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Bob Conlin – President of ICF Chicago Chapter – Featured Coach

Last updated on January 24, 2023

Bob Conlin is a Master Certified Coach and President of the Chicago chapter of the International Coaching Federation. His unique and courageous approach to creating relationships has been featured on ABC World News Tonight, CBS, NBC, Good Morning America, and more. 

Bob is the founder of The Alchemy of Men and the Co-Founder of the Living In Love Incubator program. We hope you find this interview informative and inspiring!

Coaching Focus: Bob Conlin is a men’s alchemist, coach, author, leader, husband, and father. Bob believes the relationships we have with ourselves, those we love, and those we lead have the greatest impact on our life experiences. Powerful and fulfilling relationships are created once we get connected to, and responsible for, our generational traumas, triggers, and limiting beliefs about what is actually possible in our lives. 

Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Connect: You can find Bob online at ConlinCoaching.com and We Meet Again Couples Coaching. Connect with  Bob on Instagram and Facebook.

Tell us about your journey as a coach.

I hired my first coach when I was having challenges with my command and confidence skills as a leader. I was a Director of Operations for a large medical group in the Chicago area with direct reporting to the C Suite. 

Within four months of working with a coach, every aspect of my life transformed and got better. Coaching had made such a profound impact on me that I left a very successful 20-year career in healthcare to become a coach myself. I felt that my biggest and best gifts were to coach others. 

I was influenced by my first coach Dave Kehnast. I started coaching in 2016 and went full-time in my business in 2018. I got my first clients by building strong relationships, sharing unabashedly out loud that I was a coach, and trusting the divine. My business has grown by at least 10% every year.

Coaching had made such a profound impact on me that I left a very successful 20-year career in healthcare to become a coach myself.

We want to destigmatize talking about money, including how much coaches make. Would you please share with our readers any relevant revenue figures from your business?

My first year of coaching in 2016 I made just under $10K. In 2018 I had my first 6-figure year and now am well into multiple six figures doing what I love with ease. I love what I get to do and am so grateful and honored to do it. I will be generating $1 million+ a year in the next 5 years.

What courses, programs, or certifications have you done?

What advice or perspective might you give to a new coach trying to get their first clients? Any advice they should ignore?

Focus on having meaningful conversations first. You don’t need a business coach until you need a business coach. Relationships first. Systems and strategies second.

The “support” industry that has formed around coaching is troublesome, often feeding on the insecurities of new or struggling coaches. Trust your gut. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Relationships first. Systems and strategies second.

My best advice for any new coach is to have a coach and do your breakthrough work. When we as coaches are on our growing edge, results magically appear.

What are your thoughts on “choosing a niche” as a coach?

Focus on making a difference and having conversations that matter. After a couple of years, your gold in who you can effortlessly serve will avail itself. I allowed and still allow myself to be guided by who I most powerfully serve. My niche picked me and continues to pick me as I evolve as a human, coach, man, and leader.

What books have significantly influenced your life? What are your key takeaways from these books?

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The bible when it comes to having your mind work for you and taking responsibility for who you are being.

The ACA Big Red Book – I feel we all have some level of inner child work to do. This helped me immensely in my relationships and in understanding my needs

What tools, software, or other resources have you found to be most helpful in running your coaching business? 

The basics. A scheduling software, an accounting software, a great website, and getting involved with my local ICF chapter.

If you received an extra $10,000 to spend on your business, how would you spend it and why?

I’d go on a retreat that supports my personal and professional growth.

What are some of your favorite affirmations, mantras, thoughts, and/or journal prompts currently? Why?

My favorite is a quote by Rumi which is often misquoted. The last three words are often omitted. The full quote is this:

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it…AND EMBRACE THEM.”

I like to keep things super simple. Is this love, or is this fear? I prefer to follow love.

When you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or have lost your focus or motivation, what do you do?

I work with my coach, I go back to the basics, and I put my focus back on my well-being. I get connected to who I am, what I want, and why I want it and simply take the next right action.

Do you have any examples of how a “failure” set you up for later success?

I believe that failure is a necessary part of success…so in that context, it’s never really failure. 

My niche picked me and continues to pick me as I evolve as a human, coach, man, and leader.

I think my biggest failures have been when I didn’t trust my intuition; for example, letting a client hire me that I probably shouldn’t have. They weren’t ready for the level of conversation I like to be in with my clients. That’s okay, I’m just not their coach. Yet.

Do you have any embarrassing (at the time) stories from your work as a coach? Or a time when putting yourself out there really paid off?

Numerous times I’ve been speaking in front of hundreds of people and stumbled over my words. Once I cried on stage in front of 250 women because I got scared. So I highlighted it and actually generated a ton of business from that level of vulnerability.

If you could put a message on a huge billboard—getting a message out to millions—what would it say?

“It’s okay to ask for help.”

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