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Wednesday, April 10, 2002
Are you a new or newer coach working on building your practice? As a sole practitioner, it can be a lonely place to be. Or, perhaps you're a mentor coach who works with coaches new to the field? If so, this issue is for you.
Today's issue of Today's Coach spotlights Newer Coach Tina Forsyth, who writes about how she is handling the question "Now that I know I'm a coach, How do I Build my Biz??" Tina's plan is a very personal one, which I thank her for sharing, because I'm sure there are many Today's Coach readers who will relate to the growth she's experiencing. If so, I invite you to email Tina, myself, or your coaches, and use our spotlight issue as impetus to forge ahead!
I've also included information about an important course for those of you building or strengthening your practices, the 100 lesson Full Practice Ecourse for Coaches (a free course when you join CoachVille). In fact, as a bonus to Today's Coach readers, I've included a free sample lesson at the end of Tina's article on how to bond with your network using Free Focus Days.
Hi. Iím Tina Forsyth. Iíve been coaching part time for 2 years and have recently taken the leap to building my full time practice. Iím having loads of fun building my programs, doing research on marketing options and connecting with people on how to build my biz. I thought it would be great to share this journey with my fellow coaches! Not just to help those of you out who are in the same boat, but also maybe to give some insight to those of you who are mentor coaches for folks like me.
Coaching found me in April of 2000 and I knew instantly that it was my calling. I enrolled in the CoachU program in August of 2000 and will be done in July 2002 (Yeah!) I worked full time and was coaching part time for the past 2 years. This was a very experimental time for me and was necessary to define who I want to work with and what I want to accomplish. All of this led to the birth of my company Ė Passion Works (www.passionworks.ca) and the recognition of my passion. I am working with people to define what they love to do and to create a career/business where they can make money doing what they love. I had paying clients up until January 2002 but currently have none. My goal is to get to 20 paying clients by the end of the year, and to compliment that with my workshops.
Ok. I know how to do the coaching, yet how do I build the biz? This seems to be the challenge that a lot of coaches are facing. How do we make money doing what we love? Iíve been researching all of the ďtypicalĒ marketing avenues Ė sales, advertising, networking, presenting, etc. And to be honest, one word comes to mind when I think of going this route. Ugh! Cold calling? Not my style. Advertising? Expensive and low return. Networking? I love meeting people but most networking events are set up poorly.
Iíve decided to create my a personalized marketing plan. Tinaís plan!
My criteria is simple, it must be something I WANT to do, not something I ďshouldĒ do. And it must obviously start bringing in clients or itís not working. Hereís my plan:
Connect: This is one of my values, to connect with people.
Iíve decided to take this a step further and aim to proactively connect with people. What does it mean to connect? It means truly touching someone, even if the interaction is brief. Hold open a door for someone. Buy a stranger a coffee. Take 5 minutes to listen to a friend. How often do we go through life not really seeing the people around us? The guy behind the counter at the gas station. The person in the car next to us at a red light. Connection can take so many forms, from a simple smile to a deep, personal conversation. Iíve made it a goal to connect deeply with people everyday.
Gratitude: Iíll be honest, up until a week ago this one was a real mystery for me.
Yes, Iíve heard all about gratitude over the past few years, but I never really ďgotĒ it. Something was missing. So I went on a gratitude hunt a couple of weeks ago and found the answer. Gratitude is receiving! To joyously and freely receive what the world is giving to me. To receive the financial support my husband is offering during my transition. To receive the dream home that is being offered to us even though it doesnít make sense financially. And the key? To receive all of this without guilt, without feeling ďbadĒ for any of it. Iíve decided to receive what the universe is offering, even if it doesnít make sense. Especially if it doesnít make sense!
Ask to coach someone: It is a standard selling strategy to ask for the sale, yet it seems to be the hardest part.
Asking for the sales increases the closing rate exponentially. I find that Iíve been putting myself out there as a coach, educating people on what I do, sharing free sessions and then waiting for them to ask to be coached. Does it work? A little bit, but not a lot. We know when people are in a coachable situation. They are telling us they are! I went for coffee with a lady last week who is smack dab in the middle of a career transition. She is ready for change, just not sure what her next steps are. We had a nice chat. So it hits me on the way home Ė I didnít ASK if she would like me to coach her! And yet her situation and outlook were so coachable. Hereís a great quote from The Four Agreements card deck by Don Miguel Ruiz that perfectly illustrates this point.
Find the courage to ask for what you want.
Others have the right to tell you yes or no, but you always have the right to ask. Likewise, everybody has the right to ask you for what they want, and you have the right to say yes or no. Ė Don Miguel Ruiz
Simple, yes? Empower people to make their own choice to say yes or no, donít make the decision for them but not asking. Coaching could be exactly what they need right now, they just donít see it or are too afraid to ask. All it takes is courage. My goal is to ask people if I can coach them, when I see they are in a coachable situation. Be they friends, work associates, neighbors or the lady next to me in the grocery line.
Give it away for free: I was at the CoachVille conference in March and was struck by a very simple concept. In order for people to see our value and therefore hire us, we need to share with them what we have to offer! Iíll admit, Iíve been holding my coaching very close to me over the past year. If someone couldnít pay me, then I wasnít going to coach them because my coaching was worth money! (Gee, why donít I have any clients right now?) I was very aware of not slipping into ďcoachĒ when talking with friends or co-workers. Well, needless to say they havenít seen the value of what I have to offer, because I havenít shared it with them! Iíve decided to give away my coaching. If a friend calls me to discuss a challenge, Iíll share all I have to give. I am going to volunteer as a coach for young adults at my local YWCA. As much as possible I want to get coaching out there, regardless of whether it pays me or not. Besides, there are other ways to get paid beside money.
Iím keeping a few other tools in my belt along the way: patience, faith, abundance, courage and, of course, fun! And most importantly, Iím willing to do what it takes to get my coaching practice going. If this doesnít work, Iíll try the next thing. And the next thing. And I will keep going until I have 20 paying clients.
thoughts Ė feel free to email Tina Forsyth at
email@example.com or call 403-830-4339.
BONUS for this issue: Lesson #21 from CoachVille's 100-day Full Practice Ecourse for Coaches is included below for Today's Coach readers. Lesson #21 is on the topic of offering free focus day sessions as a way to build and bond with your referral network.
(Click on lesson #21, Offering
Free Focus Day Sessions, for a free sample lesson.)