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How to Choose the Right Coach

A few years ago I was looking to hire my own success coach. I went to a website, found the cheapest coach I could find ($50 a month) and signed up. I worked with this coach for the next 6 months with only minimal success.

I've heard this from other people too. Perhaps you've hired a coach before or purchased an online program and didn't have much success. There's a few reasons why this happens. Here are a few ways to make sure you pick the right coach, and to make sure you're successful with coaching.

1. Have an introductory coaching session.

It's important you feel like the coach is a good fit for you, and vice versa. You want to make sure that you have a good rapport with your potential coach, and it's important that your coach truly understands the goal you're trying to reach. My mistake was just randomly picking someone off the internet and hoping they could help me. The introductory session is also a good way for you and your potential coach to talk about your goals.

If your gut tells you this coach isn't a good fit for you, it's okay to say so and find a different coach. Also, make sure the coach acts with integrity. If you're talking with a coach, and he/she recommends you sign up for eight - twelve months of coaching before you even describe your problem, this is a BIG red flag.

Depending on your issue, you may only need 3 months of coaching, because every situation and goal is different. What's most important is you find the right coach that works for YOU.

I also don't believe in a pushy sales conversation. During my own coaching search, I had a potential coach make me feel like crap because I couldn't afford his $5000 a month program. As coaches we're used to hearing people say "I can't afford it" and we know that sometimes the real reason has nothing to do with what someone can actually pay. This particular coach called me a loser for not being willing to invest in myself. It's NOT okay for a coach to belittle you or put you down.

2. Choose a coach that is "just outside" your financial comfort zone.

I know you're rolling eyes and saying to yourself: "Of course he's going to say this, he just wants more money." The truth is if you just pick a coach based on what you're comfortable paying, you probably aren't going to have much success with your coach.

When I was paying $250 a month for a coach, it really wasn't that big of a financial investment for me. I was by no means rolling in money at that time, but dropping $250 a month didn't put much skin in the game for me. Because of this, I really didn't take the coaching seriously and didn't put much effort into getting results. At $250 a month, I could take it or leave it. If you're just choosing your coach based on the cheapest price, you aren't going to get good results.

The 2nd time I worked with a coach, it cost me $1000 a month. I really couldn't "afford" to pay this much money, but I wanted my life to change in a drastic way so I signed up for 3 months. During those 3 months, I worked harder than I ever have in my life. At $1000 a month, if the coach told me to hop up and down naked in the middle of the street, I was going to do it. I was committed to doing whatever she told me because I couldn't mess around and spend $3k for nothing. During those 3 months, I finally got back on track to finish my college degree, and she helped me to negotiate a 10% raise. It was the best investment I ever made.

I'm not saying that you need to go out and find the most expensive coach in the world, and it's all relative to your current financial situation. If you feel "comfortable" paying $1000 a month for a coach, you probably need a coach who charges $1500 - $2000 a month.

3. You're a Client, NOT a Customer

One of the biggest ways people screw this up is they approach coaching with the mentality of a customer. Sometimes people approach coaching with "the customer is always right" type of mindset.

A CUSTOMER thinks that because they've paid some money, the coach is going to do everything for them. A CLIENT understands that their success depends on their effort. A client knows that their coach will provide assistance and hold them accountable, but the real work is done by the client.

A high school friend of mine is a fitness coach. He runs a pretty successful business and his clients get amazing results by working him. He started telling me about this woman who left him a negative review on Yelp. She said she didn't get any results by working with him, and that he was a waste of her money. This woman however forgot to mention that she missed almost half of her workout sessions, and she never kept a food journal as my friend instructed.

What kind of results did she expect to get by not putting in the work herself?

Unfortunately, most customers have a victim mentality about everything, and the coaching business is no exception. If you aren't committed to your own success and you aren't going to put in the work, then you shouldn't bother to sign up for coaching.

Approach coaching with the mindset of a CLIENT, and you'll be successful.

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