Learn how successful coaches started out and learn from their success!
Name: Sarah Barbour
Location: Oregon, United States
Q. Why did you become a coach?As an editor and an author, I found there were a lot writing coaches who can help you produce a good book, but there are relatively few who can do that and help you strategize about they ways your book can help your business.
My job is to help entrepreneurs navigate the world of publishing and reframe themselves as authors. I call myself a book coach rather than a writing coach because writing is just part of the process. I help clients think about why they’re writing a book, how it will help them build their business, what readers to target, and which platforms to sell it on.
Publishing a book isn’t rocket science, but there are a lot of moving pieces and it can be confusing. It can be particularly overwhelming when you put a lot of pressure on yourself to do it “perfectly”—and a lot of entrepreneurs are definitely perfectionists! I help break the process down into manageable chunks and provide accountability to actually make things happen.
Q. Aside from coaching what do you love doing?
My husband and I enjoy Latin dancing. We’ve even been on a few amateur teams and performed on stage, which is so-o-o scary but a lot of fun. I also love to travel—before I got married I lived in Italy, England and Japan, and I was able to travel all over Europe and Asia. Now that we have three children, it’s a bit trickier to manage major trips, but we all went to Mexico last year and drove around the Yucatan peninsula. I’m happy to say my kids seem to love traveling as much as I do. Just recently we won(!) a family trip to Switzerland, so we’ll be going there in March.
And, of course, I love writing. I write non-fiction under my own name and fiction under the name Thea Dawson.
Q. What was the scariest thing about starting your business?
Getting seen—it’s still the scariest thing. I know a lot about book writing and self-publishing but actually declaring myself an expert is a big step out of my comfort zone.
Q. What would you tell someone who is just starting out as a coach?
Serendipity happens when you shake things up. If you keep doing things the same way, nothing changes, so push yourself (and your clients) to try new things. Go to a conference, reach out to a VIP, work at the coffee shop instead of in your kitchen. I know it’s a cliché to say “get out of your comfort zone,” but it really is one of the best things you can do. I think that’s one of the reasons coaches are so valuable, actually—they get you thinking outside of your normal frame of reference and help you get a new perspective on your work and life.
Q. What is the best thing about your business?
I get to read a lot of books, so no complaints there! But even better, I get to work with really interesting people and help them achieve a big goal. It’s enormously satisfying to help people get over the fears and confusion they have around producing a book and help them make it a reality.
Q. What exciting plans are you working on at the moment?
I’m going to launch a free mini-course soon on choosing the perfect topic for your book. I’m also writing my fifth book and plan to launch it this spring. It’s aimed at entrepreneurs and—surprise!—is about writing and launching a book that will support your business.