Can I get a do-over?

I had a problem.

I was stuck and floundering in a crucial aspect of coaching.

Background: I was taking a coaching course, Unleash Your Genius with Master Life Coach Bev Barnes. The course aim was to, well…unleash your genius as a life coach. To be authentic, get in touch with and settle into our innate way of coaching. Each life coach has one and this is important to figure out because once a coach starts to hone in on his or her instinctive way of coaching we begin to get very clear about who we want to coach.

In other words…our services will reach those who need us most.

It is kind of like a specialty but more subtle. 

Take chefs for example.

There are pastry, fish, roast, grill, pantry and fry chefs (yes, there’re more but you get the idea). Yet a pastry chef in one bakery is not the same as another pastry chef in different bakery. Each has their style, flair, tastes and ways of creating a great croissant. We all aim to find the best croissant.

Or is that just me? 

Crap! Now I want a buttery flaky croissant – and I'm gluten-free.


Okay – back to life coaching!

I was stuck identifying who I wanted to coach. During life coach training with Martha Beck – before Bev’s course – we went through a couple of exercises to help us get a grip on the type of clients we wanted to coach, aka our idea client.

I sucked at this part.

My coach buddies were like…

  • women over 45 who are empty nesters!
  • teenagers who have ADHD!
  • weight loss!
  • young mothers who are balancing children and work!  
  • men over 40 who want to find their passion!



All I knew was that I probably wanted to help men and women over 35. Other than that, it was WIDE open.

I completed training still not very clear about who I wanted to coach. I was told, “No worries. It will come to you.” In other words, a do-over was in my future.

It happened in Bev’s course.

However, in a not so clear way. Does it ever?!

Several weeks into Bev’s course the topic of the ideal client came up again.

I thought crap. I don’t know. I’m not getting any internal messages. I’m not drawn to a particular type of client. All I had was a blank!

A blank that stared at me.


Then Bev turned it around and asked me, “What problem do you want to coach?”

Now, I’m sure someone during training asked a similar question but we are ready when we are ready. And this was my time. Do-over #1.

I knew the problem I liked coaching.

Actually, there was a theme related to the type of clients I was attracting.

Several of my clients came to me out of the blue with a very specific problem. I had coached them and they had gotten great results.

These clients were sick and tried of living the life they were living. They wanted a specific change, mostly a career change and some a lifestyle change.

The reoccurring theme was they were ready to do the work. They had a clear idea of what they wanted. They were unsatisfied with what they had settled for for so long.

They had read a couple of books about changing their lives and wanted to know how to make it happen in their lives.

They were passionate about creating a life they loved to live and wanted a facilitator - an objective voice to rise above the fear of changing.

Instead of having an ideal client I had an ideal problem.

I was closer. I had a partial answer. How was I going to merge the two? How was I going to facilitate the meeting between clients living a life they wanted to change and me?

I knew I needed to resonant with people who had a passion to change their lives. How was I going to resonant with them? How would I figure out the right words? What was the process?

As these questions were swirling in my head, Bev said, “Use backwards planning.”

Damn she’s good.


So the journey to find my ideal client took me backward.

Do-over #2.

After recognizing my ideal problem, I began rereading Eat, Pray, Love – the ultimate create-the-life-you-love-to-live story.

The book triggered the passion I had about recreating my life.

The struggles. The fear. The stuckness. Making a plan. Failing. Starting over again – smarter with a better plan. Keeping the gems in my life. Using strengths I forgot I had. And the most important, having support through all of my changes.

As I planned backward I also traveled backward.

I got inside what I had done to recreate my life. I relived (superficially, thank goodness!) my circumstances, what I said, what I thought and what I felt. (yes, and how I felt wronged – we all go there.)

By going over my past trials I captured the emotional place that I needed to speak from to reach my ideal clients.

Do-over #3. I’ve rewritten my life coaching page!



Who says we don’t get do-overs?

I believe otherwise. Life is gentler that way.

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