Goals, Grit, and Growth: A Real Talk on Coaching Success

Today’s article is about something I believe is crucial for your success as a coach.

It was inspired by the question, “Why do you want to grow your own business? What do you get out of it, versus being employed?”

So, let’s talk about goals and, more specifically, the cost of achieving those goals.

I know that many of you, just like my clients, have big dreams and aspirations.

You want to explore your own capabilities, see what you can create in the world and uncover treasures that lie within you.

That’s fantastic! To make it happen, you need to have that fire of curiosity and ambition, and a clear understanding of what it takes to reach those objectives so you don’t give up along the way.

Is it worth it?

So, the question my client asked me was, “Is it worth it?”

She feels like she’s working harder than before yet not earning as much as she used to. It’s worth saying that she’s only been in business for four or five months – it’s likely to be depressing to compare your ‘zero to start up’ phase to a career salary that had probably taken you over a decade to achieve.

I totally get it. Many people’s first goal, as mine was, is to earn as much working for yourself as when you were employed.

But, it’s worth reflecting on what it took you to get to that salary in your career. I bet you didn’t walk straight into that salary level when you left school or university.

“Is it worth it?” is such a good question that really got me thinking. Many a time, I’ll question it myself because it’s certainly not an easy option and it’s definitely not a quick fix.

My client said that she constantly hears people say that entrepreneurship is so exciting and they wouldn’t have it any other way and they’d never go back, but that she’s not sure she gets it, and she doesn’t feel that way yet.

All I can say is that, as hard as it is, and my business has driven me like no job has ever driven me (and I was always really driven and committed to my jobs), I can only describe it as having an unwavering desire to change the world. That’s how I feel.

So this article is a great opportunity to reflect on why I do it. And why you do it. And what’s in it for you if you keep going.

Many coaches are struggling with those goals, questioning whether they should keep going or give up. They feel like the goal isn’t working for them or that the cost of achieving the goal is too high.

Why we do it

This got me thinking about how I can best help you, my fellow coaches, to achieve what you want.

I have achieved some pretty amazing goals since first becoming a coach, a little over four years ago now.

And I’ve overcome many obstacles along the way to get there.

This was not an easy path for me.

I’ve never been one who’s overly confident or likes being in the spotlight, or anything you might associate with someone who is running a business.

That’s why I’m so passionate when clients come to me, worried that they won’t be able to do this, because I really, really believe that you can. And that is the whole point.

Having a successful business will not fix you and will not make you confident and will not make you all of those things that you perhaps want to be.

But the inner work you have to do to grow your business will.

It will completely change your life. And that is why I do this work.

I want to get even better at helping you to see what you can achieve and realise in your life and, to do that, we need to make sure your philosophy and thought process around goal setting and what you want to achieve are set up in the right way.

So, let’s dive into the concept of ‘goal cost’.

Goal cost

Goal cost is essentially the cost that you need to pay in order to be able to achieve your goal. It includes the types of costs that we are willing to pay and the types of costs that we aren’t willing to pay.

When you approach setting goals, if you do that cost analysis before you start, you won’t be surprised when the bill comes in.

You will be prepared, and will be able to anticipate the costs associated with achieving your goal.

It’s a bit like if you want to have a six pack or if you’re going to run a marathon. You know that you’re going to work damn hard every single day. And, as long as you keep that in mind, you won’t give up.

I think that’s the difficulty here. We live in a world of instant gratification where we want everything to be now and we want it to be easy.

But, if you reflect on anything in your life, if you want to achieve these big goals, it usually comes at a cost.

Think about your own goals, the costs associated with achieving them and the benefits of the effort required.

Are you willing to pay the price to achieve your dreams?

Using Strictly Come Dancing as an example, why do these people do it? It’s really hard learning a new skill, putting yourself under the spotlight on national TV and being critiqued in public.

Are they putting themselves through it to win? Or are they driven by the personal challenge of setting themselves the goal of striving to improve? Of showing up every day and focusing and practising and getting better.

A relevant example in terms of growing your business would be consistency on social media. It might take regular networking. It might take telling your friends and family what you’re doing right now.

Those actions can feel scary. Is the cost of feeling uncomfortable worth the goal you are pursuing?

Know that, for every single action you take, and every scary thing you overcome, you come out stronger on the other side.

Helping others

Now, let’s shift gears and talk about how this relates to you as a coach who helps others.

In this coaching world, setting and achieving goals is our bread and butter.

We guide our clients through this process and help them to realise their potential and achieve things that they never thought possible.

As a coach, when you’re setting your own goals, whether that’s increasing your client base, boosting your income, or expanding your reach, you need to be crystal clear on the costs and benefits of those goals.

One of the best things that I have put time and energy into regarding building my business is my LinkedIn audience growth.

I now have 7,500 connections, having started from basically zero four years ago when I had no network at all.

It’s taken daily, consistent action to really grow those connections. And it makes me so happy to see that growth, and the relationships I have built on LinkedIn.

Is it worth it for my business? Absolutely. One hundred per cent.

But also, more importantly, is it worth it for me personally? Am I gaining? Am I growing? Am I learning? And the answer is a resounding yes. Which is why I do it.

So, I think that sometimes we have to dig deeper than just focus on business growth. You have to also look at whether the platform you’re using, for example, is fulfilling for you.

Imagine how satisfying it is to commit to yourself and your own goal.

I set a goal at the beginning of September to not drink alcohol for three months and what I feel most proud about is that I am achieving that goal. Having committed to it, I will not back down.

It’s just like consistency in social media posting or emailing your email list or any of the things that we know we should do.

But, too often, our bodies and minds are looking for the lazy way out.

We might not really want to do those things but, when you do do them, you feel so good about what you have actually achieved.

Committing to doing 10 minutes of yoga a day sounds easy, but actually doing it and not letting the ‘I can’t be bothered today’ voice win can be really hard.

Ingraining small but important habits into your day to day life can completely transform your business.

It’s not just about the hard work and sacrifices. It’s about the immense benefits and growth that come from pursuing something meaningful.

The journey and the destination

As a coach, you will know that the journey is just as important as the destination.

And, sometimes, the journey is even more rewarding than the destination.

When I published a book in my first year of business, I had added an aspiration on my vision board that I wanted to be an Amazon number one bestselling author. It was in pencil because I thought it was impossible to achieve!

Strangely enough, when I actually achieved that amazing goal, I was really depressed because I’d worked so hard to get my book written, to figure out how to get it out into the world, to market it, everything a book launch needs.

Then, you get to what you think will be that really rewarding moment and you realise that what was rewarding was the hard work of getting it done.

Not the badge or the reward or the prestige that you get at the end.

It’s the same as whenever I’ve received my certifications for my coaching. I never really did get that wow sense of accomplishment.

What I gained a sense of achievement from was from the work I put in to get me there.

It’s a really useful reminder that, by doing hard things, we grow as a person.

And that is why I do this work.

When it comes to you helping your clients embrace the costs of what they are going for, help them to see those costs as investments in their future success and in their own personal growth.

That is why we are here – to grow as human beings.

Every rejection and every setback is a stepping stone towards your ultimate goal and to your client’s ultimate goal. Keep reminding yourself of the benefits of this goal, and grow and learn along the way.

Step into this picture…

You are that successful coach who is making a huge impact in the world.

You are positioned as the go-to expert in your niche.

Your marketing, research and insights are changing people’s lives.

You are making good money from doing what you love and you are making a difference.

You look back on your life and are so proud of the legacy you have left and the fact that you have contributed, and you have left the world in a better place.

Now you are visualising that reality, keep that in mind as we continue to consider whether the cost of building your own coaching business is worth it.

Quick fixes and shortcuts

Let’s talk about a common pitfall that many coaches fall into – it’s not your fault, it’s the world we live in.

I’m talking about the allure of quick fixes and shortcuts.

In this fast-paced world, it is easy to get caught up in the promise of instant results. And, as seasoned coaches, we know that meaningful change takes time, effort and persistence.

The true cost of achieving your goal is the effort that you put in. And the benefits that you will reap from that effort will last a lifetime.

I hear from clients, a lot, that they feel like they are starting from scratch again.

However, if you have decided to change your niche, or something like that, then you aren’t starting from scratch.

You will have learnt so much along the way, and you will have built your network.

You will have already done so much to achieve your goal.

When I started my business ‘from scratch’ two years ago, it wasn’t actually from scratch because I already had experience in executive coaching and career coaching. I had learned how to set up a business and an email list. I had built my audience.

All of that helped to build the success I have today.

So, don’t ever think that anything you have spent time and effort on is wasted, because all those experiences will contribute to your future success.

Resilience

Finally, let’s touch on the importance of resilience as coaches.

We need to be a pillar of strength for our clients, helping them to stay the course, even when the going gets tough.

In order to do that, we need to cultivate our own resilience.

How? Set big audacious goals for yourself. Embrace the costs. Revel in the benefits and show your clients what’s possible when you stay committed to your own dreams.

Be the living proof that, with the right mindset and the willingness to pay the price, anything is possible.

Be prepared to go all in.

There’s a great quote by the American entrepreneur, Biz Stone, who said,

“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”

The only way you fail is by giving up. So, embrace every setback and know that it is building your resilience which is what it takes to build a successful business.

Go for it!

Prefer Audio? You can also listen to all my new content on my podcast Women in the Coaching Arena

Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you grow your coaching business:

1. Love coaching, but struggling to get clients? Download the 12 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Clients now.

2. Interested to know more about the Business of Coaching programme? Click here.

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Hello and welcome! I’m Joanna Lott, and I’m passionate about empowering qualified coaches like you to build brilliant businesses.