You Can’t Be All Things To All Men (or women)

The biggest mistake I made when I first became certified as a Life Coach other than to wildly underestimate how competitive the industry was likely to become, was to not niche myself.

Looking back it seems ridiculous and somewhat embarrassing that I had business cards that had “Personal & Business Coach” printed on them.

I was doing what a lot of small businesses do and that’s to try and appeal to as many people as possible.

The logic of the approach seems sound on the surface, which is why so many people fall into the trap of doing it. Even experienced people who should know better, like myself.

The more people who see you as a potential resource to meet their needs, the more likely you are to get hired.

Only it doesn’t work like that, especially in an industry where supply hugely outstrips demand.

In such cases when there is lots of availability people want to work with specialist coaches who meet their exact and specific needs, even if they don’t always know that at a conscious level.

What Does Life Coach Even Mean?

The term Life Coach sucks because it’s so generic to the point that it really doesn’t mean anything.

I think that’s one of the main reasons it’s struggled to achieve credibility in the public eye and why so many people jump to the erroneous conclusion that Life Coaches tell people what to do with their lives.

We don’t!

Or at least good coaches don’t, even if the word coach may suggest otherwise to many people.

Unfortunately, whereas the name may suck and leave me feeling a little uncomfortable, it’s what we have to work with because broadly speaking, it’s how people search for ‘us’.

If I started calling myself a values coach or an unsticking coach I’d soon start to see my client stream dry up, because few if any people are typing those terms into Google.

So I have to position myself as a Life Coach who specializes in helping people get unstuck, gain clarity and who puts a lot of store in values based coaching.

And when I say specialize, I mean I have to be prepared to turn away clients who aren’t right for me, even in the summer when I’m usually a tad quieter.

I say on my Life Coaching page that I don’t take on clients who just want help with time management and/or productivity.

Similarly I don’t do relationship coaching, I don’t coach kids and I’m not a business coach.

I’m also not a career coach even though I do a lot of work with people round their careers.

Helping people understand what makes them tick and what job would be a great fit for them is stuff I do, but that doesn’t mean I’m a Career Coach.

Career Coaches will often be highly knowledgeable about the job market, utilize psychometrics and may even know what’s involved in writing a killer resume or nailing an interview. I don’t.

I’ve also worked with many executives who feel like they want to get more out of life, but that doesn’t make me an Executive Coach.

Executive Coaching is most definitely a niche and most people who excel at it have usually worked as executives themselves. I haven’t.

I could go on, but I think you get the message.

Unfortunately most Life Coaches don’t get the message, and most will pay dearly in the long run as they try to appeal to all men and woman and end up appealing to none.

Business went insane for me in January and February when I hit the first page of Google which was cool because it allowed me to really cherry pick the clients who I thought were best for me and who I could help the most.

Unfortunately though that took time and I was screening clients who were never really right for me and I felt bad about saying ‘no’.

So I decided to set up a page of recommended coaches who offer skill sets and services that I don’t.

And that’s the purpose of this post, to let you know that I may not be the right coach for you, but the right coach is almost certainly out there.

If you would like to know which coaches I recommend click this link and browse away to your hearts content.

By the way, I will be adding to this list so if you know of a brilliant coach who specializes in a niche I haven’t covered, please let me know in the comments.

Have You Grabbed Your Free Book Yet?

I’ve had a great response to my latest free ebook and I’m very grateful for those of you who have taken the time to write to me.

If you are even a tiny bit interested in meditation and in learning how it can without doubt help you go and grab a copy here.

It’s available as a PDF, Kindle and audio book version and it’s 100% free with no e-mail details needed.