Yesterday someone asked me, "How can you be a coach when you're so young?"
On my last day as a consultant, one of the partners asked, "What qualifies you to work with entrepreneurs?"
These questions are valid. They used to really freak me out.
There are plenty of days when I question whether I'm "qualified" to do what I'm doing.
Sometimes it seems like the only way to make a lot of money is to coach other coaches. Sometimes it feels like a pyramid scheme.
Other times I wonder if coaching is how I hide, how I avoid making my own things in the world. Maybe that's true. I'm not sure.
I could let these thoughts drive me crazy. I've done it before. But here's the thing I've come to realize...
None of that stuff matters. Because it's not about me. It's about the people I serve and the impact that I have on them.
Example: I've never been asked by a potential client if I have a coaching certificate.
(I don't, by the way. I hired the best coach I could find and apprenticed under her.)
Why don't people ask for my "qualifications"? Because they don't give a shit. Because I'm serving the entire time.
The only thing my clients care about is whether or not I can help them. So I demonstrate that.
Here are three ways that you can, too:
1. Put All Your Attention on the Other Person
When I get nervous before a coaching call, it's usually because I'm focusing on myself. Or on "making the sale". When that happens, I just take some time to sit quietly and meditate.
I think about the person I'm about to have a conversation with: their dreams, their desires, their frustrations. And then I get curious.
*Poof* - there goes the fear.
It's nearly impossible to be nervous, anxious, or afraid when you're in service mode. Why? Because those emotions only come up when you're focused on yourself.
Empathy doesn't happen overnight. It's something you have to train. And the rewards are exponential.
2. Be Completely Transparent When Talking about Yourself
I don't get vulnerable in my blog posts because it makes me feel good. It scares the shit out of me. I do it for you, the reader.
If me admitting that I'm 22 makes you feel less alone, I'll take the ego hit.
Now, there's a big difference between being transparent and being incompetent. You still have to be competent. And I'm a damn good coach.
But I don't get to decide that. I don't get to decide if my work is inspiring. That's up to the people I serve. My job is just to keep showing up.
3. Stop Worrying about What You're Going to Get
Some of you are reading this and thinking, "Okay, so I have to give to get".
Nope. That's not quite it.
The idea is actually, "I have to give to give". In other words, the reason that I serve, and the reason I get paid well for it, is so that I can keep serving tomorrow.
Giving is the whole point; it's the means and the end. I'm not serving first just so that I can get more later. That happens naturally, but it's not the goal.
When you are giving to get, it screws up the whole dynamic. People can sense it. The goal is to literally be as selfless as possible.
And that includes charging the fees that you need to serve at a high level. It includes building a business around this thing. Because when you refuse to charge what you're worth, you are destroying your ability to keep serving powerfully.
It's not uncommon for me to spend up to four hours working with someone for free before we ever talk about paid coaching. And when we do talk about money, it's because we've reached a crossroads.
In order to keep working together, it's going to require a serious investment of time and energy on both sides. What I really want to know is whether they're committed to making that big, scary leap they keep talking about. The money is a filter, and it's a way to make sure that I can keep serving them tomorrow.
As human beings, it's natural to ask what's in it for us. That's going to happen. But we need to constantly bring ourselves back to service.
As Zig Ziglar said, "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want." I've seen this come true many times in my own life.
What about you?
Are you willing to stop worrying long enough to start serving?