Someone In Your Corner

Someone In Your Corner: Why Counseling and Coaching Makes Dollars and Sense
by B. Imei Hsu, BSN-RN, MAC-LMHC, Artist

I hadn’t taken her out for a ride in 18 months. Sleek, black, with a three-gallon tank and 120 miles of giddy-yup per fill-up, my BMW F650 motorcycle had accompanied me the past 12 years through years of marriage, divorce, and singleness, on long commutes to the office, on short rides to chase the Fall leaves, and mini trips to the San Juan Islands. But I was made an offer that I could not refuse. Last week, I sold the bike I had no time to ride this season for the thing that I was making time for: writing a book. And with the value of the bike, I gained a book publishing coach, author, and presenter Patrick Snow to help me get my book finished, edited, and published as a paper book and in all eBook format. The bike also secured his coach-for-life program, to help me grow my own plans to meet the market demand for authors, presenters, and best-practice coaches in my field. Why would I sell my bike for this? Why should you consider hiring a coach? Because it is important to have someone in your corner.

Coaching: A Shortcut To Success
A person who is in your corner will do for you what few can: help you create a roadmap to success. Everyone who wants to succeed at something creates a plan. A coaching roadmap in the hands of a skillful coach helps you put “feet” on your plans, saves you time and money by giving you advice that is not always readily available or commonly shared, and helps you avoid resource-sucking schemes and activities that do not lead to successful or valuable results.

Why on earth would I sell my motorcycle? Because I got a coach for life out of the exchange.

My coach reminds me how everyone wants a shortcut to success. Don’t you? Of course you do! You want to accelerate the process of achievement. While you can’t skip over the hard work part of the success equation, not all endeavors have to be unpleasant or unbearable; in fact, Patrick’s method of coaching and his recommendations often include reminders for people to choose options that create the least amount of barriers for them to reach their goals. For every challenge I’ve thrown at him, Patrick has volleyed back options I hadn’t considered or hadn’t researched. He’s gone over things with a fine-toothed comb. And he enjoys seeing you achieve success.

When it’s standard practice for Olympic athletes to have coaches, it puzzles me how common it is for small business owners,  entrepreneurs, and professionals to operate for years without a competent coach or mentor.  Your dreams can too easily end up in a stall or a failure. Because I knew I didn’t want to fail at writing my first professionally-produced book, I knew I had to find a coach. The process of writing a book after writing blog posts and short articles is like taking short jogs with an expectation that one could complete an entire marathon. You might complete the distance, but boy oh boy will you be paying for it several times over! [I’m planning on my first half marathon, and there are a lot of miles of training between a 10K and 21.09K].

On a trip to the Grand Canyon, I noticed a sign by an observation ridge. The sign warned hikers to take care near the edge of the ridge, as a single misstep could result in a 500-800 foot fall. From a serious drop, there may be no recovery. Wouldn’t it be better to avoid the drop? A coach can help you avoid the mistakes that others have encountered. Unless you truly believe you have all the time and resources to learn the best practices of others who have done it for you, hiring a coach makes dollars (saves you money) and sense (you won’t waste time reinventing the wheel).

Recently, I’ve had the privilege of watching a triathlete prepare for race day. There are at least a hundred things that can go wrong (besides your heart stopping, losing a toe nail, popping a tire, or running out of food), but many of the challenges of a successful triathlon can be avoided in the hands of a good coach. It’s all in the preparation, both mental and physical. There are checklists, well-placed Band-Aids to prevent painful chaffing, and the logging of thousands of hours of training for the swim, bike, and marathon event that has captured imaginations and challenged the bodies of athletes worldwide. I know of very few people who would consider entering such a race, let alone  enter one without hiring a coach. Who would want to put their body at risk without carefully weighing all the factors that might give you the best outcome? Similarly, who would want to put eight months to a year’s worth of work into any endeavor without knowing what you’re doing?

How Does Coaching Differ From Counseling?
While coaching can be an element of psychological counseling, the State of Washington considers these practices as two different processes, and I agree with the differences. In counseling, we explore much of your past story to understand your present behaviors as well as predictions about your future choices. In coaching, we primarily explore the present and the future. We don’t analyze and reflect on your past history or any dysfunctional behavior, other than to determine what challenges might prevent you from experiencing success. In general, counseling is an insight-oriented process; in coaching, the process is more results or goal-oriented. Counseling tends to take on a more goal-oriented process in the later phase, or in a brief therapy or crisis-oriented situation.

Counselors who provide coaching services must delineate the difference between the two. Third-party payers do not cover coaching services, and coaching sessions billed as counseling services are a breach of contract; obviously, I don’t engage in such breaches. If you are a provider considering the option of offering coaching services, consider purchasing a CEU-style counselor-to-coach program. There are Internet-based programs available. You should consider that state regulation of coaching may be a reality in the near future.

Publishing a Book? Hire My Coach
If you want to write a book, consider hiring my coach, Patrick Snow. I know you’ll want to talk about it first. That’s why Patrick is offering a 30-minute complimentary coaching session to talk about your desire to publish a book, whether it’s fantasy, fiction, non-fiction, a textbook, your memoirs, a recipe book — any book. Of course, anyone who becomes a client of his who is referred by me helps me directly through Patrick’s affiliate program. But even if I didn’t gain a thing from referring you, I’d refer him anyways [yes, he’s that good].

Patrick is a skilled coach who can offer services across a multitude of subjects. He has helped celebrities, sports stars, homemakers, church leaders, and everyday professionals publish books all over the country and world. He has been on the front page of USA today, numerously interviewed on radio, and has an international best-selling book under this belt [all on a college degree, I might add]. I’ll be adding his coaching skills to my own repertoire, adding to my effectiveness as a life coach and small business practice coach.

Do you want to have someone in your corner? Is it time for a coach? Take a moment to imagine the possibilities. Then click on the link above to get your 30 minute complimentary coaching session.

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