Are you feeling like a fraud as a coach?
Maybe you are thinking “why should anyone pay me for this?”
Or maybe you are thinking “I’m so new to this…should I even BE charging for it?”
Or maybe you just sit on your couch in a panic, kind of terrified to put yourself out there because oh my gosh who are you to EVEN BE CALLING YOURSELF A COACH? (!!!!!#$%^^&$)
(You are awesome, by the way, and should *totally* be doing this).
But before we dive into this whole fraud thing, I’d like to share a secret.
All of us have felt like a fraud.
At some point, every single coach on the planet has felt like a fraud, or an imposter, or just someone who shouldn’t be doing this whole coaching thing.
I’d be lying if I said that I just sailed around my business all glowy and successful all the time.
Nope. There has been flop sweat, panic, late-night nacho eating, and deep questions about WTF I’m doing.
Whenever I put out a new program or product, a tiny piece of me is all “who are YOU to be doing this, lady? YOU HAVE CHOCOLATE ON YOUR PANTS.”
But here’s the good news: Over time your confidence grows, the doubt lessens, and that deep sense of doing meaningful work takes over….and life gets easier.
But, you may be asking: “How does that help me now?”
No worries, I have some ideas :).
Step 1 to *NOT* feeling like a fraud? Understanding why you do.
For most of us, when we become coaches we have just learned a new skill: Coaching.
And it’s a big one.
Not only are you more aware of our own limitations and possibility, but you are suddenly flexing your baby coaching muscles.
Which means you are outside of your comfort zone.
And on top of that, you are learning how to build a business, which is an entirely NEW and DIFFERENT skill from coaching.
And that also puts you outside of your comfort zone.
And being out of your comfort zone means that things are changing. And you know who hates change?
We are designed biologically to be wary of it. When we see change happening, we react on a molecular fight or flight level.
Reacting that way is all good when you are running from the bear in the cave, but less helpful when you are trying to have a conversation with a potential client and experiencing massive flop sweat because your body wants you to run or fight, and you just really want to have a chat.
So the first thing to know is that feeling like a fraud is kind of a normal human reaction to this type of change.
So, welcome to humanity!
Step 2 to *NOT* feeling like a fraud? Recognize that it’s because you care.
Yep, your worry, anxiety, and sleeplessness is also coming from a place of caring, beyond just your average flight or fight response.
You are an awesome person, and you want to do right by your clients!
You want to make sure you deliver results!
You want to take care of them.
So much of those uncomfortable feelings are generated from you trying to be the best coach possible, and that’s actually pretty wonderful.
If you didn’t feel that way right after learning a new skill then I’d assume you don’t care.
But that’s not you.
So keep in mind that some of what you are experiencing is driving you to be a better coach so you can serve your clients well.
I know you want to get it right. Of course you do – that’s a part of caring!
And I’m here to tell that you already have. When you truly care about your clients and work with them from that place of real caring, magic happens.
You don’t need to be perfect to help your clients make progress.
Step 3 to *NOT* feeling like a fraud? Go to your history.
Think about your past, when you’ve started a new project or walked down a new life path. How did you build your confidence?
Write down some of the things you need in order to be successful and confident in your work, and then take a look at that list. That will be your path to success.
For me, I needed 1) To be a certified coach, because I’m a fan of knowledge. I wanted to have outside affirmation of my training and skills, and I wanted to feel like I did what I could to make myself the best coach possible internally – so training mattered to me, and getting accredited mattered to me.
Second, I needed 2) Business knowledge. I was an experienced consultant and senior manager, but I knew that was far different from being a solo entrepreneur. So to feel confident in my business, I accepted that it would be foolish to assume I could “figure it out” and unwise not to invest some time and money into business training to help increase my knowledge (and my confidence). Doing that paid off – my business grew, my confidence grew, and my client results…grew!
(If you need more business knowledge than grab our FREE guide on how to start your coaching business so you *actually* make money right here. And if you are like “just teach me everything you know immediately Christie so I can have a business like yours” then get on the wait-list for my famous Build a REAL Business program…here!).
3) For me was experience. So, in order to feel comfortable about certain offerings, I coached for a short period for free. I wanted to prove to myself I could deliver results before I charged people for coaching, because I knew that would boost my confidence.
4) Was time. This is the least fun, but I knew that with any new skill I had to give myself time and space to practice grow and learn. But I used this time wisely – not holding back – but going out and finding clients and growing my business, so I would be able to see my progress and make new skills habit.
So what do you need to feel like your most confident self? Start there and put the pieces in place.
So that leads me to…
Step 4 to *NOT* feeling like a fraud? Time.
Yep, I’m going to say it again. Time is important to building your confidence.
I wish I could say that I’ve waved my magic wand and made you feel great (I *hope* I’ve made you feel better), but I know that it will take time for you to truly be comfortable as a coach.
You need experience.
You need practice.
You need results.
So you need time.
While you wait, breathe and be kind to yourself. You deserve it!
Need more help?
Grab the Coach Pony fancy-pants 26 page guide on how to start your business…so you actually make money right over here…click. It’s free, and even more approachable and informative than the Prosperous Coach, so we’ve been told. 🙂
What I did this week
I sometimes share what I’m up to behind the scenes as a coach, because I think it’s helpful to know how coaching really works! So, here’s the good, bad, and super casually dressed… 🙂
Monday: Talked with my team and my mastermind, and did some planning for my next career-related program launch for the Revolutionary Club. It was a very non-glamorous day, full of editing of blogs, scheduling emails, more email, failing to read email, and playing in my FB groups while mostly being in my pajamas.
Tuesday: Tuesday I was working on the Next Level content for the Build a REAL Business program, and I’m *incredibly* excited about it, because my goal for this program is that it grows with you and your business, because frankly, that’s what you need. I also managed to put on real pants, so that was a #win.
Wednesday: Wednesday I made a big staffing decision that I have been *agonizing* over, and it involves my paid advertising team. Yes, this is my year of just hiring people for every major task and growing my team strategically. The result is that I mostly wrote giant checks on Wednesday :). I also did my teaching – if you recall from my blog on how I structure my week – I try and do most of my teaching on Wednesday because it gives me enough time to prepare each week and it’s usually a good time for my students. Finally I started working on a speech I’m giving in Portland on…confidence! Yep, that’s happening in October. When I write speeches I tend to talk to myself while wondering around, and then jotting down ideas over the space of a few weeks. It’s….a messy process :).
Thursday: More Next Level training creation and this one made me super happy because it’s on Retreats – I love talking about Retreats and I have a LOT to say. I’m going to need to cut down the training so people won’t have to listen to me talk for 4 hours :). I also did some social media marketing, played in my FB groups, reviewed some work from my team AND connected with an old friend and corporate coach who always inspires me – I try and informally mastermind with coaches outside of my regular mastermind a few times a year, and I always walk away with something great. This time was no different. I also got a replacement fitbit in an effort to be less lazy, because ugh. I’m lazy.
Friday: Friday is full of admin and polishing up this blog! I was on the phone with my merchant bank (I hate them – so if you need a payment tool recommendation that’s not evil read this blog), and I had to write my tax guy. He’s nice, but ugh – I hate dealing with taxes.
And of course I shut down early because I like to keep Friday as a short day. Whohohoo weekend! Hope your week was outstanding as well, feel free to say hello in the comments!