How To Make Hiring An Executive Or Business Coach Affordable
You’ve heard great things from multiple people about the value they are getting from working with their executive or business coach. You’ve accepted that having your own professional coach is a good idea. You’ve even been introduced to a great coach and you’re satisfied that you would benefit from working with that coach. However, you’re having trouble justifying the outlay required to hire a high-quality coach. The dilemma – what to do next…?
Why Is Coaching So Expensive?
A year-long coaching program typically costs $10,000-30,000; depending on the experience of the coach and the intensity of the program you undertake, which is primarily driven by how frequently sessions occur and the duration of each of those sessions.
The common automatic and unconscious way people would typically relate to the idea of hiring a coach is that it involves adding another cost line to their monthly budget. Be it your personal budget, your business’s budget or your employer’s budget, it is normal to worry about whether an investment of that magnitude is worth it.
However, well-designed coaching interventions are directly linked to positive impacts on business results. Coaching consistently delivers a positive return on investment, when facilitated by a professional coach who understands how to help clients translate their often intangible aspirations into more concrete and tangible program objectives. This occurs during the first stage of a coaching partnership, often called “the contracting phase”.
It is important to understand that quality professional coaches, who are strong leaders themselves, have made a conscious decision to spend part or all of their time fostering the accelerated development of others. A 1-to-1 format limits their overall earning potential, relative to other career opportunities they could be pursuing but they feel called to serve in supporting the growth of other leaders.
However, what users of coaching don’t see is the extensive work that goes on invisibly behind the scenes.
“Even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford.”
– Cindy Crawford
When I first saw this quote many years ago, it made me laugh out loud. It reminds me of what it takes to be a masterful coach.
Did you ever notice how your coach always seems calm, centred, energised and delighted to see you? Many coaches practise extreme self-care. They take time out to prepare and savour high-quality, nutritious food. They get enough sleep. They drink lots of water. They have most of their weekends off. They take regular holidays. They consistently work on their own ongoing professional development to ensure that they keep evolving faster than their clients and continue to be of service to them in the years to come. They get peer coaching, mentoring and supervision to process their own experiences in life. They model work-life balance – one of the things you’re hoping to get out of coaching, right?
Great coaches also have a support team working behind the scenes: scheduling and rescheduling sessions, and taking care of all the administrivia that goes with running a small business.
And how do great coaches consistently come up with those provocative, laser-like questions that stop you in your tracks? They are thinking about you between sessions and on their morning walk. They are reviewing and assessing your progress. They are strategising about what’s around the next corner you’re about to turn into. They are writing materials to help you achieve more during your program.
Given the sizeable investment required to collaborate with a coaching pro, what can you do to make hiring an executive or business coach more affordable?
The Top 5 Ways To Afford Coaching
If price is holding you back from getting started with the right coach, here are some initial ideas to help overcome your financial obstacles and get comfortable betting on yourself through investing in professional coaching:
- Prove The Business Case
Does your prospective coach offer casual sessions? If you’re nervous about “letting go” and committing to a year-long engagement, purchase one or more single sessions or a short-term program for direct assistance from your coach to establish the business case and numerically validate the return on investment proposition before you commit to it. This can help your employer and/or other stakeholders understand and rationalise this proposed investment in your personal and professional development.
- Allow The Government To Sponsor Your Development
Whilst there are government grants and other financial support available to businesses that want to use professional coaching, I’m referring herein to the opportunity of claiming professional development expenses as tax deductions in your personal or business tax return. If you would like to know more, we would be happy to explain this in further detail during a complimentary initial consultation.
- What Are You Willing To Give Up In Order To Get What You Want?
If you’re not sure how you could afford coaching, would you consider asking for some coaching on that? Business and executive coaches are astute when it comes to analysing personal and business budgets and identifying opportunities that reduce waste and improve profitability. They are also able to help clients understand their true assets and how to profit from them. Some of those savings or additional profit streams could be reinvested into professional coaching, to achieve further gains. Professional coaches who operate according to a code of conduct won’t recommend coaching to you or your organisation if they can’t establish how coaching will create more value than it will consume.
- Bring A Bigger Objective To Your Coaching Program
If you’re forecasting a 10% growth in revenue or a 5% growth in profit over the year ahead, would you consider increasing those to a 20% growth in revenue or a 10% growth in profit? Some professional coaches have experience catalysing rapid, non-linear growth strategies. Even a 1% increase in revenue above your current plan is likely to cover your program fees and still leave additional money on the table.
- Sometimes, It Is Not Really About The Money
Over the years I have had several people arrive at the following conclusion after our initial consultation:”I am not sure I can afford hiring a coach but I am not sure I can afford not hiring one either”.There are times when the value proposition of professional coaching goes beyond financial considerations, or when people know things need to change but feel stuck. They feel impotent in the face of a real or imagined challenge, and overwhelmed by what a situation demands of them. Managers are human, after all.
It’s ok to simply surrender to accepting professional assistance as a leader. It involves trust and letting go… in order to let it come. It’s ok to entrust yourself and your development into a good pair of hands to discover what comes next.
These are just five examples of ways to make hiring an executive coach affordable.
Uncover more of the ways nLIVEn helps clients invest into executive and business coaching through a free strategy session call (valued at $395).
The nLIVEn promise:
“Bring us your biggest executive career or business problem and we’ll show you how to solve it – free of charge – in just 30 minutes.”
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