The Coaching Niche


October 18, 2021

Coaching has been a blessing for me.  Through it I’ve had the occasion to encounter an entire host of clients from a variety of walks of life that I might not have otherwise.  Engineers, Human Resources Professionals, Attorneys, Division I Sports Information Directors, Entertainers, Private Business Owners, and Social Media Content Moderators have been among my connections.  Through these clients my curiosity has been awakened beyond imagination.


It’s said that the most important ingredient to becoming an effective Executive Career or Life Coach is possessing a healthy measure of curiosity.  I like what another person from a completely different profession said about it.  “I listen, I observe, I ask questions, and try to ward against world-weariness.  I want to be eternally curious.”  Dan Barry, New York Times Reporter.   Dale Carnegie shared a similar thought, “To be interesting, be interested.”


We tend towards those similar to us:  common values, beliefs, interests, and outlooks.  And although I have had clients who represent a wide zone of personalities and professions, a successful business is generally going to have a target niche.  That does not necessarily correlate to a “hard line” as to service provision, but it does offer guidance as to targeted “fit.” 


Golden Corral offers a smorgasbord of food choices and I would admit that on more than one occasion I have gorged on their vittles.  They appear to have done a great business for a long time with that business strategy.  If I am in the mood for one particular type of food:  Italian, Mexican, Chinese, or just an old-fashioned hamburger, however, they will likely not be on my hunger radar. 


For me, my focus is on basically two distinct and actually unrelated client markets.  What they do have in common, though, is that they represent paths that I have once empathetically walked.


The first are those who are late career and searching for their nirvana, that place in their work and personal life where self-actualizing wants and dreams are achieved.  The second group represents individuals early in their careers.  They might be fresh out of completing their educational or training requirements, but are more likely a population that has been out of school for a while and is either in their initial or second career job.  Like those who are late career, they are looking for something called “more.”  I often hear a phrase like “impact on the world” used. 


In the case of both groups I find that career objectives intersect with life goals.  “My parents are elderly and I need to stay where I am to take care of them.”  “Extensive travel and irregular hours are difficult for my health.”  Career starters:  “My fiancé has a great job that will require us to remain where we are.”  “I would love to do worldwide mission work, but debts demand a greater compensation.”


I belonged to the niche of late career clients not so long ago.  In fact I hired a coach myself to help sort through what was next for me.  I had been an HR professional for over 30 years at that point and knew that I did not want to retire, but rather wanted to transition to something else.  For me, what would that be?  That coach helped me evaluate not only my talents and interests, but also brought some clarity to what I wanted.  That breakthrough moment came when I looked him in the eye, wagged my finger at him and proclaimed, “I want to do what you do.”  And so that journey began. 


Time passes quickly.  It seems like only a few blinks of an eye ago that I was newlywed, financially challenged, and often feeling insufficient.  For sure there were some mentors and advisors along the way for whom I will always be indebted.  Still, at that period of life, I wished that there could have been an objective person, “a coach,” who might have created a “safe” place in which I could explore possibilities and really dig deep for what it is I wanted.  The HR career that I spent most of my time in laid the foundation for what I now do.  Although I am proud of that career, if I am honest, it has not been until these past several years in coaching that I really discovered my capstone.


I am curious as to where you are on your journey.  We each have within ourselves the capacity to achieve even beyond what we dream.  It would be my honor to learn more about helping you get there.     


The Seed Sower



Nuggets of Wisdom