Your first three steps to becoming a successful coach

Whether you're already a coach or you're just about to take the leap, there are three first steps you should take to make the journey successful. Here's what you need to know.

Here’s the first three steps to becoming a successful coach—and they’ll be appropriate whether you are already a coach, you are about to take the first step, or you are still tossing up whether to say yes to yourself.

Let’s cut right to it.

The first step: What is your legacy?

When you look back at your life, what do you want it to have been about? When I first started thinking about this, I wasn’t sure I needed to.

I thought legacy was something you started tossing around in your head towards the end of your life when you look back and ponder what you did well, what you were proud of.

But today is your legacy, tomorrow is your legacy, and yesterday was your legacy. Who we are right now is impacting and influencing the people around us, negatively or positively, and always has.

You are constantly building your legacy, from random acts of kindness to decades of raising kids and creating lifelong friendships. Your legacy is like your superannuation balance—every tiny bit that you contribute will make up what you have at the end.

For me, the process of understanding the moving parts of my legacy started with changing my thinking and not repeating the patterns of the past which weren’t creating the change I needed to create.

My driver was that I didn’t want to be a drainer. I wanted to add more value to the world, not suck it out. My inspiration was a Frederick Nietzsche quote, ‘With a big enough why, you can take care of anything.’

(This is one of things I'll be talking about at The Coaching Institute's free global virtual summit 'Your First Coaching Session' on September 5.)

The second step: Learn to put yourself first

A lot of us are taught horrible messages when we’re growing up, including the classic, ‘Don’t put yourself first. Be selfless.’

Like, what? This is important: don’t be selfless. Be self full!

Your self is your core.

Be self full. Engage. Fill up your cup, then fill up the cups of others. Take on board the safety demonstration rule on planes: put on your own oxygen mask first, then help others with theirs.

It’s the same principle. Your mask comes first, because you need to be empowered to move forward and be able to be a wonderful force for others.

Remember coaching is not just about others. It’s about you as well. When we get to do work we love it’s not really work anymore, it’s something that is a mission and that’s about ourselves—choosing a mission.

The third step: Say yes then work out how

Once we make the decision that we want our legacy to be about love and we want to put ourselves first, then the universe will give you opportunities to do that.

That will come in the form of a person, an event or a thing,  and you have to be ready now.

Our ego says, ‘I’m not ready’, so we have to learn to build the muscle of saying yes and working out how instead of listening to our first reaction; ‘I’m just going to say no until I know for sure. I can’t make mistakes.’

Don’t live your life that way. If you need to live a life where everything is perfect, you’re not living your life. When people hold themselves back from amazing opportunities, they stunt their growth.

There is no perfect moment. Life is there to support you. Start seeing it as something that’s not against you. Start seeing it as the most amazing thing that will ever happen to you—because it is—and you’ll start seeing new opportunities.  Lean in.

Start saying yes and working out how.

If you got value from that, share it with anyone you know. And if you want to break down more ideas like this for your own life and others’, I invite you to come along to the live global 'Your First Coaching Session' telecast where we’ll do just that.

Matt Lavars is one of Australia's leading coaches, trainers and speakers, and head facilitator at The Coaching Institute. In between mentoring thousands of coaches and leaders all around Australasia and helping others build incredible culture, Matt is passionate about fitness and music. His healthy office lunches whipped up in five minutes are the stuff of legend.

Matt Lavars
Matt LavarsThe Coaching Institute