You never truly know something until you try it yourself and I now know that I don’t want to do this anymore
Before I compiled together the Not Your Average Life Coach final project compendium on I Built My Own Education, I had fully intended to continue and further develop my coaching side hustle.
After giving myself a thorough opportunity to reflect on my 4-year experience of being a life coach, I now realise that I no longer want to do it.
Life coaching was a great source of income and personal fulfillment, but it was also a hugely demanding role that came with a lot of downsides.
Ultimately, for me, the negatives of being a life coach greatly outnumber the positives.
11. I've had enough of dealing with client negativity
Life coaching is always portrayed as a very positive experience and it should be portrayed as an uplifting pursuit.
The point of successful life coaching is to achieve a positive change for the client.
However, the journey of first meeting a client through to witnessing the achievement of their positive change can be a very long and messy endeavour.
The reality of human beings is always a lot more complicated.
Every individual has hurts and grievances that go on to influence their outlooks on life.
Negative experiences always influence our mindsets and are the source of our greatest insecurities and obstacles.
I have a trust issues.
I had a very unstable family life when I was growing up and it takes me much longer to form relationships with people. I really need to get to know someone over a significant period of time until I can feel like I trust them.
For a long time, my trust issues were a problem because they were making me avoidant towards people. It was only when I tackled this personal insecurity head-on, as part of my own self-coaching, that I started to warm up to people and became much more risk-taking about the people I connected with and who I trusted.
Every client I have coached has had their own issues and those issues come out when you start to tackle the reasons why a client is struggling to bring about their desired positive change.
Unless you can help a client overcome their personal obstacles, it is unlikely that they will achieve their desired change.
So being exposed to a client’s insecurities is just a necessary part of the coaching process.
The problem I have encountered repeatedly is that not only do the negative aspects of my clients can add up, but you can start to take on their negative habits of thinking.
I have asked other wellness and mental health professionals how they deal with the negativity of their clients, and I was not surprised to discover that it is a widely shared grievance.
I have been given tips about how to unwind and disconnect from my life coaching, but I’ve always struggled to deal with the negativity that comes from the coaching process.
It’s not the fault of my clients, I’m not blaming them, they’re only human.
But a few clients back, I just snapped inside and realised I couldn’t do this anymore.
So I’m not going to.
22. My lack of patience with chronic relapsers
If I don’t achieve something I have set out to do or try to back track on the things I’ve said I will do, I tend to be very hard on myself.
Equally, I’m the type of person who gets easily frustrated when I see other people failing to achieve their goals or who make excuses as to why they can’t achieve their goals.
I always perceive it as someone giving up on themselves and it hurts me whenever I see it happen.
Human beings are not perfect. I’m not perfect. My clients are not perfect.
We all make mistakes and we’re not always on top form.
The problem is when it is chronic, chronic to the point that someone is not only wasting their time but wasting yours as well.
I’ve had a few clients who have tested my patience with their progress through the coaching process.
The clients who persistently relapse are my biggest life coaching pet hate.
As much as I do enjoy helping people and watching them have their breakthroughs, I can’t help someone who won’t help themselves.
When a client turns up for their session, I expect them to be there to get their money’s worth, meaning I’m expecting them to have a growth mindset.
I really don’t have patience for people who just want to stay exactly where they are… even though they say they want to progress.
As I’ve grown older, my patience threshold has grown shorter and shorter.
Now my attitude is just not to deal with anyone who is just going to waste my time.
33. It has been getting in the way of my other commitments
While my life coaching side hustle has proven to be very flexible part of my timetable, it has still distracted my attention from other equally demanding pursuits, such as I Built My Own Education.
The fact that Not Your Average Life Coach has been a flexible part of my timetable is one of the reasons why it has proven to be so demanding on my attention.
There was never any real consistency from week-to-week which meant I would spend good portions of each week scheduling and rescheduling my life coaching time.
Even compiling this Not Your Average Life Coach final project has proven to be time-consuming!
However, Not Your Average Life Coach has also been hugely draining on my psychological and emotional energy.
Listening to people and coaching them through their struggles is very exhausting.
Especially for me, because I am quite an introverted person, so I find people to be quite draining in general anyway.
But if I’ve had a busy day of coaching, by the end of that day I don’t have any energy left and I don’t want to get anything else done.
Yes, I was earning money and experience from my coaching, but I was also losing time and energy to devote to my other pursuits.
44. I've always struggled to give it the appropriate time and attention
I’ve been juggling too many commitments.
Investing my time and energy in so many different pursuits means that, paradoxically, I can sometimes be completely burned out for my life coaching.
A few times I have had to cancel some of my coaching sessions just so I can have a chance to recharge.
The commitment to my other pursuits, such as my MTA Portfolio and various final projects, is the reason why the planning behind Not Your Average Life Coach has been lacking.
After a day of studying, I rarely have any steam left to do any serious constructive work like putting together a business or marketing plan.
The fact of the matter is, Not Your Average Life Coach was always going to play a secondary role to my larger MTA Portfolio.
55. I need a better class of client
The coaching I did under the Not Your Average Life Coach banner has focused on helping clients with their career development.
While I have enjoyed assisting others either change or augment their careers, because I have learned a great deal from the experience, it is not the type of coaching I wanted to be doing.
On NotYourAverageLife.Coach it says that I have three coaching specializations…
- Lifestyle Coaching
- Career Coaching
- Education Coaching
Lifestyle coaching is just an extension of my core career coaching focus.
As soon as you start to talk to someone about their career development, you invariably end up going into areas of their personal life which need to be tweaked or adjusted to make their career development aims a success.
Education Coaching is also an extension of my core career coaching focus because career development usually requires the attainment of new skills and areas of knowledge.
But, If I’m being honest, I included Education Coaching as a specialization because I saw that as my long-term plan.
Educational coaching is an extension of I Built My Own Education.
My passion for coaching can be found in helping individuals construct self-directed educational programs that empower them to realise their full potential as their ideal selves.
Any form of personal development, whether it is focused on myself or on someone else, I always see through an educational lens.
This is why my MTA Portfolio and I Built My Own Education exist.
I built them so I would have a wide-ranging learning facility through which to better understand the world and build a version of myself who was suited for thriving in the complex and uncertain twenty-first century.
I am definitely more suited for coaching clients who also realise that the best way to develop themselves is to seek out educational coaching that helps them to build a curriculum through which to develop themselves.
I often struggled with clients who just couldn’t understand that personal development inherently requires learning, applying that learning and the client taking charge of that learning.
Coaching is not a magic pill that miraculously transforms the client overnight.
Like learning a new language, coaching is long and grueling, but ultimately very rewarding.
I’m more drawn to educational coaching because it is a lite version of regular coaching.
Educational coaching is about helping your client construct their curriculum and then largely leave them to get on with it.
It’s not like my usual coaching where I am having to hold the client’s hand every step of the way, which was just very draining for me!
Had I decided to continue with my coaching, 2021 would have been the year when I drew on everything I had learned from my coaching and put together a full-fledged marketing and business plan about how I was going to further develop Not Your Average Life Coach.
A huge part of that plan would have been shifting the focus of my coaching away from career coaching to being much more focused on educational coaching.
Had I done this and sought out client who fell into the educational coaching bracket, I would also have completely rebranded Not Your Average Life Coach.
Most likely this new focus of educational coaching would have been housed on this website under the I Built My Own Education brand banner.
I’ve now decided to discontinue my coaching, but if I ever do come back to it, I will be picking up the ideas for my educational coaching, because that is where my heart lies.
66. I really don't enjoy managing or leading other people
My time as a life coach has been tied up with a managerial role I have been doing alongside it.
While I have been making my MTA Portfolio, I have also been working a nightshift job on the weekends.
My weekend night job is my financial safety net, so if all other incomes fail, I always have that one to fall back on.
However, I was eventually promoted onto the management team as a supervisor.
By a remarkable coincidence, I started life coaching right around the same time I was made a supervisor.
As a result, both my roles as a life coach and a supervisor have been very much tied up with each other.
I have drawn on the learning in my Leadership and Management concentration to develop myself in both roles.
I see my role as a life coach falling more under the umbrella of leadership, because life coaching requires that big picture inspirational direction.
Whereas my role as a supervisor falls under the umbrella of management because it is more concerned with the nitty gritty details of ensuring staff members getting routine tasks completed properly.
But both roles also overlap and share a lot of the same skills.
I wouldn’t go so far to say that I have personally seen them as the same role, but I have always felt like they have been dove-tailing each other.
So, when I concluded that I no longer wanted to be a life coach, I was not surprised to discover that I also didn’t want to be a supervisor anymore.
I’m fully capable of leading and managing other people, but that doesn’t mean I actually enjoy or want to do it.
I don’t enjoy managing as a supervisor for many of the same reasons I have cited for why I don’t enjoy being a life coach.
It’s not down to lack of confidence or a dislike of being around other people.
I’ve always been a reluctant leader of others because, at heart, I’m a bit of loner and a bit of an outsider… and that’s that my strength.
I’m better off operating as an outlier… look at what I’ve done with I Built My Own Education.
How many other people do you know who have done something like that?
If I’m the leader or the manager, I’m in the center and I am constantly having my focused distracted away from my strengths.
I don’t like being a manager or a life coach because I feel like it is diminishing me as a person.
I feel like clients and staff members and conventional organizations are constantly zapping me of my time, my energy and my potential.
77. It has served its purpose as a final project
Not Your Average Life Coach has taken everything I learned in my Leadership and Management concentration and provided me with a sandbox in which I have honed my skills as a leader and a manager.
My life coaching side hustle has given me 4 years’ experience of being a life coach, being a web developer and of building my own business.
Ultimately, I have come to understand myself better and now possess a clearer focus of my career direction moving forwards.
As final projects go, Not Your Average Life Coach has taken me to the moon and back!
Considering how I want to move on from coaching (at least for the time being), what more could I do with it?