Blog | Karen Williams Book Mentor Librotas - Part 38

What does success mean to your coaching business?

When I have talked about my new book to people, one of the questions they ask me is what does success mean?

This is a very good question. The word success has been a very crucial part of my research, but I have found it is very unique to each individual.

Now in my book I define success as “the achievement of something desired, planned or attempted” or “a result or outcome”.  I believe the key to success is in terms of running a business is “having the knowledge; the knowledge of how businesses really work, and not just the technical knowledge about a product or service”.

Success to my interviewees and their coaching business meant very different things, but generally encompassed the following themes:

  • Work/life balance – having a business that fitted in with their life and their values
  • Financial reward – although for many this was not the primary importance, to be successful you do need to be earning enough money to make a profit and have a reasonable living
  • Helping others – pretty much key to any coach

What does success mean to you in your business?

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How can you run a successful coaching business?

So I have told you a little about the project and the models, so what is the difference that makes the difference between a coach who runs a successful business and one who does not?

Well as this is the basis for my new book, I will share just a snippet with you now and expand on these in my future posts.

Let me share with you my initial findings when I did my research last year:

1. All of my models know their values, with many of them being similar.  In addition, these values are demonstrated in their business and are congruent with their business values.

2. They all have a strong belief in both themselves and their business.

3. They focus on what they want rather than what they don’t want.

4. They start with the end in mind with a vision and plan for their business, even if this changes along the way.

5. They know how to get into a resourceful state and when they are in an unresourceful state.

6. They have or are learning the business skills to be even more successful.

7. They step out of their comfort zone every day and push themselves to achieve more.

8. They have a great support network of people around them.

9. They are great coaches with a track record as well as successful in business.

10. They have an energy and focus towards their clients’ success.

11. They take action!

What do you have to add? Please leave your comments below.

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Modelling successful coaches

A lot of people have asked me how I got the amazing coaches I wanted to model to agree to be interviewed by me.  And let me be honest, I just asked.  Generally I started with an email and took it from there.  Let me tell you a little about my journey.

Before I tell you about my interviews, let me tell you about the process.  As I mentioned in my last post, my role was to model the people I interviewed for the project.   This was more than just an interview as I was modelling the actual language they used, language patterns, their physiology, as well as the words they said and the metaphors they used to explain how they were successful.  So quite a complex process, but very effective too.  If I wanted to be able to replicate their skills, I needed to really find out how they do what they do in terms of achieving success.

I can tell you more about the individual insights later, but let me tell you more about the models.

My first interview took place in August 2009 with my own mentor, Allison Marlowe.   Next I interviewed Suzy Greaves in the cafe of a National Trust cafe near Crawley.  Then I went up to London for one of my NLP Master Practitioner weekends and interviewed Hannah McNamara, Gladeana McMahon and Suparna Dhar all within 36 hours!  During this time, I booked my flight to Edinburgh to interview Dawn Breslin, who was my next interviewee in September.

Now for my project, I had to interview 4 people, but I was enjoying it so much, I didn’t want to stop! And this is around the time the book was born.  In quick succession, I went to Bath to interview Blaire Palmer, Arundel to interview Duncan Brodie (with coffee and mince pies I recall), just up the road in Portchester to interview Marian Way, and then had the great opportunity to speak to Steve Marriott by phone, and my very last interview on 28th December was by phone to Michael Neill in Los Angeles.

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About The Secrets of Successful Coaches

My new book, The Secrets of Successful Coaches, came about when I completed the NLP modelling project in the summer of 2009.  Modelling is a NLP term, which means to be able to replicate a desired skill, behaviour or state in someone that can be taught to another person.  In a nutshell, modelling looks at the ‘ability’ of an individual with respect to a particular skill for the purpose of instilling similar behavioural patterns in oneself and others.

I decided at that time to take a huge topic and model coaches who run successful businesses, as I was fascinated to find out what made the difference between coaches who are successful and those who are not.   Thousands of people train to become coaches every year and according to statistics, only about 10% of these people run a successful business.   So my first job was to find these business owners who are great coaches and have a successful business, both in terms of financial success and also run one that meets their own values, purpose and passion too.

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