Does hiring a business coach waste money?
I remember when I first heard the term “Life Coach.” Immediately, I judged it as a job taken by a college drop out.
One of my favorite shows Parks and Recreation has a few skits poking fun at the idea of life coaching.
Over the last 4 years of my entrepreneur journey, I hired 5 coaches.
I hired each of them to help me with aspects of my side business. But I found our discussions often turned to answering questions about my life like,
While I received valuable advice about business from each coach, I am more excited about the changes within myself. One of my clients had a similar experience, “You’d think the extra money would be the thing most people would be thrilled about, but I’m more excited about the positive mental changes. I faced my own negativity for years. I would tell myself things like, ‘No one will buy from you,’ or ‘You don’t have enough credibility.’ With Alex’s coaching, I found myself telling myself a different story. I’m hopeful for the first about my business!”
What I learned over the last 4 years of hustle, if you can change the way you think, then you can change the way you act. My five coaches helped me evaluate and change my thinking (especially all my negative thoughts), which allowed me to take faster action.
I track how much money I spent on coaches over the last four years, and how much revenue is generated from my endeavors. And if you check out my homepage, you can see how well those investments paid off. I paid coaches $125 to $400 per hour of time. But my return on my investment is calculable
Is hiring a coach worth the cost?
Perhaps a better question is, “Are your dreams, goals, and ambitions worth the investment?” or “What are your dreams worth to you?”
If your dream is not worth spending a few hundred dollars, then your dream isn’t worth much to you. Think about all the little things you buy throughout the week that give a momentary pleasure (coffee, fast food, Netflix subscription). Those dollars spent could be used on your big dream.
Imagine if J.K. Rowling thought her book idea wasn’t worth spending money on editors before submitting Harry Potter to big publishers, or if Chris Pratt didn’t pay for acting classes because his dream wasn’t worth it, or if… You get the picture.
You could set aside a few dollars every month and invest it in yourself. Use this month to buy a course to teach you a specific skill, or hire an expert to do it for you.
Don’t view your money a zero-sum game. Your money won’t be wasted on any coaching because, if you find a good coach, you will change the way you think and thus the way you act.
Could you imagine taking movie recommendations from a complete stranger?
Anytime I feel iffy about seeing the movie in the theaters, I’ll reach out to my personal network for their recommendation. I trust my friends. Okay, I’ll admit it I trust my acquaintances on Facebook too.
Testimonies are a must for any coach. Potential clients want to know that you have helped other people succeed. Something interesting I noticed about testimonies on my website is that it is a one-way conversation. Most testimonies talk about how amazing the coach was and what the coached help with. You miss out on what the coach thinks about the client.
A reverse testimony is the coach’s opinion of how the client performed.
Here’s why I think all coaches should consider writing a reverse testimony.
1) New insights into your ideal client
When a contract ends with a client, one of the first things I set up with them is a time to record a testimonial. I have a list of questions for the client to answer over the phone. I began to see patterns emerging from my clients. After some reflection, I found common themes about the people I was coaching.
So I let my observations simmer for a while. Eventually, I asked myself this question, “What did I love about my clients?”
This created all sorts of new information about who I love to coach and why. It created this story about my ideal client that I hadn’t seen before. Whenever I’m talking with someone who’s interested in coaching I can see them at the beginning of my ideal client story, and I’m better able to connect with them or rule them out based on my ideal client criteria.
My ideal client characteristics began to form, and now I meticulously look for them in any prospect. By creating a reversed testimonial about how great a client is, you are able to discover qualities that you since research out in every prospect.
2) Gratitude is happiness
I experimented with the five-minute journal for six months and loved it because one of the questions is asked is “what are you grateful for today?” But focusing on the things that I am thankful for in my life I can change my mindset from scarcity to abundance.
Creating a reverse testimonial for your client shows them how much you meant to them. It demonstrates to them that if the relationship that you created isn’t all about money. I think coaches get a bad rap especially new coaches because they seem her act desperate to get new clients. And that scarcity mindset leads to actions that show and desperation for money.
3) A gracious word is more than a gift
The testimony is beautiful to receive. You feel validation, satisfaction, and fulfillment. Gratitude is not common, even if you feel like the gratitude message is everywhere online (which is how I felt). I show my genuine thankfulness via a video recording from my phone, people remember me and are thankful.
Someone once told me that they didn’t like Star Wars: Rogue One because it took the realism out of Star Wars.
I responded with, “Well, I think audiences thought the same thing about the Hobbit trilogy. I mean, who believes that dragons still exist?”
Unrealistic opinions are everywhere about popular culture, politics, and movies; and now it’s time to tell you about my opinions about gurus’ advice on starting a coaching business.
Many experts claim you need to do things such as…
attend a coaching university
receive a coaching certification
obtain coaching from the certified “best” coaches in our industry
I totally disagree.
While I think those ideas above are helpful, I believe they slow down becoming a coach.
The fastest way to learn how to be a coach, is to coach.
Winston Churchill once said, “I love to learn, but I hate being taught.” Humans were built to learn trial by fire rather than in the lecture hall.
Could you imagine if schools tried to teach how to ride a bicycle?
They would start off with identification of bicycle parts. Then move to memorization of the history of bicycles. Afterword, you would need to write a dissertation on bicycle theories. And only after you completed your final paper, could you then ride a bicycle.
I would give up on that system.
That’s why I recommend all side-hustlers start coaching for free at first. Why? Experience, gain testimonials, and learn what you love and hate about clients.
A coach in essence helps a person achieve their dream or goal. If you have a goal, then you’re human, a coach can help you achieve it. All clients care about are the results you can bring to them. Clients don’t care about your certifications. No clients ever ask me for my certifications (which I don’t have). Rather, anyone can experience my service in a complimentary session, then decide if my service is valuable to them. My slogan is “Build your successful side-hustle on the fast track,” because I know that I help my clients get to where they want to go faster.
Observing my clients results showed me that I can help people get what they want. I don’t need a certification to start coaching. I saw over the years my clients were achieving their goals quicker than they ever had achieve goals before.
Coach until you can’t handle the amount of people banging down your doors. I always am coaching new and interesting people, but I have a limit of how many clients I can handle (8). Never stop sharpening your skills.
The unexamined life is not worth living.
Have you woke up in the middle of the night and wondered, “What am I doing with my life?”
I have those moments time to time. What keeps me sane is to keep a mental review of where I’ve been and where I’m going.
What follows is a review of my progress growing my coaching business. I hope it helps anyone aspiring to start and grow a coaching business.
Current Clients: 6 coaching clients
I should have 7. But, one coaching client signed our contract, but a day before our first official coaching session he bailed. He said that he had other priorities that would take him away from our coaching sessions. He didn’t want to commit to our program without being focused on our tasks.
I understand his excuse, but what I said to his dilemma is that coaching would help him no matter what challenge he faced. He hired me to help launch a course for his audience, which would have been loads of fun, but he had a product development issue in his business.
You see, coaching can help you no matter the situation. Michael Gerber in his book the E-Myth, shares a story of man visiting a street lamp post every night. The man shares what happened that day, what his goals were, and what he accomplished. Gerber states that any man would benefit by doing so, because he would reflect on his actions and have a better understanding of where to go.
In the same way, a coach can help anyone set better goals, attain them faster, keep you accountable, hold you to your life’s vision, etc.
Mastermind: Wake Up and Hustle
I started a new mastermind group called Wake Up and Hustle, specifically for my coaching clients. My group couldn’t love it more!
We start on Monday’s at 5 AM central. We spend an hour planning out our week based on our month’s goals and vision.
Our second weekly meeting is on Fridays, where two people step into the hot seat. Each member shares a challenge to overcome, and the group provides feedback.
Side Hustle Course for Pharmacists
To my surprise, pharmacists are very interested in information about starting a side-business.
What started as an experiment, blew up into something bigger.
I posted in two groups on LinkedIn if there were pharmacists interested in starting a side-business. Two weeks after posting, I’ve had over 250 people say they are interested in a course.
Action Journal Alpha Version Published
If you haven’t heard, I published a journal. It’s similar to the Five-Minute Journal or the Self-Journal. However, it asks completely different questions that help you make today great and make journaling a habit.
I struggled with other journals because they didn’t help me overcome my obstacles. I created this journal after testing hundreds of questions and choosing the best ones that motivated me to accomplish as much as possible.
These journals are the alpha version, so I want feedback more than money for the product. My hope is that this will make for a great gift for clients and friends.
This month I’ll be on the Podcast Cruise, speaking, and meeting with great people.
I can’t wait because my talk for the cruise will become my keynote talk for future talks to come!
Provide 2 complimentary coaching calls
I provide a one-hour complimentary coaching call to anyone who fits my perfect coaching client criteria (which has taken years to develop!). The best way for someone to understand if they’d love to work with me is by experiencing coaching!
Add 2 Testimonials to Website
I have over 50 success stories in my arsenal, but I just don’t have them on my website! I must spend time with my current and past clients to record how I helped them.
Create Webinars for Side Hustle Course
I aim to launch a course on March 1st, but the way to find students who will succeed will be webinars. I aim to host 3-4 free webinars on how to start businesses on the side.
Invest more with Lending Club
I love “playing” with money. Investments are fun for me and I shared my beginning results with Lending Club how I made a whopping $56 from my $850 investment.
Create Survey for Action Journal Feedback
I sent out alpha versions and need feedback. The best way to gather feedback I found is using Google Forms and gathering collective data.