Affording Your Coaching Advantages

Affording Your Coaching Advantages

If you are reading this article, then you know you are seriously considering the advantages of coaching. This can be an exciting decision. Knowing how valuable this decision will be, it is quite an honor to be able to “coach” you in your decision. And, you might be wondering about how to finance or fund, your investment! You are not alone.

[ Sidebar: I believe in the value of coaching: This article has been stimulated by Glen Livingston at ICCA. “Financing Your Coaching Dream”. Glen and other coaches coach coaches. Coaches, like myself, network and share experiences with other coaches, counsellors, mentors & clients. We guide each other into best solutions for our selves, families, and clients. We learn from the best to give you the best. Coaching not only means “one man’s opinion”. (That is mentoring, and often valuable in its own right.) Professional coaches are constantly reading, networking, & asking skilled questions among the most talented in respected areas of life, to continue researching the best strategies for our clients. And it is proper to give credit where due. Whether you become CEO of a large corporation, or head of your household, you learn to use many resources to benefit your troop, and the associates holding you as their leader. Coaches too, know the value of receiving coaching. Life becomes a way of sharing, as well as growing.]

Why research financing potentials? When we get serious about our need, very few people have budgeted for something they didn’t know existed, or didn’t previously know they could use to their advantage. Now that a realization of having team effort to support your decisions seems within your potential grasp, you don’t want to miss the opportunity. Truthfully, seems no matter how much you earn, your spending has usually seemed to have expanded to reach the margin of your earnings. So planning to invest into the rest of your life, whether through tuition, counseling, therapy, or coaching, usually takes some creativity… for several reasons, some beyond the dollars!

Though coaching can enhance your career, teach you to better manage the expenses of life, expand relationships to their fullest potential and reduce distracting stress, we often need to feel good about the change in lifestyle, positive possibilities, and growth we are about to experience. You see, change is hard for many people. Habits and familiarity, whether good or bad, can be persistent, feel hard to restructure; but, moving toward a more promising future is better than existing in a present which may be limited by your past experiences. Part of coaching becomes enabling habits and doubt to be replaced or restructured with better habits and confidence.

The goal of this writing is to enable you to “find” the conditions, consideration and attributes needed to grow into your best possible present. This consists of belief in your potential, as well as the person you feel you have become. We learn that the future is built upon the decisions of many presents. The present is something we can choose. And as we choose our right present choices, our future becomes a brighter possibility.

As you read, you will learn there are often innovative sources of finding more money available to us, than we realize. Although some examples are given, they are really to allow you to begin examining ideas and strategies leading to the creative funding that is right for you. Some ideas might sound simplistic or unusual, but often spark another option that becomes just right.

Jot down any ideas that come to mind as you read this article. Don’t wait. You can always re-write, cross out, revamp or re-do what is on paper, however, without writing them down, these jewels of though get erased by the next appreciative thought, and lost. Not one to write? Use a voice recorder to capture your feelings. Playing back the recording will allow you to hear again, rethink, and review. Some people like to draw pictures or characters as they process possibilities. Whichever methods churn your innovation, take full advantage.

[ Stories and recreations will be added at a later date, through this reading. Of course, names and such will be changed for reasons of privacy; but, the meaning and spirit of the truth found within is held in place. ]

As life ebbs and flows, through seasons of challenge & opportunity, here is a list of some of the concerns & financial hurdles people describe:

* I don’t make as much money as I should right now.
* Retirement (disability) has me on a fixed income.
* I have a lot of bills & obligations that take all my money.
* On disability, we are not able to have any real savings, or we might get disqualified.
* My current job is all I have and I’m scared to try to go after what I really want to do.
* My friends & my church give me free advice. Can I really be convinced to pay? Will it be worth it?
* What if I find out I’m worse off than I thought? Or, there really is no helping me?
* Will helping myself really help my family? Can I really use coaching to find a better life? More time? And, make the investment worth the cost?
* How can I convince my partner that we need to invest in us?
* Will hiring a coach, even part time, show me how to balance my life? Find respect & affection? Quit sabotaging myself?

Are any of these familiar? You are not alone. The good news is that all of these hurdles, all of your questions, can be overcome.

Reminders of the Value of Targeted Coaching programs:
* Pricing is very reasonable, compared to the alternatives.
* A free, Discovery Session is available to see if trust & value is really there for your commitment.
* Targeted Programming, such as Gottman Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, get right to the heart of matters. Alternative solutions are presented which are scientifically, and experiencially proven to work. In this case, the habits, tools, skills and meanings of over 3000 couples, evaluated over 30 years, was the start of teaching what “Masters of Relationship” do to maintain healthier, happier lives.
* As one area of life is relieved of stress and fear, other areas are addressed and resolved. It gets easier!
* You can take this growth and value with you. You can share the advantages you learn with those you love & respect. And the sharing reinforces your strengths.
* Find strengths you didn’t realize you hold. Find confidence to influence. Find leadership through servitude.
* There are usually at least three values of coaching available to you: An immediate need under closer attentiveness and address, A program of consistent growth with “bite-size” chunks, and A timeless sharing and listening opportunity, using baby-steps you can easily achieve.
* Customized financing plans can be created, which you can manage.

So, to give you a sample of what coaching can be, and to allow you to process how you can lead yourself to feel great about joining your coaching activity, here are some exercises developed to lead you into discovering your real objections, and through your personal financial hurdles. Often, people assume they know what their challenges are. However, while most people know their surface reasons, there are usually hidden concerns and other objections, just under the surface of their awareness. Sometimes because some concerns are hard to admit. Sometimes shame or guilt underlie fears. Many times, we focus on the hurdle which seems most troublesome, neglecting to investigate others.

Regardless of your doubts, try this. Complete the exercise, and at least you will have organized your interests, and can address them as we go. Even if you decide to train later, or in another manner, you will be in a much better position to move forward.

  1. Wait for a time when distractions are at a minimum. Get your pen & paper or word processor ready. Take a few deep cleansing breaths.
  2. Ask, “What financial obstacles are stopping me from starting this coaching program, right now?”
  3. Make a list. Everything that comes up. Don’t worry if it seems silly, embarrassing, or negative. No one sees this list except you.
  4. About the time you want to stop, ask again, “What else?” Often the later answers are the hidden ones and are important to uncover. “What else?” ask several times till all is revealed.
  5. Now divide the list into the Logical Hurdles, (ex. Fixed income) and the Emotional Hurdles (ex. Can I really use coaching to find a better life?) Emotional concerns are usually fears or questions about how things might actually work out. Emotional Hurdles are real. They deserve as much attention as Logistical Hurdles. Emotions are often the reasons we stop short, or limit ability, or charge forward into the unknown. (Emotional Hurdles will be addressed after the Logical Hurdles are discussed.)
  6. Reflecting on the answers, What do you notice about your two lists? Does anything stand out, or surprise you? How helpful was it to recognize, and explore the concerns that you had?

Many people find it helpful to “nickname” the issue (s) they find using this method. The answers will give you more focus as you continue through your evaluation process. You may recognize, and relate to some of the sample stories given here. As you travel through the next exercises, you will understand which concerns are properly addressed and which, if any, remain.

[Note: Because this article is written for people like you, we are very interested in knowing how the exercises work for you. If, after finishing the exercises and reading the article, you are still not sure about investing in your dream of a better life through choices you resolve, contacting us to address your concerns would be greatly appreciated. Call: 864-341-4775, or email:]

( Again, I thank ICCA and Glen Livingston PhD, for his book, Financing Your Coaching Dream, with Michelle Flint, Career Development Coach, for bringing together this grouping of exercises to enable you to make better decisions in your financial life. For more information about becoming a career coach, they would appreciate contacting them too. )

Part I: Addressing Logistical Hurdles

In a way, logistical hurdles are the easier financial problems to have. We’re usually quite eager to solve them, and it’s easier to identify when they’ve been solved. (To be sure, the logistical obstacles can be wrapped up with the emotional ones, but we’ll get to those in Part II.)

But before we begin digging into these, we’ll need to introduce two helpful concepts: The power of habits, and escalating commitment.

The Power of Habits

Habits are very powerful things. They’re almost always something we’ve adopted because they’re extremely comforting. Habits are what create our “home base” of daily living. Now, in general, putting our daily tasks on auto-pilot is a very good thing. If we didn’t do it, we’d wind up using all our brain power rethinking how to brush our teeth, get dressed and make breakfast before half the day was done.

The trouble is, it can be pretty uncomfortable to break a regular habit. And this discomfort may cause us to perceive our “wants” as “needs.” We get attached to things, choices, and expenses we don’t need nearly as much as we think we do. And this can get in the way of our larger life goals.

For an example of this, try the following:

Activity: The Arm Fold Exercise

What it is: This simple activity will demonstrate the very strong urge to stick to our habits.

What to do: 1. Shake your arms a little bit to loosen up. 2. Without thinking too hard about it, fold them in front of you (“cross your arms”). 3. Notice which forearm is “on top” – the one where you can see it all the way from your wrist to your elbow. (It doesn’t matter which one it is.) 4. Notice how comfortable this feels. (For most people it feels quite comfortable.) 5. Now, unfold your arms and shake them out a bit again. 6. Fold them one more time, again without thinking about it too much. 7. Notice which one is “on top”…chances are, it’s the same arm. 8. Now, switch arms so the other forearm is “on top.” 9. How does this feel? 10. Trying holding your arms in the second positing for 60 seconds. What do you notice?

Final Thoughts: When you reverse arms in the above exercise, chances are putting the opposite arm “on top” feels strange, awkward, or just plain “weird.” If we hold it there for a minute (which is not a lot of time, really) we often experience the growing urge to switch back to having our “usual” arm on top.

This is the power of habit.

(Note: Michelle has done this exercise with a few thousand people over the years, and for a small percentage the switch actually feels perfectly comfortable. If you’re one of these people, just try holding your phone on the opposite ear you usually use to experience the awkwardness of “habit breaking” we’re talking about here.)

The point is, habits are deceptively powerful. Breaking them and doing something different (even if it’s in our best interests according to our rational brain!) can take a bit of conscious effort.

This is helpful to remember as you go through your budget and separate “wants” from “needs.” You can ask yourself, do I really need this? Or is it just a comforting habit?

Escalating Commitment

First described by Barry Staw in 1976, escalating commitment basically says, the more you invest in a particular relationship, job, goal, or whatever, the harder it is to “sever your ties” and move on. Another way to think of it is the old saying, “throwing good money after bad.” Some examples of this include:

 Bidding wars at an EBay auction  Climbers on Mount Everest refusing to turn back, even though the weather is turning risky  Continuing to gamble after one has turned a profit – and losing everything  Staying in a job long after you have burned out

The tricky part about escalating commitment is that it’s often hard to recognize when we’re in it; it’s easy to mistake it for something else, with thoughts like “I’m no quitter” and “It’s bound to get better eventually.” In fact, sometimes it CAN be hard to tell, especially when we’re considering something complex, like whether to stay in a long-term relationship.

Nevertheless, it’s a good concept to remember as you’re looking at your budget. In Step 3 of the next activity, you’ll be looking for ways to shift some funds from current expenses to the funding of your coaching dream (which is, after all, the reason you’re reading this book).

Some examples of escalating commitment in a household budget might look like this:

 I’ve had a subscription to National Geographic ever since I was a kid; I would really miss it if I stopped now.  I’ve just got to have my daily latte’, even if is costing me $150/mo. I’ve been doing it too long and I really like it!  I’ve been donating to my Alma Mater every year since I graduated – I can’t stop now.  Now that I’ve had a smartphone for a couple of years, I don’t know how I’d manage without one.  We’ve given the kids at least 10 presents every year for Christmas – they’ve come to expect it.  Everyone in my family gives each other a big present for their birthday. I can’t be the only one who doesn’t.

A simple way to recognize escalating commitment is by noticing when you feel obligated by the expectations of others to spend a certain amount. Another way to spot it is by noticing when you would simply “miss” something when it’s gone (rather than having a tangible negative impact, like having your electricity turned off).

Keep in mind the power of habit and escalating commitment as you do the next activity.

Activity: The Magic $100 in Your Wallet

What It Is: This activity is designed to help you get completely clear about where all your money goes, and to evaluate whether each expense is more or less important than your goal.

(Remember that the chart below is a template example. If you need more space, or have other expenses not listed here, feel free to add on or redesign it.)

A final note: this activity will probably help you find at least $100 you need to finance your coaching program. If it does not, you may be having trouble letting go of certain habits or comfort costs in your budget. Read the rest of this book, do the other exercises, and come back to this exercise at the end. Your perspective may have changed and you may find additional ways to “find the magic $100 in your wallet.”

Step 1: Discover your actual budget What do you actually spend? Go through the items in your budget and fill out the monthly costs for each in the column labeled “Monthly Cost.”.

Helpful Tip #1: For items that you only pay yearly (such as taxes), divide by 12 and put down the monthly cost. Do the same for any items paid quarterly or otherwise not-every month (for example, car insurance).

Helpful Tip #2: To get a clearer idea of how much some of these items ACTUALLY cost you, go back through your receipts and monthly statements. This may sound tedious, but you will find it very helpful to finding the magic $100, once you discover how much some habits actually add up to – for example, clothes, Starbucks coffees, and eating out generally take up more space in our budget than we realize. (This is why there is a separate line item for comfort foods and beverages!)

The rest of the instructions come after the chart. ( The actual chart is a protected part of a free download, offered to potential professional coaches. You can click on this chart, or use budgeting charts available through most tax advisers, and many self-help financial budgeting sources. ) Below is a list of items itemized on the ICCA chart:

Item Monthly Cost N/W/C Action Saved:

Housing  Rent/Mortgage $  Electricity/gas $  Utilities (Water/Sewer/Garbage) $  Cable/Internet/Home phone $  Cell Phone $  Cleaning/Maintenance/Repairs $  Other: $ Food  Supermarket/Farmer’s market $  Eating Out/On-the-go food $  **Comfort food/beverages: $  Vitamins & Supplements $ Clothing  Average monthly purchases $  Dry cleaning/Laundromat/etc. $ Cars & Transportation  Car payment #1 $  Car payment #2 $  Gas $  Public transport (bus, train, plane) $ Insurance  Car $  Medical/health care $  House, personal possessions $  Life $

Medical expenses  Doctor/Dental visits $  Prescriptions $  Fitness costs $  Other: $ Support for Family Members  Child care $  Child support $  Support for your parents $  Alimony $  Pet care $  Other: $ School and Learning  Children’s education costs $  Adult’s education costs $  Enrichment lessons (Music, instrument rental etc.) $ Bills and Debt  Credit cards $  School loans $  Old medical debt $  Other: $ Taxes – Divide by 12 for yearly costs to find monthly expense.  Federal $  State $  Local/Property $  Tax-Help (e.g., accountant) $ Savings and Planned Giving Retirement Funds $

General Savings $ Charity Giving/Tithe $ Fun & Lifestyle – Itemize these before listing total. Find everything.  Netflix, video game purchases, stay-at-home entertainment $  Going-out entertainment (movies, shows, bars, etc.) $  Subscriptions (Newspaper, magazines, etc.) $  Hobby expenses $  Gifts (birthday, holidays, etc.) $  Vacations $  Memberships (Clubs, museums, etc.)  Other: $ What Have we Forgotten? $ Running Total of “Found Money” (per month)

Step 2: Wants, Needs or a Combination? In the next column of the above chart, label every item with an N for Need, a W for Want, or a C for Combination. For example your rent/mortgage is probably a Need; your cable bill is a Want, and your food bill is probably a Combination.

Take your time with this. The more you can realistically identify things that are “Wants” in your life (rather than real “Needs”) the easier it will be able to fund your dream of becoming a coach.

For example, here are some things that we commonly see as permanent fixtures in our lives, as things we “need” to be happy, but which may be only optional expenses:

1.Cable 2. Alcoholic beverages 3. The amount we spend on clothes/the kind of clothes we prefer 4. Smartphones 5. What we spend on hobbies and vacations 6. Upgrades in electronics and appliances 7. Memberships and subscriptions

Step 3: Pare down your budget to “pay yourself” and find the magic $100 in your wallet

Option #1 – Pare down “Wants” Consider which Wants you can eliminate – at least as long as you plan to make payment on your coaching program, or for a year to allow startup time. (Giving this a time limit will often make it easier to “give up” an item.) As you pick “Wants” to eliminate or pare down, enter the amount saved by this action in the final column.

Congratulations! You are starting to make progress on your goal of funding your dream of realizing a better life.

For some of us, doing Option 1 may be all we need to find the magic $100 “hidden” in our budget.

Option #2 – Trim the fat from your combination categories Several of your categories probably include a mix of things you need and things you don’t. This is another place where, by paring down the “wants” part of those items, you can find additional funds for your dream.

A great example of this is the food budget. Did you know that the average American household spends almost half of its food budget eating out? Chances are you can spend less my making it at home (especially if you know how to shop wisely and buy in bulk.)

Option #3 – Advanced techniques: Downsize your “Needs” Some of our expenses that are quite fixed (for example, rent, mortgage, and car payments) are actually somewhat flexible if we reconsider our lifestyle. Look back over your “Needs” and consider whether any of them can be downsized to reduce monthly payments.

Remember, downsizing in order to finance your coaching dream is NOT about depriving yourself. It’s about leveraging your existing assets to move you toward your long-term goals.

Part II: The (Emotional) Leap of Faith

If you feel short on cash, every new expense can seem like a big deal. In fact, deciding to spend money on something like career training can seem like a leap of faith: Will I be able to get the money together? How long will it take to get my coaching career going, after that? Is it worth it?

Ultimately, no one can know what’s right for you but you, and no one can decide to take the leap but you. However, we thought you would find it helpful to learn about what some of our other students and alumni have done, and give you some help to take that “leap of faith” if you want to. That’s what this section is about – resolving the Emotional Hurdles from your first activity. (Student & Alumni stories available in the ICCA download)

Life Changes and the Survival – Brain

Making a change that requires a financial investment can feel like a big risk, even if you are pursuing something you’re well-suited for. Why is this? Why can’t we just shut off that pesky fear when it’s getting in the way of our dreams?

We humans have a built-in survival system, designed to keep us safe. It’s mainly housed in a part of our brain called the amygdala, which you might consider the air traffic control tower for our emotions. When we feel any variation of fear – nervousness, uncertainty, doubt, dread, cold feet, worry, misgivings, anxiety, even panic – you can be sure the amygdala is at work.

Many times, it’s incredibly helpful that we have this automatic threat-assessment system. As in, “Hey, Self! Lots of cars whizzing by. Better look both ways before stepping off the curb.” And, “Hmm that Dunkin Doughnuts cup feels hot! Better test it with a sip before gulping it down!” And even, “Hey, I don’t have a good feeling about that guy over there in the parking lot. Better stay aware.”

One of the ways survival-brain does it’s job is by constantly pulling us towards what we already know to be safe – our comfort zone. By sticking to places and experiences we know, our survival-brain minimizes risk and keeps us safe with the least possible conscious effort.

Thus, it feels good to be comfortable – that’s our “reward” for keeping ourselves safe. Overall, it’s a good system for ensuring the survival of the human species.

Trouble is, the survival-brain is always active, scanning for threats to our normal routine and pulling us away from new, unfamiliar stuff. It can be hard to “turn it off.” What’s even more fascinating is that, even when we think about leaving our comfort zone, the survival part of our brain says, “Hey, that’s potentially dangerous out there. Better return to the place we know.” Unfortunately, this happens even when contemplating a change that we KNOW would make life better, like investing in career retraining.

But, thankfully, it is possible to negotiate with our survival-brain, and keep it relatively calm when contemplating new adventures. We might think of this experience, when the survival-brain is wary, but not panicked, as our stretch zone.

The Stretch Zone

Sometimes people who like to challenge themselves will say, “I need to get out of my comfort zone a little.” And by that, we understand that they want to challenge themselves a bit – maybe even a lot – but still within the bounds of what they consider to be a positive experience or positive outcome. So, when they leave their “comfort zone,” where do they go?

When people willingly “get out of their comfort zone,” but still feel they are reasonably capable of handling the new situation, they enter their stretch zone. This is the place where new adventures, new learning, and (positive) personal growth happens.

However, when a person gets so far out of their comfort zone that they no longer believe they are capable of keeping themselves safe or of creating a positive outcome, they may enter what we here call the panic zone.

The difference between the stretch zone and the panic zone is very important for our purposes, so let’s take a little more time to understand the difference.

Here are three good things to know about the stretch zone:

1. The activities considered to be in the stretch zone (vs. the panic zone) vary from person to person. You might find roller coasters exhilarating (stretch zone), while I find them terrifying (panic zone). You might find the idea of speaking in front of a group of 20 people a little uncomfortable, but doable; the next person might discover that they very idea of it causes him to hyperventilate (panic zone). And, some of us find the idea of investing in life coaching to be challenging but exciting, while others of us find the process totally daunting.

The takeaway? It’s incredibly useful to be able to discern what’s in your personal stretch zone, vs. your panic zone.

2. The stretch zone can get bigger with practice stretching. With practice we can learn to discern the different between our stretch zone and our panic zone, and to willingly take ourselves into the stretch zone. With time and regular practice the act of stretching yourself becomes more acceptable. You learn, in essence, to negotiate with your survival-brain. You tell it, “Hey, this thing I’m about to do is new, but it’s going to be okay.” The really neat thing about this? The comfort zone gets bigger, too.

3. In order to get real change in your life, you need to enter the stretch zone. People who regularly choose to take on new life challenges intuitively know one important thing: change is never completely comfortable. Because we can’t just shut off that survival-brain, real change (and I don’t just mean changing our socks each day) is always in either in our stretch zone or our panic zone. The trick is to learn to notice the difference, so you can willingly put yourself into your stretch zone, instead of staying in your comfort zone all the time in hopes of avoiding the panic zone.

Paradoxically, while staying “comfortable” does feel good most of the time, challenging ourselves with new, positive experiences also feels good – our “reward” for learning and achieving. It’s a difference kind of good feeling, called…fun. “Fun” is our reward for leaving our comfort zone and learning or accomplishing new things.

One way to negotiate with our survival-brain is to offer it the promise of fun.

What does this have to do with financing your dream?

If funding a coach program seems like a big leap, it may be helpful to negotiate with your survival-brain, so the choice is in your stretch zone, rather than your panic zone.

Part of putting this choice in your stretch zone is to take a detailed look at your finances, as we did in Part I. If you can “find the magic $100 in your wallet,” the choice may seem less risky.

If, after that activity, that choice still seems risky, you may be able to better negotiate with your survival-brain with the following two activities.

Activity: Assemble Your Support Team

What it is: Having a supportive environment (including a supportive “team” of people in your life) makes any change or challenge easier. This activity will help you to identify the most supportive people in your life and take a closer look at how they can specifically support you in your dream of becoming a certified coach.

What to do: 1. Take out a piece of paper. Ask yourself the following:

 MORAL SUPPORT – Who in your life is telling you that your decision to have a coach is a good idea, because coaching is such a good fit for you? And, who in your life supports your new adventures, no matter what? Make a list of these people and what they say.

 FINANCIAL SUPPORT – Who in your life may be willing to provide some short-term financial support for this venture? It may be tuition support, support for household expenses, a one-time gift, a crowd sourced fundraiser , coaching to help you with your current business and income, or something else.

2. Make time to approach the people you named on each list. For those on the moral support list, tell them you are planning to start coach training and that you need their moral support. Ask them to give you encouragement and check in from time to time. For those on the financial support list, tell each one about your dream of a better life and make a specific request for how they might financially support this goal.

Final Thoughts: Many times, the people in our lives would love to be helpful and supportive – if they just knew how we needed them to do that. Reaching out, with specific requests, may be all that is needed to tap into these resources.

Activity: Coach Yourself Into The Stretch Zone

What it is: This activity may help you negotiate with your survival-brain by painting a desirable picture of the future you may create for yourself if you “take the leap” and enter a coaching enhancement program. Anticipating a positive reward may keep the choice in the stretch zone, rather than the panic zone.

Step 1: Create Your 10-Year Vision Let’s assume you could wave a magic wand and be assured of financing your dream of becoming a “Master of Life Challenges”. Now, describe the resulting life you will to have for yourself (and your family) in 10 years. Be as specific as you can. Consider including:

1. What will you do for work? 2. How much will you work? 3. How much will you earn? 4. What will you do for fun, leisure and renewal? 5. What kind of health will you be in? 6. Where will you live? (Describe the dwelling, location, surroundings, etc.) 7. What else?

Step 2: Get Connected to Your Vision Ask yourself the following. Write down your answers:

1. What would your life be like if you achieved your 10-year plan? 2. How would your life be different than it is now? How will it feel to be in that life? 3. How would people think differently of you? 4. What else?

Step 3: Understand The Cost of Doing Nothing If you did nothing, and stayed on the course you’re currently on, what might your life be like in 10 years?

1. Financially? 2. Emotionally? 3. What would your lifestyle and leisure look like? 4. What would your health and/or stress look like? 5. What else?

Step 4: Compare and Choose Now compare the two visions.

1. Which do you prefer? Which feels better? (We assume it’s the version in which you do take advantage of the coach program. If so, continue to #2). 2. How much is this vision worth to you?

3. What are you willing to do, in the short run, to make your long-term vision a reality? What choices would be in your “stretch zone,” with this 10-year vision in mind?

Final Thoughts: If funding an enhancement program feels like a leap to you right now (even though you know you would benefit yourself and others, even though people in your already life validate your talent, this activity should help you “negotiate with your fears” and take that leap.

Return on Investment

It’s very reasonable, if you’re using precious resources to invest in life enhancement, to wonder how likely it is that you will get a return on your investment (ROI).

The short answer: there are no guarantees, because in the end it will be up to you to “make it happen.” (Unfortunately it’s not like buying a Rumba robotic vacuum machine, where you get to sit back and watch the machine do all the work!)

However, it IS possible. Very possible.

Here are five reasons why we’re optimistic you will get a good “ROI”:
1. Coaching programs provide incredible built in support, as you need the support.
2. One or two positive changes in your life could influence the lives of generations of your family.
3. Coaching is a growing field. It receives accolades for what it has done to help thousands of people.
4. Compared to alternatives, whether clinical, medical, legal or doing nothing, you enhance lives through positive potential rather than revisiting or simply trying to find why things are not working so well.
5. You have natural talent & strengths. Coaching develops your native ability through proven training, skill sets, and experiential exploration. Confidence soars!

Other ROI Factors Within Your Control:
Perhaps the biggest variable in your return on investment is the timeline; that is, how long it will take you to get “up and running” and build your best life. If it’s important to you to get up and running as fast as possible, you can shorten this timeline by paying attention to several personal & business practices that are well within your control. While these can be discussed at length, we can summarize the main points here:

1. Pick a clearly defined life niche where there’s a clear need for your sharing of human needs.

2. Focus on more of the potential positive choices available in every change & challenge. Recognizing that use of your strengths is more valuable than working so hard on developing “the problem” areas.

3. Develop ability to confidently go out into your world, and offer value to build your leadership.

4. AVOID spending money on chasing butterflies, false hopes, long shot risks, and borderline frauds designed to take advantage of people looking for the “quick & easy way” which results in disappointment, frustration and endlessly starting over again.

If you’ve got an eye toward filling up your life potential as soon as possible, you can dramatically shorten your timeline by understanding your ability to choose among several boundless states, intentionally, and by staying focused on the enhancement plans provided in the BetterLifeChoice program.

Feeling Worthy

There’s one last aspect to taking the “emotional leap” many people struggle with: being able to accept your value in life, as a child of God. Plenty of other people struggle with the idea of accepting money, love, respect, honor, and Grace, for something they have wondered , is this really real? Up until this point in their lives, they… If you struggle with this, it may be one more emotional hurdle to starting your coach program. You wonder if you will ever “be able” to “be worthy” of the missing need; that hole in your heart that seems to never become filled.

Of course. We cannot “balance” the equation of salvation. However, God put you here, at this time, reading this article, for a reason. It may be your invitation to experience relationship with your Heavenly Father, as you experience growth in relationship with your brothers & sisters here, at this time, on this earth.

This is your opportunity to take all that you have learned, all that you have lived, all that you have failed, all that you have done well, and discover that the promise of life, hereafter, your promise, you – more beautifully dressed than the gorgeously colored lilies of a field, whose hairs are known, whose fingerprints and DNA are uniquely yours, you – who have come to this special place in your life; not the beginning, not the end, but a new middle, a launching point. You, can belong, become, be a part, of life, larger than your self. Invest in your potential. Then invest in the world around you.

But, again, is coaching really worth the compensation?
Any service you provide which helps people is worth compensation. When we get our car fixed by a mechanic, do we expect to pay? Of course. When the chef at our favorite restaurant makes our meal, do we expect to pay? Of course. If we need a divorce attorney? A heart surgeon? An estate auctioneer?

Ask yourself, DO I truly value more, that which I pay for? Fact is: People are more likely to actually act on the coaching they receive when they pay for the services. Paying is a signal to oneself that you really do value what you are getting. Free advice is often discarded for a variety of reasons, many of which: because it is worth exactly the cost.

If you are struggling with this question, it may benefit you to get coaching. As you go through a life enhancement program, you can work through this issue, really dig it out at the roots. But for now, here’s an activity you can use to start unpacking it.

Activity: The Roots of Our Beliefs

What It Is: This is an activity to help you become more aware of all of your beliefs around a particular topic.

What To Do: Step 1: Find a quiet place and take out some paper and a pen. Then, write this sentence starter at the top of the paper:

Right now, when I help someone by coaching them, the compensation I receive is being/feeling/getting…

Take 5-10 minutes to write down every response that comes to mind. Don’t censor anything, no matter how silly, trivial or embarrassing it may seem (remember no one will see this but you). If your initial answer is, “nothing,” keep digging beneath the surface for the compensation you may receive other than money. Remember that “compensation” is anything you receive or feel from the experience – for example emotional compensation, relationship compensation, power or influence compensation, social status compensation, etc.

List as many “compensations” as come to mind. It is okay if some of them seem to contradict one another.

Step 2: Then, after the first list is done, write this sentence starter:

I would be totally comfortable accepting money for my coaching if…

Take 5-10 minutes to write down every thought that comes to mind. Don’t censor anything, no matter how silly, trivial or embarrassing it may seem (remember no one will see this but you). List as many answers as come to mind. It is okay if some answers seem to contradict one another.

Final Thoughts: You now have some idea of the underlying beliefs you may have that are standing in the way of “feeling worthy enough” to accept the emotional compensation of coaching. You may have difficulty accepting life alternatives because, currently, you receive a lot of emotional compensation and you don’t want to give that up. Or, you may wonder if your coaching is “up to par” with other professional coaches.

While there are too many potential responses to the above exercise to address in this writing, your answers will give you something to discuss with a coach. Regardless, know that you are likely NOT the first person to struggle with whatever you have written – and know that in all likelihood you can move past these issues and become more comfortable accepting your coaching over time.

Ask Yourself: Is this issue in my “Panic Zone?” Or merely in my “Stretch Zone?”

Remember: Many activities that start out in your Stretch Zone can move into your Comfort Zone over time. You do not need to feel “completely ready” for your coaching right now in order to begin. Soon, the trust and value will show. Your feelings of worth & accomplishment & potential will increasingly grow over time.

As they say in baseball, time to get called up from the minors into The Show. Or more accurately, time to call yourself up. But first, let’s look at what’s “normal” for you, compensation-wise, and where that number comes from.

Activity: Who’s In My Peer Group?

What It Is: We won’t spoil the surprise on this one. Just try it:

What To Do: 1. Take out a piece of paper and draw a star right in the center. That’s you.

2. Now, draw three concentric circles around the star – like a bulls-eye.

3. In the innermost circle (the one closest to the star), write the names of the 2-5 adults closest to you. They may be your birth family, your spouse, your adult children, your best friends, etc. You might call this your “inner circle” – the people you love most dearly. (It is okay to include someone who has already passed away, if you knew them for most of your adult life.)

4. In the next ring, write the names of the 3-6 adults you enjoy spending time with most, other than the people you already listed. You might call this your “posse,” your mates, your main social circle, etc.

5. In the final ring, write the names of 3-6 other people you see pretty regularly (and know personally). They may be friends, family, co-workers, etc. You might call this your circle of acquaintances, the “supporting cast” in your life.

6. (You’ve basically drawn a quick version of your social “solar system.” You can change the number of people in each circle if you need to, to make it accurate.)

7. Now, as best you can, write the hourly wage of each person, next to their name. To get an approximate number, take their gross annual earnings and divide by 2000. Ballpark numbers are okay. If someone is currently out of work, use their last job or longest running job.

Now, Step Back and Look: 1. What patterns do you notice? 2. Overall, what percentage of the people in your “social solar system” earn about as much as you do? Earn less? Earn more?

Final Thoughts (and Your Takeaway): Chances are, the people in your “social solar system” earn roughly what you do. This is common – and, what people in your social world earn has a heavy influence on what is “normal” compensation to you.

Next, read the following statements about earning:

1. It is normal for a wide range of professionals who give clients private, customized, one-on-one sessions, to charge $75-$150 an hour (or more). Examples of this include: counselors/psychologists, massage therapists, personal trainers, wedding photographers, interior designers, tattoo artists, mediators, political speechwriters, accountants, IT consultants – and of course, coaches. Clients are paying top dollar for your undivided attention, and your ability to deliver highly personalized results in that time.

2. Many consultants, contractors and freelancers charge a premium for their hourly “contact time” with clients, and this fee builds in compensation for the other, “behind-the-scenes” time they put in, such as marketing, preparing for clients, continuing education, and etc. This is one reason why consultants (such as coaches) earn two, thee or four times as much per hour as full-time employees do – unlike consultants, employees are paid for every hour they work.

3. Consultants, contractors and freelancers also have to pay their own benefits (like health care, retirement, insurances of various sorts, sick days, etc.) as well as their own expenses (such as office space if they have it, phone and Internet service, computer upgrades, printer ink, unemployment taxes and etc.) Many full-time employees have benefits like these paid for by their employers. Thus, consultants, contractors and freelancers (including coaches) must build the cost of these benefits and expenses into their hourly rate if they are going to run a sustainable business.

If you could simply reduce your stress levels, at home & with your career, would you agree that you could concentrate on balancing your life more productively.
If your relational skills were greatly enhanced, would you agree that your value at work, and within your home would increase?
When you are able to discover how to assert yourself in the right manners, in the right situations, would your confidence soar?
When your feelings of self worth are high, would you agree you have more to offer all those around you?
As you learn to negotiate from the viewpoint of the people with which you commit, you collaborate, and you compete, would you agree that your ability to compromise in win-win results should peak?
Would you agree that your potential for earning, your living worth, would rise, as opportunities abound for people with these abilities?

Your Life Coach does what he does, studies as he does, shares as he does, loves as he does, because his value is completed in enhancing, expanding and developing your dreams, and sharing with you: goals, ability, growth, significance, connection, and relationship.

Call soon. Now is the time to shorten your timeline to living life at your fullest potential.
1 864 341 4775.