At the end of 2018, I proudly launched Nonprofit Now! (www.yournonprofitnow.com), my consulting and coaching practice focused on supporting young and growing nonprofits and their leadership. More recently, I added Forward is Forward Coaching (www.robertgrabel.com with will be live Wednesday) which provides Executive and Business Development Coaching for a range of industries.
Having worked collaboratively with staff, volunteers and board members in the nonprofit industry for nearly two decades, I felt I had something genuine to offer experienced and aspiring leaders. I had also led teams and mentored business development professionals during 10 plus years in financial services.
I had an easy time finding coaching clients through Catchafire (www.catchafire.org). This site is a fantastic resource that connects volunteers with nonprofits for pro bono projects. I saw numerous coaching projects available and I eagerly volunteered. Looking back on those early assignments, I find it a bit funny that I was in reality, consulting with them. That’s not to say that the conversations weren’t helpful – I truly believe they were. But for the first few, I was advising, not coaching.
A lot has changed since last year. I went on to get my coaching certification through the Newfield Network. There is a very clear distinction between coaching and consulting and I strive to be 100% transparent with potential clients about my offer. I intend to continue to grow my knowledge and coaching skills so I can provide even more value to clients I serve. I share all of this because I find it extraordinary how easy it is for someone – truly anyone! – to call themselves a coach and charge clients large fees to do so. No training. No experience…
What continues to amaze me even more is the number of coaches looking to coach other coaches! As someone who recently received certification from a program recognized by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) which creates standards for the coach industry, I must be have got the hit list for many of these so-called coaching gurus. Just for the fun of it, while working on this post, I went on my Facebook for five minutes to count the ads the popped up in my feed. In that short time, there were 8 ads from wannabe experts telling me how to become a coach, build my coaching business, write a book or develop a public speaking career.
Something is off here… If all these folks are so good at coaching, getting coaching clients, writing and speaking – why aren’t they out there getting those clients, coaching them masterfully – and writing and speaking? I imagine this will put me in the skeptics column but I can’t help but wonder if these coaches being coached by coaches being coached – actually coach or have clients?
So what’s my point? Well, whether you’re a coach, an architect, fundraiser, a musician or runner (or just about anything else in the world), here’s my Million Dollar Secret of Success:
- There is no “Secret to Success” – I’m more convinced than ever that there is no Secret of Success, which seems to be the main offer from these folks. Buy their book, enroll in the course, sign up for the free (or not so free webinar) and on it goes.
- There is no “Magic Formula” – Not so different from the above – but a little different. What I find fascinating is the variety of spins on how to win. While I see some of the gurus who say they’ve got it down to a science, there’s an opposite camp that will tell you that you don’t need to do anything to be successful – just listen to them (after you pay the fee!).
- But There Is Hard Work – I guess I’m showing my age – or experience. I am convinced of the power of hard work. You know, doing the right things to develop your craft day in and day out. Period.