5 unexpected things to look for in a coach

Hanging with my coaching clients

I’m constantly speaking with women who are up to big things, and it often surprises me how many of them feel as if they should somehow be able to figure things out on their own. If you wanted to be a world class baseball player, you’d hire a coach. If you wanted to be a Broadway actor, you’d hire a coach. If you want to have a fantastic relationship or a world-changing business, why not hire a coach?

One of the biggest reasons people say they don’t hire coaches is money. Often, though, it’s really about priorities. Are you spending that money on unnecessary new shoes, eating out too often or home improvements on things that don’t actually need fixing?

Consider how valuable a thriving business, a fantastic lifestyle, deep self-love or an incredible relationship are to you. Isn’t it worth the investment in yourself?

Before I started hiring coaches, I had a long list of reasons why I wasn’t ready. But the longer I waited, the longer I was stuck in holding patterns. Support pulled me through.


1. Masters learn from masters.
Becoming successful at something you haven’t mastered yet – whether it’s making sushi, losing weight, learning to read Sanskrit, or having a thriving life and business – requires learning and practice. We wouldn’t attempt to find our way through the woods with no map and no guide, so why do we attempt to do that in the area of life that’s so important to us? Why do we expect ourselves to know something we’ve never been taught?! Get guidance.

2. If you want to be invested in, invest in yourself.
It makes sense that making an investment in something then backing it up with elbow grease would yield a positive return. But have you also considered that, from an energetic perspective, asking people to shell out some dough for your brilliance when you’re not shelling out any dough yourself seems a little…well…off? A coach of mine once said “you can tell what’s really important to a person by looking at their calendar and their checkbook.” Amen. Get aligned.

3. Because your life is happening now.
There are some people who are constantly living on the edge of their potential, while others avoid facing those things in their life that aren’t sustainable. These people seem to share one thing in common: a belief that life is worth living and there’s no better time than the present. I’m convinced that there’s no fuel more potent on the planet than this kind of enthusiasm. It’s time. After all, do you really want to be saying “maybe someday…” all through 2014? Didn’t think so. Get moving.


1. Their lifestyle.
Your coach will help guide you largely based on their experience and what’s worked for them. So what is working for them? Does she have the kind of lifestyle that you want, or at least admire? Does she walk her talk? Are other areas of life that are important to you, important to her, too (relationship, health, etc)? If you’re hiring a business coach, the fact that they have a pile of money may be nice, but are they really loving life? This is what’s truly important. When you resonate with how they live, your trust factor is way up, and trust is a good thing.

2. Their lineage.
This is solid gold. By checking out who your prospective coach trained with, coached with, learns from and follows, you’ll learn much about the lineage you’re signing up for. I’m not saying you have to launch an all-out investigation, but who do they thank? Who do they hang with? Who shapes their views? Do you share their philosophies on life, work and growth? Resonance is so important.

3. They take a holistic view.
Everything affects everything else, so if your coach is talking about your next launch without taking into account your adrenal fatigue, they’re missing something big. When a holistic view isn’t taken – giving consideration to your life as a whole – things will often unravel. Your business may soar, while your health and relationships suffer. Your finances improve, but your body image stays the same. You are a whole human being and you deserve someone who cares about your whole-life-alignment and wants to get to know all of you.

4. They’ve been there.
Wanna make take your business to the next level? Handle your food issues? Live a life of travel and adventure? Hire someone who has walked down that path. They probably scraped their knees and learned a heck of a lot along the way – all valuable insights they can share with you. They’re also more likely to give you that special flavor of love and compassion that comes from being able to relate when things aren’t feeling so hot. You don’t have to hire a coach who’s walked in your shoes – we all have our own path – but if it’s something that’s intensely important to you, you may be wise to select someone who’s been there, done that. Especially if they’ve helped others do the same.

5. They inspire and activate.
It’s all about vibes and resonance. Truth be told, your heart knows best. Things to notice: Do you look forward to her tweets and emails? Does she inspire you and make you want to take action? Does she spark your creativity? Do you get great inspiration from her and great motivation? We’re far less likely to follow someone’s lead when we’re not inspired by them and driven to take action.

One last thing… Adore your coach but don’t stick her on an enormous pedestal. She’s human, fallible and learning just like you. Your relationship will be healthiest when you let yourself be yourself with her, and remember that you, just like her, are Superhuman too.


REMINDER: There are a handful of days left to apply for the Freedom Mastermind. It’s likely the only opportunity to coach with me 1-on-1 in 2014, and you’ll have a built-in community of smart, loving, supportive sisters to lend their hearts and hands to you living the life you’ve been waiting for. We’ll go on epic retreats and you’ll have all the coaching you need to create what you want. If you’re interested, check it out and apply here: www.TheFreedomMastermind.com.


–––> In the comments below, share what you look for in a coach, and what difference coaching has made in your life.

posted in entrepreneurship + lifestyle.

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  1. Shannon

    Oh my goodness, Nisha! I love this!

    You are SOOOO right.

    I’ve had a lot of coaches, and the relationships that were the most successful were those in which I admired the lifestyle of the person who was coaching me. And to be honest? It wasn’t always those making the big bucks. It was with the coaches who were honest, authentic, and heart-felt. Who really put themselves in their clients’ shoes and cared. And who walked their talk. <– SUPER IMPORTANT

    When we first spoke years ago, I knew who I wanted to work with, but I wasn't ready to work with them, because I was still so stuck in my own process.

    I am happy to say that now I have figured a good deal of things out and really love and enjoy my life – much more than I originally thought was possible!

    Thanks for your continuing guidance, support, and inspiration. You are one beautiful, soulful, and powerful woman. <3

  2. Liz DiAlto

    I prefer to work with coaches who don’t know me going into the relationship. I know so many amazing and powerful coaches, but there’s something about the objectivity and a totally clean slate that I really appreciate.

  3. Sugandha

    I loved this Nisha! I am kinda guilty of doing that to people who have been my coaches -as a newbie I am so in awe and wide-eyed about the confidence and “I got this” attitude that they have that I always feel just a tiny bit awestruck.

    These tips are such great reminders, not just a someone who wants to be a holistic health coach but also as someone looking for guidance. Thanks :) x


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