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A Special Report from CoachVille
What I Wish I'd Known About Coaching...






 This exciting addition to CoachVille's Coach training curriculum is FREE for CoachVille members and starts Monday, November 12, 2001.  To view a sample lesson, click here.






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November 12, 2001                                                  

Dear Coach,

About a month ago, we asked newer and veteran coaches alike to tell us what they wish they'd known when they first started Coaching. In this Special Report from CoachVille, we share with you a compilation of their wisdom.

The content is varied and largely unedited, resulting in a smart, funny, enlightening and free-flowing read. From time to time, we request input of this sort so we can understand and respond to where the Coaching Community is at in terms of learning, evolution, needs.

Another example of something that evolved from this kind of process is the Passive Revenue eCourse, which starts today at CoachVille.  If you'd like to be a part of this or other such innovative projects, consider joining CoachVille. Details below.


Andrea Lee
GM, CoachVille

I Wish I had Known...
A Special Report from CoachVille
© 2001 CoachVille. all rights reserved.

I wish I had known...
The exact difference between coaching, counseling and mentoring.
The importance of contracting.
More about my own beliefs and values.
Just how powerful a development tool coaching is.
If I had known how coaching would change my own life so dramatically I
would have done it sooner!

I wish I had known that I was ready to offer clients value right away.
I wish I had known that there is no ""arriving"" as a coach -- there is always more to learn (but waiting to know before starting to work with clients is a big mistake).
I wish I had known that it really works to be straight with clients about where you are in your coaching development and there are lots of people who are happy to work with new coaches who are learning their craft.
I wish I had known that if I wanted to have a coaching business, I needed to treat it like a business and learn (about marketing, managing, etc.) accordingly.
I wish I had known that coaching is a lot of fun when I use my intuition and check what I know at the door.

I wish I had known that I didn't need to ""know it all"" before I worked with my first client.
I wish I had known better how to price my services.
I wish I had known how to contact numbers of other coaches to form sort of a
coaches support group...for knowledge/technique/story sharing.
I wish I had known how to promote myself better when I first started.

I wish I'd known that many experienced coaches welcome contact by ""newbies"" and are very generous with their support.

I wish I'd known that less expensive means of coaching training (Coachville, in particular) was going to be available very soon after I started my training.

I wish I had known that Coaching is powerful, funny and enjoyable!

I wish I had known that you don't have to coach everybody--just those you 'fit' with.
I wish I had known that coaching is better than traditional managing in the corporation.
I wish I had known about Thomas Leonard and his prolific contributions to the coaching profession a long time ago.

I wish I had known
to schedule committed ""coaching sessions"" with buddies from my classes as
a substitute for seeking ""real"" clients.
how to find a mentor coach who'd really click with me when I didn't really
know what I wanted or needed nor how to verbalize that.
that it would be OK to start with group coaching instead of having to have
individual clients first.

I wish I had known how important to my own growth, both as a coach and personally, it was to hire my own mentor coach.
I wish I had known how comfortable the TeleClass delivery method would
become, and how quickly.

I wish I had known what to say to clients when they want to terminate, especially when they are saying, "I don't know what the next step is."

I wish I had known how important it was to find my own coaching style

I wish I had known to establish a relationship based on trust. With trust the coach can act more powerfully with the client.

I wish I had known
How to have more confidence in the process of firing a client or letting someone go who isn't willing to make changes
That as a new coach I didn't have to make myself overly available to my clients schedules. Now I coach 3 days a week and if clients want to work with me it's on those days only.
To listen to my instincts about my abilities i. e. you don't have to be a certain coaching school graduate to be a great coach. My skills, my personality, my life, my education and my desire to continue in all those areas is perfect.

I wish I had known how to talk to people about coaching in a way where they
would hire me.
I wish I had known how to get referrals.
I wish I had known that I didn't have to reinvent the wheel.
I wish I had known what a warm community (of coaches) is out there.
I wish I had known how long it would take to become profitable.
I wish I had known/understood some of the shifts necessary to be effective as a coach (rather than a trainer or consultant, therapist, etc.), and how the skills are similar yet different.
I wish I had known how to convert pro bono to paid clients.

I wish I had known
....that it's okay to show your vulnerability to clients
....that a niche can be more about the way a client thinks than demographic characteristics like biz owner, woman, executive, etc.
....that getting rigid about what you charge as a new coach slows you down. You can charge different clients different amounts
....that it does work to coach friends.
....that classes would slow me down. It's okay to start coaching first and then hone skills.

I wish I had known, that
my therapeutic skills may even improve through learning coaching skills
I don't have to decide right now if I'm going to do either coaching or therapy for the rest of my life. there are possibilities to do both, each in a separate setting.
coaching is not so much about techniques and skills but about a very specific way to encounter people in their situation

I wish I had known what kind of money is available through coaching as a profession. (perhaps I would have started earlier!!)
I wish I had known more about starting a business before I started coaching.
I wish I had known that asking for help produced RESULTS.
I wish I had known I didn't have to have all the answers.

I wish I had known I could be very strong and not lose my clients.
I wish I'd known to challenge more AND love more.
I wish I'd been more clear about what I personally had to offer the client based on WHO I am.
I wish I'd known that everyone single person who came to me (and still does)
comes because of WHO I am. This is enough.
I wish I'd had more courage to say, 'I don't know feel qualified in that area, let me refer to someone who does.'
I wish I'd known all the client needs much of the time is to be "heard".

I wish I had known that who I am works!
I wish I had known that the truth is always good news

5 things that I wish I had known/understood about coaching when/before I first got started coaching:
that I could start right away coaching others (even for free) and quickly gain confidence that I made a difference in their lives;
that it is ok to be straight with people and tell them what you hear in what they are saying – not to just respond to there questions;
that what I have to offer – makes a difference in their lives – AND – is worth charging money for;
that other coaches, including CoachVille exist as resources and for continued growth and development; and
that coaching people and seeing them “have” great lives is so richly rewarding regardless of the amount I am charging them.

I wish I had known that if I keep moving forward things will happen.

I wish I had known that defining ""what a coach is"" is best left to ""what a coach does for his/her clients"" without jargon.
I wish I had known to ""just roll with it"" in regards to my clients from the very beginning instead of feeling the need to jump in ""and say the right thing.""
I wish I had known that it is ok just to be with the client for awhile and say absolutely nothing.
I wish I had read The Dark Side of the Light Chasers before I coached many clients!

I Wish I Had Known...
The power of the coaching partnership
That results can be achieved so quickly
That coaching can be done on the telephone and not restricted to face to face.
That coaching is not restricted to sports
That coaching is not what sergeant major's do
That coaching is nothing to do with content

I wish I had known that initial success brings marketing complacency.
I wish I had known that someone saying ""no"" to my services does not equate to a judgement of my worth.

I wish I had known how my phone bill would grow.
I wish I had known perfect I am - I would have lightened up on myself when I started studying.

I wish I had known where to go to find a coach for myself.

I wish I had known ...
... how important it is to grant yourself permission to play full-out
... that the present moment contains all the resources you need
... that you don't need to know the story to effectively coach
... that the goal is for the client to understand, whether I do or not
... that people really want to be coached - they just may not realize it!

How to start a coaching relationship on the ""right foot""
That I needed to LEAD - not always follow
That I needed to continue being coached myself

That my life would just get better and better

I wish I had known that coaching is the positive career progression from an unlicensed counselor.
I wish I had known that coaching creates a positive motivational energy charge between people.
I wish I had known that coaching attracts true leaders who have already gone through or are going through their own therapy process.

How to start the first client interview.
How to establish my pricing.

I wish I had know how to set-up the structure of my first sessions.
I wish I had know the appropriate way to end a sessions when the time was up.

I wish I had known...
that I'd learn to coach the quickest by doing it...not reading about it
that I'd learn to coach the quickest by doing it...not talking about it
that I'd learn to coach the quickest by doing it...not watching it
that I'd learn to coach the quickest by doing it...and screwing it up
that I'd learn to coach the quickest by relaxing and having fun doing it
In other words - DO IT!

I wish I had known...
…that profound change can occur for a client in as little as a few minutes
…the value of carrying one or two “free” clients on whom I could experiment, try new approaches, and get immediate feedback from
…how to set up the contractual relationship effectively
…how to deal positively yet directly with a client who “stands me up” for sessions
...that not everyone would be as excited as I am about coaching.

I wish I had known there is a lot to learn about coaching that is different than therapy.
I wish I had known more about how to accept payments for sessions.

About headsets for phones.
About business software that keeps my client files organized.
That it does take time to establish clientele in the beginning.

I wish I had known about attraction vs. marketing
I wish I had known that I have coached and coached and coached with out ever
taking a class in it. Classes only make me better!

I wish I had known
...that clients desire and long for another authentic voice, and not a
packaged, credentialed responder.
...that I would discover clients in the most unexpected places.
...that coaching resonates with what I do in every aspect of my life that
expresses my most courageous and forthcoming self.

I wish I had known that telling the truth is what we are paid to do, no
matter how hard.
I wish I had known that if I am afraid of telling the truth, then it is
about me and not about the client.

I wish I had known to check out tax situations, finance and ways of setting
myself up as a coach earlier.

How much people like coaching if you don't explain it as coaching
How to interrupt with grace
How it is not embarrassing to ask for work
How much fun group coaching is

I wish I had known the power of disclosing my own personal bumps and bruises. It quickly builds a trust level that helps me, help them.

I wish I had known that
...that potential clients have money considerations in proportion to my own money considerations
...that sometimes I'm more committed to somebody's life working than they are. My job is not to ""save"" those who don't want to be ""saved.""
...that I could make more of a difference inspiring people to find their own vision, than rescuing them.
...that some people are content with a mediocre life.
...that some people are more committed to their comfort zone than to living an exceptional and extraordinary life inspiring I can be, even when I feel like my life is the pits.
...that by focusing my energy on inspiring others, I can raise myself out of the depths of despair.
..that Thomas Leonard is a ""sensitive guy"" :o)

I wish I had known that this would allow me to LOVE my WORK
I wish I had known that I would GROW myself with every client I met
I wish I had known that Personal Foundation would beat me up big time, in the initial few weeks!!
I wish I had known that coaching would keep me YOUNG
I wish I had known that coaching breaks down generations

Coaching is a business. As such it needs some business systems, clearly defined product (client evolution), clear value creation and exchange of value for value ($).
It's REALLY, REALLY not about the coach.
It's really, really all about your client!

The importance of ""what"" questions! Biggest ""aha"" I got from reading
Fortgang's latest book.
More about introduction packets. (I agree with you that they aren't necessary.)
The importance of assessments in order to have a clearer picture of the client and their needs.
To start immediately on Success Team 100.

That you can get a lot of publicity (and maybe clients) from writing articles - raising your profile is so important.
That you don't have to try every coaching model that comes your way - pick something simple, practice and improve.

That I could appreciate the importance of coaching without being so very serious about it.

How to set my fees as I started so low I had to build up for along time after to get to a fair rate (and that affects your clientele who wonder why your rates keep going up)

That I would spend more time creating and running a business than I would coaching. (and Yes, I would still have done it, but perhaps differently from the outset).

I wish I had had experience, just one moment of experience that I identified as coaching, with feedback from the 'client' that it was helpful.
I wish that I had listened in on an experienced coach coaching a real client; not a coach coaching me on becoming a coach.

I wish I had known how seductive some facilitators can be when talking about building a practice and making 6 figures in their first year. Not everyone goes there, wants to go there or is able to go there right off the bat. Each experience is different.

That I don't have to be just like or try to measure up to my own coach.
That coaches are no more a special breed of people than anyone else. It doesn't serve us to think we have or should have all the answers, individually or as a profession. Underneath all the other coaching preparation, all we're supposed to have is some great questions and a lot of caring presence.

That working at (efforting, concentrating hard, pushing) becoming a coach is
counterproductive to the lightness of being and attractiveness that our clients want to find in us. And it spoils the fun of coaching.

I wish that I had known that I did not have to specialize so quickly. I mean how can someone ask of you to specialize when you are so new at labeling yourself as a coach even if you have been doing it the entire time in your life. You thought you were just doing what was meant for you to be doing, I guess being a Christian and bringing up your fellow man.

There are more ways of generating coaching income than just by one-on-one coaching sessions or working in corporations. For example giving TeleClasses, running n-day programs, e-programs, e-books

How important the skill of building networks is - that networks can be virtual as well as ""real"" - that in the future opportunities will go to those with the biggest networks

However much it's said early on and throughout training, I wish I had known that the best possible coach I could be was to be fully me. I don't know why that lesson doesn't always get across, but it took me several months to get it.

I wish I had known I didn't have to spend so much money :) learning to coach. CoachVille is a tremendous value, unbelievable in fact. I paid for my membership that day, but I'm still paying (and will be paying for a while) for my other training (as great as it is). Great coach training can be extremely affordable. has been extremely valuable too.

I wish I had known to frequently preface my coaching comments with, "May I offer you some coaching?"" This shapes the client's listening that what you say will not be just another good idea and that the coach is expecting the client to act on the coaching. It also gives the client an opportunity to recommit to the coaching relationship as s/he freely accepts what the coach is about to offer.

I wish I had known about all of the wonderful resources that are out there.
The communities and local groups as well as TeleClasses that I could have
joined to feel more connected. I wish that I had known how open and supportive coaches are. I came to coaching with some preconceived notions about how people in business just do not share things with one another so I was very wary at first about sharing and how I would be received. It was wonderful to find out that was not true for the most part in the coaching community. I wish I had known a simple and down and dirty way to get started. I wish that I had had a community of mentor coaches that I could have gone to that would have helped me to get started. I wish that I had known that it could take a while to get started. I wish CoachVille and all of its resources had been available then, especially full practice etc. I wish that we had known more about legalities then (when I started).

That the uncomfortable feeling of being frightfully green passes quickly - it's like jumping into slightly cool water that gets more comfortable in no time, so don't stand on the diving board dreading it.

That I'm not going to damage my clients or my identity as a coach by making
mistakes (assuming my I'm grounded in ethics). Mistakes are my best teachers, and I discover they feel more like friendly guidance than like a trip behind the woodshed - I didn't have to be afraid of them.

That I REALLY - that means me - don't need 3 certifications and a PhD (in
what?) before I can start coaching. I also don't have to be at 100 on
Personal Foundations or any other personal development plan. I don't have to
be perfect or ""done"" with anything. I don't have to earn any right to be a
coach. All I have to do is open my ears and start coaching.

end report

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