From a boosted earnings potential to a better life, ICA Programme Advisor, Julia Griffin, unpacks the ROI in relation to coach training.
I have the privilege of working with people who are about to embark on their journey into the world of professional coaching. New students encounter a mind boggling amount of three letter acronyms (ICA, ICF, ACC, PCC and MCC) however, it is usually the following three letters which sits at the forefront of their thinking: ROI, or Return on Investment.
As a coach, parent and business woman, I understand that people want their investment to yield results. It all boils down to opportunity cost. Expenditure on coach training means that alternative options like family holidays may be deferred and, having just taken my family to Malta, I know that holidays are precious. So, will an investment in coach training yield results? Let’s first address the question of money.
“Will I make money from coaching?” is a common question. The short answer is ‘yes’ because you will have better skills. The longer answer is also “yes’ because you will have better self awareness, better skills, renewed ambition and confidence and increased networks to help you achieve your monetary goal.
I have worked with education organisations on both sides of the world so I understand the link between employability, earnings and training. In the eyes of an employer, certification is reassurance that you have the desired industry standard coaching skills and knowledge needed to provide the required professional services. It is corporate peace of mind. Certification is not a gold pass to instant success but, for those who like a metaphor, it’s certainly a highly attractive flag that you can wave in the air and which sets you apart from others. There is plenty of research which shows that coaches with certification and credentials earn more*.
Ultimately though, acknowledge that employees will be hiring *you* in all your glory from your reputation, prior knowledge and experience through to your certification, credentials and coaching model. This is why ICA so wisely gives you both certification and access to credentials along with the opportunity to develop your own unique coaching portfolio and voice. Whatever coach training school you choose, I would recommend that you consider their support for business and niche development in your decision making process.
Whilst future income is important, there are other equally significant returns on coach training. I like to ask the following questions so that the ‘return’ is given greater clarity and meaning.
- What does ROI mean to you?
- What do you regard as a good return?
- How will you recognise those returns?
- How will your life be different if you achieve such a return?
Students join ICA for a multitude of reasons and I ask them to identify all the returns on coach training and not only the financial ones. I know from other students that the ICA learning journey is life defining and I want them to be mindful of every possible gain. They tell me about their desires for more fulfilling careers, improved work life balance or careers that better align with their values. Many want to better manage personal challenges or enjoy deeper, richer relationship with themselves and others. Others simply want to contribute to making a better world.
Coach training provides a rare opportunity to truly reflect on the direction of one’s life, to engineer a better future and develop a greater capacity to appreciate the present. For many people, coach training is the first opportunity – in a very long time, or the only time – where they can define and pursue success on their own terms. Think back. When was the last time that you enjoyed a real conversation about you and your values, strengths and dreams? Now, imagine placing that conversation in the setting of a community of caring supportive coaches. ICA Coach training creates a powerful environment for change as it gives room to breath, space to move and a capaciousness of thought.
We know that many students are looking for healthy income streams in conjunction with other outcomes like better personal resilience, improved careers or relationships, or increased confidence. We know that improved self-awareness helps you understand yourself better and how you respond to situations and we know aligning your life with your values is important for gaining the right employment for you. Getting a job is great, but getting a job you love is even better.
Neat segue back to ROI and opportunity cost. At the beginning of this article, I referred to an investment in coach training coming at the expense of things like a family holiday. When I was a student with ICA, I couldn’t afford to travel at all. I used the flexibility of ICA’s study to parent my son and work and, during evenings and weekends, I participated in teleclasses, read or practised coaching. So what happened after graduation?
I am happy to report that my coach practice is building. I am earning more money than before and I am engaged in work that I love. On my recent trip to Malta (yes, I took a holiday!) I was very tempted to update my Facebook page with the obligatory photograph of a pool, my son playing and an open computer because I was actually enjoying the much eulogised ‘Coach Lifestyle’.
However, this is not the most important return on investment for me. My life is far richer because of coach training and richer in every sense of the word. I am happier and more resilient and from this state so much flows.
I looked through our blog the other day and found this statement which I think is eminently shareable: “Coaching, to me, is not just a bunch of tools and techniques to use in some formal and professional contexts, it is rather a way of living.” The fulfilment of any education or training rests with students understanding what they want to gain from their encounter and taking a role, along with the education provider, in bringing those gains into fruition, be they tools, techniques or a way of life.
Education and training is a participatory process, and an openness to learning can reap dividends in unforeseen ways. Yes, coach training gives you returns and many of these returns you can calculate on a balance sheet. Like all good journeys, however, it’s sometimes the accidental and unknown turn in the (education) path that is the most rewarding.