I’m inspired to write this post today because there are so many “coaches” out there today – more than willing to dole out “advice” for a price. Every day, I come across another coach, who is writing a blog, running a Facebook group, or hosting a Periscope talk… and they are giving out BAD business advice!
I am not writing this post to sound boastful, but rather to clarify what I do – and what a coach should represent. I am certainly not perfect, or the “best coach out there”… no, there are many, many coaches I aspire to and look up to with great admiration. This post isn’t to “dis” on other coaches, or put down anyone – we all start out somewhere – however, if you are making pie-in-the-sky promises that by farting glitter and dancing with unicorns you can transform someones life – you might be offended.
Coaching is a weird market – because our product is either something no one has heard of yet, or they don’t realize they need – yet it’s one of the largest growing industries in new start-up businesses. Just in the 7 years I have been coaching, the number of coaches has grown exponentially – but honestly, that is because it’s an easy club to join… pretty much anyone can call themselves a coach – then start cranking out periscope videos, post inspirational tweets on twitter, and pictures of themselves working on their laptop at exotic locations like their backyard pool.
So, rather than pointing out all the ugliness I found out there on the web this morning… I am going to point out who I am, what I do, and what credentials I have – hopefully, I can help you if you are out there looking for a coach -whether it be a relationship coach, a spiritual coach, a health coach, or someone like me -a business coach. It’s important to choose the right coach carefully – after all, bad business advice can cost you time, money and reputation.
CERTIFICATION – Right now, there are no regulations requiring a coach to be certified, have a certain level of education or any degrees. My feelings are that you don’t necessary NEED to be certified – sometimes life experience can be enough. After all, you only need to be a few steps ahead to be able to be a leader. But having a certification gives you a process – guidelines – and ground rules to follow. It gives your clients consistency. You have more tools in your tool-box to pull out when you are faced with a challenging client. You also have infinite resources to fall back on, not to mention continued learning and skill sharpening opportunities.
I am certified through iPEC Coaching. I was trained for 400 hours that consisted of in person training, coursework, webinars, peer-to-peer coaching and having a mentor coach assigned to work with me through the entire certification process. I still attend Ipec training webinars and trainings to keep my saw sharp.
EXPERIENCE – Right now, the coaching industry does not require any specific hours of field work to be attained before “hanging our shingle” Some coaches have reported their billed hours to the ICF (International Coach Federation) and attained their ACC, PCC and MCC which are all based on level of experience, skill and knowledge – to gain these levels of accreditation requires the coach to hire a master coach, be tested on their skills, and then pass an exam through the ICF. The certification process costs between $300-$875.00, and requires each level to attain Continuing Education Credits (CEC’s) to maintain their level of certification which can cost between $800-$2000 annually.
The coaching industry also does not require you to have a background in the field in which you coach. In other words, anyone can coach on anything. Your business coach that you are paying thousands of dollars to could very well have been an entry level worker with absolutely no business experience.
As for me, I have 25 years of experience in business management, leadership and high performance team building. I have worked for both small and large businesses, typically holding a corporate level management position. I have a degree in Business Management, and I have successfully run my own business for 7 years, and have billed over 500 coaching hours while growing a landscaping business over 40% in two years.
REFERENCES – Hiring a coach might be one of the most important investments you make in your business. Do your homework. Check their credentials, interview them (not just a “freebie session” – but really interview them with hard-hitting questions!), and ask for references. Due to the confidentiality of this business, they might not be able to give you full names, but they should be able to give you case studies. I have clients that I know I can count on to gladly take a phone call or an email to answer a few questions about how I’ve helped them, and the type of coaching I provide.
Business Leadership Guide and Founder of Blazing Trails Coaching I help business owners and leaders grow healthy, sustainable, and resilient organizations. I help you train your leaders, manage your resources, and create time saving workflows that help you become the efficient, productive leader you were meant to be, and your business and family deserves.