March 12, 2018
It’s already Mentor Monday again, and this week we’re going to be talking a lot about goals.
Coaches love to talk in terms of helping others overcome barriers, but what does a coach do about their own barriers? Who is helping them, if anyone? Do you, as a coach, have sight of the barriers that are keeping you from starting your coaching practice or are keeping you from the next level of success as a coach?
I work with coaches all over the world and for the next few weeks, we’re going to knock out each of these barriers one-by-one.
The first barrier is actually training or learning itself.
If I had the profile of the average coach, learning would be pretty high on the list of their values.
Pretty much every coach I know loves to learn. They’re always reading or listening to something that is expanding their knowledge – blogs, articles, videos, podcasts, etc.
Hey, you’re doing it right now!
And there’s nothing wrong with learning. It’s great to learn. It’s awesome to become an expert and an authority on what your profession.
But I find that perpetual training and learning is the #1 barrier that’s keeping coaches from getting started or keeping coaches stagnant.
Obviously, I’m not against training. We have a huge value for training and learning. Training is in the name of our school. What I’m talking about is perpetual training that in and of itself becomes it’s own barrier to a coach starting.
And this, unfortunately, is more the norm than it is a rarity.
That’s because learning, while it is an important value, is somewhat deceitful.
And here’s why: learning is an activity. An activity makes you feel like you’re doing something that is progressive. It feels like movement.
Learning is also equated with growth. What is the old saying? The more you know, the more you…Grow!
Well, that’s not exactly true.
I find so many coaches in their quest for knowledge about coaching are missing the greatest teacher that they could be getting schooled by, and it’s not in a book, it’s not in a high paid master coach. The greatest coaching teacher is experience.
You learn by doing.
You learn by getting out and coaching people.
Don’t get me wrong: I like talking concepts and theory, assessments, human development and potential – all those kinds of things are fascinating. But when I have a conversation with a coach, I really want to hear the stories of success, triumph, defeat, and failure. I want to hear the stories of who they’ve helped, what one of their old clients is doing now; I want to hear about the client that they have that’s a hard nut to crack.
As a coach mentor, I can only help a coach so much that’s not really in the trenches.
And that’s the thing that I see all this perpetual training and learning doing to coaches, is it makes them feel like they’re in the trenches.
And all this comes with a heavy price tag. Let’s face it: most coach training is really expensive. But the even greater expense is that all this activity which, at a certain point is treading water, is actually taking up precious time and resources away from activities that could actually boost a coach’s skill and coaching practice.
So enough of the problem, let’s quickly talk about how we overcome this barrier.
You already know more than you’ll ever do, so you need to start doing what you already know.
You will likely never use all the things that you’ve learned. You’re already an expert on these things.
But the book down. Save the money on that next workshop registration. Use that money in some way to actually invest it in real, living, breathing people. Invest that money in your business network or invest it in some potential clients. Host a workshop or a lunch and learn.
Ask yourself: Have I actually used learning and getting more training as a justified means of procrastination?
We have to be real with ourselves about this one. Is all this information gathering a tool I use to avoid confronting my fear of starting my business?
Let me say this: fear is normal. And everyone has disqualifiers starting out.
But courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s what we do in spite of the fear.
If you have fear, acknowledge it, and get to the root of it. Find out what you’re afraid of, and start taking action steps to confront it.
Get a plan of action going for your business and work it.
One thing that is typically absent in the academic world of coaching is the practicality of building a business.
Tony Robbins (though people might argue he’s not a textbook coach) is a household name that’s helped millions of people because he has found ways of building his business.
It’s okay if you’re not a business-savvy person. Partner with someone who is.
If you’re already a learner, put that to good use and find out what it takes to build a thriving coaching practice.
We have a Jumpstart program that gives the A-Z on those steps.
But the critical part is accountability. You’ve got to take action, not just talk about it. So don’t let another program become it’s own barrier.