The 10,000 Hours of Coaching
It’s 4:59 on a Saturday as I type this.
I get up early most Saturdays.
There’s something about working while most of the world is sleeping that makes me feel good about myself. I feel like I’m getting ahead without cheating. Because like Henry Rollins, I’m the guy who needs two or three tries to get it. So any kind of head start is good for me. My days hold a lot of stumbling.
Techincally I’m here to write. But I don’t see it that way. I’m practicing my craft. I’ve written pretty much every day for the last twenty years. It doesn’t feel that long because it’s just a part of my life now. Like eating and sleeping. Well, I don’t do much of the latter.
I don’t really believe I’m a talented writer. But I do have a body of work. I’m not that confident as a writer. But I’m pretty sure I can out write you. Not because I write so much. It’s because most people quit. Most write for an outcome. Not to get better at their craft. They also don’t thread it into their life, which I believe is the only way to make anything sustainable. To be good at anything, you have to turn it into a lifestyle.
Life coaching is no different. Yes, you can build your practice on the side. As a matter of fact, you should. Don’t quit your day job. That’s not how to do it. You can go all in without going all in. But most people get discouraged because they don’t have paying clients in three months so they quit. Or they think they failed. Or that they’re not good at it.
I had to log in 3,000 hours to become a licensed therapist after getting my Masters. I did take a year off but it still took me six years. Since then, I’ve done another 7,000 hours of sessions on and offline. Group work. Couples. Individuals. Walks around a lake next to my house. Coffee shops. Skype. Phone. Whatever and where ever. It took all these hours to gain confidence and learn the craft of therapy and coaching.
Here’s the good news. It won’t take you 10,000 hours to gain confidence and become an effective life coach. But don’t tell yourself that. Or it will take you 10,000 hours to gain confidence and become an effective life coach. Because you’ll just be focusing on hours instead of getting better at your craft. Yes, life coaching is a craft. It requires practice, trail and error, and finding your voice, your style, your way in. It’s what will make you different than any other coach and getting there is a process.
Here’s the mindset.
If you took our Catalyst Life Coaching Intensive, you are now a certified life coach. Great. Now what?
Start life coaching.
But hold on. Paying clients isn’t the only time you are life coaching. You are not a taxi that is on and off duty. What you’ve learned is now inside you. Use the techniques and theories, the different ways into conversations in your daily life with others. This doesn’t mean to start telling people how to live their life, especially if they did not ask for your advice or opinion. That will just make you lose your friends. Also, that’s not life coaching.
First, start with you and apply all the concepts you’ve learned on your own life. Live them. Experiement with them. What works? What doesn’t work? You can’t preach to others what you haven’t done yourself. People will see through that shit. And you will feel like a fraud. All the work you do on yourself will count toward your 10,000. When I was doing my therapy hours, all the hours I worked on myself with my own therapist counted toward my 3,000. It’s fair. All that work is only going to make you a better coach.
Then gradually incorporate all the concepts and whatever you’re learning into whatever it is that you do. I’m talking about your day job. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fitness coach or a dentist. If you engage and talk to people, you can be a catalyst in some way to them.
This is how you get to 10,000 hours and great at your craft. You are not life coaching. Life coaching is inside you. It’s now who you are and how you see the world. You turn life coaching into a lifestyle.
I don’t see myself as a therapist. I don’t see myself as a life coach. I don’t see myself as a writer. I see myself as a catalyst. I practice the craft of life coaching by living a certain way.
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
- Bruce Lee
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