Find out the three top issues that coaches and consultants face when starting their businesses and why it’s important to master them to be a successful executive and leadership coach!
If you are interested in starting or growing your own coaching or consulting practice or want to find out how to get clients consistently, you don’t want to miss this episode.
Leadership and Executive Coach Akua Nyame-Mensah comes to you from the business side of her coaching business to reveal the results of a survey of accomplished professionals who are either new coaches or considering becoming a coach.
She also invites new and aspiring coaches to become Beta members of her new coaching container. There you will find new approaches to solving the roadblocks facing coaches, receive support and accountability in achieving your goals, and gain access to experts and content that will be game-changing in growing your coaching business.
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What's Covered in this Episode About the Coaching Business
- Akua describes the reasoning behind her survey and who participated.
- Akua’s background is a classically trained International Coaching Federation Coach, but she acknowledges there are many ways to become a coach.
- Respondents were most concerned about how to find paying clients.
- Akua stresses that even if you are a coach “in training,” you still provide value - don’t undercharge!
- Because many coaches are heart-centered, it’s a common mistake not to think about our coaching from a business perspective, and it can be challenging to get accountability.
- Akua talks about the importance of boundaries and separating yourself from your coaching business.
- Understand why it’s important to create a repeatable process that can evolve over time when it comes to your coaching business.
- In coaching and consulting, it’s important to know where to spend time and energy. Some invest more time in training rather than attracting clients.
- Having a process and a schedule is important to make sure you get the rest you need.
- With so many coaching tools, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s important to surround yourself with many coaches and learn from their experiences and which tools worked for them.
- Successful executive and leadership coaches are able to focus on the problem they are trying to solve.
- Find out about Akua’s coaching container she aims to co-create with other coaches.
Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations
- "Improving your coaching skills does not mean that you're going to get paying clients, it is not a simple one to one direct ratio." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
- "Build the boundaries, build a schedule, build processes, and delegate appropriately, if necessary, that allow them to show up.
- "You don't need everything. I know coaches who have built a version of their business, right, so what they define as success without a website without leveraging LinkedIn without ever being on Tik Tok." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
Get to Know the Host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast
Learn more about your host, Akua Nyame-Mensah.
Akua is a certified executive and leadership coach, recognized learning and organizational development facilitator, speaker, and former startup executive.
Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, from high-growth startups to multinational brands all around the world, to maximize people, performance, and profit. Outside of her coaching and corporate speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations.
Stay in touch with Akua Nyame-Mensah, Leadership & Culture Advisor:
Here’s the transcript for episode 58 about The Three Things ALL Successful Executive & Leadership Coaches Must Master
NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool. Akua Nyame-Mensah 0:07 Welcome to the open door podcast. My name is Akua Nyame-Mensah. I also respond to Aqua and I'm a certified executive and leadership coach recognised facilitator and former sort of leader that loves supporting reluctant buyer fighting and overwhelmed leaders. I've worked with them to help them clarify where they should focus their time, and energy each and every day so that they can love themselves, love their work, and ultimately love their life. If you're looking to learn leadership information and hear different perspectives, you are in the right place. My aim in this podcast is to help you see that one of the most productive and profitable things you can do is deeply understand yourself. Understand how you show up, understand how you thrive, and allow yourself to align everything in your work in your life, and in your business to support that think of this podcast as your weekly opportunity to receive leadership support. And remember, there is no one right way to lead yourself or others. Thank you so much for taking the time to join me today. Let's get started. Hello, and welcome to this week's open door conversations podcast episode. I'm really excited because today I'm diving into executive and leadership coaching. But I'm be talking about it from the business side. I've had my business now for about four years. And one of the things that I've always been really, really interested in is understanding how to build a successful coaching consulting practice. As someone who comes from the startup space, one of the things that I was always told is scale, scale scale. And if you know anything about coaching, consulting, speaking and facilitating it's very difficult to scale because a lot of it is about that experience. So if you are interested in starting your own coaching consulting practice, whether full time or on the side, or you already have one and you're finding it difficult to get traction, right? You're finding it difficult to get clients consistently. I think this episode is going to give you a lot of perspective and be incredibly helpful. All right, so let's get into this episode. A few months ago, I conducted a survey for executive and leadership coaches, I wanted to be really specific and credibly niched, I do think a few people who weren't necessarily executive and leadership coaches, but provided consulting services also completed their survey. But ultimately, I've really been trying to get a better understanding of some of the things that individuals were struggling with. And I wanted to know whether or not they were struggling with some of the same things that I continue to struggle with. And that I struggled with when I first started. I've also and full honesty been trying to build a programme that would serve Coaches and Consultants. But that would also make sense financially and energetically, really be aligned with how I tend to show up and how I love to support others. So if you know anything about some of the work I've done over the last four years, I have put together in the past a LinkedIn programme that I really enjoyed doing. But it still wasn't enough. And so my hope was by conducting this survey, and by sharing a little bit more about what I'm looking to do, the environments I'm trying to create, the people I'm trying to serve, I will be able to build something that really is going to be co created, right, a container for coaches and consultants that is not only actionable, but provides real time advice, not just from me, but from other people that have supported me and other people I know that can support them to execute immediately and have that accountability that they really need. My inspiration is the support I wish I had I needed when I first started. So let's get into this survey. And before I begin, actually just one more thing, I want to just share a little bit more about my background. If this is your first time listening to my podcast, I want to share that I'm what you describe a classically, quote unquote trained international coaching Federation coach, I think I have an older podcast episode where I share more of my background. But it's more important just to keep that in mind as I talk through my perspective, because I definitely think how I was trained as a coach, and what I was told about how to build a coaching business will probably come through and those were both helpful and also limiting. There are so many different ways to become a coach. There's so many different ways to show up in a coach like fashion, but a lot of the questions that you might hear and the things that I talk to, I think are somewhat typical of coaches who've gone through some International Coach Federation coaching training programme. All right, so who are some of the types of coaches that participated in this survey? All of them were accomplished professionals. So some of them were C suite executive that turned to coaching or that continued to be executives but are considering becoming a coach right And so they're trying to figure out how to do it in a way that seamless. All of them have accomplished a lot in their personal life, but are looking for action oriented support to pivot into service based entrepreneurship. So as I mentioned before, it's something they want to do. It's something they're already doing. But they've actually already done a lot. So they have professional careers or had a professional career. Some of them started off in coaching as a side hustle, and then moved into it slowly full time. Others are still, as I mentioned, before, working full time, there were one or two people, I think there were also coaching within their organisation as well, which I think is incredible. Ultimately, these were people who were very, very, very good at what they are doing. And they are ambitious, but they also want to make sure that they're starting off on a good foot, or they are going to put their coaching and consulting practice on a good foot, and just really want to take action. And so I've found that the questions I got, and the support they felt they needed was around three basic areas. And a lot of this really resonated with me. Alright, so the first was really how to find insecure new paying clients. That was the number one sort of question I think that came through, there were different ways in which this was expressed. But I had several interviews, and ultimately, it came down to this. All right. The second thing is real time self management, and time management for entrepreneurs or service based entrepreneurs. And I think that this is simply just because so many of us get into, you know, coaching, consulting, and facilitating and speaking and training, because we really, really love helping and supporting others. And so that has an impact on how we show up. And sometimes we're not really good actually at setting boundaries. This last one is tried and tested business tools and resources for exponential results. I think there's so many different ways in which you can put yourself out there tools and resources you can leverage to build your business. And for some people, it can be very overwhelming. And that's one of the things that came through in the survey. Alright, so why are these important topics? Why are these topics? I think that executive and leadership coaches, honestly, anyone who's a service based entrepreneur, thought leader, you know, why are these important topics for them to keep in mind, and I truly think that these are three areas that any coach needs to be keeping in mind at all points in time, you can't necessarily work on all of them at the same time, but they're definitely things that you need to keep in mind. Alright, so let's get into it. So this first important topic of paying clients, this was definitely at the top of the list. Time and time again, I saw a lot of people talking about not getting traction, not knowing where to get clients, not knowing specifically how to get paying clients. And so once again, I think this speaks a little bit to sort of the ICF approach to coaching, where a big part of what we do to get credentialed is to take on clients, right, you actually have to get a seminar, a certain number of coaching hours. And so you might potentially downplay, or you might reduce the amount that you would ask in exchange for your coaching. And you maybe don't take the time to think about the implications of doing that, right. Because even if you are a coach, quote, unquote, and training, a non credentialed coach, that doesn't mean you aren't providing value. And so that's just something to keep in mind. And I know for some coaches specifically that go that path, it's really difficult for them to break out of that, that thought pattern that because they aren't credentialed, or because they don't have a certain number of hours that they can't charge a certain amount. And that's one of the things I love having conversations about. But back to paying clients. As I mentioned before, it was at the top of the list. And I think a lot of us are so heart centred, right? We get into this because we want to support others, we've seen how coaching can be so powerful, and we want to be able to bring that to others. And so we don't always think about the implications of our decisions around building our business around what we're investing in right around how much we want to exchange for supporting others, right. And many of us also are very passionate, you can probably tell by every time I put together my podcast, I'm recording it, I'm really excited. And that's because I'm really passionate about what I have to share. And I really love to share my perspective. And so because of that, right, we might not take the time to put together a business plan, right? We might not think through it right? There might not be anyone there to really hold us accountable in a way where we're making sure that we're setting goals that are achievable and realistic. And you know, we have an idea of how to go about doing this sustainably, right. Because a huge part about being able to find and secure new paying clients is having a system. Right. Another thing on here, I think that tends to happen and this is something that I definitely still struggle with is that our business is our identity almost right. You know, some people describe coaching as a lifestyle business. It technically could be I don't see it that way, necessarily, but you definitely can compete you know, you can expand and contract it, I guess a little bit easier than other businesses. But what that means is for some people that anything goes right there There's no boundaries. And so it becomes increasingly important if you want to be a successful executive and leadership coach, that you have an understanding of where you start and where you stop, okay? Ultimately, when it comes to think about when it comes to thinking about how to find and secure new paying clients, you need to charge a living wage, right, you need to take a second to really reflect on those decisions you're making around how much someone should invest in you, right, you need to charge your value. And you also need to show your value, right. So those are all pieces you need to keep in mind. And I think that successful coaches are able to master they evolve in this area, this is something that I'm also evolving in. And most importantly, you are able and you create the space to build a repeatable process, right, that can evolve over time, right? Because to make sure that you're constantly getting the clients, right, even if they're longer term, you still need to think about how are we going to make sure that you're adding value? How are you gonna be able to show them that value? Because a lot of what we do is so intangible. So that's probably the number one most important topic. I'd love to hear from you. Do you have any thoughts around this? Is this something that you struggle with? Let me know, because it's something I like to think about a lot. It's something that I think about a lot. And the way in which my business is sort of shaped right, my business model, I sort of have three different parts to it. And that's just because I love having different things to do. And it sort of works out because they, they help to sort of balance this portfolio approach I'm taking to my business. But that's really the top one that I hear from a lot of people, and especially as it relates to having the time to find those clients. And so it's a really great topic to think about whether you have, you know, a business, you're doing full time, or it's something you're doing on the side. So let's get to the second one, because I think the second one is really where I love to spend a lot of my time for those of you who know my work, I talk a lot about time management, I talk about productivity, ultimately, it's about energy management. But this was really the second probably most important topic that came up in the surveys, and the few interviews that I did, knowing where to spend our time and energy is important, especially if we're working primarily for ourselves, right? If you are doing coaching or consulting on the side, right, being able to have that balance so that you still have free time, right, you still have time to reflect is going to be key as well, right? As I mentioned before, a lot of us are very heart centred. So sometimes we put our client's needs first. And that's not really helpful. Those of you once again, who come from a background maybe a little bit more similar to our to mine, right, we might actually end up spending way too much time improving our coaching skills, instead of building a business. And let me be clear, I think that ongoing training is incredibly important. There are parts of my business, right, where I actually go out of my way to partner with organisations where I will get feedback on my coaching and facilitation. But it's really important that you can pay for your lifestyle, right, it's really important that you can pay for electricity, and the internet that's going to allow you to connect with others who can give you that feedback. And so if you realise that that equation of amount of time going into proving your coaching skills, is not balancing with how much you're getting back in terms of the coaching that you're doing, and whatever, you know, financial return you get, you might want to look at that equation again. And that's once again, something that I love to remind individuals that are within more of that ICF space, right. And that's the space I also find myself in I get a lot of value from, but it's really important to recognise that it is not a direct correlation, right? Improving your coaching skills does not mean that you're going to get paying clients, it is not a simple one direct ratio. And it's something that everyone needs to keep in mind. Whatever coaching, training, mentorship, training, credential area that you come from, it's not a one to one, it can be helpful if you're able to talk about it and leverage it appropriately. That's another thing, right? And that, once again, comes within that paying clients element. And it's something once again, I'm also trying to get better at talking about why my credential can be helpful, and why my credential makes me a more effective and efficient coach. Alright, so when it comes to thinking about time and self management, and you can probably tell that I'm quite passionate about it, right? Because this is where I spend a lot of my time, you know, what you really are asking, and what I think successful coaches and consultants are able to do is build the boundaries, build a schedule, build processes, and delegate appropriately, if necessary, that allow them to show up. And this next word is something that is maybe a little controversial, but as it relates to the work I do of speaking and facilitating it is a performance. So it's allowing you to show up, perform and get the rest you deserve. And ultimately because we're not robots, the rest that you need. Okay, so that's that time and self management piece that any coach consultant needs to be able to master and that's something that I definitely saw come through in the survey results that I got and the conversations that I had. Alright, so let's get to this Last one, and I really love this last one, because I'm someone who will try everything. So in terms of this last sort of pain point, this last thing that came through was a question actually around overwhelm, right? Information overload, right? There is so much to choose from in terms of business tools and resources. So how do you know where to start? How do you know what's going to work for you? And so if once again, if you know anything about the work I've done in the past, I, one of the things that I put together was a LinkedIn course. And that just simply came from people asking me, how do I, you know, stay consistent. And once again, I think we all define consistency in different ways. And that's one of the things I teach. But how do I stay consistent and create, you know, content on LinkedIn specifically, right in a way where I actually don't have to spend that much time on LinkedIn day to day. And right and there through that programme, I share how to use a specific platform, I share the tools and resources that I leveraged in order to do that. So it's something I love to do. And I think it relates a lot to my interest in energy, time and self management a lot. But ultimately, right in terms of the questions that I saw about where should they start? What do they need to invest in? Do they need a website? Do they need, you know, an email list? Should they be on LinkedIn, and tick tock and all these things, as you can tell, it can be quite overwhelming, and it is overwhelming. And that's why having those boundaries can be incredibly important. And why making sure that you're surrounding yourself with different coaches who've tried different things and experts who can support you, and also help you make an informed decision becomes increasingly important. The long and short of it is you don't need everything. I know coaches who have built a version of their business, right, so what they define as success without a website without leveraging LinkedIn without ever being on Tik Tok. And one of the things I was actually talking to someone yesterday about was that I doubt I'll ever be on Tik Tok. Most of my work currently is b2b and probably will stay b2b. So you should also think about your tools and resources you leverage in relation to the types of people you're trying to attract. Right. So when I'm relation to that first sort of challenge or topic that I talked about in relation to where your new clients, right, your new paying clients are coming from potentially. And what I think is so interesting is that I've tried a lot, I've tried a lot of different things for free that I've paid. And I think one of the things that successful executive and leadership coaches are able to do is they're really able to think about what is it that I'm really trying to solve, right? What is truly the problem, and they've learned how to say no, and know when to try something new, right? They're not constantly just trying new things, just for the sake of it, they have an issue, they have a challenge. And they've done a bit of research, or they've reached out to the right people to get an idea of what might make the most sense, in order to fix that challenge or issue that they have, right? What is that tool or resource that's going to do it. And as I talk about resource, right, it might actually be a human being right, it really might be a human being. So those are really the three areas that I think any successful leadership and executive coach needs to spend a bit of time on. First and foremost, just to recap, you know, that element of how to find and secure new paying clients. So making sure that there is a repeatable process that works and that it's also something that will evolve the second real time and self management, sorry, real time and self management for entrepreneurs, and making sure that they have boundaries as scheduled processes that allow them to show up and perform and also get the rest they deserve. And then last but not least, tried and tested business tools and resources that lead to exponential results, right. So investing in this one thing will give you access to 10 more clients, who will give you 10x visibility, and really just recognising that there are a lot of elements out there that will do that. But you need to know about them and take the time to learn about them and think about right, how it's going to be able to support you and whatever business goals that you have. Alright, so that's I think, all I wanted to share today. And maybe I'll just end by sharing a little bit more about what I'm looking to create. You know, so the idea really, is that based on the survey results, I'm putting together something right, I'm putting together a container that is going to support coaches, whether they're first time coaches, coaches who are doing this on the side, people who have a coaching consulting practice, but want the strategies, resources at connections and networking opportunities, as well as a content library full of workshops, right? All the things right to really help them to start taking action and be held accountable. So at this time, I'm actually looking for beta members, because this is going to be a community. You know, I really want coaches to be able to join every 90 days that means that they can come in learn new approaches to finding new clients, learn new approaches to time management, learn new approaches to business tools, or the types of business tools they can leverage and the resources they can leverage to get those results that they're looking for. and they can sign up every 90 days to do that. So people are welcome to stay for the entire year, people are welcome to come hang out for 90 days and really make the most of it and get access right to the experts and get access to the content that came previously even if they're joining at a later date. So if that sounds interesting to you, and you want to learn a little bit more, I'll make sure that I leave a link in the show notes and you can put your name on the waitlist, I'll be reaching out to everyone individually to have a conversation, whether it's in the DMS or actually you know, over zoom because I want to make sure that this container is truly co created and will really make sense to you. Alright, so as always, thank you so much for taking the time to listen, I really look forward to hearing from you and your thoughts on some of the things I've shared about being a successful executive and leadership coach. I'd really would love to support you if that's something that you're looking for. Thank you again, stay safe, and stay safe. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to today's episode. If you enjoyed what you heard today, please share it with your friends. We can continue this conversation on social media the links to my socials so that is LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. You can find them in the show notes. If you tagged me in a story and include the hashtag hashtag ask Akua I will share a special little gift with you. Thank you so much once again for your time and I cannot wait to share my next episode with you stay safe and sane.