About 2 years ago it suddenly felt like one in three people was a Life Coach. Colleges ran courses, 'Academies' sprang up and even franchises were sold.
The message was simple. Everyone needs a Life Coach.
But do they?
Most of the people who think they need a Life Coach don't and conversely the ones who say they don't need one often do.
I'm going to stick with those of you who think you need a guru and do my best to convince you why you probably don't.
Let's start with a premise; you need a Life Coach because there's something wrong with your life. Of course there is. That's life.
Life is never going to be perfect, life is flawed by design.
So save your money and embrace flawed. The quirkiness, the let downs, the frustrations.
Especially the frustrations.
The Life Coach will often promise to remove the frustrations. Why remove them? How about taking a slight shift and accepting them. Could you turn frustrated to fascinated?
I can't seem to get that promotion - fascinating!
I'm unable lose weight - how curious.
My business is stagnant - well isn't that interesting?
Start from a place of acceptance. What is, is.
So that's your first two coaching sessions dispensed and I've already saved you a couple of hundred quid. No, you're welcome. Ready for some more?
The Super Seven
The top seven areas people seek coaching on can be summarised as:
Business / Career
Work / Life Balance
A good Life Coach can spin these out for weeks or months. Or you could get straight to the point and work on Pareto's principle that focusing on a simple 20% shift can solve 80% of the problem.
Brace yourself because what you're about to read navigates so close to the blindingly obvious you could run aground on plain and simple sands and never feel drawn to set sail again.
Business / Career
Stop faffing about with the small stuff and focus on top income producing (or mission critical) activity. Turn Facebook off. Stop gossiping. Get there early, leave on time. Make yourself invaluable, then ask for more.
Treat people the way you want to be treated. Be clear with objectives. Catch people doing something right. Always say please and thank you.
Remember what you did when you first fell in love? Get back to that. Make an effort. Listen more. Start dating.
Work / Life Balance
Understand your core values. What's really important? Write things down and ask this question; 'If I do this, am I living my core values?' If the answer is yes, keep doing it. If it's no, stop.
It's not your job as a parent to be popular - it's your job to be a parent. Kids screw up, just like you do. Being there is better than being the best. You can't buy your way to being a good parent.
If you're overweight then eat less and move more. Great health starts in the mind. Eat well, think well, move well. Don't smoke - and when you do quit smoking replace the habit with something meaningful - not Mars Bars.
End the day by writing down the five most important things you need to do the next day. Then do them. And learn how to say 'no' nicely.
So that's another bunch of stuff covered. Are you ready for the advanced material?
At this point I should sell you the Advanced Programme, (especially if I was a stage evangelist with pearly white teeth and over-quaffed hair) but I'm not.
So let me share with you where you can get all the coaching you'll ever need.
Authors can take decades to research and years to write a book. A book that you can buy for tenner, then read in a couple of days. Real self-help.
And there's one more secret weapon for the self-helper. Intuition.
Coaches hear it all the time. Those being coached feel it frequently. It's the strong sense of already knowing what you're being taught. And that's because you do know it. Your intuition is spot on. 100% faultless.
All you need to do is listen to it.
I didn't write this to gain favour with the majority of Life Coaches. The ones who take off your watch then tell you what time it is. I wrote it because you may be one of the people who can coach yourself or one of those who really does need a coach.
A Great Coach.
A coach brings much more to the party than what you've just read
A coach will happily tell you when you're done and stop taking your money
A coach employs a coach and invests in themselves first
A coach says they don't know when they don't know and has the courage of their convictions when they do
There are amazing, authentic, experienced and professional coaches out there; find the right one and they'll help you to change your life. But choose carefully - your coach could be closer than you think..