Should You Consider Coaching?

Teaching and consulting are great options for careers as you gain more life experience. Think you don’t have what it takes? Read on to get my thoughts on the matter.

“Do as I say, not as I do.”

That was pretty much a parenting maxim when I was growing up. It probably still is, because people often know what they are supposed to be doing to win at life, they just can’t do it themselves.

It’s not hard to look at someone who is doing fairly straight-forward things that allow them to live the life you wish you had and figure out how to do the same things. Whatever it is that succeeding at life means to you, whether it is being kinder and gentler, helping others with their struggles, being the best at something, or being financially well off, the secret is that there isn’t that much of a secret.

The steps are relatively obvious and you can find out what they are either by using your own eyes and common sense, or by reading any of the thousands and thousand of books and articles available on any given subject. One of the reasons that there are so darn many books and articles is that people struggle every day and are looking for their particular answer.

There are a couple of takeaways here. For starters, you aren’t the only one with self doubt. It is really easy to beat yourself up when you can see exactly what you need to do but for some reason don’t. It’s the human condition, and while I sure wouldn’t recommend that you stop trying, it helps if you don’t let it get to you. Keep on trying.

I started smoking when I was 20. I knew I shouldn’t, and I didn’t want to be a smoker, but suddenly, there I was – addicted. Alcohol and good sense do not mix. It took me 25 years of wishing I could quit, peppered with infrequent episodes of actually trying to quit before I actually managed it.

I am not a happy-happy-joy-joy kind of person. I don’t recommend that you fill yourself with illusionary sunshine and rainbows (though a little self affirmation can do wonders), but by the same token, don’t be needlessly hard on yourself, it’s counter-productive. You’re human. Deal with it.

The other side of this particular coin involves who you should listen to, or alternatively who you should be. The fact is that you should listen to anyone who takes you where you want to go.

My favorite example of people who exemplify the concept of “those who can’t do, teach” is megachurch pastors. I do not believe that everyone who leads a megachurch is less than a shining example of their teachings. But it is certainly true that at least some of them have proved to be incredibly flawed human beings.

Of course, it could be that I wasn’t paying close enough attention. Perhaps the examples I can think of left that pesky “Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery” commandment out of their teachings.

I digress. It turns out that these types truly are hucksters whose only real skill is the ability to rile up a crowd. That said, I am sure they do some good. Though their operation may well be fleecing many of their flock, along the way they find a message that resonates with a lot of people. Among those thousands of parishioners are many who are inspired by the teachings to go out and do good deeds.

I don’t recommend that you go out and fleece thousands of people while helping just a few. The karmic balance on that has got to be terrible. But you can find people that you can help. People for whom you are the voice that can reach them.

You are no longer a young person. You have years of experience under your belt. The things you think are obvious about life, and business, and relationships, might just be things that come as revelations to those who haven’t made those connections yet.

Did you know that professionals in the psychological disciplines often choose their field because they want to understand just why they act the way they do? I guarantee that at least some of the people most adept at helping others with their problems struggle with their own demons.

If the thing you’d like to do to make a side income as you near and then enter retirement involve teaching those things to others, don’t let the haters stand in your way. Believe in yourself, believe in your message. Find people who believe in your message too, and help them.

“Them as can’t do teach.”

That message about teaching didn’t come out of nowhere. It came out of jealousy. I am sure that you can think of at least one example of a teacher who is incredibly effective at teaching but who would be inept at doing almost anything else. I’d guess that most college business teachers couldn’t run a successful company if their lives depended on it. The same thing holds for professors of literature or creative writing, or animal husbandry, or most any other subject you can think of.

You have stuff you can teach, value you can pass on. Teach people who value you.

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