This article is an extract from The Book of Coaching by Ajit Nawalkha and Dr. Neeta Bhushan.
As we get closer to the end of this book, I want to leave you with a strategy that will give you a little more certainty, a little more comfort, as you head toward becoming an extraordinary coach.
This is something you can do yourself. Something that will inspire and motivate progress. Something that will make the journey easier.
Below is the map of your entire journey to success as a coach, abundance and freedom, marked out in stages. The journey doesn’t always flow in exactly the same way, but it does follow this general direction.
As you move from one stage to another, here are a few pointers that will help you know where you are, and what you must prioritize.
Stage I: The Soldier
This is the stage when you first get introduced to coaching. You like the idea. You’re inspired to know more, so you start to educate yourself on the subject.
At this stage, you’ll probably juggle part-time coaching as you hold down a full time or part-time job somewhere, to pay the bills.
You’ll have some basic understanding of coaching in, or you’ll have some experience in the field, but you are still a newbie. Still learning the ropes.
If you’re a soldier:
- You’ll make very little or no income from coaching. Your numbers will be well below $10,000 a year
- You’ll have another job
- You spend a lot of time observing what other coaches are doing
- You’re not sure about your next step
- You spend way too much time on social media, commenting on or reading other people’s posts
- You feel awkward when you’re coaching someone, and you feel downright uncomfortable making sales calls
If you’re a soldier, you should:
- Coach as much as you can even if you have to do it for free. Money isn’t the focus at this stage. It’s about gaining experience.
- Learn coaching methodologies. Talk about coaching with others. Test and explore your methods with friends, colleagues and family members
- Focus on building confidence in yourself and in your ability to make an irresistible offer to people you meet.
- Start going to events that will help you understand and master the art of running a successful coaching practice
- Start going to events you know your clients will love so you can meet them, connect with them and get to know them
Stage II: The Knight/Dame
At Stage II, you’re starting to feel confident as a coach, and you even have a few clients.
If you’re a Knight/Dame:
- You have some income coming in from coaching – between $10,000 and $50,000 a year
- You have a handful of clients
- You have started thinking about creating coaching packages
- You overwhelmed by how much you have to do to grow your coaching practice
If you’re a Knight/Dame, you should:
- Start creating coaching packages
- Spend a lot of your time conducting coaching conversations
- Find ways to get comfortable with rejection. Look for the yes’s, between the no’s
- Start going to industry events so you can become a better coach
- Start going to industry events to learn about creating coaching packaging and mastering sales
Stage III: Prince/Princesses
At this stage, your client list has grown, exponentially. You’ve gained traction, and you’re successful. But this is also the stage where you’ll start to feel stuck.
If you’re a Prince/Princess:
- You’ve been coaching for 2 to 5 years
- Your income is great- around the $200,000 mark per year
- You have a ton of clients
- You’re working way too hard
- You catch yourself wondering, how you’re ever going to grow with so much on my plate
- You start to value time more than money
If you’re a Prince/Princess, you should:
- Pay very close attention to your prices. Price is paramount right now. Consider increasing your prices by 10%, 20% or 30%
- Hire a team to help with the sales process so you can have more time and energy
- Hire a coach who can support you at this stage
- Start improving your online presence as you create online programs
- Think about writing a book to increase your credibility as an authority in your area of expertise
- Focus on increasing enrollment rates to your mastermind or group coaching program
Stage IV: King/Queen
The fourth and final state is when you get to experience more stability in your business. You are looking to make a bigger impact and increase your reach. You want to be part of high-level masterminds and find a community of kindred spirits who understand you, your challenges and your vision.
If you’re a King/Queen:
- You’re hitting $500,000 to $1,000,000 or more per year
- You have a solid online presence
- You are selling digital programs, and books
- You host 1 or 2 annual events that support your group coaching and 1-on-1 coaching programs
- You may even have some junior coaches who are part of your team
- You have a sales team
- You want to know what’s next
- You are often frustrated with your pace of growth, and team issues take up most of your time
If you’re a King/Queen, you should:
- Focus on improving your team management and leadership skills
- Put together systems and processes to optimize team performance
- Create more channels to promote yourself, your products and services
- Upgrade your website. At this stage, your website is your calling card
- Recreate your vision. Make it bigger and more exciting. Something that will pull you forward
- Get a coach who can help you scale and who understands your work and your unique situation
- Keep in mind that hyper-growth at this stage can kill your business
The 4 Stages of Success as a coach are not the only way to grow your coaching business, but I’ve found this pattern to be the most consistent.
Keep these stages and challenges in mind, then design your own adventure.