When you get married, everyone asks when you’re going to have a baby. When you start a business, everyone asks when you’re going to hire.
Both questions are very annoying.
I avoided hiring any regular Plucky team members until 2018. At that point, Plucky was 5 years old and established but I had 30+ clients and my kids were 5 and 2. There were a LOT of things depending on me and I couldn’t even imagine what it would look like to add employees to that mess.
My decision to hire an assistant was largely based on numbness and burnout. It was a great decision and Holly (now Plucky’s Ops manager) has been an excellent foundational teammate. It was last summer when she brought up the idea of other coaches.
“Your waitlist is over 60 people,” she said. “Have you thought about hiring coaches to help?”
She had a point. With such a long waitlist and an average client tenure of 1+ years, it seemed pretty obvious that I would not be able to help many of them at all.
This didn’t sit well with me; it is a BIG DEAL when someone reaches out for help. In this world, there is overwhelming momentum to stay unchanged and full of complaints. It felt awful to turn down folks who had the courage to step up to the coaching plate – but also, how do you hire a coach? The work is largely invisible (and therefore hard to audit), coaching degrees have varied value and it felt near impossible to translate what I do into a training program on top of everything else.
I punted another few months. And then one day I happened to see on LinkedIn that a previous client of mine had been pursuing coaching certification on her own. She was looking for clients.
You know who knows my process well? Who understands me as a coach, what is possible in coaching and who appreciates Plucky’s attention to detail and reverence for our clients?
As soon as I could see it, I could see it. A few other names came to mind, folks who have a natural ability to empathize and who have experience doing coaching-like work in their current jobs. I reached out to all of them, most of whom maintain full-time jobs and might coach for Plucky on the side.
“Would you want to try a Q1 experiment?” I asked. They all did. So we trained them, found them clients, got them coaching. We started having team calls; I began 1:1s. Suddenly our Zoom calls were not coach-client, but rather manager-employee. (As a teacher of management training, THIS WAS VERY META.)
And now we are in April. Our Q1 experiment is over and instead of a beta idea, we have a team.
It would be a weird time among Covid-19 to launch something so significant except for the fact that the entire world needs coaches right now. I literally can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t appreciate a solid listener and coach to walk them through work and jobs and staying afloat the next few months.
If you find yourself in need of a coach, there are two things I want you to know about Plucky Coaches:
- In my eyes, good coaching is nearly invisible work: a pattern of listening, observing, challenging and reminding. The sessions are never about the coach; it’s always about the client. To that end, Plucky Coaches are trained to be humble and helpful – and to not get in the way.
- I deeply trust every person I’ve hired. I’m also an active manager so I’m upfront and productive with feedback for the coaches. Clients can always contact me with questions, suggestions and feedback so we are continually improving.
I am glad we waited this long to hire coaches… and I’m even more glad that Holly pushed me to build a team. We are learning and growing together, finding a good rhythm in building a team of spectacular coaches… and, frankly, there’s nothing I’d rather be taking to market in the Covid-19 storm.
Looking for a professional coach? Set up an initial chat with anyone (or few!) who seem like they’d be a good fit. Or shoot me a note to ask questions. We’d be honored to work with you. <3