As an independent consultant or freelancer, there may have come a point where you felt isolated or stagnant in your career. You might have found that there are few opportunities to get unbiased feedback on your ideas, performance, and professional development.
A lack of support can lead to reduced productivity and a feeling of being “stuck.” That is where hiring a life coach can be beneficial and rewarding.
Coaches can help you improve your productivity and income. In this post, I will identify 5 ways you can utilize coaching to optimize your earning potential.
The life coaching industry has exploded since its beginning stages in the 1990s and is now the second-fastest growing industry globally, and for a good reason. According to the International Coaching Federation, coaching offers many benefits such as “…80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence, and over 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills.”
You may be thinking, “Sure, it would be nice to have more confidence and better relationships, but how does that impact my income?”
Many factors can affect a consultant’s ability to earn. For example, if a personal relationship is stealing your focus and hurting the quality of your work, your income will likely be impacted. Poor diet and a resultant lack of energy are also potential disruptions to achievement.
Everyone has their “off days.” One or two bad plays shouldn’t throw off your entire game, however. A continuous stream of negative self-talk, “an inner voice that provides a running monologue” on our lives, can prevent you from bouncing back from disappointment and really cut into your performance. Tame that inner critic with help from a Coach.
With consistency, you can train yourself to recognize self-defeating thoughts, challenge their truth, and replace them with affirmations that get you back in the game faster. And the faster you’re able to recover from setbacks, the quicker you can turn that negative experience into an opportunity.
A qualified coach will help you identify and address social, emotional, and/or mental obstacles and replace negative patterns of behavior with ones that will contribute to financial success. The type of coach you employ will depend on your specific goals and what you try to achieve.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) refers to an individual’s capacity for managing their own emotions and the emotions of others in a way that is both positive and productive. Unlike IQ which tends to remain static, emotional intelligence is a skill that can be improved upon through self-awareness and practice. If your EQ, or lack of it, is impacting your ability to effectively manage relationships, consider meeting with a Coach who specializes in this area.
Travis Bradberry, the co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, found that people who scored high on emotional intelligence assessments made on average $29,000 more per year than those with low scores. Consequently, as EQ assessment scores improved, so did the individual’s salary…regardless of industry or location.
Research has demonstrated strong links between emotional intelligence and professional success. For example, a TalentSmart study found that, among 34 important workplace skills, emotional intelligence was the strongest predictor of performance, responsible for 58% of success in all types of jobs.
For consultants, in particular, the ability to build relationships is one of the most impactful skills necessary to business success. With the support of a qualified EQ coach, you can improve your emotional self-awareness, social awareness, and relationships management skills, thereby increasing your income-earning potential.
Another that should not be overlooked when you are trying to take your career to the next level, is personal health and wellness. A wellness coach can help you enhance your mood, focus, and energy levels.
Nutrition, exercise, rest…they all play a part in our decision-making and problem-solving effectiveness. Meditation and time spent in nature have also improved creativity, an important skill for consultants.
Ray Dalio, a well-known money manager, and book author credits meditation as “…the biggest ingredient for whatever success I’ve had.” That’s a pretty strong endorsement from someone who founded the $130 billion hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. And he’s not the only one. Many executives use meditation to increase their success and income due to meditation’s effect on clarity, emotional balance, and anxiety.
Is your productivity, and billing limited by an “afternoon slump?” Perhaps your food choices and overall activity are to blame. A wellness coach with certifications in nutrition and/or exercise science can help you boost those energy levels and reclaim those hours.
Individuals who report a better work-life balance demonstrate increased productivity and the ability to work longer. If you are having trouble in this area, a life coach can help you maintain work/life boundaries and avoid burnout.
Finding that balance can be particularly difficult for consultants who often travel and experience tight deadlines requiring late nights and weekend work. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving work-life balance, a qualified coach can help you identify your boundaries and hold you accountable as you enforce these boundaries in your personal and professional relationships.
Billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist, Paul Tudor Jones famously said, “You adapt, evolve, compete or die.” Upskilling is a word commonly used to refer to the act of learning new skills in order to remain marketable. A skilled Career Coach can help you plan your upskilling strategy and future-proof your career.
Advancements in technology are happening at a faster pace than ever before. As a consultant, if you’re not paying attention to new developments in technology and upgrading your skillset in response, you run the risk of losing clients to consultants who maintain an attitude of adaptability and openness to learning.
A qualified Career Coach can help you identify the most marketable skills in your particular area of practice and assist you in choosing the certifications or credentials that will get you the best return on your investment.
Imposter Syndrome refers to the belief that one is not as capable as others may believe him or her to be. Individuals with Imposter Syndrome may fear that they lack real talent and that they will eventually be exposed as “a fraud.”
Most consultants have experienced Imposter Syndrome at some point in their careers. As a result of these feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, many consultants will reduce their rates or bill a client for less time than what it actually took them to complete a project. Sound familiar?
Skilled coaches use a counseling tool called cognitive restructuring in which a client’s self-defeating thoughts and behaviors are identified and written down. The Coach and client together will then address the validity of each belief. Beliefs that are found to be “untrue” are replaced with statements that accurately reflect the individual’s capabilities.
As a result of these “restructuring” efforts on a client’s thinking process, the client is better able to assign an accurate value to the service they provide, thereby reclaiming the REAL value of their work product.
Hiring a coach requires an investment of both time and money. Depending on the expertise and qualifications of your coach, this investment can be significant.
When deciding whether or not it’s worth it to spend $1,000 or more on a package of coaching sessions, here are a few things to consider:
- If you could increase your hourly rate by $30 per hour, how long would it take you to recoup what you invested in coaching?
- What price would you put on work boundaries that give you more quality time with your kids and spouse?
- How much more could you bill that client if you knew how to use the latest version of a particular software?
So now that you have learned how coaching can impact your earning potential as a consultant, how do you find the right coach?
Are you considering hiring a coach or do you have one now? If so, what kind of coach do you have? What were the reasons you ultimately decided to hire a coach? Your feedback matters; share your thoughts with us on LinkedIn or Twitter!