What I Learned in 8 Years As a Coach

I have been in this profession for almost 8 years and I would love to share this with you as a colleague and a peer. Please receive this with that intention, I do not have THE TRUTH I am forever dedicated to learning.

8 Things I’ve Learned In 8 Years Of Being A Coach

1.Make Stuff Up 

I am not a fan of accreditations and frameworks, I love to learn the rules and then break them like an artist. Someone made up competencies, guidelines and frameworks at some point and I see them like stabilisers or training wheels on a bike. 

I take them off and play around with what I want being a coach to look like for me which right now is a mixture of ‘pure’ coaching, mentoring, consulting and therapy. If it gets results I want to blend it into how I work.

2. Create Relationships 

Luring people in with a free session or two in the hopes they hire me is exhausting and inauthentic. I have learned something profound from reading the book The Go Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann – giving is the key to creating massive success both financially and spiritually. I used to think “I’ll give when I have more to give” but what I’m really learning to be true from experience is that the more I give the more I have to give. This is especially true for money and love.

3. Be An Example Of Your Work 

One of the best ways to advertise what I do is being a stand for it in the world. Helping people wherever I am doesn’t look like asking them coaching questions and sometimes that happens. 

Most often it looks like asking “would you like some help with that?” or “is there anything I can do to help?” without expecting anything in return. This really ties into the previous point – the more I’m willing to give the more I end up receiving without trying to.

4.The Value Of Time Is Made Up 

I used to get really caught up with the idea of “I’ve only got a certain amount of hours in a day and I have bills to pay” which would get in the way of me giving coaching experiences to people to show them what I do. This massively hindered my progress and kept me at a lower skill level of coaching because I wasn’t practicing it or being paid for it regularly.

My ego was getting in the way because I had the belief that “I had to be paid for my time otherwise I’m devaluing my worth”. This doesn’t have to be true, in fact the opposite could be true – the power lies in the chooser just like the power lies in the listener if someone says “you look great today” the listener can choose to hear that as a throwaway comment or genuine compliment.

5. We Don’t See The World As It Is, We See It As We Are 

If I am sowing seeds of “business is hard, no one wants to hire me, there are too many other coaches” this will be the lens through which I view the world and the journey will be exhausting. I showed up defeated before I took any action so many times and that’s why I hated turning on my laptop in the morning.

If I sow seeds of “the world needs what I have to offer” – and no I’m not referring to affirmations – then the world will look very different and I will see opportunities to live into that in my everyday life which will make my coaching journey WAY more fun!

6. Never Compete 

The banana can never compete with an orange because they’re both completely different. Building a competition-proof business in any field could look like honing in on what makes us unique as opposed to seeing how others operate or what they offer and measuring what we’re doing or not doing against it. This is a great way to suck the enjoyment out of creating anything, in my experience I’m learning that comparison is the thief of many things but above most, it’s the thief of joy and love.

7. The Power Is In The Listener 

I know I mentioned this earlier and it’s worth expanding on. If I listen to someone from “I disagree” I’m only ever going to find more and more evidence of disagreement. However, if I am willing to listen generously to them I will be able to disagree with them AND find so much gold in what they’re sharing.

Here’s an example: I disagreed with someone’s views on politics and with a generous listening I was able to hear that they want what’s best for their family. Because of this we were able to explore our ideas in a mutually interesting way and there were no harsh words or energy exchanged. What a world to live in where I can have opposing views and yet learn so much from someone!

8. The Work Is In The Client, There Is No Curriculum 

A mentor of mine was a practicing psychologist for over 3 decades before he threw his training out the window and started speaking to his patients’ mental health instead of their illness. One patient had been institutionalised for 47 years and within 6 weeks of treatment he was discharged and all because my mentor was willing to learn about the way the patient was creating their illness and challenge it.

I use this example to keep myself focused on the fact that the work is over there in the client, their genius and their god with a small g is creating their world and everything they experience. My good ideas are secondary to their wisdom and this takes a lot of the pressure off me delivering anything and instead allows me to bear witness to their incredible power.

Bonus – as my colleague and best-selling author Nick Bottini says “Just Play” (also the title of his book). The more time I spend playing and making games out of life the better I’ll get at anything I set my mind to. This is proving itself to be true for everything I want to create including creating myself as a future loving father and husband.

I am much more likely to keep playing if the game is fun and I’m enjoying myself rather than taking it too seriously and wanting to throw the game out the window because I’m not winning. The best games are the ones you never want to stop playing.

I write this in the spirit of sharing what I’m learning please do not take this as a sign you’re doing something wrong, I do not believe in right and wrong. I share this because so many coaches are struggling to create clients and give up on their dreams which is depriving the planet of so much goodness.

Peace, love & blessings




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