Time for a little confession; I no longer subscribe to traditional “television”, and in fact haven’t watched a network show in its regular time slot in years. But I do subscribe to Amazon Prime and Netflix. So of course when I find a great show, I tend to binge watch it, making my way through all of the episodes in just a few days.
Case in point … House Of Cards. The third season was released just a few days ago, so you can find us glued to the television for a couple of episodes each night, wondering what Frank and Claire will be up to this season. Though I haven’t finished all 13 episodes yet, one of the main points of the storyline is Frank’s determination to move into place his America Works program, which gives everyone in America who wants a job, a job. (I won’t spoil any more of the plot for those of you who want to see it and haven’t had the chance yet.)
Jobs in America (and around the world for that matter) are one of the largest hot button issues of our time. We’re facing unemployment, underemployment, and changes in the actual way we work like never before.
If you go back to our parents’ generation, jobs were secure. You took a position early in life, worked your way up the ladder, until the day you could retire from the company and be set for the rest of your life. Health benefits were great, and would be more than adequate until you could convert to Medicare. Pensions were fully funded by the company, and would allow you to live a happy life throughout your retirement.
Then things changed. Working for 20, 30 years or more is no longer the norm, and in fact may be detrimental to your career. There is no such thing as adequate health care or pension funds. If you want security, you’ll have to find it on your own.
Which is why more people than ever before are looking for opportunities outside of the traditional “job” environment. (And it may be the reason you’ve wound up right here.) It may also be why you should start looking at the concept of coaching.
What is coaching?
Coaching can be defined as training or development in which a person called a “coach” supports the learner in achieving a specific personal or professional goal. A coach provides support to the “coachee”, and offers to guide a person along a path based on her experience and expertise.
To say this is a growing industry would be an understatement. Statistics show coaching to be a $2 billion industry here in the US alone. And with an annual growth rate of 18+ percent, it’s an area worth looking into if you have are willing to share your knowledge with those seeking what you have to give.
But why is it so popular? And why should you consider it as an income source?
I jumped into the coaching industry without even realizing I was on the trend.
In the mid 1990s, I helped create a successful photography business. In less than two years, we moved from concept to six figure business, and doubled revenue again and again as we photographed some of the highest profile weddings in the country. But with only 25 to 30 clients per year, that left plenty of time to look for other opportunities, and I found it in the coaching industry.
I started up my Six Figure Photographer coaching program, and proceeded to coach hundreds of photographers around the globe as they moved into the photography niche and started up their own profitable ventures. In just a few years, my coaching platform became just as profitable as my photography business, yet it did something I could never have had with a traditional photography studio … it gave me freedom.
As a coach, your entire business model is built around your needs and desires. You can coach one on one in a traditional environment, meeting people in an office face to face. Or you can coach from a phone, teaching hundreds with a simple hour long connection. You can coach by relaying information person to person. Or you can relay information in online training format; meaning you communicate solely through online platforms, such as membership sites, video training, even books and training guides to provide the information your clients need most.
The concept is life changing. And with so many people in desperate need of knowledge as they realize they are drowning in information that does little to satisfy their problems or needs, your ability to coach what you know becomes that much more valuable.
I’m not alone. I’ve worked with many women over the years who have made the leap into coaching by having a great passion for something they’ve learned in life, and the desire to share it with those around them. They all have a desire for one thing – to help others shave off the learning curve they spent months, even years working through.
For instance, a client, Susan, started out as a realtor back in the 1990s after a divorce left her jobless, homeless, and trying to survive with two tiny boys in tow. She quickly grew her real estate business by reaching out to other newly divorced women, helping them get back on track financially so they could buy their own homes. From there, she began helping these same women build up an income stream by investing in rental units and fix and flips, learning how to take control over their wealth by incorporating her simple system into their lives. Once she discovered how valuable her information was, she started a coaching business working exclusively with newly divorced women getting them back on track financially. She has never looked back.
What can you do to create a coaching business?
The world is filled with endless coaching possibilities. And because of the flexibility you’ll find in how you create and offer your services, the wealth potential is also unlimited.
Step One: Your Idea
What do you like? Where are you in your career? Who do you enjoy working with? What has potential for being something big? Just like my client Susan found out through working as a real estate agent, there are always ways to niche yourself and target people that motivate you. You may have found that in your current career. What do you enjoy about it?
Or maybe you’re the type who has done something on the side for years. You’ve found tips to help you parent your triplets effectively. You’ve become an expert at being firmly planted in the sandwich generation, living with an ailing mother and a growing tween, both of who challenge you every day.
This is where your ideas begin.
Step Two: Find Your Value
“I help people” won’t cut it. You have to be very specific about what you provide. The more specific you are, the more valuable you will be. Parenting advice is great, but it won’t create as strong of an impact in a crowded marketplace as it will if you provide parenting tips for triplets. You’ve lived it, you understand it … that’s a reason for trust.
Step Three: Learn All You Can
How will you coach? Do you need education in how to be an effective coach? Or maybe business or marketing training to run a profitable business? We aren’t born with the skills necessary to become the best at all things. To do what we choose to do, we need a top notch education. The more you are willing to put into learning, the better results you will have for the long term. Yes, you’ll have to invest in yourself every year. But can you think of a better place to spend your time, developing skills that will last a lifetime?
Step Four: Define Your Coaching
How do you want to work with clients? Face to face? In group format? Through books and videos? Through formal consultations? With people in your local community? Or people half way around the world? This is where your vision comes into play. Don’t race into your concept, spend the time necessary to see it, build it, and create something of true value where your potential clients can see the difference.
Step Five: Grow
What I have found so attractive with the coaching industry is there is always room for growth. I’ve worked with people in so many ways – books, email, membership sites, phone calls, in person, and with Skype – and I’ve enjoyed each for what they have to offer. I’m always learning from others, incorporating it into the way I provide usefulness back to my own clients.
Is coaching for everybody? No. But if you are looking for a way to build a business around something you love, and your goal is to truly make a difference in the lives of people you know you can share your knowledge with, it may be worth exploring on a deeper level.
The potential is truly only limited by your imagination.