When I tell folks I’m a life-balance and executive coach, their response is usually “huh?”, as if I just told them I’m a Flibity Jibity Engineer or something.
And I get it. While the life or executive coaching industry has grown exponentially over the last 5 years, it is still a mystery to most folks. In this article, I’m going to give would-be candidates for life coaching an executive summary on what life coaching is and why you should seriously consider getting one.
At a very high level, a life coach is not exactly a psychotherapist, not exactly a therapist, and not exactly a counselor. A life coach can be a bit of all three, but in reality is so much more. A life coach is ultimately more focused on helping you take purposeful, positive action moving forward. We’ll certainly help you look into your past for clues to what’s holding you back, but only as a means for freeing you to be a better you today and tomorrow.
So what IS a life coach? Well, that depends a lot on the coach. There are life coaches, career coaches, executive coaches, nutrition coaches, and of course the mainstream sports coaches we are ALL familiar with. I’m a life-balance and executive coach, which means I help not only with your work and career goals, but also on your whole self, including elements that make up a fulfilling and well balanced life.
But since most of you are familiar with sports coaches, let’s use that as a relatable example to begin. What’s a sports coach?
- Someone who teaches or instructs on the game
- Someone who’s goal is to elevate the performance of the players or team
- Someone who helps the players see the big picture of what’s happening on the field from a better vantage point than the actual players.
- Someone who helps players see their blindspots.
Life coaches do some similar things with non-athletes and business executives. Sometimes we teach or instruct. We always elevate the person’s performance in some area. And we see the big picture and help the person see what they can’t see. And that’s just for starters.
But coaching isn’t for everyone. Coaching truly is ONLY for people who want significant improvement and are committed to taking action in their life to grow exponentially. From my experience, that’s only about 10% or less of the population. Everyone CAN benefit from coaching, but very few are willing to take action and go for it!
As another relatable example, how many of you have read a self-help book and then remained completely unchanged? Or, worse yet, you pay for a self-help book that just sits on a shelf collecting dust. “One of these days, I’ll read that book.” The good news is that there ARE millions of folks who DO take action…and these are the prime candidates for life or executive coaching.
Now, let me clarify WHO is a prime candidate for life or executive coaching, by asking you a question.
Question: What do the following folks all have in common: Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Roger Federer, Michael Phelps, and Tom Brady.
Answer: They are all superstar, hall of fame athletes at the TOP of their game, and they ALL have coaches. They are all motivated to excel in their profession and are committed to taking action. They want to be better tomorrow than they are today and they realize a coach can help them. They value a 3rd party who can often see weaknesses and opportunities for growth better than they can see themselves. They also understand the “Brad White Formula of Leverage” (U + C = PCG): You + a Coach = Progressive and Compounding Growth.
Ok, so let me now explain exactly what someone can get with an awesome life or executive coach. (Yes! There are bad, so-so, average, and mediocre coaches out there. And if you can find one, there are rockstar coaches too. And like most things, you get what you pay for. Pay more than you think you ought to pay, and you’ll likely have a good one.)
Here is what my clients experience on a routine basis, each and every coaching session:
- Insights, or changes in perspective, that literally change the way they see the world, and their place in it. In coaching terms, we call this a mind-shift! If you have ever experienced this on your own, you might call it an epiphany or paradigm shift. It’s when you realize the way you’ve seen the world up to this point is actually completely different than you thought. The problem here is that thinking differently about something is incredibly hard to do on your own. This is where a coach excels….helping you see your world differently and in a way that catapults your performance forward. These insights can take you from deep hurt, regret, and misery, to freedom, gratitude, and joy in an instant.
- Removing limiting beliefs. We ALL have limiting beliefs. I can “only” make 40K, 100K, 500K, 4M, etc. I can never find someone who will love me. I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy of love, success, happiness. And on, and on, and on. What so damning about limiting beliefs is that WE create them. We inflict them on ourselves…often with the help of others and family. They might be learned from others, but WE hold the power to hold onto them until they kill us, or release and replace them with new, empowering beliefs that can absolutely change your life, and transform your world. Coaches are masters at spotting and rooting out limiting beliefs. What limiting beliefs do YOU have?
- Help you see your blindspots. We all have them! Sometimes we can’t see what we need to see about ourselves. There is a reason they are called blindspots. We need help seeing what needs to improve to advance our careers, help us lead and motivate others, or how to be more effective in our role. Coaches do that for you!
- Feedback that is encouraging, but not hollow flattery. Feedback that is objective, honest, and sometimes piercing, but not demeaning, depressing, or demotivating. Coaching is different than talking with a good friend or colleague. A good friend will sugar coat their feedback and hold back what REALLY needs to be said, because they don’t want to offend. A friend will simply attempt to please you and tell you what you want to hear. And you know what you get? More of the same. So, if you want to stay comfortable and stay where you are, then talk with a friend. If you want help pushing through the discomfort so you can truly grow into who you were meant to be, then hire an awesome coach.
- Focused attention that is 100% intended to serve the client and only the client. Ever been to a networking function or met with an acquaintance 1 on 1? You are there for you, and they are there for them. With coaching, you get two people completely focused on you… YOU and your Coach.
- More time and more money. If you don’t have time to spend with a life coach, that’s the very reason you need a life coach. If you don’t have enough money to afford a life coach, that’s the very reason you need a life coach. How much time can you waste over the next 5-20 years drifting in your life, rather than pursuing your life’s dreams with a passion? How much money can you create, if you simply believe you can? This isn’t magic folks, but if you think you can only make 100K, you probably won’t ever make more than that. Simply realize and truly accept that you COULD make 200K, and it’s entirely possible within 1-2 years of focused effort. That 3-10K you spent on a coach won’t even be remembered when you are creating 5-10x. But like most things in life, you simply have to choose what you want. Do you want less or more? You will get it.
So, I’m going to end with this. Who should have a life coach? Basically people who are just crazy enough to take a risk on themselves, willing to pay more than they think they are currently worth, and people who like the following words: more, better, happier, growing, inspired, fulfilled, free.
And if you are still scratching your head at this point, not truly understanding what a life coach is and the impact one can make in your life, send me a note…and we’ll set up a complimentary session so you can experience life coaching for yourself.