Coach Interview Series: Christoph Nauer

by Brandon

Christoph Nauer

Certified Business and Personal Coach

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 Christoph Nauer. Christoph is a Certified Business and Personal Coach based in Walnut Creek, California.

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

Christoph: My primary focus is on business owners. I want to help them get more productive. My tagline is that I help them double their productivity and time off.

Usually when entrepreneurs decide to go into business, they’re good at something. They’re passionate about something. But running it as a business is not something that they know and usually their training does not include that. When you look at doctors, dentists, or insurance agents, that’s not part of the training. They are good at their particular trade, but how to run it as a business is not part of it. That’s where I come in. It’s usually small business owners anywhere from solo entrepreneurs up to about 50 employees.

NCA: What initially got you interested in becoming a business coach?

Christoph: It’s my desire to help others. My wife and I are working full time raising three kids and juggling a gazillion things. In the process, it’s very easy to lose track of what’s truly important and you always put yourself last. It really is happening in our society. That’s the message that our society sends to everybody…except on the airplane. That’s when they tell you to put the mask on yourself first before somebody else. That’s the only time to do that.

If you don’t do that running a business, you cannot be at your best because at some point, it’s going to come back to bite you. Your relationship falls apart and your health is jeopardized. If you’re not healthy, you cannot run a business. If you’re stressed out and you take your business home all the time, your spouse eventually gets sick and tired of that.

I had a dentist come to me because his wife said, “Okay, I’m done. I don’t want you to come home and continue working.” After a few months working with me, that was a thing of the past. We found out that he was doing things he shouldn’t be doing. But again, he was trained as a dentist, not for running a business. Now he’s doing all the things that only he can do and everything else is outsourced, delegated, or hired up. In the process, he had time to be with his wife and his two young kids.

NCA: This idea of having more time for yourself and spending less time at work seems to be catching on in other parts of the world, but America always seems to be working more, not less.

Christoph: The Europeans are looking at us like we are crazy. For them, people who work 40 hours, that’s more than enough. It’s too much. The French have a 32-hour work week. In the US, if you only work 40 hours, you’re frowned upon.

The thing is, if you work 12-hour days, your productivity actually goes down, not up. Once you pass the 8-hour day, your productivity does not go up. It’s a real misconception — “If I work more, I’d get more done.” No, you need to work smarter, not harder.

Whichever one you feed, wins. If you feed fear and doubt, that will win. If you feed success and abundance, that will win. 95% of everything that we do is driven by the subconscious mind. […] We have to replace the message of our subconscious mind with a positive one, the “I can do everything I want to” attitude.

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

Christoph: The most rewarding part is when you see things change. When they start to realize, “Oh my gosh. I got everything done and I actually have time to enjoy life.” When they start giving themselves permission to say no and to delegate and to implement office hours. It’s a huge turnaround.

I had a client who was a realtor. She’s a single mom of four and she fought me for the longest time with the whole idea of office hours. But when she finally implemented it, she told me afterwards, “Oh, that’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Thank you so much.” She’s now running a very, very successful real estate business with several partners and employees and she has delegated who’s doing what. It’s absolutely fantastic. To see that is really why I do what I do.

The challenge is when people say “I don’t have time for coaching. I don’t have time to learn new things. I don’t have time to train my employees. I don’t have time to do performance reviews. I don’t have time.” It’s the whole idea of the chicken or the egg. If you don’t have time or don’t make time, nothing is going to change. Sometimes unless their pain is bad enough, they’re not willing to sign up.

Part of it is stepping outside of your comfort zone. That’s when the growth happens. There’s sometimes this fear of, “Is this going to work?” And I say, “Yeah,i f you do the work, I’ll tell you it’ll work. But you have to do the work. I don’t do the work.”

In my intake, I always ask them, “Are you interested or are you committed?” If they say they’re interested, I know that we won’t be working together because I can’t help somebody who’s only interested. I can only help somebody who’s committed because when you’re committed, you’d do whatever it takes.

I started my own business when I stepped outside of my comfort zone. When I got scared. That’s when the growth happened. I went through a whole rebranding process a couple of years ago. Extremely time consuming, extremely expensive, and scary as hell, but it was the right thing to do. That’s what I see is happening with clients, too, sometimes. Part of my job is to take that fear away and make them feel comfortable and confident that that can be done. That’s why I always share success stories.

NCA: One of the most common challenges new coaches face is self-doubt. Some coaches call it Imposter Syndrome, where early on they feel somehow inadequate to take on the role of coach. What is one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who is in the beginning stage of their coaching career and dealing with these doubts in their mind?

Christoph: We all deal with head trash. That’s really what this stuff is. One of the great books that John Assaraf wrote is called The Answer. In that book, he partnered up with a scientist to explain how our brain worked. Part of it was the power of positive affirmations and how that can change a person’s life. That’s why one of my five components of coaching is mastering your psychology. Because if you have doubts, then you will not go anywhere.

Whichever one you feed, wins. If you feed fear and doubt, that will win. If you feed success and abundance, that will win. 95% of everything that we do is driven by the subconscious mind. If doubt and fear and worries and all that kind of trash is residing in our subconscious mind, that will be the results we’re going to get. We have to replace the message of our subconscious mind with a positive one, the “I can do everything I want to” attitude.

When I read that book, I said, “Okay, I have a lot of head trash. I gotta get rid of my head trash because it’s holding me back.” I started creating my set of affirmations and every morning before anybody else was up in the house, Monday to Friday, I would get up and I would say those affirmations out loud. Yes, my conscious mind was like, “Hahaha, no, you’re not!” But the subconscious mind does not know the difference between real and imagined. If you feed that same message over and over and over and over to your subconscious mind, eventually that’s what’s going to live there. But if you have head trash as a coach, you ain’t going anywhere.

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