Over the past few weeks I’ve had several coaches from other programs contact me to help them overcome their barriers to getting started. One coach, in particular, told me that they got certified 5 years ago, but they’ve simply procrastinated and haven’t taken the first step to starting their coaching practice.
I don’t really have much of a concern if a coach gets certified and they aren’t taking steps in the first 3-6 months. Frankly, most coaches are working full-time and have limited time to get their coaching practices started. But once a coach goes over a year without taking any steps, it’s a real red flag to me.
I’ve worked with literally 1000’s of coaches over the years, and I’m currently mentoring 125 coaches all over the world who are currently in the process of launching their coaching practices.
What I’ve learned is that there are 3 main barriers that cause new coaches to procrastinate on launching their practices.
Here are the 3 barriers that cause coaches to procrastinate and how to overcome them:
Getting stuck in perfectionism.
I don’t want to say that all coaches are perfectionists. It’s just that many are.
Perfection is really a myth anyone. No one is perfect. And not a single coach that’s started was even close to perfect. Truth be told: all of us “veteran” coaches would probably cringe if we had to sit through some of our rookie coaching sessions or even read through some of our initial marketing.
But that’s how all great things get started.
I don’t if you’ve ever though about this, but many of the brands that people have come to love like Microsoft and Apple launch new versions of their products every year.
People stand in line for the latest, greatest iPhone. Within a week, many users are complaining and sharing their woes with their new phone. And what does Apple do? They issue some software updates and upgrades in the form of “fixes.” Yes that’s right: Apple, a huge, successful, loved, progressive, customer-driven company that spends millions of dollars on research, development, and marketing releases products that still have issues.
How does this happen?
Because even Apple knows that, at a certain point, perfection is impossible, and it has to be replaced with “good enough.”
That’s what I try to tell new coaches. Hey, you’re never going to get it perfect. At some point, you’re going to have to choose “good enough.” I’m not saying to not be excellent and do your due diligence. I’m just saying that perfection is impossible, and it creates barriers for coaches getting started.
Even Apple knows that if they don’t choose “good enough,” they will lose their edge and their standing in the marketplace. They know they will have fixes. They’re prepared for it.
And they also know there will be another version of their phone 1 year later.
New coaches need to embrace the fact that they will continue to make adjustments in their coaching and even their niche. That’s why I encourage new coaches not to do print advertising. A website or a social media profile can be changed in minutes.
Give yourself a break. Understand that you’ll always be improving.
Not knowing what steps to take.
I’m astounded at the number of coaches who don’t have a plan as to how to start their coaching practice.
Starting a coaching practice really isn’t hard. In fact, launching a coaching practice is the least risk, the lowest overhead, and the fewest steps of pretty much any startup.
But when a coach doesn’t have a plan, doesn’t even know their first 3 steps, it can paralyze them.
We know this is a huge issue. Most coaching schools only train coaches on coaching skills and only share a few vague ideas on how to start a coaching practice.
That’s why we launched Jumpstart Your Coaching Practice 2 years ago. It’s an A-Z on how you get your coaching practice started with everything from how to discover your niche, how to sell, how to answer objections, to how to create multiple streams of incomes. Not only is this information readily available in 20 online modules, but we supplement it with weekly mentoring in the form of a live group call and an online community of coaches where you can roleplay and get feedback on what you’re working on.
You might already have the skill to get your plan together. If so, then do it! If you need the help, you have that option as well!
Not having deadlines.
Procrastination is still pretty common even with people who have a plan and don’t have perfectionist tendencies.
That’s because nothing gets done until action steps are put in the calendar and deadlines are set.
I know a lot of tremendous employees and have had a lot of friends who made great grades in college and all were procrastinators. So how were they successful? And when did they start?
Well, for the most part, all of them started as late as they could – final hour reports, all night crash sessions before an exam, etc. But the deadlines that were set beyond their power caused them to follow through and kept them from ultimate failure.
Finally, when it comes to starting your own thing, we don’t have anyone breathing down our throats or have the threat of failure.
So what that means is that we have to be our own coach. We have to hold ourselves accountable.
To do that, we have to stop perfecting and make a lifetime commitment to improvement instead. We have to get a plan, and we have to set real deadlines for when that plan is going to get accomplished.
You can do it! Even if you’ve been putting this off for years, these 3 tips will ensure that procrastination doesn’t keep you from living your purpose!