Coaching, really good, high-impact, make a difference in your life and work coaching, is not scalable. When people tell me that coaching isn’t scalable it’s a bit like telling me that I am not tall. This is not news to me nor is it particularly illuminating. You can do some online course for five hundred to five thousand dollars to improve your personal and professional life, but one on one coaching is another animal. When someone asks me about my “program” I think they expect a PDF or webpage of what we will do each week in some clean bright colored set of graduated boxes. The problem is – no one lives in those boxes. Every one of us is motivated differently. We each struggle uniquely to find our way and rise to claim our greatest self. Sometimes that rise is messy and we stumble along the way. Dare I say this – we each carry unique wounds and fears and beliefs that are getting in the way. Yes, even you super successful human in your office reading this trying to figure out why someone as component, educated, and dedicated as you are can’t accomplish what you want.
People come to me because they want to get more clients, a raise, respect, perspective, clarity and a million other things that do not fit neatly into boxes. It seems like a small miracle that I have such a robust coaching business. I don’t really market it much. I charge $3,500 for ten sessions (an investment for sure) – all paid up front. I don’t have shiny boxes and graphs on my site or promises that you’ll make a million dollars or increase your salary – although I’ve done those things with clients. And yet my coaching business grows every year and some of my clients have never even met me in person. When someone calls and asks how I work I tell them that coaching is a personal, intimate process that requires a client centric approach and it’s not really about getting the thing – the job, the client, the promotion or raise. Coaching is about changing who you are forever. This doesn’t sound measurable but the fact is this has the greatest impact on your bottom line and I suppose I could send you a bunch of links to the study of job satisfaction and productivity but that’s not really what matters most. It’s really about getting down to business by getting to the heart of the matter.
Making more money is not just about skills although you will need those and I’m going to teach them to you. Earning your worth is not all about working hard either although you need to do that too. If it was just about working hard, all the hardest working people would make the most money and look around – is that what you see? A large part of earning your worth as an employee or entrepreneur is asking for what you deserve. Sounds simple but simple is not the same as easy. Every client I have ever coached through a salary negotiation or pricing for entrepreneurs is forever changed by the experience. That sounds dramatic but claiming your worth is not simply about market value and negotiation. It’s about all of the personal and cultural beliefs that have caused you to accept less for yourself. When you disrupt that pattern and earn your worth – that is the prize. The money, the client, the job – those things aren’t as big as what you really garnered from that process. That work is definitely not scalable.
You may have accepted less for yourself because like me you came from a culture of poverty, or maybe an abusive relationship, or simply a family that taught you to appreciate what you have and never ask for more. Maybe you don’t know how to elegantly ask for what you need so you simply do everything and hope it will change or someone someday will notice and reward you. Your unique struggle is yours and how we navigate those waters is totally and utterly unique to your experience. I’ve coached men and women, attorneys, CEOs, and entrepreneurs. They are accomplished, educated, smart, and sometimes they lack confidence, the strength to self-advocate or the clarity to pursue what they most desire. At some point in the process, most clients will probably cry. As I finish typing that sentence I realize this is probably not a post that’s going to get me new clients. Coaching sounds hard and sometimes painful. It is. Choose someone you trust and respect deeply. Choose someone who will know when to kick your ass, hold your hand, let you cry, and make you laugh when you’re on the verge of throwing up just thinking about asking for a raise. Now I sound like a dating profile. For the record I don’t like pina coladas but I do like getting caught in the rain.
People who have a context for me simply call me when they’re ready and sign an agreement but those who don’t know me will ask to speak to past clients. I tell them that they can go and read my recommendations on LinkedIn and I’ll also happily connect them to some clients, but what they should really do is talk to a couple of my competitors. This genuinely shocks people that I don’t’ have a contract in hand that I’m pressuring them to sign. Nope. I would prefer you be sure of this relationship – take your time. Contacting my competitors will help you decide if I’m your person or someone else is your person. You aren’t buying a piece of electronic equipment or furniture. And by the way, you might not be my person either and that’s okay. I’m not even “selling” coaching. I’m “selling” the greatest possibility of who can become and what you can achieve. Most, but not all of those who contact me become a client. I don’t push a contract towards them or tell them that if they sign today they can save $500. My number doesn’t move. You can sign in the first ten minutes of meeting me or ten weeks from meeting me, my value won’t change. I think, I don’t know, that one of the reasons clients choose me is because I don’t do any those things and because somewhere along the way, they decided I was their person.