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This episode is part of the Smart Mindsets & Habits series.
I wanted to let you know that my last episode had record listens. I was sharing how there’s one thing you must have going for you to be successful in your coaching business.
It’s worth a listen because it’s likely not at all what you think. Check it out at prosperouscoach.com/102.
Many coaches worry that they need expertise to be successful as a coach. Well … do you need expertise?
I say no.
But if you cultivate expertise you will gain credibility and find many ways to serve others with it.
Experience is the Primer for Expertise As a Coach
Sometimes I’ll talk to a coach who has decided to focus on a target audience and niche because they think that’s where the money is.
For example a coach who has never been in corporate decides to become a corporate coach. Or a coach who has never had any business experience deciding to be a business coach.
While it may be true that there can be increased income potential in corporate or business coaching, the competition is fierce. And without a background – some experience in those worlds – targeting them would be fruitless.
You’ll notice, in those particular circumstances it’s not expertise they need so much as experience.
When I help coaches choose their target audience and develop their niche I do look for and encourage them to leverage their unique experience, knowledge and wisdom.
It doesn’t have to be career experience by the way. It can be life experience.
In those cases it can be the foundation for a natural audience and coaching niche solution.
Are You Second Guessing Your Experience?
But sometimes, even with vast experience, a coach won’t fully perceive and believe in the value of their own experience. They second-guess it.
Or they find holes in their knowledge that they think disqualifies them off hand to work with an audience.
I don’t see it that way. I know the power of story. And I know that if you’ve experienced what it’s like to be your target audience – even if you’re not there now – it brings you credibility.
So consider thinking of experience as the primer for expertise.
Gain Expertise in Days
I think a lot of people have an old fashioned concept of expertise. There’s that apprentice idea that you have to follow the master around and learn everything they know before you can go out on your own.
But we live in modern times where knowledge and experience are at our fingertips.
I have a fluid concept of expertise. And I invite you to consider adapting it.
To me, expertise is when you’ve applied focus and awareness on a particular problem and you’ve solved it for yourself or at least begun to solve it for yourself.
Focus + Awareness are powerful ingredients to quickly build expertise.
Do you think I was an expert in coaching niches from the very beginning? Nope.
Do you think I was a skilled copywriter and copy editor before I started helping others write? Nope.
Do you think I knew how to help coaches develop their niches to the extent I know how now when I first decided to target coaches as my audience? Nope.
I floundered around just as most coaches do confused about where I belonged and who would find me credible. I struggled horribly with Imposter Syndrome. And for a very long time I charged prices for my services that were too low to be sustainable.
But one day I decided to become an expert. And that alone got me half way there.
I focused in on a top challenge I had as a coach and I played around with theories about how to fix it until one day I had a clear step-by-step system that I could teach others. And then I focused on other specific problems.
This way is what I call the teacher archetype. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet you can find it at prosperouscoach.com/12. And anyone can take a problem then apply awareness and focus to solve it. And anyone can pass that knowledge forward to others.
But here’s what most people don’t realize … expertise grows very quickly if you apply yourself. It doesn’t have to take years. In some circumstances it only takes days.
So why doesn’t everyone have expertise?
It is only because they haven’t applied themselves to acquire it.
So, I leave you with this. Look closely at your own life and give yourself credit for all that you’ve figured out on your own. Then pick an area that fits a very specific acute problem that one narrow target audience has. Make that your area of study and then leverage that.
To all the wonderful coaches out there who don’t yet believe in their own experience I invite you to OWN it and build upon it. Become credible in your own eyes. Let go of the doubt.
It’s only doubt. You can blow it away with a breath. You can do it!