Have you ever been to one of those paint & sip parties? There are a few chains as well as some independent companies out there. Here in Texas, we have Pinot’s Palette – and I’m addicted to them. And wouldn’t you know, attending one of these painting classes is a lot like working with a coach, which is exactly what I talked about in this Messaging Mini Class.

Watch the full video here, as it was delivered live. Or read the highlights below.

Whether you’ve been in a coaching program before or not, this will hopefully give you some new perspective, as I’m also breaking down what goes into a well-crafted program and how it helps you GET RESULTS.

Why You Hire a Coach or Invest in a Program

Before diving in to what it’s like to work with a coach, let’s talk about the three key (related) reasons you might be looking to do that.

Reason #1: You don’t know how to do “the thing”

We cannot be good at everything. We must focus on being excellent at the thing we do. So for all the other “things”, we need to get some help.

Reason #2: You don’t want to be overwhelmed

Once you acknowledge that you’re not good at “the thing”, the next step is to figure out how to get the information in a way that prevents you from being overwhelmed. If you tried to piece the information together on your own (maybe grabbing all the free content you can find), you’ll quickly discover that there is more information than you’ll know what to do with.

Reason #3: You want to learn from an expert

The best way to counteract that information overload is to find an expert who can break down “the thing” for you in a way that is easy to follow and gets results. Much better than trying to wade through everything on your own, right?

But what is it REALLY like to work with a coach? Surprisingly, it’s just like going to a paint & sip party.

Let me start by saying that I am not a painter. (And I don’t even play one on TV.) But I WANT to feel like I have some artistic ability, and painting always seemed like something that would allow me to flex my creative muscles.

What you can expect at a paint and sip party

So I show up for my first painting class with snacks and drinks in hand, and I have an assigned seat where there is an easel set up with my canvas, paints already portioned out onto a paper plate palette, brushes, and a cup of water for rinsing out the brushes. I grabbed an apron off the hook to protect my clothes, enjoyed the fun music, and got ready to sit down with about 50 other people to paint.

The instructor is a professional artist – someone who actually makes a living painting – and she’s up on a platform with a mic so we can all hear her. She starts giving us instructions that go something like this:

“Take the fat brush and dip it in the blue paint – if your paint is a little thick, dip your brush in the water and swirl that in to thin the paint out. Then paint a straight line across the middle of your canvas. Great! Now paint the entire bottom of the canvas blue. Just use that fat brush and paint the whole thing.

Now using the medium-sized brush and the red paint, paint a square about 3-fingers-wide in the center of the canvas. Hold up your three fingers like this to eyeball the size, and then paint that square.”

The instructions continue on like this, and with each step, I’m thinking “I suck at this. I suck at this.” I’m focused on the individual step and trying to get it right, following along with the instruction and watching everyone around me, too.

At the end of the class, I take a step back and OMG I HAVE A PAINTING! Like a real, legitimate painting that I’m proud to hang on the wall in my house! (Want to see my most recent painting? Jump to 11:00 in the video above.) Everyone’s painting is unique and different – some people chose different paint colors, some people just added their own unique flair – but everyone has a completed painting.

How is this like working with a coach?

There are SO many things to take away from a painting class like this that help you understand what it’s really like to work with a coach.

Don’t waste time focused on why you’re not good

The main reason why you work with a coach is because you’re not good at “the thing”, remember? So once you commit to working with someone or signing up for a program, just let that go! Don’t waste time focusing on how much you “suck”. I only did that the first time. I’ve since done a dozen or more paintings and I know that while I don’t consider myself a painter, I KNOW that if I follow the steps, I WILL have a painting I’m proud of at the end.

Recognize that you can try and figure it out on your own, or you can find a coach/mentor/teacher to help you

I could have read books, watched YouTube videos, and looked for tips to try and paint a painting on my own. I mean, I knew what the end result looked like after all. I could have gone to Michael’s, or Hobby Lobby, or any other craft store and tried to figure out what materials to buy. But I would have come home and not know the order to follow so that the end result worked. I probably would have spent MANY days or weeks, frustrated every time it didn’t come out just right. Or go to a class like this and walk out with a completed painting in just 2 hours.

You don’t need to know EVERYTHING

I did not attend this class to learn how to be a painter. I didn’t attend this class to learn how to teach painting. I attended the class to paint a painting.

The painting instructor didn’t tell me about the dozens of types of paint brushes there are and why you’d use them all. Or even talk about the different kinds of paints. She didn’t even use their official name (I’m assuming each brush has a name)…she called them the fat brush, the medium brush, and the skinny brush. Totally Relatable words that I could understand, and only the steps I needed to know to get results.

I actually see people talk about this quite often – disappointed after investing in a program thinking “That’s it?”. In a well-crafted program by a true expert, less is more. An inexperienced teacher would throw a lot of information at you to try and prove they are knowledgeable. It’s the skilled expert who knows the minimum things you need to get results.

Would you rather have a program that got you results in fewer steps? Or one that overwhelms you with options and you still have to figure out what’s important?

Group Programs allow you to learn from the expert AND those around you

When you sign up for a group program, you get access to the expert AND you get a community of peers who are going through it too. You’ll get to see how others are interpreting the information, and can share what you’re learning, too. When you get stuck and you see others are stuck, you’ll know you’re not alone. And you’ll have others who can help you get through it.

If you wanted private lessons, you would pay more

I was able to get access to this professional artist in a group environment for under $50. If I wanted a private lesson, I would likely have paid hundreds. Sometimes that’s worth it, so you can get individualized attention, or you know you’ll want to deviate from the standard course. But group programs are generally a more cost-effective way to get access to amazing experts for significantly less than on-one-on attention.

Your Turn!

I’d love to know what your biggest takeaway is from this! What else do you think people should know about what it’s like to work with a coach or participate in a program? Share in the comments below.

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