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How To Invest In Yourself as a Coach
One of the things that life coaches know, perhaps better than anyone else, is that learning and development are not one time initiatives. They require an ongoing commitment. Another thing that coaches also know is that no matter the goal state, that developing, learning and growing requires both internal and external focus.
When we set out on the path of becoming a coach, there’s a set roster of things that we know we’ll need right off the bat:
- Training on how to coach
- A sense of how we want to work
- An idea of what kind of clients we’d like to serve
- A place to land that ties it all together
The “place we land” looks different for everyone. It might be the community you find in for your coach training (not that we’re biased, but we think ours is the best!). It could be your current job or a company that has hired you to work as a coach. Or it may be in a home office, working for yourself as a solo coach practitioner.
Wherever you land, it's important to understand from the outset that your work as a coach will be the journey of a lifetime. The investments that you make in yourself now will continue to pay dividends throughout your career.
No matter your path - corporate, public sector, entrepreneurial, or somewhere in between - you'll want to continually invest in yourself, your coaching brand, and your business. Even as an established coach, investing in yourself is an ongoing process.
So let’s explore all the ways you might do this in the months (and years) to come!
What Investing In Yourself Looks Like
When we think about education, we’re talking about more than just what you may learn in a classroom. It can defined in a number of ways:
- Deepening your knowledge
- Honing your craft
- Participating in a community of like-minded practitioners
Continuous learning does not have to be formal! Reading a book, participating in a Mastermind for coaches, self-betterment activities, volunteering in the community, or joining a LinkedIn or social media resource group are just a few examples of informal pathways to learning.
The good news is that there is SO MUCH cool stuff out there and available to us now. Coaching can feel like an intellectual candy store once you peek under the hood of this discipline!
“Coaches know better than anyone else that goal accomplishment requires an ongoing commitment to self.” - Noelle Cordeaux
Working as a credentialed coach under the umbrella of the ICF (International Coaching Federation) is becoming increasingly important. Because the coaching industry is currently unregulated, more corporate and individual clients are looking at ICF credentials as the standard of excellence in the field of coaching.
If you plan to earn your ICF credential, the process of gaining and maintaining it requires foundational and continuing education.
But coach training isn’t the only way to add to your credibility in this field.
There are so many complementary modalities and certification programs to enhance your skills and knowledge. Too many to list here, by far!
Some coaches also have a psychology degree or license to practice as a therapist. Others study and train in somatics, mindfulness or VIA Character Strengths, among others. Those who specialize in business coaching may pursue specialized training for executive coaches.
When it comes to adding to YOUR toolkit, the sky’s the limit. Consider what interests you, and if there are areas where you’d like to gain more formalized skills on top of your coaching certification.
This is the fun part! Experiment with how you work as a coach. Try out the things that interest you and see how they fit.
What might this look like?
- Coach a lot of people one on one
- Offer workshops and retreats
- Facilitate a group coaching program
- Write a blog or record podcasts
Along the way, notice what lights you up. See what forms of serving others feel most authentic and rewarding to you.
If you are an entrepreneur, investing in your practice as a coach is not a “nice to have,” it is a NEED to have.
Investing as a business owner includes things like:
- Business planning
- Financial management and taxes
- Client relationship building
- Tech/systems for all of the above!
It’s important to remember that while you are a great coach, not everyone is a great business manager. If that sounds like you, there's nothing wrong with that! Know that it can be worth it to outsource aspects of working "on" your business that don’t relate to your Zone of Genius.
There are amazing professionals who support coaches in everything from copywriting to accounting, to social media and marketing. If you feel yourself wasting time or space on things that can be outsourced, you owe it to yourself to take a look at ways that you can be externally supported.
If you are working as an internal coach or as a niche coach for a larger organization (Noom, fitness coach at a gym, dating coach, etc.), investing in your practice will look a little different but it’s no less vital!
Every organization will have a unique set of needs and specific aspects of learning and development that are run company wide. To work effectively as a coach, you’ll want to learn the language, expectations, and frameworks that are favored by your organization.
If you work for a company like Noom, you might have to invest time and space to learn how to calculate macros and/or understand the fundamentals of group coaching for weight loss.
If you work for a company like Zappos - who hires a coach for every employee - you might want to brush up on conversational models that are used within large organizations. Some common examples include the “Grow Model,” or “Fierce Conversations.”
Taking time to invest in the worldview of the people you are coaching will help you bridge the gap between your existing coaching skills and client context. The more you learn, the broader your capacity for application as a coach will be.
“Sometimes as coaches, we get so busy helping other people that we drop the ball when it comes to investing in ourselves.” - John Kim
Coaches aren’t super heroes, though our clients often think we are!
Coaches are human. Part of the process of finding happiness and success in your career as a coach also involves taking care of and tending to your own human self - and yes - this is an investment too.
As a helper to other humans, it’s important to be able to admit to ourselves when we are the ones who need help. It is hard out there - the humans are not okay. The collective trauma the world is experiencing will inevitably bleed into your work as a coach.
As coaches, what are some ways we can support our human selves?
- Therapy - individual, family, or couples
- Coaching - personal, professional, or business
- Down time - pay yourself to take breaks and schedule time in your days to just be
- Self-care - whatever this means to you: a book, a nap, massage, movement
- Community - find and invest in relationships and organizations that lift you up
The business of coaches is to help others invest in themselves and their lives. The irony is that as we help others, we sometimes forget about ourselves. We encourage coaches to build your business in a way that feels both rewarding and sustainable.
Grab a pen and paper and think about your year ahead. Spend some time journaling on the questions:
- How would you like to grow yourself over the next 12 months?
- What do you most need?
- In what ways can you invest, not necessarily just to “level-up” as a coach, but also to thrive as a person?
Ready to Get Coaching?
A lot of talented people like you dream of having a coaching business, but aren’t quite sure how to get there. We train and certify adventurous coaches, making sure you’ve got all you need to build a business you love and transform lives, on your terms. If you're ready to learn more about how to become a life coach, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training program!