“He loves his personal coach and is enjoying the game now,” said the mom of a 9-year-old Little League player. She must have noticed the look on my face because she added, “I know he’s not the star player and there is a team coach, but this focused attention has given him the skills to be his best. And, it doesn’t cost as much as we thought it would!” My look told her that I thought it was ridiculous for a little boy to have a private coach but what she said made sense. I smiled and nodded, “You know, all people deserve a shot at their best self.”

Professional athletes, CEOs and movie stars have coaches, so why not a Sunday adult league football player, or a middle manager, or a community theatre actress? As organizations flatten out and people are in more entrepreneurial positions, companies are using coaches – according to Forbes, even in economic down times – help professionals, which in turn helps teams, which ultimately benefits the company.

I’ve had three professional coaches in my career – all of whom were sought out and paid for myself. My first professional coach made me mad. She pushed my buttons but also offered business-related suggestions. The second coach used an Intrinsic Coaching™ method which tapped into my best thinking for clarity and decisions. The third coach – my storytelling coach – did what the first two did while teaching me a specific speaking skill. He was also my fourth coach and is soon to be my fifth. Here’s what the first coach taught me about the benefit, what is it worth to you to achieve what you want, have better relationships, like yourself, reduce worry and be happy?

Surprisingly enough, it cost a lot less than I thought. Some of the biggest differences in my life were made by small changes. First, I got clear about what I wanted to achieve. Secondly, I solicited honest feedback. Thirdly, I took action.

What if you are not ready for a coach?
Coach yourself! Three things you can do today to help you be the best you.

  1. Give yourself a sincere compliment. Then repeat it several times a day for several days.
  2. Ask yourself, “What are you wanting?”, and then listen for the answer. Don’t judge what you hear – just let it simmer for a few days.
  3. Draw a picture of your perfect day. (Don’t read the rest of this until you do your drawing!) Circle what you need more of. Put a heart around what you already have. Just doing this will bring you closer to what’s perfect for you and it’s a reminder of what you already have.


Erika Oliver is a Life Coach and Keynote Speaker who helps people achieve their goals through a positive approach.