It’s 10:30 am and you awake in your beautiful home in Bali. You put on a loose fitting outfit as you listen to the birds sing through the filtered light from the overhanging trees. You wander downstairs to the sound of your personal chef making fresh green organic smoothies in your high powered blender. They smile as they pour you a glass and watch your reaction as you drink. You soak in the flavors of fresh mango and turmeric plus something else? “Passion fruit” the chef says to you with a smile. You give them a wink and wander out onto your gorgeous veranda.
You open up your silver macbook pro and check your email. 86 people have bought the 21 day course you put online last night and you’ve got three appointments for potential new clients that have been scheduled as you slept.
You close your email and open your journal. At the top you write . . . Why I love being a coach and begin to record your thoughts.
This one BIG reason why people want to become a coach: they imagine that their life will be just like this. A profession that has meaning, a life of incredible freedom, being able to work from anywhere, and a small and acceptable form of celebrity.
I do know coaches who live like this. (Hell, I actually sort of live like this.)
I’m currently nomadic and live in AirBnb’s, I only work 4 days a week and I do long beautiful hikes in national parks on the weekends.
I mostly buy what I want (though my tastes are not expensive) I eat in nice restaurants (or get take-out), and I love my work almost everyday.
It is possible to get this as a coach, and that’s why people do it. The lifestyle, the promise of freedom, and because they worked with a coach and felt how powerful the process could be.
But this is largely an illusion. Not because you can’t achieve it, but because it’s not what being a coach is all about.
Being a coach isn’t all about organic smoothies and exotic vacations.
It’s not about freedom and lifestyle or being able to work from anywhere.
It’s not about passive income and creating evergreen funnels.
These can be part of it, but it’s not the core.
The core of coaching is believing in the possibility of people, in the face of all of the things that are wrong, annoying, and inconvenient about people.
It’s believing in your client, even when they don’t believe in themselves and their actions indicate that you shouldn’t believe in them either.
You need this deep understanding in order to face the ‘reality’ of what being a coach actually looks like.
Which looks more like this:
You wake up at 6:30 in the morning with anxiety in your chest. You haven’t signed a client in a few weeks and you’re starting to get nervous. You know you should be taking action but your fear and distractibility all keep getting in the way. As you stumble out of your bedroom in the apartment you can’t really afford, you kick the empty pizza box you stress ate while watching TV the night before.
You find a dirty glass in the sink, wash it out, and pour yourself a glass of water. Your blender is attracting flies but you’ll deal with that later.
You open up your email and find three advertisements from coaches promising to give you all the answers to signing clients. You also find a late payment notification from your credit card company and a potential client that just canceled their session because ‘something came up’.
It’s not even 7 am and you already feel defeated. You click over to youtube and try to watch something motivational, but you just don’t have it in you. You close your computer, make coffee, and sit on the couch with your phone.
By ten o’clock your neck is stiff and you realize you spent the last two hours scrolling through Facebook and reading articles on a news website.
You figure this day isn’t really going how you thought it might and that maybe you should just try again tomorrow.
Not that exciting right?
But I’ve had lots of days like this.
The only thing that’s kept me going is my commitment. My commitment to something bigger than myself, to my clients and my work, and to growth.
It hasn’t been easy. It took me a year to get committed to a regular schedule and to empower some structure in my life. But I kept at it. I built something. Slowly and then quickly.
Now my life does feel mostly effortless. I still get worried. I still have doubts. But they don’t slow me down. But it’s not because I live the life of the perfect coach. It’s simply because I’m not a coach so I can live in Airbnbs and work four days a week, that’s a side effect.
The real reason I’m a coach is because it’s fucking magic.
Because I get to be in the room where it happens.
The room where people’s lives change.
When I focus on that, everything else just gets simpler.
So if you want to have success as a coach, find a bigger reason and get to work.
Practice your ass off and stay committed.
It’s possible to wake up to organic smoothies, but first you have to wake up to your deep purpose for being a coach.
Anything else is just a waste of time.