A guest blog from content and copywriter Laura Bland
What exactly is a coach? I mean if we are talking in the context of fitness coaching or a sports coach then I know the answer to that – a coach is someone that can help you to achieve your best, they create training plans for you, they analyse your form and tell you how to improve and they ultimately help you to get better, fitter, faster, stronger, whatever your goals are.
But what does a life or business coach do? That question, just eight months ago, I had no answer to.
I’m still not sure that I could write you a definition of a business coach or a life coach, at least not without referencing a dictionary, so instead I’m going to tell you about my coaching journey over the last year and in particular the last eight months and how working with a hybrid life and business coach has helped me. Maybe by reading about my journey you will be able to see if working with a coach would be a worthwhile investment for you?
July 2020: Time for change
Lets face it 2020 was a challenging year for every single person, the whole world was hit by a pandemic and our way of life had to change in order for us to attempt to take back control. Lockdowns, home schooling, lack of contact with friends and family, uncertainty over what the future would bring – it hit us all and it hit hard. So why did I choose this time to completely change my business? Honestly, I had had enough of putting in the hard work for the outcome to then be reliant on someone else and the level of action that they decided to take or rather not take. I was feeling burnt out, and my passion for what I had been doing had long since gone.
I was terrified of making a change though, terrified that ending my business, or trying something new, ultimately meant that I was a failure, and if I had failed in one area then people wouldn’t trust or believe in me. So I sat and I procrastinated. Around this time a friend that I had met through networking was studying to become a business mentor and she needed to work with a variety of people who would then be her case studies and allow her to gain the practical experience she needed for her course. She was looking for female entrepreneurs that she could mentor and coach. When she put the call out to find people I said yes, I didn’t know how it might help but I figured it couldn’t do any harm.
I had no idea what the result of my sessions with her would be, we talked about business and life and she asked a lot of “how did that make you feel?” and “what do you think that stems from?” kind of questions. It made me feel a bit uncomfortable, but in a good way. I could see that by not reflecting on things I was doing myself a disservice. Anyway, at the end of one of the sessions I felt fired up and decided to just take the plunge, so on social media I announced that I was available to write content for others.
September 2020: mindset shift
I had done a couple of jobs writing content for other small businesses but I still hadn’t fully let go of my previous business, I was still hung up on that fear of failure. But then I saw something on social media about living a life you love and not holding yourself back and it made me think about all the things and the people that had been lost through the pandemic and I thought ‘stuff it’ and closed that business down. I haven’t regretted it at all.
October 2020: a chance encounter
I attended a networking event, online of course, and one of the other attendees, she may even have been the guest speaker, was a fabulous hybrid life and business coach and she was offering a free thirty-minute session with her so that people could learn more about what coaching was and how it might change their business. Well, I’m a sucker for a freebie, so although I was really sceptical and didn’t want to be faced with more ‘how did that make you feel?’ questions I decided to have a session.
That free session led to me booking in for a further 12 sessions! I still wasn’t exactly sure what I would achieve but I knew that I had found someone who knew how to talk my language and not just ask me how things made me feel. Don’t get me wrong there was still an element of that and it still makes me feel uncomfortable but there is so much more to it than that.
What did my coaching sessions involve?
In the early days of my coaching journey I would have a coaching session every other week. At the end of my 12 block course I decided to continue working with my coach but we now meet once a month. Here is an idea of what we cover:
- Set monthly and quarterly goals relating to:
- Free of charge speaking events I commit to
- Number of 1:1 sessions I want to fill
- Creating a marketing plan
- Set deadlines so I take action
- Difficult conversations I keep putting off
- Follow ups I need to do
- Launch dates for new products and services
- Brainstorm new ideas on how I can adapt or include different things
- Talk about my pricing structure
- Discuss time management
- Look to the future and what external factors might effect my growth
- Reflect on the previous month/quarter
- Not just the facts but also the softer areas
- My personal development
- My observations on how I have felt
I never know what I want to get out of my sessions, and I understand that a lot of that comes down to my own fear, fear of failure but also fear of success but I have never completed a coaching session and not come out of it feeling positive, ready to take action, and reassured that I am doing a great job.
Every business or life coach works differently but the key has always got to be finding the right one for you, someone that you can relate to and who is able to under your skin so to speak and really get who you are and what makes you tick. I’m a numbers person, I find it much easier to look at and talk about facts and figures rather than emotions, so we focus on that whilst still incorporating some of the other so that I can develop my skills and my self-awareness.
I haven’t mentioned money yet, and I’ve purposefully left it to near the end because whilst it is important it isn’t the most important thing. Having said that since I started working with my business coach I have seen a 500% increase in my monthly revenue. Yep you read that right. Of course, there is no guarantee that you will find the same from working with a coach but here are the more important things that I have gained:
- Clarity – over who I am, what I have to offer, and how I want to achieve it.
- Ownership – I’ve learnt to set goals that stretch me but don’t overwhelm me and cause me to quit before I even start.
- Belief – don’t get me wrong, those mind monkeys are still there whispering negative things in my ear and telling me that I can’t do it, but I have a much better understanding of them now and I don’t let them hold me back.
- Transference of skills – I have some amazing skills and ways of working from my role in the corporate world but because I never treated my business like a business it never occurred to me to employ those tactics, now I do.
- Knowing my worth – I’ve been able to increase my prices and not lose a single customer. I have finally started to value my time and skill for what it is really worth.
So, would I recommend working with a life or business coach to others?
Do I think that coaching is a worthwhile investment for female entrepreneurs?
Yes, I absolutely would and do, I haven’t regretted a single minute of the time we have been working together.
Laura Bland is a content and copy writer and is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs get visible in their chosen field.
She specialises in blog and press release writing, ensuring that your business connects with your audience.
Laura is an 8 times best selling author and also offers a number of book publishing services such as proofreading, copy editing and Amazon KDP self-publishing workshops.
Laura is currently writing her first full novel with the intention of publishing early 2022.
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