Walking the Razor’s Edge as a Personal Coach

Being a personal coach is often filled with stresses, problems, and issues:

  • Marketing for clients
  • Paying the bills
  • Trying to find enough time in the day to balance work, all the energy you give your clients, and a personal life

Being a coach can be a pain in the… neck!

The Fine Line Between The Problems of Personal Coaching And The Joys of Personal Coaching

Coaches walk a “razor’s edge” every day in search of meaning and success. Coaches want a life and career that means something (usually fulfilling this meaning by contributing massively to their clients), but coaches also want to reach the pinnacle of personal achievement, recognition, and abundance for themselves as well.  This battle between ‘meaning’ and ‘success’ can create a real values conflict (different priorities that seem to oppose each other) for a coach.  However, working through conflicts like these as a personal coach can actually provide moments of joy, even when the passion you have for coaching has driven you to burn out, confusion, frustration, or overwhelm. These struggles can create the opportunity to have a “razor’s edge” moment.

The Razor’s Edge, a book written by Somerset Maugham, and published in 1944, is about the yearning for a profound meaning in life and one man’s search and ultimate discovery of that meaning. From that book, comes the concept of a razor’s edge moment.

Tony Robbins talks about these razor’s edge moments when he explains the difference between the ‘science of achievement’ versus the ‘art of fulfillment’.  Tony explains that even if you’ve mastered the science of achievement doesn’t mean you’re fulfilled, and just because you’re fulfilled doesn’t guarantee ‘worldly success’.  ‘Total’ success requires you make consistent progress in both achievement and fulfillment, no matter how ‘great’ your life and business is currently.  Tony would also say, “There’s always another level.”

A razor’s edge moment is a rare occasion when you are facing something you love or feel passionate about, and suddenly everything else just slips away.  People have those moments in pursuit of their favorite leisure activities; an important achievement or ‘mission’, on a trail in the midst of nature, on a sailboat cutting through the waves fueled by a stiff breeze, or immersed in the melody of their favorite song.

Work Versus “Coaching Art”

Work is usually considered something that takes energy out of you, rather than gives energy to you.  When you are doing work, you’re probably doing something you’d rather not have to do.  It takes more than it gives back to you.  This is the way most occupations are.  They don’t serve up constant razor’s edge experiences.

Coaching is different.  When you’re engaged in coaching work, it gives you more energy than it takes away.  After a day of coaching, I’m more energized than depleted.  Are there coaching days when you’ll get up and not want to coach?  Sure… it’ll eventually happen, but once you’re in the swing of things, you’ll quickly fall in love with running those session again.  Coaching is work, but it’s also art, passion, and enjoyment.  A personal coach often has razor’s edge moments while working, similar to what a master artist experiences it while practicing their art.  Here are a few examples:

  • When your client has finally achieved a goal after months of effort
  • When you stop to think about the joy you have helped create, the success you have helped achieve, and the happiness you have witnessed
  • When you figure out how to best help a client reach a breakthrough in their life
  • When you realize how important it is that you’re present for your client as a listener, sounding board, or supporter…

…These can be razor’s edge moments for you… moments when everything else disappears and where that moment, that experience, is all that matters.

3 Ways a Personal Coach Can Have a Razor’s Edge Moment

  • Help those in need. Volunteer to use your coaching ability to help those who would not normally pay for your services. Coaching merely for the love of coaching allows you to fully feel the power of your passion for helping and coaching, rather than a desire for a transaction or getting your coaching fee.  This power can carry you to new levels in your career.  How do I suggest you use this “passion power” when starting your coaching business?   Coach 3-5 free (pro-bono) clients.  Coach them on an ongoing basis for no charge.
  • Take your practice outside. There is something powerful about doing your art in the ideal environment. By taking the occasional coaching session out to a local park, hiking trail, or deserted beach, you and your client may feel nature’s power and allow all the stresses of life to fall away.  I coach out of my home, and use my wireless headset as a way to ‘untether’ myself from my home office, step outside, and walk barefoot in the garden while coaching my clients.
  • Coach yourself. See yourself as a client. Yes, you may end up talking to yourself as you play both the role of coach and client, but this dedication to self-conversation and personal growth may create a new level of consciousness and bring you to a beautiful razor’s edge moment.  These insights and breakthroughs you experience for yourself can ultimately serve as new springboards for serving your clients.  The best way to lead your clients to their own ‘promised land’?  Find your promised land first, and share your authentic breakthroughs with your client for their benefit.

As a personal coach, you are in a field in which it is possible to search for your own profound meaning in life while helping others find theirs.  Your razor’s edge moments are a result of the choice you’ve made to help yourself while helping others, and the passion you have for your work.

Yes, coaches walk the fine line between their razor’s edge moments and the reality of business and earning a living; that’s what life and business is like on the razor’s edge.  It’s not easy.  However, personal coaches are lucky to work in a field where their passion can help others.  Walking along the razor’s edge in this coaching career is merely a pathway to the beauty of a razor’s edge moment in life, for both you, and your clients.

Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. And also, you can click on the Twitter button below to retweet this article…Thank you!

Fred Philips
Business Coach
Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community

FREE Video Course: How to Build a High Paying Coaching Business

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  1. Yoga Cape Town says

    I really value your new article on Walking the Razor’s Edge as a Personal Coach
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