Lessons from Investing Over $450k in Coaching

Ep: 200

Before you hire a coach, it’s important to know how to hire the right coach.

It’s why I’ve confidently invested over $450,000 in coaching to date – because knowing what to do before hiring a coach is the key to making it a wise and life-changing investment.

Today on The Bridge to Fulfillment Ⓡ, Blake outlines the best method for finding and hiring the right coach. If you’ve been thinking it’s time to invest in career coaching, then this episode will help you make the right choice.

In this episode, you’ll learn what to do before you hire a coach and where to start your career coaching journey. She shares specific questions that any coach worth the investment should be able to answer for you from the start. You’ll also hear why women don’t invest as much in themselves as their male counterparts, and how that is reflected in the C-suite.

If you’re ready to take the right next step in your career™, then investing in yourself with the right career coach is the first step.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Investing in a sure thing versus the uncertainty of the stock market (1:06)
  • Why women don’t tend to invest in themselves as much as men do (3:58)
  • Where to start if you want to hire a coach (4:56)
  • Setting yourself up for coaching success (6:31)
  • Two questions to choose the best program for you (11:58)

Favorite Quotes:

  1. Investing in myself has not only blown open the doors of possibility for my life, it’s allowed me to create a life I didn’t even realize was possible. –Blake
  2. Women have not been taught to invest in ourselves. We’ve been taught to invest in everyone else. –Blake
  3. If you don’t define it, you can’t create it. Without clarity on what it is that you want, you’re never going to be able to get it. –Blake
  4. When you take the time to get clarity and ensure that the partnership is the right match, you can feel good that the investment that you’re making in yourself will ultimately lead to great benefit to you, to those who care about you, and those that you influence. –Blake

Additional Resources: 

Rather than hoping the grass will be greener, identify what the RIGHT next step is. 
We can help you do just that. 

Get clarity on where you are on your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optional paths to get there, and the right next step to take.

Start your complimentary, Personalized Career Fulfillment Plan by going to www.thebridgetofulfillment.com/plan

Want free resources to set your job search up for success? You can get them by going to: https://thebridgetofulfillment.com/mistakes


Blake Schofield 0:05
Hi, I’m Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of the Bridge to Fulfillment, mom to three, USA Today top 10 professional coach, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to expand women’s perspectives and empower them to achieve greater impact at home and work without sacrifice. This is the Bridge to Fulfillment. For many people, the idea of hiring a coach is brand new, and what’s newness can come fears, lack of confidence and worries of investing in something that quote unquote, might not work. You know, five years ago, as I sat between a rock and a hard place, personally, I was faced with a decision, invest in myself and get support from a mentor or continue to feel overwhelmed, taking action, but not seeing the results, I knew I needed to get to my goal. The decision to make that very first investment in myself, a $10,000 investment for an eight week program was one of the hardest decisions I’d made up until that point, because not only was it unknown, but I felt like if it quote unquote, didn’t work, I’d end up having to go back to a career and job no longer wanted. Thankfully, my husband was there to support me, and helped me really see that an investment in myself would yield the greatest ROI. And honestly, that we invested all the time in the stock market for what we hoped were eight or 10% returns when we had literally zero control over what would happen with that money, that CEO or that business. So the high Fact Finder and me asked as many questions as I could. And then like I said, my husband was there to support me and getting past the mental hurdles of common fears. Like, what if it doesn’t work for me? What if I do this and nothing changes? It’s a lot to invest in myself, which ultimately comes down to feelings of being selfish, because you really don’t understand the impact. What I didn’t know then that I very clearly know now is that investing in myself has not only blown open the doors of possibility for my life, it’s allowed me to create a life I didn’t even realize was possible. And those fears of it being selfish were because I couldn’t understand the negative impact of not having clarity and the right strategy. And what those were costing me nor the people around me, I also didn’t understand the positive impact, I’d be able to gain with a newfound skills and knowledge that I would get. So what started out as me personally investing in myself with my own personal savings turned into a consistent investment strategy funded through my business growth on a year over year basis. Today, five years later, I’ve worked with over 26 different coaches and consultants and I’ve invested well over $450,000 in the skills, knowledge and tools I’ve gained that not only helped me, my family and my clients, but everyone I interact with. I realized in sharing this number that it likely is shocking to you. To be honest, I hadn’t actually summed it all up until recently, when I had two conversations with clients who are asking me questions about expertise, how do you know who to hire a coach, etc. And it made me realize that I’ve entered a bet very few people have invested in themselves to the degree that I have. And because of that, because of my success in doing that, it gives me a really unique perspective to give back and help other people gain the same confidence and investing in themselves that I have. You see, I figured out a formula that’s enabled me to successfully continue to invest in the right people, program and resources in order to thrive. And I’m going to share those lessons with you today. You know, this happens as an aside to be a topic of passion for me, because I see it’s an area that’s an opportunity across the board. But particularly for women who are pretty far behind in this versus men. I tell you in the last five years, and the communities, programs and events I’ve been to women are averaging about 15% of the room, we still continue to see huge gaps in corporate America, where 50% of the workforce is women and only about 14% of the C suite. And we continue to see that same disparity on the entrepreneur side where women on average are making substantially less than men. Why is that? It’s not because women are less intelligent or less capable. I think it’s because women have not been taught to invest in ourselves. We’ve been taught to invest in everyone else. Because we don’t even realize what opportunities actually exist for us. And many of us have not yet been exposed to the power of transformational coaching. But I hope to be able to share with you some lessons that will help shift that for you too. Now that that said let’s break down a few things. So what do you do at the very beginning? This is what I get asked all the time. I think I want to hire a coach, what should I do? Well, the very first thing you should do is get clear on the why. Why do you want to hire a coach? What are the gaps you’re looking to fill? What are you personally struggling with? And what type of result Do you want? This is super critical. I see far too many people skip this step, I, in fact, have probably had no less than 15 people reach out to me in the last number of years saying, hey, I want to coach for XYZ. And then when I reach back and ask them these questions, they go dark, and silent, and they never answer them. And here’s the problem. If you aren’t willing to take the time to get clarity on those three questions, what are the gaps I’m looking to fill? What am I struggling with? And what type of result do I want to have? Then I would tell you, please just don’t even invest in a coach because I can almost guarantee you won’t get the results you want. How do I know this? I talked to people all of the time who are disappointed because they invested in this or that, and they didn’t have the clarity. And then they say, Well, I didn’t get what I wanted out of it. But the reality is, if you don’t define it, you can’t create it. Without clarity on what it is that you want, you’re never going to be able to get it. And so the very first step you need to take is to be able to understand what are the gaps? What is it I missing? What am I struggling with? And what are the results I really want? Once you have clarity on that, then the next step is to start researching to see who’s a fit. As you do that, I want to share with you a couple of things to help set you up for success. Number one, make sure you’re using your intuition. Does that person’s vibe feel like something you would naturally go for? Do you feel like that person understands and truly gets you? If not, or you feel like oh, some of its right some of its not that is a sign to keep looking. Now I’m going to share with you something I’ve learned through this journey that I think is really critical. Most people don’t understand. There is a massive range of skill sets, perspectives and approaches in the coaching industry and consulting industry. All coaches are not created equal, which means you really need to make sure that you’re clear on that person’s approach, their level of expertise or mastery and their ability to deliver results. You know, when I first started this journey, I went looked for the person who had the most credentials. To me that seemed like the safest bet. And in fact, I had a woman asked me recently, like, why would I hire you versus somebody who has a PhD in psychology or XYZ coaching certification, and I shared with her what I’ll share with you now, the very first coach I hired I hired off of credentials, she was a master certified coach, which means she was one of the top 1% of coaches certified through the Coaching Institute. And while that was a impactful coaching relationship, after investing and working with the level and the number of coaches I’ve worked with, I would actually tell you, it was the least impactful coaching relationship I had. And in fact, some of the most impactful coaches to me didn’t have on paper, the certifications that I would have looked for at the beginning. But they had the results. And they had the understanding of who I was, what challenges I faced and how to help me solve them.

Blake Schofield 8:17
I often say there are masters, those are people who understand the nuances, they will seek more information to get you the best tailored response to your situation. They’ll often say things like, quote unquote, it depends. versus people who learned or understand a process or a skill, but they aren’t masters. Those people will tend to say things in very black and white answers just do this, or quote unquote, this works for everyone. And while the person with the quick answers seems confident and like they know what they’re doing, those types of coaches I found are best for learning specific processes or techniques, things like how to build a resume to pass the ATS system or how to create Facebook ads and set them up in the technology. But in my experience, they’re not great for things like getting clarity, alignment, or more personal transformation. And unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of people get lost, and actually really misaligned in their life, because they’re applying somebody’s process or methodology to their life when in fact, it’s really not a good fit for them. And it’s not how they’re best aligned, or the right outcome or approach for them. So look for the Masters, the people that will seek to ask deeper questions and really understand what you need. And I’ll give you an example of this. It’s why whenever I do speeches, I don’t just present I will only present if I’m given the opportunity to do question and answer afterwards because that’s where I feel like all of the gold really comes from. And so a couple of years ago, I was presenting virtually, and that there was a q&a at the end, but it was a written q&a Only I couldn’t Converse back and forth. And there was a woman we were talking about the topic of work life hard For many, and she had asked in the quote, basically, how can I put up more boundaries at work without coming across as a bee? Now somebody who is process oriented or just learned a technique would immediately say, Well, here’s the five steps that you can do to put in boundaries. But I know better. I know the danger of doing things like that. And so I’ve reached back out and said, Can you tell me a little bit about what specifically you’re struggling with, and what you’ve already tried and what you’re trying to accomplish? Because here’s what I know if that person has actually had challenges in their job, and they’ve been given feedback that they’re not a team player, giving them traditional advice of what to do to put up boundaries actually could end up getting them fired, or creating a bigger Rift or more problems for them. If on the flip side, that person struggle is that they really have a hard time leaving before their boss, and they feel like they have to go do everything in order to be successful than I can know, oh, maybe it’s actually not that their expectations from others, but maybe it’s their own internal expectations, and then give them the right steps to be able to take forward to create those boundaries for themselves. But there are nuances there that the person who just understands processes is going to tell you, here’s the five steps to do. And the person who’s a master is going to understand the nuances that there are certain techniques or tactics that are right for you, or the best for you. And there’s others that might actually be dangerous or take you backwards. And so as you go seek out who’s the right coach for you, I really encourage you to make sure that you’re finding a master, they are worth their weight in gold. And you will get far more progress, and far greater results with somebody who really understands and is tailoring that to you and your circumstances. All right. So finally, you’ve probably been waiting, what is this criteria? How was Blake able to vet? I’ve just I’ve given you a little bit of an understanding of what do you do when you want to find a new coach? And what should you be looking for. But now I want to give you my simple two step criteria that I’ve used to successfully invest over and over and over again, and get great results and investing in myself. And it’s built off of just two questions you can ask yourself. So I’m gonna give you those two questions. And I’m gonna dive a little bit deeper on how to think about it. The first question is, does this person or program help people like me to get the results I want? What that means is you really need to research and understand who did they help? What are the problems that person was struggling with? Or their clients normally struggle with? And then what are the results their clients normally get? If that is not a match? Right? If you can’t say yes, they help people like me, and yes, they get the results I want, then you want to keep searching. Or if it’s a debate or question, you want to dig deeper. The second thing you want to understand is, can I do what it takes to be successful in this program, and the person that you’re speaking with should clearly be able to tell you what it takes to be successful in terms of the actions, amount of time commitment, communication, etc, in order for you to get the types of results that their clients get. If they are not clear on that, or they say, oh, every single person is successful, I would tell you to run, I would tell you to run, because that tells me they don’t have the clarity and what it actually takes or they’re not clearly tuned in enough on their clients to understand what it takes to be successful and who they best help. As you go through that process, one of the things you can do is get clear on whether your communication styles match, can you put in the time to achieve those goals? Will they assist you in working through challenges with fitting in into your life? And do you work well with the level of personal work versus the level of accountability and how they structure things? Those things can really ensure again, it’s going to be the right match. And so if you can clearly say yes that they help people, like you get the results you want, and you can do what it takes to be successful, then you know, you found your match. But if you’re not sure, dig deeper, ask the questions you need to get clear. Don’t assume our brains can be great at tricking us, particularly when faced with new or unknown situations. What I will tell you after going through this journey, the last five years and some of the most impactful lessons and transformation that I’ve had in my life is that in the end, when you take the time to get clarity, ensure that the partnership is the right match. You can feel good that the investment that you’re making in yourself will ultimately lead to great benefit to you to those who care about and those that you influence around you. Thanks again for joining me. Until next time, have a great week. Thanks for joining me today, rather than hope the grass will be greener identify what the right next step is. We can help you do just that. Get clarity on where you are in your journey to career fulfillment where Your head, optimal paths to get there, and the right next step to take. Start your complimentary personalized career fulfillment plan at www.thebridgetofulfillment.com/plan Again, you can get your personalized career fulfillment plan at www.thebridgetofulfillment.com/plan Thanks again for joining and have a great week ahead!