Have you ever had that moment when a client mentions an issue they’re facing and you immediately think, ‘Uh oh! Me too!’? In that heart-sinking moment, you freeze and think, “Can I really help them?” You might even think, “If they knew my personal struggles, would they even keep me as a coach?” Let me bring you some comfort: We all have moments when our skill set is stretched. Times when we wonder whether or not we can really help our clients. And at least once in our coaching journey, we’ll have a situation when our client needs help with something we ourselves are still working through.
In those moments, you may experience what I call Niche Fraud Complex. Similar to the commonly termed “imposter syndrome”, if not addressed, it can erode your confidence and ruin your business. But take heart! By being ready for that moment, you can remove the false power of self-doubt and replace it with the true power of knowing you are blessed with the gift to help others in your niche.
“All of those lies, those doubts, that spinning in your mind: Write those down… When you can expose the lies, when you can have some resolution of the lies, when you can edit them and decide: ‘Which ones of these do I want to keep and work on? And which of these on this list do I want to decide I’m never going to think about again?’” – Molly Claire
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Intro: Welcome to The Masterful Coach podcast, with Molly Claire, where coaches learn skill mastery, business mastery, and life mastery at a whole new level. If you’re serious about creating a meaningful coaching business that makes a difference, you’re in the right place. And now your host, master life and business coach, Molly Claire.
Molly: Hey, coach. Have you ever found yourself feeling like a complete fraud as a coach? Maybe your client brings something to you, starts telling you about this problem they’re experiencing, and in the back of your mind you’re thinking, ‘I just had that exact same problem right before I got on the phone with you’. How about those thoughts of wondering, ‘If my client really knew what happens in my personal life, would they ever, ever get on a Zoom call with me again?’
And maybe, coach, you’ve even found yourself wondering, doubting your ability to help people when you have not yet mastered the skill of whatever it is you are telling your client you can help them to master.
If you have experienced any flavor of these, first of all, you are normal, and this episode is for you and this is an important episode. We’re talking about niche fraud, and the reason why this matters is not only will this noise in your head, especially if left unchecked, not only will it halt your business, but I find that it actually ends up eroding your confidence. Your confidence in your ability to build a business, erodes your confidence in your ability to help your clients, and worst of all, it erodes your personal self-confidence, your personal self-trust, and your relationship with you.
This has definitely been a really big topic as I’ve been doing interviews for advanced certification, and I’m gonna talk more about that and how it shows up in this episode. So get ready. I can’t wait.
Before we dive into that, if you are listening to this and it is Wednesday, November 2nd, you are in luck because we are doing a free masterclass today. And so if you have not yet signed up, it is not too late, go to the show notes. immediately and sign up for this Coaching Skill Mastery class.
I am going to be talking with you about three essential skills you need to coach moms and to convert paying clients in those niches. I’m talking about why coaching around parenting issues requires something different. I’m talking about converting, paying clients, and I’m also talking about how you can help your clients, in this niche, to be able to have some quick wins while also doing the deep coaching work. It’s gonna be amazing if you don’t coach moms exclusively or coach in the family space exclusively, come anyway. I promise there are gonna be some great takeaways. It’s going to be workshop style, and I hope to see all of you there.
All right, let’s talk about niche fraud. A few symptoms that you are experiencing niche fraud, in addition to what I just shared with you, first of all, experiencing doubt, fear, shame, and all kinds of noise in your mind when a client brings up something you are experiencing.
Another clear symptom of this is looking for and noticing evidence that other people are more qualified than you to help people with the problem you help people solve. Meaning, if you are looking at other people and thinking, ‘Well, they’re more fit. They are more in control of their life. They are more organized, They are a better parent, they are a better spouse’, whatever it is. And you’re looking for other people that are doing this thing way better than you are, probably a little bit of niche fraud existing.
And one more to notice, and this is a big one, is feeling even more discouraged in your personal life when you are struggling with something, than you would otherwise, because it is related to your niche. This is one I come up against a lot with my coaches, my clients who coach either in parenting or they coach women as they’re just navigating the world of motherhood and family life balance.
Because let’s be honest. I can’t really think of another space that compares to the space of family life and our relationships. You wanna talk about a space that has the potential to bring out our biggest emotions, our biggest fears, to present all kinds of circumstances that we may find challenging to face, right? This is the place. Right. Everyone knows what it’s like to lose patience with kids. Everyone knows what it’s like to have big feelings come up in a relationship and everyone knows what it’s like when you can feel a bit overwhelmed at the many emotions and moving parts of a family. So this is a really big thing I see coming up. And if you are a coach or parent or you work with moms, you work in that space at all, I wanna tell you that it’s very normal for you to both have this little bit of fear and insecurity come up, and it’s also extremely normal for you to still struggle and have challenges in that space in your life.
And I know you know this intellectually, but I want to tell you this again and reiterate it because if every coach is expecting yourself to be perfect in those areas before you can help people, you’re never gonna help anyone. So please let that settle into your mind.
So a few symptoms there that we’ve talked about. Let’s talk about three ways that you can really find some resolution. So first, let’s talk about considering any validity that may exist in the niche fraud you are experiencing. Now, I’ll tell you right off the bat, this is going to be the exception and definitely not the rule. There are sometimes when I come across people who wanna have a coaching business or a consulting business and they wanna help people and they’re truly not qualified in any sense of the word. This is the exception and not the rule. But if this is you, this is something worth considering and I’m gonna tell you a few more things you can think about.
This is what I talk with my clients about. When you’re choosing a niche or when you are coming up against this niche fraud, there are a few things you can consider. A very good and viable niche is a niche in which you have some kind of personal experience. Maybe you’ve experienced some big change and now you’re helping other people with that. That is one thing that really qualifies you in that niche. Another thing that can qualify you in a niche is simply being educated in how to help people with that problem. For example, if you help people with managing their money, it doesn’t matter if you’ve struggled with managing your money. What matters is that you have tools, concepts, strategies, abilities to be able to help them. Do you have the training? And one last thing that you can consider that really makes something a valid niche, is sometimes you may just have a certain skill set or ability that comes very naturally to you and you’re able to be an example, a mentor, coach, teacher in that way. So these are just three examples that, from my view, really give some validity to your expertise.
All I can say for you is take what you’re doing and put it up against these three things, and also consider, are there things there that maybe you are presenting that you can do well that you’re not really sure you can stand behind that because if that’s there and it goes unresolved, you cannot think your way out of it, period.
Okay. Let’s talk next about the lies in the niche fraud, and if you were to compare the list of valid reasons, right? The reasons that you think are valid in going through this and the list of things that are actually lies that don’t really have any validity when you give them a minute to think about them. My guess is that the list of lies is going to be much bigger, and this is why this is such an important process to go through. Write down all the reasons you feel insecure, all the thoughts, all the things like, ‘I have to have this all figured out before I can help other people. I should be better at this’. All of those lies, those doubts that’s spinning in your mind. Write those down and here’s why.
When you can expose the lies, When you can have some resolution of the lies, when you can edit them and decide which ones of these do I want to keep and work on, and which of these on this list do I wanna decide I’m never gonna think about again. And if this thought does come into my mind, I’m not going to allow it to settle in and take up any more time and energy than it deserves.
So take the time to make that list. And the last thing I want to offer you in terms of resolving this is if you have done your validity test and you’ve gone through the lies and you’ve seen that actually you don’t need to have and carry this niche fraud, this is when it’s time for you to make a decision. A decision to serve these clients to the best of my ability. To serve them even when you are feeling insecure, even when you have some doubts come up, even when these lies creep in, because I promise you that none of us are ever exempt from having the fears and doubts coming up.
But when you can sift through what you perceive as valid and what you actually know are lies, and you can see where you want to be and who you want to serve, and you can make that clear decision, that is where the power lies, and that is what you can lean on when those fears and doubts come up.
All right, coach, before I let you go, I’m gonna talk about why this is so powerful and what can actually happen for you and transform when you expose the lies and you lean into serving your clients. This is when it becomes possible to actually grow stronger in your ability to help your clients. And the reason for this is twofold. First, as you learn personally how to continue to move through these struggles and resolve it for yourself, you’re that much more qualified to help your client, and on top of that, you stay relatable. You’re never too far removed from your ability to help them. The other reason is that as you learn, how to remove yourself and almost distance yourself from these fraud thoughts and allow yourself to be powerful and strong and capable and worthy, even when you make mistakes, you can help your client be able to do the same thing.
Because even though your client may not be experiencing niche fraud because they’re not a coach, I promise you that your client is experiencing some flavor of that. What a gift to be able to learn yourself how to separate your abilities, your capabilities, your strength, your self-trust from the behaviors that you do and the ways that you’re still growing and improving.
And the other thing that becomes possible, and this is the very best part, is when you can lean into this and when you can separate yourself and separate yourself from these intrusive thoughts of fraud complex and imposter syndrome, it actually allows you to grow your sense of self, your own self trust, your own self confidence, and build a much stronger relationship with you because you realize that you are not your thoughts, you are not your actions.
All right, coach, that’s what I’ve got for you. I hope to see you all today on that Coaching Skill Mastery Class, and I am so looking forward to those of you joining me in Advanced certification in the new year. I’ll talk to you on the next episode.
Outro: Thanks for listening to The Masterful Coach Podcast. If you’re ready for complete support as you build your coaching business, check out Molly’s collaborative community, The Masterful Coach Collective, it’s a place where you’ll have access to the best experts in the biz, community support and guidance as you build your perfect business 90 days at a time. Visit www.mollyclaire.com for details.
Molly Claire is a 7-figure business builder with a blended family of 10. She is dedicated to helping women overcome their own limits, make the money they want, and have the time, freedom, and flexibility to be with the people in their lives that matter most. Especially the little ones.
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