One of the best discoveries of my career was professional coaching.
When I got hit by a massive, and unexpected tax bill while living in Vietnam in 2014, I was quickly forced to find $10,000 for Her Majesty the Queen (customs) within two weeks. This is no joke.
Fortunately, that money came in the form of one to one Skype coaching. I have been coaching people ever since. It has proven to be a highly flexible, lucrative, fun and fulfilling career.
Coaching is expected to be one of the fastest growing industries over the coming years, and the Harvard Business Review reports that coaching is currently a billion-dollar-a-year industry.
As with any business, there are false beliefs and myths that non-coaches have of the coaching profession.
Here are a handful of those myths, and I am going to smash them for you.
Myth 1: You need to be an expert.
No, you do not. I think of the coaching profession as split into two areas:
- More specialist coaching, to help clients with more niche problems like aspects of business, marketing, diet, fitness, or learning a more specific skill.
- Generalist life coaching, to help clients move from A to B and help them get what they want in their lives, in all areas of their lives.
You need more expertise in the first one. But you do not need to be an ‘expert.’ You simply need to be a few steps ahead of your student or client if you are dealing with a specific specialism.
This ideally comes from going through your own experiences and learning. Being a little more advanced than the client, or even having had a different take on the problem is all you need.
Yes for a generalist, you do not need to be an expert. Like with the above, you need to be interested in helping the client get results. Mostly, this involves encouraging them to upgrade their own skills.
It is about helping them take charge of their life, rather than being an expert who is going to disperse your Golden Knowledge. You are not a school teacher.
In both cases, if you are getting positive results for the client, you are both winning.
Myth 2: You must be tied down to one location.
As a coach working with clients from all over the world, I work wherever I choose to live. I have done coaching calls from Vietnam, Thailand, London, Taiwan and the States.
The beauty of remote coaching is that you only need some kind of communication technology, like Skype or Zoom, to do a coaching call with a client, who can also be based anywhere.
Myth 3: Coaching is a big, juicy scam.
Coaching can’t be a scam for the very reason that if you find that your coach is bullshitting you, or is not helping you get results, you can just drop them and move on to another coach or source of motivation.
I know that coaching has helped me. Some of my best moments, in fact, were spent with coaches, brainstorming ideas, digging deeper into my own psychology, coming up with goals and action plans together, and ultimately gaining the extra push of accountability from him so that I did most of what I said I would do.
Everything I have done well in life came through practical guidance and accountability. Personal coaching may be seen as a luxury for many, but it is seen as a necessity for those who want to go from good to great.
Look around, and you will see many people speaking highly of how having a coach has helped change their lives.
Few other jobs guide people from problem to solution so intimately, when it’s done correctly. And when coaches start helping people transform their lives and help people achieve real dreams, no money can be placed on those results.
Sure, some coaches are better than others. And there are many terrible coaches. Those who successfully help their clients will become better known and will be easily able to help more through supportive words and feedback from the happy client.
I’m sure, also, that there have been individual stories of coaches who scammed their clients. But these, like in all professions, are one-offs. As an industry as a whole, coaching is not a scam — it’s a service.
Many of the world’s wealthiest and most successful people have coaches. Look at CEOs and managers of many big companies. A recent survey by The Hay Group International said that “between 25 and 40 per cent of Fortune 500 companies use executive coaches.”
Myth 4: Coaching is low-paid.
Many people who coach, or try to build a coaching business do not earn much. Most do not earn much at all.
But I know coaches who earn multiple seven-figure incomes from one to one coaching and combining this with scaled up forms of coaching like selling courses, running seminars and masterminds.
And some coaches earn a million dollars a year from just one-to-one coaching with only a handful of clients who they work with through the year.
Low-paid coaching is often detrimental for the coach-client relationship because when the client doesn’t make a substantial investment, they often fail to find the motivation to follow through with their commitments.
Charging higher fees means you attract not only those who have the funds to pay big, but those who are willing and able to invest in themselves properly, who do take enthusiastic action that leads to results. When clients get results, this obviously reflects well on the coach (who helped the client along) who will be motivated themselves with the success and the lifted reputation at having genuinely helped a client.
When approached in the right way, coaching can be lucrative. This will, of course, lift you so that you deliver the best possible service for the client too.
Myth 5: It is hard to get people to pay for your services.
It was often hard for me to sell people on my coaching in exchange for money when I didn’t know how to make this part easy.
It was hard when I viewed that initial free consultation as a businessy and often unpleasant ‘sales call.’
Because I had such a low turnaround for successful ‘sales,’ I was forced to cram in as many sales calls with new prospects as I could to ‘land’ that deal, treating the whole client sign-up process like a soulless conveyor belt of candidates.
It gets a lot easier when your first meeting with someone new becomes a deep conversation, going into all the magical aspects of how the client’s life can change through working together.
Rather than selling yourself, you turn that conversation into a process of listening to what the client truly wants, and giving them a lot of time and energy, possibly over several hours, rather than the often rushed twenty-minute free consultations offered by others.
This makes the ‘sales’ process almost effortless, especially when that client is a great fit; is someone you genuinely care about and want to help, and when you give them the time and focus they have been craving for.
Create a meeting that the client will never forget, and even if they don’t hire you at that time, they will very often come back to you later when they are ready.
Men, if you are interested in learning more about building a coaching business for other men, follow me here and on my YouTube. I’ll be sharing a lot more about how to be a coach, and will be speaking about living a successful life as a modern man over time.