How to Find the Right Coach

coaching q & a Aug 25, 2020

Since March, I've been working with a coach. We've dug into details that alluded me since I was a struggling naturopath in the mid-90s. The process has been more exhausting than I expected, but so rewarding and invigorating at the same time. The experience has also given me insight into why I desperately wanted to find the right coach, but never did. And why some of you still haven’t found one.

Searching for the right mentor or coach can be frustrating. If your background isn’t 2.5 kids, white picket fence, an ardent love of coffee and Instagram eyebrows, you may struggle even more. I’ve learned a lot from various mentors through the years, but I never found one who got me. Do you know what I mean?

I looked and kept hoping, but never found the right one… until this year. I guess the old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will come” applies. Now that I understand how life changing it is to connect with the right coach, I’m passionate about making sure you find a coach who can help you create your dreams.

This is what I’ve learned about finding the right coach:

Not all coaching styles are the same. Until recently, I didn’t realize there were multiple styles of coaching. I know coaches are unique. I expect them to use what works for their personality, mission, and clients. I developed my style of coaching as a naturopath 25 years ago. When I discover a new concept that helps my clients find success, I implement it. I focus on results and never really thought much more about it. I assumed life coaching involved transformation, and while it can, it doesn’t always.

Understand your needs. If you simply want someone to help you sort through the details of your life or project and make a straightforward plan to implement change, a life coach is probably adequate. If things like fear, perfection, or overwhelm keep you from accomplishing your goals, you may need to look at your mindset. A transformational coach can show you how to evaluate your beliefs and desires to work though blocks that make you choke or procrastinate when you try to implement change. Some coaches, like me, do both.

Start your search in the area you want to grow. There are coaches who focus on every area of life possible: business, personal, relationship, financial, writing, sports, and probably some I haven’t heard of yet. With the opportunity to focus in so many areas, consider where you need help most and begin there. Be willing to expand your search because not all coaches wear labels. At first glance, I never suspected mine was a transformational business coach, but I love what she offers.

Pick two to four potential coaches and investigate. Subscribe to their mailing list, read about them and their process, find them on social media, connect with people who worked with them, and really listen to what they say. If you don’t wholeheartedly resonate with their message, keep looking. I’ve enjoyed learning from many, many coaches, experts, and industry leaders. I’ve even purchased a couple big ticket programs. While the time wasn’t wasted, until now, I never found anyone who genuinely seemed to understand my life, desires, and calling. The deep resonance, that I never experience before, is how I knew I finally found my coach. Not only could her story have been mine, learning it changed me. That’s what you’re looking for.

Schedule a discovery call. Once you settle on a coach, set up a discovery call. Talk with them about your specific situation and see how you feel about their interaction with you and their insight. If you leave excited, you’ve probably found your coach. If you feel a bit ambivalent or meh, they are probably not the coach for you. Schedule a discovery call with choice #2.

Invest in an entry level program. While change and success take time, you need to make sure the coach can help you. Choose an entry level package or course, do the work, and then watch what you get for results. If you are excited when you finish, take the next step, and go bigger.

Build a relationship with your coach. Change doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you’re working with a transformational coach. Commit to at least three months of coaching to gauge your success. That’s why so many successful coaches start with 10- to 12-week packages. Listen to their feedback as they watch you implement your plans. Make sure you are moving towards your goals and dreams and feel good about the process.

This past year has helped me make some exciting decisions and sighed with relief when I closed the doors on other opportunities that weren’t for me. Each decision helps me serve you better. And in turn, help the people you long to inspire, encourage, and support. Win-Win!

So, what changes have I made? I identified who I best serve and decided how I can make their mission easier. This is what I discovered:

I love working with women who want to encourage others. I help them transform the pain of their story into hope. When I launched The Christian Woman’s Page in 1998, my number one mission was to choose articles that would encourage women in difficult situations. I wanted to share enough hope to get them through the moment and find peace on the other side. Now that I’m showing you how to create content, I want to help you structure your message and platform to be most effective for your people and their pain. This is where my heart resides: creating beauty from ashes.

To do that, I help women embrace their calling. With my editorial background, it involves using words in some way. For every woman who says she “can’t write” or she’s “not a writer” or she “can’t do that,” I can show you a dozen who felt the same way and went on to inspire thousands. There is something beautiful that transforms a woman once she recognizes her calling and bravely declares she is committed to it. I want that for you.

As they embrace their calling, I show women how to discover their unique voice. While I know others will disagree, academic writing is not real-world writing that changes everyday lives. When women try to fit the heart of their message into sterile, formal parameters, it gets lost. They become frustrated and discouraged because they can’t connect with those they want to help.

While basic grammar and style rules need to be implemented to ensure your message is clear, those rules need to serve as guidelines. Otherwise, they hinder you and the message of your story. I’m here to free you from the Grammar Police. I’m also here to say writing isn’t the only way to tell your story. You may be more of a speaker, podcaster, or YouTuber. Do what feels most natural.

This is where I found the most clarity: it requires faith to take a step towards fulfilling your mission. Although I’ve tried to keep my coaching secular, spirituality is my secret weapon. Faith is an integral part of my story, who I am, and why I do what I do. God is my rock and prayer is my lifeline. I firmly believe when we seek God for answers and direction, He provides. I’ll share what I’ve learned, and you get to choose if it resonates in your life.

I believe femininity makes women powerful in their own, unique way. Ginger Rogers danced every bit as well as Fred Astaire, and she did it backwards, in high heels. God gave women different characteristics and strengths. He created us in His image and said we are “very good.” It’s time for us to embrace our femininity and not be afraid to show up fully female, with our creativity, spontaneity, feelings, and vulnerability.

Finally, I want to show women how to become the protagonist of their life and create something that feels like Happily Ever After. For those of us who lived through hell, Happily Ever After can seem like a ridiculous notion. I maintain perspective is everything. I can’t undo the brain damage that effects my short- and long-term memory, but I choose to see the opportunities I wouldn’t have had without it. We get to define what Happily Ever After lives like in our life.

The Bible says God put desires in our hearts then gave us free will so we can pursue them. That means our wants and desires aren’t random. I believe they are part of our greater calling. We get to make choices that will transform our lives. Pursuing our desires will bring us happiness. It’s up to us to identify those desires and do the work it takes to see them to fruition. When we do, suddenly, Happily Ever After doesn’t seem so out of reach.

If this sounds good to you, I’m glad you’re here. There’s more to come. I look forward to hearing your story.

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