Insights from Flow

Coaching
5 Decisions To Make When Building Your Ideal Coaching Business Model

Choosing your ideal business model doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  It is really a simple process of smart decision-making and keeping a ‘winning’ perspective.

Yes, it’s true.  This is sometimes easier said than done. The good news is, it’s all in your control! So, while this article is mainly focused on which decisions you need to make to build your coaching business, let’s start with framing up a constructive attitude on decision-making.

Some people fear making decisions because they are afraid of ‘losing’. Instead, you can turn that around and look at every decision-making moment as an OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN!

Here are three ways to reframe decision-making when BUILDING YOUR IDEAL COACHING BUSINESS MODEL

Youre not failing, youre GAINING. 

You don’t know everything. You will learn new information all the time, sometimes from experiences that didn’t go exactly as you planned. And every time that happens, you GAIN more information about what you can do to make you more successful.  Be open to it.

No decision is a bad decision.

People label things as ‘bad’ after the fact. They judge the decision based on how it delivered against a specific outcome. What if you reframed that ‘judgment’ by asking yourself, what opportunities came out of making that decision? How did making that decision help me move towards my goals, even if it didn’t turn out exactly as I planned?  You’re in control of your perspective.  Choose a winning one!

No decision is permanent 

If a decision you made isn’t performing the way you want, then reflect on what you learned, then shift gears. No big deal. Ask any successful person. None of them made it on the first go. Take the pressure of perfection off yourself, and just go forward.

OK… now that you’re prepped and ready to make some powerful and determined decisions, here are the five decisions you need to make when building your ideal coaching business model.

Note – you don’t have to do these in this sequence.  I’ve listed the key actions in a sequence that makes sense, but let’s be honest, starting a business is not a linear process. All five of these decisions must be made to solidify your business model.  However, it is likely you will circle around these steps a few times before you get to your ideal state.  It’s normal.

Just start somewhere and work through all five.

WHAT IS YOUR NICHE?

If you’ve attended an ACTP Coaching School, like Flow, you understand that establishing your niche is a critical foundation in building a strong coaching practice.  Having worked with many coaches who are just starting out, I know it can be a tough decision to make.  And likely, your niche will evolve as you evolve as a coach. But you must choose a place to start.

My suggestion is to start with something you know and feel connected to. Perhaps your niche is connected to previous work experience. Perhaps a personal passion. Or maybe even a personal or traumatic experience that has inspired you to support others.  Those are all rich places to start.

Give yourself a deadline. Do your research. Pick your niche.

WHO IS YOUR CLIENT?

No matter what new business support mechanism you choose to embrace, be it a course, training, blog, podcast, etc., they will all say the same thing. In order to be successful, you need to build a clear picture of your potential Client.

This is another place where new coaches stumble.  They are afraid of limiting themselves. And that’s a normal instinct if you’re just starting out.  But I’ll share something with you that was kind of a mantra in my marketing days.

IF YOU’RE GOING AFTER EVERYBODY, YOU’RE GOING AFTER NOBODY.

When your messages are so broad, that it encompasses everyone, they aren’t specific or intriguing enough to engage anyone.  You need to pick a bullseye Client and then get into their world.  Build a profile of them, who they are, and what they do.

A demographic profile is useful, but it’s more important to understand them attitudinally vs. demographically. That’s where all the really juicy stuff is.  Find out what makes them tick, what they care about, what keeps them up at night, what their top three problems are, and why they can’t seem to fix them. That’s where you come in.

Don’t get stuck here. Do your best. Ask for help from people who represent your potential client.  Do some research online.  Join some Facebook groups where your potential client may hang out, and just learn as you go.

HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE?

Money is an important ingredient in establishing your business model. Pick a number based on what you want to make a year, three years from now.  Why three years out? I’m glad you asked.  There are two main reasons;

  • It takes time to ramp up. It will take a few years to build up the skill, volume, contacts, etc., to get to your goal of sustainable income. So, once you establish your ideal income three years out, then you can work back to identify what that means for years one and two.
  • Keeps you relevant and growing. As you revisit your business plan every year, keep looking three years out. Your business will evolve. The trends will change. New opportunities will present themselves. Keeping an eye on the future will ensure you always stay relevant and nurture your business.

My best advice here is to not let your inner critic hold you back.  Send him or her on a coffee break, and pick a number that feels good to you. Be ambitious. Stretch a little beyond what you think is possible.

HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT TO WORK?

40 hours? 20 hours? What is realistic for your lifestyle?

And once you pick your working hours, it’s now time to identify how many of those hours will be coaching vs. business growth and maintenance.

On the coaching side, it’s important to be realistic about how many hours you can coach depending on the coaching modality. Let’s say you believe you can effectively coach for 15 hours a week. The next question is what type of coaching will you do in those 15 hours to reach your income targets.

As an example, perhaps (on average) 10 hours are spent 1:1 coaching, and 3 hours spent on group coaching.  The other two hours a week (or 8 hours/mo) are spent building up online content as an income source.

Separately, you may decide to spend another 20 hours a week on the business growth & maintenance side. This may encompass financial management, live and social networking, content generation, website management, marketing, etc.

Decide how much you want to work. And then how many of those hours will be spent coaching vs. other income-generating or business management activities.

WHICH COACHING MODALITIES ARE RIGHT FOR ‘YOU’?

There are so many coaching modalities out there.  There are those for the coach purists, like 1:1 coaching, group coaching, and workshops.  And then for the slightly less purist, you have things like masterminds, public speaking, courses, writing, and a whole myriad of online content generation modes.

These are all potential income streams.  Which ones are the best fit for your niche, address your Client's needs and fulfill your lifestyle goals.

Make a list of the opportunities that best suit your skillset, and see what fits. Move the pieces around until you get a picture that feels right.

And then just go for it. Tweak a bit. Go for it a bit more. Tweak.  And repeat.

 

Mel Savage is a Certified Career Coach focused on helping people find purpose and fulfillment in their careers.  Mel is President of Flow Coaching Institute, Canada, an ACTP Certified Coach, a 20+ year Corporate Marketer & Advertiser for brands such as McDonald’s, Kraft, Ford, and General Motors, and Owner of Savage Success Coaching.

 

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
10 Confidence Building Life Coaching Questions

We all want to be confident. Don’t we? We also all want our children to be confident as we know that part of our happiness is connected to how confident we are of ourselves at school, work, social bonding, and so on.

Confidence is a quality that is part of our temperament. Our temperament shows us as early as when we are four months old whether we tend to have the confidence or not. Then on top of that our early childhood experience with our parents, caregivers, school, etc either help us to build it or vice versa.

However, neither our temperament nor our early social experiences define our destiny. We know that as long as there is an intention, we can change our habits and learn new ones if we use the right strategies.

Part of life coaching conversations revolve around helping people with their confidence. There are specific tools and processes that might be useful for building confidence, but there is no one size fits all approach. All of these approaches and life coaching strategies need to be customized from person to person.

Building healthy confidence in a person requires cooperation with their brain.  Since we are talking about breaking a certain habitual pattern here, we need to invite their brain to get creative in imagining their full potential about confidence. How does a life coach do that? The simplest approach is to ask creative coaching questions that we teach in our core foundations program.

10 Creative Life Coaching Questions To Increase Confidence

  1. What does confidence mean to you?
  2. In what areas of your life you would like to build confidence?
  3. Who do you know that has the type of confidence that you would like to have?
  4. What qualities do these people with confidence have?
  5. If you pick 3 of these qualities, which one would you go with?
  6. Suppose that you have developed these 3 qualities in yourself and now they are part of who you are. What would that look like? What would that feel like?
  7. In order to start developing these qualities in yourself, what would be an ideal plan look like?
  8. Where will you start?
  9. What will you change as a first step? Second step? Third step? More steps?
  10. How will you keep your focus on developing your intention of building and developing your confidence on a daily basis?

Once you start asking yourself these questions you will start to learn just how your brain works and how it responds to these questions. Do this exercise at least every 3 months. Also, pay attention to how your answers change over time. This way you can track your growth and changes that happen to your confidence and the way you think over time.

Coaching methodologies are made to help you improve the way you think and see things. These questions are specifically designed to make you think and internalize so that you can improve your confidence in the long run.

If you are looking to become a coach yourself, head on over to our program schedule page to see when you can join us for the next intake. We can't wait to see you!

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
The Art of Active Listening

Active listening is a crucial skill that comes under ICF’s “Communicating Effectively” Core Competency. ICF defines active listening as:

“Ability to focus completely on what the client is saying and is not saying, to understand the meaning of what is said in the context of the client’s desires, and to support client self-expression”

 

Most people do not employ active listening when conversing with someone; instead, they listen only to respond and react and not absorb the critical information. Active listening is the ability to be truly present to what the client is saying rather than listening to the internal chatter happening in the coach’s mind.

Moreover, active listening in professional coaching involves listening to just words and a person’s volume, pitch, tone of voice and the particular choice of words used in the conversation. The coach needs to tune himself/herself to what the client is speaking, matching their frequency. 

There are verbal communication techniques that a coach can practice to improve their listening skills. As we teach some of these in our Module 1-5 ICF ACSTH/ACC coach training programs, here are some example dialogues: 

Rephrasing: Rephrasing or repeating a person’s statement differently with your own choice of words:

Example:

Client: “I am angry at my family because they do not pay attention to me.”

Coach: “… what I am hearing is that you feel like your family does not hear you and you feel disappointed.” 

Reiteration: Repeating back to a person precisely what is said.

Example: ,

Client: “I am pleased about it.”

Coach: “So it sounds like you are pleased about the situation/outcome/circumstances.” 

Clarifying: Clearing out any conflicting information to check in with the client to make sure you understand correctly.

Example:

Client: “I did not think she would talk to me again, so I was okay with it. But she called me, and I was excited to see her call”

Coach: “So you were not sure if you were going to talk to her?”

Client: “Well, I did not think she would call” 

Coach: “So you were excited when she called you means you looked forward to it.”

Client: “Yes, I guess I did even though I did not want to when I was angry at her.” 

Mirroring: Reflecting and using the client’s same expressions.

Example:

Client: “I knew he would throw a fit if he saw me at the party.”

Coach: “So, did he throw a fit?”

Beyond these techniques, perhaps the most important factor that helps a coach listen actively is their coach mindset. In professional coaching, a transformational relationship requires respecting clients’ unique model of the world, which includes values, beliefs and experiences. A coaching relationship should always be a non-judgmental one. 

If you also want to learn the art of active listening, consider enrolling in one of our ICF Accredited Coach Certification programs, email at info@flowcoachinginstitute.com to inquire now. 

Talyaa Vardar

Coaching
5 Strategies to Cultivate Optimism in Crisis Times

5 STRATEGIES TO CULTIVATE OPTIMISM IN CRISIS TIMES 

"Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely." ― Roy T. Bennett.

 

It is hard to remain optimistic in a world full of fear, ambiguity, uncertainty and stress. With the pandemic, we all face our fears, fear of being sick, fear of our close ones being sick, fear of keeping our jobs and so on. It is not an easy period to go through. If you struggle to stay optimistic, I hope that this article might help.

According to Psychology Today, "optimism is the belief that outcomes of events or experiences will generally be positive."

Positive Psychology tells us that optimism is best when it keeps the realities of life under consideration. A balanced optimist believes in succeeding because they have self-belief and know that they have the skills to succeed. However, when an optimist fails, she looks on the bright side and learns a lesson. An optimist would think they found a learning opportunity in the failure and now know what works and what doesn't. To get into this state of mind, you can cultivate optimism by keeping some of the following strategies in mind: 

Appreciation and Gratitude:

Gratitude begins from within oneself. Simple things like acknowledging that you have a house to live in, have clothes to wear, having a beating heart is the way to start. This might seem very simple to do, but having gratitude for little things in life, such as your friends, family, house, and health, goes a long way. 

Giving yourself a perspective that you have all the basic things you need and all you would be an extra benefit is cultivating an optimistic mindset. Start by being grateful for everything you have and considering anything else an added bonus. 

Feeding your Positivity: 

The positive news is the one that generally doesn't make the front pages. Therefore, it's vital to nourish your optimism and maintain it as there is a direct link in what you read, see and interact with. 

If you find yourself sinking deep into the negativity, find positive people in your life, find activities to do that you like, and visit places you want, usually spending time in nature helps. It is very easy to fall down a rabbit hole, especially online, where you have so much unchecked and unverified information. 

If you interact with positive people and positive news, you will likely see a spike in your optimism. 

Acceptance and Making Peace:

Start with acceptance. Accepting that there will be good times and bad times. It is impossible to be positive and see the good in things all the time. It is realistic to recognize that some days you might not make any progress. You have to accept that certain things always have a possibility of going wrong, and you might not perform very well on certain days. Part of being a balanced optimist is to agree that things will not be perfect; however, this acceptance will bring peace to you. 

By releasing that negativity, it allows you to move on without holding any grudge. It naturally frees your mind and enables you to think about the next stage. Instead of sulking and regretting, you start to think, "Okay, what is in my control, and how can I move past this negativity?" you start thinking about what to do next. 

Reflection:

When you feel like you need a dose of optimism, reflect back on your wins and take a look at how far you have come. It could be reflecting back on last week, last month, last year or even a decade. Focus on your wins and give a pat to yourself to making it to today. Appreciate what you have earned.   

Knowing that you matter:

Keep in mind that you are a change-maker; you can create a positive impact in this world. You are a helping people, and you are helping the planet. You matter. When you believe you can help and improve things around, you already got that optimism. When you acknowledge that only one unique human is like you and you are who you are with all your past experiences and things you have gone through in life and you have a way of bringing positivity to other people's life you relive that optimism. 

What attributes help you keep your optimism? Let us know by sending us an email at info@flowcoachinginstitute.com

Let's keep our heads high as we try to get past the pandemic and the stress surrounding the pandemic. Together we can make a collective impact on society. 

Talyaa Vardar