MM #72: How to Merge a Current Career with Coaching
What People are Saying About ’10 Super Coaches’
To find out how 10 ordinary coaches are earning $30,000 to $1.4 million per year, and how you can do it too, click here:
“I was working on a marketing strategy that was going to cost quite a bit of money when I bought the ebook. It made me realise there is a MUCH more direct, and less expensive method. Saved me several hundred pounds and gave me a kick up the rear end to do something else. Thanks!”
Neil Gilbranch, United Kingdom
“David, the product is awesome! I cannot express it any other way. I’m still digesting the nuggets on every page and relishing every interview. Thank you for the your brilliance in its development.” Heather Fraser USA
MJ Jennings, the “Inspiration Woman,” is an executive coach who has made as much as AUD$100,000 in one month from coaching!
Based in Hong Kong, she calls herself a “Pacific gypsy” because of the travel she does up and down AsiaPacific.
How did her life journey take her from a farm in New Zealand to the intense, vibrant career she now enjoys?
MJ first heard about coaching in 2000, and her interest peaked after being given an article by a friend. By that time, she’d moved with her children to Hong Kong. She had completed her masters in Human Resources and moved into Business Excellence, a team approach to continuous improvement. But coaching offered a different way to inspire people and help them move forward in their lives.
Tip: Use your current skill set to enhance and compliment your coaching style.
“I actually started coaching by being coached by a master – David Wood – about six years ago,” she says. (Thanks for the plug MJ!) From Hong Kong, MJ arranged face-to-face and phone sessions. She found coaching was a natural transition from the work she was doing.
Not about having the answers
“I realized that my clients needed more than the traditional training approach,” she explains. “I found I had lots of ‘guinea pigs’ to practice on.”
Being coached herself gave her the confidence she needed to jump in and start doing it. “My initial perception of coaching was misguided… I thought I had to have the answers, and my approach was more along the lines of consulting or advisory. Now I really know coaching is all about the coachee, not me!” She credits this experience with giving her a deeper understanding of the coaching philosophy as well as a toolkit of forms, approaches and questioning techniques.
She became a founding member of the Hong Kong International Coaching Community, joined Coachville and became very active in promoting executive coaching as a business learning approach.
Tip: Get involved – join forces with other coaches to share information and make coaching more visible in your community.
According to MJ, awareness and acceptance of executive coaching has been slower in Hong Kong than it has been in other areas. “To survive as a coach, you need to have other ‘strings to your bow’ – and mine was training,” she says. She leveraged the workshops she ran by promoting one-on-one “coaching based interventions.” This built her confidence and her cash flow. “I built a company around the things I like doing, and the coaching has become a major part of that. We now generate revenues that have just kept growing.”
Getting out there
MJ feels staying in the public eye is a key way to attract new business. She has been on radio programs a half dozen times and has done several interviews in local newspapers and magazines.
“Building a positive reputation is very important for credibility and approachability,” she says.
Most of MJ’s business is referral, and people see her in action as a speaker and doing other activities.
Tip: Be noticed. Look for ways to tie coaching in to what you’re already doing, and offer your expertise to the media.
MJ says, “Practice what you preach – if it’s a business it must look like one, feel like one and run like one, with a business plan, strategy, goals and action plans.
She has a “no surprises” policy, discussing fees and structure with clients up front. She does pro-bono work, charity workshops and offers coaching packages to encourage repeat business. At the same time, she negotiates higher fees for intensive programs to ensure a return on the investment in time and resources.
And she’s busy. In the next six weeks, she’ll have five coaching sessions in Singapore, three in Hong Kong, training workshops with one-on-one coaching sessions in Vietnam and Korea, followed by a week of coaching back in Hong Kong and four sessions in Tokyo.
Even coaches can use a coach
Part of MJ’s success is how she “walks the talk.” She says successful coaches need to have a commitment to life learning.
“If Tiger Woods has a coach – then there is a time in our lives when we all need a coach to stretch, guide, challenge and recognize effort,” she explains.
Do talk to strangers
She advises other coaches to keep talking to strangers, and keep networking. Potential clients can’t find you if you’re not putting yourself out there, she points out.
Often, MJ’s casual chats turn into business when she’s asked what she does for a living. But “it’s not about the money, or the potential for business,” she says. “It’s about them identifying a need that they have, and wanting to work through a coach to get that need met. I love it when they contact me and I’m their ‘chosen’ coach.”
See more about MJ’s business at ActiveCommunication.net.
MJ got her start through the CoachStart™ Mentoring Program – if you would like one of the few remaining positions, you can apply here.
Action: Expand Your Business
1. Start researching and asking for recommendations to hire a mentor coach
2. Does your coaching look like a business? Where do you need to become more business-like?
3. Do you have a current career or hobby you can merge with coaching? What would the first step be?
4. Post your first step, thoughts and comments at the blog!