5-essential-coaching-stepsBeing a successful life coach or business coach is within your grasp. Read on!

So what is it exactly that separates you from the life coaches or business coaches you see being more successful than you?

While you may think that successful coaches are such because they have some advantage over you – think again. Sure, it happens sometimes that a business coach has the right connections and almost falls into success. Or that a life coach just finds the perfect niche market that’s been waiting to be lead.

But most of the time their success came because of a few simple principles that they practice in their business every day. None of these are difficult to learn. None of them are difficult to do. Yet each of the five steps I list below are essential to having success as a coach. Follow them and you’ll find that you’ll accomplish more than you probably thought was possible!

Step One: Keep your eye on the goal

You know how it goes. Let’s say you develop and market a new coaching program for your clients. When you start, you’re filled with enthusiasm. But time passes and while you’re still happy about the project, but you start noticing the difficult things.   More time passes and you're no longer enthusiastic at all. However, you keep going because you know it has potential. Finally, you start to question why the heck you are doing this in the first place. Then it happens.   A new coaching project pops up. You feel excitement start to build again, but for this new project instead of your current one. You decide this one will be MUCH better, and jump ship to pursue this new, exciting opportunity. Sound familiar?

Fortunately, there is an easy remedy for this. Commitment!

I know, that seems too simple, but it's true. Setting clear, realistic goals is essential to your coaching success. As is being committed to completing the journey whatever it takes. If you continually bail out on your goals, you are training yourself to believe that your goals are not important. And as your goals seem less important, you will be tempted to quit before you even start. Instead, set daily reminders about your goals so they stay fresh in your mind and you will stay encouraged to achieve them. Make the resolve to finish what you start – no matter what – and you will be shocked at how much you can accomplish!

Step Two: Manage your work efficiently and don’t procrastinate

If I could only tell you one thing about how to manage your coaching workload, it would be to make a plan and stick to it as much as possible! Proper planning is the key to saving time and getting things done. Without a plan you’ll find that days and weeks go by without you accomplishing much of your goals. Usually your work will suffer. And I guarantee you without good planning your coaching practice will suffer. So prepare ahead of time, ideally the night before. Make a prioritized list of things that need to be done on a day to day basis and resolve to finish those tasks no matter what!

For some people, completing all the tasks on their prioritized list will be easy. However, others may run into procrastination issues. Why do people procrastinate?   Often times, they are trying to avoid a difficult task. It's no secret that tasks that take longer are less desirable than those that can be completed quickly.

Many people decide to do desirable tasks first, regardless of how important these tasks are. The problem with this is that people sometimes fall into the trap of unconsciously allowing themselves to be consumed by enjoyable “busywork” instead of more important tasks.

Making a resolve to finish the biggest, most important tasks first (enjoyable or not!) will give you a sense of accomplishment that will make the other tasks on your list seem like a breeze. Do this, and you will keep procrastination at bay!

However, others procrastinate for deeper reasons. Sometimes procrastination is due to fear of failure. No one wants to be embarrassed by a lack of knowledge or skills, so it's easy to try to avoid doing those tasks that make you afraid or uncomfortable. However, it's important to realize that motivation comes from within. Coming to grips with personal issues is the first step in realizing why you procrastinate. Once you do so, you can start taking steps to chance.

Step Three: Learn from criticism

Let's face it, it can be hard to hear someone tells us our faults as a coach. But criticism can be much more useful than you may think. If you take the time to listen and evaluate various criticisms, you’ll often find the keys to reaching your full potential as a life coach.

It really is in your best interest to accept the criticism, apply the suggestions, and grow throughout the process instead of allowing yourself to become defensive or upset. I’m not suggesting it’s always easy to do. I struggle with certain types of criticism myself. And none of us like to hear what’s ‘wrong’ with us or our coaching practices. But if you can wade through the difficulty and adapt to the feedback, you will find jewels hidden in the mix.

By learning to accept criticism, you will see yourself grow in ways you never thought possible.

Step Four: Keep a positive outlook

In order to achieve success as a coach, a holistic practitioner or any other sort of service provider, you need to think positively about yourself and your chances for success. Many coaches mistakenly believe that being positive and thinking optimistically is just part of someone's personality – either you're born an optimist or you're not! But this isn’t true at all. Optimism is an acquired habit. It’s a skill that can be learned and developed – and then used to motivate your and your coaching practice forward.

In order to become optimistic and motivated, you need to become conscious of  ‘that little voice inside.’ I’m not being smug here. You know the voice. You even could tell me what it says to you sometimes. And I know you’ve pushed it away whenever it made you feel weak or small.

But now it’s time to listen to what it says in situations. Catch yourself saying something about what’s going on. If it’s negative,  immediately stop and put a positive spin on it. So a negative thought like “I don’t know how to market my coaching practice” could be changed into “I can learn how to market my coaching practice.” Try doing this for a month, and I think you will be absolutely amazed at how energized you are about not only your work, but your life in general!

Step Five: Leave time each day for reflection

This is way more important than it sounds. Self evaluation and self reflection is something every coach, every healer and every business owner should be doing on a daily basis. How else can you know whether your day was efficient and successful?

And since it’s so easy to get caught up in the motions of ‘go to work, see clients, come home,’ you want to do something to breakdown the monotony on it. You need to break the patterns of ineffectiveness to create more effectiveness – lack of success to create more success. Truly successful life coaches and business coaches know that reflection is one of the best ways to keep yourself on the fast track to success.

Try this exercise:

At the end of the day, try to reflect back on the hardest part of the day, then ask yourself the following questions:

  • What did I learn from that experience that will help me in the future?
  • How can I that experience to help improve myself or my future?
  • How can I do better next time around?

And really be honest with yourself. If you’ve been screwing off, then admit it to yourself. Then go back through each step and take something you can do from each. Just remember that there is always room to learn and to grow into greater and greater levels of success. Your self reflection time will pay huge dividends in your coaching and your personal life. Not bad when one thing can reach many aspects of your life. Just remember to do it daily – even if only 5 minutes.

To sum up, being a success coach is really not a mystery – not at all. These 5 steps are a beginning. And, they’re a powerful beginning. There’s enough in these 5 steps to double your business in the next 12 months. I’m not kidding about that. You just have to do the steps, use them – apply them to the best of your ability. If you miss a day, then miss the day and start again the next. But don’t leave them behind.

Here’s to all the success you could ever want.

I’d love to hear what you’re doing now as a coach to create the success you want. Something? Nothing? You have no idea?

Let’s talk about!

note: image from m4r00n3d on Flickr, some rights reserved)

Reader Interactions


  1. uk website design company says

    hi dawud

    i think when i read this i go back 2 years when i used to think the same way and its right.. but when passed, i realized that even though all these things are very important, but getting work , good clients , good service depends a lot on your staff and in some way fate as well.. i really do believe in fate…there were days when i used to work so hard and no work and somedays i didnt even come to work and got so much work online or via emails.. i agree , you have to be positive all the time but in practical life , to earn you have to be clever, shroud and sometimes a dumboo..

  2. Detroit Website Design says

    Excellent points. I find the ones that most people struggle with are keeping a positive outlook and accepting and learning from criticism. I find that surrounding myself with positive people and learning to start out by accepting criticism by asking people for it is the best way to get started on those.

  3. Tips tinggi badan says

    I admit, you are very experienced in the “miracle” of this.
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  4. Watch the losers online says

    Another great article. I’d have to say my favorite point was when you said ‘Proper planning is the key to saving time and getting things done.’ I couldn’t agree more. Without a plan it is very hard to make any progress and keep yourself on track. Once you have a fairly detailed plan, you can divide your time up properly, and make sure to have extra time for all the “extra” things that come up every day.

  5. Wisconsin fireworks stores says

    Coaching method is partly about you and the kind of coach you are. It’s also about working to sound coaching principles. The first and most important is that the coach is there to assist the learning, development and change of the other via facilitated discovery and not by ‘tell’

  6. Crime Scene Cleanup Phoenix Arizona says

    Great post! I agree with a previous response that these are great steps for life as well. I think the most important thing about being a good “coach” is consistency. If you are the best coach in the world, but only for a few months, its kind of worthless.

  7. Gino @ Detox says

    I can see a great coach on you. I would like to add 2 more points to this post for a successful coach
    1. Dedication
    2. Friendly with team management and team members

    Thanks for the post.Looking forward for more posts.

  8. Young says

    I think you just get it. Though let me in addition add a point.

    In modern business training society, there is a clear division between coach and mentor. I think it is completely wrong. A great coach is the one who is mentor at the same time. It is all about psychology and connection between people.

    So my point is:

    1. Go personal like mentors do

    And again thanks for making me think of it!

  9. Poems says

    I am of the opinion that one of the most important points about being a good coach is to be loyal and consistent. Furthermore a good coach has to be an intellectual person who has a positive and strong attitude.

    I think a good coach does not have to be perfect. It’s clear that everybody has his / her weaknesses. So for a good coach it turns out to be essential that he or she can overcome his weaknesses and fears.

  10. Watch The Losers Online says

    You know, that exercise actually really made an impact. Admitting that you’ve been slacking is a really good way to wisen up and see that you need to work more.

  11. Nutrition Degree says

    My hardest are steps 2 and 3. Motivation can play a large role in how diligent and organized I am. As for criticism, it mostly depends on presentation. I’m a bit defensive when I perceive it as an attack, but if I manage to detach myself and see that they are giving me information that could improve me, I’m much more receptive.

  12. 12 month car leasing says

    I love your post. I think life experience is the key of becoming a better person. Nice exercise, I agree with reflection really makes us realized the good and the bad things we did.

  13. Cheap House Holiday Accommodation in cape town says

    I think positive thing is the most important thing to achieve your goal…. and i really believe in it…. and even your post was great. i think it ll really help me a lot… thank you so much…

  14. Naples 5k Races says

    Working efficiently is my favorite step! I think it doesn’t matter how hard you work, if you don’t do it in a timely manner, then you are wasting time. Great article!

  15. Active English Training says

    The five steps that you have designed are amazingly easy to integrate and apply. As an English coach, I am definitely going to add those to my arsenal. Procrastination was such a part of my life before because I didn’t know what to do and what you are saying in this ticket is in tune with reality. Especially that part about being able to accept criticism: I believe that the level of confidence someone has in themselves and their program will show how easy it’s going to be for them to accept constructive comments from the outside. What I have learned was that those people are there to help you get there.

    It shows that you know what you are talking about. I’m going to refer your blog for sure.

    Thanks for your help,


  16. Anthony says

    Good advice! Every point you made all comes back to having a positive attitude on life. It’s all about being optimistic. That’s the only way anyone will get anywhere. Thanks!

  17. Damon says

    Thanks Dawud.

    I like to think coaching is also about being honest. There are goals, targets and deadlines – it’s all about being able to know what one can honestly achieve before setting them. Unreachable objectives don’t do good – honesty does.

  18. P?rlanta says

    That part “What did I learn from that experience that will help me in the future?” is really good advice. You should always be aware of what you did and how that can help you in future…

  19. Sami says

    Very good points! It is necessary to Keep a positive attitude and to accept & learn from criticism. This will help in overcoming our weaknesses and becoming a successful coach. Thanks for the great article!

  20. Info Pool says

    Excellent advice, you may have set a new record on this site for most steps way to go. Positive attitudes create a chain reaction of positive thoughts. Thanks for the great article!

  21. rarest says

    nice information I find that surrounding myself with positive people and learning to start out by accepting criticism by asking people for it is the best way to get started on those.

  22. Kathy says

    Great information. Basically we have to set ourselves as an example for our clients. I see people fail at business themselves, and then try to be a coach!? Master the skills yourself first.

  23. Blog Tunisie says

    It’s so hard to admit that we are wrong sometimes but it feel so much better once it’s done. It just lightens up your heart and make you more happy.

    Also, smiling 5 minutes a day helps a lot for being in a good mood!

  24. Sheing@gift cards says

    To be a successful coach, one must first be the best student. Learning the art of teaching other people what you have learned is blessing. Keep it up.

  25. Massage Business Plan says

    Thanks Dawud for the well informed post, I also just requested your free 20 min consult.

  26. Guy Farmer says

    Thanks for the tips Dawud. I’ve also found it valuable to do as much work on myself as possible. The more self-awareness and self-esteem I build the more likely I am to help people succeed. The idea is to be healthy enough to get out of the way and simply be there to help people succeed.

  27. Patrick Schriel says

    Hi Dawud,

    I’m a life coach and agree with every step you mentioned in your post. Be open to the feedback others are giving you.

    Allhough most coaches coach out of passion, coaching is still a business.

  28. Enneagram Coaching says

    Hi,thanks for sharing the information regarding to 5 essential steps to being a successful coach.Really nice steps are provided by you and i’ll try to follow your steps because i also want to be a successful coach.

  29. wire rope fittings says

    Here’s another tip.
    When you are looking for opportunities to network, grow leads and develop your prospects always say who you are and what you want.
    If you are very clear about what you want and need it will make it easy for
    others to help you.

  30. Searchlight Rental Florida says

    Dawud you make some really great points. I think they are relevant to anyone that is an independent contractor, small business owner, or the like, not just coaches.

    I think the most important point you make is when you say, “And really be honest with yourself.” I know it is not one of the steps outlined in the article. But, I think without being honest with yourself there is no way to really successfully follow these five steps.

    When you are truly honest with yourself everything seems so much clearer and easier to do.

    “Without a plan you’ll find that days and weeks go by without you accomplishing much of your goals”

    The above statement rings rings oh so painfully true. I just started working from home and time simply flies by. To succeed day to day you really have to make a plan and work that plan.

    Great article. Thanks

  31. Nyílászáró says

    really trusted article! 1 thing however I would like to add – it is always important to keep learning new thing permanently and improve yourself..ones you stop – you fail eventually.

  32. Peter van der Burg says

    Great article Dawud! One thing I like to add is: If you want to be a successful coach take action! Don’t sit in your chair but do the things you need to do in order to be the best in your proffesion!

  33. Geelong Security Alarms says

    What an awesome post Dawud… I’ve just read step two about procrastination 10 times… Then I got distracted!! 🙂

    Posts/Info like this should be part of every child’s formal education – in fact you could literally change the title of your post to being “5 essential steps to being a successful _____” (insert what you want in the blank)

    Cheers, Dave

  34. zelfvertrouwen krijgen says

    When i was live coach any years ago, I don?t know what to do sometimes. Thanx for the post Dawud!


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