It’s not unusual when coaches first start their business to bend over backwards to enroll a client. But people pleasing can become a reliable method of self-sabotage.
For example, instead of setting firm prices you let your clients set their fees to work with you. Or, you cave with the least bit of push back.
And it doesn’t stop with fees, you might be letting your clients dictate WHEN you work or HOW you work. You never really wanted to work nights and weekends but here you are.
And it doesn’t even stop with clients because when you get invited to speak or asked to be on a panel or asked to be on a board, the thinking is – they want me! And, maybe it will help get clients – but too often it does not. And there are reasons for that.
What I know for sure from my own experience bending over backwards in the beginning of my coaching business is that the faster you stop that habit the better off you and your clients will be. Being a push over won’t help you get stronger or succeed. Being a professional will.
A Strength Overused
A lot of us were taught to concede rather than fight for what we want. We were taught to serve everyone else before we serve ourselves. Can you relate to that?
And, interestingly, often that personality trait of being a giver is what attracts people to become a coach. It’s a big learning opportunity because in business you have to set your business up for success not concession.
My Enneagram number is 2 – The Helper. When I started my coaching business the downside of that default mode was in my face every day And it has taken me many years to learn to set strong boundaries and be guided by values other than service.
Don’t get me wrong, it is a great strength to be service oriented. But any strength over used becomes a weakness.
As a business owner and professional coach, you need to grow other strengths and modulate tendencies to overdeliver, over extend and cave in to other people’s desires – even your clients’ desires — and especially when it’s at your own expense.
Look if you are people pleasing in your coaching business then you’ve been people pleasing for a long time before this. It’s an old habit that has long since lost its value for your life, although it may have been a great coping mechanism when you were young.
You know the saying from Peter Drucker: “how you do anything is how you do everything?” That applies to positive traits and habits and self-destructive ones too.
3 Feelings Reveal That You Are People Pleasing
- You feel overwhelmed because you are over-extended in many areas of your life.
- You feel resentful because it seems that everyone else gets what they want except you.
- You feel shame because deep inside you know you have repeatedly given your power away.
Please know that you are in good company AND that you can change this habit. Like any transformation it’s about being mindful and correcting your knee jerk reactions one thoughtful response at a time.
You may need the support of a therapist and/or coach to help you stop people pleasing. I certainly did.
Here’s an affirmation to say to yourself every day:
I act from my personal power and do what’s right for me.
This will not make you a bad guy or a selfish person. You will still give where it’s 100% appropriate for you.
Giving only when it is right for you will help you love your life and love your business, which will ripple out to all the important people of your life including your coaching clients.
3 Ways to Set Up Your Coaching Business So You Cannot People Please
One of the things I teach my VIP clients is to set up their coaching business a way that serves them well while it also serves their clients. I encourage them to be guided by their ideal vision — to stay picky so they end up with a business and life they love.
Here are 3 ways to set yourself up for success in business and this applies to the rest of your life as well.
- Set fees that pay you well and stand by them. Never discount.
Don’t wait for some point in the future to do this. Do it now even if you are a new coach!
- Set up your calendar for working with clients and running your business in a way that fits your ideal lifestyle. Fit your clients into those slots.
Don’t work weekends and nights unless you have to because you have a day job and want a side gig for coaching. Do what will make you feel like you have a wonderful life with open time for you, your family and friends.
- Say ‘yes’ only to clients and opportunities that are a perfect fit for you and only after giving yourself ample time to think about it.
If you want to give talks to attract clients then create 3 keynote talk titles and talking points that will help attract your clients. Don’t give talks on other subjects even if asked unless it is something you can re-purpose later. Then give talks only at events where your target audience is at least 80% of the event’s audience.
It’s all about setting up SUCCESS CRITERIA so you have guidelines for what you truly want to say yes to.
You can have it! Be in the driver’s seat.