In this week's blog post we're doing something a little different. I've invited business coach Mary Schiller to share her coaching journey with you.
Whether you're just thinking about becoming a business coach, or you've been one for a while, you'll find Mary's journey inspiring.
At the end of the post there's an opportunity for you to think about how you can develop your business further using coaching.
Mary Schiller Bio
Mary Schiller is a business coach and mentor who creates spaces in which coaches and solopreneurs can thrive, such as SoloSpace: a weekly, live co-working session where solopreneurs make progress – together. A native Californian, Mary now lives in Paris, France, with her husband and a silly but sweet black cat. Her daughter Rachel is her greatest role model. Connect with Mary on Instagram @maryschiller and in her private Facebook group, Banish the BUT, and find her at www.maryschiller.com. Her books are available on Amazon worldwide.
Being a Coach in 2021 … and Beyond
In 2014, a coach named Michael Neill helped me transform my life.
I went from experiencing daily post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms for nearly 30 years, to living a life of freedom, peace and possibility: something I never, ever thought I would have.
Here’s the most amazing part: I had never met or spoken with this coach. He was the author of a book I read that completely reshaped the way I saw myself and my life experiences.
In 2015, I was fortunate to meet Michael when he came through New York City, where I was living at the time. It was an unforgettable moment when I was able to thank him personally for what he had done for me through his book.
When I lost my job unexpectedly in early 2016, I realized that I didn’t want to be a copywriter anymore, even though I had enjoyed that profession for many years. I was done with it. Done, done, done.
I sat in my small apartment in the Bronx, looking out at the white, wintry sky, and realized I wanted to be a coach – and I wanted to write my own books.
There was a catch. Several, actually.
I had received no coach training when I decided to call myself a professional coach (nutty, I know).
Although I had had some coaching-type conversations with people, I didn’t have any clients.
I had no reputation, no credentials, no significant following in terms of numbers.
I also had no other income source, and, because of some unforeseen and major financial woes, I had only about 2 months of expenses in the bank.
So what did I do?
I decided to leap into the coaching profession, anyway. For me, there was no other choice: I had a message I wanted to share, and that was that.
After five years of being a coach, I still can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.
Plus, the coaching profession serves such a vital role in our world now. It's an incredible way for people to get specific help when other modalities haven’t worked for them.
What Makes a Great Coach?
When I am asked what makes a great coach and how to be a successful one – meaning, making a wonderful income as well as an impact – this is what I tell them.
Coaching is a full-heart, full-mind, full-bodied profession.
It's not a hobby. It's not something that you dip your toe in and out of, or something you dabble in.
You are a coach because you love it.
It is a creative way of expressing yourself. It's fun. It's exciting. It's challenging and rewarding. And it's always expanding how you experience life and how you see yourself.
For example, as of today I’ve written and self-published 11 books. I never in a million years dreamed that I would do that, but stepping into a feeling of expansion every day has made it possible for me to go well beyond the limitations I believed I had.
As a coach, you must be a leader: first of foremost, the leader of your own life. Be decisive, not wishy-washy. Embody what you teach. Show confidence in yourself.
Then, you must be willing to step forward even if no one is following you (yet). Use your voice. Say what you want to say and speak directly to those you want to impact.
Be consistent, and never look back.
Coaching is All About Your Energy
Even though being a coach (and being your own boss) has its ups and downs, there’s no reason to fall into self-criticism. Because being a successful coach is all about the energy, the presence, that you bring to people. No one in this world needs our struggle, least of all the people we want to serve.
Make a conscious decision to focus your attention not on problems or supposed setbacks, but on what lights up your heart and mind – and act from there.
As I like to say, Follow the fun.
Know that you are intelligent, creative and capable, and don’t ever let doubts to tell you otherwise. Bring your confident presence to the world, and people will respond.
Coaching Means Daily Self-Discovery
Coaching is the most incredible vehicle of self-discovery that I have ever engaged in because I have committed myself to living in integrity with what I am sharing with people.
Having made that decision, I now have a reason every day to go past my comfort zone – stepping into that infinite, creative space where we learn even more about who we are. Every time I do that, I have more to bring to my audience and to my clients.
Sometimes people ask me if living this way is a burden, as people tend to fear the word “commitment.”
Not at all. It’s not about striving for perfection, which doesn’t exist, anyway. Instead, it’s about committing myself daily to a higher level of understanding, of decisiveness, of compassion and love for myself and for other people.
Why Do Some Coaches Struggle?
Over the years, I have supported a lot of coaches who want to get their businesses going. When they tell me that they’re struggling, I always know the reason why.
It’s because they haven’t made the decision to go all in: deciding to make coaching this full-heart, full-mind, full-bodied life experience.
Sometimes when I ask if they’re willing to commit in this way, people decide that coaching is not the right profession for them. Our job as human beings is to express ourselves and to be happy, so whatever form that takes is amazing. It certainly doesn’t have to be coaching.
If it is your passion to be a coach, then give it your all. Not only will your clients benefit, but you will, too. Your life will change in ways you can’t imagine right now, just as mine has. From those humble beginnings in a small apartment in the Bronx – with no credentials, training, backup plan or reputation – I’ve created a business that brings in a 6-figure income each year and that I can do from anywhere: these days, from Paris, France.
More than anything, it’s a joy for me to know that I’ve impacted thousands of people’s lives in a positive way.
The coaching profession has more opportunities today than ever before. I feel privileged to be a part of it, and I can’t wait to see where you and I go from here.
Thank you so much Mary for sharing your business coaching journey with us! I love how you started from a book, and you sought out the author to thank them!
Thinking about becoming a business coach yourself?
Why not take a look at our Action Based Coaching Skills Course Kit?
Action Based Coaching Skills
Teach Yourself. Then teach your audience.
Maybe you're wondering if coaching skills are something your audience will benefit from?
Coaching skills can be used in all areas of your life, even though the focus here is business coaching. If you're a parent, it's probably something you've done with your children to help them find their focus and become unstuck. If you work in any management position, you'll love how you can refine your coaching skills and increase your value to your employer.
And if you're a coach already, this gives you the opportunity to create your own coaching certification. All you have to do is take your experience, fuse it with the content and then deliver it to your audience.