Coach Interview Series: Rachel Lauren Wade

by Brandon

Rachel Lauren Wade

Master Certified Coach (MCC)

Our main objective here at the National Coach Academy is to enable aspiring coaches to reach their full professional potential. One of the most effective ways to educate students about the world of coaching is by offering them a window into the world of real, practicing coaches and showing them all the different ways coaches make a difference in the lives of their clients.

We hope today’s interview adds another insightful glimpse into the dynamic world of coaching.

Today we are interviewing Rachel Lauren Wade. Rachel is an ICF-accredited Master Certified Coach (MCC). She has over 10 years experience inspiring others to live their lives with purpose, passion, and fulfillment.

NCA: Can you describe your coaching practice and the kinds of clients you typically work with?

Rachel: I work with a big variety. I work with everybody from entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, executives and other coaches, as well. I’ve developed programs across the world; I run some for schools and some for my own school. I coach coaches, I mentor coaches, and again, I run my business with executives and solopreneurs — sometimes even stay-at-home moms!

NCA: Can you take us through some of the most common challenges that your clients face when they come to you?

Rachel: The most common challenge that my clients face is knowing what their goals are versus the perceived goals of society. Very often clients have a preconceived notion. Money is usually a big one: “I need to earn another $100,000 and everything will be okay.” But when we really get into it, we find out taking a little bit more time for their family and for themselves is really what they were needing.

They learn to work smarter and realign their goals to set with their core values of who they are. I call it ‘Getting off of society’s train and getting on your own.” Not following what goals other people set for you, like, “You should be a doctor” from your parents and instead asking, “What do I want to be?” What we find is when we align the right goals with our core values, things really move.

One of the biggest challenges is not being aware of what aligns with who they are. Sometimes it can even take three months to crack that shell and figure out “Oh, this is what’s really important to you.”

We all have our mental blocks that can be paper walls but it looks like a brick one. We’re even afraid to touch the wall even though it’s paper and you can run right through it. Because it looks like brick, we don’t even come close to it. Getting them to say “Let’s just go touch the wall. Let’s see actually how flimsy it is.”

NCA: In working with your clients, what would you say is the most rewarding aspect of that process and on the flip side of that, what is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?

Rachel: The most rewarding is when a client discovers their path and inspiration. The fire inside is now lit. It’s always been there but now it’s in full swing. Yes, there are bumps in the road and we may fall and we may stumble, but the energy behind it stays pretty constant and it lights up the path. We may stumble, but we get there.

As we’re reaching those benchmarks, we’re reaching that end desire to be able to shout their names on the rooftop with them and say, “Look at what you’ve done. Look at what you’ve achieved. Look at where you were three months ago or six months ago. Look at what you are now!” To be able to be there with them is one of the most rewarding processes.

On the flip side of that is when that fire is not there. When it’s not lit. You’re in that struggle and trying to really help them discover where that fire is. When it’s found it’s so beautiful and it’s worth the challenge, but sometimes, what can we do to uncover that can be very challenging. This is what I do best — I help them pop those mental barriers.

We all have our mental blocks that can be paper walls but it looks like a brick one. We’re even afraid to touch the wall even though it’s paper and you can run right through it. Because it looks like brick, we don’t even come close to it. Getting them to say “Let’s just go touch the wall. Let’s see actually how flimsy it is.” That can be a little bit frustrating because you believe in them, you know they can do it, but they are the only ones that can do it. They are the only ones.

NCA: Can you think of a mentor or a coach who was the most vital to your success and in what ways did this mentor help you?

Rachel: I’ve had many mentors and coaches. I am a strong believer that if you are going to be a coach, you should have a coach. I’ve had two. One was a spiritual coach and the other one was my ICF coach.

One of my coaches used to say, “What’s the middle way?” Because there’s always the extremes — the yeses and nos, the black and white — but what’s the gray? What’s the middle way?” That was such a profound moment of clarity for me.

NCA: What is one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who is in the early stages of their coaching career?

Rachel: The coaching advice I give all of my coaches who are starting out is to follow the same system that you’re coaching. Hire a coach. Because there are going to be mental barriers that we have gotten comfortable with that are holding us back from launching our business to be the best business it can be.

The other thing is to take a course that will help you learn how to communicate to get customers. Because you’re not a coach until you have clients. The ICF core competencies teach us a beautiful method in coaching and a beautiful standard to hold ourselves to, but they don’t teach us how to get clients. And if you don’t have clients, then you’re just naming yourself a coach.

Get out there. Communicate with people. Ask for their business. It’s the number one thing that coaches fall down on when they’re first starting out. We’re a world of social media now, a world of social communication and social judgment, so we’re scared if we go and ask, “Hey, could I coach you and then you let me know what you think? I’d love to have an opinion. What stood out for you from my coaching? Is there anybody you know that needs these services?”

Many coaches haven’t learned to use communication skills to get a client. The worst thing for a coach is not knowing how to sell themselves. They could probably sell somebody else’s product but they can’t sell themselves.

As a client, I ask my coach, “What’s your dream?” And if they’re not living their dream, then they’re not the right coach for me. I ask my clients to live their dreams. To not be afraid to step out of their comfort zone.

I started sailing the world about two years ago. My partner wanted to sail and I wanted to travel around the world. Together, our two goals became one. I stepped out of my comfort zone to be on water and sail around the world. We have to live the example.

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