I've been asked many times how someone can know if freelancer coaching will truly benefit them. They want to know, "what will coaching do for me and my freelance business? How can I know that the investment will make a difference to my business?" The answer (like most other things in life!) is that you get out of it what you put into it.
And 'what you put into it' when it comes to coaching is what we call coachability.
As your freelancer business coach, I can help you identify what needs work – whether that's your mindset, your knowledge, your skills or your methods – and even help guide you to how to improve those aspects of yourself and your business. But if you aren't WILLING to make changes and try new approaches, you aren't coachable.
The easy way to assess your own coachability is to self-examine your levels of willingness: willingness to put aside your ego, willingness to be introspective, willingness to take action, and willingness to put in the work. Coachability is equal to how willing you are to do those things.
Ask yourself these eleven questions to take inventory of your willingness and evaluate your coachability.
Am I committed to the development of myself and my business? Can I treat my development like conditioning as an athlete does?
Freelancer coaching isn't just about listening and talking together during our coaching sessions. Coaching requires that you do the work by completing exercises and readings on a regular basis, working new skill and mindset muscles, and push yourself to do things you didn't know you could do.
Am I self-aware? Can you objectively assess your strengths AND your weaknesses? Can you be honest with yourself and your coach?
Self-awareness is important when working with a freelancer coach because obviously, we can't challenge ourselves without acknowledging what needs to be challenged in the first place.
If you lack self-awareness, you won't be able to identify the behaviors and thought processes that hold you back – or when you are falling back on those behaviors and thoughts.
Am I willing to vulnerable? Am I willing to really hear (and digest) constructive feedback, no matter how difficult it is to do so?
Sometimes, as a coach, I have to share feedback in our freelancer coaching sessions that might challenge your perception of self. That means you may be surprised by what you learn and it may be tough to digest.
But if you can be open to hearing that feedback – and I mean REALLY hearing it so that you can process it and what it mean for you and your business – then you give that feedback the power to change your business and move you forward.
Do I have a growth-mindset? Do I seek to improve myself and to continually evolve my perspective, knowledge, and skills?
Yes, this one is specific to your attitude toward your own personal development but it directly impacts your business because if you can't (or won't) grow and change... then your business can't evolve either. In deciding to invest into freelancer coaching, you're already making a big statement about what's important to you and your ability to grow beyond where you are today.
Can I be confrontational with myself? Am I willing to call myself out on excuses and irrational thinking?
It takes guts to be able to call yourself on your own BS and limiting thoughts. You have to be willing and able to have a dialogue with yourself and to hold yourself accountable when you want to start slipping into old ways of thinking and acting that don't serve you.
That means confronting yourself when you notice those patterns popping up. If you're someone who wants to stick your head in the sand and pretend that you don't notice when you want to 'cheat' yourself with limiting thoughts and behaviors, it may be time to start working on that programming!
In my freelancer coaching program, I can help you learn to be accountable to yourself and push yourself to identify and redirect the thoughts and behaviors that no longer serve your personal and business goals.
Do I have FIRE in my belly? That is — am I truly motivated to improve myself and my business?
If you aren't driven to grow and improve yourself and your business, coaching is not for you. In order to make a difference for you, coaching requires that you take action. Lots of massive action.
Taking action requires both courage and motivation – it's work! So if you aren't driven enough to take action, you aren't going to see changes... because the real work (and value!) comes from implementing what we discuss in your freelancer coaching sessions.
Am I willing to take risks? Or am I willing to work on becoming a (calculated) risk taker?
I'm not a risk taker myself but over time, I've ramped up my ability to take calculated risks. That doesn't mean wild, "swing for the fences" low-probability-of-working-out types of risks. It means identifying opportunities that require some risk, assessing those, and if they're worth it, coming up with a well-thought game plan to take a risk on them.
Do you think you can start taking little risks that make sense? That's all you need to be able to do in order to get value from freelancer coaching.
As you begin to see success from taking those calculated risks, your appetite for risk will naturally increase.
Can I recognize my own fear — and be okay working alongside fear?
Many of us spend our lives running from the things that scare us. That's normal. It's survival instinct! But what happens when your freelancer coach asks you to start running straight toward the things that scare you? Every fiber of your being will probably want to avoid doing just that.
So instead, in order to make progress toward your goals on your freelancer coaching journey, you'll need to learn to be 'okay' with working alongside fear. It doesn't go away and anyone who tells you that fear eventually fades is lying. It will always be in the back of your mind but you can learn to quiet the voice and to reason with it so that you can do the things you need to do to grow your freelance business.
Can I act with intent and purpose — and separate emotion from objectivity?
This question goes hand-in-hand with the prior question. Coachability is easily described as your ability to listen and act on what you learn during coaching. If your emotions override your ability to act with intent based on logic, your progress will be much slower.
If you can step outside of those emotions and choose, from a rational perspective, your actions intentionally, you will be able to implement what you learn during coaching. If your actions are driven primarily by emotion, it's much more difficult to translate coaching guidance and learnings into positive outcomes.
Do I have empathy — for both others AND myself?
Empathy for ourselves is often one of the hardest things to cultivate in our mindset but when we are overly-hard on ourselves, it takes up so much space in our head that there isn't room for growth because we're so focused on what we perceive as negative aspects of ourselves.
As a freelancer, you're going to find yourself continually-faced with situations from sales calls to submitting your work for client review that require you to 'put yourself out there' for others' judgement and it's easy to forget to be kind to yourself as you are learning how to navigate all of these situations.
Then, when you add in the exercises, thought work, and recommendations that you will receive from your freelancer coaching sessions – you're going to be trying lots of new things and it may take some time to find your stride. Can you be empathetic toward yourself as you take on big challenges through your coaching journey?
On the other side of the coin, empathy for others is also important when you are working with a coach.
You will begin to see others in a new light as you open your eyes to your own personal development. Not everyone is on the same journey and allowing others (like family, friends, professional colleagues, and YES of course... clients!!) the grace to move at their own pace on their own path is just as important as giving grace to yourself.
Can I be okay with failing?
Growth requires a certain amount of failure before the "a-ha!" moment where everything clicks into place. For perfectionists (like me! I get it!), we become conditioned over the course of our lives to avoid failure at all costs. That goes hand in hand with the risk aversion I mentioned above.
But it's a major roadblock to growth because the easiest way to avoid failure is to minimize the risk of failure. Failing is okay! Can you start to embrace the idea that our perception of "failure" is rarely TRUE, absolute, capital-F Failure?
Introspection is the only meaningful answer as to whether you'll get value from freelancer coaching.
By taking a good look at yourself and whether you're coachable, you can assess whether you'll be likely to see meaningful results from working with me as your freelancer business coach.
Take some time to read through these questions and reflect. If the answer is 'no' to some of these questions, it doesn't mean we can't work together or that you can't become coachable! It just means that we have to work on your growth mindset before we start to tackle specific business challenges.
The silver lining is that improving your mindset will have a tremendous impact on your business and your life overall – so by taking steps to become more flexible, more willing, and more coachable, you will see benefits in many areas of your life.