|The MOBILE COACH
response to many request from coaches who run a practice while on
the move, I thought I might share a few things with people about how
I manage this type of lifestyle, whether it is from my RV (35,000
miles in 48 states) last year, or from someone else's home (thanks
to everyone for putting up with me) or from a foreign country
(Europe and South America) in the past two years. The essential key
is a developmental one, hence why I'm choosing to contribute.
developmental key is to create capability in your clients, whether
it be in 3-way sessions with you and their manager, or
coach--sometimes supporting them with their clients or conducting
coaching sessions with clients in one place, coaches in another and
their manager/CEO in another--anywhere in the world. My most
favorite connection so far has been to work with a person in
London, on the phone with a person in Hong Kong, with a manager in
NY and me being somewhere else, what a world this can be!
able to "funnel" all communications through a single source is
important as well, hence you "move" your email behind the scenes to
come to you, whether it be hotmail (international/internet cafes),
dial-ups in different "bases," or different email addresses you use
when traveling because of connection issues. Your clients are
unaware and your "movement" is transparent.
phone should always be answered by someone, voice mail merely
postpones the work, having someone answer and triage is often the
best thing. I personally have all my phone calls converted into
email messages that find me wherever I am. I use a web-based fax
service (www.efax.com) so I always
have a fax machine wherever I go.
other thing is IM or Instant Messenger. My clients find me JIT
through IM because to them, I'm mostly always around, even though
around might mean somewhere else.
zones can be difficult, but if you manage according to ONE ZONE, I
use ET, notice I leave off the "S" or the "D," which bothers some,
helps others, but keeps me from being corrected about whether I'm in
D or S, or like Arizona, Bogota, CO or Indianapolis who don't
recognize daylight savings--wow, it can get overwhelming! I leave
my computer clock set on ET, no matter where I am I use that time
which at times causes to me wake up and sleep at odd times.<G>
usually get my clients to call into a third-party number, so I can
dial in from wherever I am and I don't have to give them the variety
of phone numbers. Cell phones don't work, unless you want to carry
a dozen of them for the different locals around the world (Come to
Nebraska & Wyoming and I'll show you why cell doesn't work well for
coaching<G>), so I do conduct lots of coaching sessions from pay
phones, truckstops and on occassion the cell phone or airplane phone
(although it better be important!) I am an advocate of short
sessions (5-20 min), so phone expense is usually a small fixed cost,
although my phone bills runs about $1000 a month for all of the
like to coach on email if possible and most of the people who work
with me, don't mind--many as I said use IM, it is ideal in my view
for my lifestyle of JIT and JIC (Just in Case). I also don't
"schedule" as many calls as I used to and I don't give out my cell
phone or voice mail, unless you want to go through the service,
which translate your need into an email. I find I don't need a pda,
or other gadgets because I can almost hook the laptop up anywhere
and everything stays in one place without the need for
synchronization, which I'm not good at and don't care to do--somehow
the thought of doing things twice bugs me.<VBG>
, if my client can't reach me, they take the time to reflect on the
problem or issue as we might together and of course, that's building
capability. I learned a long time ago, if people can't get a hold
of you, they often make pretty good decisions--at least I have found
this to be true if you train them to be independent rather than
co-dependent on you. Once they get it, they find using me JIT is
far more efficient because problems don't have a schedule. I admit,
it does make me always on, however most of the time, I am always on
anyway except when I'm chasing my girls around the country for one
thing or another. My wife travels with me, so she sees me "plenty."
last big thing and the hardest to master is to set up
automated-web-based systems (so you can operate them from an
internet cafe in London or Singapore, or in the middle of the Andes)
and create client "systems."
give you an example of client systems:
Online orientation system
Online Assessment Center
Several websites for "holding" generic info
Autoresponder Systems (I currently have about 100 different ones)
Several Client Pipelines (for generating continuous flow of
ONLINE BANKING--this is a must!
24/7 live answer
Online website management
use several VAs who are specialized in certain tasks! (Thanks to you
all!). Also, include a CPA, pre-paid legal, a good insurance
person, but manage your own travel, it is costly if you don't, that
is if you like to "change your mind a lot and adapt to cool
So, let me summarize:
Teach your clients to build capability and become independent--use
you for feedback, sounding board, development, ideas.
Funnel all communications into one--if possible--medium and work
the medium, so you're not considered a flake--I resemble that at
Train your clients to use IM.
some VAs who are good at working independently!
Enjoy your life and work as you integrate it--at least I do.
to couch this all, I'm far from perfect, I make lots of mistakes but
my lifebusiness continues to be rich with opportunity and
relationships around the world. I'm not saying do it like I do it,
but at least you know how I do it and perhaps if something I said
helps you, then all the better.
this will help someone, if they/you have a question about something
specific, drop me a note at
Some people have said the INTERNET is the application, for a mobile
coach, that is the key distinction. BTW, if you haven't read
Netocracy yet, it describes the future--possibly for coaching.
If you're considering coaching systems, we can help!
Standardized coaching model--experienced coaches
Virtual & f2f coaching development and training
Integrated approaches @ www.b-coach.com or 877-901-COACH
for KNOWLEDGE and DEVELOPMENT!