This short episode is part of the Start Smart Series. I share 4 ways to get relief from feeling alone and isolated in your coaching business. And, I make a plea to all coaches to be good to each other in your peer groups. Let’s help each other grow instead of strutting and competing.
Over-delivery can be strategic, such as amping up the quality of your free offers or loading up a paid program with juicy bonuses. But chronic over-delivery in coaching sessions could actually undermine your financial success and relationships with clients. That’s because it’s often rooted in a lack of trust… either in the value of your services or in your client’s abilities. Or both.
- Do you chronically go beyond the time boundaries of your sessions?
- Do you sometimes do your clients work for them (when it’s not part of your package?)
- Have you ever sensed that you might want more for your clients than they do for themselves?
- Do you ever feel resentful that you’re not paid well enough for your time, but then still over-deliver?
Sometimes it’s a smarter move to say ‘NO’ to a new client or opportunity.
But how do you know when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’? And, what’s the difference between a good opportunity and the RIGHT opportunity for you?
- Your values and strengths.
- Your work-style preferences.
- Your business model and vision.
Factor those things into a set of “success criteria” as a way to filter out your best opportunities before you commit.
The secret is to enrolling more coaching clients is surprising. Don’t coach them in the discovery session.
Many coaches find their prospective clients walk away from a sample coaching session feeling “done”. It may be because a sample session is oriented around selling coaching rather than attracting the individual to what they already know they want — the vision of their ideal future.
If you want to transform your ability to enroll new clients, engage them in their own story and vision. Help them feel the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. Then tell them how you can help them close that gap.
Most of the time online tools come with hassles. It’s a lesser of evils sort of thing. Dropbox, my new favorite online tool, makes me smile because there are no bugs, no confusion and nothing to buy. Good on you Dropbox creators!
Dropbox is a place to put all your electronic stuff – files, folders, photos – “in the cloud” so you can access it from all your various devices – computer, iPad and smart phone. Plus, you can give instant access to anyone else you choose.
Let’s say you’ve got a new coaching client in New Zealand, and you want an easy way to get your welcome packet back and forth that’s secure. You set up a new folder with the docs, share it only with your client, then invite your client to open the docs, complete them and save them there on Dropbox. No downloading, printing or faxing. And it’s safe and secure.
Or, what if you want everyone on your team to be able to access a bunch of graphics anytime they need them? Set up the folder on Dropbox, load in the graphics and invite your team to share the folder. They can download what they need when they need it.
I’m going to give it to you straight up here… unless a few clients and a bit of income is all you want; it’s not a smart move to do everything for your biz yourself. In fact, it keeps you from success.
Let me own up… in my first years as a coach I did everything myself except for web design. Not only did it postpone my financial success, but worse, it kept me in the “I can’t afford it” mindset which bled into my ability to attract ideal clients. It’s a Catch 22.
As soon as I upgraded my mindset and hired assistants, I also upgraded my income significantly. I have the greatest creative team – four people who free me up for more meaningful experiences in my biz. I no longer work for money, my money works for me.
Don’t fool yourself by thinking you don’t care about money, if you allow not having enough money to hold you back from what you want! It’s such a set up!
The saddest words I hear from entrepreneurs are “I can’t afford it.” When you focus your precious time only on the things that attract great clients, you always have the money to afford whatever “it” is.
Get worthy. Invest in your own success. If you do not, neither will your prospects. Believe me, if you come from a poverty mindset, so will your clients – and then guess who isn’t enrolling enough clients to thrive? You.
How do you know if it’s time to hire an assistant?
The signs are crystal clear:
Remember the Wheel of Life? You might have used this classic coaching tool with your clients, but have you ever thought of creating one for your business? Most entrepreneurs struggle to keep all the balls in the air at once. The Wheel of Life can help.
To set up the sections of your wheel, name the aspects of your business that deserve consistent attention. Be honest with yourself. Don’t leave an activity off your wheel because you find it scary or unpleasant. Your wheel should cover at least these eight aspects (though your language may vary):
To build brand awareness, get “out there” frequently through various channels – networking, social networking, speaking, connect calls – wherever your target audience gathers. Create a buzz, and an assurance that you’re here to stay.
Connect one-to-one or one-to-many with individuals in your target audience, and with spheres of influence. Get to know and understand them, create trust while you grow your list.
We spend a lot of time thinking about our futures, but strangely the subject of business planning still causes folks to groan and procrastinate… many to the point of never planning at all.
Here’s what I know… if you don’t plan for your business you’ll make less and have less fun. It’s true. I still shoot from the hip as much as the next entrepreneur, but over and over I’ve witnessed that the more I plan, the better I do – both financially and emotionally.
What if planning could be fun and inspiring? What if you could do it quickly?
I just whipped together my plan for next year and I feel great! Plus, now it will be really easy to break it down into baby steps so I never have to wonder or worry whether I’m taking actions that will payoff.
Ready to play? Keep this simple at first. Just jot some thoughts down. Then it’s simple to go back and add more structure and details.
1. What are your personal goals for the year?
Before you do anything else, decide when you’ll take vacations! Get the “me time” and “family time” in there because your well-being always comes first. For next year, I’m taking all of May and December off. Woohoo!
Then, consider how you want your days to flow. I’m planning office hours for Monday – Wednesday, no more than three calls a day.
Consider the theme or overarching inner game for your year. For me, this coming year is about JOY, REST and FUN. I’m going to do more celebrating and less sweating the small stuff.
Then answer these questions: