Whether you are an aspiring or seasoned coach, the business side of coaching can be challenging. @Jill Eck, a newer coach, picked up The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin to assist her in developing her coaching business. In Jill's review of Chandler and Litvin's book, she shares, "I was not disappointed in the content that I found within the pages of this book. It helped me learn the ins and outs of social media and maintaining an engaging presence while not being too high tech."
Reviewer: Jill Eck
Authors: Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin
Book Title: The Prosperous Coach
What the authors propose is that if we want to be a ‘pro-coach’ versus a struggling coach, we need to sincerely enjoy both the business of coaching and the coaching side of coaching. How they define the business of coaching is the act of creating clients with an emphasis on creating versus obtaining, getting, attracting or marketing and so on. A significant portion of this book is dedicated to discussing how to go about creating clients.
So how does a coach create clients? Chandler and Litvin outline eighteen disciplines to adhere to as well as a step-by-step process to follow. No cold calling either! Their primary premise is that you contact people you already know and offer to freely serve them in some way. This may take the form of sharing an article, a book, a short training module and so on, based on an expressed or known need you have perceived. You may also proceed to inquire about what some of their larger challenges are right now and then ask if they would like some support with that. If it seems they would, invite them for a free two-hour coaching conversation. If they agree, your goal is to serve them so powerfully that they will never forget this conversation! The important point here is to immerse them in the coaching experience, not the concept of what coaching is or is not; have them experience it! Of course, there is much more to this than what is in this short paragraph. The primary concepts inherent in creating clients are building relationships, coming from a service mentality or a “who can I serve today?” mind-set and really honing your coaching skills so you can provide some truly powerful coaching sessions that create clients and client referrals.
In addition to the process of creating clients, Chandler and Litvin also discuss the importance of the deep inner work that coaches must do to be a great or a ‘pro-coach’. Among these are to consistently practice coaching and build skill our set. The other is to hire our own life coach! How can we profess the transformative nature of coaching if we have never hired and experienced our own life coach and felt the transformative effects of coaching? Another aspect of the inner work we need to do is to understand how to protect and enhance our professional confidence and self-esteem; our clients need to see a confident coach in front of them to have faith in the service we profess to provide. An example of how to do this is to keep a log or file of our thank you notes, letters of recommendation, compliments and so on and refer to these during times when our energy or confidence needs a boost. Another suggestion that these authors emphasize is to be authentically YOU. Rather than trying to emulate other seemingly successful coaches, simply be yourself, your best self and bring all you have to the table as a coach; this will be your unique brand. There is no other YOU. I really liked that advice. This is part of the important and deeper work for each of us as coaches can to dive into!
Application to Life Coaching
“The Prosperous Coach” is all about the profession of life coaching. As stated previously, I thought most of the text was going to be about the business side of life coaching in terms of marketing, web presence, and financial management, but it was not that at all. If fact, I believe it went beyond simply creating clients and revenue and by the art and technique of life coaching as well. Without good performance and quality of coaching, the business side will not matter much as one will not maintain a caseload of clients, is the point here, I imagine. As stated in the book, “without a client, we are one is not a coach”.
“Your clients are paying for their dreams, and their dreams are priceless”.
I like this passage because is provides a different lens for viewing our contracts with our clients. Many new coaches struggle to establish and discuss their fees to their first clients, and this can often make the difference between a paid and successful coach or a struggling coach. If we help our prospective clients view this as an investment in reaching possibilities they may have never imagined before, it suddenly looks like a deal they must not refuse.
How will I apply the messages in this book?
I plan to use the primary concept of how to create clients as discussed in this book. I appreciate it because it is based in relationship and it comes from a service mentality which is congruent with my values. I can imagine creating lists and looking for people and organizations that I am familiar with from a mindset of “who can I serve today?” I believe in this way, I can, as Chandler and Litvin suggest, learn to enjoy the business side of coaching!