Ep #334: Being a Coach at the School
Do you have a dream of one day being a life coach? Maybe you’re telling yourself you’re not ready, you’re too young or too old, or that you don’t have what it takes?
This week, I’m talking with five of the coaches and instructors at the Life Coach School about what it’s like to be a coach here, why they got certified, and how you can become a coach as well.
Although being a life coach may not be rainbows and daisies everyday, the opportunity we have in this industry to help people is incredibly fulfilling. And it’s possible for each and every person who has the dream in their heart to become a coach.
In today’s episode, I chat with five amazing life coaches and instructors about their journeys to becoming coaches and then working for the School. If you’re listening to this podcast hoping that one day you can be in their shoes, we’re here to tell you that you can. We are all proof that when you do the work and believe in yourself, anything is possible.
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It's the truest shortcut to self development we have ever created!
Listen to the show
What You will discover
- How to become a life coach
- How each of these women became life coaches and started working for the School.
- What it was like to coach their first sessions.
- Why written coaching is one of the best ways to hone your skills.
- The difference between coaching and teaching how to coach.
- Their favorite parts of being a coach.
- How you can start the journey of becoming a life coach.
Featured on the show
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Brooke: You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode 334.
Male Announcer: Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Brooke: Welcome to the podcast, my friends. I have some special guests here with me today and I asked them to come on to tell you all about what it’s like to be a coach working at The Life Coach School.
So many emails that I get are from people who tell me their dream job is to work at The Life Coach School and they want me to get them in which I think is hilarious because I have no clout in my own school about who gets into the school. There’s a very rigorous process that you have to go through to be approved to work at the school as a coach and then to also be an instructor.
I’ve invited five of our instructors, coaches to come and talk about what it’s like to work at The Life Coach School. We’re going to talk about what it’s like to coach all day long, what it’s like to work at the school, and I’m really glad that they don’t actually work for me every day. So, they’re not actually going to be talking about me. They’re going to be talking about all of our clients and all of the customers that we have that they get to deal with.
I’m going to go ahead and start with Marlene. Marlene, why don’t you introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you, and then tell us your story about coming to work for The Life Coach School and what it’s like to work for us.
Marlene: Hi, I’m Marlene McNally. I live in London, so I’m British of Jamaican origin and I came to The Life Coach School probably two years ago when I found – actually, I was introduced to the podcast and quickly discovered that scholar was not quite enough for me. I actually told myself I’m going to be a badass coach.
Brooke: All right.
Marlene: Honestly, it wasn’t really my dream to work for the school, I just wanted to go out into the world and just coach. It was probably six months after qualifying I was like, “No, no, no, no, the place to coach and to really have an impact is The Life Coach School.” Because there are thousands of Scholars in there and I get to just really use my skills in every single area of coaching. So, I applied and your process is rigorous. It’s tough.
Brooke: Good, I’m glad to hear that. That’s awesome.
Marlene: I’d say it’s a great job. It’s like no two days or no two sessions are the same. If anyone wants to know, it’s totally international. So, I could be coaching somebody in Nepal in one 20-minute session, I’m over to Egypt in the next, I’m down in Australia, whipping across to the US, and back to Paris.
Brooke: That’s amazing. I love that.
Marlene: That’s amazing. I don’t think people realize the breadth of Scholars and that we really cover the whole globe and all of the global issues that come along with being human. [inaudible] literally.
Brooke: That’s so interesting. I was just talking to Kara about this, too, and she was telling me that she was an accountant and she just quit her accountant job to come be a coach at Scholars and she was afraid that she would lose the access to high-level thinking and the kind of sophistication and all the diversity and then she sent me a message, she’s like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe the level of diversity.”
You get people that have PhDs and people that haven’t even graduated from high school, and you get people all over the country. So, I love that. That just makes for interesting work, right?
Marlene: It’s great. I get to coach law professors and doctors then I’ll nip in and it will be a housewife, it will be somebody who owns their own garage. It could be really young people and I have people coming on in their 70s.
Brooke: That’s so cool. I love hearing that. So, I want to back up just a little bit with you and talk about, so you came in as a Scholar you decided you wanted to get certified as a coach, you went through the certification program. Then, you applied to work for the school as a coach. They put you through this rigorous process and then you came onboard.
Then, basically what happens is they say, “Okay, you’re now a coach.” And are you working full-time or part-time?
Marlene: I work part-time.
Brooke: Okay, so you work part-time. So then, how many hours a week are you coaching?
Marlene: I coach 14 hours a week for the school. But there’s another six hours of online coaching and [inaudible], right? So, for the school I work 20 hours.
Brooke: So, you work 20 hours for the school, 14 hours of that is straight back-to-back?
Marlene: Straight, back-to-back coaching, but it’s not back – you don’t make us work 24-hour shifts.
Brooke: Right. It’s not 20 hours straight, right?
Marlene: Or 14 hours straight. It’s broken up into blocks. I prefer to do what I call the morning shift for me which means I do get a lot of Europe, Australia, the Arab Emirates, Africa.
Brooke: Beautiful. Love, love, love it. So, I remember when I first started coaching I was coaching that much and I was so afraid of getting burnt out. Do you feel like you get burnt out? Tell me a little bit about that.
Marlene: Okay, in the beginning when I looked at my schedule I was like, “Oh my God, how am I going go back-to-back? I might need a break.” Actually, that was probably just the first week and I think most of that was anxiety, like, “Am I going to get it right? Am I going to show up as my best self?”
Over time, one, it gets easier, but also, you learn to set your schedule that works for me. Like, I know that I’m best in the mornings. I know that if I go past 6 o’clock in the evening that’s not the best time, not for me, not for the Scholars. So, I set my schedule so that I show up 100% my best self.
Brooke: I love it. So, you get to pick when you want to work? The hours that you want to work?
Brooke: Okay, that’s nice. Very nice.
Marlene: I can work in the middle of the night if I wanted to because you have people literally around the globe, right?
Marlene: So, there’s somebody coaching for The Life Coach School I think almost like 24 hours a day.
Brooke: Yeah. So, tell us about a couple of your coaching sessions. I’m putting you guys on the spot but tell us maybe about one of your most memorable ones. I know, for sure, you’ve had a couple of funny ones. What sticks out when I ask you that?
Marlene: I think it was after the George Floyd incident and it was probably the week after and things seemed to have settled down and the Scholar comes on and she goes, “I don’t even know why I’ve signed up for coaching sessions. I’ve got nothing wrong. Everything is okay.”
I was like, “Okay, just tell me about your three last emotions that you’ve been feeling over the last five days.”
Brooke: Brilliant question.
Marlene: Yeah, and she says, “Well, I’ve been feeling angry, sad – “and I can’t remember what the other one was – frustrated. I said, “Okay, tell me about the frustration. Why are you feeling frustrated?”
“I’m frustrated because I’ve got – “she was white. “I’ve got lots of Black friends, they want me to come on the marches, I’m not sure if I’ve got the time or the energy although I feel for them.” And then it was angry, angry because of everything that was going on. Then, sad, and she was like, “Well, my son is a police officer and I watch him go out every day and go out on to the front line.”
Brooke: Oh my goodness.
Marlene: Because I’m a mom. Then she sort of apologized and she said, “Well, I know it’s really not fair because I have my Black friends who are worried about their boys dying when they go out.”
Marlene: My response to that was, “As mothers there is no hierarchy,” right?
Brooke: Right, wow.
Marlene: Your worry is just as valid.
Brooke: Yes. Wow, that’s amazing. She said she had nothing.
Marlene: She had nothing.
Brooke: I love it. You get such raving reviews. Certainly so many compliments about your coaching and how well you do. So, I appreciate you so much. We might come back. I might have some other questions. Let’s see. Let’s go to you, Mindy.
Brooke: Tell us, what is your story?
Mindy: So, I got divorced and then I got remarried and found myself in a world of trouble, going to therapy, nothing was helping. It was awful. I found your podcast, I was listening and it just started to change everything in my marriage, the way I was thinking. So, I signed up to be a coach, got certified, applied to work for the school. It’s like the most amazing thing I’ve ever done in my whole life.
Brooke: So, did you not go through Scholars first?
Brooke: Do you guys that come straight to certification – for sure, that would be me, too though. I’d be like, “Put me in.” Okay, so then you became a coach, did you know you wanted to work for the school?
Mindy: As soon as I started certification. I loved coaching so much. We start practicing really quickly and it was exhilarating. I just loved it and I thought, what better way to really just immerse myself in coaching than coaching for the school?
Brooke: Okay, cool. So, do you work for us full-time or part-time?
Brooke: Full-time, okay, so tell us what that’s like and are you a coach and an instructor?
Mindy: Just a coach.
Brooke: Just a coach, okay. So, you just coach all day, every day?
Mindy: Yeah. I coach from 6am to 9am and then I take a 20-minute break and walk around the block a couple of times and then I do 9:20 to 12:20 and I just like – so it’s almost six hours straight.
Brooke: Yeah, and you love it.
Mindy: I love it.
Brooke: That’s so good. So, tell us a little bit about what that’s like for you. Why don’t you get tired? Why don’t you get burnt out? What is it about it that you love so much?
Mindy: I love in that 20 minutes someone can come to a call and they’re really upset, they’re really struggling with something and in 20 minutes they have a completely different experience within that call. It feels so good to just be able to help people just get out of their own head.
Brooke: Yes. That’s how I feel, too, when I’m coaching. People that don’t understand our industry and you tell them that you’re a life coach and people just bring you their – literally, their problems. They’re just like, “Here, help me with this,” right? And people say, “Why aren’t you so tired of listening to people’s problems all day?”
I think it’s because we have solutions. We have tools. We have options for them to actually change their life. When I teach a Scholars call and I have like five people, maybe seven people on a call and I feel like I’m able to make a contribution that is energizing. Being able to help people is so energizing, so I can relate to that.
What would you say to someone who maybe just signed up for certification or is contemplating signing up for certification but they’re like, “I’m afraid I won’t get hired at the school and that’s what I want to do, I don’t want to have my own business”? What would be your advice to them?
Mindy: When I got done with certification, I decided that if I never coach at all it was 100% worth it. Just the changes in my own brain after going through certification and then I did applied coaching, after that one solid year I feel like my brain is entirely different. So, everything in my life different. I see all the things different. My relationships are different. I wouldn’t give it up for anything even if I never coached.
Brooke: So, tell us how you got hired though because a lot of people want to get hired, you’re the one that got in. What’s the secret?
Mindy: It’s our thoughts. My thought was, “I was born for this,” and just went all-in on certification, I went all-in on applied, I went all-in on applying. It was like, “I was born for this.”
Brooke: I think that’s huge, going all-in and knowing – and this is kind of the advice I would give, too. Go all-in with the knowing that even if you don’t get the exact job that you want or you don’t get hired by the school, that it’s going to be worth it because I think the other piece of it, too, is so many of my colleagues are now hiring LCS coaches.
We’re hiring like crazy. We have so many coaches working for us, but all of my colleagues are now like, “Who can I hire? Who have you trained? Who’s ready to go?” Our industry as a whole is growing so much so that’s very exciting as well.
Okay, so tell us about one of your most memorable sessions.
Mindy: I don’t think I have one session that stands out. My very favorite are when someone comes and they don’t love themselves and within 20 minutes it’s like we just kind of help plant the seed, pull out the thoughts in their brain that are making them less than and unworthy and not loveable. We just plant some new ones in there and they leave the call feeling like maybe I am loveable, maybe I am worthy. I love seeing that change, where they can really start to just love themselves.
Brooke: Agreed. That is the most powerful, and it’s not just from – for those of you listening, it’s not just from us saying, “Hey, you are worthy.” We actually have the tools to help you discover that for yourself in a way that isn’t contrived. It’s a way that’s like super genuine. I would agree with that. That’s the most powerful experience I’ve had having people just recognize their own greatness is just such an honor, I think, as a coach.
Okay, all right, let’s go to you, Madeline.
Madeline: Okay, so I’m telling you my story?
Brooke: Tell us all the things.
Madeline: Okay, I’ll tell you my whole story. We’re going to be here for a while. So, my coaching story is that – so I struggled with an eating disorder all throughout my childhood and when I finally serious about recovery I had some really weird health issues, my neck locked up, my whole body was really tense and I was having some weird pain and nerve symptoms. A dear friend of mine said, “Hey, I really think that you can benefit from life coaching,” and she referred me to your podcast.
I’m, again, one of those that I skipped straight over Self Coaching Scholars and it was very long after listening to the podcast that I was like, “No, I need to be a coach.” I remember specifically the podcast that did it for me, too. I think it was just called, “Should I Become a Life Coach?” That’s when you talked about how you don’t have to own your own business. I was like, “Ohh.”
I didn’t want a business, but I really wanted to coach and so it was in that moment that I made the decision and I came home. Ironically, when I entered all of my credit card information my heart was pounding so hard and then it got denied.
Brooke: Oh no!
Madeline: It didn’t go through in the moment. It was because I had a credit card limit and anyway, it was a whole fiasco, but I made it work and best decision ever. I knew right off the bat that I wanted to coach for the school. Everybody in my CCP class knew that I wanted it and were rooting for me. I applied before I even was finished with certification because I just knew that’s what I wanted and I thought, “What the heck? It’s what I want anyways.” I got hired on before I was done with the track.
Brooke: You must be a good coach.
Madeline: I don’t know. I am, yes, I’m choosing to believe that, but I got hired on in January and I started out part-time and then have now since bumped to full-time, but it’s amazing. It’s absolutely incredible.
Brooke: Yeah, so you started off as part-time, went to full-time, do have the similar experience that Marlene and Mindy were talking about? Tell us a little bit about your experience coaching every day, all day.
Madeline: Definitely in the beginning, it was like, “What is happening?” I still remember having a coaching session, probably my first week on that I just thought, “Oh my – “I was part-time. It’s so funny looking back now, but I was losing my mind and I thought, “I can’t do this,” and, “This is too much,” and it’s just hilarious. It feels like it was eons ago, but it also feels like it was just yesterday.
It really just was an experiment of figuring out what hours work for you and I love that about it, that you can literally, like as Marlene said, you can coach in the middle of the night if you want to. You can get up super early like Mindy gets up really, really early in the morning and just gets it all done. I think in the beginning I was so used to the it’s set for you schedule with all of my other jobs that I didn’t really know how to set my time.
That’s not anything that I had experienced before, so I didn’t set myself up well. Then, once I did it was a totally different experience. Now, I’ve figure out a groove that works amazing for me and I know exactly when I need breaks and it’s just really smooth flowing. I know what my day’s going to be like and yeah, it’s cool.
Brooke: Love it. In order to become a coach in Scholars you have to have had a lot of experience already, we have to watch you coach. But when you did your very first Scholars call, when you’re going live, I can imagine that that’s an experience, right? Did you have some self-doubts still? Were you nervous? Tell us a little bit about that.
Madeline: Oh my gosh, so much. I still remember that first day and I had, as you’ve said, I had coached a lot all throughout the certification program and then all throughout the AC track of course we’re coaching constantly, but it was so surreal. I’m like, “Is this really happening?” Then it comes on and the Scholar has no idea that it’s my first day and my first session, but I know. I swear it’s like written on my forehead like, “I’m new.”
Brooke: But you know what’s so funny about that is that Scholar isn’t even thinking about you, right?
Madeline: No, not at all.
Brooke: They’re thinking about themselves and like, “Can you help me?” Right?
Madeline: Right, and super trippy, I’m just going to beat you to the punch and the question about the session that stands out is the very first session was a woman who was dealing with neck pain.
Brooke: Oh, interesting.
Madeline: That was pain that I had had that eventually brought me to learning about coaching was physical issues. It was really, really kind of just a trip to hear her talk about, she was bawling and she’s like, “I can’t turn my head.”
Of course, I didn’t jump in the pool with her because I had been trained very well not to do that, but inside it was like, “This is so perfect.” It was like the universe made this happen that I was always meant to come – and I knew for her – I knew she couldn’t know, but it was like I was looking in my own eyes and telling myself, “It’s going to be okay.”
Brooke: That’s so interesting for all of us to think about who are coaches because my very first paying client I remember 15 years ago now, I had done a listing on a federation site and someone had found me as a weight loss coach and she was a Master Certified Coach and it was my very first session. Now, I look back I’m like, “Of course, that’s who I had to have as my first client.” Right? It’s just so perfect. But I was just so freaked out. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m not going to be able to help them.”
Then, as soon as soon as you start talking to them you realize, “This has nothing to do with me, this is all about my client.” So, that’s awesome. Now, you’ve done thousands of sessions probably, right?
Brooke: Do you feel a sense of growth as a coach from having done so much coaching with such a diverse set of clients?
Madeline: Oh yeah, it’s a night and day difference. I even just think back to the first few months that I was working, and I feel like I’m a whole different person. My demeanor is different and the way that I engage with the clients and the questions that I ask, everything has just evolved as I’ve learned more and experienced more.
Something that I would say has been one of the most fascinating things to me and one of the reasons why I love so much working for you and having such a wide range of clientele is that we’re all thinking the same things.
Madeline: That you coach somebody who – again, like we talked about the diversity. We talked about age range, we talked about there’s men and women, there’s people all over the world, there’s people from all different financial backgrounds and religions. You name it and we have it, right? But everybody has the same thoughts.
Madeline: Even just reading client notes you’re like, “Oh my goodness.” It really just goes to show that the 50/50 just exists for us all.
Brooke: That’s such a good point. Yeah, I think that’s one of the benefits of working in Scholars is when you have your own business, you’re very selective about who you work with and you’re coaching on one topic. Usually you attract a very specific clientele. So, the variety of the work that you get isn’t as obvious. So, it makes sense that the thoughts would be the same, but I think in Scholars because it’s such a diverse group of people from such – we have very conservative people, very liberal people, people from, like you said, all over the world, and it all comes down to, “I’m not good enough,” right?
Brooke: It just doesn’t matter. “I’m not good enough,” and, “They’re not behaving the way that I want them to behave,” and, “This shouldn’t be happening this way.” So, I do think that’s something that you all get to experience in a way that most coaches don’t by working for the school and having just exposure to just such a wonderful, amazing variety of people.
Okay, let’s move to you, Courtney. I had a note that you’ve had like 4,000 sessions or something, is that right?
Courtney: Yeah, I think it’s almost 4,000 sessions.
Brooke: That is insane.
Courtney: I’ve been full-time for the school since June of 2019, so a little bit over a year now, and just 100 or so sessions a week you get it in.
Brooke: That’s so amazing because the number that people get to most – I would say a regular coach who’s doing just a regular practice, even me when I first started my practice, I don’t think I got to that many sessions until probably three years. I think there’s such a value to that.
We were talking about this, if I had the opportunity to go through The Life School and come to work at the school, even though, of course, I’d always want to be an entrepreneur because that’s – I think I would have worked for the school for a year first just to get that level of coaching under my belt. I don’t think there’s anywhere else you can get that quality of coaching, so congratulations. That’s amazing.
Courtney: Thank you.
Brooke: Are you tired?
Courtney: No, honestly, I would agree with all of my peers here that doing the sessions, I think that there’s something that happens to time in those 20 minutes where you’re just so genuinely connected to the person in front of you, listening to them, that it doesn’t feel like that time has passed. You’re able to get so deep with them and connect with them and help them in such an intense way and it feels like no time at all.
Brooke: That’s awesome.
Courtney: So, at the end of the day, I remember especially when I first started in that first month of so, I would do six or eight hours of sessions and I would literally jump up from my desk and be like dancing around my room just because I had – there’s no music playing, nothing, I just had so much energy coming out of me.
Brooke: That’s awesome. I love it.
Courtney: It was super fun. Yeah.
Brooke: All right, so let’s back up. Tell us a little bit about your story, how you came to the school, how you got hired, all of it.
Courtney: So, I actually learned of you when I was already in a graduate program for psychology and I fell in love with your teachings because I think I really saw all of the science and the theory behind them and then you had the tools to make it super applicable and to really make it tangible for me, personally, and for clients. So, that’s what I loved.
I did your first online certification program when you switched to that. I was eagerly waiting for you to announce the next time I could sign up for certification and as soon as it was available, I think I signed up the very first day that the cart opened.
Courtney: Actually, I did. I signed up for the entrée track after I certified and basically what you were saying, I realized I wanted to have that experience of working with so many clients working for The Life Coach School because I have so much respect for this community. I wanted to get all of that opportunity of coaching any kind of topic, all the reps right after each other.
Brooke: Yeah, the reps, that’s what it is, right?
Brooke: It’s so good.
Courtney: So, I applied to coach for the school while I was still in the entrée track and I haven’t looked back. I love it.
Brooke: So, do you want to be an entrepreneur? Do you have your own business? Are you still building that?
Courtney: I am. I have some private clients that I also work with, yeah.
Brooke: Okay, because I actually think that’s a beautiful way to do it. One of the things that all of my non-life coach colleagues are confused by is I’m always encouraging my employees to go start their own businesses and spread their wings because I’m such a – at heart, such a capitalist and such an entrepreneur and I want people to be able to have that freedom of having their own business. So, I love that for you.
Obviously, you have a lot of experience at the school and you’re a very valuable asset to us, but ultimately, you want to have your own fully running business of your own?
Courtney: I think so. I love working for the school, so I am really enjoying having some of the balance of both. I think I would always love to be involved, whether it’s in certification as an instructor or teaching in Scholars. I think I’ll always want to still hang out with you.
Brooke: I love it. I love it. So, are you an instructor in certification yet or is that something you’re working towards?
Courtney: I was just accepted to the instructor intern program. So, this September I will be learning how to be an excellent instructor.
Brooke: Okay, just so those of you listening know, in order to be an instructor at the school to teach certification you have to go through our intern program for a year first which means you shadow another teacher and go through the whole course and practice teaching and getting feedback. Then, after that you can become a certification instructor by yourself. But you’re also a mentor within Scholars, too, right? You want to tell us a little bit about that?
Courtney: I am, yeah. I am a mentor for the Ask a Coach Forum in Self Coaching Scholars. So, when new coaches are brought in as coaches and Scholars they have the opportunity to intern in the Ask a Coach Forum answering written questions and doing written coaching which is sort of a skill that is special to itself.
When I was answering questions in there I remember one of the mentors at the time said that it was like the way to hone your skills and to become an excellent coach that she got so much value out of it. If you tell me that about anything, I’m like, “Okay, well then, I’m just going to do that. I’m all-in for it.”
Brooke: That I’m going to win at it.
Courtney: Yeah. So, as soon as I heard that, I was like, “Well, that’s what I’m doing,” and I just set forth that I would become excellent at written coaching and that led to me becoming a mentor and now I help people hone those skills before they get to answer those questions on their own and everything.
Brooke: Yeah. When we first started Scholars, it’s been like – almost four years ago, it was Bev Aron and I who were doing all of the questions and there were so many. There were hundreds and hundreds of questions and we were both answering them and after about six months we both said to each other, “Oh my gosh, we are such better coaches now since we’ve done that.”
Because it’s just like what you’re saying, there’s so many different topics and the written word you’re not able to ask questions back and forth, so you have to take all the information that a client has given you and come back with coaching tools that they can take away from. So, I totally agree. I think written coaching is one of the best ways to hone your coaching skills.
So, even if you’re not working in Scholars and you’re just a coach trying to hone your skills, one of the best ways to do that is your email coaching in-between your sessions. I know, for sure, that’s one of the ways that I really developed my skills. If you’re interested in developing your skills because anyone who loves coaching as much as we do would want to do that that is a beautiful way to do it.
So, you want to tell us about one of your sessions? Or any kind of highlight?
Courtney: Yeah, I think similar to what Mindy said, I don’t know if I have one session that particularly stands out, but there’s oftentimes that moment in the session where you find the thought, right? It’s almost like you pull a little string and you just question it. You just shine that light on that one thought and you can almost see the Scholar’s demeanor change. They just realize the one thought error or the one thing that they’ve been thinking that they don’t have to hold on to anymore. I love witnessing that.
You know that the Scholar is going to walk away and their day and their week is going to be different because they have just one slight shift. Even if we don’t go all the way to an intentional model or all the way to a – it’s just like recognizing this thing that you thought was true and painful, you’re just like a tiny bit further away from it. Recognizing that it’s optional, it’s like a beautiful moment.
Brooke: It’s such magic. This just happened to me not that long ago when Kara Loewentheil coached me and she just said, “Hey, you know what’s a thought, right?” And I was like, “What are you talking about?” Like, you can’t see it in your own brain. I was like, “What do you mean that’s a thought?”
She’s like, “I mean, you can pretend like it isn’t, I’m okay with that, but it is.” I was like, “Oh my gosh.” It was like that one moment and you know, I do this work, and I’ve been doing a long time and I do it on myself every single day and I had no idea I had completely missed it. She pointed it out to me and my head exploded, so I totally agree.
Courtney: I feel like I know that thoughts are optional and I also keep discovering it for myself like over and over and over again.
Courtney: I got coaching last week and a couple of days later I was in the shower thinking about what happened in the coaching session and I was like, “Why don’t I just stop thinking that?” It was like a new revelation. I had this new realization, it was so funny.
Brooke: Yeah, and I think that’s important for everyone listening, too. It doesn’t matter how many sessions you’ve done or had. I just was coaching a diamond today. She’s like, “Well, I’m a diamond, I should know better.” I was like, “Well, I’m a double diamond and I still can’t figure this stuff out.” So, I think it’s important that we always recognize how important it is to be coached.
I mean, we can do a little side note here is like, so many people are in Scholars that don’t take advantage of the coaching sessions because they’re like, “Oh, I can figure this out on my own.” But I like what Marlene said, you just go. You don’t even have to have anything.
You just go and say, “Okay, I don’t have anything, but let’s look at my brain together. What do you see that I can’t see?” Just doing that in Scholars, for anyone just to open up your brain where someone can say, “You recognize that’s just a thought,” can change everything. I know, for me, it did. When Kara said that to me I was like, “Wow.” It totally changed the trajectory literally of my life for her to point out that one thought, so I love that.
All right, Sara, what do you have for us? You’re an instructor, too, yes, already?
Sara: Yes, I’m an instructor in the Coach Certification Program and a Scholars instructor.
Brooke: Okay, why don’t you talk a little bit about that? These guys have talked a lot about being a coach. First, tell us your story and you came to the school and how you started working for us, but then talk a little bit about what it’s like being an instructor.
Sara: I came to the school because I heard you say something that I thought was totally ridiculous.
Brooke: Oh good.
Sara: My friend was playing this podcast and you said, “I just show up to love my husband exactly as he is and we each take care of our own needs, and we just show up to enjoy each other’s company.” I was like, “That is ridiculous. There’s no way. There’s no way that works.”
Brooke: You’re like, “That’s not a thing.”
Sara: That’s not a thing. The thing is I tell you how you’re supposed to take care of me and then that’s how that works. So, I honestly, started listening to you almost like, “That can’t be right. I’m going to listen for all the crazy things she’s saying,” and a month later I was in the certification program.
Brooke: I love it. “This lady is crazy. I’m going to give her money.”
Sara: “This lady is crazy,” and I actually already had a counseling program. I was doing my enrollment in a counseling certification program I wanted to get a master’s degree in and help families tell each other how they should take care of each other, right?
Sara: And it all clicked for me so fast. This has felt like the fastest ride to me, but I think it was Madeline who said it feels like it’s been 100 years and 1 week all at the same time because I started in the certification program and I loved it.
I always knew that I wanted to have my own business. I didn’t want to work for anyone else. I had always worked for other people, and working for myself was actually what scared me the most and so I thought, “Yeah, that’s what I’m really going to do.”
But I was in the applied track. After you go through certification you get to kind of choose which direction you want to head in and I chose applied because I really wanted to become a really good coach and I felt like that would do that for me, help with that.
So, I was in an applied track class and Katie Pulsifer, and Bev Aron were both there and I coached and taught, and Katie said, “I’d like to offer you a job. Would you apply to work for the school?” At first, I just said, “I’m not sure that’s what I really wanted to do. I’m really going after this other thing that really scares me that I really think is best.”
I sent Bev an email and I just said, “Could you give me some perspective on this?” She said, “Whenever I have raised my hand to work for the school it has always just come back to ten-fold.”
So, I completely changed plans and came to work for the school and it has been – it’s like the dream job I never knew that I wanted.
Brooke: Oh really? Oh, that’s good.
Sara: Yes, and I’m a little emotional seeing these women, I actually just stopped Scholars coaching two weeks ago, so seeing them again I just – it’s the best community of coaches. There is such support. Your coaching just grows by leaps and bounds, and so I became a coach –
Brooke: But wait, tell us why you stopped – why did you stop coaching in Scholars?
Sara: Because I wanted to coach for Scholars for about 8 months to a year, it’s been almost 10 months and I got a big corporate client who wants me to help develop a coaching program and so I’m going to be able to develop a coaching program, bring on Life Coach School coaches to coach for them and –
Brooke: What? That’s amazing. I love that.
Sara: It’s the thing that now makes me feel like I want to just hide and throw up, so I’m really –
Brooke: So, it’s perfect. You know you’re on track.
Sara: It’s perfect.
Brooke: That’s awesome.
Sara: So, I loved coaching in Scholars, but what really threw me was becoming an intern in the Coach Certification Teaching Program because, man, you have just such amazing instructors and to even think that I could be at that level was really a stretch for me and I really had to coach myself.
That’s where I felt terrified every time showing up to be an intern and now that the internship is done and I’m finishing my first round of certification coaching I love all of it in such different, amazing ways, and it has stretched and developed different parts of me that I just never knew I would love so much.
Brooke: You know, it’s so funny because I listen to people say all the time, like someone will join Scholars or someone will listen to the podcast and they’ll say, “Oh, I can do that.” Like, “This blonde lady, she’s just talking about loving yourself. I can do that.” Then, they always try and do it, they’re like, “Whoa, this is harder than it looks,” right?
Then, it’s becoming a Scholars coach, then it’s becoming an instructor because it’s one thing to coach someone it’s a whole another thing to teach someone how to coach someone, right? This is kind of funny, I, actually, am not great at that skill.
I’m a very good coach, and I’m really good at creating tools. That’s my core competency, but when I was personally training coaches that was not a good skill set for me. Thank goodness for Bev Aron, right? Because what I would do is if I’m teaching you how to coach someone and you’re not doing it right I just take over. I’m like, “Why are you here? Let me coach them,” right?
Bev would also be like, “That’s not really helpful to them.” So, we tried to get me out of that role as soon as possible and it was so funny because so many of the students would be like, “No, I want Brooke to teach me.” All of my master coaches who had been trained by me were like, “No, you really don’t. She’s not the best one.”
So, now the instructors that are in there it’s like that is their highest skill set, but it’s harder than it looks, yeah? Don’t you think?
Sara: Yeah, and I actually was a teacher for two decades before coming to life coaching, so the heart of what I love is teaching. What I love is that I get to watch like the same trainings that I got as a coach I watch them again before going into class with them, there is something new for me every time.
I feel like it’s a constant elevator. Up the next level, up the next level, up the next level, and constant opportunities to just feel like, “Oh my gosh, I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I can.” To get coaching, to coach myself, and then to watch myself do it, it’s amazing.
Brooke: It’s so awesome, and the other thing that I think is so incredible – I mean, for me personally, obviously I’m biased – about working at The Life Coach School is the students we attract are so amazing and so excited and so eager to change the world with our tools that it just makes for such an enthusiastic, awesome atmosphere, right?
Sara: It’s the best, and Scholars the same. I’m also an instructor in Scholars and when I get to coach Scholars I just want to reach through the camera and hug ‘em. There’s so much love and there’s an energy about we’re all doing this together, we are all trying to really watch our brains and coach ourselves to a higher level so that we can contribute at a higher level and to be a part of that has just been amazing.
Brooke: So, do you want share a specific session or maybe instructor session or something that stands out to you?
Sara: Yeah, I think as an instructor that the beautiful balance that I have developed with my students is a love for them with a high standard of excellence. There’s the part of me – because I’ve taught kindergarten, I’ve taught 3rd grade, I’ve taught 6th grade, I’ve taught young adults, I’ve taught adults, I’ve taught it all and so –
Brooke: Is this most like kindergarten? You can tell the truth.
Sara: There’s that instinct where I’m like, “Come on, come on, little coach. No, say it exactly the way I told you to say it. Don’t try to develop your own thing yet.” And I have to step out and be like, “Coaches,” and I always call them coaches because I want them to believe from the very beginning that “I am a coach.”
“I am being really strict with you on the language, on the structure. You are going to learn how to fly later,” right?
Sara: But it’s like, “You’ve got to learn the rules before you can break the rules. I am being really strict with you and you might have the thought that this is mean, but it is love. It is love and it is such a desire for you to fly and contribute in amazing ways that you don’t even know yet. You don’t even know, so try it again. Do it again.”
Sometimes the kindergarten teacher in me wants to just be like, “It’s okay, you’re going to be fine.” They are going to be fine and part of the amazing thing about coaching is you get to deal with your own brain as you become a coach.
Brooke: Right, exactly, and all the self-doubt that comes along with that as you’re learning the tools. It’s interesting that you say that because I’m a pretty tough teacher as it applies to learning how to coach because exactly what you’re talking about. I’m so invested in my students being good.
I used to get some pushback in the beginning and I would be like, “Hey, you guys, it would be so much easier for me to me to just sit here and be like ‘Well done, well done, well done,’ right? And to just praise you. I’d be much more relaxed.” But diving in and really helping someone overcome – like one of the main things that I notice when we’re training coaches is we want to give everyone advice and tell them what to do.
We think we know what’s best and so pulling people back and giving them that feedback is really an art. It’s something that we teach our coaches how to do. So, okay, well, I really appreciate you guys coming on the podcast and talking about what it’s like working for the school, being a coach, coaching so much.
I know that there are many people that – and this is kind of an interesting thing for you all to think about, we are living someone else’s dream right now. There is someone listening to this where we are actually their dream come true to be in the position that we’re in and so I think sometimes it’s easy to forget what you’ve all accomplished.
It’s not easy to get hired by the school, it’s not easy to have found me, to have gone through certification, to have done the work that you’ve done, so I do want to commend you all for your hard work, but also remind you that there are people that are kind of eyeing you, too. They’re like, “This woman is living my dream.”
For those of you listening to the podcast that think, “Oh, I don’t think that could be me.” Every single one of us might have had thought at one time or another along the way to this journey and it’s not all rainbows and daisies, right? We’re still going to work, we’re still coaching, we’re still dealing with our own belief systems, but the opportunity that we have in this industry to grow this industry – and even like you were saying, Sara. It’s like now you’re moving on from Scholars and starting a brand-new opportunity where you’ll be able to hire more coaches I see that happening more and more and more.
We’re changing the school and adding a whole another layer where all of our certified coaches will now be able to offer advanced trainings to our students. So, it’ll be something that – the way that I like to describe it, I want to be the iPhone and I want all of my coaches to be able to create apps for it, and you can pick which app you want to do, and which advanced training that you want to do.
So, I want to encourage any of you listening that are interested in maybe coming and working for me or becoming a life coach that you don’t listen to this as if, “Oh this is something else these women can do and I can’t.” I think it’s possible for every single person that has this dream in their heart. I think it’s not just possible, it’s important to listen to that little whisper that you’re having from within you.
Let’s just go around one more time, maybe offer one last piece of advice or just a closing word and then we’ll seal it up. Let’s start with you, Mindy.
Mindy: One last word, I would guess – I think my very favorite part of being a coach is I am learning how to love. Because when these Scholars come people that I never would have thought I could love so much just in my regular life, I love them so much. Now, I’m using that, I’m transferring that over to my own life.
Like, okay, I know I can love people unconditionally, I’m doing it as a coach, now how do I just hold that space for the people in my own life and love them unconditionally? That’s what I’m working on right now and it is so fun.
Brooke: That is so true because one of the things you do with coaching that we require is in order to hold the space you have to be in complete non-judgment and that is a skill that you develop. Then, it feels so good that you’re like, “Wait, why do I then go to my regular life and start judging people again?” What about you, Marlene?
Marlene: I would say to anyone that’s listening, if you can dream it, you can be it. It all starts with the thoughts. Dreams are just thoughts and if you’ve got a dream for yourself, if you want to be a coach, if you want to come work for The Life Coach School, you dream that thought, you dream it and then you just work backwards. You just go forward and just make that dream a reality. You just take the action steps to get to where you want to be.
Brooke: Love it. So good. What about you, Madeline?
Madeline: I would kind of piggyback off of Marlene and just say that there’s nothing blocking you but your own brain. Because, for me, I’m 25, I’m going to be 26 this month and in the beginning, I had a lot of thoughts about, “I’m too young. Nobody is going to listen to me. I’m not going to have anything to offer. I don’t have enough experience.”
I’ve heard the opposite, “I’m too old.” People always these ideas of what a coach looks like and how much experience they need to have under their belt or how much wisdom they have to have or they have to have their life all together and I would just say that’s BS. That’s an absolute lie, and it’s only going to hold you back and as Marlene said, if you can dream it you can be it and don’t let any age or experience be an excuse not to go after what you want.
Brooke: Yeah. I think that’s so interesting, too. How old are you, Marlene? Do you mind sharing?
Marlene: I don’t mind sharing at all. I love it when people come on and they say, “I’m so old, I’m 48” and I’m like, “It doesn’t work with me, I’m 54, honey.”
Brooke: It doesn’t work with me. I’m not buying that, right? And the reason I asked you specifically your age because on my screen you guys are right next to each other and what I think is so interesting is as a client I can come to either one of you at any point in my life and I’m going to get the same tools and the same coaching and the same help that I need in order to overcome my own brain.
So, you’re absolutely right. It has nothing to do with how old you are, it has nothing to do with any – whatever the excuse you have in your brain, “I’m too young, I’m too old,” whatever it is, I was just saying to my other friend, I said, “Excuses are for people that need them. You don’t need an excuse.”
If you have a dream, you don’t need excuses, you just need the energy to go after it. So, I love that. All right, what about you, Sara?
Sara: To build a little more on what Marlene and Madeline said, the only way you will not get hired by the school if that’s what you really want is if you quit.
Brooke: Yes, it’s so true.
Sara: Because the hiring process really is genius. You’re never told, “No,” you’re told, “Go back and work on these things and then reapply.”
Sara: “Go back and work on these things and then reapply,” so it is the very process by which you improve your coaching and the only way you don’t get hired is if you decide, “I don’t want to be a part of this process anymore.”
Brooke: Absolutely. Truth. #Facts. All right, Courtney.
Sara: Lastly, can I just throw in one more thing?
Brooke: Yeah, please.
Sara: As the school grows, I had this thought one day, Brooke is growing. She needs teachers. She needs coaches. She needs more teachers and coaches, she needs me. I need to become the best coach, the best teacher to participate in this growth and so this is just such a unique opportunity or convergence of there’s a huge opportunity of your growth in the school with this hiring process that never tells you no. It just tells you, “This is what you should do to get hired. Work on that and come back.”
Brooke: Yes. That is such a good point. I mean, we are growing so fast. I keep talking to my Director for Certification, she’s like, “We just got to get more instructors. We just got to get more instructors.” So, we’re very careful with who we hire to teach our stuff. We need to make sure that they have the experience that they need, but we’re not slowing down on hiring. That is something that we are doing as fast as we possibly can.
Okay, what about you, Courtney? Go close it up for us.
Courtney: Bring it home.
Courtney: I would say to anyone who is doing certification or thinking about doing certification to just decide to be excellent and do whatever it takes to be excellent. For me, one thing that has really, really served me was wanting to be better, but coming to that want from a place of sufficiency believing that I was already good enough where I was and I was bringing in extra skill and extra ability.
Even on day one of certification I was like, “I’m as good as I need to be on day one,” even though I didn’t know barely anything. So, coming to that with a very strong desire to be the best, be as good as I possibly could, but never from a place of that what I was now somehow wasn’t enough.
Brooke: I love that. That is so good and that’s for all of you listening. You’re already good enough, you’re already worthy. This is an invitation for you to pursue your dreams even more. If you are someone that hasn’t joined Scholars you should join and come get coached by one of these fantastic women and we do have men coaching, too, and really broaden the perspective of what may be possible for you.
I want to thank each and every one of you for coming and showing us what’s possible and for being an example of that for me and for the school and for everyone watching. Have a beautiful week, everyone. Take care. We’ll talk to you next time.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast you have to come check out Self Coaching Scholars. It’s my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level, and we study it. Join me over at thelifecoachschool.com/join. Make sure you type in the “The” thelifecoachschool.com/join. I’d love to have you join me in Self Coaching Scholars. See you there.