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How To Hire a Coach, Mentor Or Program (Part I)

I sat there with my head coming up with hundreds of reasons not to do it.

I don’t have the money.
I haven’t paid rent this month.
I’m barely making ends meet now.

It was a winner-takes-all tug of war between my head and my heart, between intuition and logic and between a do-it-now mentality or a sit back and wait.

And yet, I was sitting there and committing to investing in a coaching program to the tune of $20,000. At the time, this number seemed so large it may as well been referring to Japanese yen.

(It’s one of those times where you can’t quite grasp the number, as it doesn’t fit your current model of reality.)

But it felt right, and my heart knew this would be a transformative moment in my life. A defining one —one where I was leaving the ordinary world behind in Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.

But I was still terrified.

how to hire a coach

SO, WHAT IS COACHING AND WHO IS IT FOR?

If we’re going to spend some time together on the topic of how to hire a coach —it’s imperative we define what coaching is, who it’s for, how it differs from therapy, and breakthrough the common myths.

So, who is coaching for and how do you know it’s for you?

Simple: coaching is about increasing your performance in life, business, relationships, and/or your spiritual life.

Specifically, a coaching experience is about:

Helping identify the blind spots you and I can’t see
Creating an energetic container to achieve breakthrough
Helping release blocks and mindset patterns in the way
Developing confidence and capability in any area of life

Coaching is about increasing your performance in life, business, relationships, and/or your spiritual life.

Furthermore, a great coaching experience allows you to collapse the time it takes to achieve results —leaning on the coaches experience and expertise to help you be more efficient.

Lastly, coaching is about perspective. Often, we get caught up in the way we see the world and the challenges we face —coaching opens this world up and allows us to look at things differently.

So if you’re:

Wanting to level up a specific area of your life
Tired of repeating the same patterns and results
Wanting to achieve certain results in much less time

…then coaching is definitely for you.

The truth is: coaching is for everyone —most people simply either aren’t willing to ask for help or committed enough in themselves and their dreams to make it happen.

Before we get rocking, let’s explore the difference between coaching and therapy to ensure you don’t make a mistake for your specific needs.

COACHING OR THERAPY?

With so many available options, I must make this point to ensure you make the best decision as I’m often asked:

How do I know if I need a therapist or a coach?

Simple: therapy is about healing the past, while coaching is improving performance today and in the future.

Notice the difference?

So if you’re dealing with emotional trauma, abuse, hurt, pain, divorce —see a therapist. The truth is, we all have some emotional trauma and seeing a therapist can benefit us all.

But there’s a stark difference between the two. I’ve experienced this first hand in my coaching career, where I took on clients that truly should have seen therapists.

It didn’t end well. I wasn’t qualified, and we were both frustrated that despite using techniques showing results in thousands of people —they still couldn’t get out of their own way.

Trauma is trauma, and even today in my coaching sessions I can help identify issues in the past, but refer people to others who spend their time there.

Now that we’ve defined who coaching is for, let’s identify the common myths in the world of coaching.

MYTH 1: THERE IS A RIGHT TIME TO HIRE A COACH

“I’m all in, but I’ll start next quarter when life is less busy.
“I’m ready, but let’s start in a few months so I’m ready.
“I’m interested, but I need some time to make more money.

Facepalm.

These are common excuses I hear from people who let themselves off the hook to not hire a coach, mentor or program. This brings us to the first myth: there is a perfect time to hire a coach.

The truth is: most people wait way too long to make the bold decision —because hiring a coach means your dreams are on the line and there’s nowhere to run, hide or escape.

Hiring a coach takes courage and is not always easy.

When I plunked down $20,000 in the story above —it was both a powerful moment and one of the hardest moments of courage I’d ever experienced.

In the face of this, waiting seems like a great idea.

But here’s the problem: waiting never works out, and if you feel pulled today —do whatever you can to act on it. Because as time passes, your enthusiasm for your dreams will start to fade until you wake up one day and it’s gone.

coaching tommy baker

MYTH 2: AS YOU SUCCEED, YOU DON’T NEED A COACH

Once you experience success, you’ll need less coaching —right?

Wrong. In reading Andre Agassi’s astounding biography, Open, it was incredible to see at the peak of his career how much coaching he was surrounded by.

Or simply look at an A-level actor or athlete —as they progress in their career, their support system increases, not decreases.

Look at an NFL Quarterback who is in the fraction of a smaller fraction of elite performers: they have a Quarterbacks coach, a Head Coach, countless trainers and specialists and usually mindset and performance coaches.

Why? Because as we grow and expand, our blind spots because more costly. Furthermore, there are usually fewer people around us who can see the nuances we’re missing…and this becomes priceless.

Now, does that mean you’ll always have a coach? For me, the answer is yes, but you can have periods of downtime as you evolve and grow.

As we grow and expand, our blind spots become more costly.

MYTH 3: ALL COACHES ARE THE SAME

We’ll cover this in Part II, but often people will lump coaches into one category —and think they’re all the same.

This is how you end up in a coaching experience or program that’s out of alignment. We’re going to break down the four types of coaches (informational, motivational, inspirational, and transformational) soon — but it’s important to get specific about what you really need.

Making matters more complex is the following: what you believe you need and what you really need aren’t always the same.

This is where getting honest about where you’re at is crucial to maximize your success in any experience.

MYTH 4: ONCE YOU HIRE A COACH, RESULTS ARE GUARANTEED

You did it. You swiped the card, paid the investment and now you’re going to make it rain, right? Not quite. While investing in yourself and hiring a coach is a great first step…

It’s still only a first step. Often, I’ll see people join a program and expect everything to change overnight.

It doesn’t work this way. Hiring a coach means now it’s time to do the serious work, and put yourself on the line by radically shifting your mindset and behavior.

Predictably, this is uncomfortable. Yet, it’s required to endure long lasting results and making sure you maximize the coaching experience.

(Insider’s secret: even the best coaches and programs have people who joined and did nothing. This is not a testament to them, it’s simply human behavior in action.)

MYTH 5: COACHES ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS

The whole point of hiring a coach, mentor or program is to have them tell you all the answers, right? Not always. Great coaches, in my experience —do have a wealth of knowledge to share with the world.

And yet, a brilliant coach doesn’t simply give you the answers. He or she creates an energetic container designed to ask powerful questions where you come up with the answers.

This creates a deep trust and self confidence lasting much longer than any coaching experience —which is what I am to do with my clients. Once my clients have hired me, I love working with them again —but I also know they’re much more equipped because I didn’t provide them with all the answers.

On top of this, it’s important to note that coaches won’t do the work for you.

A coach can’t do your daily morning routine.
A coach can’t force you to sit down and focus.
A coach can’t hold your hand during a sales process.

What I mean by this is simple: it’s up to you, and you wouldn’t want it any other way. Be wary of a coach who tried to do too much —they may not be confident in their ability to deliver.

Now, let’s examine why hiring a coach can and will change your life.

WHY HIRING A COACH WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

I had never put myself on the line the way I did, and none of the countless books, YouTube videos or affirmations could light a candle to the feeling when I committed.

It was the bold leap that changed my life like nothing I’d ever experienced before.

Without knowing how I was going to do it, I stepped into truly believing in myself and my dreams at the time.

We can all say we truly believe, but where we place our most valued resources tells a deeper story:

Where we invest our time.
Where we invest our focus.
Where we invest our energy.
Where we invest our money.

That moment for me was defining. Just 4.5 weeks later, I launched a brand new offering in my fitness business at the time and collected $55,000.

In one day.

This is what coaching does: it makes what we believe to be impossible, now possible. Because if you’d told me I was going to bring in $55,000 in one day, I’d say you were out of your mind.

But here’s the truth:

Without investing in myself, I don’t allow myself to experience the uncomfortable (and yet, incredible) possibility of bringing in the revenue for my business.

Coaching makes us believe what’s impossible…is now possible.

HOW TO HIRE A COACH, MENTOR OR PROGRAM

During this series, How To Hire a Coach, Mentor Or Program —we’re going to deep dive into the art and science of making a committed decision. The coaching industry has exploded to the tune of over $1 Billion per year and growing.

Consider this the introduction and Part I, and here’s what to expect with the rest of the series.

(Note: I’ll update the links as these are published.)

In Part II,  we’re going to reveal the different types of coaches —including informational, motivational, inspirational and transformational. I’ll share the key distinctions and how to ensure you get what you’re looking for when making a decision.

In Part III, I’m going to go deep on the common excuses holding most people back from getting started —and why these keep 99% of people spinning their wheels.

In Part IV, I’m going to share how to maximize your experience and have the highest probability of success. This includes both leading coaching experiences and being part of them —with what it will truly take to succeed.

Along the way, I’ll be sharing best practices, insider secrets, and so much more.

The mission of this series is to educate, inform and empower you to make a bold decision.

Make no mistake: hiring a coach is not for the faint of heart, but if you do it right —there may be nothing as transformative.

I’m biased, of course, but coaching has shifted every part of my life and I would not be experiencing the life I am today without its incredible power.

And I want you to experience the same.

Any questions so far? Stay tuned for the next parts of this series.

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Written by Tommy Baker.
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