Do You Need a Coach?
By Jacey Eckhart
“You need someone on your side who doesn’t have any skin in the game,” my mom told me when I was 24.
I had been crying to her for what felt like three days. My husband and I had reached that rocky place you get to in a marriage when you line up the perfect military trifecta of new baby, no money, and wicked long deployment.
My mom was brilliant. She could see I legitimately needed someone to talk to in order to figure out what to do next—and that person could not be her. Like all of our family and friends, she did have skin in the game. She was acknowledging that all her advice would be about keeping the marriage together, and that was not the only possible solution.
She could see I needed someone to listen to me, who did not have skin in the game, who could hear the errors in my thinking and inspire me to find a solution for myself. She could see I needed a coach.
I found one. She helped me organize some structures in my life to support our marriage while Brad and I got more comfortable with sharing parenting. She helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my career, too. By the following year, I was writing for, then editing, a small magazine—and Brad could make our little daughter one mean ponytail.
That’s why I believe in the power of the coach—the person who is on your side with no skin in the game.
Coaching is a great tool to handle significant life changes like having a new baby or looking for a new job. A coach is the guide you find in the long hallway between the end of the role you used to have (carefree adult) and becoming your new self (one of those moms who can march three kids across the country armed with nothing but a sippy cup and an umbrella stroller).
So often when we are stuck, we wait for the problem to go away. When it doesn’t, we turn to family and friends. When they keep saying the same things, we might try some self-coaching (which is why I developed The Next Door Project Workbook for you). Then, when we need a bit more insight, a coach is there to ask the right questions and offer the right exercises and hold us a little accountable.
I have always done some coaching as a sidebar to my writing career, and I have earned a certificate in coaching from the American Society for Talent Development. In the past year, I have been asked to do professional coaching, so COMING SOON I’ll be offering coaching sessions to, well, you! Or anyone else who needs someone without skin in the game to come alongside and provide help navigating the long hallway and walking through a Next Door. Stay tuned for more about my coaching sessions, launching next month. And start asking yourself, Do I need a coach? Because maybe a coach is what you need to make the difference between chasing your dream “someday” and living your dream now.