The coaching industry is one of the hottest independent business markets for the home entrepreneur. Its flexible, versatile, and a career that can truly make a difference in someone’s life. Sadly, even the best-intentioned and well-trained coaches can struggle to get their businesses off the ground. Here are the five most common mistakes made by new coaches and how to avoid them.
1. Expecting to much monetary compensation at the beginning.
Coaching is definitely a business and just like running the typical brick and mortar business, it takes time to build up a client base. A person will typically visit a website 7 times before buying something. Many people will want to get to know more about you first, before committing to a session. This natural process takes time.
Its easy to walk in to coaching thinking about the $ 50 an hour sessions and doing the appropriate calculations in one’s head to figure out how many hours they need to work to reach a specific monthly income goal. Although, its attainable, it doesn’t happen over night. There is a learning curve of figuring out how you will market your services, how you will find potential clients, and how to keep them coming back.
Look at each experience as a learning experience and focus on the aspect of building up your business instead of what might be lacking monetarily at first. If you can continue on that path, the financial aspects will follow.
2. Only relying on coaching as a main source of income.
I mention the word income again, because it is so important. If you are worried about your own finances, you will feel pressure and this will come through to your client as unconscious pressure either on their part or yours. If you can relax about the monetary aspect by having another source of income carry you through your start up, you will be more free to learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
Think about the businesses you frequent. Notice that many offer multiple services. My vet sells dog food, and offers kennel services. My hair salon sells shampoos and other hair accessories. Diversifying your services is another way to help relieve the income strain. What skills do you already have that can be incorporated in to your business as a side or additional benefit?
3. The fear of failure.
Fear is one of the emotions all coaches in training delve into and just when you’ve think you’ve figured out how to spot it in other people, you look in the mirror and there it is again staring you in the face. Admitting the fear out loud doesn’t mean it will come true. In fact, it can be difficult to sit down and work out your own fears on paper or in your mind. The benefits of analyzing your fears is it helps you grow as a coach and as a person. Its also practical because you can turn them around in your favor.
A common fear is the fear of failure. The what if I only get so much done, or only talk to one perspective client this month are frightening thoughts. You won’t jinx yourself by speaking the thoughts out loud or thinking them. It helps to acknowledge them and let them go, so you can put forth your best effort. Is that fear of failure keeping you from completing any other business-related tasks?
4. Fear of success
If you are like me, your thinking how could I possibly be afraid of success? The whole point of studying and preparing to become a coach was so I could be successful! Yes, but dig a little under the surface, and ask yourself how do you feel about being a coach?
Many new coaches walk around with a silent fear worrying if they are good enough, if they deserve to be the guide that helps another person succeed, if when push comes to shove, can they really say the right thing.
The two most common fears are the fear of failure and the fear of success. Its important to think the fears through even if it feels uncomfortable. Are there business tasks you are avoiding because of fear? Is fear holding you back in some unconscious way? Take some time to think about that and figure out ways to conquer each fear.
5. The I know it all Syndrome
You’ve spent hours listening, reading, writing and role playing about human emotions, and communication skills. You’ve thought through your niche, marketing strategies, and you know where you want to be in the coaching field. Now, its time to move on from the learning faze to the doing faze.
Its definitely time to move forward, just keep in mind that the learning never stops. A doctor knows not to treat himself but to seek out the help of another physician when its required. Its also important to remember that as coaches we still have to walk the walk and to continue to develop personally and professionally, the way we want our own clients to do.
By taking a good look inside yourself, and by contemplating the above, you can move forward in your coaching practice and avoid the five mistakes new coaches make.