Last week I talked about what a life coach does, and I thought today you might want to hear a bit about what a regular day looks like for me.
This isn’t to say that my day as a life coach looks anything like another coach’s day. And that’s part of the beauty of being the owner of your own business; being able to match your business to your values and your time.
Because I’m based in Australia and most of my clients live in Europe, the majority of my coaching is done via Zoom these days. That also has an impact on the timings. Currently, Australia Eastern Standard Time is 11 hours ahead of the UK, 10 hours ahead of Central Eastern Time. That will change to 9 and 8 hours after the clocks go forward here and back there which will change some of my hours! I quite often have an early call at 6am or 7am. I get up 45 minutes beforehand and have a slow morning routine, with a coffee or tea in the garden.
Even when it’s raining, I can usually get out because we have a veranda and I do find a bit of morning air helps wake me up properly! There are occasional days where the rain is horizontal, so I have to make do with either a quick stroll around the garden with my coat on or some gentle stretching.
Between 8 and 9, I’m sorting out a school packed lunch and, depending on what the evening looks like, prepping dinner. After the school drop off, if I’m not coaching a local client, I usually get in some exercise. Some days I run and some days I go to the gym. As soon as I get back home, I’m into some of the other aspects of a coaching business that people may not think so much about.
These are generally divided into marketing activities (including social media posting, building engagement, writing blog posts, etc), general admin (invoicing, bookkeeping, email management, website management), managing clients (appointment bookings, email contact between sessions, publishing to the member’s only site, researching for specific client needs) and Continuous Professional Development. Sometimes that’s webinars, conferences, but most often journals or books. That also includes quarterly mentor coaching (where I focus on particular aspects of the International Coaching Federation competencies with my mentor coach) and supervision (where I bring up things that I am finding difficult or working out how I can get more mobility on issues). I always plan my week ahead of time, so I know daily which activities I’m going to do on which day. I find that working for myself becomes much easier when I set out a schedule for myself. It helps keep me really focussed and working in a way that takes me towards specific goals and targets. Being hyper focussed means that I can get through work in a shorter time period, but it also means being focussed on taking appropriate breaks in the day. Whether that’s a short walk, a chapter of a book or a few rows of knitting, I’m always fresher when I come back to my work if I’ve been able to a) switch off from the task and b) move away from the digital world!
Another part of my 9-3 time is spent thinking about new corporate clients and working on existing corporate client contracts, which could look like writing new workshops, emailing associates, researching specific elements that would be helpful to the clients. Before COVID, I delivered a lot of corporate workshops, but they’ve been slow to come back in person. I probably need to lean into that a little more. I love delivering workshops because I know they have the power to change people’s lives for the better. I sometimes get emails out of the blue from someone that was on a workshop 12-18 months previously, telling me how valuable the workshop was and how it has changed things for them. That’s always really special and almost always makes me cry (but good tears)!
Between 3 and 7, I’m busy doing a school pickup and taking my daughter to various after school activities or spending time with her. From 7 or 8pm, I have my calls with European clients that like a morning call or speak with associates about upcoming work.
They’re busy days, but I do love what I do. I don’t usually work weekends although I will occasionally take a call Sunday night if I have a client that really struggles with any other time. And I always spend some time on a Sunday planning my upcoming week. If we’re away for the weekend and I don’t do that, I have to at least plan my Monday – even if that plan looks like ‘Plan the week, plan 7 social media posts and look at LinkedIn’!
If you’re interested in becoming a Life Coach (or Personal Coach, Executive Coach, Transformational Coach), I really recommend doing good quality training that gets you an accreditation with the ICF. I trained with Barefoot Coaching who I really recommend. It’s 162 hours of training which also includes aspects about creating programmes. I recently went back through my notes as I was writing a Financial Success workshop. It really is first-class training (and they do great CPD too).