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So You Want To Be A Coach?

Written by: Janylene Turcotte, Cl.hyp, ACC, RTT, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

This article shows the importance of understanding our true motivation before choosing a career in coaching.

Coaching, written in black marker

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as follows:

Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to

maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often

unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership.


Do you feel the desire to help people and be your own boss? Are you the go-to person among your friends or colleagues who’s always ready to lend an ear and offer advice? Do people often remark on how empathetic or sympathetic you are or how useful your advice is? While these are all wonderful qualities in and of themselves, they do not necessarily mean that a career in coaching is right for you and there might be other ways for you to deploy these attributes best.


In fact, many people naturally feel a deep desire to help others, but listening to a friend or colleague in need is only a very small part of what a career in coaching requires. Additionally, many people may think of coaching as an easy way to be their own boss and choose their own working hours. Others feel stuck in their job and need a quick solution to their employment ennui.


I decided to write this article because many of my clients have a burning desire to contribute to the well-being of others and coaching seems to be their go-to choice. My view on this is, that while coaching may be an option, I encourage them, and anyone considering coaching, to dive deep and try to discover what the real motivation is behind their attraction to this calling, before jumping into it.


Coaching, like any other career, is a serious undertaking that requires dedicated hours of study in a structured course. And, while coaching courses can often be used as a starting point for people looking to enhance the dynamics of their personal relationships or, to make a more significant contribution in the workplace—especially for those who already have, or aspire to have a leadership role—there are many factors to consider before embarking on this career path.


Let’s take a look at a few thought-provoking scenarios as described below to see if coaching is right for you? Do you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions?


Person A: I am a people person and want to help others all the time. People are always coming to me with their problems and I am always able to offer solutions that they find useful.


Potential subconscious beliefs: ‘If I help people, I will be loved.’ ‘People are unable to help themselves.’ ‘Helping people makes me feel important.’ ‘I know how to help others.’


Person B: This person is already in the ‘people’ industry; maybe in human resources or management training etc. but they are fed up, often on the verge of burnout and feel undervalued! They crave independence and the freedom to make their own hours. Person B often uses coaching skills in their day-to-day work and even in their own lives, but are not an ‘official’ coaches.


Potential subconscious beliefs: ‘I need a steady job and security.’ ‘I need to be perfect at what I do or it’s not worth doing.’ ‘Once I have this coaching certification I will be able to change what is wrong with this organization.’ ‘Managers have it all wrong; this organization needs a coach.’ ‘People confide in me; I am the right person for this role.’ ‘People won’t take me seriously unless I am a real coach, with a real diploma.’


Person C: This person is often a ‘Type A’ personality who has thrived and succeeded at a high level in their field and understands that coaching is a business like anything else. They already have an established network of contacts and are willing to devote all their time and energy to acquire the skills required to make the big leap towards a new career in coaching. Person C is ready and able to juggle two demanding jobs—their current career as well as studying to become a coach—so as to maintain the financial security they need while studying. They will only leave their current employment when they see that they can generate enough revenue from their new career. Their mindset: “Coaching is a billion dollar industry and I will take a piece of the pie.”


Potential subconscious beliefs: ‘I cannot fail.’ ‘I love to sell.’ ‘I am a great sales rep and I learn quickly.’ ‘This is the way to get rich.’ ‘I will show them how capable I am.’ ‘I will show people what I know and they will also become successful.’


Person D: This person is going through, or is at the end of, a profound personal or professional journey and feels compelled to share their new-found insights with the world. They have made sense of their difficulties and are projecting their own journey onto others.


Potential subconscious beliefs: ‘I want everyone to feel like I do.’ ‘If I made it, anyone can.’ ‘There is light at the end of everyone’s tunnel.’ ‘My pain had meaning.’


Do you recognize yourself in one or more of these situations? If so, read on. Below are some additional questions/ideas to consider before making a decision to become a coach:

  1. If my life was a 10/10 in terms of overall satisfaction, would I still want to coach people? In other words, choosing coaching because you think it will improve your life may seem very compelling, but it’s important to understand that being a coach can be as demanding as it is rewarding. Like anything else in life, a new career alone cannot make you happy, and the oft-used cliché is actually true: Happiness must come from within.

  2. When I help people, it makes me feel…? This is a very crucial question. Be clear about the feelings you are searching for. Are there other ways to achieve these same feelings?

  3. If you already feel loved and validated, do you still want to choose a career in coaching? Perhaps what you really need is to begin by cultivating self-love and self-validation and then see if coaching is still something you want to do?

  4. Is there another way to find meaning from your journey other than by helping others with the same issues that you resolved?

  5. What are you running from in your current situation that makes you believe that coaching is the right decision for you? Running from a situation is rarely a good strategy—unless it is a toxic situation. Try instead to find what you want to go towards and then see if coaching fits in with your desires.

  6. How much transition time can you afford to have? This can include holding down two jobs, managing long days of back-to-back work and study, and paying bills on time. All these are realities that need to be considered. Some employers may express concern that you are taking on too much and that your performance will suffer. It’s also possible that your employer has a policy which precludes you from having a second job while in their employ.

  7. How large and supportive is your network? Your network can help you launch your new career and can be a great resource to tap into at the beginning.

  8. What other billion-dollar industry are you attracted to? Being attracted to coaching for the money is risky. While there may certainly be financial gains, the reality is that not every coach makes a comfortable living.

  9. How willing are you to invest in having a coach for yourself? If you don’t really believe in coaching as a means of self-exploration and self-development, it’ll be a hard sell to others. Before making the transition to coaching and hypnotherapist myself, I invested in sessions of both coaching and hypnotherapy. During these sessions, I observed the process and tried to imagine myself doing what the coach was doing.

  10. How comfortable are you with selling your skills and abilities? This is often where things can go astray! So many people undersell and undervalue their coaching and can’t seem to get across the message that they are offering a specific skill that required hard work to acquire. There is a lot of soft-selling in a coach’s journey.

  11. Can you handle the potential fluctuations in your income? Being an entrepreneur, you will almost certainly experience an ebb and flow of income. Are you able to withstand these fluctuations?

  12. How good are you at setting healthy boundaries? This is a crucial point. Being a coach does not mean that you are an open door to anyone and everyone who needs help. People’s needs can suck you dry and you will be faced with frequent client demands outside scheduled sessions which can amount to a lot of little ‘freebies.’ Your energy is your currency and your asset, and should be staunchly protected.

  13. Are you a self-starter with self-discipline? Yep, this is a biggie! You will be on your own a lot; it may feel lonely, and the world is full of distractions and procrastination is a big challenge for many coaches to overcome. It’s advisable that you have a coach for yourself, even a community of coaches, that you can connect with when you are having a bad day.

  14. How much of a people-pleaser are you? This is a popular trap for a coach…😊 People-pleasers tend to find it hard to set boundaries and will say yes to things that often do them a disservice. Some issues may be hard to address and you have to be able to stand your ground. You will need a certain resilience and tough exterior in order to manage difficult or entitled clients and providers etc.

As you can see from the above, it is vital that you choose coaching for the right reasons. The simple fact is that wanting to help others is not enough of a reason to upend your life and change your career. It is a competitive field that has become over-saturated, especially in the last few years, to meet the growing demands of the ‘self-help’ industry.


Be it life-coaching, business coaching, hypnocoaching or any one of the many approaches available today, the important thing to remember is that besides the lure of freedom and independence, one must consider the reality of building a clientele and the necessity of making a living.


All too often I see people choose coaching when they are unaware of their own deep need to be loved, appreciated and rewarded. Although there can be a lot of these rewarding moments, there is also a lot of loneliness; dealing with clients who are not ready or willing to change, having to navigate through the needs of people who take you and your time for granted, who ghost you or don't show appreciation. And, as with any job, there is mental and emotional fatigue, energy depletion and disgruntled clients.


My goal in writing this article is not to paint a negative portrait of the industry, but rather to share with you all sides of the situation so that your expectations are realistic. There are tons of articles already written about how great life is when you are a coach, and I agree. I would never go back to my corporate life and HR Career. And, while coaching has been instrumental in creating my dream life, I know only a small percentage of the people I studied with who are actually making a solid living as a coach.


On the flip side, I also know many successful, talented coaches who are really making a difference in people’s lives. I am proud to say that I too have personally helped many to take a big leap of faith in their lives and transition from the corporate world to a private coaching practice.


There’s a lot to consider here and if, after having read this, you are still thinking about becoming a coach, bravo! You will be embarking on a very rewarding and fulfilling career.


If, however, you’ve discovered that coaching may not be the right choice for you, don’t feel discouraged. There are myriad of ways that you can be a positive resource and make a difference in people’s lives. Some of these options can include being an inter-office coach/trainer or in another professional leadership capacity. Similarly, there is always a high demand within local communities, colleges or neighborhood groups. The important thing is to know your value and recognize that no matter what you choose, with a little effort, you can still make a great impact.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Janylene Turcotte, Cl.hyp, ACC, RTT, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

After more than 25 years as a top-level executive in the corporate world, Janylène Turcotte made a 360-degree career change and became a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Coach, and HypnoCoach. While going through her own major life transformation, she developed a unique 3-STEP MODEL as a tool to help herself, and now, her clients, through the complex process of transformation and transition. She graduated from the Marisa Peer School as an RTT (Rapid Transformational Therapy) Therapist. She has been an ICF Certified Coach for more than eight years and hosts the podcast ‘’ It’s Just a Belief’’.

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