Lindsay Dotzlaf

Mastering Coaching Skills with Lindsay Dotzlaf | Planning for 2024 in Your Coaching Business

Ep #161: Planning for 2024 in Your Coaching Business

Now is the perfect time to start looking ahead and thinking about the future of your coaching business. January is just around the corner, and it’s important that you do the work now to get your mindset embedded in the energy you want to carry into 2024.

I’ve got a bunch of new things planned in my business. While thinking about the structure of what I’m creating, I thought it might be useful to share what’s helped me in developing my practice so all of you listening can benefit, take my experience, and apply what will work for you.

Tune in this week to start the work of deciding what you want your coaching business to look like for the next 12 months. I’m discussing how my brain thinks about making decisions that affect the future of my coaching practice, and I’m giving you exercises and prompts to help you decide what your ideal coaching business looks like as you look ahead to 2024.

If you want help planning what you want 2024 to look like in your coaching business, join me for a live Big Picture 2024 Workshop on December 6th!

Click here to sign up for the next round of my Advanced Certification in Coaching Mastery, starting in February 2024! If you enroll before December 15th 2023, you will get a special one-on-one call where we will do the work of planning what you want to create in 2024.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The power of thinking ahead: envisioning the big picture in your business.
  • How to decide what your realistic dream year looks like in 2024.
  • An exercise to help you start thinking ahead, then working backwards.
  • Some of the big picture things I think about in my own business and how this line of thinking helps me.
  • Why plans made ahead of time are always more doable than last-minute decisions.
  • Simple tips to make 2024 a successful and fulfilling year for you and your clients.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • For even more resources on making your work as a coach and success for your clients easier, I’ve created a freebie just for you. All you have to do to get it is sign up to my email list at the bottom of the home page!
  • If you want to hone in on your personal coaching style and what makes you unique, The Coach Lab is for you! Applications are open, so come and join us!
  • Sign up for the next round of my Advanced Certification in Coaching Mastery, starting in February 2024!
  • Big Picture 2024 Live Workshop on December 6th. Click here to register.

Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills episode 161.

To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week, I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.

Hey coach, I am so happy you’re here today, as usual. Today, I want to talk about looking ahead in your coaching, in your coaching business. Planning ahead, what that looks like. I’m planning for a couple big events for the end of the year for my business, inside my offers and outside. So I’ll tell you about those at the end because it does relate to what I’m going to talk about today. I’m going to invite you to join me if you want to do some of this work with me.

But it got me thinking. So I’ve been thinking about this a lot and it just got me thinking, I should record a podcast about this and just let you know how I think about it. How I think about planning for the future of my business, the structure. When I say the future, I mean like what does the structure of it look like? Are there any new offers I’m creating? All the things. We’re going to go through all of it in a minute, but I’m going to share something kind of funny, I think it’s funny, really quickly.

One thing that I noticed is that when I – So I’ve been doing a lot of writing of emails for my certification that doesn’t start until the beginning of next year. And I just was writing some information, there’s a live event portion that goes along with that that will be in Miami and I was writing information for that. And I’ve just been kind of immersed in writing content and emails and all the things for next year.

But because of that – And I’m just curious if any of you have experienced this or if I’m just really a weirdo. Because of that, my mind is 100% in 2024. So what that means is I recently had to write a check for something, I wrote November whatever day it was 2024. I was having a conversation with my kids the other day and I said, “Can you believe it’s almost 2025?” And they were like, “Right.” And I was like, “It’s like a month away.” And they were like, “What? Wait, no.” They just kind of paused and looked at me like, huh-uh, I don’t think so.

And so I just am curious if that happens for you all. My brain is like already there in, I mean, in a really good way. In my business it just means sometimes I’m actually working ahead, or at least I’m writing content, writing things for next year already. Not always ahead. Don’t worry, that’s just something that I’m always working on.

But anyway, I just thought I’d share that because I thought it was really funny. It just keeps happening, like my brain just cannot comprehend. Now when I hear 2023, I’m like, no, no, that was like last year. A whole year ago. So now I’m skipping, you know, sometimes it feels like maybe you skip a month or something in time, like you’re just like, where did July go?

Now this is a problem. It’s like I skipped a whole year. I’m like 2024, that has already happened, it’s coming to an end. Anyway, that’s all. In case you need to know a little quirky something about me, that is what has been happening for me lately. So let’s dive into this.

So I have been creating this event that I’m planning for the end of the year, mostly I’m creating it for The Coach Lab. It’s kind of like an end of year event party, planning for next year for The Coach Lab. And I’m very excited about it, so if you’re already in The Coach Lab, I can’t wait for you to join me or watch the replay.

And if you aren’t in The Coach Lab, but you’ve been thinking about it, now’s the time so you can join us because it’s going to be really great. We’ll put The Coach Lab link in the show notes just in case you need it, just as a little reminder. But I’ll also be talking about the other ways you can join me for doing this planning at the end of the episode. So let’s just get to the meat of it. How about that?

So one thing that I like to do is to really spend some time thinking ahead in my business. And sometimes I can really take my mind to a couple years ahead. For whatever reason, I’m actually not the best at doing this. Some people love doing this. They love really thinking about the big, big picture of their business and they can really take their mind to like five years, 10 years down the road.

I always, it’s like I get stuck in the little details sometimes. Like that doesn’t even make sense, how could I possibly decide what I’ll be doing five years from now? But for this exercise, I do like to push myself to at least take my brain a couple years ahead and then just kind of work backwards into, okay, what does that mean for the next year?

Some years I’ve been a lot better at doing this. Some years I actually get it down on paper. Some years I just kind of think through it in my mind. But I’m starting, as my business grows and as I have people that work with me and I have offers, I have a lot more clients that I just really want to be sure I am taking care of, I have really tried to be more intentional about this because I think this helps with all of those things I just mentioned.

So what I mean by that is thinking, for the next year what are your offers? What do you want your year to look like? If you could just create the dream year in a way that feels realistic, not in a way that makes you spin out and like how could I ever create that? But just in a way that feels realistic, what is the next year going to look like? What are your goals? And that could be many different things, I’ll talk to through that in a minute.

Do you have any big projects you want to complete? Do you have any, like are there any hires you need to make? Do you need to hire, have more people on your team to feel more supported? Are there any coaches or programs that you know you want to join or coaches you want to work with? Just really thinking through, like in the perfect world what does it look like? Is there anything new I need to learn? Are there any tools or skills that are on my list that I need to learn?

So one of the first things that I do, and I want to be really clear, like I said, I’m hosting an event where we’re going to walk through this for The Coach Lab. I’m also doing one-on-one calls for this for my certification. And there will be a way that you can do this work with me.

So I’m not going to take you through each and every single step because I don’t think – Because on a podcast where there’s no back and forth, I don’t think it’ll be as useful. But I am going to walk you through some of the big picture things that I think about, why I think about them, why they’re useful and why it’s important to do it, even if those things might change.

So I do want to say that upfront too, I just give you full permission that if you decide to do this work, if you do it on your own, I just want to give you full permission that it’s okay to change, right? Even if you have a plan. If you think you know where your business is going. If you think you know what you’re going to offer next year, or two years from now, or three years from now or however long from now it is, I just want to offer you right now that no one’s going to hold you to it.

This is just for you. And there are so many good reasons to do it. I used to resist doing this work so much because I really am like, oh, but I’m definitely going to make changes and who knows if it can be like that. And what I’ve learned is that when I think far out, like years out, my plan never really matches exactly what I say I’m going to create or what I’m going to do, but it just helps me so much in just preparation for the next year.

And this becomes more important as your business grows, as you have more kinds of moving parts, if that’s the type of business you want to have. If you have, you know, when you have more people that work for you, when you have a bunch of clients to take care of it just becomes a little more important because the more you plan ahead, the more supported they are all going to feel and the clearer it’s going to feel for you. And the sooner you’ll notice when you’re off track when it’s not on purpose.

So here’s the way I start, actually. And this might be different than you’ve been taught before, so just stay with me. What I do first, the very first step is I take my brain to the place, maybe I even close my eyes and think through this. I take myself to the place of a couple of years from now. So not next year, which is what we’re going to be planning. As far as I can go where it still feels realistic. Like something I can actually connect to right now.

So that might be, for some of you it might just be, especially if you’re newer in business, it might just be like one year from now, at the end of next year. For some of you it might be two years from now, three years from now. Some of you might even be able to connect further than that. If you can, amazing.

But here’s what you’re looking for, is when you imagine yourself in your coaching, running your coaching business, coaching the way you want to be coaching, you want to think about two years from now, three years from now, what does it look like? Like in the perfect world everything goes the way you want it to go, what does it look like?

Are you working with groups? Are you coaching one-on-one? Are you doing a lot of public speaking? Are you on a bunch of stages teaching? Are you running multiple retreats every year? Is that the main part of your business?

There are so many options, right? Do you have just a bunch of courses? You sell all the courses and you just really kind of manage the back end or have a team that manages the back end, you don’t do a lot of face to face coaching? There are so many variations of what it might look like.

So that’s the first step, is I just start there. Now, in the beginning that always felt kind of so ambiguous and hard. Like kind of hard but very ambiguous, right? Like I don’t know, I’ll probably just be coaching one-on-one still. Maybe I’ll raise my prices. And I’ll probably feel more clear about my niche, right? Like my mind would just go to things like that, of like maybe here are the small changes that I would make.

But for some of you it might feel very clear. You might know this time next year you want to have a group coaching program or a mastermind. You might know that you want to start hosting retreats next year or two years from now. You might have just a really clear vision of what that looks like.

So I want you to step out of coaching for just a second and think about this. If you, or I’ll use myself. If I decide by this time next year or in 2025, by the beginning of 2025 I want to run a marathon and right now, actual human me in this time in my life, I’m not running at all, right?

So let’s say I set that goal. The beginning of 2025, I want to run a marathon. I would have to take certain steps to get there, right? I would have to make a plan. I would have to start running. I would have to have a training regimen that I do. I would have to build up my mileage over the year. There are so many things I would have to do in order to be the person who can run a marathon at the beginning of 2025.

The same is true for your business, right? So if you know that your business at the beginning and 2025 looks very different than it does now, if there are big changes that you know you want to make, then you can start working towards them.

What I sometimes see people do, or clients that come into my spaces and they’ll kind of – Because I coach a lot on the structure of your coaching and the containers and your offers and just what your coaching spaces look like, I coach a lot on that.

And so sometimes what I’ll see some of my clients do, or what they have done before they’ve come to work with me, is they’ll set that goal that they want to run a marathon at the beginning of 2025. But then, from now until then, or through 2024, they forget that that’s the plan. And so they start doing things like going to yoga every day.

And maybe, I’m trying to think of things that would not – I mean, yoga is great as a runner, but if you’re only going to yoga every day for all of 2024 or every week, whatever, you know what I mean. This is very loose, it’s a very loose analogy. But then you get to the beginning of 2025, which is when you planned to run the marathon, and you haven’t been running at all, it’s not going to go well.

You are not going to be able to do it. You will maybe run a couple miles and feel very sore. You might have some very strong muscles in other places, yoga muscles, which are very different than running muscles, right? And you won’t know what it’s like. You won’t know how to prepare. You won’t know, like they will just be so many things and it will be like, oh, now it’s this huge, daunting thing.

And so when you start to be able to plan ahead and say this is what I think it would look like, my business, my coaching, my spaces would look like in 2025, then you can start from where you are now and start asking yourself all kinds of amazing questions. Okay, so if that’s what it looks like there, then if I’m planning the next year, 2024, right? Yes, that’s right. Okay, so I’m planning 2024, what are all the things that need to happen in order for me to get there?

So for some of you, this might be super simple. You might know that right now maybe you’re a brand new coach, you coach one-on-one, you love it. In 2025 you think you’re probably going to be coaching still one-on-one. And so for 2024 your plan might be, I am a one-on-one coach. That is super simple and it’s going to be so clear to your brain, right?

Just like, okay, well what comes along with that plan? Are there any skills I need to learn? Do I need to refine my processes? Are there any coaches that I want to work with? Do I want to create anything new, any assets for those one-on-one clients?

How do I want to sell the one-on-one coaching? Would I think about doing launches? Am I just going to sell organically on Instagram, right? Like you can really start putting together a solid plan for the year because it’s super clear, this is where I’m headed. And then you could just do the same thing again for the next year, right?

So then maybe, okay, now I’ve been coaching one-on-one for a couple of years, maybe I see a group happening at the end of 2025, or the beginning of 2026. That sounds so far away, right? Then you just know, but for this year all I have to do is focus on this.

Maybe you’ve been coaching one-on-one and you’re like, I love it, I don’t really want to make any changes. Maybe there’s a possibility of a group in 2025, but it feels like it would be further down the road. But I want to offer something in-person for my clients, my one-on-one clients, right? So my goal for the year, all of 2024 is to sign one-on-one clients, to work with them, to be the best coach I can be, and to plan a retreat in October.

So if you know the retreat is coming, that’s like, oh, what’s new that I need to learn for that retreat? What point would I start selling the retreat? Maybe I’d start selling it in August. And then you can just work backwards, right? It just really helps you calculate your entire year.

The other thing I love to ask myself, so not just thinking about your coaching structure and all of that, but thinking about there are so many different questions you can ask yourself. Do I have money goals for those years? Do I have a money goal? If I take my brain to 2025, do I have a money goal for that year?

And I would combine that with what am I selling? What do I think I might be selling? You don’t have to know the exact breakdown when you get yours out, right? But it’s just useful to think through it because if let’s say in 2025 you have a goal to make $150,000 in your coaching business and you want to do it by selling three groups throughout the year, right?

And you’re selling three groups, you have a specific amount of money, $150,000, we’re just going to make it very easy. Very simple math. This is in, obviously, US money, you can do this in your currency, right? But 150 divided by three, I would have to sell three groups and make $50,000 with each group. What does that look like? How many people would be in the group? How much would I charge? All of it, right? And then you can make a plan.

So if that is possibly what 2024 is going to look like, or 2025 sorry, then if I’m going from where I am right now, which let’s just say, if that’s you in this situation, maybe you’re selling one-on-one coaching and it’s working pretty well. You would still love to sign more clients, like you’re still really working on the selling of it and you know that that group offer is in the future, but it’s not yet.

Then through 2024 your plan can be I am selling one-on-one coaching all year. I’m going to start talking about this group that I’m creating. Maybe actually even the step before that is I’m going to get really clear on what the group is. Who is it for? What do we do? What are the results that people come for? All of that, right?

First, you’re going to just start thinking through, just start planting the seeds in your own brain. Who is it for? What will it look like? What’s the structure? What’s the cost? And you can just allow it to be there.

You may have heard me talk about this when I was creating The Coach Lab. I very much did this. It was like, some people say on the nightstand, I like to say it was like pinned on the board for a year where I was just allowing myself to think about it. Sometimes when it would pop up, I knew I was working towards it. I knew I had to get much more clear about what it was going to be.

Every time I had an idea for it, I had a notes section, I would just pop it in my notes on my computer or on my phone. But I would just let it be there. I didn’t do anything about it, I just knew it was coming. So the same could be true for this, if that’s you, right?

Maybe you’ve been selling group coaching, you love group coaching. Maybe you’re going the opposite direction and you want to start including some one-on-one. Maybe you’ve never been a one-on-one coach. What would that look like, right? Like you can just start asking yourself, what does the structure look like? What do I need to have in place in order to do this?

So, for example, if you’re a one-on-one coach and you know a year from now you’re moving to group, you might start practicing every once in a while doing group Zoom calls, if you’ve never done them. Sometimes some of my clients, they’ll ask me like, okay, I know that I want to plan to coach this specific group program. They’ll start creating the program. And then they’ll kind of have a freakout, like I’ve never coached that many people on Zoom. I always just say practice.

It’s one of the things we sometimes do in my certification, I allow them to create events and learning opportunities for the rest of the clients in the group, that people can come to or not. But it just is like a good place to practice. I’ve never coached in a group, let me just practice doing it.

You could figure that out too, right? If you know that that’s coming a year from now, how can you start practicing? How could you do like a tiny, mini offer for free as practice or a paid training that includes coaching? Anything, right? Just start getting creative. How can you create that? How can you get there?

If you know in 2025 your goal is to be speaking on stages, doing public speaking, if that’s what you envision for the future of your business, how do you start doing that? How do you start planting seeds? How do you decide what’s the thing I would talk about? Like, what is the thing I would want to be known for, that when someone’s looking for a speaker on XYZ topic, people think of me?

And it might also be like, what are the skills you need to develop, right? So coming back to the group coaching, right, that’s a skill that you can develop, learning how to coach in a group. Public speaking is a skill you can develop.

Writing a book is something you can practice, and if you know that that’s coming in a year from now, you start practicing. You start thinking about the book. What is it going to be about? What are you going to write about? Pop in your notes section in your phone or on your computer, what are all the ideas you have for it?

Just really allowing, like knowing it’s in the future and just knowing, okay, I’m on that path. I’m not doing it right now, I’m not doing all of it. I don’t even have to plan to, you know, if it’s something you’re not doing till 2025 you’re not going to plan every single little detail. But it will help you be clear about when you should start planning every detail, right?

What are all the things? You need a landing page. Maybe you want to redo your website. Maybe you know next year, I want to have a total rebrand. Maybe you know you want to start a podcast. I think of all of those things as like they’re all small little projects.

Okay, so now let’s talk specifically about what that might look like in your actual year. And again, I’m not going to walk you through every step, but just to give you kind of the big picture of what it might look like. The way I would do it is I would think, okay, what’s that vision that I had for more than a year from now? For like two years from now, what’s that vision? What’s on there that I’m not currently doing now? And start thinking what is, like what are the ways I would get there?

So I’ll use my business as an example. I’m going to make this up a little bit because I haven’t fully sat down to do this exercise. But I’ll just use kind of a made up example. And I’m telling you it’s made up just in case so you don’t lose your mind and think this is definitely happening and get excited or hate it or whatever. Just know, I’m just making this up on the spot, kind of. There’s some truth to it.

But let’s just say, so right now I sell The Coach Lab, which is a lifetime access program. And then I sell an Advanced Certification in Coaching Mastery, right? One of the things I’ve been thinking about is what to call that? Is it a master coach certification? Is it a, like how do I name that? So there may be a name change coming, that is real. That’s a real thing that’s on the plate right now.

So that feels pretty clear. And it’s probably what I will be selling, at least like my big main offers, that’s probably what I will be selling for the next year. Now, again, I always allow myself to change my mind, to edit, to make changes, whatever, right? But for now those are on the table for selling next year.

When I take my mind kind of further outside of that I’m like, oh, what would be fun? Like, what’s one thing? Is there anything that I know I want to create, that I don’t currently do right now? So I’ll just give you some ideas. And again, this part is not made up, these are real ideas. Just these are the ones that I’m like, don’t hold me to this.

Maybe I create a standalone live event for, like The Coach Lab live event, Coach Lab live or something like that, right? That could be a thing. And I do live events now, but they’re small. And so that would be a decision of like, do I want to be in a room with hundreds of people versus right now what I do is more like 20 people.

Maybe I would create, so if my offer is a master coach certification, to me, the only reason that I don’t label it that is because I don’t have a regular certification. And so I think a lot of times if you’re going to have a master, if it’s called master coach certification, there should be the regular certification that your clients go through and then the next level would be master coach certification.

These are totally made up rules. You might agree with me and you might not. It’s just something I’m working through in my own mind. But when I think about that, then I think – And this is something that a lot of my clients have been asking for. Then I think, okay, well, maybe The Coach Lab becomes a certification and it’s like a foundations, coaching foundations type certification.

But then I start thinking through – So let’s just say I decide to do that. I’ll just use that as the example. So let’s say I decide I’m going to launch that in 2025.

So then I have to start thinking through, okay, well, The Coach Lab the way it is right now, I can’t just overnight say, okay, now it’s a certification. I mean I could, I guess, but there would be so many questions to answer, right? What about all the clients that are already in it? Would they just automatically be certified? What would they have to do to be certified? Blah, blah, blah.

So then I might start thinking through, okay, what are all the other ways I could do it? What are all the other options? Maybe the certification piece is an upgrade from what they currently do, right? Because not everyone wants the certification or cares.

And when I say upgrade, I just mean maybe I refine the tools that are already there, which is currently something I’m already working on. Then I create an optional certification situation, which is like if you want this to be a certification, if I’m putting my stamp of approval on your coaching, there has to be some sort of submission of coaching or some way that I know that you actually know how to coach, if I’m putting my name behind it, right?

And so what would that look like? Maybe that’s just, like The Coach Lab community stays the same for anybody that just wants to be in that community and wants that support. And then maybe, because it would take a lot more time and person power to do that, right? To watch all the things that are submitted, whatever.

So let’s say I decide I’m going to do that. Then for 2024 I would think through, okay, what are all the things I would have to put in place to be ready to do that at the beginning of 2025? And again, this is arbitrary, the timeline is arbitrary. We’re just going to think through that example right now.

I would have to make sure that the tools that are in there are super clear and there’s a way to really know, like, is a coach really checking off the boxes, like hitting each one? Do they really have a deep understanding of this tool?

I would have to maybe provide a way for coaches to practice coaching with each other, which is something that happens in The Coach Lab right now, but it’s not structured by me. It’s just like people say, I would love to practice this, this or this, they post it on the page. It’s very informal, it’s not sponsored by me, right? So I would maybe have to figure that out.

I would have to have some help because I definitely wouldn’t be able to watch all the submissions and do all the things. So I’d have to hire some coaches or advisors, probably. I would have to make sure, I would have to think about like, okay, that’s going to bring an influx of brand new people, like people that are going from like zero to wanting to feel very solid in their foundations.

Which I do that now, but there’s just something about if I’m saying, okay, you’re certified, it would have to be just tightened up, right? And just really make sure that brand new person feels very supported. What would that look like, right? So these are just all made-up examples of every single thing I would have to think through and I would have, that would be a big project. That would be like, okay, through 2024 I’m going to have all these little projects. Maybe, let’s say, along with that I’m like, and I’m going to rebrand and rename something. Again, this is made up, don’t lose your mind.

Some of you are very opinionated about the name and you’re like, if you ever change it, I will hate it so much. So don’t worry, I’m not saying it’s happening. But let’s say it was, right? Okay, what does that look like? I need to hire someone to maybe redo my website, to possibly help with the portal or the client login place, just because it would be too much for my business manager, right?

Like, if we were doing all of these things, we would have to hire out parts of it. I might want help with new branding or logos. So I would just be thinking through every single place, every single thing, what are all the steps I would have to take to get there?

And this is why the planning ahead would be so important, because now it’s like, okay, so over 2024 I need to start thinking about all of these. I need to make sure that everything I do is headed in that direction, right? That every choice I make is thinking of that future in mind.

Again, with the understanding I can always change my mind. I can always change my decisions. But as long as that’s the direction I’m going, that is just where I’m going to put my focus while running the rest of my business the way it already runs.

So that might look like something else for you, right? Maybe it’s like you know you want to start a podcast at the beginning of the next year. So what would that look like? What are things that you can start knocking off your list throughout 2024 that get you set up for the podcast? You start dreaming about names. If you love to have creative names, clearly that’s not my forte, but you can start doing that, right?

You can start envisioning what would the cover of it look like? What would the topic be? What’s going to be different about it than all the other podcasts? What’s going to help me stand out from everyone? Are there any new ideas, ideas that I think I’ve never seen anyone else do or I don’t think that anyone else is doing? Is there anything like that, right?

Just really taking your brain through step-by-step because the alternative to that is – So let’s go back to my example. Or actually, this might pertain more to you, so let’s use the podcast example. Let’s say you decide you’re going to start the podcast at the beginning of 2025. You don’t do what I’m suggesting you do, which is to spend, not the whole year, but to plan in times throughout your year where you are very specifically working up to that. That you’re just capturing your inspiration when it happens and you’re putting it somewhere.

If you’re like me, just like in the notes in your phone. I could probably sell the notes on my phone like to, I don’t know who, to someone. First of all, you’d probably find everything; gossip, plans for the future, just plans for every retreat I’ve ever planned, just all of it. It’s all there. That’s like my journal, I think, except like a business journal.

And when I say gossip, I mean probably gossip about me. Like things that you could be like, you would never believe that she wrote this in her notes on her phone. You’ll never believe what she was thinking of planning. You would never believe the epic fail. Just all of it. It’s all there. Anyway, I digress.

So the other option is you don’t do any of that. You get to the end of next year, you’re planning, like your thought had been I’m releasing, I’m starting a new podcast the beginning of 2025, January of 2025. You get to December, you’ve done none of the work. You forgot that that was like a path you’re on. But you still are like, no, I said I was going to do it, so I’m going to do it. And now it becomes this big, possibly overwhelming project where you’re starting kind of from zero.

Even if you do the planning ahead of time, you still might be starting from like 50%. But 50% is so much better than zero. The other thing that it will allow you to do, that planning ahead like this allows you to do is think about how much money it’s going to take to do the things that you want to do, right?

So let’s say I decide that I’m creating that coach certification. And I really think through all of it and I think, okay, I would want to hire a couple of coaches to help me. I’d want to hire an advisor board to help my clients with certain things. And I want to redo the client login portal.

If I wanted to do that in 2025, I could start thinking right now, or throughout the year, I could set some time aside in 2024 to say, who would I hire? How much would it cost? How much money do I need in place, like ready to go, in order to do this?

That could also be true for things that you want to invest in, right? For example, if you want to join my Advanced Certification and you’re like, okay, right now I know I’m a newer coach, maybe it’s not the best fit for me. I know I want to do it in 2025. You could start putting money aside now, so that when 2025 gets here you’re like, oh, easy, I already paid for this. I already set it aside.

You could start daydreaming about or just envisioning, I don’t know if daydreaming is the right word. I don’t even know why I said that. I feel like daydreaming is not something I really do. But you can start envisioning it, right? If you are like, I know I want to do public speaking, like I want that to be one of the main ways that I’m in front of people, that I’m talking to people, I want to be on other people stages, I want to be invited to speak at events, you can start envisioning yourself doing that.

Who is the person you have to become to get there? You can start asking yourself that and answering, right? Maybe it doesn’t feel like that big of a leap, but maybe it feels like a total identity shift to become that person. What do you need to start working on now in order to get there?

So these are all the things, these are all the things I’m going to be walking my clients through. Like I said, if you’re in The Coach Lab, we’re going to be doing this. It’s going to be like a celebration, celebrating all the things. This is only if you’re in The Coach Lab.

I’m going to be doing this exercise with you. I’ll be specific, I’ll be asking you really specific questions, walking you through it, there might even be a worksheet involved, which will be so exciting. I know you love them. And then we’ll be coaching, right? Because the thing is, what’s going to happen is stuff’s going to come up. Maybe not.

Maybe you’re like, next year is going to be super easy, I’m selling one-on-one coaching. I already know how to do it, I’m changing nothing. But that’s pretty rare usually, I find, for coaches in general. Just coaches tend to be a different breed that’s a little bit like, and what’s next? What’s my next goal? Where’s my next learning? What’s the thing I’m working on? What’s my growth? So if that’s you, I feel you. I get that. And so things will come up, right?

If you decide, if the vision that comes to your mind is I want to be speaking on stages in 2025, you might immediately, depending on your identity of yourself right now, your kind of self-concept of who you are as a human, that might bring up a lot of stuff for you.

It might feel super scary. You might have total impostor syndrome. Like your brain might just freak out a little bit. Your body might freak out a little bit, right? Like there might be a lot of things. It’s good to see that now because now you have a whole year to work on it, to decide what that looks like a year from now.

For some of you it might be maybe you’re a brand new coach and your dream is to have a group coaching program. You just know that the people you coach, the clients you coach would benefit so much from being in a group. You can just picture it, but maybe your marketing and selling isn’t in the place where you know how to sell a group.

You’re like, okay, I can sell an occasional one-on-one spot, but filling an entire group with clients in the way that I would want to, maybe that feels impossible, scary, all of it. Okay, give yourself a year to work up to it. What would that need to look like? You can even practice, I’ll just go ahead and tell you this right now. If you relate to what I just said, you could start practicing doing that by trying to sell, like planning to sell multiple one-on-one spots at the same time.

So if you know in the future you want to have a group coaching program and you want to have, let’s say, just 10 people in it. That’s your dream. You can picture it. It feels so fun. And in your mind you’re like, I have no idea how I would possibly sell 10 people who kind of all want to start at the same time, because maybe right now you have like one client a month or something, right?

And it’s like from that frame of reference, finding 10 people would take 10 months. Which is probably not the best plan for starting a group because the person that says yes in month one, is going to be waiting 10 months for the group to start, right? Now, that’s not usually how it works because you usually learn along the way and you get better at things and you get a lot more clear about who you are and what you do and all of that. But what you can do, you can work up to it, right? Can I sign two clients this month?

And maybe your apprehension is on the coaching side, not the signing client side, right? Can you coach two clients at once? Can you offer some small group calls? Five people, can you have five people on a call and feel confident that you could manage the whole call and come out the other side feeling like, okay, I did it. It worked, I knew how to coach them.

To come back to what I was going to say, I think I interrupted myself. But you can plan mini launches for your one-on-one clients if you wanted to test like, can I work up to that? Even if you’re not selling a group but you want to learn to sell, instead of going from selling just like one at a time here and there to maybe your vision is I create a group program, I sell 10 people all in one month, you can work up to it. Can you do a launch, I’m saying it in air quotes, for your one-on-one coaching where you’re signing three clients at a time, five clients at a time? Can you work up to that?

Those are all just skills that you can start practicing and that you can start learning before you get to the place where, okay, well, here was my plan. Now I’m just going from where I am now, I didn’t practice those skills at all and I’m just going to jump in, right?

I think it can just really allow your business to feel a lot more natural, a lot more like, of course, this is what I planned for. I feel like I know exactly what I’m doing. Not that there won’t be any doubts because there always are. That’s just how business goes. But how can you just work up to it?

Okay, so I have that event for The Coach Lab. Then I also am doing this same work, so we’re calling it Big Picture. Big Picture 2024 is The Coach Lab event. For my certification I actually have a bonus right now. So if you enroll, I’m doing a kind of extended launch, not just opening. It’s not like an open and closed cart for just a few days. I have been enrolling for a few weeks. I think I have about seven people enrolled in the certification, and it closes at 20.

So if you are on the fence, if you’re like, this is something that I think I’ve been wanting to do, the Advanced Certification, that also has the optional live event in Miami, I am offering a bonus. So if you enroll before December, before mid-December, before we kind of – We’re actually taking two weeks off in my business for the holidays.

This is another thing you can plan ahead for, like I know I want to take two weeks off a certain time of year. What does that look like? How do you plan ahead to make sure you’re totally prepared, your clients are cared for, all of that?

Anyway, so we’re taking a couple of weeks off in December, my whole company. And what that means is that anyone that signs up for the certification before then or before we close it, if we enroll 20 people, you get to do this work with me in a one-on-one call.

So you get to schedule a call with me, we’ll do one-on-one and we will work through very specifically, what are you creating? What do you want your year to look like one year from now? Two years from now? And then how do you start creating that over, like what’s the plan for next year?

I love the idea of doing this work with everyone that’s coming into the certification because I think it will be such a good prep for some of the work we do. So if you do this work with me and what we find is that, okay, you know one of the things you want to create in the certification is a new program or a new group and your plan is to create all the things for it. If you know that’s coming at the end of next year, then you can use the time in the certification to create all the things, all the assets, everything you need.

Or if you decide, I know by the beginning of 2025 or the middle of 2024, or whatever, you see in your plan that creating a podcast, for example, is on the list, maybe that’s the project that you work on when you’re in this space. So anyway, I will be offering that. It is a bonus call with me, working through this one-on-one for those of you that decide to join the certification.

And then, hopefully it’s okay that I announce this, I haven’t talked about it anywhere. I am going to be doing this as more of a masterclass or webinar style. So it won’t be quite as interactive, but I will be working you through all of the steps. If you want to be much more interactive and come have a lot of fun and celebrate with us, you should join The Coach Lab now because we’re going to be doing it.

If you want to do this work with me and you know that this is like the build up for next year and you want to do the Advanced Certification in Coaching Mastery, sign up for that now. We’ll put all the links in the show notes. And you can have a one-on-one call and you can work through it with me.

I love doing this work. I really love taking my mind, but especially with my clients, like taking them to what do you envision? And how do we create it? Like let’s make it doable. I think that’s probably one of my favorite parts.

And one of the most beneficial pieces of doing this work is when you allow yourself to do that, you allow yourself to think ahead of time and plan ahead of time, you can really create a plan that feels a lot more doable than when you sometimes, and we all do this sometimes, but when you make decisions at the last minute, decide to launch this thing, decide to do this, decide to do this. And now you’re totally overwhelmed because you have to create everything like right now, right? Because it has to be done right now, next week, whatever it is.

So if that sounds interesting, go to show notes, find the link that you’re looking for, and I cannot wait to do this work with you. I will see you hopefully soon in one of the options. All right, talk to you next week. Goodbye.

Hey Coach, I just wanted to add a quick update to the end of this podcast. Since recording we have made some changes to the dates, so the dates may or may not be mentioned throughout this podcast. And if you’re interested in joining us for any of the things I just want to give you the final dates and you can also go to the show notes and see the links for all of this.

But we are doing a Big Picture 2024 Planning Masterclass for anyone that wants to join. That’s going to be on December 6th at noon. Noon to 2:00 Eastern time. If you want to sign up for that, that’s for anyone, free planning masterclass for next year doing the work that I talked about in this episode. If you want to sign up for that, go to the show notes, the link will be there.

If you are in The Coach Lab or want to join The Coach Lab in order to come to this, we are doing the same thing on December 15th. But for all my clients in The Coach Lab it’s going to be a little bit different. It’s going to be a celebration, we’re going to wrap up the year and do planning for 2024. And it’ll be a little more personal, we’ll do a lot of coaching. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

So I hope that you either join The Coach Lab before then so you can join us for this call, or if you’re already in it, join us. The Coach Lab link will be in the show notes as well.

And then the cut off, this is where I got a little confused during the podcast, I didn’t have the exact date. The cut off if you want to join the certification, if that’s in your plans for 2024, if you join by, again, December 15th, that is the cutoff for the bonus call. So if you join us by December 15th for the certification, you get to do this Big Picture call with me in a one-on-one setting.

Okay, hopefully that clears up any confusion. Sorry for that and I will talk to you next week. Goodbye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at lindsaydotzlafcoaching.com. That’s Lindsay with an A, D-O-T-Z-L-A-F.com. See you next week.

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Hi I’m Lindsay!

I am a master certified coach, with certifications through the Institute for Equity-Centered Coaching and The Life Coach School.

I turn your good coaching into a confidently great coaching experience and let your brilliance shine.

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