Misha Saidov is the founder and CEO of Think Meta, a Canadian coaching company that has recently expanded to the US. As the coaching industry is growing by leaps and bounds, it’s a viable industry that leads to self-development, with coaches helping others to achieve specific personal or professional goals. As someone with years of experience in working with different markets from Canada to Europe, successful life and business coach Misha has the expertise to dispel the myths and reveal the secrets of the coaching profession.
How did you choose to become a life coach?
“I became interested in psychology and coaching when I was around the age of twelve. I started reading different books in philosophy and psychology. However, people don’t go into psychotherapy or coaching to make money. It is a low-paid profession, despite being popular and bringing great satisfaction. The same problem exists in art and sports: only the elite earns, while the rest typically make just enough to get by. I needed money to support a large family. Therefore, I could not afford to enter this profession right away. So I entered the corporate world and started working for big companies. The click happened at one conference, where I saw a person who called himself a psychotherapist. He did not have half of my knowledge and experience, but he was making $20 million annually. At that moment, I realized I had overestimated the level of elite players. As a result, I was able not only to become a coach but to become successful. And it literally took me six years to make close to $50 million.”
What are some myths about coaching?
“Coaching is very accessible. There are schools in which anyone could be certified within a few days. That creates a myth of the lightness of the profession. The truth is that it takes years of training and experience to start working efficiently. Another myth I often hear is that this profession is chosen by the unemployed or those who don’t want to work. That is sometimes true. Some people enter this profession because they are unemployed and think they might do well in the coaching business. For me, it’s a legitimate reason. And yes, some enter this profession because they believe they can earn well without much effort. Luckily, most coaches are not here because of ‘the easy money.’
If you want to do it right, you must put effort, as is the case with any other profession. However, there are some important benefits that people who opt for this profession discover during their learning process. The example I often give is related to the principle of ‘being the product of your product.’ Before you start helping others change their thoughts and lives, you first need to transform yourself. And that transformation affects much more than your ability to work effectively and bring your clients to their desired outcomes. It makes you calmer, more confident, and more aware, and it also affects your relationships for the better.”
What’s the best way to choose a coaching school?
“I recommend going after a role model. See how the person who will teach you lives and coaches. If you like it and want to live and coach similarly, go to them. Our students choose us because we openly demonstrate how we work and how much we earn from it. We’re not hiding anything. I believe that the school that teaches coaching must also have a professional practice where they show how they work directly with clients. And it should be a successful practice.
Also, look for a school that provides you with the results of your progress. At the beginning of your education, it may seem that you will never reach your instructors’ level of competence. Our students see measurable progress even during their first month with us. They see they are improving and moving towards their goal. Knowing that success is possible and that you are approaching it is a strong motivator not to give up but to give your best.”
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a coaching business but is afraid and lacks confidence?
“I have a good example, a good metaphor. We all talk about confidence and clarity. Undoubtedly, we need that if we want to be great coaches. However, when you brush your teeth every day, tell me, do you need to be confident to do it properly? Do you? Right. So the answer is obviously, no. It’s automatic. You’re confident when you brush your teeth. You’re confident when you walk and wash the dishes. Why? Well, it’s because you’ve done it hundreds, maybe thousands of times. It’s the same with coaching. You don’t need to become someone else in order to be a good coach. You only need to train yourself to the point where your competence is unconscious.”
Your line of business coaching now offers an extensive program for those who want to master a new profession. To whom would you recommend it? Who do you think can become the ideal coach?
“Usually, our business coaches are genuinely interested in business. They like to delve into processes, study algorithms, and truly enjoy studying the systems that create money. If there is an obsessive interest in business – we will teach the rest.”
What makes your program different from other programs?
“Just about everything, honestly. I’ve been doing this for many, many years. I am an educated, certified, and experienced coach. The years spent in this field taught me that most coaching programs are created to feed information. I don’t care about information. You can get all my information for free. I care about skills you can only learn if you are with me as part of the program. And if you are unable to show me the skills by the end of the program, the information you acquired doesn’t matter. Who cares? A philosophy that is not applicable to life is not a philosophy. It’s just a waste of your time.
We are in the coaching business. Coaching is about skills. Can you do that? That’s the only question. If you cannot, we are doing our job poorly. That’s the answer to the question of what makes us unique. That’s the reason why we have 4,000 coaching sessions every month. The reason why we certify our coaches – we hire them. We have over 75 coaches working for us, and they are all certified by us. And to get to that level, you have to be obsessed – with your clients and the skills you teach.”
What is the end result for clients participating in the program?
“I strive to teach how to think in an entirely different manner. The end result? You’re going to be the coach who is able to shift your clients, to shift their thinking. To grow their capacity to grow. That’s who you’re going to be. You will not only get to know yourself better and become calmer but will also have monetizable skills. So that’s what you’re going to have. Again, my big hope is that you’ll have a new philosophy by the end of the program. And if that doesn’t happen, we have a money-back guarantee.”
What recommendations or motivational secrets could you give to aspiring coaches?
“I would recommend novice coaches to take the “5 voices” test on my website to understand their strengths. For business coaches, the CEO’s Almanac can be especially useful. In addition, our specialists are always ready to advise on any issue. So, you can reach out to us and know that you’re in a safe space, regardless of whether you are just considering entering the profession or have already reached a certain stage of your training, no matter which stage.”
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