When do coaches normally work and how do I set my hours?
Coaches work a variety of schedules. I recommend setting your work hours to suit you and select your ideal coach based on that schedule.
For example: I would say my office hours – the hours that I’m available to meet with my coaches on the phone are a standard that I set. Otherwise, I will be at their disposal. My coaches know I don’t take any appointments with them before Noon. My office hours are from 12:00 to 5:00 Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Mondays and Fridays are at my discretion, but my coaches know we don’t make appointments to get together unless it’s on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Getting the work done is based on when my coach needs it, whether there is a time constraint, and my availability to do it. Emergencies are rare because our weekly meetings are designed to address any last-minute needs.
What if my coach needs me to do work I’m not familiar or skilled at doing?
You will learn as you develop relationships in this and other organizations there are people who have skills that you don’t. It seems like you run into them all the time on the phone. You’ll develop a relationship with them, and one day you will need them and you’ll be able to go back to them and say, “Hey, I’ve got this client with these needs, would you be willing to…” and they’ll say “sure”.
You’ll never ever feel like “I’m in it alone” or “If I don’t know how to do it, it won’t get done”, or “If my client asks me to do something I don’t know how to do, oh-h-h, now I got to go take a course. I need to go find training”. You don’t need to do that anymore. You just need to know who to reach out to in the association.
Another valuable resource is your coach. They will have a long laundry list of tasks that they want to accomplish. All of those tasks do not have to have your name attached to them. This is a collaboration which means that working with me is rolling up the sleeves and helping get some of this work done.
It’s not that you can’t do the work, but your coach needs some ownership too. Select the tasks that only she can do – such as writing the content. Most coaches want to write their own content and give it to you to format. You can do the research, but she’s going to need to pull the pieces together so that you can hear her voice.
What do I do when my coach wants to change or end the relationship?
One thing that I do is I check in with my coaches every week. The second thing I do is I invoice them on the 25th of the month for the next month. If there are any issues they didn’t want to tell me about before, they will tell me before I hit that card on the 27th. In between that time, I have those “check in” conversations especially with a new client.
Have those heart-to-heart talks, by saying something like “so how are you feeling, how’s everything going, are you feeling comfortable working together”? Let her tell you how she feels because you need the feedback. If it’s positive, you could say “I’m really feeling a good relationship developing here too”. However she might say “Well, you know, I’m not really feeling a connection” or “my finances are getting a little funny and, I may have to stop at the end of this month.”
Don’t worry! That’s fine. Tell her “We’re going to push ahead and do as much as we can this month to finish out your retainer and then if you want to return and if I’m available I would love to continue working with you. Now in between that time my rates may go up and you’d be subject to those changes.”
Lesson for You: You want to end a relationship so that it’s still healthy and it’s still attractive and it doesn’t close the door or burn the bridge for continuing to do business or even to get referrals. One of the most valuable lessons I learned in my business was not to burn any bridges and to walk away peaceably. By maintaining a peaceable nature in the relationship, you will leave a good taste in her mouth which may result in referrals.