Mark Stubbles: “You need to be prepared to grow”

You need to be prepared to grow. Becoming successful at coaching will require enormous amounts of self growth. I think any business will show you your flaws but coaching is a business that will find them more than any other so be prepared for a challenge. The coaching industry is now tremendous. It is a […]

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You need to be prepared to grow. Becoming successful at coaching will require enormous amounts of self growth. I think any business will show you your flaws but coaching is a business that will find them more than any other so be prepared for a challenge.

The coaching industry is now tremendous. It is a 15 billion dollar industry. Many professionals have left their office jobs to become highly successful coaches. At the same time, not everyone who starts a coaching business sees success. What does someone starting a career as a life coach, wellness coach, or business coach need to know to turn it into a very successful and rewarding career?

In this interview series, called “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach” we are interviewing experienced and successful life coaches, wellness coaches, fitness coaches, business and executive coaches and other forms of coaches who share the strategies you need to create a successful career as a life or business coach.

In this particular interview, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mark Stubbles.

After growing up in a dysfunctional family Mark struggled with emotional regulation, social anxiety and relationship issues. After many hours of coaching sessions, self hypnosis, mindfulness, NLP and CBT to overcome the difficulties that had plagued him all his life Mark wanted to share the power of these modalities with others so he became an anxiety coach. Mark uses hypnosis to help his clients heal their inner child, regulate their emotions and lose limiting beliefs.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and what brought you to this particular career path?

Thanks for having me. Anxiety was once a serious issue for me, I grew up with a lot of dysfunction which caused me to develop a lot of problems. I had trouble making friends, forming functional relationships, the workplace environment was a nightmare for me. After a difficult marriage and a nasty divorce I started working online doing freelance WordPress development and SEO. This allowed me to isolate myself and avoid contact with people which I loved at first but within 6 months the isolation became too much.

I wasn’t happy, I was extremely angry about my divorce, I was in a relationship that was going nowhere, I felt very depressed and then I injured my back which made sitting for long periods of time difficult. I couldn’t motivate myself to do the freelance work and I ended up refunding a lot of my clients, I started reflecting on how I had gotten into such a mess, I realized my anxiety issues and fear of rejection meant I had tendency to push people away I concluded that this had led to me making some bad life choices and I started looking for ways to change.

I tried counselling but I didn’t find it very useful. I prefer to look for solutions than dwell on the past and I didn’t feel completely comfortable talking about everything that was going on in my head, I decided to try hypnosis. I was still too anxious to speak to anyone in person so I tried listening to recordings at first, hypnosis and mindfulness meditation had life changing effects for me but I was still unhappy with my work. I started wondering what work I should do, I knew I wanted to have more social contact and do something that offered value to people. I actually listened to a hypnosis recording to try and work out what I wanted and decided that helping people through hypnosis and coaching was the answer so I started studying hypnotherapy, then I did courses in mindfulness, NLP and life coaching.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Persistence — Life coaching is a very easy business to get into but it’s not an easy business to make a success of, the online coaching space is extremely saturated. I consider myself a marketer first, a business person second and coaching is my business/product. You need to be persistent in your marketing and be able to get your message out there.

Belief — I believe in what I am doing, I know it can help people and I believe in myself and my abilities. I believe that helping people overcome anxiety is my purpose, my calling in life. I believe the reason I have had the experiences I have had is to push me toward this purpose. I still get days when I wonder if I should just give up and get a job but it is this belief in purpose that keeps me going.

Confidence — I wasn’t always confident, as I said above anxiety was a major problem for me, I had a vicious inner critic that would criticize and put me down but with the use of hypnosis and the other techniques I teach I have been able to increase my confidence and self Belief. When I first started out I was afraid to do Facebook lives and group workshops so I took a couple of public speaking courses. These have really improved my presentation skills so I can get my message across more effectively. Public speaking has also improved my self confidence and it gives me a buzz, I always feel good after a public speaking event.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Regularly listening to hypnosis recordings was probably the most effective habit that I adopted early on in my self improvement journey. By regularly visualizing ourselves the way we want to be and visualizing the outcomes we want we can start to become that person, actually create new neural pathways and prime our reticular activating system to find evidence that reinforces our new beliefs.

Meditation is a very positive habit I adopted, I meditate for twenty minutes every morning. Meditation helps me to improve my focus and be present for my clients.

I exercise regularly, I believe in looking after my body, mind and body are connected so I try to exercise every day even if it’s just walking. Walking also helps me to be present, it’s shown that steady cardiovascular exercise is good for the mind.

I suppose I have a habit of looking for opportunities and ways to promote myself as well. We need to be willing to put ourselves out there in the coaching industry. If you want to be successful as a coach or business leader I think you need to go to where you are trying to get your clients first.

This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Habits create our reality, the more we repeat an action the more we create and reinforce neural pathways in the brain, the more ingrained and habitual the behavior becomes. I read somewhere that 40% of the actions a person takes every day are taken at an unconscious level so it’s important to adopt healthy and productive habits if we want to become successful.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

To develop good habits you need to know what you want to achieve. If you don’t know where you’re going you’re never going to get there so start off by selecting S.M.A.R.T goals, once you have created goals that are sustainable, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely you can get a clear idea of what you need to do to meet your goals and what you’re habits need to be. Consider what kind of person you will need to be to achieve your goals, what kind of habits will the person you want to become have?

The best way to stop bad habits is to become conscious of them, practice meditation regularly and mindfulness so you can catch yourself when reverting to the habitual behaviors that don’t serve you and nip them in the bud before they begin.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

I think my favorite quote would be, “when we change the way we see things, the things we see change.” Wayne Dyer. This quote really resonated with me because I reached a point where I started to question my beliefs and see it was my beliefs that had created a reality which I didn’t like and was desperate to change.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am regularly creating courses which I sell on Udemy. To date I have created courses to help people overcome the fear of blushing, stop negative self-talk, stop smoking, heal their inner child and reduce pain. I create these courses as a cost effective way for people that cannot afford one to one therapy with me to access the power of hypnosis, NLP and inner child healing.

My next course will probably be around the topic of self acceptance. I am also planning a 4 week group coaching to help CPTSD sufferers. Again this will offer a cost effective way for people to access the power of coaching.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Many coaches are successful, but some are not very successful. From your experience or perspective, what are the main factors that distinguish successful coaches from unsuccessful ones? What are your “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

  1. It’s not a get rich quick scheme. Coaching is a highly competitive market which is pretty much unregulated and easy to get into but to be a good coach takes a lot of persistence and passion for what you do. I see many ads on Facebook which sell coaching as some kind of get rich quick scheme, if you are getting into coaching solely as a means of getting rich I would suggest you do yourself and any potential clients a favor and find another way of making money. As Tony Robbins says, you need to know your why.
  2. You need to know your niche. When I first started out I tried to target everyone, I offered stop smoking, pain relief, coaching for men going through relationship breakdown. I didn’t get many but many of my clients achieved their goals which gave me confidence in my abilities to help people and I think this period helped me find out who I was. Everyone says you need to niche to be successful as a coach, if you try to work with all the problems the people local to you have you will be too general and if you try to niche locally you won’t be able to find enough clients that need what you offer so you need to niche and go online where there are potentially millions of clients looking for the transformation you can offer.
  3. You need to be prepared to grow. Becoming successful at coaching will require enormous amounts of self growth. I think any business will show you your flaws but coaching is a business that will find them more than any other so be prepared for a challenge.
  4. You need a story, your ideal client is who you used to be. Going back to the niche idea it helps if you have your own story of transformation, if you have been where your client currently is it helps you empathize with them in your coaching sessions but more importantly from a marketing perspective it allows you to understand them, where they hang out, what they do for a living, what keeps them awake at night. When I first started out I didn’t know who I was so my marketing message was all over the place. I found my niche by considering the things I had overcome, developing my story and helping people with lots of different problems and goals to see where I found the most fulfilment and had the most success.
  5. Be careful of marketing coaches. When I first decided to become a coach/hypnotherapist I thought my edge over the competition was my marketing and SEO knowledge but as soon as I got my first certifications I fell into the same trap as many other coaches, I just wanted to coach and help people, I didn’t want to spend time doing keyword research, tweaking my metatags or writing content. I paid out thousands on marketing programs. The market is full of marketing coaches, keen to show you their system to find clients but what works for them may not work for you. Many of these marketing gurus are just failed coaches who coach coaches to find new coaches to coach, it’s like a pyramid or ponzi scheme.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen coaches make when they start their business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

See above, they pay marketing gurus to teach them how to find clients on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. I would say you can avoid these errors by knowing your niche before you begin, having a genuine problem that you can help people solve or a goal that you can help them reach. Don’t fall for people claiming that you can make a six or seven figure income by following their coaching program.

Based on your experience and success, what are a few of the most important things a coach should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience? Please share a story or an example for each.

Firstly they should know who their client is, what problems they face and how they can help them get to where they want to go. I offer my clients a free initial consultation or strategy call and in that session I ask them how they will know that our work together has been successful? What will they be doing differently? What will they have that they don’t have now? When coaching we need to keep our clients focused on their goal so we can move them forwards, we need them to be fully focused on what they want not on what they don’t want.

After working with several clients, becoming confident at public speaking and working with groups I was able to put together a group program which incorporates the most effective techniques and exercises that I have used on myself and one to one clients. A new coach should also know who they can’t help and be prepared to not take on clients that don’t align with them this will ensure that clients see results, the coach gets positive reviews, testimonials and case studies.

I think it’s important to remember that the client is responsible for their own transformation, we can only show them what we know and be a mirror for them so that they can understand themselves better. I try to be completely present with my clients, the time they pay me for is completely for them.

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business, and particularly in coaching. What are the best ways for a coach to find customers? Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

I have put a lot of time into my site and SEO which ensures I get clients via organic search traffic. I have a Facebook group which has bought me a couple of clients but most of my clients come from giving talks and free workshops. I schedule my workshops a couple of weeks in advance and promote them via Meetup, Eventbrite and Facebook. I usually get between 50 and 100 attendees at these free events. At the end of the event I promote my programs or suggest people book a free Zoom call with me.

The workshops allow me to show my knowledge while potential clients can experience the benefits of hypnosis and the other techniques I use. I often stream the workshops live to YouTube and sometimes I transcribe the videos to create blog posts and articles for my website.

Coaches are similar to startup founders who often work extremely long hours and it’s easy to end up burning the candle at both ends. What would you recommend to your fellow coaches about how to best take care of their physical and mental wellness when starting their business?

I would suggest they separate their working and living environment so they have a place to work and a place where they can just relax and forget about their day. That they practice meditation, listen to hypnosis recordings and get a coach themselves. As a hypnotherapist I have regular supervision sessions which enable me to get feedback on the work I am doing with my clients.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I don’t know about a movement but I think everyone could benefit from inner child healing especially if they are planning on having children themselves, what we don’t heal we re-enact on others. I see a lot of evidence for generational trauma in the world at the moment.

95% of what we learn throughout our lives is learnt before the age of five which means children pickup most if not all their limiting beliefs from their parents and then pass these on to their own children.

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

I can’t think of anyone alive at the moment, a person whose books have had a big impact on my own healing would be John Bradshaw. I think his work has helped many to reconnect with their inner child and heal the trauma of growing up with dysfunction.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

They can visit my website

Join my Facebook group

Subscribe to my YouTube channel

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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