Monday, April 12, 2010

Coaching: how to get coached

I've had a few people contact me recently about my Life Coaching business asking me if I still do coaching or if I'm just blogging with coaching tips and ideas. 

The answer is Yes! I definitely still do coaching!

I realized I've never really addressed this here, so I'm gonna do that now:

I am a Certified Life Coach (notice the capital letters? fancy, right?). I didn't just decide to call myself one because it made a catchy blog title (although that would have been a heck of a lot cheaper! ;) lol). But instead I actually went through a really intensive 18 month program based out in Colorado in order to get my certification. I have been certified since 2007 and have been working with clients since 2005 (we are trained to coach by coaching so I had to have a client since day one of my coaching program! Talk about throwing us into the fire! Scary stuff but it was great lol). 

Anyway, it's been a challenge these past few years to maintain a business that is considered a "luxury". When the economy took a downturn so, unfortunately did my business. I didn't give up though and I continued to channel my passion for coaching and self-development into other projects. I wrote my first novel (which I am editing and hoping to shop around to agents by the end of the summer), I outlined several book ideas for non-fiction, coaching-style books and when clients were in short supply, I was able to focus my coaching-like energy into my friends (those who wanted me to, of course! I don't go around offering unsolicited advice).  My best friend actually has started calling me her Spiritual Adviser which is something that both flatters me and makes me really excited at the same time lol. 

ANYWAY, we are off on a tangent, which is apparently one of my strengths haha.

So coaching, where does the business stand now and what the hell is it?

Well, in brief: life coaching is like working with a personal trainer but instead of helping you get thin or buff we're helping you work through the places in your life that are keeping you from being who or what you want to be. We help you identify and change situations in your life that are keeping you stuck.  Ever notice that there seem to be cycles in your life? Bad relationships, not getting promoted, unable to stick to a new habit or routine?  These are all things you can definitely change! That's what a coach helps you do! We help you figure out where you're getting stuck and we help you figure out how to start doing different behaviors to get around those roadblocks! :) 

And so yes I am still coaching! Yay! *applause* It's just a different kind of coaching than I was doing right out of coaching school.

I recently came up with an economy-friendly way of coaching that has actually been really popular (and it's earth-friendly, too!). The idea came to me a few months ago and ever since I spread the word out there to my former clients, blog readers and friends I have been working with people every week on a really consistent basis!  That's great because it proves that this is a really effective method of coaching and that it's really working for people!

Here's what it is: Email Coaching!  Email coaching offered on a per-session basis. 

How is this different than "regular" coaching? Well, before when I had my business, I was trained to offer coaching in packages. 6 weeks for X dollars. 12 weeks for Y dollars, 15 weeks for Z dollars and so on. The belief is that in order to really and truly change, you must be committed to a program and willing to do the work over a consistent period of time. I understand this mentality and believe it to be true but i also know that right now it is not practical for people to spend large chunks of money like that, it's just not.  And i'd rather give people the option to still get SOME coaching than to get none at all. The all-or-nothing mentality seems to be the exact opposite of the spirit of the thing.

So Email Coaching seemed like a great alternative to me. Especially because it is on a per diem basis. 

I am charging a really, really, really, REALLY low rate for this guys, just so you know. I realized that my love for coaching is greater than my desire to make arbitrary amounts of income at this point in my life.  Coaching is a huge part of me and when I am unable to work with clients I am not as grounded and healthy as I can be (and neither are my potential clients who aren't getting to be coached).

Coaching is what I am meant to do in this life. It is who I am. I knew that I had to find a way to bring coaching to everyone and make it affordable. In this economic situation all-or-nothing often ends up just being nothing and that is a no-win scenario for everyone. 

Plus, I believe that things always work out in life and someday if i am meant to make a lot of money, I will. I can't force it to happen, I can't wish the lotto winnings into my bank account and honestly, I don't even want to do that. I am content, I am happy and I am fine. Right now instead of focusing on the money or the outcome, I have to do what i feel to be right in my heart and luckily for you guys, that means offering ridiculously cheap email coaching! lol :)

So here's how it works: you email me and let me know that you would like to do email coaching (this is just so I know to be on the lookout for your email). You will pay me for the session (either by paypal or check), I will reply and let you know how the whole process works and then we will begin!

You will email me and explain your situation; whatever the topic is that you would like coaching on.  Some examples are: you could be having a fight with your spouse, you could be feeling a lack of motivation for your health and fitness plan, you could be struggling with asking for a raise at your job. Whatever it is, you give me some background information and let me know what the issue is.  

Then I email you back. I give you advice, ask you questions, give you some insight and assign a little "assignment" to do that is fitting for your specific situation. Don't worry, there are no tests, you will not be graded lol the assignment is just something to get you up and moving towards health and resolution to the issue.  My emails are often quite lengthy and full of lots of different ideas. Don't worry if you are overwhelmed at first, it's okay to take it one step at a time.

After you do the assignment, you email me again and let me know how it went. You tell me what you're thinking and feeling, how you're reacting to things after the assignment, what your thoughts are and where you're going now. You'll answer the questions I posed to you in the last email as well. I will reply to you with some follow-up questions for you to consider, some insight based on everything you said in your second email and I will give you feedback. I will also share with you some more ideas for how to continue implementing these changes into your situation as you go forward and continue to make improvements.  

And that's it!  You are free to turn around and set up another session with me if you want to right away and that's fine, I've definitely had people do that before. Or you can just take the one session and be off on your merry way! Whatever you want or need to do is fine with me!

Oh, and I should mention the cost :) I do these email sessions for only $20. 

I don't know if this sounds inexpensive to you guys but I have to tell you that it TRULY is.  A phone session with a real certified life coach (just like me) usually averages about $70 for an hour.  And honestly, when you consider how much a life coach is helping you - that is a really reasonable price. I know, however, that most people cannot afford something like that, especially right now. And so that's why I came up with this idea of the email coaching. I also offer phone coaching for a ridiculously slashed price as well ($30 for two sessions within a one week time period) but I've found that a lot of people are gravitating towards the email coaching, not just because of the price but I think because in this era there is something comforting about being able to just write out your thoughts and receive a response also in writing. 

So there we have it!  Coaching by email!  It's a new era lol

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or be in touch with me. If you want to set up a session let me know that too! It's a great time and a great price. 

And thanks to everyone who has been asking me for information about this, it prompted me to realize that I haven't really mentioned it here even though I keep meaning to!

Oh! and last thing: it doesn't matter if i KNOW you in real life or online or whatever, I can still coach you if I know you. There are strict confidentiality rules (i even have a legal document drawn up that I will gladly sign and send your way if you'd like (i've done it before several times! it's totally not a big deal for me to do it)) and it doesn't make anything "Weird" or whatever. Like i said, this is my calling in this life, this is literally my reason for being here. I am definitely able to handle things professionally and be detached from you as the person i'm coaching and you as the person who I run into at Target doing errands on a Sunday. Don't worry, this is totally normal for me and not a big deal. I know the majority of my clients in real life in all honesty and I've found that many have told me that they feel better about the process because they knew me at least a little bit before getting involved in the coaching. It's like with anything else, it's best to get a feel for someone before opening up. That's normal and it's normal to feel more comfortable because you know me on some level.  Just please have no worries about that aspect of it at all. Like i said, I know the majority of my clients.

Anyway, just wanted to throw that out there. Wow this has gotten longer than I expected so I'll end it now!

I hope this helps clear things up though and I hope that you keep it in your back pocket as an idea. Life is challenging right now and no one is expected to be able to get through it all alone. If you need someone to talk to who can offer you some insight into a situation you're going through, feel free to just send me an email and I'll let you know if coaching would work for this or not.  Lots of times it really just helps to have someone with an alternative opinion look at the situation you're going through and offer some insight. It's even better when that person is a trained professional :)

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