What are the must have books for coaches? I love books. Right from early childhood books have been at times a chance to escape, explore, learn, fall in love understand myself and my fellow humans, question, feel and grow. And within my coaching business books have played a pivotal part too.
As someone who had NO CLUE how to start a business, books became my roadmap and their authors my unofficial mentors. Some of them plugged specific gaps in my knowledge - whether it be how to build my first website, how to get over my fear of charging for my coaching, how to find some sort of balance while working full time, having kids and building a biz on the side, how to negotiate contracts, develop my writers voice and a whole lot more.
Others were more 'inspirational' - books showed me it what was possible - that ordinary people without MBAs, budgets or technical skills were building businesses that paid their bills, fed their souls and changed the freaking world. On the worst of days when I felt like giving up, those books told me to keep going.
I'm often asked what books I'd recommend to other coaches - whether they're just starting out of in the 'difficult middle phase' of building their business to a sustainable level. I personally have a whole list of them that felt like lifelines at particular times in my journey, but for this post I've whittled it down to just 2.
I also thought I'd ask some of my fellow coaches - both those ahead and at a similar level to me from a variety of niches and disciplines for one book they'd recommend to a new or emerging coach and why.
Here are the must have books for coaches
Kate Courageous from Your Courageous Life
The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna is a book that I wish I had had when I’d first started out as a life coach. It would have been a compass for me in those early years, when I wasn’t making money, when I didn’t know what to do if a client flaked on a session, when I felt like “marketing” was this weird, scary, new thing. I think the emotional terrain of running a business is far more challenging than learning about a particular route for “how to market,” and treating coaching like a craft is the key to success. This book is something I would still turn to, in moments of doubt (because yep, they still happen!).
Lara Heacock from Kind Over Matter
Loving What Is by Byron Katie. It's a great mindfulness foundation with practical applications that can be applied with clients.
Marc Mawhinney - Natural Born Coaches
Finding your 'voice' as a coach is really important. A book that really helps with this is The Artist's Way by Julie Cameron
Jo Casey (erm...me)
I've chosen 2 - because it's my article and I can!
My first choice is Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port - this book was the first business book that felt both accessible and relevant to me and what I was trying to do - build a coaching practice. I like because it's practical - there are lots of simple (and doable) things that can be put into practice easily.
My second is The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte - this book is like having your own personal mentor. When I first read it, it felt like a rallying cry. I often go back to it for some grounding wisdom, inspiration and reminders of just why I'm doing this whole shebang.