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What do successful coaches do that you might not?

Updated: Jun 29, 2018

Ever wondered how others 'do it'? When I go and see my coach friends the one thing I used to want to do was see how they filed their client stuff, find out how they work their process and really know more about their way of working.

What do successful coaches get up to, what are their essential practices, does Netflix make an appearance anywhere or is it all meditation and yoga? What's the number one thing they say they cannot be successful without? I asked a group of around 15 successful coaches a number of questions about their working practices. Here are some cherry-picked responses that represent the overall feedback.

How do you start your day?

  • Very few surprises here – school run, yoga, doing the hardest thing first, some routine, some not.

  • I used to NOT have a morning routine. Before I decided to go pro as a coach (i.e., create a prosperous business), I would sleep in a lot - my way of taking care of my unhappiness. But when I made the decision to do whatever I needed to do to grow my business, I began to create a morning routine... slowly. One thing at a time was added to the morning. My main focus was getting up earlier so I would have time to be alone and think. About a year after that I added yoga twice a week. Then slowly I added meditation in the mornings. The practice for both, at times, wasn't easy because I didn't always feel like going to yoga or meditating. But I'm committed to being a disciplined, creative entrepreneur so I act like one regardless of how I feel.

What activities do you undertake on a regular basis that contributes to your success?

  • “Working with my own coach” (everyone said this – or some form of personal work commitment)

  • Strong coach network – informal and formal groups and relationships

  • Lots on yoga, walking, moving physically

  • Customer obsession came up more than I was expecting in the UK, I thought it was more of a Stateside thing

  • Podcasts– Being Boss, Tim Ferriss, Ted Radio Hour, Mr Money Moustache (really), OnBeing, Design Matters, TMSIDK

  • It took me a long time to learn how to pick myself up after failure as when I started as a coach my self-esteem was low and I was pretty much scared of most shit ;-) and failing was pretty much at the top of the list. So I think the biggest thing I’ve done is to be passionate about having the best possible relationship with myself possible and confronting my fears.

What bad habits do you have?

  • Not keeping track of how many sessions clients have had when they’ve bought a package

  • Really messy desk

  • Not writing up the notes properly from client sessions

  • Not managing time properly, too much in the diary

  • Getting overworked and really being too tired to coach

  • Not organising resources for finding the ‘brilliant’ article

  • Believing my inner critic... I can get wrapped up in my own thinking - the very thing I help my clients NOT do! And when I notice that I have, one bad habit I'm practicing dropping is judging myself for it. Instead, I want to just notice that for a moment I took my thoughts too seriously. Like any other human.

What working practice would you suggest for someone looking to upgrade their business success?

  • “Immerse yourself in truly understanding the concept of service. My business income continues to increase in direct proportion to my broadening and deepening my understanding and living of service in my personal and professional life. Before learning this, I struggled as a coach.”

  • “Self-management and discipline are fundamental”

  • “Have a mastermind filled with people more successful than you”

  • “Charge what you’re worth, not what you think the client will pay. Find and work with clients you can learn from and grow with”

This advice is from people with at least fifteen experience in the business. They have endured and evolved. And it can be small changes. I swapped my favourite Robbie Williams album for the Tim Ferris podcast on the school run and it made a big difference in how I showed up at work.

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