Let’s face it, Coaches are some of the most giving people on the planet. We want to help everybody do everything. Whilst this is an admirable trait, the reality is that trying to be there for everyone can lead to coaching burnout. What’s more the very nature of what we do as coaches is on a mentaly exhausting level. While some people envisage we sit in a comfy chair all day ask questions, we coaches know that there is a lot more that goes into coaching than just “visiting”

With the current Covid climate, it’s even more crucial that we stop and take stock of how we are feeling at the moment. Following on from Adam Grant’s article on languishing where this “blah” feeling could easily be attributed to what many others are feeling as a result of the pandemic, it’s important to recognise the difference that burnout brings.

If you are noticing more than one of the preceding symptoms chances are that you are either in a state of burnout or working towards it and if you don’t take steps to steer things in another direction, this could lead to the downfall of your coaching career.

  • Slowing down
  • Exhaustion
  • Making mistakes
  • Irritable
  • Depressed
  • Sloppy
  • Resentful
  • Lost your joy
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Nothing seems to matter
  • Life feels like a treadmill
  • Takes longer and longer to finish projects
  • You stop socializing
  • You skimp on self-care

One of the challenges for coaches is that we are so good at recognizing these symptoms in others, that we fail to see them in ourselves, partly because we think we should know better and partly because we are so busy serving others, we don’t find the time to serve ourselves.

The topic of burnout is now so significant that the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital (an affiliate of Harvard Medical School) now has a masterclass on the topic and is even talking about a Coaching Burnout niche in which coaches can specialize in helping others move through burnout.

One of the most effective ways to move away from coaching burnout is to create a coaching business that is geared towards a business/life balance. The term Work/life balance has been doing the rounds for many years now, with more and more employers looking at ways to provide balance for their employees in order to avoid the long term sick cases that inevitably come with burnout. When you work for yourself, you don’t have the luxury of a sick policy to support you and you can’t just abandon your clients and workload while you take some time off. 

The best solution is a proactive approach that includes building in life goals to your business planning. With the level of emotional support that coaches provide, it’s entirely possible to plan a 3 or 4 day work week that will still allow you to earn what you want and give you the time to enjoy your earnings and manage your own emotional support.

Here are some of the ways you can proactively manage a sustainable and lucrative coaching business while ensuring you have time and space to manage your wellbeing and stop burnout in its tracks!

  1. Work with ideal clients – when you only work with clients that bring you joy it has an immediate impact on your mindset. Clients that require extra work where you have to chase them to do their tasks, pay their invoices, and turn up to meetings on time are making withdrawals in your happiness bank. They might seem like trivial matters that you can deal with, but they add up.
  2. Learn to say NO! Easier said than done for a coach, I know, but, as the saying goes, when you say no to some things, you are saying yes to others. In this case, you are saying yes to your well-being, which means you can show up for those clients that you love (see point 1).
  3. Learn to delegate – you don’t need to do those things that you hate. When you take on tasks that you are a) not good at and b) hate doing you are taking away from your purpose and that leads to – you got it, burnout! And before you say, you can’t afford to hire someone, I’m sorry but you can’t afford not to. How many additional coaching clients could you take on if you were not managing your social media or setting up your email marketing platform? If you really want to be doing tasks you don’t like in order to save money, you should be doing sales tasks and moving towards more paid coaching work.
  4. Set aside days for different types of work – undoubtedly there are some tasks you do need to undertake as the CEO of your company that you don’t get paid to do or ones that you actually enjoy doing and want to gain traction on. When we can focus on one thing at a time our minds tend to be very grateful – whoever said multi-tasking is a work smart solution is full of sh**t! If you are not full with coaching clients all day, every day (and you shouldn’t be if we are working towards that business life balance) try to schedule your coaching sessions on certain days of the week. Your clients will not go elsewhere if you are not available on Wednesdays! If they value what you do they will find an alternative slot. My doctor’s office isn’t open on a Friday, I don’t go to another doctor, I pick a different day!
  5. Leverage a systems strategy to do some of your heavy lifting – if delegation is really not an option for you to get some of these repetitive tasks off your plate, then leveraging a systems strategy is the next best thing. Using software platforms and a documented process to manage repetitive tasks can take things like scheduling appointments, client onboarding, invoicing, payments, follow-ups, and more away, allowing you to calm your mind from all the small things that take up so much room.

The world of coaching continues to grow and coaches are becoming more and more sought after with their value now matching that of a personal trainer. As part of the wellbeing space, many people are turning to coaches to help them make a difference in their lives. This means the coaching space is going to get busier and more demanding. In order to stand out in this industry and enjoy a long and lucrative career, it is essential that you manage your own well-being now and in the future. Don’t wait until you have so many of the above-mentioned symptoms that you can’t get out of bed or worse, you’ve ended up with an autoimmune issue like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia.

If you already feel like you are on a path to burnout and you are not sure how to structure your business so it can better support you, let’s have a conversation. After all, why else would you do all the work and experience all the emotions that go with running a business if it’s not to create a better life for yourself?

Book an exploration call with me today and let’s get you and your business smartened up!