Today is my one-year anniversary of being a certified coach. On June 6, 2014, I became a certified professional coach through New Ventures West, and was set off on a whole new adventure.
My business and my life have changed dramatically. I went from a decade as a user experience practitioner serving businesses exclusively to now serving individuals and teams as a coach focused on user experience, leadership, career and personal development. I went from helping companies solve their problems to now helping them solve the thinking that created the problems in the first place. I went from being a sometimes mentor sporadically giving advice to now being a long-term coach supporting people as they go through intense periods of change.
No more deliverables. No more deadlines. No more dull.
Every day is filled with client sessions, by phone or video chat, as we work through their roadblocks, their blind spots, and their misconceptions of others and themselves. Some of my clients opt for only two sessions — the shot in the arm they need to bolster themselves for an upcoming event. Most of my clients opt for a 6-month coaching engagement, with biweekly sessions, a custom coaching program that I design, my recommendations for practices and exercises, portfolio and résumé review, and additional resources that provide the ongoing support they need to see them through a long-overdue change in their mindset and behavior. All of my clients want someone to listen, and I’m honored to be the compassionate witness to their personal and professional growth, passion and determination to create something meaningful in the world — for themselves, their families, and their communities.
During my year-long coaching certification program, I coached 6 wonderful clients each for 6-month engagements as I learned the New Ventures West methodology and began to develop into a coach. In the last year since my coaching certification, I have been a coach to an additional 50 people. I’m flabbergasted even as I write it now. Here’s how it breaks down:
- 14 individual clients who paid out-of-pocket for private coaching, 10 of whom had 6-month coaching engagements
- 6 individual clients whose employers paid for private coaching, all of whom had 6-month coaching engagements
- 30 group coaching clients, 22 of whom also received private coaching (3 months on average)
What feels even more amazing than the sheer number of clients I’ve been able to serve is how many have wanted to continue working with me after completing their coaching programs:
- 3 of my original 6 (during certification), re-upped with me for second 6-month coaching engagements after my certification was complete
- 4 of my individual coaching clients also signed up for my group coaching programs
- 3 of my corporate clients re-signed agreements for me to continue my coaching, as well as having me coach other people in their organizations
- An additional 5 clients re-upped with me for more sessions once our initial programs were complete
That’s a 27% repeat client rate overall, a 50% repeat with corporate clients and a 40% repeat with individual clients. It means so much to be able to provide them with the support and guidance they need, value, and trust.
Read some of their stories here.
In the coming year, I hope to continue my existing group coaching programs, develop new programs (hint: already in the works), and attract even more participants into each round. I hope to coach more corporate clients, both individuals across the organization and teams doing meaningful work. And I hope to continue the deeply fulfilling coaching relationships with private individuals who surprise and impress me every single session.
Who knows what the next year will bring — I never saw this coming! Thank you to my wonderful clients for their trust and hard work. Thank you to my New Ventures West family for the education, support and personal development that has enabled me to make this shift and allows me to do great work every day. And most of all, thank you to my amazing partner Fredrick, my family and friends, for believing in me, telling me I’ve always been a coach, and not thinking I was crazy when I told them I wanted to give up a lucrative business for a more meaningful, more fulfilling, greater impact, and potentially even more lucrative one.
With utmost gratitude,