courses, the books, the trainings taught me so much about me, my needs, how to be a better person. I’m grateful for this learning.
- I discovered that I want to do coaching only as a part time job. For my mission, coaching is one of the tools I want to use and it is not a goal in itself.
- I learnt to connect my coaching practice with my previous working experience which is a powerful approach. We are not separated from our past and everything is part of who we are today. The challenge is to find the way to put all together.
- I got my clients by recommendation or networking.
- I’ve been coached and I had only positive experiences. There are different kind of coaches for different objectives.
- I learnt that online coaching is great, so I can work with anyone worldwide. As a coach and as a client.
- I took a Marketing course as I could not do this by myself in an objective way. Best decision ever! which saved me a great amount of time.
- The coaching specialization came naturally. The only way to realize which kind of coach I wanted to be was to experience it. There was no way to make the process shorter or faster! Only when I coached different kind of clients with different type of objectives I realized what I wanted to do. For that I made an excel and classified clients, objectives and tools that I used.
This is what I would say to anyone who ask me if she should be a coach:
- If it’s your call and you really want to be a great coach, you have to go through the coaching process yourself. And you must be resilient as to grow the practice is hard and slow. There is no shortcut.
- As I would tell any entrepreneur, consider if you have the resources to make the transition (financial and the mindset), and make a plan for a smooth transition.
- Take time to choose a good school. Ask for meetings, assist to their presentation conferences. (Before closing this Meetup group, I had one last meeting where I learnt that the regulation is changing in France and most schools lost the “Master” certification. (My school is one of them). Apparently the regulation is becoming exigent which is good for all of us who want this profession to be taken seriously.
I hope that this post was useful for you, whether you are a coach, whether you are considering being one, whether you are just curious. Specially if you are a new coach.