Life Coaching continues to be mystifying to most. It certainly was to me, until the previous decade of my life. Folks don’t understand the difference between Coaching and therapy, as well as the myriad of other methods that exist within the space of human potential. And because Coaching is a fast-growing field with a low barrier to entry, there is an understandable measure of skepticism that it faces.
One of my larger life goals is to bring legitimacy to the field of Life Coaching and contribute to the public understanding of this profession as being valid, valuable, and just as necessary as any other profession like law, medicine, or sports. I do this in two ways – by building a thriving Coaching business that speaks for itself, and by devoting an extraordinary number of my working hours to demonstrating what Coaching is. Notice I said demonstrating and not speaking about the benefits. When we try to explain what something is, especially a thing as intimate and collaborative as Coaching, we can easily come across as trying to sell to or convince others, both of which elicit a negative reaction from most humans (it’s just how we are built). But by demonstrating what Coaching is, we respect the freedom and intelligence of both parties and allow for the kind of clear and deep understanding that – regardless of whether the Coach and the client decide to move forward – contributes to the general understanding of its art and service.
So why don’t more Coaches work this way? There are many reasons for this, and chief among them, is that many highly accredited coaching schools don’t teach this method. They encourage new Coaches to use their time “wisely” by meeting as many people as possible and implementing a kind of formula that gets the prospective client feeling like they “should” hire a Coach, but then they are not sure of what happens next. The net effect of this method is that most conversations will not contribute to the legitimacy of the field and most prospects will not move forward, or only do so at prices so low that can never add up to a proper living for a Professional Coach.
The other reason most Coaches don’t follow this path, is because of an error in thinking. They believe the value of this work is about how much they make an hour, rather than how significant of a shift the client experiences. My own Coaches, Asiaya and Siawash, can help me uncover life-changing insight in under 10 minutes. An insight, that when followed by actions (a very important element of Coaching), is so valuable that I couldn’t possibly attribute a dollar amount to it. Think about it. How much would you pay to shift a marriage fueled by 20 years of indifference and resentment, into one that is deep, intimate, and connected? What about creating that business or writing that book that has lived inside you for decades, and will likely die with you if you don’t do something differently? What about cultivating a loving – and dare I say – fun relationship with the mother-in-law that feels like a burden you will have to carry for the rest of your marriage? What about building the second half of your life with the mindset and skill set that will allow you to experience so much more ease, peace, and lightness than in your preceding 45 years?
This is not hourly work. This is priceless work that, nevertheless, needs to have a price so it can be exchanged as a service. How we do that, as Coaches, will determine the commitment, and therefore success, of the folks that choose to be coached, as well as the overall gravitas and legitimacy of the Coaching field. If you are interested in becoming a Life Coach and you are drawn to the system I describe, I encourage you to look for schools that teach it. If you are a high functioning person who is serious about wanting to understand how you can live more optimally, I encourage you to find a Coach who is willing to put aside the time – and it’s certainly more than a 20-minute “discovery” call – to help you make shifts in your initial conversation that will only multiply exponentially once you make the commitment to the ongoing work.