The Prosperous Coach: Increase Income and Impact for You and Your Clients
by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin

When a good friend of mine—one who I respect immensely—recommends a book, I read it. The latest suggestion was “The Prosperous Coach” by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin. I thought “sounds a little hokey, but why not?”

This book is written for new and experienced coaches who want to grow a successful business. The authors, after all, have lucrative six figure coaching practices. Although I am always leery of “Dale Carnegie-type” books (no offense), some are useful but I am not inspired by books that feel preachy and are full of annoying phrases such as “People pay you not what THEY decide your coaching is worth, but what YOU decide your coaching is worth.” Phrases like that make me feel like a failure if I’m not charging $500 an hour.

However, I got beyond my own biases and distaste for this type of book. Once I got to Chapter 8, “Love the ‘hard’ part,” the book provided some useful suggestions. The “hard” part is that you need to learn to love the business of coaching, which includes pitching business, trying new things, and getting rejected. “You need to love creating clients as much as you do coaching them.” For me, I like–but not love–the pitching part, and I dread writing proposals. So, I asked myself, what happens if I start thinking about it differently? I want to attract more clients who really want to take their games to a bigger level… who love learning… who challenge me… who want to play… and of course who can afford it!

The book demonstrates how to attract and build a coaching business based on having what the authors call “fearless conversations.” They encourage you to share more of yourself, develop good coaching stories, and share them. It feels like advice I received when interviewing for jobs, attempting to win tennis tournaments, and so on; the goal is to “go for it.”

But, rather than simply going for it, I realized that I am partly guilty of holding back because I have a unique approach that is different from mainstream, yet I still have over an 85-90% success rate. Bragging is not my thing and this book showed me that I don’t have to brag; rather, I need to get comfortable telling stories—which I love to do. Organizing my success stories and being ready to share them will help me to sell myself with more confidence and delight.

This book reminded me that I became a coach because I love seeing people grow and stretch. I have always enjoyed having my own coach–starting with my tennis coach when I was 10 years old and today for my own coaching business. While I see  myself as a proficient coach according to his definition, if I want to move to the next level of virtuoso coach I will need to take more risks.  To keep growing, the authors recommend thinking about what type of clients I want, what is unique about my approach, and develop more stories about my results. Then, I need to focus on and enjoy the process of pitching and growing my business as much as doing the business. That is the key takeaway for me, courtesy of the handy checklist at the end of the book on steps for growing your business–whether you are a beginner or virtuoso coach. It has inspired me to take more chances, how about you?

 

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