Coach Interview Series: Steve Monte

by Brandon

Steve Monte

Career Strategy and Success 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 Steve Monte. Steve is a Career Strategy and Success Coach based in Indianapolis, IN.

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

Steve: I work with young and mid-career professionals who are really focused on growing. That doesn’t just mean growing the bottom line income that they bring in, but also expanding what their capabilities are. In the words of Bob Burg, one of my favorite business authors, focusing on being a go-giver rather than a go-getter. How do I maximize my value out in the world?

I do a whole variety of activities with them. Often that starts with job search strategy, putting together the right marketing materials—resumes, cover letters, social media profiles — as well as interview preparation and salary negotiation. When folks land in those roles, often I’m helping them get promotions. I help them maximize the quality of the work and the value that they’re delivering, often in leadership positions for the companies that hire them.

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?

Steve: In the early stages of my work where I’m very focused on helping people land on a role, there are so many pieces that have to come together in order to help a client achieve the success that they’re looking for. They have to have the right marketing material. They have to be able to position themselves well as a candidate. They have to find that company where they’re going to be a good match. They have to communicate that value to everybody who interviews them at that company. Then they have to work through all of the salary and negotiation pieces to close the deal.

The most rewarding part of my work is that moment where the client calls me and says, “Guess what? The interview went really well and I just got a call back. They want to offer me the position.” Or within a week or two after that, often I get a call that says, “Hey, guess what? I negotiated exactly the way you trained me,” and they’ve bumped up that initial offer — sometimes $5,000 or $10,000 depending on the role, and obviously even more with seasoned leaders that I’m working with.

Those immediate and visible wins that they get from coaching fire me up. I often get clients coming back to me and saying, “It was such a clearly successful process to work with you. Now, how do I maximize my leadership skills? How do I maximize my value as a professional?” That’s the moment that I have them convinced, and then we get to do some great work together, sometimes for years into the future after that.

Every day, I wake up and I say, “What can I do to get better, to deliver more value, to become the person that I look up to?”

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

Steve: The reality is I’ve had a number of mentors who have really changed the game for me and have been really helpful. One person that comes to mind is Raymond Aaron, who I’ve had the fortune of working with. He’s a New York Times bestselling author and to my knowledge, Canada’s top success coach. I got a chance to work with him a number of years ago and he was the one who got me successfully through the process of writing my book, Catch Your Big Break.

I could easily say that if it weren’t for him, my book wouldn’t have become a reality. I wouldn’t have been able to take a lot of the concepts that I teach and train people in as a coach and then get them out there in writing for everybody to have access to them. He helped me elevate my vision. He gave me a really concrete and practical set of tools to make it happen. The rest was up to me; I had to go out and execute.

I found out later that I was one of the fastest people to take that vision and the practical tools that he gave me and get through and get my book published. He actually called me later and said, “Steve, how did you do it so fast? How did you avoid getting stuck in the places that some of the other folks I’ve coached get stuck?” We had a great conversation about that. Far and away, the opportunities that I had to work with him topped the highlight reel of the conversations I’ve had with mentors of mine.

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?

Steve: First of all, I want to validate that I have experienced all of that myself. I certainly talked with other coaches and other even top performing professionals who would say versions of the same thing. “I don’t feel like I’m as good as everybody thinks I am. I think I sell it well, but certainly there are more people out there who are more successful than I am.”

To name a couple of names, I’ve caught interviews and comments both from Will Smith and Tom Brady. They would say “I’ve got average talents and a whole lot of hustle. There are people out there better than I am.” They got to elite status by looking at the people above them and using that as motivation to get where they wanted to go.

I would not try to banish those fears and worries from anybody’s minds. Don’t let that fear keep you from doing what you need to do in order to become more successful. Every day, I wake up and I say, “What can I do to get better, to deliver more value, to become the person that I look up to?” If that’s your focus, then you take the action that it takes to get 1% better, to get 5% better. You won’t get rid of the self-doubt, but you’re going to get where you want to go. It just takes both the patience and the hard work to make it happen.

Previous post:

Next post: