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   Coach Me
Have you noticed how many people now call themselves �coaches?� Seems that at each business or social event I�ve attended lately, I�ve been approached by 2 or 3 people who introduce themselves that way � at which time a soft sell ensues.

�Hi, I�m Susan. I�m a life coach. I help people reduce their stress. Do you feel stress in your life?�

�Hello, Mark. My name�s Robert. I�m a business coach and I help business people reach their goals. Have you prepared a formal list of business goals you�d like to achieve?�

�Bill�s my name. I coach people to live happier lives. Are you currently satisfied with the direction of your life?�

Zowie! There are coaches for everything! It is a relatively new phenomenon, coaching. Watch out psychotherapists, you have competition!

Coaches don�t tell you what to do, they ask questions that lead you along the action plan you develop. They ask you to put your goals in writing and establish steps you can take to achieve each goal. One �meets� with his or her coach on the telephone each week to discuss the actions you�ve taken to reach your goals. I can only imagine the anxiety I�d feel if I hadn�t made progress one week � I�d have let my coach down. What then? Would I get a pep talk?

�Ok, Levit, there�s an enemy out there. It�s called �The Clock.� You�re tougher than The Clock and you�re gonna go out there and beat it next week. Got it!?�

�Uh, yes, Coach. I�m gonna beat The Clock to a pulp next week!�

That would be the advice of an Attitude Coach. They really exist, Attitude Coaches! Wonder if any of them coach bad attitudes!

There are new wave spiritual coaches, too. They operate on the theory that if you give, give, give, you�ll get, get, get.  That must be how they get paid, paid, paid.

I Googled some coach categories the other day, just out of curiosity.  Here�s what I found:

      • Business coach:    11,800,000 sites
      • Attitude coach:      1,210,000 sites
      • Life coach:            10,100,000 sites

If my calculations are correct, about 8% of the population is now a coach of some sort. There�s no way for me to determine whether the category has grown over the past 5 years, but I�ll bet it has.

I reviewed some of the sites and found all these coaches have one thing in common: They can all help me reach my goals.

Sounds simple enough, doesn�t it? Establish personal or business goals, break each goal into steps, take one step per week and report your progress to your coach.

In theory, the right coach can guide me toward accomplishing my lofty personal goals. For example:

      • Live forever without aging
      • Create peace and harmony in the Middle East
      • Eliminate poverty in all Third World nations

All goals, according to the literature, are attainable if I just select the right coach. To that end, I�ll add another goal:

      • Select the right coach

That�s probably the toughest one.

There�s got to be a coach that helps you find the best coach for your personality. We�ll call him or her a �Coach Coach� (you�ll find 64,000 of those on Google).

Has all this coaching gotten out of hand? People have grown cynical of titles such as �Consultant� and �Freelancer.� Those terms are synonymous with �between jobs.� It�s ironic, isn�t it, that the number of coaches Googled is about equal to the current unemployment rate? Be kind to your coaches. They need real jobs.

Do you have a coach � and have I offended you? Let me know. Call me at 212.696.1200.  Better tell your coach you�re calling first. 

Mark S. Levit