There’s a opinion floating around that says you should never hire a coach who doesn’t have a coach.
Yes, I am a coach (I also consider myself a consultant because I share my expertise with my clients and yes, and I often tell them what I think they should do, because that’s what they want).
However, I do NOT subscribe to this opinion.
In fact, there’s a big part of me that thinks it feels pretty yucky because it feels self-serving, rather than client serving. The fact that I am investing in coaching is not a reason for you to hire me as a coach. And I shouldn’t make it one. In the past I may have, and for that I apologize. I have grown a lot in the last year and I am committed to standing for what I believe in and not necessarily following what others are doing or saying. I now see how easy it is to get caught up and lose yourself!
In my opinion, coaches should be able to stand on what they have to offer you, and how they can help you. THAT should be the message, period.
We don’t hear this coming from other industries, at least I don’t.
Do we hear consultants telling clients not to hire a consultant who doesn’t have a consultant? No. And after all, is it really your clients’ business what you are, or are not doing, to further your own business? Isn’t the reason they hire you to help them with THEIR situation? If you can do that, and they believe you can do that, isn’t that reason enough?
Before I continue, let me just say that I DO wholeheartedly believe in investing in personal and professional development.
But there are many ways to further your education, your knowledge, your expertise, and your business. Hiring a coach is just one. And who is to say that is the best way for every coach at all times during their career. Over the years I have read many books that have helped me grow my business and better serve my clients. I have attended seminars and conferences. I have purchased information products. I have paid to be a member of mastermind groups. And yes, I have hired coaches.
And you know what, I have grown immensely from ALL of those ways, and all have contributed to the work I am able to do for my clients. I know I am a better coach and consultant because I am constantly learning and growing. And I don’t believe hiring a coach is the ONLY way to do that, nor do I believe it is the best choice for every coach, all the time.
Let’s face it, sometimes hiring a coach isn’t financially possible.
In those cases, a great book or teleclass, a seminar, or an information product might be a better choice. Yes, there are times when hiring a coach is the fastest way to get the job done, but I don’t believe it is the only answer.
Some will argue that you can’t afford NOT to hire a coach. (Be careful of blanket statements from people who don’t know your specific situation – how can they know what is best for you?). They also propose it is the investment alone that will sky-rocket your income and enable you to charge more.
For example, here’s another opinion I’ve frequently heard (and I’m embarrassed to say I’ve said it myself in the past, before I grew to the place I am now): The more you invest in a coach, the more you can charge for your services. The argument is that there’s a direct correlation between how much you invest in someone else as a coach, and how much you can then charge for your services. I guess the logic is that you then see yourself as “worth” that amount because you’ve spent it on yourself.
So does that mean if I go out and invest $20,000 in a coach that I will be able to turn around and charge $20,000 for my coaching?
That is what some would like you to believe. I respectfully disagree. Will you learn more and expand your expertise, and in turn increase your confidence and self-worth by investing $20,000 in a coach? Very likely yes. Will that enable you to charge more? Quite possibly yes. However, is it a dollar-for-dollar exchange? I don’t think so. You will always be able to charge for the value you deliver, NOT what someone else’s value delivers.
Look, I have nothing against the coaches who are sharing these opinions.
I’m sure the majority are doing a great job and helping many people. And I am a coach, so I am an advocate of coaching and there are many cases when a coach is the best person to help you get where you want to go. However, I do disagree with some of the tactics currently being used to “market” coaching. It just doesn’t feel good to me. But then, that’s my opinion, and I don’t expect everyone to agree.
Here’s how I see it.
If you are a great coach, and you are helping people transform their lives or their businesses, then you deserve to have lots of clients and to be paid very well for those services. That goes for consultants or any other kind of service professional as well. As one of my mentor’s taught me (and I agree completely) you will be paid in direct correlation to the value you deliver AND your ability to communicate that value.
However, in my humble opinion, as a coach, consultant, or any other type of service professional, how and with whom you choose to invest in yourself and your business is YOUR business. It’s not mine, or your potential clients’. All you need to show me as a potential client, is that you are the best person to solve MY problems or to help me achieve MY goals.