I remember the day when I found Life Coaching.
I was walking past cubicles down the hallway in my government workplace, circa 1992. A friend came up to me with Time Magazine. She said “Bev, THIS is what you’ve been talking about!” She handed me the magazine that was describing the new profession of Life Coaching. I devoured the article.
I’d been trying to figure out what else I could do with my life. I had turned into a government middle manager, developing programs and policies that were helpful for people – but I didn’t care about them. I was specialized in something that didn’t interest me. How had that happened?
I never said I wanted to be a Disability Management Expert when I grew up.
And yet I was. By never choosing me, I’d ended up in meaningless work. I’m not saying that disability management isn’t an important field – it just wasn’t important for me. And because that was my specialty, that was the only field I could get work in.
I knew I needed a new specialty. But what?
I thought about becoming a therapist, because I’ve always been interested in what makes people tick, but I didn’t want to just deal with people’s problems. And then life coaching was invented, and it was in an article in Time magazine, and it was a THING!
I was over the moon.
I finally had a focus, a goal!
Of course, I had my hesitations – no one knew what life coaching was. Why would people hire me? I’d have to be an entrepreneur.
I reluctantly shelved the idea because it seemed impossible to make a living doing that – but the dream of life coaching had taken up residence in my heart.
2 years later I was downsized.
Elation and panic at the same time. I decided to take coach training. I joined CoachU - one of the pioneers in coach training. I took virtual coaching classes in 1994!!!
But I hated it and so I quit. It seemed like simplistic principles using confusing words, talking about general concepts. And what was I actually going to DO with this?
Deep inside of me, I knew that I’d found something for me, but something was off.
So I decided to do a Master’s Degree, and train in counselling and career development so that I could be qualified in a “thing”. Along the way, I discovered that helping people to figure out what they wanted to do with their lives was the problem that I truly cared about. That's the problem that I wanted to help people to resolve...so they wouldn't have the pain I'd had. That’s what my specialty niche could be. So that’s what I did - a private career consulting practice for people who were unhappy at work.
But the Life Coach dream, creating programs and services on-line, didn’t go away. And when I read Martha Beck’s book, Finding Your Own North Star a few years later – I cried.
Because finally someone thought the same way I did.
So, 16 years after I discovered Life Coaching, I got trained with Martha Beck and eventually became one of her Master Coach Instructors.
Here’s what I want you to take away from this story – that I can pull out, from looking back. I didn’t know it at the time, so I want you to benefit from my armchair wisdom.
.....When you find Life Coaching and your heart soars, it is guiding you to your path in life. It’s never too late. Even if you miss the first call, the calling keeps calling.
.....Not all Life Coaches are the same. You need to find your tribe – the place that you connect and feel “right”.
.....To get going as a Life Coach, you’ve GOT to be clear on the problem you fix, and it’s got to be something that is deeply meaningful to you. The reason that I didn’t pursue life coaching back in 1994 was mainly because I didn’t know what I’d DO with it. I didn’t know who I could help, to do what, so I couldn't make it into a career.
Life Coaching is no longer in its infancy, but it's still in its early childhood. People know this profession exists and have lots of pre-conceived and false notions about what life coaches do.
So, it’s up to you to clarify your focus. You have to claim your own area of specialty - one that is deeply meaningful to you.
Now it's easier than ever to start an on-line business and reach a global audience. Entrepreneurship isn't only for a few. It's something that you can learn.
But one thing remains the same…….you’ve got to be clear on what problems you solve to make a living as a coach.
You’ve got to have a focus. And, if you’re anything like me, you can’t just pick that your niche out of a hat, it’s got to be meaningful and purposeful for you.
Discovering that deep soul focus for your work and claiming it is your first step in making your life coaching profession real.
p.s. Join our FREE LIVE training series: Find Your Purpose as a Coach. Get in the training HERE.
p.s.s. The best way uncover your purpose as a coach is to do it live, with other women who are on the same path as you. So you can see yourself and be seen. So you can see, accept and claim your gifts and genius. So you can get the sistering you need to get out of your own way. And that's what we do at our signature retreat & sisterhood mastermind, Unlock Your Unique Genius. The retreat is October 28-31 in Pismo Beach, California - right before the Wayfinder Meet & Greet. Find out more HERE.
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