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Having a coaching business may be the only income-producing role in your life where you get to bring your full personality, values and life experience together to serve others.
You get to be authentic and vulnerable.
Sure, you put your best foot forward whenever you can. But you don’t have to pretend or puff yourself up.
You don’t have to build a persona but rather draw from and OWN all that you are.
Human beings tend to forget to OWN their intrinsic value and earned wisdom.
Truly, if you’ve never had a paying client before you can be honest about that.
In fact, I suggest to my clients to say with their first coaching prospects “I’d love it if you’d be one of my first clients!” It takes the pressure off. And your prospect will appreciate your honesty.
But you say it with enthusiasm for the person you’re enrolling and what you offer, right?
Build Your Coaching Business On Your Values
I took my training at Coach U, one of the first coaching schools, which was created by Thomas Leonard, who is often called the father of modern coaching.
He was known for an abundance of short pithy exercises. I received by mail 10 pounds of notebooks full of his exercises and curriculum!
His concept was that anything you did with a client you should first do yourself. In other words be just one step ahead and make sure your come from is authentic.
One exercise was meant to identify core and business values. Maybe you’ve even seen this exercise or a derivative of it out there somewhere in the coaching sphere.
I’ll never forget that exercise because I learned principles about myself that have never sent me in the wrong direction — that is, whenever I let them guide me.
For example … I realized that money is not in itself important to me. However EARNING is a core value. It’s important to me to deliver great value in exchange for my income.
See I crave independence in thought and action and the ability to choose what’s right for me moment to moment.
Those values made me a perfect candidate for entrepreneurship … for developing my own coaching business.
Sometimes, I’ve gone astray from my values trying to implement something that I saw other coaches do.
Through trial and error and a desire to serve myself while serving others I’ve found what fits me better.
Over the years I’ve made adjustments in my business to find my sweet spot – the way I love to work, when I want to work and who I want to work with. All of that is possible by making micro adjustments.
It takes time to find your sweet spot.
With my VIP clients we do much to uncover the clues to their sweet spot. But I also know that it’s a journey that’s worth the exploration.
And this is part of what it means to bring your full self to your business.
I think that being an entrepreneur and running a business is a spiritual journey.
If you have a big message you can put that out in an honoring way that fits your target audience. It could be that you launch your own podcast or get on a stage with that message.
Or it may be in a more quiet way where as it fits, you bring that message to a client in session.
How else can you create freedom in your coaching business to fully be yourself?
Look … you can dress the way you want. Let your freak flag fly. And you don’t need to worry about what people are going to think because the name of the game is attract YOUR people, your tribe.
I’m not a good fit for every coach. And you don’t need to try to be a good fit for everyone in your audience. This is the secret of niching that a lot of people don’t know … you want to become known for serving a micro audience because it helps you thrive.
Decide The Size of Your Coaching Empire
You can morph it as you go. I encourage my clients to start with 1:1 services and then build from there, as they feel called. But you may never need to do anything more elaborate than 1:1.
Beware of doing what everyone else says you should do. Just because there’s an exciting online training program about creating an online training program don’t feel you have to go there.
The reality is you can earn more with less labor and costs with 1:1. It’s the simplest coaching business model. I learned that through trial and error too.
I have adapted my business to fit who I am now. I’m on Prosperous Coach version 6.0 in 20 years.
Some jobs allow for some of that personal growth but most can’t allow you to do that fully because they have a internal structure, a hierarchy and proscribed ways of doing things.
NOW with your coaching business you can make and control all of those decisions.
Bring it! Bring your expertise, work experiences, life wisdom, skills, passions & interests to your business. It doesn’t have to be THE focus or your niche but rather something you bring to your client in the moment.
Consider What’s In Your Coaching Toolbox
Let’s say you’ve studied yoga and meditation. That doesn’t mean you have to be a yoga coach or meditation expert. Instead look for the opportunities with your target audience where that insight or practice will help them achieve their goals. Make those thing part of your toolbox instead of your specialty.
Now don’t get me wrong. I still believe it helps to target a narrow audience, to find out what they want so much they’ll invest in your help to get it. This is your niche. And niching helps you stand out, grab attention and grow your business faster than if you just do the life coach, career coach or wellness coach track thing.
Targeting and niching is about building a pipeline of clients. It’s about EASE and speed so you can earn more and market less.
How you work with your paying clients is up to you. And that’s where your uniqueness, your message and your style all come into play.
And play it is!
So, how will you make your business YOURS?
How can you bring your fully authentic self to this?
For a clue, think about how you’ve been limited in a previous role or business. What are the ways that you chafed against some boundary or rule?
How could you give yourself freedom of expression while you serve?
Your coaching business is the opportunity of a lifetime to bring all that you are and all that you know to the table.