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Yes, You Can Go Slow... And Succeed
As coaches, our work often involves helping clients to move from a state of reactivity to a place that is more proactive. That process requires learning how to separate emotion, perception, and reaction from facts. The cool thing about the work of coaching is that we’re encouraged to apply these tools in our own lives, right alongside our clients. This includes learning how to run your coaching business from a place that is grounded and aware. From clear intention instead of trigger and response.
So what does it mean to be proactive?
- To be in the driver's seat
- To make choices and decisions guided by reason and intention
- To gather information AND THEN proceed
This isn’t always as easy as it sounds, especially if you are just getting started as a new coach. The idea of “going slow” as a necessary part of being proactive might even feel counterintuitive at first!
Why is this important? Because so much of the world around us encourages us to go too damn fast. And it's easy for new coaches to get caught up in that spin.
More, more, more.
Do you know where “more” and “faster” ultimately lead for most people? Burnout. (And if you need more motivation to take the slow lane, check out: The Real Impact of Burnout and Stress.)
After talking with thousands of aspiring coaches, we know that escaping the grind is a key driver in many people's decision to shift into a career in coaching. If that sounds like you, it’s time to choose differently. Now that you’re in charge, you'll want to avoid replicating what hasn't worked for you in the past.
We didn't say that would always be easy!
The reality is that coaching is inherently entrepreneurial:
- You are your brand
- You will likely work in lots of different ways over the course of a coaching career
- There is no “finish line” when building a coaching practice
The art of slowing down requires you to know when it’s time to go fast, and when to throttle down. It involves recognizing your rhythms, and honoring them. So pace yourself for a marathon, not a sprint. Learn to inhabit coaching as a lifestyle.
How to Make Coaching A Way of Life
1. Slow down
Take time, and create space around:
- Big decisions
- Difficult conversations
- Asking permission
- Having fun
- Building connections (other people matter!)
Pay attention when you’re running ragged, depleted, or feeling triggered. When things feel hard, give your nervous system what it needs to regulate and rebalance.
2. Remember nothing is forever - not even wrong turns
As you’re building your business, odds are it won’t be a straight line. You’ll be experimenting all along the way. While the reactive, emotional part of your brain seeks to avoid failure to keep you safe, remember that this cautionary voice may not be serving you.
Entrepreneurs take risks. Some of those experiments will go well. Others are likely to fail. If you aren’t experiencing any disappointments or failures in your business (or life!), odds are you aren’t growing either.
3. When you build the layers of your life, they add up
As a coach, your work draws from and is enriched by your lived experiences. Every area you are involved in as a human being has the potential to feed your coaching practice! That includes the investment of time and energy you make in:
- Colleagues and business partners
- Training and professional development
- Self care
- New experiences
Your network is what supports and sustains you. Your personal interests feed your creativity and zest for life.
Your lived experiences also form the basis of the stories you tell in your coaching practice. Your content - the work and words you share - contributes to the discourse in our industry, and the world at large.
All of this adds up to your whole, precious life!
4. Make work your companion, not your life
Without intention, it can be very easy to lose yourself in the process of building your business. But you have the opportunity in the field of coaching to both build a business, and create a life.
Recognize the separation between who you are and what you do. Your worth as a human being is not defined by your work, or how much money you make while doing it.
There are so many possible pathways associated with your coach training and skills. There's freedom in knowing that there isn’t just one way to do this! Allow your work to be an expression of who you are as a whole person. That includes having fun, and enjoying the ride.
5. Beware the shiny things
Consistency is underappreciated. The science of coaching is all about doing the work, one step at a time. It's a process of doing the next right thing. And then the next one. And then the one after that.
Does success happen overnight? Not usually. There are twists and turns in every journey. Building your coaching business, and a life you love, is a process.
Slow and steady is the new sexy. After all - who was it that actually won the race in the end, the tortoise or the hare?
Want to Become A Coach?
One of our values at Lumia is that we dare to be different. Our coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like some partners in the process, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.