You might think you’re serving your clients better by bending over backwards for them…but what if setting boundaries in your coaching practice actually helped you be a better coach?
We all know that it’s impossible to pour from an empty cup. When demands on your time, energy, and resources increase, it’s up to you to decide when enough is enough. But, as coaches, we have a tendency to keep giving even when we’ve got little left.
There needs to be a balance between serving your clients to get them the very best results and empowering them with their independence and responsibility. If you’re constantly over-delivering, you’re teaching your clients that they can expect this premium service from you without putting in any extra effort themselves. This can be incredibly counter-intuitive!
So, it’s important to set and protect boundaries in your coaching practice – not only for your sake but also to ensure that your clients are getting the best possible service from you.
I explore the three most important areas you need to set boundaries as a coach in this episode of The Mindset Coach. I break down why you need to protect your time, energy, and financial resources, and how setting these boundaries in your coaching practice can help make you a better coach.
You can listen to this episode of the podcast below or keep reading….
Your time is incredibly valuable for both you and those around you. But it’s also limited. So be wise about how you spend it. Setting boundaries around your time is one of the most beneficial things you can do as a business owner. This way, you can ensure you have enough time to serve all of your clients adequately and not impact your downtime.
The first thing you can do is to create time blocks or designated sessions. I like to use a hard start and a hard stop within these time containers to set expectations. Establishing these parameters early on helps people understand that you’re not there on-demand, any time you give after that hard stop is a bonus.
While it’s obvious that you’ll be blocking time out in your calendar to spend with clients, it’s also a good idea to block time out for other things as well. If you ever feel overwhelmed or frustrated that you didn’t get what you wanted done in the day, set aside some designated time in your calendar. Put in a block with the idea that you’ll write some social media posts/prepare for your meetings/take a lunch break, whatever you want to do. It can make a real difference.
Speaking of social media, perhaps you have forums or groups that eat up a lot of your time. Constant notifications and questions can drain your energy and frequently distract you. So why not set some office hours? Tell your group that you’re going to be answering questions and be active between certain hours only. They then have the option to leave a question and wait for your response or talk to you when you’re online.
Make it a priority to communicate clearly with your clients and manage their expectations, especially in your contracts and agreements. If you’re providing one-to-one sessions, how long do they last for? And how many do they get? What’s your policy on contact outside of that time? The sooner you make your boundaries clear, the more respectful your clients are likely to be of them.
Managing your energy properly means you can bring your best self to your clients, your family, your hobbies and pursuits, and live a happier more well-rounded life. There are three different energies that you should be setting boundaries around: physical, spiritual, and emotional.
When it comes to your physical energy, you need to ensure that you’re setting aside enough time to look after yourself. Getting enough exercise, sleep, and the right nutrition are key for keeping our bodies and brains functioning at their highest possible level. So instead of reaching for the coffee every day, you could incorporate hypnosis practices into your night-time routine to help you rest more adequately.
Your spiritual and emotional energy require a different focus. Learning how to regulate these is crucial to keeping you at your best as a coach. You might want to use tools such as meditation, self-reflection, or self-care to bring yourself back into spiritual and emotional alignment.
In The Mindset Coach Academy, we do a lot of work on being aware of your emotional peaks and troughs and learning how to access a positive emotional state. This might include feelings of happiness, motivation, calm, relaxation, or whatever emotion you associate with feeling good and ready to work.
Your body also has physical peaks and troughs. It’s vital to learn when you have the most expendable energy. Start by asking yourself when you feel more focused at work. Is it in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Pay attention to your own rhythm, and, if you have the luxury to do so, see how you can make your day work around your energy.
In your coaching practice, your sessions may tap your energy differently. Say you run a VIP immersion over two or three days. This is going to require a lot more energy than a 90-minute coaching session. So be considerate of your energy levels when you’re booking your coaching time containers. Are you scheduling your bigger projects at a time in the month that suits your energy peaks? And are you ensuring that you’re scheduling in enough rest time too?
Finally, be aware of how other people’s energy affects you. Some people may give you more energy, others may drain your energy. There’s nothing worse than seeing a client’s name in your diary and thinking, “oh no, not them!” I’m a big advocate of working with people you genuinely enjoy spending time with. These people who light you up, make you excited and passionate, and feed your energy, are your ideal clients. Never be afraid to really drill into if a client is right for you before you start working with them.
We often talk about the coach’s money mindset in The Mindset Coach Academy to help you own the value you provide for your clients. Pricing is a strategic business decision that you have to make. But, often, people don’t price their coaching in a way that accurately reflects their value. You should do your market research, know what value you provide, and stick to the price you choose.
I see coaches constantly undervaluing their work. They might set their price at X-amount for an hour – but it’s never just an hour! Your price includes all of the time, skills, knowledge, and experience that you have and your expertise in helping your clients to achieve their desired result.
If you’ve got clients who are picking apart your coaching package prices to work out your hourly rate, then perhaps they’re not the right clients for you. Value isn’t measured in cost-per-hour – it should be measured in the transformation they make.
Your pricing also helps clients understand the investment they’re making. If they’re parting with money, they’re more likely to put time and energy into working towards their goals. However, if they’re not putting their money where their mouth is, then they may be less inclined to make the same time and energy investment. This is why free coaching usually doesn’t work.
When you do set your prices for packages, I also want you to think about the boundaries you set around pricing plans. Are you going to have one set price that has to be paid in full? Or are you going to offer payment plans? If you choose to do the latter, you’re essentially giving your clients a line of credit. This can give your clients the impression that your coaching is pay-as-you-go rather than a complete package, which isn’t the right mindset.
Like I mentioned before, it’s vital to communicate exactly what your clients are getting from you when they sign up. Put it all in your contract. Let your clients know what they’ll get for the money they spend with you – not just for their benefit, but for yours too!
Time and time again, I see coaches overdelivering with their time, energy, and money. While I completely understand why, I also want you to thrive as a coach and not suffer from burnout. So, I hope this post has helped you think about setting healthy boundaries in your coaching practice and being the best coach you can be.
Are you ready to become a Certified Mindset Coach? If so, answer that calling by signing up to The Mindset Coach Academy!