How to Become a Business Coach

Establish Authority as a Business Coach: Walk the Walk

By on November 1, 2017

I have worked with many coaches in my business life. Many of them told me what to do, as coaches should, but I later found that they did not live and work by the very guidelines they gave me. If you want to establish authority as a business coach, you need to be a good example.

When I decided to become a coach, I decided that I needed to be sure to “walk the walk.” This means I will never ask a client to follow an instruction, use a tool, or act according to a guideline that I wouldn’t do myself.

In the process, I gain both confidence and credibility. There’s a power that comes with teaching your clients something that you know for yourself works. Walking the walk empowers you to ‘talk the talk’ with confidence and establish authority as a business coach with your clients.

Choose a Niche

Another way to establish authority as a business coach is to choose a niche–particularly if it’s an area where you already have expertise and experience. If you’re experienced in the retail business, you might thrive coaching retail business owners. This will help you walk the walk. You’ll be able to give them advice from real-life experience, asking them to use tools that have already worked for you.

If you’ve walked the walk for years, there is very little reason for them to doubt you.

The Trust-Shattering Effect of Hypocrisy

Before I became a business coach myself, I owned a small business. One of my business coaches gave me two vital documents: a One-Page Strategic Plan and a weekly coaching agenda. My coach held me accountable and made sure I filled them out every week. He did not accept any excuses or let me have any.

Later, I found out that he had never used those documents himself. I also discovered that he didn’t submit his reports to his franchisor on time. Often, he missed submitting them entirely.

Seeing my coach slack off affected my confidence in him. I began to slack off on the tasks myself. Soon enough, our relationship began to deteriorate. Just a few days later, I decided to terminate the coaching agreement.

Seeing my coach slack off affected my confidence in him. I began to slack off on the tasks myself. Soon enough, our relationship began to deteriorate. Just a few days later, I decided to terminate the coaching agreement.

Having this experience, I made the decision right then that if I ever become a consultant or coach, I would walk the walk. To this day, I still use these documents. With confidence, I expect my clients to do the same.

‘Walk the Walk’ and show your clients that you do. Never assume that they know you do it–use phrases like, “Speaking from experience” or share stories from your own business life as illustrations of these principles in action. When you do, your clients will have confidence when you ‘talk the talk.’

For more skills and strategies to help you walk the walk and talk the talk, check out our FREE ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star.

Secrets of a Business Coaching Rockstar - Free Download!

About Simon Meadows

Simon is the founder and owner of Sterling Business Coaching (www.sterling-coaching.com), providing online and offline coaching programmes for business owners. He created and honed these programmes during more than 22 years of real entrepreneurial business experience. He has attained qualifications in performance coaching, life coaching, team performance management, and others over more than 30 years of coaching and mentoring over 400 managers and business owners. Was recognised in the Who’s Who of Professionals in 2001. Simon has coached over 180 privately and family owned businesses in the UK, Australia, Canada, USA and farther afield. Has achieved measurable results within the Retail, Financial, Construction, Medical, IT and Training Sectors. More than 80% of Simon Meadows' clients have achieved increases of 300% in revenue and profit within the first 18 months of coaching, with an industry leading average client retention period of 39 months.

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