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3 Mistakes I’ve Made as a Career Coach by Tanya Smith

Jun 4th, 2009 | By | Category: Career Coaching

As a trained coach, it’s so easy to assume that your training alone will help you to be balanced, and to do everything right when working with people who want coaching.  I’ve discovered, however, that experience is most often the best instructor in the world!

So, I’ve decided to share, based on some of my experiences, 3 mistakes I’ve made as a coach over the last couple of years.  Let me summarize first:

  1. Wanting success for the client more than they want it.
  2. Thinking that as a Christian coach, I shouldn’t charge “that much” for my services.
  3. Leaving Christ out of the relationship.

Mistake #1 – Wanting success for the client more than they want it

There have been times when  I worked with a client who stated with false confidence that they wanted change in their life/career.  However, that same person would show up to our coaching calls without any commitments fulfilled, making excuses, and wondering why they could not seem to move forward in their career search.  I’d keep working with them, hoping they’d finally have a moment of revelation; thinking that I could somehow save them through fantastic coaching.  After all, God had gifted me with impacting their lives for the better, right?  Don’t be deceived – sometimes these situations can be a distraction to your time and a drain on your personal resources – resources that could be applied to someone who is ready to receive their blessing!  Sometimes, they are intended to be lessons to help us focus on being “fruitful” in our seeding.

Mistake #2 – Thinking that Christian coaches shouldn’t “charge that much” since, after all, this is a ministry

I learned that after having spent thousands of dollars and more in time on educating myself to become an amazing coach, I could not see a profit from my business because everyone seeking services wanted them to be at no, or low, cost.  One teleseminar was quite revealing to me – I’d had a large number of folks sign up (free tickets, of course) but only about 4 actual participants came to the class.  And they did not attend each time in the series because, guess what?  they had not invested anything into the class which meant it was easier to put aside!  After all my time and effort was put into it, by the end, only one student lasted.  God showed me then that I have to value my business as much as He does.

He wants us to be blessed in our professions and to be compensated for the work we do:  “May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.” Ruth 2:12 (NASD).  Now I know to be confident that I can and should operate my business with His direction (including pricing my services), and to be flexible when the Spirit is leading me to divert from the norm.  I also give a percentage of  my services away as a tithing of my time.

Mistake # 3 – Leaving Christ out of coaching

There have been successes in my coaching with, people on a secular level (at least by worldly standards), but I have to say, there is nothing like having Christ be part of the relationship to take a client to the next level.  The results are lasting instead of temporary, the client is touched from the inside out as their spirit is touched by The Spirit. Why?  Because when we seek Him, every good result is further magnified.

“But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

As a coach, applying a Christ-centered approach can not only align perfectly with your values, it can be an opportunity to impact someone’s soul and that, my friend, is what it’s really all about.

Ultimately, I know there are many other mistakes I could have included in this article.  Add your own and remember the lessons so that you can continue to grow your coaching expertise and be a blessing to others.  Keep Christ at the helm!


Tanya Smith, the Monday Morning Coach, helps super busy professionals find their passion so they can enjoy waking up daily to work they love. Visit her career coaching website or on Facebook at

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