Over the last few years I have explored coaching, writing programmes, and workshops.
I have spent a fair amount of money on it, bought expensive journal books, printed endless task sheets and finally have come to realise that ultimately there is a vast difference in what coaching can mean. Similar to how different counsellors & therapists can offer different services to treat you for specific problems that you might be experiencing. With the measure of your success finally coming down to you and you alone.
I have experienced amazing ones and not so good ones.
Here is what I found. Ask loads of questions before you commit, they might have a great reputation online and lots of rave reviews, yet if you don’t ask enough questions about the process involved, you might end up parting with a lot of cash and feeling frustrated that you didn’t move forward at all. We can only see so much from their online presence and the amazing clients they have worked with. Most do offer a free consultation to see if you fit together and I would take that opportunity to ask your questions. It is your hard earned money and it is an investment, so make sure they will guide you on the right path.
I hadn’t realised that some coaches, similar to some therapists will basically just sit and listen to you, get you to do a lot of homework filling out what your values, goals and dreams are and then sit and listen some more and not really commit to swaying you either way as to whether you are heading in the right direction, letting your writing and answering help you to discover your own answers, with a few prompts from them. Now I am not saying for one minute that they haven’t been qualified or professionally trained or built up valuable coaching experience because they do have to know how to steer you. However, this approach might work for some but it didn’t work for me. I prefer to be led and guided, with suggestions and ways to look at my approach differently. So do ask this, do you lead me and help guide me?, or do you prefer to just listen and give me lots of worksheets and links for me to find out my answers with limited prompts from yourself? Ultimately coaches have to get you to fill out a certain amount of worksheets to gauge who you are, what your aims are as they don’t know you, so they need this initially to get the best from you so they can do their job really well.
Mentoring probably was the better investment for me as opposed to coaching. I’m a visual and physical learner and being taught by an experienced peer can be hugely valuable as they will help identify weak areas on your social media presence and where to collaborate, what you need to practice more on and organisations to join etc. Mentoring is vastly different to coaching. Again, do a little research to see whether it is coaching you require or a mentor.
Ironically the huge investment coaching I experienced wasn’t the right fit for me. I got more out of two additional coaches who offered shorter face to face sessions and what I gained in those set me up far more quickly in the direction I wanted to go in. As did being mentored by a successful professional photographer.
Ultimately the hard work has to come down to you, and you alone. you know deep down where you should be at with your business, and if it isn’t working or as successful right now, that doesn’t mean it isn’t meant to be. It could be that where you are right now in your life journey it would put a strain on your family and health, if you became an overnight super popular sensation. What would you compromise to chase that dream goal.? Deep down we all know that where we are heading is what falls into place by sheer hardwork and determination, at the right time.