Coaches…these days, it seems like everyone has either a coach or is a coach. Some people even fit into both categories.
When I started writing, I always thought wouldn’t it be great to have someone show me how it’s done. I never found that person and it was one of the reasons I decided to coach aspiring writers.
Just about every profession has a coach, writing, art, business, and yes, the life coach. They’re popping up everywhere and you might even be thinking about hiring one. Here are some of my tips for finding the perfect match for your needs-
What’s Their Background?
I’m seeing more people hang out their I’m a coach sign with no experience in what they’re offering to teach you how to do. Writing coaches who thought about writing a book but then gave up. Business coaches who don’t even own a business…once again, it’s the person who thought about it, but didn’t see it through. Ask your potential coach questions. What sort of experience do they have and what makes them the appropriate person to offer services in this field?
Perfection Not Required
If I would have sold the first book I ever wrote, I wouldn’t have even considered being a coach. Bottom line is your coach needs to have struggled to find their success. Sounds crazy I know but think about the person who seems to be born with the skill to play football or play the piano like Mozart. These people are the exception and not the rule. They don’t know anything about the struggle most of us go through to achieve our goal. I’m not saying these people can’t ever be coaches, but it’s the person who got where they are through pure blood, sweat and tears are the people most likely to offer you the best advice and be there when you struggle just like they did.
They Offer Tough Love
A great coach shouldn’t sugar coat anything. They give you the facts, they give you the feedback even if it’s a tough pill to swallow. Sometimes I have a student whose stories need lots of work and if I didn’t point out the flaws, one, they won’t grow as writers, and two, they’re not getting what they paid for.
They’re Constructive and Never Destructive
Continuing with the previous tip, you never want someone who points out the warts on your nose but never tells you how to get rid of them. I once paid for a critique of a story and all I got back was this is wrong, that’s wrong, and no advice on how to fix any of the problems. Anyone can offer you that but the coach should show you how to solve any problem.
They Push You
One of the goals of coaching is to see growth in your client or student. They should have attained some level of expertise or knowledge at the end of each coaching session. I know some coaches who have admitted they’re scared to do that because they think the client will quit if they go too hard on them. You might hate the coach at first but in then end they’re the person you have to thank for your success.
I hope these tips help you find the ideal coach or even become the perfect coach.