Ten Things To Read, Watch, & Listen To If You're A Big-Hearted Coach

There are certain things I look and hope for when consuming ideas, stories, content, and information to fuel, inspire, and direct my coaching practice:

  • Ideas that move me, push me, and speak to my core values as a coach and human
  • Ideas that give me space to grow, to evolve, to develop, and be the coach I want to be
  • Stories, conversations, and ideas that help me better understand and serve my clients
  • Stories, conversations, and ideas that encourage me to live a fulfilling, meaningful, and impactful life

Today I want to share with you ten of my favourite things that I’ve read, watched, and listened to as a big-hearted coach - my hope is that these can encourage, inspire, and guide you too in your own journey of building and running a meaningful coaching business on your own terms. 

1. Elizabeth Gilbert on Fear, Authenticity, and Big Magic on Marie TV

I’ve watched this interview with Elizabeth Gilbert so many times now - even if you’ve already read Big Magic, it’s great to revisit the core themes of the book in this interview and hear some additional and candid insights from Elizabeth too. 

Although this isn’t directly aimed at coaches or even business owners, it’s a great reminder of what it means to truly live an authentic creative life. Especially if there’s a creative element to the work you do (whether you create content, or work with other creatives, or maybe have creative side projects) this interview is much needed encouragement to be brave, resourceful, and to have fun in our creative journeys along the way. 

2. The Work/Life Energy Drain on Braid Creative

One of my core beliefs as a coach is that we have to be the best version of ourselves if we want to truly support, guide, and be of service to our clients along the way. This post from Braid Creative on analysing what drains your energy and what gives you energy in your work and life is a great jumping off point to help you build a more sustainable routine that fuels you better on the day-to-day.

Especially if you’re battling with burnout right now, this is a great article to help you start making some positive steps in the best direction for you and your business. 

3. Katie Lee on Good Communication, Small Changes, and Being Burnt Out On Self-Help on Real Talk Radio

I love the work Katie Lee does - her book The Effortless Everyday is one I highly recommend reading if you want a more joyful and stress-free daily life. This episode is a great listen because she shares not only some personal insights into her life and relationship, but also about her experience of feeling burnt out on self-care - something I think so many of us coaches can battle with. 

I really connected with this episodes and the insights and conversations Katie and Nicole shared and had throughout - to hear another coach share her own journey, experience, and lessons learned was really encouraging and insightful and I definitely recommend listening to this one!

4. Vulnerability As A Creative with Brené Brown on Being Boss

I honestly think without the incredible work Brené Brown does in the world I would have never moved past fear and self-doubt and started my business. In this interview on the Being Boss podcast she talks all about vulnerability as a creative, something we can face and battle with daily as a coach. If you struggle with perfectionism, or fear or rejection or judgement, this is a must-listen for you. 

5. Rising Strong by Brené Brown

This is a fantastic read from Brené Brown - I’ve found it so useful in both my own journey of “rising strong” and encouraging and supporting my clients in their own too. Failure and set-backs are inevitable when we’re brave enough to try and make things happen, and this book is full of great insights and tools about how to get back up and own the stories we build around our disappointments and failures along the way. 

6. Essentialism by Greg McKeown

This is the book that has had the biggest impact on the way I run my business and live my life. Essentialism can help you to stop feeling so damn busy and actually be productive and live a meaningful, purposeful, and focused life instead. A big focus of this book is about making our highest level of contribution to things that truly matter to us - as coaches, I’ve found this can give us the tools to really help us tap into our higher level contribution as a coach. By cutting out the things that don’t truly matter, we can then do work that is really meaningful and effective in the world.

If you find that your clients are battling with feeling busy but unproductive, overworked and unfulfilled, and not truly tapping into their own highest level of contribution in their work and life, this is a great book to fuel and guide the work you do with them too. 

7. The Simple Sexy Truth About How To “Get Booked” and “Sell Stuff” by Alexandra Franzen

Alexandra Franzen says in this post everything I believe about consistently attracting and booking clients - there’s so much noise out there these days about mailing lists and sales funnels and persuasive marketing that it’s so refreshing to read something that brings it back to basics. She shares how the secret to getting bookings is to be really good at what you do, and that if you want to be consistently booked out you should focus on becoming excellent at your craft - and I could not agree more.

Marketing will always have it’s place in a coaching business - there’s a reason I do a lot of content coaching work with my clients, because I believe it’s so damn important - but we have to actually focus on being good at what we do if we want a consistent and sustainable career in the long run. Check out this post and let it encourage you to do exactly that.

8. Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday

I’m currently halfway through listening to the audiobook of this and I think it is fantastic. Ryan Holiday explores how our ego is the enemy when we want to achieve anything truly meaningful or effective with our work. Instead of obsessing over praise, or fame, or validation, this book encourages us to focus on our craft instead, and put our higher goals above our need for validation, recognition, and praise. 

This has become an essential read for me - a reminder of what is truly important in the work that I do, and a sobering look at the reality of how our ego can destroy us if we let it. If you want to focus on mastery, impact, and being the best coach you can be, this is a fantastic read for moving past the one thing that can hold us back the most. 

9. Nicole Antoinette on Making Change on Raise Your Hand Say Yes

Coaching, ultimately, is about helping our clients make change in their lives. This interview with Nicole Antoinette on the Raise Your Hand Say Yes podcast is an honest and human insight into the realities of making big change in our lives, and I found it a great listen for really digging deep into the own work I do as a coach with my clients. 

It’s easy to think there’s a straight and easy path to making change - that there may be a one-size-fits-all blueprint out there - but the reality is that it’s messy and hard and challenging and oh so easy to fail at our goals along the way. Sometimes as a coach it’s easy to just get lost in the day to day of client work and running our business, and I found this episode a great reminder of what truly is important about the work we do with clients, and how brave it is in life to push ourselves to make changes along the way. 

10. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

This book is pretty much my bible for life - I’ve read it countless times, given my copy to so many friends to read, and recommend it to so many clients too. Life is hard sometimes - horrible things can happen, we can struggle in ways we didn’t expect. We lose people, we make mistakes, we navigate the highs and lows every single day. Cheryl Strayed cuts all the crap and says exactly what we need to hear, in the most loving, human, and necessary way. In this collection of her “Dear Sugar” advice columns, she tackles everything and anything from loss, love, work, family, and everything else in-between.

No matter what type of coaching work you do in the world, I think this book is essential reading for us all (and non-coaches too of course!). 

I hope these can serve, encourage, and inspire you in the awesome coaching work you do!

One last thing...

The Big-Hearted Coach

This blog post is the second in a 6-part series to coincide with the first launch of The Big-Hearted Coach, a 3 month 1:1 coaching program that’s here to help you feel confident, fulfilled, and stress-free in your coaching business. There are just 4 spots available and it starts in October 2016 - find out more this way