In this series of ten tips I want to tease out what I think are some keys to succeeding as a creativity coach. I look forward to your comments! In this post, I’ll present Key #1.
If one or another of these keys seems most “up” for you, you might want to take it as a personal challenge and let us know what you’re going to do to meet that challenge. That might be a personally useful way to make use of this “Ten Keys” list. I look forward to seeing who’ll take the challenge <smile>!
- Not conceptualizing creativity coaching as a client-centered sort of thing.
Many of the ten keys I’ll be presenting feel like they ought to come “first.” But I’ve chosen this one to come first because it may be the most surprising.
I don’t think that the best way to conceptualize a creativity coaching practice is as a “working with clients” sort of thing. I think that the wiser, better and much more enjoyable way is to see it as an expansive meaning opportunity that allows you to write, lead groups, run retreats, help organizations, and, yes, work one-on-one with some clients.
Imagine having 15 clients a week every week of the year at $100 a session. That’s $75,000 annually, give or take. But it is very hard to have 15 clients even for one week, let alone for fifty weeks! Plus, would you even want that many client sessions week in and week out? What if you could make the same amount of annual income seeing one or two clients a week? Wouldn’t you perhaps prefer that life?
How might that look? Down the road, you might make $50,000 annually from teaching your online “My Great Creativity Class” to 100 folks (charging $500 for your 8-week class and running it three times a year) and $5000 from working with clients (that’s just one client a week). You might make another $5000 from running one “Great Creativity Retreat” annually. Maybe you’ll facilitate one online support group for mid-career painters or just-graduated music majors or fantasy romance writers and make $12,000 annually from that (8 in the group at $125/month for the year). That’s what an expansive practice might look like: $72,000 in income, only $5000 of which comes from direct one-on-one work with clients.
This, though it requires savviness and real work, is doable and sustainable, whereas trying to build a one-on-one coaching practice that earns that same $72,000 annually is much heavier lifting. Is it easy to get 100 folks to attend your online classes annually? Much easier than acquiring hundreds of clients! Let me repeat this key: I think it makes much more sense to think of creativity coaching as an expansive meaning opportunity that offers all sorts of possibilities rather than as primarily a one-on-one coaching sort of thing.
If you’re already operating this way, let us know! We’d love to hear. Comments welcome!