Thank you for your interest in learning more about becoming a StartingBloc coach. Below you will find the information that we hope will help you make the decision to join the StartingBloc coaching team.

What is StartingBloc?

StartingBloc is a Fellowship program for leaders of change. We select Fellows 4 times a year from amongst thousands of applicants, based on commitment to mission, capacity for leadership, and values-alignment with our community. The Fellowship kicks off with a 5-day Institute for Leadership and Social Innovation held four times a year in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Washington D.C. Click here to read more about StartingBloc, including our program demographics and impact.

Who are the StartingBloc Fellows?

Fellows join StartingBloc for many different reasons. Primarily, they are driven to serve and they want to become more effective at creating a positive impact in the world. Fellows hail from 55 different countries, they are on average 28 years old (and anywhere from 18-45), and they are diverse bunch.

What is the StartingBloc coaching program?

The StartingBloc coaching program is primarily pro-bono coaching, although there are two versions of it.

a) Pro-Bono: During the year, the StartingBloc team and participants will identify approximately 16 people from the Fellowship who have inspiring and impactful projects to receive 12 hour long sessions of pro-bono coaching (this equates to 6 months of coaching at 2 sessions per month).

b) For Fee: All participants have the ability to engage in the coaching program (there are approximately 400 new StartingBloc fellows a year). A package of twelve affordably priced coaching sessions will be available to all StartingBloc Fellows.

Who administers and directs the coaching program?

Renee Freedman, president of Renee Freedman & Company (RFCO) is the founder, administrator, and provider of the coaching program. You can reach her at renee@reneefreedman.com or, the coaching program administrator, Misuk Pak Weaver at misuk@reneefreedman.com. Renee also founded and executes coaching programs for the TED, Unreasonable Institute, and Sundance Institute Female Filmmakers Initiative fellowship programs.

How will the pro-bono aspect of the coaching program be implemented?

  • Once a fellow is chosen for pro-bono coaching, the matching process begins.
  • The coach believed to be the ‘best fit’ for the fellow who applied reviews the submitted application to determine if he or she would like to coach that Fellow.
  • If yes, the two will have an introductory “fit” conversation.
  • If it’s determined that they would like to coach together, the coaching agreement is signed and the 12 sessions of coaching begin.
  • Each party will be responsible for updating Misuk Pak Weaver on your coaching status after every four sessions (misuk@reneefreedman.com).
  • Upon completion, both parties will complete a short survey to be returned to Misuk.

How will the for-fee aspect of the coaching program be implemented?

  • A fellow applies for the desired type of coaching and purchases a set of sessions (4, 8, or 12).
  • Renee the application and sends the bios of 2-3 best fitting coaches for review.
  • The fellow selects one coach to interview and an interview is conducted.
  • If both the coach and fellow determine the fit is good, coaching begins. If not, another coach will be interviewed.
  • After the completion of the purchased number of coaching sessions, the coach submits an invoice to Renee Freedman & Company for the applicable stipend ($125 per session).
  • If the fellow desires to continue coaching, the fellow continues to make payment via Pay Pal to Renee Freedman & Company and the coach continues to be paid a stipend.
  • Upon completion of 12 coaching sessions, the coach and the fellow complete a short survey found on the StartingBloc website.

What are the requirements for becoming a StartingBloc coach?

StartingBloc coaches need:

  • Formal coach training by an ICF approved school with a focus in life coaching, corporate coaching (talent development), or leadership coaching.

A minimum of:

  • Three years of life coaching experience (for life coaches).
  • Five years of full time coaching experience as a professional development coach or leadership coach.
  • To abide by the ICF Code of Ethics.
  • Willingness to coach one StartingBloc fellow with 12 pro-bono coaching sessions prior to receiving a paying client and then for every four paying clients received.
  • Willingness to be flexible with challenges of the assigned StartingBloc Fellow.
  • Agreement to stay in contact with and update Misuk Pak Weaver (misuk@reneefreedman.com) about your availability and StartingBloc coaching assignment status.
  • To submit a professional bio with photo embedded (see below for bio requirements).
  • Access to video conferencing (i.e. Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.).
  • To submit a current W-9 form to Misuk prior to being assigned a StartingBloc fellow.

What is the process for becoming a StartingBloc coach?

Please read this entire FAQ to ensure that you fully meet the requirements and are willing to fulfill the commitment for which we ask. Then complete the StartingBloc Coach Application. Send a copy of your bio per the instructions below to misuk@reneefreedman.com.

After we receive your bio, Renee or a designated representative will evaluate your coaching style during a 60-minute interview conducted via Skype video. The interview will include a 30-minute coaching session in which you coach Renee or her representative.

If it is assessed that your skills and experience meet the StartingBloc standards, your bio will be included in those that we select from when a fellow requests coaching and needs your skills and expertise.

What are the three types of coaching and the stipends associated with them in the for-fee program? And, how will I know which type of coaching I will be asked to offer?

The three types of coaching are:

  • Life Coaching: This coaching is primarily for Fellows who are looking for a career transition or are challenged by leadership issues such as work-life balance and showing up authentically at work.
  • Professional Development Coaching: This coaching is for fellows who are a member of a team, an individual performer, or in first or middle level management positions.
  • Leadership Coaching: This coaching is for team or organizational leaders and entrepreneurs.

For each type of coaching, the stipend is $125 per session. The type of coaching you will be selected to offer for StartingBloc fellows will be determined after your vetting session with Renee.

What is the length required for a coaching session?

Each StartingBloc coaching session is 60 minutes.

When will I be officially considered a StartingBloc coach?

You are officially considered a StartingBloc once you’ve successfully completed one 12-session pro-bono coaching engagement with a StartingBloc fellow and he or she has expressed satisfaction to us.

Are all StartingBloc coaches eligible to coach the Fellows who pay for coaching?

Yes. As a StartingBloc coach, you are required to coach one of the pro-bono fellows to begin with and then for every four paying clients you receive. And, you may just want to coach pro-bono and that’s fine with us.

What should be included and not included in my submitted bio?

Your submitted bio should include: your name, an embedded photo, which type of coaching you are offering (life, professional development, or leadership), and any experience you have coaching in other fellowship programs. It should not include: your fees or your direct contact information.

Are there circumstances that might result in being removed from the roster of StartingBloc coaches?

Yes. You will be removed from the StartingBloc roster when two fellows report dissatisfaction with your coaching, your capacity to stay focused, or your ability to keep appointments. You also will be removed if you market to a fellow or do not respect the guidelines or processes listed within this FAQ.

I submitted my StartingBloc coach application and have not been interviewed or evaluated yet. What’s up?

It might take some time to interview and vet the coaches interested in this program. Coaches will be interviewed and evaluated as the need for coaches arise. If our coaching pool meets the demand, the speed at which coaches are interviewed and added will be slower than when there is a stated need.

We often receive more applications than we have demand for coaches. Once we have a need for your expertise and background or when there is availability on the roster, we will surely be in touch with you. Please be prepared to wait.

I’m listed in the StartingBloc coach roster but haven’t been assigned a StartingBloc fellow. What’s up?

Three factors influence this.

  • First, we are diligent with whom we match together and always look for the best fit.
  • Second, not every StartingBloc fellow chooses to take advantage of the coaching offer.
  • Third, there are more coaches at any given time then StartingBloc fellows requesting coaching. Therefore, it is likely that there will be a wait for the StartingBloc fellow whose needs match your expertise.

When a fellow who may most benefit from your expertise and background applies for coaching, the coaching team will contact you to make the match.

Do you provide a contract that covers the coaching relationship, or may I use the one that I usually use with clients?

Yes. There is a StartingBloc Coaching Agreement posted on the website. This is the agreement StartingBloc we would like you to use in lieu of your usual contract.

Is it appropriate for me to provide financial support to my fellow or my fellow’s organization?

The work of many of the StartingBloc fellows will inspire you and touch your heart. You cannot let it touch your wallet. Don’t be tempted to cross the boundaries of the gift of your coaching engagement in to the realm of financial philanthropy.

However, contributions to StartingBloc fellow projects via a crowd-funding source are permissible, if you desire. Examples of crowd-funding sources that we support include Kickstarter. GoFundMe, and IndieGoGo. When you are no longer in a coaching relationship with the Fellow, you are free to make whatever choices you deem appropriate.

What if the coaching relationship isn’t working out?

If either you or the fellow feels that the coaching match is not a good one, tell us promptly. We will make other arrangements. Please share your thoughts about what should be considered in making the next match for you, and for the StartingBloc fellow.

What are some of the challenges that might come as a StartingBloc coach?

  • Sometimes your StartingBloc fellow may miss a session without notice and may not always be consistent in rescheduling appointments by giving 24 hours notice. Please be sure to reach a firm agreement with the StartingBloc fellow regarding commitments made and the value of your time.
  • Consistent scheduling might be a challenge. Please be patient, ensure that the fellow is making a scheduling commitment that can be kept, and use this ‘busyness’ as a coaching opportunity.
  • Confidentiality is a paradoxical phenomenon with the StartingBloc Fellows. In alignment with the ICF Code of Ethics, you are prohibited from sharing his or her personal information outside of the coaching relationship. However, the Fellows often DO want you to talk about their work with your friends and colleagues, especially when it might lead to a new resource or additional funding for their crowd-funding project. This is a conversation that should be conducted during the contracting session.

My StartingBloc fellow would like to purchase a coaching package for a family member or would like to provide access to a friend.

Only StartingBloc fellows are eligible for this coaching program. It is not transferrable to family members, colleagues, or friends. If there is outside interest from a family member, friend or colleague member, that person should be referred to renee@reneefreedman.com for best fit matching.

May I use the StartingBloc logo on my website or in my promotional material?

Yes, after you’ve coached one pro-bono StartingBloc fellow. Please contact misuk@reneefreedman.com.

May I include my StartingBloc service in my bio and on my website?

Once you’ve completed coaching one pro-bono StartingBloc fellow (12 sessions) you are welcome list your pro bono service in your bio and tell others that you are a member of StartingBloc coaching team. You may not use your StartingBloc affiliation for marketing campaigns or messages.

I completed a StartingBloc coaching engagement and I’m ready for another? What do I need to do?

Contact the misuk@reneefreedman.com and we’ll note your availability on the roster listing. When a best fit comes along, we’ll match you to another StartingBloc fellow.

How many StartingBloc fellows may I coach concurrently?

Since the nature of this coaching program includes a for-fee offering, you may coach up to four paying clients and one pro-bono client at any one time.

When the 12 sessions of pro bono coaching are complete, may I convert the coaching into a paid gig?

You may direct the fellow to the coaching packages offered on the StartingBloc website and the fellow may request your coaching, if desired.

What are some typical subjects that the StartingBloc fellows ask for coaching on?

Requests vary based upon need. These are some of the requests we’ve had:

Life Coaching

  • Work Life Balance
  • Self-confidence
  • Stress / Burnout
  • Figuring Out What’s Next
  • Life & Career Transitions

Professional Development Coaching

  • Speaking Skills
  • Making Requests and Commitments
  • Team Member Roles
  • Communication
  • Accountability
  • Project Management
  • People Management

Leadership Coaching

  • Strategic Thinking
  • Fundraising (non-profit and for-profit)
  • Business Acumen
  • Networking, Public Relations, & Building Alliances
  • Leading
  • Developing Teams and Employees
  • Executive Decision Making

When is a coach required to contact the StartingBloc coaching team (misuk@startingbloc.com)?

  • When a Fellow’s request is inappropriate or conflicts with the ICF code of ethics
  • If the StartingBloc the coaching match is not good
  • When the coaching engagement comes to an end
  • To let the misuk@reneefreedman.com know whether or not you desire to coach another fellow