The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler & Rich Litvin

If you have ever paused to consider the difference between a manager, a mentor, a trainer, and a coach, then read this book – it explains in abundance. Although the messages are profound, it is a very easy read – most of the chapters being three to five pages long.

It’s written by two authors who have used their ups and downs in life to provide the experience and desire to serve others. They do this by taking on people who want (as opposed to need) coaching and they don’t do it to be nice or make friends. They do it to help people be what they already know they can be, and they do it using fearless coaching. For the record, they are also extremely successful. They have full and meaningful lives, they have all the income they want, and they have profitable and impactful (ugh) businesses, what’s more they do what they love, when and where they want to do it.

 I found it a schizophrenic read which made it an uncomfortable experience. I have no doubt that that was the intention. On the one hand they lay bare all the reasons for failure (ouch!) but they balance this buy identifying all the reasons that make us magnificent (I’d like more of that please); and that appears to be their technique. They take you on a deep exploration of the inner you, leaving you as though you have had a life-altering conversation – or at least a DMC that you will remember for ever and a thirst for more. There’s humility (you know nothing) and encouragement (every examined life is interesting) in equal and inspiring measure.

 Despite there being a notable absence of tables, charts, systems, and rules – they say there are no rules and no short cuts because powerful coaching is always bespoke to the person being coached, they do remind the reader of ample truths that should help catalyse change. One bit I especially like is the way they debunk the myth that coaches should spend any time at all on designing nice business cards, creating a web site, fawning over their Facebook profile or any other “social media” for that matter. What counts is taking action and having conversations with people.

 The snippets of advice that stand out are, rather than confidence being a requirement for taking action it is a result of taking action; and the magic is already in the person being coached. The coach’s responsibility is to find it.

 I can see their point about money being a way to keep score, but for my taste it seems a little overdone verging on the vulgar. They do, however, note that helping people realise their dreams is priceless in the eyes of the person realizing their dream and that’s worth bearing in mind when deciding how much you charge for coaching.

 The hard part? There is no hard part. Just find out the real you, be prepared to share your story, get yourself a coach, and then get out there to take whatever action is needed to start conversations and to make coaching proposals. Do this  every day and march inevitably toward your own goals.