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Why many subject-matter experts can’t coach online

By Mike Hunder
05 December 2019   |   3:39 am
Have you ever planned to coach online, but each time you keep pushing it forward? And then blame it on something? Hey, wake up and smell the coffee


Have you ever planned to coach online, but each time you keep pushing it forward? And then blame it on something? Hey, wake up and smell the coffee: one reason that you don’t have your own online coaching business today is that you keep coming up with excuses! Sure, feeling apprehensive about taking the plunge to start any new project or business is understandable. But coming up with excuses not to start at all, is not justified; and will actually keep you from living the life you have always dreamed about.  
Here are six excuses you should give up, and start to coach online.
First, my inbox is filled with comments from senior and experienced professionals as “I don’t have enough time to do online coaching”… “If you work where I work, by the time you struggle home, take a bite of food, and catch some TV – it’s late”. Sure, you do need to invest time to be successful in the online coaching business. But the focus should actually be on how to use your time well. To be sure, we tend to see people listen to the radio for newspaper reviews and other stuff, as they commute daily! Instead, if you would listen to CDs on how to start your coaching business, as you commute daily – you would have built a good foundation by the time the year runs out to help you get started – without any particular sense of stress or strain! 

One thing I have often heard these days is that “giving the way the economy has changed, the growing rate of business foreclosures that is going on – many people are anxious about their future”… “So it’s not wise to take the risk of starting an online business at this time”! Sure, the economy does have an effect on the local Nigerian market, but things are different in the online market. Operating across national boundaries, there is an infinite amount of customers and clients you can reach. The thing is to think more about quality, about identifying your ideal clients, their needs and pain points, and choosing a business idea that addresses those needs. That’s how your business does well.
A few years back, when I mentioned to a friend of mine, that I am running an online school, he was not quite sure he heard me right: “Did you say you have an Online School?” he asked. Who would blame him? Myths are being spread around that, “You have to be techy to run an online coaching business”; “Online coaching is for young people”! This is not true! The truth is, basic techy skills are now easy to learn, without having to use codes, and designs are now more user-friendly than ever. And you get to meet online learners from across national boundaries, impact lives and it is rewarding!

An excuse that held me back from starting my own online coaching business for about two years running was that I hate sales. Then, I would say: “I don’t like sales, so how do I sell my online course?”…”I don’t like pushing people to do things they don’t want to do”… “I’d rather be on the creative side than on the sales side”. Does this sound familiar? So, don’t be so quick to judge! You don’t have to be an expert at sales to successfully sell online. Stories abound of people who were poor at sales but turned out to be successful online business owners. To be sure, many online sales techniques are readily available, to help you sell online.

Another excuse that people make is that there’s too much competition in the online coaching business. True, offering a valuable service may have some competition. But this should not keep you from starting your own online business. I read a line that says everything is competitive: real estate is competitive, being a farmer is competitive, being a writer is competitive, even being in paid employment is competitive! So, waiting around for a business to be non-competitive is waiting for eternity. Instead, the thing is to create an online course that shares your personal business experiences and ideas, a learning experience that your audience can hardly find elsewhere. That is how you get more business and referrals. Besides, the online market actually has room for many winners – so, you and your competition can both be successful.

Finally, there are those who would say, “I want everything to be right first”! But lots of business opportunities are being lost as you wait for everything to be right first before you start. Besides, nothing will ever be perfect, no matter how much you try. So, you don’t have to wait for things to be perfect to start. The thing is to start now and keep improving as you grow.
Can you think of other excuses that you or others make, that keep you from coaching online? The thing is that you will have to give up some of these excuses in order to launch your first online coaching programme. And I challenge you to do that! 

Hunder, a former bank executive in corporate Nigeria turned online business coach, is CEO MH Productivehabits.

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