You can’t really understand the value of having a coach until you experience it. This is why most coaches offer one to two hours of complimentary coaching before you hire them. They know that to invest in coaching you must experience the value — it’s neither cheap nor passive.
Getting coached can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars for three, six, or 12 months, and it requires you to show up and commit in a bigger way than you probably have in a long time. Yet working with a coach has become the number-one tool I use to gain satisfaction in my life.
I completed my first six months with a coach after three turbulent years in corporate America where everything that worked for me before… didn’t anymore. The experience of coaching rebuilt my confidence and spirit. I became overcome with the urge to share how amazingly helpful coaching can be… especially for ambitious professionals.
Why didn’t more people know about the power of coaching? Why was I the only person in my friend group who had hired a professional coach? Many had received some level of coaching support at work if they were on the executive team, but it was nothing like what I had experienced. It was one-dimensional, focused on leadership only, and stayed on the surface level of skill development: communication, presence, managing priorities, etc.
Once my coaching engagement ended and I emerged with all the pieces of myself feeling as if they’d found their home again, I told everyone I knew about it and wanted everyone to try it. But most didn’t. Most didn’t see the value. Many didn’t know what they’d talk to a coach about. A few saw how helpful it was to me, but doubted it’d help them.
Here is the thing. Coaching works. I’ve seen it work for myself and hundreds of others. Here’s why:
Our point of view drives how we live, from how we eat to how we raise our children. Perspective is based on our life experiences and what we’ve been told… and what we hear turns into our beliefs, our truth. It’s our way of making sense of the world, of feeling safe. The challenge is, sometimes who we want to become or how we want to live is very different than where we come from or what we’ve experienced thus far. If that’s the case, clearly what you’ve known isn’t going to help you get to where you want to go…. You need new insight, new ideas. A new perspective.
Coaches give you just that. They see the full possibility for you and your life. This is what they are trained to do: remove bias, remove old stories, remove practical and linear thinking and open up the mind to new possibilities. Through your coach, you begin to broaden your perspective and see that what you took as truth may not be; there are other ways of thinking/being/doing. This is required to change your actions. If you do not shift your perspective, you will not shift your behavior.
For example: When I was miserable at work, on my third job change in two years, and feeling drained, uninterested and down, I told my coach I felt trapped. When she asked why, it was because I assumed, because of my perspective, that I had to work a 9 to 5 job to make enough money to support my family and I had to do this until I retire. If I didn’t do this, I wouldn’t be able to survive, we’d become homeless, and my life would be ruined. That is how deep my belief was. I developed that by growing up in the ’80s with two working parents who did just that — worked no matter what at their jobs to support their family.
When my coach challenged that belief and asked me if there were other ways to have a fruitful life besides working in an unfulfilling 9-to-5 job, I could easily come up with several examples of other people, from friends to famous people, living with passion and purpose and thriving. Why wasn’t I able to see this myself without a coach prompting me? Because we don’t question our beliefs. They dictate our behavior and they seem real, very very real, and questioning them becomes off limits. Why would we challenge anything our minds have created to keep us safe? We wouldn’t.
This is the first value of having a coach. They open up your perspective so you can begin to see solutions and new ways of being that you never considered possible for you.
One of the biggest reasons people don’t hire a coach is the belief that they can do it on their own: They will read the books, listen to the podcasts, create the plans, do the meditating. But the truth is, coaching saves you time.
Time is our most valuable asset. It comes free of charge, but it doesn’t stop or wait for anyone. Whether you make changes, take the steps, do the work… or not… time will continue. And what you get back will be a direct reflection of what you did with your time.
Time is like money: What you get for it is based on what you spend it on. Spend time on growing yourself, you’ll grow. Spend time on loving yourself (self-care, exercise, healthy eating, positive relationships), you’ll experience more love. Spend time on improving your finances, you’ll have better finances. It’s really that simple.
Spend time trying to figure things out on your own, you’ll get that — a bunch of time trying to figure it out on your own. Working with a coach, on the other hand, expedites growth. It helps you get where you want to go faster because you have a dedicated human being whose job it is to help you move past old behavior/thinking/habits and toward your goals. So that’s what you’ll get — progress without struggle. Yes, there will be challenge and feeling uncomfortable and trusting a new way of behaving/thinking/doing… but what you’re guaranteed is movement toward your goals… as long as you show up and take the coaching. (Follow @CollectiveGain on Instagram to see how I show up and take the coaching even when it feels incredibly uncomfortable.)
In order to invest in coaching, you need to be ready to actually get what you want. Because once you say yes and commit, you’ll be well on your way to getting just that.
This may be the biggest factor in whether you’ll actually become who you want to be. Change requires trust, courage and being okay flying blind. To experience something new, you have to take step after step into the unknown. You are working toward something you think will be awesome… but you don’t actually know because you’ve never been there. And if you’ve been there before, it’s even harder. Because you know how each step feels, when it gets hard, you want to give up.
Coaches provide accountability, and with Collective Gain, they do it in a loving way. They remind you what you want. They remind you what’s at stake. They check in with you to be sure you’re taking action. And if you’re not taking action, they’ll coach you to find out why not. You’ll dig deeper to really understand what’s holding you back. Then you’ll try again with new insight but the same partner by your side helping you through anything that’s keeping you back from your own greatness.
I am very driven and self-motivated. Yet I benefit tremendously from the accountability that comes with working with a coach. It’s easy to be a self-starter with things I know I’m good at, but when I’m in new, unfamiliar territory, and there are plenty of opportunities to choose to stop, avoid, give up, distract… my coach keeps me focused and reminds me WHY. It’s not enough to have someone check in with you. It takes a skilled person who can listen to your why and help you see what’s waiting for you if you continue to move forward and do the work.
A coach’s job is to empower you through new ways of thinking and being. This translates into new behavior and habits. And that is what gets you to your goals. Working with a coach actually makes getting what you want easier, saves you time and makes the process more enjoyable because you’re learning so much about yourself, people and life along the way.
Working with a coach helps you see Possibility. It creates a sense of Freedom. It holds space for your Expansion. It unveils your inner Courage.
It’s amazing what happens to a human being when they are intently listened to and given focused support. We are capable of experiencing so much joy, but often just can’t seem to get past the blocks, ways of thinking or beliefs that keep us where we are — in our mental cycles of “good enough.” I am not interested in looking back on my life and feeling it was just okay, or that I survived. No. I want to look back and feel proud of myself for going after what I really wanted and giving it all I had.
I can confidently and honestly say that every penny I’ve spent on coaching has been worth it. Sometimes what I thought I’d get for investing the money is not actually what I got — it’s often better, and sometimes even unrelated, but it’s always benefited me and taken me to places I wouldn’t have gotten to on my own. It helps me push my comfort zone and connect the dots.
The real value of having a coach is helping you become who you want to be. It’s a magic elixir for personal, professional and spiritual growth. When you say yes to getting a coach, you say yes to creating what you want… and becoming who you are meant to be.
If you're ready to explore hiring a coach participate in our coach-matching process. You'll tell us a little about yourself and what you need support with and we'll tell you what coach we think would be the perfect match to get you where you want to be. Start now.
Another option then hiring a private 1:1 coach is to begin with a group coaching program. Lizzie has created a 12-week career growth intensive + group coaching program that is tailored to ambitious professionals, it kicks off this spring. Over the 12 weeks, you'll understand yourself better, what could be holding you back from getting promoted and get clued in as to how to design a strategic career. Learn more and join the waitlist here.