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Home of the Samurai Coaching Dojo blog where Toku McCree, Christina Salerno, 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!

Is Becoming a Coach Worth It?

It’s hard to be a good coach. If you want to be a mediocre, sort of ok, minimum wage coach, that’s much less hard. There are literally thousands of books and courses on how to be an ok coach. 

But to be good, to be great, that’s hard. So before you take the leap, make the investment, and quit your day job, ask yourself, “Is becoming a coach worth it?”

You can only really answer this question yourself, but I’m going to do my best to help you figure this out before you get too far down this path. 

 

#1 Do you love people?  Are you also driven mad by them?

When I first wrote this, I typed, Do you enjoy helping people? But then I realized too many coaches get started because they like “helping” people. Except what they call helping people is really just telling people what to do.  

Most advice isn’t followed and it’s also not asked for. So changing someone is rarely about getting them to do something different. It’s about helping them discover what they really want. 

To be a great coach you have to love people. You have to love them even though they make stupid choices over and over again, you have to love them even when they get mad at you for telling you the truth, and you have to love them even when they are really whiney about something they can easily change. 

If you love people, becoming a coach might be worth it. If you just like telling people what to do, then work for TSA. 

 

#2 Are you curious?

Some people like being right and some people love being curious. Some people love both. 

Most great coaches I know love being right, but they love being curious even more. Curiosity has an element of humility to it. A willingness to be wrong and to not know. 

Even great coaches are wrong a lot, often they don’t realize it at the time and neither do their clients, but as we shift people, we do so from a series of guesses, distinctions, and explorations. 

Like working through a maze, there are a fair amount of dead ends. There are less as you get better but there are dead ends nonetheless. 

So you need to be curious and you need to long for curiosity more than you long for being right. If you need to be right, coaching will become about your ego and agenda. Sure some people will love that and you may find success, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find mastery. 

 

#3 Can you sell? Are you willing to learn?

Great coaches sell. They get clients to sign up. They do this in conversations and online. Great coaches simply learn how to get people to commit to change and then hiring them to create the change. 

Selling isn’t as mysterious or evil as you think it is. It can actually be enjoyable. But if you think selling is evil and you hate the idea of asking someone to pay you, you might be better off having a job where you sell once during the interview and collect a paycheck for years. 

If you sort of enjoy talking people into things or helping people get to yes then becoming a coach is worth it, if not you may want to do something else. 

 

#4 Do you really want to do meaningful work?

This may seem obvious, I assure you, it’s not. People say they want to do meaningful work, but they really don’t. They don’t like the pressure, the significance, or the depth of commitment meaningful work requires. 

You may prefer to have some lightness in your life, to keep things simple, or to not actually say your work is about changing lives. And that’s ok. 

Meaningful work sounds great on paper but what it asks of you is harder. It asks you to put your life, your ego, and your heart on the line. 

If you do meaningful work, you’ll be disappointed. You’ll wonder if it’s ever enough. You’ll work hard to change someone’s life and they won’t change. You’ll have to let go, let them be on their path, and trust that they will find their way. 

So be honest with yourself if you’re really up to this or not. 

 

So is becoming a coach worth it? 

For me it’s never been a choice. Once coaching found me, it hasn’t let me go. 

It’s magic. You get on the phone. You talk to someone. And their lives change. 

Recently a client of mine finally settled her divorce after years of strife around it. 

Another client got the promotion at work she had wanted for a long time and started enjoying her life more than ever before, she even let herself be fully committed to her amazing boyfriend for the first time. 

Another client repaired a relationship with a major client he was sure was at its end. All in the midst of the client getting some tough medical news. 

To me that’s magic. To me, all the things that are hard about being a coach are worth it, because of who I get to be for people. 

But it isn’t easy, it takes work, commitment, and guidance from a master to get great. 

So if it’s not worth it to you, choose something else. You can always be a great listener for your friends in between shifts at your amazing startup job or tell lots of people what to do at the airport while they are going through security.

Being a coach isn’t a ticket to freedom, but it IS a ticket to an incredible life, if you decide it’s worth it for you. 

 

The Coaching Superpower

Be Impactable

There are a lot of things you can be as a coach. Powerful, intelligent, savvy, clever, wise, deep, and present.

But the most important thing to be . . . is impactable. 

When you’re impactable you learn from everything.
You feel people deeply and they experience being seen by you.
You can be a great client which will help you be a great coach.
You will get more from every book you read, every relationship you have, and every course you take. 

Being impactable is a superpower. 

And the reason you lose this ability is due to fear, doubt, and the need to project strength. 

Don’t stay there.
Open your heart.
Listen for what’s in it for you.
Be impactable. 

It’s one of the keys to mastery.

Love,
Toku

 

If you’re ready to be truly impacted we’ve begun taking applications for the Spring 2021 dojo. We will sell out and you will have to wait another year to join. So don’t wait. Be impactable and make this the year you finally create the deep confidence in your coaching you’ve always craved.

Stop Asking “How?”

90% of the questions I get from coaches is about how to do something. 

 

How do I price myself? 

How do I find clients? 

How do I sell better? 

How do I get better as a coach? 

How do I feel more confident? 

How do I handle it when they say they can’t afford it, when they don’t return my calls, when they want to quit?

 

The list is nearly endless. 

In some ways, “How do I…?”, is not a bad question. You need to learn about the art of coaching and the art of enrollment. Being curious about how to do these things and how to get better isn’t bad, but it’s also not what gets in the way of 90% of coaches.

 

The question that really matters is are you DOING IT? 

 

Are you giving people your price? 

Are you out there trying to find clients, connecting with people, and making introductions? 

Are you selling or practicing selling your coaching? Or even selling a podcast to people who might like it? 

Are you working to improve your coaching? Getting feedback? Studying other coaches? HELL are you coaching anyone right now? Even someone for free? 

Are you doing things that lead to confidence? Exercise? Eating good food? Acknowledging yourself for the things you’ve done well? 

Are you thinking about ways to handle those things when they come up? Are you looking at how you did it in the last call and how you might do it in the next call? 

 

Most times coaches AREN’T DOING IT. They are sitting around trying to figure out HOW TO DO IT!!!! And again, how is a fine question to ask, but only after you do the first part. 

 

If you’re out there trying stuff out and learning, asking how questions can help, and of course when you’re VERY new and getting started, having some how, will make it easier for you to take risks. 

 

The real problem is the trap of always asking how, HOW HOW HOW, instead of saying ok. I have a way I can try, I’ve seen one option. It may be scary. I might mess up, but I’m going to try. 

 

Staying in HOW keeps you safe, and it gives you the illusion that some way, out there offers a way to try something without the risk, fear, and self doubt. 

 

Do yourself a favor. Go do it. Embrace the fear and self doubt. You’ll get stronger and you’ll actually learn WAY more than asking will ever reveal. 

 

Here are 4 ways you can get started:

 

1) If you’re not currently coaching anyone, get a free client – 

This isn’t hard, just go into any coaching group and offer your coaching for free. A lot of people will say not to do this. YES if you only do this it’s a trap, don’t get stuck here, but coaches coach people. If you ain’t coaching, you ain’t a coach. So go do a trade with another coach, or get a free client. Practice and learn with them. 

 

2) If you’re not getting paid, charge something –

Once you’ve worked with a couple of free clients then charge something. It can be a dollar, or two. It can be $100 or $1000, just charge something. Be willing to have the conversation about investing money in your work with someone. It will teach you a lot. Even if you are only charging a dollar. 

 

3) If you’re not charging enough, raise your rates –

Do it on the next call. Double them. Or add a zero to them. Whatever you do, raise them. You’ll have to step up and have a different conversation, you’ll get scared, the person may be more likely to say no, that’s ok, just try it out. Notice what happens when you charge more and learn from it. 

 

4) If you’re not working with a coach, HIRE ONE!!!

Or choose another profession. There are CRAZY amounts of coaches with no coach. You can’t do it, I mean you can, but it’s like coaching with your head up your ass. Having a coach means you’re getting pushed, it means your work matters, it means you matter. It will make you a better coach, it will have you be accountable. It doesn’t have to break the bank, (though investment does matter) but no matter what, just have a friggin coach. 

 

All of these are ways to be able to say YES to the question “Are you doing it?” 

 

And what’s amazing to me is that for most coaches when they simply start, they start making it. They build their career into something incredible, they get clients, and they turn pro. 

 

The how helps, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t change lives. 

 

So go look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I doing it?” 

And if the answer is NO then get started. The world needs incredible coaches like you. 

 

Love, 

Toku

The Illusion of Confidence

All coaches want to be confident. 

You want to be able to sit in front of your client and promise them that you’ll change their lives, that you’ll be a great coach, and that you’ll get results. 

You want to feel good about your coaching, your likelihood of success, your ability to build a practice. And yet it seems to escape you. 

You’ve taken courses and maybe even hired a coach or two, but somehow other people seem to have what you lack. They are confident; you are not. 

So how do you fix it? I’m going to tell you, though you may not care for my answers. 

 

The Illusion of Confidence

When I see coaches seeking confidence, they are usually in the act of preparation. They are studying, building a website, defining their niche, crafting a funnel, and preparing. They are preparing to be a great coach, preparing to sign clients, and preparing to build a coaching business. 

Preparing is great, because it’s not that scary. 

One of the LEAST scary parts of going skydiving is putting on your jumpsuit before you get in the plane. I mean you still feel nervous but it’s WAY less scary than getting in the plane, less scary than getting hooked in and moving towards the open door of an airplane flying thousands of feet above the earth. 

Preparing is great because it gives you the illusion of progress. 

You can prepare and you can prepare more. You can learn something, you can get more certifications, you can create more plans. 

Preparation feels like you’re doing something, which is great because it works in most situations. 

After all, elementary school prepares you for secondary school which prepares you for university and then prepares you for your internship which prepares you for your first job that prepares you for  . . . and on and on. 

You spent most of your life preparing for something and in some ways it makes sense, it’s often better to prepare then not. 

Preparing is great because it’s ENDLESS

You can ALWAYS be more prepared, you can always learn more, your website can be tweaked, your niche honed, your coaching name reworked, your packages redesigned, your price analyzed, and your dreams re-crafted. It’s endless. 

 

But preparing keeps you trapped. 

It keeps you trapped because it IS endless. 

It keeps you trapped because it doesn’t do the one thing you hope it will do. 

Preparing doesn’t really give you confidence. 

And yet that’s what people sell you. That’s what the coaching school sells, that’s what most “build your business” coaching businesses sell, it’s even what most coaches sell. 

A plan, a process, a system, a method, a secret — that once you have, you’ll be better prepared to go do the thing you want to do. It’s so sexy and alluring. 

This idea that there’s a secret that once you obtain will give you confidence.

People (myself and maybe you included) throw thousands of dollars at this illusion in the hopes that it will be true, but if it were, there would be a lot more confident and successful coaches than there are. 

 

So how do you create confidence? 

You do the thing.  

You coach, you sell, you pitch, you write, you dance, you fight, you balance, you fall in love, you break up, you fall in love again. 

Confidence is not a game of preparation, it’s a game of practice. 

It’s a game of doing the thing that scares you, of failing, of learning from your failure, and then doing it again. 

Think about riding a bike: the most confident riders are the one with the most variable practice. 

They’ve ridden in snow, ice, up hills, across rocks, in races, and on tracks. You name it; they’ve ridden it. 

Every time I see a mountain biker I’m amazed because they ride down these crazy hills and across uneven ground and they do so with such skill. 

From outside it looks scary, it seems like it would be safer to read a book about how to ride a mountain bike, to learn some theory, or to talk to a coach about mountain biking. Not do it. 

Doing it looks scary and dangerous, because IT IS!!!!

But that’s why the only way to get confident at doing it is to do it. 

Sure some technique and the right mindset help with confidence. It’s worth spending some time on, but not as much time as you’re tempted to spend

Most coaches I know have invested HUNDREDS OF HOURS IN PREPARATION and invested maybe ten or more hours into practice.. 

If you really want to create confidence you HAVE to go do it. 

Go sell. 

Go coach. 

Go write. 

And the thing is, the stuff you’re afraid of WILL HAPPEN. 

You will fail. Your clients will be disappointed, they will ask for a refund, they will think they paid too much, you will think they paid too much, you’ll mess up, you’ll make a fool of yourself. 

People on bikes fall over. Coaches do a bad job coaching. 

It happens. It’s life. It’s what makes it exciting and worthwhile. 

Stop buying things in the hopes of preventing failure. 

It feels nice, but it won’t help you build confidence. 

 

When you fail and get back up, you gain strength. 

When you mess up and clean up, you gain confidence. 

 

In the dojo, we want coaches to fail. We build failure into the practice. We’ll support them, we will help them fail, we will push them until they do, and then we will help them get back up. That is why coaches leave the dojo more confident. 

So please, please, please… 

Stop preparing. Start practicing. 

 

You can do it with us in the half-day dojo, in the dojo, in my 1-1 practice

Or you can do it alone, with your own coach, or with a group of peers. 

It’s definitely harder without the study and support we’ve put into practice, but you can make it happen. And most of all, the point is to actually do something, anything. 

 

Love, 

Toku

 

PS We’re just about to open up pre-enrollment for the 2021 dojo. 

If you want to get in early, raise your hand, and let us know. 

Performance vs Morality

Performance is a function of performance. We offer certain inputs, inside a certain environment, and we see what kind of outputs we get. 

The more we can control for the environment the more we can predict and modulate our inputs to get a certain output. The more chaotic or seemingly random the environment the more performance becomes part art and part science. 

It’s easy to get lost in the dance that we ‘should’ know the correct inputs. 

We should have the right knowledge, experience, data, and courage to make the ‘right’ choices.  Only a future you really knows what the results of your choices are. 

From here, the future is a void. When we measure performance, observe the process, and are attentive to results we can generally perform better over time given the right resources. 

Morality is how good you are or a judgment about whether you are a good person. Because we value performance we often think that people who perform better are better people. It isn’t actually true, and very often we’re disappointed when star athletes, giants of industry, or our leaders reveal their human frailty to us. 

But because we value performance it’s easy to think that performance is the most important factor of morality. Even though it’s not. 

While thinking that performing better will make us better people might inspire us to work and pay attention, the utility of this mix up pretty much stops there. And for every person who seeks to perform better to be better, there are three people who feel awful about who they are because of some real or imagined lack of performance. 

In truth, these two things are just different. Not that they don’t interact and play with each other. But performance is performance. It’s a measure of outputs based on certain inputs in a certain environment. And morality is morality. It’s about who you choose to be in life, it’s about kindness and generosity, it’s about love. 

And anyone who’s ever tried to measure of tweak the utility of love through performance can probably tell you the futility of trying to bar graph the heart. 

If you can allow them to be separate. If you can survive poor performance while maintaining a good self-image, so much is possible for you. It takes work, but it’s a worthwhile path to follow if you wish to do meaningful work in the world. 

What You’re Worth as a Coach

We tend to think about worth in relationship to what we do for people.

Beyonce deserves to make a ton of money because of the singing and performing she does. I can charge a thousand dollars per hour because of the kind of coaching I do. A brilliant programmer deserves to make $100k+ a year because of the code he writes.

But looking at worth as a function of the value of our doing isn’t truthful.

  • If you have children how much would you pay in ransom to get them back from a kidnapper? Assuming you were confident they’d be returned to you.
  • If your partner needed a life-saving procedure and it cost $50k or $100k what lengths might you go to get that money?
  • And yet if you look simply at what the people closest to you actually do, it’s often very simple.
  • Children draw crayon drawings, they snuggle, they play.
  • Your partner talks to you about your day, maybe cooks a meal or two, and gives you affection.

What makes them special isn’t what they do.

What makes them special is who they are for you.

Your children are the only people who can BE your children. If I came over and drew with crayons for you it wouldn’t be the same.

Your partner is the only person who can BE your partner for you. You won’t feel the same level of depth with a house cleaning service or assistant even if they do a better job cleaning your home and helping you manage your life.

It’s who we are for people that matter most. So much so that it’s almost impossible to replace.

Yet coaches forget this all the time.

As a coach, you live in fear that you won’t do a good job coaching your clients. How could you charge twice as much without doing twice as much?

What matters is who you are for people.

As a coach who you are for people is possibility, love, and a stand for their greatness. 90% of what you do, 90% of the magic is being this for other people. 10% is what you do as you be that.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your greatest value is in what you do.

Your real value is who you are for other people.

Learn to BE great for them.

PROSPEROUS COACH SECRETS DECODED – Chapter 1 – Why isn’t this working? – (Coaching Dojo Live)

 

THE PROSPEROUS COACH DECODED – (Coaching Dojo Live)
Chapter 1 – Why isn’t this working?

WHAT IT SAYS:
This experience is normal, the confusion, the challenge
It creates that something is possible that things can be different
It says I’ve been there too

Scarcity mindset – You’ve got it

Fearlessness –
A lot of coaches know what to ask but are afraid to ask
We like to make excuses, trust yourself and your coaching will get better.

Investment and commitment matter –
We want to be ready first, but we’re already on the journey and we’re never really ready to fail.

Being a stand – be a stand for yourself and be willing to take a leap of faith.

WHAT IT MISSES:
The coaching game has changed A LOT
– sending in a check is OLD SCHOOL, so remember this when you read the PC

Not all investments make a difference. Sometimes they can matter, sometimes you throw money at the problem. Please remember the difference.

Fearlessness isn’t enough
– you need skill and ability

Fearlessness isn’t carelessness – bring heart along with boldness.

It sells exclusivity as magic – which in some ways is Rich’s magic but it can also be a bit of a foil. There is no special coach club out there.

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY:
Invest in yourself BUT don’t throw money at problems

Learn to face your fears, learn to be bold, BUT that doesn’t mean be foolish or pushy

Real commitment feels different. It requires a leap of faith, BUT it also requires follow through.

You’ve got to practice to get it!!!!

What does it mean to BE a great coach? – Integrity

Integrity is about a relationship you have with yourself.

 

If you relate to yourself as someone who is better off doing what feels good in the moment then your integrity is likely low. 

 

If you relate to yourself as someone who can’t really be relied on, who can’t handle it when things get tough, your integrity is likely low.

 

If you relate to yourself as worthless or incapable, your integrity is likely low. 

 

A building has integrity because it follows a pattern, it’s rigid, it has structure, it’s built around a set of known principles. 

 

A tree has integrity because it grows towards the sun, is flexible and supple, it has it’s own pattern, but the pattern shifts and flows to its environment. 

 

What they have in common is there relationship to themselves. The building is an expression of its being, it’s the purpose, and aligns with it. It sees the value of its structure. 

 

A tree is an expression of its being and purpose. It aligns with it. It sees the value of its structure. 

 

Integrity isn’t about rigidity or flexibility,

it’s about how you relate to yourself and how aligned you are. 

 

A building knows how much stress it can handle, so does a tree. They understand how tough they are and they are willing to stand for who they are moment by moment. 

 

As a coach, your word and your being are your two greatest assets. 

AS A COACH YOUR WORD AND YOUR BEING ARE YOUR TWO GREATEST ASSETS

You must stand for them and they must be something you align with. 

 

Without that, all you have are puffs of air and a vague website.

What does it mean to be a great coach? – Authenticity

Being authentic is a bit of a trap. The more you try to do it very often the less authentic you end up being.

In trying to be yourself you end up not being yourself, you become a sort of performance of yourself, self-conscious, unsure, and full of doubts and fears.

Your attention is fully on being authentic which makes authenticity nearly impossible.

The challenge is that you imagine your authentic self is powerful, confident, and full of vigor. But that’s not who you are authentically. Who you are authentically is a human being. Full of power, possibility, and brilliance, but also full of insecurity, fear, and sadness.

You are whole and complete, not a pure bright white light of endless goodness.

As a coach, your job is to bring this authenticity with responsibility. If you don’t know where to go with a client you bring that, if you’re unsure, you bring that, if you’re scared, you bring that.

You bring who you are, you use it to serve your client.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A GREAT COACH?

DEPTH. . .

You can fake a lot of things as a coach. You can fake knowledge, certainty, skill, and confidence. But depth is hard to fake.

You can ask deep questions and talk real slow like, but when people are with you they feel something.

They feel the depth of your breath,
they feel the depth of your patience,
they feel the depth of your body and heart.

Your marketing can distract them, your pressure to sign up RIGHT NOW can push them over the edge, but somewhere in the back of their being they’ll be missing your depth.

When I sit with a coach, a brilliant one, who does the work, who is the work, I feel them.

It’s like sitting in a deep ancient cave. It’s confronting, it’s alluring, it’s transformative.

Like my friend and teacher John Wineland says “Fuck hacking, go deep.”

As a coach fuck hacking, fuck faking, fuck pretending and being all bright and shiny with nothing beneath the surface.
Being deep and going deep is worth it.

It may or may not make your life easier or you rich overnight, but it will change lives in ways you can never imagine.

And that’s why you became a coach to begin with, right?

Love,
Toku