Occasionally, someone will ask me if I make a good living as a coach. It’s usually pretty clear that they’re talking about money, so I catch them a little off guard with my answer. First off, I believe that money is only one form of currency that we receive from our chosen career. In his book, “The High Achiever’s Guide to Happiness”, Vance Caesar provides a list of career currencies that won’t show up on a W-2 or 1099 Form, but are arguably more valuable and deserve ample attention;
- Knowledge and Growth – This one is critical for me. A systematic personal and/or professional development plan will pay dividends long after you retire.
- Relationships – Leadership and influence are contingent on strong relationships. As a coach, I thrive on them, particularly the ones that give me positive energy. You know that feeling of being more alive after working with a group of exceptional athletes?, that’s the value of relationships.
- Fun – Don’t forget this one. Do you have fun at work? If so, then you can hardly call it work.
- Life Choices – When assessing a potential career opportunity, or even your current situation, how well does it fit into the type of life you want? Can you live close to family? Are your nights and weekends free to spend time with your kids? Are you able to travel the globe and experience other cultures?
- Legacy – If you enjoy building something from the ground up, then legacy is important to you. Particularly if what you build outlasts your own career. Knowing that you’re contributing to a cause that will in turn benefit others for a long time can be way more rewarding than a paycheck.
- Reputation and Brand – Most coaches would take a pay cut if it meant they were able to become part of an industry-leading organization that they respect.
Of all these currencies, the coaching profession is rich in Relationships, Fun, and Legacy. Certainly, there are opportunities to maximize Money, Knowledge and Growth, Life Choices, and Reputation and Brand, but most of us are in the game to connect with athletes, play every day, and make lasting impressions.
One of my favorite video clips looks at this concept from a teacher’s perspective, but the coaching applications are obvious.
So, what does a coach make?
- A coach makes athletes work harder than they thought possible.
- A coach makes athletes develop discipline, focus, and work ethic.
- A coach makes athletes realize how special they are.
- A coach makes athletes think critically.
- A coach makes athletes more self-confident.
- A coach makes athletes aware of the path where the heart leads.
- A coach makes it possible to fail without fear.
- A coach makes personal connections that last a lifetime.
- A coach makes a difference.
– Coach Hall