Coaching: Frequently Asked Questions


Coaching is, above all, a relationship.  It's a relationship that's uniquely powerful, unlike any most people have ever experienced.  Even if one understands "coaching" conceptually, it's such a radically different experience for most of us that it usually takes 2-3 months to truly "learn how to use the attention" and, thus, realize the full potential that coaching offers.  (It actually took me a bit longer than that!)  It also takes about the same amount of time for the effects of the coaching to transcend changing the "things" of a person's life, and to start to transform the person (eg, limiting beliefs, thought/behavioral patterns, attitudes/perspectives on life, internal dialog, self esteem, self knowledge, etc).

"Relationships are a key factor in your success, not because of what other people can do for you, but rather because of who you can become by being in their presence."
- Laura Berman Fortgang, in Take Yourself to the Top

Just as it is impossible to know what a "best friend relationship" or "romantic relationship" is really like without experiencing it, so it is with a coaching relationship.  Because of this, it is extremely difficult to accurately describe coaching in words.  (The best way to understand what coaching holds for you is to experience it for yourself: To address this, I offer free sample coaching sessions).  That said, I've put a list of questions I've been ask and my verbal responses....

[ How some of my clients have described their experience in their own words. ]

NOTE: I wrote this FAQ several years ago, when I started coaching, and I still stand by what I've written.  For some of my more recent thinking, however, please also see my answers to the interview questions for my Showtime appearance on Penn & Teller's Show.

What is Personal Coaching?
A simple, unique, revolutionary and extremely effective proactive alliance, with coach and client working together as equals in meeting the needs of the client.
Click here for a unique and philosophical (radical?) perspective you won't find anywhere else.

Do I Need to Live Near A Coach?
No.  Although I do offer in-person coaching and have had clients who have preferred that, the majority coaching is done over the phone. It was counter-intuitive and surprising to me to learn that, in addition to being more convenient, phone coaching is actually more powerful than in-person coaching for most people.  In fact, I've coached people as far away as New Zealand and India, and have never met many of my clients, despite the deep bond and powerful relationship we share. (I was skeptical about this when I was getting started in coaching. Now, based on tangible and measurable results seen in the lives of my clients, I know the reality of this from experience.)

What Purpose Does Coaching Serve?
oaching is a powerful relationship designed to forward and enhance the lifelong process of human learning, effectiveness, and fulfillment.
Leaders click here.

What is the Focus of Coaching?
Experiencing deeper appreciation, gratitude and enjoyment of who you truly are and what you have now, while simultaneously discovering and creating your highest vision of yourself and your life, so that you can do, be and have what you most want.

Why do a Free Sample Coaching Session?
The purpose of the sample session is for you to walk away with a personal experience perhaps unlike any other you've had--ever: You'll get an experiential sense of just what coaching is, what it's not, and what value it may hold for you and your life in particular. This complimentary meeting will also give us an idea of how well we might work together, and just what sort of arrangement would be of greatest service to you.  Even if we decide not to work together, the sample session will be fun and illuminating.  Although not everyone is "coachable," nor is a coach the optimal answer for everyone,  it's likely that you'll find even this one meeting quite powerful.

How do I set up my Free Sample Coaching Session?
Call or with a couple open, 45min slots that mesh well with your schedule, and I'll confirm.

How Do You Work with Clients?
Although everything I do is completely customized to fit the individual, I would typically work one-on-one with you, in weekly, half-hour phone sessions. First, I assist you to clarify just what you most want. Then, I partner with you to make it happen. This may involve custom-designed strategies, homework assignments and accountability, and supportively holding the focus until we move beyond any blocks or difficulties.

Tell Me More...
Your coaching is custom-designed at every level to best suit your particular needs, style and preferences. With most clients I start by examining where they want to go and building a foundation upon which our work together will be built. This usually starts in an (optional) 2-4 hour foundational intake session in which we examine all the areas of your life which interrelate (relationships, career, health, money, fun & recreation, personal/spiritual growth, etc.) to determine what's currently fulfilling for you and what's currently dissatisfying. We will also design your future, including goals for the next 3 months that are specifically targeted to move you toward full satisfaction and balance in the areas you choose to work on in partnership with me. This includes looking at what makes you tick (your passions, values, dreams, motivators...), and what works and doesn't work for you in both stylistic and practical terms. During this process, I guide you to design me as your ideal partner and we consciously construct the relationship that will best serve you.

How Does Coaching Differ from Therapy?
Coaching and therapy are wonderful compliments to one another, and it's common for someone working with both a coach and therapist simultaneously to make exceptional progress more rapidly than with either therapy or coaching alone. Since there are many different modalities of therapy, individual and group models within each of those modalities, and each therapist also brings his/her own unique personal style, philosophy, wisdom, experience and gifts (and similarly for coaches and all the continually evolving models of coaching), this will be a bit of an unfair generalization to both....

That said, a therapist, in general, looks into a patient's past experiences and patterns to diagnose the cause of present blocks, challenges, or difficulties. A coach, on the other hand, assists the client to experience the present more fully, while looking to the future to clearly define what the client wants to be, do and have in his or her life.  The coach then partners with him or her, step by step, to manifest their future vision with maximum alacrity and joy.

Both coaching and therapy increase the rate of personal development, awareness and learning. Where therapy is process-oriented, however, coaching is action-oriented. Therapy is also past-oriented and serves to free the patient from the past so s/he can choose new possibilities for the future.  Coaching is future-oriented and serves to make the present come alive by making the client's dreams and desires come true now.

A therapist generally has a diagnosis of your condition, and decides on the best prognosis (method) to use to treat your condition.  This information is typically not shared with the client. A coach holds you as naturally creative, resourceful, and whole just as you are, and empowers you to find your own answers, make the decisions, and take the actions required to create your ideal self and life--with no dependency on the coach.  Working as your peer and equal, a coach shares all information and insights with the client. Lastly, within the Co-active Coaching model that I use, coach and client work side-by-side to consciously (through an open, intentional and on-going process) co-design the coaching relationship itself to fit the current and evolving needs of that particular client.

I am a believer in therapy and refer clients to therapists when appropriate.

How Do I Identify a Coaching-Compatible Therapist?
When interviewing for a therapist who will be compatible with coaching, I would advise three things:  Choose to work with someone who's therapeutic and personal philosophy supports and encourages the two of you to...

  1. Ensure and agree, up front, that you, the patient, will be held as 100% whole and good.  "Self esteem" being the #1 psychological need, any therapy or therapist relationship that is based upon an assumption (spoken or not) that "there's something bad/broken about the patient that needs fixing" shoots itself (and you) in the foot before you even begin.
  2. Ensure and agree, up front, that you will be held as 100% powerfully creative and resourceful, and that no dependency on the therapist nor on the therapy relationship will be created.  (Even if you/the patient seems to want this or attempts to elevate the therapy/therapist to this position, the savvy and caring therapist will not let you disempower yourself in this way.  By the time the coaching or therapy relationship ends, you should embody the awareness, competencies and confidence required for you to continue living with the same level of well-being and success.)
  3. Ensure and agree, up front, that the priority for your work will be the reality you prefer to experience, rather than focusing on what you have experienced in your past, family or origin, etc.  Ie, work together, mindfully, to not re-create the distresses, relationships and patterns of your past by placing too much attention there.

    [ I invite you to explore the latest research in Quantum Physics via the entertaining and easy-for-anyone-to-understand "What the Bleep Do We Know?!" movies and books.  You may also want to explore the Law of Attraction and manifestation wisdom available from Dr. Wayne Dyer, "Conversations with God" (Books 1 & 2), Abraham-Hicks, etc.  These references say, among other things, that you can be the conscious creator of the reality you prefer...and that your beliefs, expectations and what you focus your attention on expands and is invited into your experience.  Taken to the next level, where I will focus with you, this is about the vibration you embody.  This is not a matter of philosophy, but of physics...which is why I emphasize the "vibration" that is you...all the way down to the sub-atomic level.  This includes not just your conscious thoughts and feelings, but also your your underlying emotions and unconscious beliefs, which can be much more difficult to access. ]

    Coaching is, by design, a "starve the problem, feed the solution" sort of model.  Born over a century ago, however, psychotherapy is, by design, a "focus on the trauma/distress/dysfunction" sort of model.  So, if you choose to augment your coaching with therapy, you need to work a bit to find counselors and newer modalities of therapy that incorporate this modern paradigm of sustained focus, as coaching does, on what you WANT to create and experience, rather focusing on problems, the negative/painful emotions, and whatever else you DON'T WANT to re-create.

    [ This often includes work on "transforming limiting beliefs/definitions to the most empowering/liberating ones."  Addressing rigidified patterns of belief, thinking, feeling, and behavior is something I focus on as a high priority with both my coaching and emotional counseling clients.  We're also generally unaware of how we become addicted -- yes, addicted! -- at the cellular level to certain emotions, modes of being, and, as a result, repeated experiences.  Since the bulk of our belief systems and patterning was laid in at a very young age, we're largely unaware of them and how they define (and keep re-defining!) our realities, sabotage our success and best efforts to realize our highest potential, etc.  Since these internalized belief systems are mostly unconscious and unknown to us, it's extremely difficult to uncover and transform them alone.  I use various interactive methods within coaching/counseling sessions to create experiences in which you will -- often with surprise -- discover any limiting beliefs that may be holding you back from reaching the specific goals we're working toward and, as a result, creating and living the life you truly want.  We then work to transform these beliefs through various coaching, counseling, and re-patterning methods, both within the sessions, and in your regular life.  One example of a fun, 21st Century tool that can be used to transform limiting beliefs and reprogram the unconscious is ZenFrames.  Other personalized methods utilizing various tools, techniques and specifically-customized homework assignments are similarly used to transform limiting beliefs in your day-to-day life. ]

    Dismantling and upgrading rigidified, unconscious patterns of thought/belief, feeling/emotion, and behavior/habit can be done and is very much worth it!  Something I'd also recommend checking out, especially if your budget is currently limited, is Re-evalution Counseling.  The ideal, from my perspective, is to be working with both a coach and either a therapist, hypno-therapist, or re-evaluation counselor simultaneously.  For even faster progress, use a personal tool to reprogram the unconscious, such as ZenFrames.

What Do Your Clients Commonly Report as Specific Benefits?

Click here to read some actual client reports.

Tell Me About Coaching Theory
The model of coaching in which I was first trained, Co-Active Coaching, holds that the client has the answers and the job of the Co-Active Coach is to listen and empower, rather than inform and advise.

This model holds that all people are naturally creative, resourceful, whole, and completely capable of finding their own answers to whatever challenges they face.  The coach has the questions, rather than the other way around!  This coaching precept assumes and relies on the innate wisdom within each of us, which the coach and client work together to discover and understand.

The Co-Active Coaching model employs techniques and strategies specifically targeted to forward the action (in the specific directions identified by the client), while deepening the life learning and enjoyment for the client. The key modes of Co-Active Coaching focus on on creating genuine Fulfillment and Balance for the client, while engaging him/her more fully in the Process of life as it unfolds.

Co-Active Coaches believe that all parts of people's lives -- their careers, relationships, recreation, personal growth, and finances, for example -- are interrelated and should be addressed as such. In other words, we coach the whole person.

In addition to Co-Active Coaching, I have studied and employ several other coaching models, and continue to explore whatever I feel may serve my clients.

One of the most powerful coaching models I employ is called "The Bigger Game." This is a leadership/growth/change model that proclaims that everyone is a leader. At the heart of this model is that humans crave more meaningful and growthful lives, and that the life of the greatest happiness, purpose, passion and personal evolution comes from serving something greater than oneself. It states that, "The size and quality of the game you play [in your life] designs who you become [as a person]." This style of coaching is for those who want to take control of who they become and the impact they have in the world.

Examples of Bigger Games I've played:

"Empowering at-risk youths with new tools for change (5000 per year),"
"Calling forth 10,000 leaders around the world with The Bigger Game model and book," and
"Creating a soul-nourishing, spiritually-based, People First/Goals Second work community"

I spent two years working with Laura Whitworth (co- founder of "The Coaches Training Institute" and author of the book Co-Active Coaching) and a select group of fellow coaches to 
test, refine and live the "The Bigger Game" model. The model is now mature, and I wrote the first draft of The Bigger Game Book (as a ghost-writer for Laura). I coach using this model for those who request it. Please call or click to learn more about this exciting new method of living and leading!

What Am I Buying When I Hire a Coach?
A quicker and more rich path and method for becoming and experiencing your deepest desires: A simple yet effective structure of support to help you advance in significant areas of your life (career, relationships, personal growth, fun/recreation, finances, etc.)

In What Ways Might You Help Me?
I might help you clarify your perspective on important life decisions, expand your consciousness and evolve spiritually, get to know and appreciate yourself and life more fully and accurately, set goals for specific results, create strategies and tactics, move beyond blocks and difficulties, deepen your awareness and self knowledge, fully enjoy the now, create balance, peace, etc.

How Long Will It Take?
Aside from trying to describe what coaching is to someone who hasn't experienced it, this is probably the hardest question for me to answer.  But, it's a great question, one I've been asked often. In the end, it really depends on you: I've have clients that have been with me for over 4 years who are still making transformational progress in every area of their lives and enjoying the coaching immensely. Like them, I have realized that coaching just makes my life better in so many ways, that I'll always be able to become, learn/grow and achieve more with a coach than without one, and that I love having someone to share the process with: I'll probably always work with a coach.

Other clients have hired me to work on one specific thing.  One woman, for example, just wanted to "get a new job/raise my income."  In 2 months, she had 3 offers, chose one, we negotiated the offer for a higher salary, and then she took the job and completed the coaching. Another man was already interviewing, and just wanted a month of coaching on his interview skills.

So, I guess the short answer would be: Who do you want to be, how do you want to be experiencing life, and how badly do you want those things?

Here's how I responded to the last person who asked me this (she had a specific interest in making a career change, but also wanted to work on other things): What I think you're asking is, "How long will it take me to get my life to where I want it to be."  That really depends on you...your commitment level...just what changes would bring you the fulfillment and satisfaction you well you know yourself long it takes you to come to the realizations of the optimal changes to make (which means getting to know yourself even more deeply) to bring you the greatest joy...what internal blocks you hit toward taking the actions required to bring about those changes (if any) long it takes to you take the actions to create the changes you seek...etc.

One client of mine made a complete career change in as little as 3 months.  That's really exceptional and she definitely had some great luck.  It takes most people longer.  Some much longer.  It took me 3-4 years (working at it on and off when I wasn't distracted with other things) to figure out that it was teaching that I wanted to do next, and then another year to make the transition out of computer engineering into my new teaching job.  But, back then, I didn't know about coaching and I did the whole thing without a coach.  My second career transition (to my own business and coaching) went much more quickly.  In addition, I experienced much more enjoyment and learning, since I knew myself and the process better, I didn't have such a sense of urgency about it, I had already faced many of the demons, fears and emotional blocks, etc.  I really have no way of knowing how long it will take you.

What I do know is that people report that the process goes much faster working with me, that it's more enjoyable, and that they experience more learning and often better results along the way.  When I coached the "3 month career change client" I mentioned earlier past her blocks around negotiating the offer she was originally given, she got herself an extra $10,000, which paid for all her coaching many times over.  (I remember I stopped counting at "10" during the call following that, as she kept repeating, "I'm so happy!  I'm SO happy!").

Another client of mine, a woman that I worked with a few years ago, just wrote me a very warm and lovely "Thank you" note, in which she said, "I've been thinking about how much I want to thank you for the work we did together.  Things are going really well now, and I attribute that to getting back on track with my life thanks to working with you.  Really, Rich, I don't know how long it would have taken me to find my way without you.  Thank you so much for the work you do...".

The first two times we met, she was in tears and having panic attacks.  It took her about 10 months to change her relationship, where she was living, who she was living with, to decide she wanted to go back to school for a higher degree, get past her internal obstacles to doing that, apply and get accepted at her first choice school, negotiate a part-time arrangement where she was working to accommodate school, etc.  Now, she's got her new degree and is using it in a new career that she loves, is engaged to "the most amazing guy I could possibly imagine...and next May, after the wedding I will be moving into the house we picked out together in Brentwood."

Most people don't accomplish that much that quickly.  This person, however, was extremely committed.  (She never missed a call for anything, did 99% of her homework on time, did all her prep forms, kept all her agreements, etc.)  She was also very open to exploring new beliefs, ways of being, doing healing work in conjunction with the coaching, etc.  And, she, too, had some great luck along the way (or, perhaps the "luck" was generated by her level of enthusiasm and commitment?).

Anyway, that's what I know is possible, because those are true stories of clients of mine.  How long it will take you and where you will end up is a mystery I'd love to explore with you.  I'd be foolish to try to make any predictions about you.

My sense is that you were hoping for a different answer, and I wish I had one for you.  The truth is, however, that nobody does.  I think it was Joseph Campbell that said something like, "If you're on a path, it's not yours."  Meaning, of course, that everything from your DNA to your finger prints are completely unique--have never existed before you/will never exist again after you're gone--and, thus, so is the path of your life completely unique from anyone else's.  The great news, tho, is that there's a wonderful and unique adventure out there just waiting for you...and that coaching is about making the journey at least as exciting and rewarding as the destination....  :-)

How Much Does It Cost?
I offer a 2-4 hour initial, foundational intake session to design the personally customized partnership that will best serve you. In the intake we address any outstanding questions or concerns you might have,go over the specifics of the coaching process, take a look at all the areas of your life, explore what motivates/blocks you, explore your values and what fulfills you, and map out specific goals/directions for our work together.  I will coach you in designing me as your optimal partner.

The intake can be shortened, lengthened, or omitted to meet your needs. The goal is to design the optimal alliance for our work together--and to have fun doing it! The intake is $200 for a 2 hour session, $300 for a 3 hour session, and $400 for a 4 hour session. (Fees include behind-the-scenes work that I'll do with the preparatory information you'll provide me before we meet.)

The coaching itself is usually three 45 min sessions per month or four 30 min sessions per month. The individual coaching sessions can be done in person or over the phone. Over time, these sessions become the framework and momentum you use to energize, reshape, and support the life/business/relationships you most desire, while bringing greater awareness, enjoyment and self-learning to the process.

$400/month covers the weekly phone coaching sessions, behind the scenes prep-work and research, resource gathering, emails, and unscheduled 5-10min quickie calls (for anything urgent that comes up in between the scheduled sessions). The monthly rate also covers the time that I will spend thinking about you (and what would best serve you) in between our calls. In some cases, this may also involve working (alone or with other coaches) to develop a new tool, competency, or coaching strategy to specifically address what's happening in your life and/or our work together.

My experience is that, for most people, phone sessions are both more convenient and powerful than working in person.  Since this is not the case for everyone, however, I also offer in-person coaching in Palo Alto. My rate for in-person coaching is $450/month.  Corporate coaching is $500/month.

There are certain discounts available as well.  Here are some common discount scenarios:  If you commit to at least three months of coaching 3 or 4 times a month (paid up front), the rate for those first 3 months will be reduced by 15%. Discounts are also available if you're in genuine financial hardship, or if you're paying your bills solely via humanitarian or environmental work. (If money is an issue for you,
we can make building your financial reserve the primary focus of the coaching initially, and then build from there. Call me and we'll work something out.)

What Kind of People Become Coaches?
A coach must genuinely care about his clients and hold their well-being and success in his heart, even while giving full responsibility for that well-being and success to the client. A coach must be fascinated by human potential, inspired by individual creativity, and unwaveringly committed to holding others as magnificent and infinitely capable.

Coaching is a profession that asks the coach to give his absolute best in making a significant and positive difference in people's lives. I, personally, am someone who actually gets more gratification from helping someone else get/become/experience what they want than I do from getting/achieving what I want....and "who I want to become" is "an expert at uplifting others."

Why is Coaching So Popular all of the Sudden?
Coaching is the profession on the leading edge of personal and professional development. Coaches are in demand by leaders, by executives, by entrepreneurs,
and by people everywhere that want to excel. People are using coaches to inspire them to go beyond the ordinary, to bring out their absolute best, and to realize long-held dreams and goals.

How Does Coaching Make the World A Better Place?
My theory is that people who are at peace with themselves and their lives, put good "stuff" (love, kindness, compassion, generosity, patience, non-judgment, cooperation) out into the world -- and vice versa! I also believe that only when one is fulfilled can he give cleanly, out of abundance. I want my life to be about making the world a kinder, more accepting and compassionate place. Coaching others to reach abundant peace and fulfillment within themselves and their lives is the most effective way I've found to do that.

Please join me!

(See the "COACH TO COACH" FAQ  below for the practical play-by-play of this. :)


COACH TO COACH: How to answer the question, "What is Coaching?" from a potential client?
Douglas Cartwright, London wrote:
Rich, I absolutely love your article on what is coaching and it has
helped me formulate some extra definitions of my own, thank you.

I really struggle with explaining what I do (at least in a short
form) so can I ask how you respond to someone's question when they ask
"What is coaching?" or "What kind of coaching do you do?"

Yours is a great question...a classic one that new coaches face.

Yes, it's a difficult question to answer to someone who's never experienced
coaching. Best is to offer them a sample session so that they can
experience what it's truly like for them.

As I mention on my above, it's a new kind of attempting to
explain that to someone who's not experienced it is like attempting to
explain what it's like to be in love to someone who's never been.... If
they're not open to a sample session, or really want something in the
moment, I say something to that effect...such as, "Well, I've found that
it's really difficult explain, since it really is a new thing and it's
different for everyone, but I might be able to give you an idea of what it
might be like for you.... Would you be willing to play along?"

[ Are you familiar with the "Wheel of Life" exercise from CTI/The Coaches
Training Institute? If so, you can apply what you learned there to what
I'll describe below. :) ]

I ask them to rate their overall life in terms of satisfaction/
happiness/fulfillment on a scale of 1-10. Then, I ask "What would make it a
10?" Then, "Ok, if you had that, would your life truly be a 10, or is there
still something missing?" Etc. If they get stuck, I'll check in on certain
areas...relationship/romance, career, family/ friends, fun/recreation,
health, personal growth, etc...especially if I already know something about
their life. :)

In my head, as we go along, I'm making a mental list of focus areas: A, B, C, etc.
When they reach a 10, which is a great exercise/gift for them anyway, I say,
"Ok, what life coaching might look like for you then is sitting down with a
coach and making a plan for you to make A, B, C happen in the next 3-6
months. First, we'd get very clear on just how each should look. Then,
we'd formulate a strategy, including a time-line and milestones...what needs
to happen by the end of 3 months, by the end of the month, by the end of
this week, etc. Each week you'd have homework assignments that we'd
identify together in our weekly meetings, though the real coaching will
happen off the calls, in your life. Coaching is about "forwarding the
action" and "deepening the learning." So, if you're doing your homework
and keeping your commitments, then you're forwarding the action
... and making your dream/vision/perfect life happen.

There's no "failure" in coaching, however. So, if you don't manage to take
action after a couple attempts anywhere along the line, that's an
opportunity to look at what's getting in the way and "deepen the learning."
Odds are that same issue is holding you back in other areas of your life:
Is there a new competency that you need to build?
Do you need an ally? Is there an emotional block there?
Limiting belief(s)? Etc.

So, for you, you'd either be making A, B, C happen quickly, and have someone
to celebrate the successes with and help you to smell the roses and really
relish in the joy of both the journey and the achievement...OR, you'd be making
those happen a bit more slowly, but learning more deeply about yourself and your
relationship to life along the way, which would benefit other areas of your
life and your future personal effectiveness, yet with the support of a
skilled and professionally- trained partner to share the challenges with,
encourage and support you in whichever specific ways you needed ("the best
way to support you" is something we figure out together, and it's one of the
things I was referring to when I said, "coaching's different for everyone." :)

[ Btw, if they say "10" from the start, I acknowledge/congratulate them on
who they had to be to create that life already, tell them they're my ideal
client, and then ask what would make it a "12" or "15". If their life is
perfect, that's when the coaching is really exciting for we can get
on to creating their highest vision for who they want to be, or their
highest vision for what impact they want their life to have on this time.
For me, this is what life coaching is truly, once we get beyond
personal fulfillment and on to completing our highest purpose for being
here...which I believe to be each individual's unique, special vision for
evolving the planet!! ]

If they have reservations about starting, I don't go into convincing, I go
into light coaching, if they seem open to it. Eg, "Oh, well, then a good
coach would start by putting that [ their reservation ] on the top of the
list of focus areas, and would ask you, 'What would it take for you to make
the time, raise the money, etc. so that you can have the life you really
want?' <insert a bit of light coaching here>
So, again, that's just an example of how there's no blame,
judgment or pressure in coaching, just a very direct approach to truly
getting you past whatever stands between you and your dream/vision/ ideal
life/higher purpose/etc." [ So, tho I might do a tiny bit of coaching on
the spot, I'm doing it in the context of answering their initial question. ]

This can usually be done in 5-10 a lot more fun/interesting
for both...and I've done it while walking to breakfast with someone even
while there were others in the group. Keep in mind that when some asks,
"What is coaching?" what they're likely asking is, "What can it do for me?"
So, you cut to the chase and give them a direct experience of that, and then
let go of the outcome and let them make the choice that's best for
them...but from the "real data" of a personal experience...rather than from
rumors, jokes, articles they've read about it, etc....


As for "What kind of coaching do you do?" that's one you're going to
have to work out for yourself. This may take a few years as you work
with many different clients on many different areas and, hopefully, a
mentor coach.... As you go along, tune in to: Where's the passion/
energy and the highest joy/excitement for ME when I'm coaching? In
which areas do *I* want to evolve myself? Which clients can I not
wait to talk to, do *I* learn and grow most from working with, etc?
Make those your niche areas.

My personal answer is that, 'I'm a "Leadership, Relationship, and
Spiritual/Life Coach"'...which means that it's most exciting for me to
work with leaders with a vision for a better world, those who want the
have the highest intimate relationship possible with their partner, or
those whose highest goal is to evolve spiritually and explore the
mystery of "Who am I really (beyond name and form)?" and "What's the
true nature of reality?"

Anyway, I hope that helps you and helps you help others!

Best of luck to you and your clients, Douglas!!

PS. My highest recommendation if you're going into coaching as a
career path is to get yourself a mentor coach, one who's already
achieved what you're wanting to (especially if you're wanting to have
a profitable coaching business)...and who's experienced in coaching
many clients long-term. S/he is an invaluable ally to have when you
come up against a challenge with a client and you just don't know how
to coach them on such and such particular issue. I'd advise designing
the alliance with your mentor coach so that they will COACH you on any
challenge you're having with any of your clients *first*, so that you
can access your own wisdom and formulate your own answers with your
personal growth/evolution as the highest priority....but who can also,
in a pinch, just set that aside when need, give you solid,
seasoned advice including a couple effective new coaching strategies
to try if you're really in a pickle with a client and time's an issue
for your client.

To build and market your practice, even if you can't find a mentor
coach, I'd advise at least having your own life coach who you work
with regularly. Potential clients pick up on your integrity (you
believe in and value coaching enough to do just what you're asking
them to --> ie, invest your own time and money toward creating your
dream/vision/ideal life experience...with coaching as the vehicle that
takes you there). Secondarily, you'll learn so much from being the
client that will help you be extremely effective with your clients so
much faster, since you've been where they are, first-hand...especially
when it gets challenging, boring, etc. for them. Plus, down the line,
you get to experience the change that starts occurring in "who you are
as a person/exchanging limiting beliefs and perspectives for more
liberating and powerful ones/upgrading your relationship with life/
etc." after the first 3-6 months of coaching when you "get all the
external things the way you want them in your life"....and, then, after that,
on to creating your legacy and stepping into a leadership, to
start creating your vision for a better world, touching hundreds or
thousands of lives, etc. No way to really explain what that process
is or is like, really, I don't think. You can only embody it. And,
potential clients will pick up on it and be drawn to you. But, more
important than that, YOU will BE that and CREATE from that place...which
may be the true reason your higher self drew you toward becoming a
life coach in the first place.... :-)

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Rich Raffals ~ Awaken The Magic Coaching
Committed to Your Success
415-295-7267 /


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