I was just asked to write a column for the ICF San Francisco Bay Area Coaches and thought you’d like to read what I wrote, too.
What were three pivotal actions you took to move your business forward when you were starting out?
When I started out, I was building a 1:1 in-person coaching practice. It was in the early days of the internet so this did not play a role in my business building efforts. My marketing plan was really simple: go to shows; enroll 1:1 clients; repeat. However, I struggled until I defined a grounded, professional approach. I invested in a solid booth presentation and created an annual schedule of trade shows and expos I would attend.
I don’t see clients in person anymore, and although I still offer 1:1 coaching my business is now primarily built around coaching groups that meet online. At this stage, my biggest shift occurred when I replaced free sample sessions with authentic sales conversations. I also discovered that it was critical to create an annual strategy with clear launch periods and vacation periods. I make sure I have two months of vacation every year in order to rest and recharge. Finally, learning about my strengths and personality type helped me to fine tune my approach, team, and even home life so I can optimize my time.
What were key perspectives you held to build resilience?
It’s not the best coaches who succeed in business: it is the coaches who are most effective at sales. Success is about whether or not your sales process produces the desired result. You have to separate yourself from the sales process, which is a challenge since you are selling a service which depends entirely on who you’re being. When you do that well, you stop thinking success is about you. This is very liberating!