Want to Become a Life Coach? What You Need to be a Coach Today is More Than Ever Before
Life coaching, as a professional service industry has never seen times as trying and as tough as this. Years ago, if you wanted to become a life coach, you could just throw up your shingle and go get clients. Everyone had free money to throw around on a lark.
Those times are over.
To Give You an Idea of What You Need to be a Coach Today, I’ll Tell You a Short Story With a “Become A Life Coach” Riddle For You to Solve:
I was motorcycling through Nepal and a monk hitched a ride on my motorcycle. We rode for hours up to a hidden monastery way up in the cold mountains. He indicated we had arrived at our destination, and the Bodhisattva at the monastery gave me a meal before it was time for me to move on.
When I finally bade him farewell, the monk indicated that I should take him back from where I picked him up. Let me make this clear, the same monk rode with me all day just to get to this monastery and now he wanted to go back to very place I found him, backtracking every step!
I turned to the Bodhisattva and asked him (in so many words) ‘what gives?’ expecting the wise Bodhisattva to explain. Instead I got a riddle:
The Bodhisattva said, “How can I drop an egg without it ever cracking open?”
He didn’t answer his riddle, nor did he ask me to figure it out just then, but a long time after I dropped the monk back where he started, long after I left Nepal, and long after I was back in the US, I finally got the punch line.
The Answer to The Riddle is Very Important For The Future of Your Coaching Practice And What You Need To Be A Coach
I actually never motorcycled through Nepal. This story (and the riddle within it) was actually adapted from “The Monk and The Riddle” by Randy Komisar, who was the CEO of Tivo among other luminary positions in the web 2.0 world. You should check out the book.
But the story is still valid for understanding how to become a life coachthat has some staying power. Let me give you the answer to the riddle by showing you some ‘cracked eggs’ (in a coaching sense):
Bad Egg Mistake #1 (Do NOT be This Person When You Become a Life Coach):
The big question that new coaches ask me when they think about becoming a coach is, “How can I become a life coach quickly? I want to get clients fast. Can you show me how to do that?”
The answer is, “Yes, actually, I can show you how to do that.” But it won’t help you.
Why won’t it help? Because the mentality of a new coach that wants to get new clients fast is a short term mentality, and no matter how many clients you get in your first few months of coaching, you won’t make it long term as a coach (at least not with that mentality).
Your egg will crack wide open.
Why? Because when you become a life coach with a short term mentality, you’ll lose those clients that you signed up as quickly as you got them, and then you will probably quit (or become an impotent coach… i.e. “I’m just coaching part time right now until I find some more clients that are ‘the right fit for me'”… yeah right!)
Bad Egg Mistake #2 (This is NOT What You Need to be a Coach):
What if you get started as a coach and you think that what you need to be a coach is to be perfect, and your version of perfect is to steamroll over everyone you touch? I know quite a few coaches like this. They are going to be the next “Zig Ziglar” Guru type and every client is their stepping stone to greatness.
If you keep steamrolling people like this, it’s for one reason… EGO. The need for significance.
The hard thing about being an egotist coach is that in coaching you get rejected a lot. You also risk rejection daily. Egotists hate that. They will soon be moving on to their ‘speaking career’ (that never really materializes in a way that pays a salary), but someday they are “Really committed to being on Oprah… I just know some day I’ll be on Oprah”.
DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY COACHES I’VE WORKED WITH THAT ARE GOING TO “BE ON OPRAH”??
…More than you could count
Man, if dreams were realities, it would be cool.
If you get started as an EGOTIST coach and can’t shift that in a short time, you won’t last at 100%, and your egg will crack. What you need to be a coach is more than just a big ego.
To Have What You Need to Be a Coach For The Long Term is to Find Something You Love About Coaching That You’d be Willing to do For The Rest of Your Life
What about coaching would you be willing to do or be involved with for the rest of your life?
- Would you be willing to coach others and change lives until the day you die?
- Would you be willing to write advice for others until you are on your death bed?
- Would you be ok with running a business that supplies personal development products for the rest of your life?
- Would you be inspired about being known as a job coach, or a business coach, or a life-purpose coach… forever… for all eternity?
Find the part of coaching that inspires you. Find what part of you as you become a life coachyou’d be willing to let live forever, and what part of you you’d be willing to stay committed to until the day you die, and you’ll have found what you need to be a coach at the level of greatness.
Then your egg will never crack open. Then you’ll never quit, even when it’s tough.
Oh, by the way, that’s the answer to the riddle… “How can I drop an egg without it ever cracking open?”
Simple… Just drop it somewhere where if will fall forever.
Jeffrey T. Sooey
CEO, JTS Advisors
Founder, Coaches Training Blog community