Would you like to help people fulfill their life purpose?
Have you ever thought of becoming a coach?
You told me that you sometimes feel stuck as an employee.
You told me about your longing for freedom, meaning, purpose in your life and in your professional life in particular.
You told me that sometimes, you feel drained by your work and don’t seem to evolve as much as you would like to.
And you also told me that you would like to earn more money to make your dreams come true.
What if you became a Coach?
I know you already have the skills to do it, even if you don’t believe that yet yourself.
It also seems that you are afraid of that Path (which a minute ago, you didn’t even know existed for you).
I thought that by writing this letter, I would put a few ideas together, that could open new possibilities for you.
If you wanted to start to get paid for coaching clients outside of your full time job, here is what you would need to know:
First, this is a gradual process. Not everybody wants to be a professional coach. Not everybody wants to run seminars, workshops and trainings. If you ask me, I have no desire to gather a crowd of 5000 people and have them be full of energy for 6 days in a row. I’m not Tony Robbins. And that’s what I love about coaching: you get to do it your own way.
But before you walk the Path, there are a lot of limiting beliefs that might be running through your mind as they did in mine before I transitioned to coaching:
1) “I need new coaching skills”
No you don’t. Your coaching can get better, but what you really need is to coach.
The Truth: You need to master the Business of Coaching.
One of the things that coaches don’t realise before they start to get paid for their coaching, is that they do the exact same thing that they normally do at work or with friends and family: they help them by listening deeply and diving them heartfelt, honest and valuable advice and feedback. The only difference is that they create powerful agreements and decide to receive money in exchange.
2) “I’m gonna run out of money”
Yes, when you are used to getting a pay check at the end of the month, that can create anxiety when you stop having someone else providing for you. This is why I recommend to have a safety nest.
The Truth: You can pay yourself less than when you work full time, and still feel much more fulfilled. You even get to decide if want to get paid more, and you don’t need the HR’s approval for that. You are empowered and much more responsible.
3) “I don’t know why people would pay me, and what they would pay me for exactly”
The Truth: You might never be 100% sure why they pay you. You can ask them what makes your conversations valuable to them. You learn to trust the process. During a coaching conversation with a client with high responsibilities in San Francisco, I sent her on a meditation retreat that she was craving for. I couldn’t believe she was paying me so much money for me to send her on holidays. That is what she needed the most, and she was so thankful for that.
4) “I’m not good with numbers”
The Truth: Like everything else in life: you learn to work with them, it just takes practices and you end up loving it (like the rest!). When you see your bank account filling up, and all the possibilities that open up for you from the great work that you’re doing, you’ll feel excited at the moments where you can look at your numbers, and you’ll want to serve more.
This is what the Path looks like for me today:
I am fulfilled with my role as a coach, and I am ready to do it for the next decade. One of my friends is a renowned professional photographer. Her name is Alice, and I will always remember when she said: “I know I have the right job and I am set for the rest of my life.” When I heard her say that, it felt like a waking call that I wasn’t doing what I really wanted in my full time position.
Today, I get to work when I want to. And the paradox is: I love it ! When I started writing this article on Easter day, I was typing this text and I was reaching out to clients in the afternoon because I love my job ! I love serving great people with inspiring projects.
The good news is: all this can be learned, and practiced one tiny step at a time.
Now, I would love to share some ideas on what the path could look like for you. The advice below is based on Rich Litvin and Steve Chandler’s Prosperous Coach Approach and book of the same title. If start coaching on the side here is what you can do:
1) Start by coaching one client
You are fortunate to have a full time position with great responsibilities. You have a regular income and don’t have to worry about the future. If that wasn’t enough, you are already a great coach ! You coach your team, and other people around you too.
Begin very small by booking a slot of 90 minutes in your calendar, every other week. Call up a person you know, would love to reconnect with and potentially serve. Say:
“Hi, how have you been, what have you been up to?” Help this person find out what they truly want, and let them tell you about their biggest challenges. Help them get what they want and overcome their obstacles. That is the Connect phase.
If you feel that you can help them with that, ask them: “Would you like some help with that?” If they say “Yes !”, let them know: “Well, You know that I work at YYY, and I also coach clients privately. I have a time slot every other week that I have for a leader in their field. Would you like to book some time together to explore your challenge next Friday from 4pm-5:30pm?” You just Invited them for a coaching conversation.
If they are interested and show up for the session, you Created your first client. It doesn’t matter if they don’t pay you at this stage. You are serving them.
2) If you like it, coach another client
Do this until your slots are booked and you get a feel for coaching “on the side.”
3) Start to get paid for it
At the end of a session, or after a couple of sessions, your client might ask: “How do I get more of this? Can you help me with [other challenge they are facing]?” That is when you pull out your menu. Your menu is just like at the restaurant. It is a piece of paper with the different options of services you are offering. Here is an example to start with (Keep It Simple):
3 months of coaching:
6 sessions of 90 minutes each – investment: 2400€
6 months of coaching
12 sessions of 90 minutes each – investment: 4500€
When you present your menu, you can just say: “Well, here is what it would take to work with me for 3 months. It is 2400€”. They might say “Yes”, they might say “No”, that is the game ! You will love hearing the first “Yes!” You just Proposed to your first client !
You successfully experienced the four steps of client creation:
Connect, Invite, Create, Propose.
4) Save money
Set some of your coaching money aside, so you can create your safety nest. It will be helpful if you want to move closer to be financially independent, and can help you to invest in your coaching.
5) If you still like it, coach another 2-3 clients
Most importantly: coach people you love working with ! Think about that: who would you love to coach? Who gives you energy when you have a conversation with them? Who would be a 10/10 client?
6) If you still like it, increase your prices
You will see, this will help you create committed and high quality clients who you really love serving ! You can always offer sessions to clients who you really want to serve and who can’t afford your regular services. You can create a special coaching package on the menu if you wish. Or keep a few pro bono slots on your calendar.
7) Coach another client at your new rate, or propose to one of your current clients who would like to work longer with you
8) At this point, you might feel that the coaching is much more interesting than your current position.
You might feel that you can express yourself more freely, that you earn more money, and that it gives you more energy.
9) You can move closer to becoming a full time coach if you want to.
Or you can keep your full time job, or move to half-time. You get to choose ! That is a magic moment !
Now that you know all that, what would you do in your life if you had more time, money and freedom?
What are your 3 biggest blocks and challenges right now?
I would love to hear from you.
PS: If you would like to learn more, I would recommend you read The Prosperous Coach.
If you want to start your journey now, here are four videos from my coach, Rich Litvin, who can help you with the four steps:
Connect & Invite