Did you know there’s about 47,500 life coaches in North America?
And according to the International Coaching Federation, 14% of their new members were between 25 and 35 years old.
That’s a lot of young coaches.
I thought that was crazy too and then remembered the time I decided to be an addictions counselor when I was 21 years old. And less than a year sober.
I still remember the professor talking about the affects of cocaine on the body when I started to squirm in my chair, fighting the weird urges my body was getting at the mention of using coke.
I thought I was playing it cool when the girl next to me looked at me all concerned and asked, “Are you ok?”
I excused myself from class early that day. Just a little hiccup in my path to being an addictions counselor I thought.
I relapsed shortly after that. I had been clean for 6 months since I left rehab. And one day I wanted to go see some old friends. Just hangout. I had no plans on drinking or using.
But I did.
I drank and smoked pot until I was dry heaving in the front yard and then passed out in the hallway in front of the bathroom next to some girl.
I drove home in the morning so ashamed I couldn’t stay sober.
And yet, I wanted to go to school to help others stay sober.
I eventually got clean in 2004 and have been since. But I never did become an addictions counselor.
A lot of things have happened since then but one thing still remains: I still struggle with wanting to teach people things I don’t know how to do!
It’s weird because I’m aware of it. And I do my best to put the brakes on once I realize what I’m doing but I can’t help but wonder why some of us do this.
Even though I’m not a life coach, in some ways I’m no different than the 21-year-old who assumes he can make a living sharing his “life wisdom” with the world.
We can all look at the 21-year-old life coach and laugh.
But what about me?
I also have a desire to teach people how to do things I have yet to do.
For example, I want to teach people how to make the leap from self-employment to business ownership.
And yet I haven’t done that yet. I’m in the process but I haven’t done it.
So I struggle and rack my brain trying to find great blog post ideas about a topic I am in no way an authority in!
I wish I could tell you I’ve had a revelation and I know why I do this. I don’t.
I have my theories but that’s all. And I don’t want to get too introspective.
But here’s what I feel like I can tell you. The lesson I’m learning in all of this:
The problems we actually know how to solve are usually not the ones we like to teach.
For example, I was going to make a list of three things I actually know I know how to do. But I could only come up with two:
1) I know how to quit things.
2) I know how to start things.
Those are pretty much the only unique abilities I can think of.
And I don’t even know if they actually count as abilities.
I just know my life has been changed because of the things I quit (drugs, my job and social media) and the things I started (a business, a family and a relationship with God).
So why not teach and write about those things?
Why not share what my journey was like going from being a drug addict and drug dealer to becoming a responsible member of society?
Why not talk about what it was like going from a safe secure job on Corporate America to starting my own freelance copywriting business.
I’ll tell you why… because I’m not excited about those things right now. They seem like boring topics.
But I know a lot about them because I have walked that path before. I have experience. Not just theories or concepts.
The point is that the thing you want to teach may not be the thing you’re best equipped to teach.
If you really want to help people solve their problems you may need to teach things that you’re no longer excited about but are nonetheless competent in.
And who knows, as you begin to reflect on your lessons and experience, you may kindle that excitement about the topic all over again when you realize that it’s helping someone else do something they want to do.