Home of the Samurai Coaching Dojo blog where Toku McCree, Matt Thielman, and other guest Sensei share their philosophies and practices for deep coaching and honorable enrollment. SUBSCRIBE for updates to be notified of new blog posts, special opportunities just for subscribers, and more!

Case Study: This coach set a goal to have a $25k quarter and made it happen.

Jonny Roman specializes in helping his clients navigate through the dark waters of life and remove the fears and blocks that stand in their way. He joined the Embodied Coach Mastermind in November of 2020. Here’s his story:

The following was pulled from Jonny’s feedback form at the end of our engagement as well as my own observations of his growth. 


The Catalyst:

When I joined the Mastermind I had just completed one coaching program and was wanting another opportunity for support.  My business was doing pretty good overall, though it certainly had its challenges.  That pandemic didn’t negatively impact my business that much. But I think the biggest challenge was in my own trust in myself and my work as a coach. That’s the biggest piece I think I wanted to shift. I was still experiencing a fair amount of stress as I pursued my business and when I saw clients on my calendar.

My biggest hesitation was that I didn’t know much about Toku at all.  We had essentially had one conversation (maybe two? I can’t remember).  And I remember thinking, this is kind of a leap of faith I’m taking here.  I hadn’t had any prior experience with you other than a few of your materials I had read. So that felt like a big hesitation on my part.  But I had a sense that it was going to be a good fit for me.


The Experience:

I loved the container.  I loved the small, intimate group. I enjoyed having a weekly Friday check-in. I enjoyed watching Toku coach and learning from him and his coaching style. I appreciated a lot of the peel-back-the-curtain approach Toku had with showing us the inner workings of his business.  I appreciated the “new” (new to me) approach to business.  I appreciated the heart-centered masculine examples that were present throughout, with Toku, Lee, Chris, and Kelby.

I would definitely recommend the mastermind to other people. I think there’s a lot to learn from you, Toku. I think you have a really great style of coaching. I enjoyed learning from it.  I would recommend it to a coach who is interested in up-leveling and learning more nuances about having a thriving coaching business.


The Breakthrough:

Because of the Mastermind, I know more about my metrics than I did before and tracked them more.  For example, I created a 4th quarter goal of $25,000 and actually hit that goal, which felt pretty amazing!  

The business was the result of how I showed up, how I held myself, how I thought about myself, my coaching, and trusted myself more. And I can tie that to work we did in the Mastermind like learning about my Essence, learning new ways of coaching and being coached.  All of which was very helpful. 


“I created a 4th quarter goal of $25,000 and actually hit that goal, which felt pretty amazing!”

Jonny Roman, Sustainable Transformation Coach, (Duluth, Minnesota) 


The most important thing people should know about the Embodied Coach Mastermind? 

It’s worth it. I really do feel like I came out on the other end of this growth in a number of ways.  My financial advisor/coach feels like she can see a direct result between me starting the mastermind and my relationship with money and my ability to make money shifting.

I really enjoyed my experience.  I would even consider doing it again.


Toku’s Reflection:

When I met Jonny he was clearly a talented coach. He had a master’s degree, had been coaching for a few years, and had an ability to listen and be with his clients in a powerful way, but Jonny didn’t see himself like that. 

I noticed how he would get caught in overthinking vs getting into action. He didn’t really realize how powerful he was, how far he had already come, and how ready he was to step into the next phase of his evolution as coach.

It was amazing to watch Jonny step into his true power as a coach throughout the mastermind. He raised his rates, signed new clients, but more than anything else he developed a deeper sense of confidence. 

Perhaps the coolest thing to see was how Jonny stepped into fatherhood in the midst of the Mastermind. Even though he missed a couple of calls he stayed engaged and it was incredible to see his shift of perspective after becoming a dad. One thing I love about the Mastermind is that it’s not some program where life is out there and the work is in here. We really get to be in each others lives as we change, that part is so rewarding for me and I think for other members of the community as well. 


You can learn more about Jonny at



Case Study: This coach found his confidence and signed 9 clients in record time.

Chris Rollins is a former HR Senior exec who works with people leaders who don’t invest enough in their own well-being, growth, and development. He’s committed to supporting HR Leaders, especially in the LGBTQ+ communityHe joined the Embodied Coach Mastermind in November of 2020, this is his story – 

The following was pulled from Chris’ feedback form at the end of our engagement as well as my own observations of his growth. 

The Catalyst:

When I met Chris he was coming off of a very successful career as a Senior HR exec in New York City. I could tell he had worked a lot of long hours and that he really cared about people. He had already made the decision to become a coach but he was struggling with his choice to leave his well-paying job to start a new career. 

And it made sense, my impression of Chris was that he always excelled at what he did, but that coaching was a new kind of challenge for him, because it asked him to be even more intimate with the people he worked with. 


Here’s what Chris had to say about why he decided to join the mastermind – 

“When I joined the Mastermind I was about 6 months into deciding I wanted to start a coaching business and only had one paying client. I wanted support and guidance on how to successfully build and grow my business.”

My biggest hesitation that I was “nervous about the cost during a time when I wasn’t bringing in any clients and I was in a scarce money mindset”


I remember on a call with Chris early on how big the commitment was. He’d never invested this kind of money into a program or coach. He had already made a commitment to leave his job and even though he had some runway I could feel how nervous he was to make an investment and risk that he wouldn’t see a return. 

I worked with Chris to get clear on what he was committed to and what he’d need to do during the mastermind to make sure he got his money’s worth. I wasn’t worried he’d create results but it was important to make sure he was fully invested in the process. 


The Experience:

Chris was one of the most dynamic members of the 2020 embodied coach mastermind. He was engaged on the calls and took a TON of action between them. He took on the 50 conversation challenge with verve, set up a community call for LGBTQ+ HR reps, and spent extra time with other members of the MM community. 

I knew right away that Chris was going to make the most of the opportunity and the results were pretty apparent. Even though he was one of the newest coaches in the group, his energy and commitment inspired so many of the other members to take risks and try things. That’s one of the things I love about the ECMM is how much the community of coaches really pushes and inspires one another. 

On his feedback form, Chris said that his favorite part of the mastermind was “the weekly accountability calls, the essence exercise*, and the peer support.” And I could see why, not only did he give a lot to the community, but because he was so engaged the community gave a lot back to him.  

*The essence exercise is one of the central pieces of work we do inside the mastermind and one that many of the members reported had a BIG impact on them as coaches and people. 


The Breakthrough:

Again Chris really impressed me with how fast he grew. When he started the Mastermind he only had one client and was thinking of charging a $100 – $200 a session to work with his clients, but by the end of the mastermind he was charging as much if not more than many of the more seasoned coaches. 

I think this was mainly an impact of his commitment to action and his willingness to trust himself. 


Here’s a little about Chris’ experience in his own words:

“The mastermind gave me more confidence in myself as a coach, and more confidence to get clients. I also have a much deeper awareness of who I am and how I want to be showing up in the world – many thanks to really embodying my essence words”

“While enrolled in ECMM, I enrolled 9 clients for a total of $23,700 and signed my largest client for a 6 month $5,500 contract.”


“The mastermind gave me more confidence in myself as a coach, and more confidence to get clients. I enrolled 9 clients for a total of $23,700, My largest client was a 6 month $5,500 contract”

Chris Rollins, People Leader Coach, (Tampa, Florida) 



The Embodied Coach Mastermind is designed to support coaches who are committed to changing. It’s amazing to see how the support of an incredible community with the guidance of an experienced coach can really impact people. While I’d love to take all the credit for the results in the mastermind, it was having people like Chris and others in the community that really makes the experience possible. 

Chris has continued to grow his practice after the mastermind and is even in conversation with a BIG company in the career transition case to launch a company wide coach program for their members. Chris already had the tools and raw talent to become a successful coach, but the other coaches in the mastermind and our work to draw that talent out really let him hit the ground running when he launched his practice. 


Here’s what Chris had to say about doing the mastermind in his own words – 

The most important thing people should know about the Embodied Coach Mastermind? 

“It will change the place you come from when thinking about your business. Life will become easier”

“I would recommend it to any coach who is just getting started up or to coaches who’ve had some success but want to create more consistency.”

“You’re awesome! Thanks for making me a part of the beautiful work you are doing in the world.”


No coach should have to go it alone. With guidance and a community of coaches around you, your success might be much closer than you think. 

You can learn more about Chris at

Want to become my next success story? 


What For—Meaning’s Purpose

Things don’t have meaning in and of themselves. Flags are bits of fabric with colors. When you don’t know a language the words are like little squiggles. Until we give things meaning they have no meaning at all.

There’s also no grade, there’s just an action and a result. No one is giving you an A for reaching out to a client or writing a blog post. It’s just you again. Mostly we do JOBS and HOMEWORK because we are scared of getting in trouble or we want a good grade. But when you play the entrepreneur game there’s really no one to get you in trouble. You’re in a class by yourself and you’re teacher and the student. You can get away with not doing any work, after all, are you going to get YOU in trouble?

This can feel like nothingness, unless you give it a meaning. A meaning is a what for – it’s a why you’re doing it, that you make up. You decide the meaning, you do the thing in alignment with that meaning, and you measure the results. Then you can choose again.

The hard part is there is NO meaning outside of what you’ve created, the powerful part is that you create the meaning. This is a power only gods and goddesses have. Use it well.

The Illusory Safety Of Preparation: The Land of Lies

There is a magical land I see many coaches living in, called the land of preparation

In this land your dreams are safe, your risk of real, rejection is minimized, and the hope of one day being a great coach is ever present. It is so lovely in this land because it feels so real and so justifiable. There are so many programs you can buy here, guru’s you can listen to, so many books you can read, and so much you can do. 

The gentle lie of this land is that if you spend enough time in it you will someday be ready to leave and that when you do, the world you encounter will be one of success and accolades. 

The gentle lie of this land is that you are gaining something by being here. The promise of confidence, competence, a winning formula, a secret method, and a savior are ever present and yet ever out of reach. 

Because each time you go to the door-of-starting and open it to look out, all you see are dark woods, familiar monsters, and the same doubts and fears that have kept you trapped here for years maybe even decades. This place is a false paradise. It is a prison made to look like a school, a community, and a facebook group that encourages you at every turn. 

There is no amount of preparation that will get you ready for really being an incredible coach. The journey to mastery is one that will have you standing naked before the universe. 
It’s one that will have you doing battle with the shadows of humanity in yourself and in your clients. 
It’s one that will have you question everything you thought you knew about how life worked and who you are. 

The lie, the people, programs, and companies who live in the magical tell you is that you’re not ready to face it. 


You are not some delicate little lily of the field. Your ancestors fought wild animals. Traveled across oceans. Dug in hard earth with their bare hands to plant seeds they didn’t know would grow. 

They nearly starved to death and were killed countless times. 
They were f*cking bad asses and so are you. 

You are ready to face it ANNNNND facing it is really scary sometimes, it can feel really hard sometimes, and you’ll want to run away. 

That’s why you need support. But not the kind of support that will have you keep living in the land of preparation. No you need the kind of support that will have you living in the world of heroes. The world of coaches who actually make money and have clients and run a real ass business like a grown ass adult. 

It’s time to leave the fake paradise and get to work. 

Go hire a coach who will get you there. 
Join a group that will get you there. 
Find some friends that will get you there. 

I’d love to battle with you and have some fun along the way. If you want to join me and the mastermind to actually do the thing you want to be doing or do it better let’s talk. 

But get out the door and make it happen. 
The world needs you. And your life needs this before it’s too late. 


Six Reasons Coaches Make Less Than Minimum Wage

After being a coach for 18 months I was earning more than six figures (a somehow magical number for coaches) and yet I often connected with coaches who had:

  • multiple certifications
  • years of coaching experience
  • stories of amazing workshops
  • and ton’s of books on coaching and business on their shelves.​

And yet . . . many of them were making minimum wage. Sometimes they made a bit more $50k – $70k a year, but often they were baffled at why they hadn’t achieved the success of their peers. I get it. I’ve been in the coaching industry, what sells is fast, short cut, get rich quick trainings, and books.

I know a coach who teaches FB messenger strategies and his group is full of coaches. Another coach I know teaches big live workshops that are always sold out. But in the shadows of both groups and beyond the success stories that are on their websites, many coaches who continue to struggle blame themselves for not being successful.

After working with and training coaches for several years—many who have gone on to run highly successful coaching businesses and even become CEOs of major coaching companies—here are the six things I’ve seen that keeps coaches from being successful.

1) No Purpose and No Identity –

Often when I talk to new coaches the reason they go into coaching is because
A) they had a great coach or
B) people always come to them for advice.
While both of these are great reasons to get curious they aren’t enough to keep a coach going through the challenges of building a practice.

What I’ve noticed is that coaches who have a clear sense of themselves and a clear purpose for their work stay focused, work through resistance, and build their practices with consistency and creativity. If you want to be successful you need a good reason to be facing your fears and resistances.

2) An Inability to Create Commitment –

Building a practice takes personal commitment, but it also requires that you learn how to support others to make powerful and lasting commitments in their own lives. Some people call this skill “sales”, others call it “enrollment”, but behind it all is an ability to support people to make commitments that scare and confront them.

If you don’t know how to do this you’ll either set your bar so low that your fees won’t pay your bills, or struggle to get any clients at all. Learning to create commitment is a learnable skill (aka NO ONE IS BAD AT SALES), but it requires a willingness to learn to create clients with integrity and a little bit of fun.

3) A Lack of Connection –

Consistently the most successful coaches I’ve seen are the ones with pre-existing networks.

These coaches have professional networks that enable them to tap into a bank of connections they have built with skill their entire career. But if you don’t have this kind of network that’s not a problem. I didn’t have one when I got started. Before becoming a coach I was living at a monastery which gives me a cool resume but not a great place to look for clients.

You can learn how to attract and connect with people. Some people call this marketing but really it’s just about connecting with people. If you do this consistently and powerfully you can build a practice from nothing. But many coaches avoid connecting in the hopes of using brute force (aka bad marketing) as a way to get clients.

4) Not Enough Personal Integrity –

Most people relate to integrity as a moral issue. If you don’t have integrity you’re a bad person. I know because that’s how I used to relate to it. But for me low integrity is like a leaky boat. The boat isn’t evil, it’s just leaky. And while a leaky boat can get you somewhere, you’re going to be spending excess time and energy bailing it out.

Integrity is really just about doing what you say you’re going to do. You don’t need to be perfect (which is impossible) but you do need to be reliable. When you have integrity people feel it and your business grows because of it. When you don’t it tends to be very stop and start.

And again integrity can be learned. Most people fail with integrity because they lack the systems and processes that support it OR they don’t empower the structure they’ve created. When this happens coaches don’t take consistent action which is what is needed to build a practice.

5) Thinking You Have Too Little (or Too Much) Time –

Most of us have an unexamined relationship with time. It always feels like we have too little or too much of it. I can’t tell you how many coaches have blamed a lack of time on their ability to build a practice or (ironically) having almost too much time on their hands.

Time is much more flexible than you realize. Every coach in the world has the same 24 hours you do to build a practice and many of them do it with families, elderly parents, and even second jobs. This doesn’t mean that it can be hard to work with time. But it DOES mean that if you have a crappy relationship with time you’re likely to struggle as a coach.

6) You have a Weird Relationship with Money –

One year as a coach I made over $300k, but in my books I lost $10k. The reason for this was that I had a weird relationship with money. I liked making it, but I didn’t like managing it (or dealing with it, as I used to say) so I didn’t do a very good job.

Being ‘successful’ as a coach for most people means making money, but many coaches think they need to make some money before they can deal with their issues around it. That doesn’t make any sense. When I see coaches with a weird relationship with money I notice they often struggle to make any money or hold onto any of it.

If you want to make good money as a coach and hold onto that money, you need to be able to deal with money in a powerful way. If you don’t, you’re going to have a hard time achieving the goals you want.

Final Thoughts

None of these challenges are terminal for you or your coaching career. I’ve spent years working through these issues with myself and with the coaches I’ve trained and worked with, but 90% of the training you can get won’t address this stuff directly.

Instead it’s WAY more likely they’ll just hack their way around these issues.

Well it doesn’t have to be that way. You can actually shift these things, but the key is to deal with them directly. Create a purpose for your business, learn to master commitment, connect with people, develop integrity, overcome your challenges with time, and develop a new relationship with money.

This is exactly what I do with coaches who are part of my Embodied Coach Mastermind.

I help them move beyond the surface level strategies and tactics to the deeper issues underneath. Yes I teach them the systems and techniques I’ve used to build my practice (including the mistakes I’ve made along the way), but the center of what I teach is all about how to overcome the big things that stop most coaches from creating success.

It’s not a skin deep approach but a bone deep one. So if you want some support in overcoming these challenges Let Me Know.

And if not then please, please, please find another way to get supported. Anyone who wants to become a coach has the intention to help others and NO coach should struggle in purgatory trying to get there. The solutions aren’t rocket science, they don’t require secret knowledge, but they do demand you fundamentally shift something about yourself before you can create an incredible impact for others.

You’re Sitting Too Close To The Screen

​After having spent weeks watching a group of 15 incredible coaches training week after week 90% of them got better whenever they didn’t sit so close to the screen.

No, I’m not talking about ergonomics or visual fatigue. I’m talking energetically.

Most coaches tend to get right up in there with their clients. There is nothing outside their visual field except for what the client is saying. When you sit that close all you can see is the drama.

Pull back a little bit and you’ll become aware of the conversation and relationships they have to their problems and desires. This is the frame of the screen. But from here all you can see are solutions.

Pull back a little further and you can see that the frame is inside a space. This is the context they are speaking and living inside. Now you can start to point out that context and work with it.

Pull back a little further and you can see the whole room around the screen. Or the map of interlocking context inside the client’s life and the world in general. Now you can see larger patterns, new options, and the impact of various contexts and ways of being.

Pull back even further and you can see the viewer (you as the coach) and all the stuff going on for them. Now you can notice your own reactions, account for them, and use them in your coaching.

Pull back even further and you can see a second screen which is your context and reality. Now you can talk about the context of coaching and reality itself. You can also own and be with your own humanity as a coach.

Pull even further back and you can see the witness. The one who is witnessing all the screens and is able to be fully engaged while also being fully unattached. Now you can be and coach from that place.

Pull back even further and you can see the abyss under the ground. The nothingness that pervades all being. Now you can talk from a depth beyond your humanity and speak for the universe itself.

You don’t have to pull back this far. It takes a fair amount of practice and it may not be the best place to coach from. But it IS helpful to notice how close to the screen you’re sitting.

Because often it’s too close.

10 Thing You DON’T Need To Do To Raise Your Rates

Most coaches I meet don’t charge enough. And when I say enough I mean enough to live on, create commitment that are meaningful, and be aligned with the depth of work they are offering their clients. 

And most often the reason why is that they think they need to do something in order to raise their rates. They’re wrong. And here’s a list of the top 10 things you don’t need to worry about. 


  1. Become a better coach – Yes you should always try to be a better coach. But becoming a better coach is an endless game. If you’re very new to coaching then charge less and get some experience, but if you’ve been at this a few months to a few years, have worked with a good coach and gotten some training you can probably still raise your rates.

    There’s no magic ability to cash connection in the coaching business. YES better coaches sometimes make more money, so work on getting better and ALSO raise your rates. If you want to become ‘good enough’ you’ll never get there. 


  1. Change your packages or offerings – Back when I charged $1000 a month my packages and offerings were more complex than they are now. Over the years they’ve gotten simpler and simpler. If you want to shift what you’re offering because you’ve changed or it feels aligned GREAT, but this isn’t needed to raise your rates. In fact it’s probably better to charge more for something you’ve gotten good at doing than charge more for something you haven’t worked the kinks out of yet. 


  1. Sign more inspiring clients – I don’t really even know what this means anymore though at one time thought this was THE answer to becoming a better coach. The truth is being inspired by my clients is on me not on them. Yes it looks good on your website if you coached a king or presidential candidate, but it does NOT make you a better coach. It may make you a more well connected one, but not much else.

    Some of your current clients might struggle to pay more. Some of them could pay more right now. Some of them may not even be able to ‘afford’ what you’re currently charging. New clients or more inspiring clients change nothing. If you want to raise your rates do it, the clients you serve will likely change. But clients do NOT make the coach or the higher rates. 


  1. Update your website – My first website was horrible. Even now my website needs an update pretty bad but it doesn’t stop me from getting clients. So go ahead and update your website. But a new website has never gotten any of my client’s to pay more money. If your website is total dirt and you can afford to pay someone to help you, do it. The money will be well spent. But your website should be a reflection of your being not a fake it ‘til I make it kind of thing.

    Your current website is probably fine and also a year out of date, which are the same things. Again your website should slightly follow or slightly lead your level of success. If you want to raise your rates do it. Don’t wait for a page full of copy which probably won’t change anything. Besides websites are about attraction, enrollment is about commitment. Don’t confuse the two. 


  1. Discover some new fancy way to ‘sell’ – When I was new and charging very little for coaching I thought coaches charging $10k+ a year had some magic formula. Now that I’m a coach that makes 10x a year I can assure you there isn’t. Yes there are techniques. Yes there are different ways of being. But it’s become less and less gimmicky. The processes I learned in the past, the sales books I’ve read have helped a lot, but they never ‘fixed’ my fear. They just gave me new things to fill my mind with and ‘use’ on my prospects.

    Yes you can use the techniques and methods to close sales but they are a bridge to something deeper and more meaningful. As you get better at enrollment you will increase your rates. As you increase your rates you’ll get better at enrollment. But there’s no fancy short cuts. 


  1. Get better at ‘handling’ objections – No one likes being handled. I know I have tried to ‘handle’ people’s objections. The whole concept comes from this weird idea that sales is adversarial. It’s sort of like a psychological arms race. The prospect gets more clever at evading my tricks and I develop more ways to ‘trick’ them into buying.

    Don’t trick people into buying. Support them to commit to something they want. If you try new tricks you simply get new ways of saying no. And again learning to say higher numbers with a process that already works is generally easier than trying to get more commitment from a new method. 


  1. Pay a new coach a lot of money – This was tough to write because in truth I’ve seen the impact of this. I have hired coaches for big sums and then ended up charging more.

    Here’s what’s true about it. If you get into a conversation about making a big commitment and learn to sit in the center of that tension you can empathize more with your clients as they commit. If you haven’t ever made a big commitment then you are more likely to identify with your clients as they express doubts and concerns.

    They may even end up enrolling you in why they can’t do this and why the coaching won’t work (which is easier if you’ve already got some doubts about your coaching). 

    The problem is this isn’t a ‘FIX’. You can certainly make a big commitment to a coach and raise your rates as a result, but what matters is how you relate to that commitment. Hiring ANY coach will have a BIG impact on your ability to raise your rates, but throwing money at the problem won’t work at all.

    YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY A COACH A BUNCH OF MONEY TO RAISE YOUR RATES!!!! Instead of worrying about the pay/pricing connection you’d be better off putting your attention on the way a coach changes your relationship to commitment. Money is one way they might do this, but it isn’t the only way and it’s not a magic bullet. 


  1. Change your niche, the type of coach you are, or your networking sales pitch – For a while I agonzied about what I called myself as a coach. I hated the term life coach. Executive coach didn’t really capture it either. It took me a while to see that what I was really wrestling with was my identity. I was trying to answer the question WHO AM I? and it was hard.

    You are already somebody as a coach. Let me say that again. YOU ARE ALREADY SOMEBODY AS A COACH. You may not know what or who that is, but it’s true. Every person I’ve ever trained has an essence as a coach that shines through. It may take time for it to emerge and working with a good coach can help it emerge. But it’s not really something you need to make up or figure out.

    A niche can help you hone your marketing, a good pitch can make you memorable, but neither is likely to impact what you charge. At least not immediately and you can raise your rates without having either of these filled out. 


  1. Make a certain amount of money or have asked for that amount before – For a while I sort of thought well I can’t say my rates are $1k a month until I’ve got some clients who are paying that. I’m sure you can see the insanity of that and yet many coaches think this. I can’t charge that until I can charge that. I can’t make that amount of money until I’m making that amount of money.

    The mind does weird stuff with you. It sets a barrier to you being present to what’s possible. What you can really do. The beauty is that all you have to do is charge $1000 a month to be charging $1000 a month. And to get someone to pay you that you have to start pitching it.

    The hook here is obvious and luckily the solution is too. Doing it is the way out. No one is going to give you a permission slip to raise your rates. It may take some time for you to learn how to enroll at your new rates and feel more natural saying the numbers, but you’re never going to get better by waiting to start. 


  1. Doing anything else that you think will ‘make it easier’ to raise your rates. – If I was only going to make this a 1 item list this is the item I would choose. Before I was charging more than $50 a session for my coaching and often even now when I raise my rates I think, well when I do x then it’ll be easier to raise my rates. But the truth is that nothing really makes raising your rates easier.

    Anytime you ask for more or commit to more, fear is likely going to show up. As my dear friend Adam Quiney says, “fear and possibility often show up in equal measure”. While there are many ways to work with fear there’s really no way to avoid it. Nor do I think you should try. Increasing your capacity for fear is essential to be a great coach and leader.

    So instead of trying to hack or avoid fear you’d be better off accepting it and learning to work with it. If you can do this then raising your rates can just be another part of your practice to be with and hold the vastness of human experience. 


Final Thoughts – 

There is one thing that you can do that can help you raise your rates and that’s upgrade your commitments and who you’re being in the world. If raising your rates is just about making more money or proving yourself, it’s probably going to be harder to do. But if it’s in alignment with a bigger commitment you’ve made or the result of you doing work to deepen yourself and how you show up, then it will be easier. 

That doesn’t mean it will be free from fear. In fact facing the fear of raising your rates will likely have you deepen who you are as a coach and a leader. It’s a powerful practice. Not a thing to get right or figure out, but part of the journey of becoming a master coach. 

Being Selfish vs. Standing Up For Yourself: The Lens of Life

ACA Laundry List – Trait 7 – “We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others” 

Growing up our parents guilted us for saying something wasn’t fair. They used us for their own devices (in a dysfunctional cry for love) and told us we were selfish for feeling sad or upset. It bent the lens that we saw life through and we learn to see what was unfair as fair, and what was fair as selfish. 

As we heal we often bump up against this bent lens of life. We peer through the lens and we see our boundaries as unreasonable demands and we see our unreasonable demands as justified acts of anger. As we heal we learn to look around the lens. 

We learn to trust our guts when we’re being fair and we learn to realize when we’re caught up in our own stories and being angry little kids with those we care about. We learn to clean up when we make mistakes and learn to set boundaries that we know are right, even when our guilt feelings tell us we’ll get in trouble if we set them. 

The Fool

According to Jacquelyn Small – “The Fool represents an inner attitude of Divine Innocence, willing to have total faith in the process of living. He casts himself totally — and with gay abandon — into all with which he comes into contact, and redeems whatever he meets.

This quality of Divine Innocence is a form of continual humility in all our relations, which prevents any adversity from causing imbalance. Anything adverse The Fool encounters is brought to the heart of its positive quality with a sense of awe; it is transformed.”

In some ways, the fool is the antithesis of humiliation. The fool can not be humiliated no matter how much someone tries. Because the fool embraces the joyous innocence and silliness of life. The art of silly walking is one way of embodying the archetype of the fool. While we fear feeling humiliated or appearing foolish, The fool takes on the mantle of foolish and wears it like a crown.

It is a way of making art from humiliation and discovering a kind of deep resilience that bolsters us in even the darkest storms. 

Should I Try To Sell Coaching To My Friends?

Most new coaches start by coaching their friends. After all, your friends are ‘soft’ targets. They are willing to let you ‘try’ coaching on them, respond kindly when you’re awkward and have probably complained about something that you’re sure you can ‘fix’. 

But a lot of people feel awkward talking to their friends about coaching much less trying to sign them as clients. They’re afraid they’ll come off as pushy or salesy and of course their afraid of alienating their friends and looking bad. 

Then again I know a TON of coaches that built their businesses by serving their friends and colleagues first. In fact having a solid pre existing network is one of the KEY reasons many coaches achieve success quickly. 

So should you try to sell your friends on coaching? 

While it’s ultimately up to you here’s a few simple things to consider:


1) How long has it been since you talked to them? 

A coach in my mastermind group recently asked for some tips on offering coaching to a friend after being turned down by a guy he knew from college. The first question I asked was: When was the last time you talked to this person? Five years was their lovingly innocent reply. 

If I call out of the blue after five years and then offer to sell you coaching I immediately put myself in the category of someone selling an MLM product. I get that you’re excited about coaching but please don’t do this. 

If you want to connect with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while go ahead, but do it lovingly. Do it to connect. If then after you’re reestablished a connection you want to share about coaching with them go ahead. But don’t call people out of the blue to ‘connect’ when you really are only connecting to ‘sell’ coaching to them. 

Connection first, coaching later. Always. 


2) Is your desire to coach them genuine? 

Sometimes you might feel desperate to get a client. Like if you could just get one person to say yes your life would be easier and if you get one more no you’re sure you’re going to fall apart. When this happens anyone around you can start to seem like the ‘fix’ for your coaching insecurity. 

If this is where you’re coming from enrolling your friends is probably a bad idea. In fact, trying to enroll anyone from desperation and scarcity is a bad idea. 

I remember early on in my journey as a coach I sat down with a good friend to ‘sign them as a client.’ I was more awkward and pushy than a used car salesman with a quota to meet. They were polite but clearly turned off. And the more turned off they were the more pushy I got. They continued to be polite, but eventually ended the conversation. I still cringe thinking about it. 

On the other hand, I’ve also coached friends in a really powerful way. I went slow, I was curious, I made sure they really wanted to move forward. When I did this the conversations went well even if they decided not to hire me in the end. 

The big difference between these two situations was in who I was being and in how genuine my desire to coach them was. If my desire was genuine and I was able to be loving and curious things went well. If my desire was to make the sale things did not go well.

So before you enroll your friends first pause and see if you can find a genuine desire to coach them. If you do then go slow, if not then take a beat and really consider why you’re doing what you’re doing. 


3) Is the friendship more important than the sale? 

I have a close friend whom I’ve collaborated with on a few projects. Some of the projects were a success others a failure. The friendship has survived largely because we knew what was most important. 

If your friendship is a priority make sure you’re clear on this. Ideally, it’s something you should talk about before you dive into exploring a coaching and client relationship. 

If you’re willing to risk the friendship in service of the coaching relationship, be clear about it. If you’re willing to jettison the coaching to maintain the friendship, know that before you get started. 


4) Can you be clean and unattached? 

It’s awkward if someone has a crush on you and you don’t like them back. Most of us don’t enjoy feeling like we’re the cause of someone else’s heartbreak and confusion. So we tend to avoid situations where other people are too attached to how we feel about them. 

The same is true for coaching. 

 – If you’re attached to signing your friend as a client because you’re ‘desperate’ to make some money or prove your worth… 

 – If you’re attached to signing your friend as a client because you KNOW you can help them with the terrible problem that plagues their life… 

 – OR if you’re attached to signing your friend as a client because you’re longing for more intimacy in your life… 

STOP. Do not pass go and do not collect $200. 

Hire a coach and do some work on yourself then go back to enrolling clients. 


5) Have you enrolled them?

If you’re like most coaches you’re out there trying to ‘convince’ people to try coaching with you. Convincing is hard. Convincing means to cause someone to believe firmly in something. But coaching isn’t really about getting people to believe something. 

Coaching is about enrolling. Enrolling is different. Enrolling is about getting people present to a new possibility. If I enroll you in a coaching conversation you’re present to what’s possible in that conversation. You’re OPEN to there being something you might get. 

Convincing on the other hand is closed. You’ve CLOSED your analysis and have concluded that coaching is or isn’t valuable. When you try to convince people to work with you, they very often become convinced you’re a pushy salesperson. 

So no more convincing. 

Instead enroll them. Get them present to what’s possible. Open them up. Don’t close them down. 

Here’s the Bottom Line

As a general rule, you shouldn’t try to sign your closest friends as coaching clients. But friends who are a ring or two out from your inner circle can be totally valid prospects especially early on as a coach. 

You might enjoy coaching some of these people for free as a way to get more experience, but if you’re going to sign them as a client you need to make sure you’re doing your best to be generous and unattached. 

I still recommend new coaches be open to coaching and enrolling their friends and colleagues. It’s where I got most of my first clients and I learned a lot about the process of what it takes to coach and sell people on my services. 

Whether it’s your friends or not, the key to growing your coaching business rests on your ability to be bold in your efforts while being generous with your heart. 

Free updates

See how to use deep coaching to create more impact and higher paying clients with this FREE newsletter.

We pinky promise we won't send you spam. Unsubscribe any time. Powered by ConvertKit