The Confidence Building Formula For New Coaches
Nine out of ten times, when a new life coach tells me they’re lacking confidence and don’t know what they should be charging for their services, it boils down to this one thing.
Spoiler Alert: It's not that they're comparing themselves to other coaches. It's not even that they're not certified as a life coach. It isn't their age, and it's rarely a shortage of relevant life experience. It has nothing to do with how many Instagram or Facebook followers they have either. Nope. It's none of that.
You see, when you're starting as a brand new coach, and you haven't coached many people or coached for more than a handful of hours, the lack of evidence is what shakes your confidence - especially when it comes to selling your services.
You've not yet proved yourself in the coaching profession, and as a result, you legitimately do not know if you're any good at it or can deliver tangible results to potential clients. It's a big ask to expect to feel confident in your abilities as a coach in the absence of evidence to support that confidence.
The Confidence Myth
"I have to feel confident before I can start coaching."
This myth gets the situation exactly backward!
You have to start coaching to build confidence.
"The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later." "And once you have taken action, over and over, so that you have the skills to get the results you want — then you'll start to notice the feelings of confidence." - Russ Harris
In other words, the reality is once you start to practice your coaching on clients, you will begin to build confidence because confidence grows when you take consistent, albeit imperfect action, even if there is a risk of failure.
If the action you take results in success, you feel instantaneously more confident.
If you fail, you have an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, course correct, and try again - as many times as necessary to achieve success and, as a result, confidence.
You have absolutely no right to 'practice' your craft on paying clients.
There it is. I said it. #SorryNotSorry
Imagine for a minute you're looking to hire a professional interior decorator for your new home office. You land on the stunning website of Danny Decorator, a local interior decorator boasting swoon-worthy images of luxurious interiors accompanied by four raving client testimonials.
Unbeknownst to you, this particular interior decorator only recently graduated from The Sandy Mc So-And-So School of Interior Décor. The testimonials on her website are from Danny's mother, her best friend, and two of the students that graduated with her.
After a consultation with Danny, you're quickly convinced that she's knowledgeable about the latest trends in home office décor and even has some exciting creative ideas for your space – it's a no-brainer, she's hired!
You fork out your hard-earned dollars, and Danny gets to work, transforming your dreary, impractical space into a chic, well-organized, luxurious oasis of creativity... or so you think.
The day of the big reveal arrives, and you enter your new home office with butterflies in your stomach, excited to see the stunning transformation!
Butterflies quickly turn to lead balls as you open the door to find what looks like an LSD-inspired teenage dungeon kitted-out on a shoestring budget.
Fueled by fury, you confront Danny, and she's forced to admit that you're her very first client. She was, in essence, practicing her newly learned decorating skills in the hopes that you might love the result because she'd seen a decorator do something similar on the HGTV channel.
You get where I'm going with this.
Don't be the Danny Decorator of life coaches, boo.
The Confidence Building Formula for New Life Coaches
Practice Becomes Proficiency
You need to practice coaching, develop proficiency and build confidence. The good news - there is a way for you to do this. Systematically, and from a place of integrity and professionalism that will serve both you and your clients.
Welcome to your Self-Imposed Coaching Internship.
Internships serve an important purpose.
The legal, medical, financial, teaching, beauty, and almost any other regulated profession you can think of, all have a formal mechanism for developing proficiency and building confidence. And for a good reason. It creates a safe space for newbies to try their new profession on for size in a nurturing environment for learning and development.
In the absence of formal internships in the unregulated field of life coaching – what better way to go pro than by going pro bono.
If after those 100 hours of internship, you and your pro bono clients are happy with the results you've delivered and feel excited and confident to turn that into a paid offering or service, then away you go!
If, however, your internship reveals that you still have work to do and improvements to make before starting to charge clients, then you recruit a few more pro-bono clients and create a second round.
6 Great Benefits of Your Internship
As an "intern," you have permission to be imperfect, try, fail, course-correct, improve and try again.
It alleviates that crazy pressure of the "no room for error" expectations of a paying client.
It reveals your greatest strengths as a life coach, the types of people you most enjoy coaching, and even inform the packages you offer.
It provides you with social proof/testimonials that are an honest reflection of what it's like to work with you and the results your paying clients can truly expect.
After 100 hours of coaching, you start to think and talk about yourself confidently as a life coach, and confidence attracts paying clients.
Pro-bono clients, happy with the results you provide, will often become your first paying clients or act as the source of your first referrals.
Yup. Coaching for free when you're just starting out really pays off.
May the best intern win! (And by intern, I mean YOU 😉). Happy coaching.
I've created a downloadable Internship Planner to help you organize your client sessions, get the right kind of feedback and snag those all-important testimonials at the end. Grab your Confident Coach Internship Planner Now!