This is an article about you. Yes, you. This is also an article about outcomes, and how – quite frustratingly – very few coaches seem to set them for themselves.
Let me start from the beginning: a few days ago we held one of our regular (free!) Business of Coaching workshops at our HQ in Henley-In-Arden. It was a lovely day, as they always are, and I was on hand to help out with any questions our guests may have had. Towards the end of the day, something dawned on me, something which up until this point had evaded me:
I was sat in a room full of lovely people who had two major things in common:
1. They were all professional coaches (and very good at what they did)
2. They didn’t have a clear idea of what their success looked like.
The second point bugged me for some time, especially as coaches are frequently enlisted to aide their clients in setting clear, reachable and measurable goals. Outcomes. Successes. And yet, not a single person in front of me had taken the time to do it for themselves.
And then, I thought a little deeper on the subject and discovered a further two things:
- Coaches are meant to serve others at a high level, which means they probably don’t feel they’re supposed to serve themselves (at least, on principle!)
- I was a massive hypocrite, because I don’t have any myself.
Both of those things are rather ridiculous. Of course coaches can serve themselves. In fact, it makes sense that they do. And the fact that I work in such an industry (and write articles such as these) without any discernible goals of my own is a real kicker.
But, again, if you delve a little deeper still, you start to understand why. Coaches are busy people (it’s hard work making dreams come true!) and so am I, and busyness is a killer for such musings.
And yet, these shouldn’t be mere musings. Your outcomes should be the blueprint to which your business is run. And in order to understand your outcomes (and the steps necessary to achieve them) you have to first know what your success looks like.
I’m not talking about a literal visualisation as such here (although that is a beneficial exercise in itself!) right now I’m talking about the cold, hard facts. What does your success look like on paper?
Now, success looks very different for everyone, and what your success boils down to may not have any numbers involved at all. But for now, I want you to ask yourself three questions:
- What would my successful turnover be?
- What do I want my working week to look like?
- What would I want to do with my free time?
Remember, the answers to these can (and likely will) change over time. Nothing is set in stone, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a crucial exercise that can’t be revisited along the line.
Each question leads nicely to the other. Even if it’s ‘not about the money’ for you (and I get that), money is going to play a considerable role in your success, even if it just buys you a little extra freedom. And when you have that freedom, you can spend it.
Now, once you have the solid answers to the above, it’s time to do some real work. Tell me:
- How do I work out my current financial position?
- How many clients will I need – and what would I need to charge them – in order to meet my target?
- How do I get the clients (or keep the clients) that I need?
Of course ‘more clients’ isn’t always the answer (in fact it rarely is, but that’s a topic for another article!) but it’s a place to start. Only you will be able to discern exactly what it is you need to achieve your success. The point I’m trying to make here is, without the first three questions (i.e. the ‘whats’) working out the action required (i.e. the ‘hows’) would be damn near impossible.
The ‘what’ must come before the ‘how’. And once you have those two things, then you will fully realise the ‘why’.
I can already guess what your why is likely to be. It’s the same reason any person starts their own business…
Financial freedom, freedom from restriction or responsibility, freedom to do right in the world. What your freedom is will differ from the next coach, but you will all have that wish for freedom in common. After all, if you didn’t want that, you’d be quite content working full time for someone else and not reading this. right?
Your own personal freedom is what your success feels like, but to get to it you need to know what it looks like: facts. Figures. Real stuff that can be reached through careful, measured actions tailored to what is required of them. It’s not quite as much fun as visualising yourself being fanned by beautiful women on a tropical beach while you sip a ludicrously expensive cocktail, but it will do you and your business much more good in the long run.
This is your success. Now you know what it looks like, it’s time to paint the picture.
And yes, I’m working on my own success (and what it is!) as we speak.
If you’d like to join us for a chat about any of the above (and more!) then please get in touch! You can write us an email, or better yet, join us on our fortnightly free web class where we’ll be discussing all sorts of things related to your coaching business, and how to make it successful.