Finding the Right Strategist for What You Need

There are few things in the coaching industry that make me crazier than this: Watching friends, colleagues, or any woman for that matter, being sold on a coach or consultant that can’t deliver promised results.

I have seen it with entrepreneurs and other high-powered women. I’ve seen it with women transitioning from one stage of their life to another, and with women searching to create the love that they dream of.

Perhaps the worst of it all is knowing there are women seeking support, but finding they’re not getting the services they so desperately require.

I started my business as a coach and strategist because as I moved through my divorce, I couldn’t seem to find the kind of support that was necessary to navigate the new and uncharted territories of my current situation. I had a financial advisor. I had a therapist. I had a lawyer. What was lacking was a person that not only understood exactly what I was going through, but also was able to lovingly, yet firmly, guide and advise me toward my next life, love, and career.

As I began to build my business around a full-time job and the realities of being a single mother, I found that I needed a lot of information and resources. And so I asked for help.

I have hired and worked with a lot of experts over the years: coaches, consultants, and a variety of healing and therapeutic practitioners. A few have been extraordinary, but the truth of the matter is, many of them worked hard to convince me that they could give me what I needed most when in fact, they couldn’t.  

Why couldn’t they?

They could not possibly help me because they didn’t have the personal experience of working full time while building a business, and certainly not as a divorced, single mom living in suburbia. The reality was, some of them thought that they had the answers to problems they knew nothing about.

A number of these professionals made me believe that the lack of positive results in our coaching relationship was due to my inability to show up — that there was an absence of believing in myself and my ability.

If you know me at all, you know that I have an extremely strong sense of self-worth and I show up 1,000 percent in everything that I do. However, there are realities to being financially self-sufficient as a single mother to two small children, and owning a home in an affluent suburban town. The choices I was making at the time were not a result of a lack of self-worth, but a combination of fear and real-life responsibilities.

Had I taken time to consider the source, I would have realized that some of the experts I chose to work with had amazing skills, but they could only apply them to a specific set of circumstances. Mine was not one of them.

Piloting a new life direction requires someone that can help you find purpose, passion, and of course, yourself. Here are three tips to ensure that you are choosing a coach, consultant, or other expert that can actually support you in the way that you need, and most certainly deserve.

1. As you interview your prospective coach or advisor, ask them detailed questions about their experience in serving someone with your unique circumstances.  

For example, it isn’t enough for a financial advisor to work with divorced individuals. It is imperative that they also have a thorough understanding of the emotional issues that come with this particular transition. Financial decisions are influenced by one’s mindset and emotional state, and are often decisions that will affect your future in ways you can’t possibly imagine.

Or, let’s say they claim to have made seven figures in one week, working on the beach in Bora Bora, while their partner is carrying the heaving financial overhead of their life and business. Meanwhile, you are struggling as a single woman trying to grow a new business. You must consider the source, even if they “promise” that they have the answer for your unique challenges.

2. Results don’t always come with exorbitant price tags.  

Some of the most amazing results I have had with coaches and consultants have come from the least expensive and most unassuming individuals. Paying huge fees for coaching does not in any way guarantee success, regardless with what they tell you. Fancy websites, brilliant testimonials, or number of email subscribers does not always mean that they are the right fit for what you need. Compromising your financial security and taking on debt is not a decision best made on a sales call when the person talking with you knows virtually nothing about your raw and real life.  

Yes, you get what you pay for, but it shouldn’t compromise your financial security, ever.

3. There is a difference between inspiring, advising, and challenging you to accomplish your objective, and being pressured by your coach to take action because it is driven by their own financial reward.

Your coach, advisor, or strategist should have your best interest in mind, always.

I have always worked full time while building my business, partly because I have always needed the security of a steady income, but even more so because I always want to come to the work I do with women out of a commitment to serving them in every way and never out of financial scarcity.

Consider the source. This is your one, amazing life and you deserve to have the life, love, and career that is best for you.  

Laura Campbell is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.