Why the Best Leaders Are Reachable
Everyone likes to win, but I’ve become quite happy and successful by being in 2nd place.
Whenever I have a free Life Editing Strategy Call with a potential client, I’ll always ask her why she wanted to speak with me as opposed to another life coach. And we all know there are thousands of life coaches to choose from!
Often, she’ll guiltily admit that she tried several other coaches before she reached out to me. But for one reason or another, they didn’t work out.
- Coach A has a million-dollar business and only hosts a massive conference once a year where you can’t speak to her directly. Even if you join her expensive mastermind group, you only have access to her trained assistant coaches, not her.
- Coach B only opens up one-on-one coaching spots once a year, and when they’re gone, you have to wait another year and try to be one of the first people to reserve yours.
- Coach C only does virtual training programs with pre-recorded videos. There’s nothing “live” about her coaching, and you never get answers to your specific questions.
Now, don’t get me wrong. All these coaches are smart, talented, and have huge followings. But I wonder if they’d be better leaders if they were more accessible to the people who need them.
And this lack of reachability is not reserved for coaches. I know corporate managers who always keep their doors closed, and moms who never look up from their smart phones.
I encourage my clients to make sure their potential clients and customers can actually reach them, and not just some automatic canned email response. In fact, one of my clients gives out her cell phone number so that her clients can text her anytime and get a quick answer.
I’m not saying that you need to give out your phone number or be at the beck and call of your customers every second of the day, but seeming just a bit more accessible is what makes the best leaders shine.
Here are some ways I’ve been able to thrive as a so-called 2nd place coach.
Ways I Make Myself Reachable
- I offer free coaching calls to anyone who wants to talk directly with me, and there’s no obligation to sign up for a paid package.
- I personally reply to the comments on my blog posts. It’s really me, not an assistant!
- I have a contact form on my Work With Me page so people can easily reach me, and I answer my own emails.
- My private clients get unlimited email access to me. Yes, even if they want to email me 5 times a day. This is why they get the big results!
- I occasionally host free webinars that are open for anyone to attend and speak to me live on the call about their unique situation.
I’m not naïve to think that this level of reachability is sustainable forever, but I know even when my business grows, I’ll still offer free calls and webinars instead of delegating everything to assistants.
That’s what being a good leader is all about. The best leaders understand that their followers want to talk to THEM, and that’s why they’re following them in the first place.
Could you make an effort to be more reachable in your life? Try these easy edits.
Easy Ways to be More Reachable
- As an entrepreneur: Offer many different levels of working with you at different price points. Include your email address and a contact form on many pages of your website. Host free calls or webinars just because.
- As a mom: Set aside at least 10 minutes every day for each of your children and simply listen—no phones, TV, or other distractions! This is great to do right before bed when they’ll be thinking about their days and what’s coming up next for them.
- As a manager: Schedule at least 1 hour per day for “open office time” where you keep your office door open so people can come and go and ask you questions. Put this time in your shared calendar so your employees know when they can reach you.
- As wife: Send short texts to your spouse to check in. Carve out time every day for one-on-one time to reconnect. Keep your spouse in the loop when you make decisions and give him/her your undivided attention if he/she has a concern.
- As a friend: Plan a weekly group call or Google Hangout or Zoom call with friends to stay in touch and catch up on each others’ lives. Schedule a yearly girls’ weekend trip. Text daily gratitudes to each other.
Currently, I have 18 private clients, and about half of them reached out to other coaches before coming to me. Being 2nd best is awesome!
I greatly admire the work that other life coaches do, and I’ve learned so much from watching them run their businesses.
They’ve helped me grow my little coaching practice into a 6-figure business…but probably not in the way they had hoped.
This post focuses on Step 3 of the Life Editing Process, Add Good Habits and Routines. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.
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I love your website and your presence is really tangible here – very impressed across the board. It’s amazing to get such a complete introductory package on joining your list – thanks for your generosity!
You are #1 in my book!!!
Aw, thanks, Lori! 🙂
Sage this is great advice. As a coach and someone who has worked with other coaches, that personal contact is so important. I hate when I feel like I am dealing with “Oz” behind the secret curtain. Lol. I follow your philosophy of being accessible to my clients. I could probably use a little work in my personal life though, I’m going to work on that.
P.S. Thanks for being #2!!!
Yes, I think you do a good job of reaching out to your clients and being accessible. That’s what coaches are supposed to do!
This is by far the best advice and thoughts I have read about being a coach. I like to think that I am allowing myself to be available and reachable!
Thanks for the nice words, Petra! 🙂