A common frustration I hear amongst my clients is that when they embark on becoming a coach, it doesn’t always feel like their family, friends and network are fully in support of them.
Not that they’re un-supportive, but they aren’t fully leaning in.
This was true for me. I left my executive coaching job back in 2000 to become a coach and consultant. Two years into owning my business, I overheard my father tell a family friend that I was unemployed. When I said, “Dad, I’m not unemployed. I have my own coaching/consulting business,” he said, “Oh, I just thought that was what executives told people when they were between jobs.”
Even though I was already earning as much as I did as an Executive, he just didn’t understand that my new job was legit. That I was legit. To some extent I’m still not sure if he gets it, although after 19 years I think he’s accepted that this is a real career!
A lot of my clients are people who had very successful careers and decided to make a big pivot and start a coaching business. They’ve noticed that many people in their lives are “wait and see-ing”: in other words, they question whether it’s something they’ll stick with. After all, most certified coaches don’t go out and build a wildly successful coaching practice. How many of your classmates hung a shingle out and abandoned it and went back to a regular job?
The reality is that others are just trying to understand the paradigm shift and we maybe haven’t done a great job explaining to them what we do. There are a lot of misconceptions about what a coach is and does.
But know that when you stick with it, and you show that you make a significant difference with people and your business starts to take off, that perception will shift.
Please also remember that family members (and often friends too) are people who have known us a really, really long time. They forget that who we’ve become is not who we always were. Although people in our families love us, they can hold us smaller than we actually are.
It can take them a while to catch up with who we’ve become.
How do you handle it when people in your family or network aren’t 100% on board with your business? Leave a comment below and share your story.
Tara Butler Floch