Being a Heart Centred Entrepreneur – What Does Your Client Agreement Say About You?

Law is not the easiest of professions.  Trust me, we do not come to our profession with creativity, empathy and heart space as a priority.
Creativity and heart-centeredness is beaten out of us at law school and then the demands of the legal professional industry take over.  We can and do lose sight of who we really are quite quickly.

But over the past few years, I’ve worked hard to reinvigorate my creative nature.

Now I am able to operate from a heart-centred space – where I look at things spiritually first and dip into my inner wisdom that is, thankfully, alive and well.

I have rediscovered what I knew without a doubt as a child:

  • How to exist in a state of joy as opposed to an apparent reality or expectation of suffering and hardship.
  • How to celebrate and harness my inner sense of abundance, creativity and generosity rather than taking on fear, and negativity and worry as a first option.

That’s why it’s become so important to me, to help others with similar heart-centric personalities, who work in creative and heart-centred businesses, whether that’s Mindset Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Life Coaching or similar.

So, How?

In one of my previous articles “Does your business coach have a coaching agreement?” , I’ve always said there is something to be learned from an ordinary or poor coaching experience but by far the biggest lesson is to avoid a Coach that does not have a fair and well thought out Coaching Contract. And I’ve seen quite a few lately that have been written in the negative – focussed on the penalties incurred should the contract be breached. There was hardly any mention of actions that “should” happen under the terms of the contract. If I was a client, I’d run towards the hills…

If you’re a Money, Relationship, Mindset or Life Coach – aren’t you normally trying to reinforce the positive, and resolve the negative? Don’t you want your customers to know, like and trust you, and believe that you’re working with their best interests at heart? Can you demonstrate that in your client agreement? I promise that legal documents aren’t “required” to sound threatening or nasty (unless you need them to…).

So whether you’re a customer/ client or a Coaching provider, sit down and read through your current agreement, or someone else’s and think about the messages that are being sent – Is the Coaching Agreement you are reading:

  • Written in clear and simple language?  Or do you have to trawl through the legal threats and jargon to find the important bits that matter to you?
  • Explaining clearly what services you are buying from the Coach? Or allowing miscommunication to occur?
  • Spelling out the conditions of working with the coach?
  • Stating in detail what is expected of YOU?
  • Outlining payment conditions, refund and cancellations policies? Or leaving you guessing?
  • Showing what to do if you are not happy with the service or if there is a dispute? Or is the process not mentioned?
  • Dealing with your consumer rights and guarantees under Australian Consumer law? Or is it based on irrelevant international laws?

I’ve been such a vocal critic of poorly drafted agreements, that I went ahead and built some templates to help you along your way.

Due to demand, I’ve prepared templates for Coaches – specifically Money, Mindset, Relationship, and Life Coaches.

Also known as a service agreement, a well drafted Coaching Agreement will:

  1. Cover your legal position for your service provision
  2. Communicate clear terms and conditions regarding payment and delivery to ensure you get paid on time, each time.
  3. Educate your client about how to do business with you, stating things like your hours of availability, deadlines, turnaround times, cancellation policies, scope of works
  4. Provide your client with information about your business processes and expectations so that disputes and unhappy clients are minimised, well managed and not disruptive if they do occur.
  5. Provide a platform for discussion and negotiation when issues arise (and they do!)
  6. Systemise your business offering, highlighting for you what is working and what needs improvement.

A contract is an agreement made between you and your client that is legally enforceable.

Contracts have terms and conditions which set out the rights and responsibilities of each party to the contract – and this sets the tone for your entire relationship. This is why it’s so important to get right from the outset. With so many different types of coaching and therapy services available, it would be easy for clients to misunderstand, or become confused about the expected outcomes, or delivery methods.

If you need a client agreement, but you’re too small to support a custom drafted document, you can use one of my templates, or template bundles until your business grows enough.

Simple steps taken now can save you from having to take big actions later. Click here to see my templates.

I love being a lawyer – let me help you #LoveYourLegals.

Lots of love,

XX  Shalini