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Are you ready for change & success?


April 22, 2019

Dear SharonAnn,

I’ve been thinking about quitting my corporate job and starting a business. I’m 48, my kids are launched, my spouse is happy in his work, we’ll be retiring in 15 years and I am restless for a new challenge. I want to make wise moves both with my career and our money. I’ve been thinking about getting a coach. What exactly is a coach, and what outcome will I get when I work with one? Oh, and how do they work, what do they charge, is there any downside?

Signed Curious & Ready for Change & Success

Dear Curious, what an important question! You are right to investigate before hiring the first coach you find. A true coach feels a calling to serve others with all of their knowledge and experience offered to the clients to help them achieve what THEY want. I’ve seen several systems that work, if it’s a right fit for the client. Here are just three of them:

The Gamify System is a system where client earn points in order to win the game. The client goal is set up, the benchmarks are co-created as well as rewards. After a pre-set time, the game is re-evaluated. Every coach/client interaction uses sports terms such as scoring points and winning.

The Template System is a template the coach has learned from their teacher or from a class they have taken to learn a template. The work is very structured and moves the client along to their stated goal quickly.

The Intuition/Flow System isn’t. It isn’t a specific system, rather it is based on helping clients accomplish specific projects, or research, or ways of being. In this system that isn’t, the client sees the problem, and asks for guidance. For example, accountability of agreed-upon actions toward a goal. Some coaches access prayer, for example guidance by The Holy Spirit to help clients through the maze of choices. Intuitive coaches point out tiny shifts available to clients to accomplish goals faster.

Every coach has different education. In order to achieve the goals you want, starting a business and being careful with your money decisions, you need to find a coach with this type of experience. Here is a checklist of what to look for:

• What education and background does the coach have?

• What certifications does the coach hold?

• How long has the coach been coaching?

• What does the coach charge?

• How does the coach work? Face to face, phone, group calls?

• Do you like, respect, believe they will help you get to your desired outcome?

Some coaches offer programs such as eight-week intensives with recorded classwork and group events for fees ranging $500-$25,000, Some coaches offer longer term packages such as three or six months of coaching ranging $1,800-12,000. Still other coaches work on a flat hourly rate from $100-$1,000 per hour depending on the skill and the need. No matter what a person spends for coaching, it is valuable. All learning is valuable either for goals of today, or far-reaching goals.

It makes sense to decide in advance what you are willing to invest to get the best shortcut to your outcome. Could you invest $3,000 to get a business going without risking your nest egg? Could you invest $190,000 in an existing business and coaching to teach you how to make it work? What is your comfort zone?

These decisions need to be made jointly with your spouse. I’ve seen unilateral decisions lead to major stress and even divorce. Sadly, it was avoidable just by including the spouse in the discussions even if he or she did not intend to work in the business.

Over the years I’ve hired coaches offering all those systems and more, and I have never regretted spending the money. I’ve regretted losing time. The one thing you can never get back once it is gone is time. You can always earn more money. You can never gain back the time you lose while you try to do it by yourself. For me, learning to BE a coach is a quest, an honor and a pleasure.

Just as a family medical doctor refers issues to specialists – cardiac, dermatology, endocrinology, coaches do likewise. Coaches are the most self-aware professionals you ever meet. They have spent thousands of dollars honing their skills to help their clients. Coaches know what they can and cannot offer to clients. When a situation arises that needs the expertise of other professionals, such as counseling, legal issues, or complex tax problems, referrals are made to specialists.

When you hire a coach, you do the work, not the coach. It is in doing the work that you learn the skills and build your confidence for life.

Many of the skills coaches teach are evergreen. A good example is “mindmapping.” I taught mindmapping at a retreat in December. One attendee, an architect, said he uses it now all of the time: with clients while discussing a project, at staff meetings, for a book he is writing, even vacation planning.

Personally, once I learned the value of getting everything out of my head, I’ve used it for many projects such as planning out my year ahead, developing a new outreach with the Council for Women, even my new blog called “Pet Sitting at Home and Abroad” is building using a mindmap.

When you want to get somewhere fast, hiring a coach is your best option. Most coaches will give you a free session. It’s not hard to find three coaches and choose the one that is right for your goals. You can do it by yourself, but you don’t have to. Investing in your own education is never lost.

Just like life, when you are willing to do the work, a coaching experience can yield big dividends.


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