Invest in Yourself: the benefits of coaching

Have you used or thought about using the services of a coach, either in your personal or business life?  During our time working freelance we have both benefitted from coaching. It took Nicola a while to realise that there could be benefits from investing in a coach.  But since this she has drawn on coaching through on-line and group support. The impetus for the coaching was to explore self and work development.  The benefits included increased self-confidence, self-belief and decisions about future direction of work.  Kate called on the services of Karen Foyster coaching to help unpick some decision about the future of her working patterns.

In this blog we hand over the floor to Karen who has kindly agreed to share her thoughts on the help coaching can offer to the frazzled freelancer.

Why might a freelancer need a coach?

People seek coaching for lots of reasons and no two people are the same.  But from my experience of coaching people who work on their own (such as freelancers) there are often some similarities in the circumstances that bring them to coaching. 

Im not sure how Ive ended up here – I’ve never really had a plan”

Many of us don’t really know how we’ve got to where we are – which often means we don’t know where we’re going next either.

“I feel stuck”

There are lots of reasons that we can feel stuck.  Things might be going well but we might be in a pattern of delivery with the same sort of client or work that doesn’t interest us as much as it used to.  Or we can lack courage to make the changes that we know need making.

“I’m not enjoying what I’m doing.  I’ve lost my motivation”

When we work on our own and our motivation disappears it can be hard to get moving.  Understanding ‘why’ is the key.  Is what you are doing still right for you?   Just because something worked for you once it doesn’t mean its always going to work for you.

“I’m having a crisis of confidence”

We might have a new client or start a different piece of work that we’re not used to.  Or perhaps something didn’t go well and we’re not sure why or we’re finding it difficult to recover from it.   When things like that happen we forget the things we’re good at and the things that have gone well for us in the past.

“There’s no line between work and the rest of my life”

Our boundaries can get blurred.  Trying to keep all the balls in the air in life and at work can be exhausting.   We want to do it all.  Usually the answer is about making good habits and learning to do less rather than more.  I’ve worked hard at setting good boundaries but I still have to pay attention to it.

“I know what I want to do but I can’t seem to make it happen”

Who helps or encourages you to make your ideas a reality?  Some of us are good at being accountable to ourselves, others need some external accountability.

“I want to spend some time working ‘on’ my business and not just ‘in’ it”

Ideally we should all be in this position but too often our focus is on delivery.  Coaching can also help when things are going well – for instance using the coaching space to develop new ideas, horizon scan or future proof, or make long term plans.  Business buddies or mentors can also help with this one.

What could coaching give me that I don’t already have?

Coaching helps you to stop, think, reflect and explore.  It provides a space that is safe, open, honest and free from judgement but with constructive challenge and support.  It helps you get out of your own head.

As a client said of her coaching experience –

“How do I know what I think until I hear what I say?”

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