You are an amazing business coach. How did you get there?
July 6, 2015 8:39 AM   Subscribe

I don't mean how did you build the core business acumen that informs your coaching. How did you specifically get good at the coaching part?

I am building a business which includes exec coaching services. I want some input on what steps to take to become a great coach. Assume that I have enough business experience to inform the coaching.

Did you get coaching certification? In what ways was this helpful? Do you think that someone with a strong overall profile would still benefit from being specifically certified in this skill?

Were there books that you read? Any favorites you could share?

Did you volunteer at SCORE or other organization?

How did you find your clients (you specifically, not just a brainstorm of ways that one could)? Or, if you've worked with a coach, how did you find them?

Thank you for your input.
posted by cacao to Work & Money (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I used to be a business coach. The background that helped the most for me was teaching - it was important to me that I taught my clients how to go forth and do awesome shit long after they were done working with me. So things like understanding different learning styles, adjusting on the fly, etc.

I did not get a certification.

There's a yellow book, written by (if I recall correctly) a teacher and a violinist or other musician about the power of positive education - assume your students will be A students instead of assuming they'll fail, and (shocker!) they will. There's more to the book than that, but it's the bit I remember. If I can find the book, I'll update here.

It's good to have a background in the different things your clients might struggle with - so How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul is great for creative business structures, The Art Of Earning is good for small biz owners struggling with money, Book Yourself Solid for service professionals struggling with marketing, etc.

I didn't volunteer at SCORE, but I did run free workshops for a number of local business organizations and participated as a member, never hesitating to answer questions when I could.

Entirely word of mouth. I blogged and ran webinars and stuff, but most of my business was referral-based. I never asked for it, never did the "who do you know that has a biz like yours that I could also help?" thing - it just happened. People liked working with me and saw results from the things we did, and they told their friends/associates/etc. The non-referrals were from people that knew me directly - workshops, professional organizations, etc.
posted by okayokayigive at 9:13 AM on July 6, 2015

I am not a business coach but I did a few adult education classes at my local community college a while back and there were a lot of people in the class who were heading towards that profession. I think the information about different learning styles, creating an environment for success, laying out goals and evaluation, etc., would have been helpful.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:17 AM on July 6, 2015

Ooh, yes. Warriorqueen makes a great point about goals and evaluation - helping clients set realistic goals, understand how to achieve them, and evaluate their progress (and yours!) can be hugely helpful.
posted by okayokayigive at 9:43 AM on July 6, 2015

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