Ep 131 – 5 Critical Skills to Be Successful in Your Coaching Business

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Show Notes

This episode is powerful!

When I was in coach training all I thought about was coaching skills. And after coach training I just wanted to use those skills and help people.

I wasn’t thinking about the other skills that are equally important for me to succeed.

The reality is that coaches need coaching business training as much as coach training. I learned this the hard way and it became my mission to supply this support to coaches.

Now, all skills have to be learned. AND it’s okay to be a beginner.

So let’s start with that …

The #1 Skill You Need to Be a Coaching Business Owner

It’s the ability to learn from your mistakes. And that means you need to be willing to make them.

Learning how to run your business well never ends. It’s like learning to be your true self or learning to be a contributing and compassionate human being. All the best things in life require continuous improvement.

And, I know this for sure … if you aren’t willing to learn how to run your business DO NOT start one.

It’s okay if it’s better for you to find a different way to coach than to have your own business. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone.

There are some organizations that hire coaches as either employees or contractors. You’ll likely earn less than you can as an entrepreneurial coach but you won’t have the hassle of marketing and the like. Expenses will be low too.

I knew that I wanted to have my own business from the get go. I didn’t want to ever have a boss again. I wanted to do things my way and enjoy all the freedoms that come with entrepreneurship.

Did I fully understand the responsibilities of running a business at first? Not at all!

So that’s the 2nd most important skill. Take responsibility for your success. That means you do what must be done day in and day out and learn not to sweat it.

It’s not just showing up for clients. It’s showing up for ALL OF IT. I can’t shirk creating a weekly podcast episode, social media or paying my expenses IF I want to be financially successful and feel good about what I’m doing.

Few people love marketing although I’ve learned to enjoy it because of the non-salesy way I do it. And loads of coaches hate the idea of social media. But unless you have a ready made network of people longing to hire you already, its part of being an entrepreneur and attracting clients.

If you decide to be a business owner, be responsible for yourself and your success.

Timely, Thoughtful and Respectful

The #3 skill is communication – timely, thoughtful, respectful communication. Seems obvious right but it’s interesting how good coaching doesn’t necessarily translate to good communication in other ways.

Quality written communication is just as important as those verbal moments with a client in a coaching call. Set a goal to get increasingly better at written communication. It’s a HUGE part of running a coaching business.

#4 is respect. Respect yourself and respect others. This isn’t easy and I fail all the time. I’m working on it.

How do you show yourself respect?

  • Give your full attention to what’s important to you. (And if that doesn’t include your coaching business don’t start one.)
  • Set strong personal boundaries. Don’t let anyone walk on you.
  • Do what’s right for you and learn to be yourself.

How do you show respect for others?

  • Show up on time.
  • Be responsive and compassionate.
  • Show gratitude and kindness.

And the #5 top skill for being successful at your coaching business is decisiveness. This one takes practice.

Nearly every coach I’ve met is a perfectionist in mindset if not in habit. There’s a tendency to over analyze, second-guess, trust friends over themselves and experts and slide back after making a decision.

One of the things I teach my VIP clients is the concept of getting to good enough. That’s not sloppy work. It’s working smart. And it’s critical to be agile in your business to succeed.

  1. Gather the most useful but not all information.
  2. Sift through it taking guidelines and your intuition into account.
  3. Apply thoughtfulness and creativity, then edit strategically
  4. Finalize and move on to the next thing.

I’ve worked with coaches who are FAST! They know what they want, what’s important to them, and they also can take direction, run it through their filters then decide. That decisiveness is a highly prized in the marketplace.

I’ve also worked with coaches who are slow because they don’t trust the process or themselves. It’s important to give yourself some rein and be okay with mistakes.

It’s better to move forward with an educated guess than it is to endlessly study, mull, agonize and slowly getting to market. Perfectionism holds you back.

My VIP program is 5 months long. We take time but we’re work-shopping the whole business development foundation at a fair pace.

Imagine this … your business is full with clients. You have a well-oiled machine for admin and marketing. Are you going to take weeks to accomplish one task? No way. You must get to good enough and move on.

It’s taken me years to stop agonizing, to become more decisive. I will tell you that willingness to be good enough instead of perfect has literally paid off in higher income, more ideal clients and more joy in my business.

Whereas the perfectionistic approach in my early years slowed me down in multiple ways, especially in my success rate.

So to review – the 5 most important skills to be successful in your coaching business are the ability to learn from your mistakes and other’s, be responsible for your success, excellent written and verbal communication, being respectful of yourself and others and lastly, decisiveness.

Put your focus on these and give yourself time to improve. You can do this!