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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Thoughts on Coaching and the "Ick" Factor

My brother always likes to tell my friends about how as a kid I would line up all my dolls & his toy-soldiers on the sofa to conduct a class. Honestly, I had always assumed that everyone did the same thing and was surprised to learn that other children had other, less instructive imaginary past-times. I recognize how lucky I am to have found my calling very early in life.

When I started my Slim in 6 journey in August 2007, I knew that I would want to be a coach almost as soon as I began posting on the FITDOC's thread on the BeachBody Community Forums. It felt incredibly rewarding to realize that I had the ability to motivate others to push play, to help them out with meal planning, and ultimately, to transform lives.

That I found myself playing the unofficial role of coach didn't come as a surprise to me. I have enjoyed playing the role of leader as far back as I can remember, but always with the main goal of helping other people. It's the reason I spent 30 years (uninterrupted) in school to become a college teacher. My desire to help others is the reason I chose teaching over a more lucrative career in advertising that also seemed to be calling my name.

But was I ready to take on the title of "Independent Team BeachBody Coach"? There was something in that title that smelled of business, something that really put me off. "I'm a noble teacher, not a grimy salesperson!", I remember telling Dr. Kevin Kane, my awesome coach and now friend. But, oh, I so wanted to coach! I so wanted to help others without having money get in the way!

With Kevin's reassurance that this wasn't some sort of scam and that I could cancel any time that I wanted to, I signed up to be a coach. Wow, I just got emotional. My life has not been the same since. Believe me when I tell you, I feel like I have awoken to my true life purpose. I went from an entertaining bikini-clad girl who got great results and liked to post pictures of herself as much as she liked to help people, to someone who knows she has been given a gift to motivate and help others make lasting change in their lives. I take my role as coach to heart; I know that there are people who look up to me and who count on me. At the risk of sounding new-agey, being in this role has turned me into a better and more responsible person, one that lives by the laws of integrity.

For those of you that know me personally or from the message boards, you know that I don't push products. I simply lead by example and provide practical as well as moral support. The products sell themselves. I provide support and yes, BeachBody rewards me for my efforts every time someone makes a purchase. The fact that I receive what the CEO of BeachBody calls "a Thank You Check for passing it on" doesn't change the meaning or the value of what I do. (Thanks, Puckhead, for the reminder of Carl's phrase! Loved your Youtube video!).

Coaching really can be anything you want it to be. It can be a way for you to receive a 25% discount off BeachBody products, it can be something you do to help you pay for the rising cost of gas, or it can be your ticket to financial freedom and early retirement (no, I'm not kidding). At the heart of the matter, however, are fitness, health, and your desire to help other people.

If you've been on the fence about becoming a coach, if you've had the same "icky" feelings about "selling products," I hope this entry provides you with some reassurance. I invite you to contact me if you'd like to chat about coaching or if you have any questions. My goal is to to help the members of my coaching team get from where they are to where they want to be, both as fitness warriors and as coaches.

Here's to our health and future,

Bring it!

Barbie, PhD

p.s. My coaches and I have co-created a blog called THE COACHING THINK TANK for the people on our team.

1 comment:

MelisaC said...

This is exactly what I needed to read today, Barbie! Especially this part: "My life has not been the same since." I told my husband a few months ago that I had this unsettled feeling... like my entire life was going to change in the very near future. Does that make sense?

It was so scary, because there are aspects of my life that I'd rather stayed the same... but exactly what I wanted at the same time. When I got the e-mail from Heather asking if I wanted to be coach, I had the same feeling. I don't know where this will lead, but I fully intend to be present and HAVE FUN along the way!

I love, love, love your writing, by the way!