I meet some of the best people through my Coach Changemakers Facebook Group. I’ve discovered new writers for The Coach Guardian, made affiliations, and found panelists for the coaching industry discussion groups I run. I’ve had the opportunity to connect more deeply with clients and make new ones. I even found a business partner!
The group is organic, raw, and real. My intention is to hold the space open for meaningful, non-egoic connections within our coaching collective. How I show up and connect sets the tone for the group.
For me, it can’t be forced or overly planned. And it can take time. For example, I’ve only just recently spoken to a woman who’s been in the group for years. We just weren’t ready to connect until now and I love this. We might do some cool stuff together.
I’m not in a hurry – I have a life to live and enjoy too! I’ve been here for years, I’ll be here for years to come and that feels good.
One of my most recent connections through the group is Sharon Jurd, the founder of SMJ Coaching Institute. Amazingly, she’s also the director of 9 companies across several industries. She’s won 36 industry awards including the most sought-after, Australian Franchise Woman of the Year.
I am surrounded by women who are coach healers but not so many who are also such powerful forces in the business community. Role models like Sharon are wonderful. They show us what’s possible. I admire Sharon’s business acumen very much and even more so her ability to complement this harder, more analytic skill set with a softer heart-led, value-based intention with her coaching and hypnotherapy training programs. Logic and heart meet in the middle.
Transitioning into Coaching
Sharon has helped thousands of people with their business and has trained hundreds of SMJ Coaching Institute master coaches. In that time she’s witnessed tons of people going from a job or another business into a coaching career (if you’re looking for life coach jobs, check out jooble).
I interviewed Sharon about her business and some of her top tips for coaches. Here’s what she had to say…
Listen to our full interview here or read the condensed version below.
What inspired you to start your coaching school?
The school was actually inspired by a thread on Facebook talking about the large amounts of money people had spent hiring coaches without getting any tangible results. This got Sharon thinking about setting up an accreditation process and a brand that people could trust. Coaches from SMJ Coaching Institute would help their clients get the results they are paying for.
Since then Sharon has helped 1000’s with their business and has trained hundreds of SMJ Coaching Institute master coaches. An additional bonus is that SMJ Coaching Institute students are a part of something important. It’s created a home.
What is coaching?
There is some confusion and even misuse of the term coaching out there in internet and media land. Can you start by clarifying what coaching is?
In a nutshell amazing coaches:
- Ask amazing questions
- Don’t tell clients what to do. They allow the client to find the answers in themself and become resourceful.
- Have knowledge and care in equal measures.
What are some of the most common questions you get asked by people who are currently in jobs and want to transition into a coaching career?
Most questions are about business building. The answers are quite complex due to their own circumstances but here’s a generalization of the top 5 questions people have when transitioning into their coaching business.
- How to talk to people – build relationships – tell people what you do but also why you are doing it.
- The logistics of building a business – set the business up so you can work from anywhere in the world – do coaching via audio so you can be anywhere and not have to be ‘camera-ready’.
- People want to know what to charge. I think charge as much as you can get. Somewhere from $1500 per month and above. The average is $2500 in my SMJ Coaching Program.
- What business model to use – 1-hour session every second week for 6 months minimum for one-on-one coaching clients.
Sharon teaches this in her 7-step process.
The other questions are around the student’s belief in self and self-confidence. Can she really coach people from another industry she has no experience in, etc?
What makes an amazing coach? It’s someone who asks amazing questions…..so, therefore, it doesn’t matter if you have no experience in a certain industry or earn less than that person…. Those 2 things are not important in coaching. If you believe that you can ask the amazing questions to get your client to perhaps change their thoughts or beliefs or their behaviours then you will be able to coach them. I have successfully coached in over 127 industries. I’ve worked directly in very few… I don’t coach industries, I coach people. People are people in any industry.
To Niche or Not to Niche
So what is your take on niching? Should coaches do it?
Most coaches spend too much time thinking about their niche.
Allow your niche to come to you. Do all types of coaching to see what you like. There is no right or wrong. What you are doing now is not what you’ll be doing in 12 month’s time. Business pivots. When people ask me what I’ll be doing in 5 years’ time I say, “I don’t know for sure. What I do know is I will be sharing what I know and I’ll follow the needs of the people I’m helping”.
I don’t niche. I help people who want to CHANGE.
I teach my students the value levels that clients tend to group into. Each value level needs different things and has different pain points. For example, level 4 needs processes and systems, level 5 needs money/ financial growth.
Coaching is about helping people with pain get from A to B. It’s not about targeting demographics like age and gender.
Global Change and Demand for Coaches
In the bigger picture of global change, what do you think/feel/see/sense is happening?
What I’m finding is that people are wanting longer-term support through these uncertain times. Someone to hold their hand, pat on the back, give a kick up the bum when needed.
Both coaches and clients are opening up to the online business model. Clients especially love it. NO travel, and opening up more from the comfort of their own home.
There seems to be a movement/ growing wave/tsunami of coaches coming into the market. Can the market sustain the supply?
I have an abundance mindset. The more coaches the better! Since 2018 coaching has become more mainstream.
What do you say to coaches who are having a hard time getting clients?
If you are not attracting coaching clients it’s your stuff. Show that you can bring outcomes for people. Share your story and how you help, why you do what you do. My focus is on helping others, not on me and my stuff.
Where do you see the demand for coaches coming from in the future?
- Smaller businesses will be getting coaches, not just corporations.
- More and more people will seek out coaches for help with personal issues e.g. parenting, relationships, depression.
- We all need to communicate about what coaching is and isn’t so people all over the world from all walks of life feel comfortable about receiving coaching.
How can people learn more about you and your work?
- I offer free 30-minute Discovery sessions for people who want to discuss their coaching business. You can book here.
- You can learn more about becoming an SMJ Coach here.
- Access free business building videos, events and more here.
What is your #1 advice for Coaches today?
- For coaches coming into the market now – Start now. Be consistent and persistent.
- For coaches who’ve been going for a while – You must have a coach.
- For All Coaches – You have everything you need inside you right now.
What is your definition of success?
In the context of my business, it’s all a journey (not a destination). When I wake up I want to change a life. It is heartwarming.
What are you grateful for?
SO MUCH in all parts of my life!!! I write in my gratitude journal every morning.
In the context of my business, it’s got to be about changing lives and supporting coaches to change lives. The ripple effect that has on the planet is huge.
If you could only share 3 truths about life with your nearest and dearest, what would they be?
- I do have negative thoughts daily. I acknowledge them, thank them, and let them flow out.
- I’m not always in work mode – have “me” time
- Don’t do “shoulds”