The Scarcity vs. Abundance Mentality in Career CoachingJanuary 6, 2022
Redefining Marketing for Your Career Coaching PracticeJanuary 20, 2022
“The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.”
Conditioning your mind from scarcity thinking to an abundance mentality is a key factor in building and succeeding with your career coaching practice. In the last blog we explored the definition of a scarcity mindset vs an abundance mindset. A scarcity mindset is one in which the glass is always half-empty. For example, “There are never enough clients to go around” or ”If I start charging for my services, clients will expect me to work miracles to find them a perfect job rather than teaching them how to do it.” Contrast that with the abundance mindset which says “There is enough business for all of us” and “By charging what my services are worth, I will attract clients who are committed to the process and value what I have to offer.” Today, we’re going to be looking at HOW to shift your mindset from scarcity to abundance. Like anything worth having in life, it takes some effort.
As career coaching professionals, we are continually reminded by our professional community and our training that marketing our services and making money is not only distasteful, it is also viewed as being counter to our helping values. This negative mindset deeply embedded in the coaching profession ends up sabotaging our efforts and contributes to our work being devalued by others and in our society.
In 2021, the National Career Development Association commissioned a Harris poll that illustrates the stark contrast between reality and perception of how career coaching is viewed in our society. While an overwhelming majority of Americans (89% of Millennials and 80% of Boomers) said that career service professionals provide valuable assistance, only 13% had actually consulted a career professional. Additionally, the majority of Americans (58%) in this poll said they regret not having worked with a career professional in the past.
Helping professionals that succeed
So why aren’t more Americans utilizing career coaches if they think the services are so beneficial? Because as the Harris Poll indicates, career coaching services are not highly visible in our society. One source of this issue is that career coaches, like other self-employed helping professionals, often sabotage their efforts at promoting their services and making a healthy living. Oftentimes they are not aware of or taught systematic sales processes. As a result, they continue to erroneously believe that somehow, their commitment to helping others and doing good work will attract a large number of clients. However, great services without the right promotion will not speak for themselves.
The secret to running a successful business for coaches is for them to realize they already possess the skills and strengths needed to attract and market to their client base. It just takes some reframing of business principles to align with their values and then applying their already established transferable skills to the task. Take business sales, for instance. By shifting your sales viewpoint from “I am pushing something onto someone” to “ I am helping others determine if my services are right for them,” you can begin to integrate your commitment to helping with your need to sell. Try approaching every potential client discussion by looking for ways to help — no pitches, hidden agendas, or pressure to close the deal. You will likely find that you feel good about what you are offering and it is helping them with their needs.
Look for the Positive
Instead of focusing on what isn’t going right and what you don’t have, pay attention to what is going right and be grateful for those achievements. Gratitude isn’t just a nice emotion to have. Gratitude has a host of scientifically-proven benefits. The expression and receiving of gratitude causes our brain to release dopamine and serotonin. These are crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions and they enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside. For example, a career coach with an abundance mindset congratulates themselves for the clients they added last week. At the same time, they let go of beating themselves up about the failed opportunities. By being grateful for the 80 percent of good things that happened and not fixating on the 20 percent of situations that were less than ideal, the coach feels more confident and encouraged to do it all over again next week.
You never really lose a client
It is hard to stop thinking about that lost 20 percent, isn’t it? Focusing on it makes it seem like if you’d just grasped a little harder, tried a little more, you might have saved that opportunity from being lost. It’s that scarcity mentality of preventing loss at any cost. However, if you look at the clients you didn’t land as new information to help you make adjustments to your process, you will be able to see the situation in a new light, learn more about your prospective client and allow space for creative problem-solving. What might that lost client have been looking for in a coach? Is there something I can say in a clearer or different way about my services or products that might attract the clients I want better? Who could I ask to take a look at my marketing messages and give me some pointers?
Looking at “where you went wrong to lose that client” and “what you can improve about your process to get a better result” means looking at the exact same set of facts. But the mindset is totally different. It’s not “how can I lose less?” That’s scarcity. It’s “how can I win more?”
Stop With the Comparisons
As the old saying goes, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Unfortunately, we humans have a knack for comparing ourselves to everyone else. But this approach can be demoralizing and is quite futile when you really think about it. No matter how much of an ace you are, there’s always bound to be someone who’s better.
The comparison habit is a leading contributor to scarcity thinking.
Developing an abundance mentality is deciding to learn from your successes and failures and implement that knowledge into your coaching practice.
There aren’t Enough Clients for Everyone
This viewpoint is just an extension of scarcity thinking. However, when we view the competition as potential colleagues, partners, and collaborators, the world becomes infinitely larger and we can all succeed. In fact, sharing ideas and gathering feedback from others is not giving away all of your secrets, it is making your business and the community of coaches stronger.
The shift from the scarcity mindset to an abundance one can take some time. You’re basically telling your brain to reframe winning and losing into information you can benefit from. You are, also, changing your perspective on how much opportunity there is in the world. Believing in a world that has more than ample room for all the clients and coaches to connect may be a stretch in the beginning but as you begin to benefit from this new mindset you will see the truth in it. Be patient with the process but hold tightly to your vision that when you win, your client wins and when you lose it’s just information to help with that future win. There is more than enough business to go around and practicing the abundance mindset will tap into the clients that were meant to be yours.