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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!

Will You Join Me?

(A Possible Prologue to a Future Coaching Book)

The coaching industry is at a crossroads.

In our hands is one of the most powerful pieces of technology created in the twentieth century. A tool with as much promise and possibility as the microchip or the discovery of antibiotics. And a tool that is so easy to take for granted or to corrupt on a deep level.

And, as we step into this intersection we face a stark choice.

Are we going to use this tool to put Kandy Krush into the hands of every human with a heartbeat?

Are we going to keep turning depth workers and healers from vibrant humans into life-wheel zombies and core-competency ghosts?

Or are we going to use this tool to mold a new generation of leaders, ideas, movements, and grasp at the fullness of human potential?

THIS ISN’T A PHILOSOPHICAL IDEA. . .

There is a very real battle currently going on for the soul of the coaching industry—and the Empire is winning.

It’s winning because more coaches than not are being run by fear. Fear of not getting clients, fear of being left behind, fear of having to work for someone else, fear of competition, and fear of possibility.

And it’s not their fault; (it’s not your fault either.)

You’re not the reason that the coaching industry has come to this.

In fact, if you look at the history of any revolutionary technology, this arc is entirely predictable and unsurprising. But even though it’s not your fault . . .

Even though you’re not one of the people trading transformation like ill-gotten droids . . .

IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Because you have the ability to respond. You have the ability to be a different kind of coach.

Not a CTI Coach, or a Prosperous Coach Coach, or an Advanced Client System’s Coach, or a Mindvalley Coach, or a Robbins-Madanes Coach, or a Co-active Coach, or a ‘The Work’ Coach, or a Tantric Spirituality Coach, or an RTT coach, or a Master NLP Practitioner coach, or an ICF Certified Level Two Master Wizard CPP Coach.

Not that there’s anything wrong with any of these groups or systems. This isn’t a matter of affiliation.

It’s an invitation to become something more than the school you trained in. It’s an invitation to become the kind of coach that is brilliant, innovative, creative, transformational, powerful, successful, and incredibly impactful.

You have the ability to be the author of the future of coaching instead of a supplicant stormtrooper adorned in the matching white-plated armor so many of your peers seem to wear.

You have the ability to become a one-of-a-kind master coach, an X-wing fighter whose dings and scrapes speak to the depth, commitment, practice, and being you’ve developed in devotion to your own deep work.

The world of coaching doesn’t need any more gurus or Sith lords. It doesn’t need any more kingdoms that say this is the right way to coach, this is the best way to coach, this is the ONLY way to coach.

We need more rebels who say . .

THIS IS MY SABER OF LIGHT AND TRUTH . . .

There are many like it, but THIS ONE IS MINE.

Its color is as unique as my ability, my style, and my approach.

I share the best of what I’ve learned, I give everything I have, but I don’t let anyone take everything I’ve got.

And I’m not attached to my way being the ‘right way’ for anyone other than me.

The choice is up to you. And you get to make it today, and tomorrow, and the next day.

You can follow the well worn path. The one that leads to a Death Star of the predictable decline of what could be a heroic industry. We can watch the fading possibility of coaching spread into space like orbs of light dispersing from a shattered planet.

Or you can be different. You can coach differently, not recklessly or without support, but nobly.

As Samurai Ronin . . . the last of the Jedi Masters.

I place my saber upon the table.

Will you join me?

Master Coaches Make Money

Over the past week, I’ve been deep in thought about the core marketing approach of the Dojo. And as I’ve pondered this I’ve been struck by a question:

 

Are we serving coaches that want to be great—
as in masterful at what they do?

OR

Are we serving coaches that want to be “successful”—
as in making a lot of money?

 

But it wasn’t until this morning that I realized this is a false choice.

You see, it IS possible to be successful as a coach and not be very good. Marketing, sales, and niche celebrity all work even if you aren’t actually a great coach. You can get by being just okay if you’ve got these other pieces nailed down. That’s obvious to anyone who looks at our industry.

But what’s less obvious is that you can’t actually be a great coach and be broke. And yet this is an illusion many of us hold true.

We think that being a great coach is simply about knowing how to serve people powerfully and that this service is somehow separate from making money.

We think this because our culture draws this distinction over and over again.

We think Mastery and Money-stry are different.

But for coaching, at least, it isn’t. While success as a coach isn’t correlated with mastery, true mastery as a coach is 100% correlated with success.

For one simple reason:

If you know how to serve people powerfully and shift them in the moment, but you don’t know how to help them create commitmentdeep, powerful, dangerous, expensive commitmentyou are not a Master.

You are a great coach with a massive blind spot. One likely created from guilt, fear, doubt, uncertainty, false righteousness, and a lack of confidence.

To become a Master coach you must master the Architecture and Archery of Commitment.

This may not be a popular idea. This may give you the illusion that you suck at coaching if you’re broke. But neither change this simple truth that I have seen again and again.

AND…

If you desire to be a Master coach, a Samurai coach, a coach of honor and impact, you must realize that the ability to create powerful commitment—commitment with zeros behind it—is not separate from coaching mastery itself.

The #2 Best Way

The second best way for you to learn how to articulate something, to talk about something powerfully, to create a robust model of something, to feel confident in something, is to learn someone else’s language around it.

To study how they talk about it, think about it, define it, and distinguish it.

The best way is to define it yourself . . .

To create your own model from the spare bits you have lying about, to create your own metaphors for it, and to create your own language from the ground up.

It’s scarier and harder, but nothing will help you understand something better than becoming the author of it.

Of course, #2 can really help you do #1, but #2 will never come close to the power and depth #1 has to offer.

If you want to become a master, become a master at creating it like you were the first person to ever discover it.

————-

For coaching, we’ve created a helpful tool for you to practice #2 on your path to #1: The Coaching Canvas. If you haven’t downloaded your copy yet, you can get it HERE.

ODSC Framework #31 – The Close – The Simmer

Are you being selfish as a coach? Are you trying to “make everything okay” for your client? Wrap up each session with a bow, with some tidy resolution, a clear set of action items?

Trying to make everything okay for your client is incredibly selfish as a coach, and may lead to your client expecting you to fix everything, expecting you to do all the work, and even putting you on a pedestal.

The power of your insights and the client’s insights will last longer when you change this dynamic. Unprocessed stuff comes up in a session, and when we close that down for the client by always offering that wrap-up, we stunt their possibility, stunt their ability to be with the difficult stuff that comes up with transformation.

In this episode, Toku talks about “The Simmer” – an advanced technique that’s much like putting a cook-pot on the back burner to bubble, low and slow. The Simmer in coaching is letting the client simmer in the challenge, the breakdown, the possibility they are experiencing.

 

Need help applying the ODSC Framework to your own coaching conversations? Get your copy of the Coaching Canvas today!

 

See also the previous posts in this series:

Introduction

The Open – Context, The Open – Agreements, The Open – Building Rapport, The Open – Bad Coach Distortion, The Open – Creating Awe

The Drop – What’s it All About?, The Drop – Zoomin’ In and Out, The Drop – Don’t Believe Your Clients, The Drop – The Right Place

The Shift – Creating the Shift, The Shift – The Reveal, The Shift – The Transform, The Shift – The Commit, The Shift – Ownership – Acceptance, The Shift – Where Does It Come From?, The Shift – Where Does It End?, The Shift – Knowing Where You’re Going, The Shift – HighlightingThe Shift – Letting Things Land, The Shift – Using Embodiment, The Shift – Facilitation vs. Depth, The Shift – Klaus & Inner Buddha, The Shift – Shifts with Context, The Shift – What’s Valuable?, The Shift – More than a Shift

The Close – What Is the Close?, The Close – Next Steps and Commitments, The Close – Reflection, The Close – Acknowledgement

ODSC Framework #30 – The Close – Acknowledgement

Is your client blind to their own achievement? Constantly thinking they’re not accomplishing enough in your work together? Thinking they’re not enough, and by extension, that you are not enough as coach?

The truth is, we humans are generally HORRIBLE at assessing how much we’ve grown. And that blindness to how much they’ve accomplished in your work together is not only bad for the client, it’s bad for your business…

In this episode, Toku talks about that challenge, and how the technique of championing—and particularly acknowledging—can help your client see more clearly the gains they have made.

 

Need help applying the ODSC Framework to your own coaching conversations? Get your copy of the Coaching Canvas today!

 

See also the previous posts in this series:

Introduction

The Open – Context, The Open – Agreements, The Open – Building Rapport, The Open – Bad Coach Distortion, The Open – Creating Awe

The Drop – What’s it All About?, The Drop – Zoomin’ In and Out, The Drop – Don’t Believe Your Clients, The Drop – The Right Place

The Shift – Creating the Shift, The Shift – The Reveal, The Shift – The Transform, The Shift – The Commit, The Shift – Ownership – Acceptance, The Shift – Where Does It Come From?, The Shift – Where Does It End?, The Shift – Knowing Where You’re Going, The Shift – HighlightingThe Shift – Letting Things Land, The Shift – Using Embodiment, The Shift – Facilitation vs. Depth, The Shift – Klaus & Inner Buddha, The Shift – Shifts with Context, The Shift – What’s Valuable?, The Shift – More than a Shift

The Close – What Is the Close?, The Close – Next Steps and Commitments, The Close – Reflection

Bed Bugs and Commitment

This past Saturday we returned from a short trip to discover we have bed bugs.

Which (as Christina says) is kind of like finding out your house has an STD.

The process we’ve endured since and will likely endure for a few days more has reminded me of the danger of sunk costs and the power of commitment.

But to explain that I need to tell you about bed bugs…

BED BUGS ARE INSIDIOUS CREATURES THAT ARE INCREDIBLY HARD TO KILL

They can live for a year without feeding.

They are resistant to pesticides.

They can hide anywhere that’s the width of a business card.

They can lay 2 eggs a day and 200 eggs in a lifetime.

(If your skin isn’t crawling yet, I’m amazed.)

The only reliable way to kill bed bugs is to gradually heat your entire home to 150 degrees for several hours.

For a three-bedroom house, this cost is north of a few grand and requires extensive prep work.

MY ONE-MAN BED BUG CRUSADE

For the past two days, I’ve been fighting the bed bugs as a solo job.

I’ve bagged all of our bedroom belongings.

I have frozen bags.

I have spread desiccating powder.

I have vacuumed live bed bugs, nymphs, and eggs.

I have gone above and beyond the call of duty in fighting the bed bugs.

Having done all of this, I’m 90% sure we’ve killed 90% of the bugs and I’m 90% sure they are still only living in our bedroom.

BUT THAT 10% IS A B*TCH

Last night I went into our quarantined bedroom to make an inspection.

I found a couple live bugs and a few nymphs.

BUT they were hiding in a place I hadn’t seen before.

I felt incredibly defeated.
HOW!?!
I thought I had ID’d their main infestation point.
I THOUGHT!?!?!

I WAS SURE I’d gotten most of them.

YES I think I’m winning, but is it fast enough?

Part of me wanted to throw in the towel and call the guys with the industrial heaters.
Part of me wanted to continue the fight.

And this part of me is the part I found fascinating.

MY AMAZING EGO

I mostly wanted to continue fighting for two reasons:

1) I don’t like wasting money. I feel great when I get a deal and when I save some CASH. Even saving a dollar on TP makes me feel like an evil genius.

2) I don’t like to admit I was wrong.

If I hire the heaters now it means all of the bagging, powdering, vacuuming, quarantining was for NAUGHT.

It means I was doing all of that in vain. And I JUST HATE feeling like I’ve wasted time.

But then I realized something else…

THE BED BUGS DON’T CARE

They don’t care about my efforts, they don’t care about what I’ve tried, they only care about two things – feeding and reproducing.

They are either ALL DEAD or ALIVE that’s it.

And this is what commitment is like as well.

You are either committed or you aren’t.

Over and over when I look back on my life I can see these little shining moments where I committed.

It happened when I joined a high-level mastermind hosted by Rich Litvin I couldn’t afford.

It happened when I flew to New York with flowers to surprise Christina and tell her I wanted to be with her.

It happened when I hired my coach Jeff Riddle three years ago and it happened again when I hired my coach Hans just a few months ago.

Commitment creates magic and half commitment creates a few bed bugs that multiply.

My resistances, my doubts, my “I’ll do it when’s,” my “I’m not ready’s,” my “maybe this will be just another’s”. . .

They all hang out and multiply until I commit.

And yet some part of me keeps thinking that I can do just enough that the bed bugs in me will just give up and go away.

BUT THAT’S NOT HOW COMMITMENT WORKS

Being ready, creating what you want, transformation that lasts, doesn’t proceed commitment, it SPRINGS from it.

There will always be reasons not to commit, there will always be costs you spent preparing to commit that didn’t pay off, there will always be your ego telling you that this will fail like everything else, or that you should have committed already and gotten the results.

But none of these are commitment.

ONLY COMMITMENT IS COMMITMENT

When I sign a client, when I enroll someone into the Dojo, when I hire a coach, 90% of the magic happens at the moment we commit.

The beg bugs crawling from the walls and turning up dead on the floor, the feeling of safety and peace, and the amazing results happen because we commit, not before we commit.

I WISH it was the other way.

If it was, change would be easy, transformation second nature, and exponential growth an everyday occurrence.

But if you leave a few bed bugs alive… if you let yourself believe that “maybe later” the commitment will be easier to make… if you put it off, this thing you know deep down is something you need to do… The doubts, worries, and fears don’t go away. More often than not they grow.

BECAUSE bed bugs can lay 2 eggs a day and 200 in a lifetime…

And bed bugs are nature…

And nature is what keeps us from leaving the old ways we know we can survive…

And becoming the people we so deeply long to be.

Love,
Toku

Marketing and Mastery: Interview with Greg Faxon

Toku sat down with fellow coach and marketing master Greg Faxon for a jam on mastery, marketing, and more!

Here are just a few of the topics they cover in their wide-ranging conversation:

  • The Myth of the Undercover Coach
  • “Marketing can be an act of love” – Marketing as Service
  • How Marketing is like Exercise
  • How really great Marketing can “just come through you”
  • Is your Marketing like pick-up artistry or falling in love?
  • The Three Marketing Archetypes: which one are you?
  • The Three Cs of Marketing: Captivate, Convert, Coach
  • The “Niche-ing Spiral”: the practice of refining your niche

…and much more!

 

Learn more about Foster Your Roster, Greg’s practice-based, in-person intensive for creating your specific, personal plan for building your roster of coaching clients.

For more on choosing and refining your niche, read Greg’s Ultimate Guide: How To Uncover Your Niche, and Join the Free 5-Day Niche Challenge.

Ego Strength, and the decision on coaching or counseling

Have you wondered where the line is for a client needing coaching, versus needing counseling?

In this special episode, Jesse Johnson, coach and licensed counselor, explains the concept of Ego Strength and how you might use it to determine whether or not you coach a particular client or refer them to a counselor.

More about Jesse:

Jesse Johnson is a coach and licensed counselor based in Portland, Oregon. His coaching career began in athletics where he recruited and developed distance runners at the University of Portland, eventually helping the school with the third-smallest enrollment in Division I take its first visit to the NCAA podium with a 3rd place national team finish in 2014.

A 2008 graduate of Naropa University’s Transpersonal Psychology graduate program, Jesse has had a full private counseling practice for many years, integrating somatic, transpersonal and other experiential modalities that have become a unique foundation for how he approaches his evolving work as a coach.

Jesse’s current coaching focus involves working with highly-invested individuals and groups using equine-based immersion experiences. Drawing from his vast group facilitation experience and the employment of horses, Jesse helps clients uncover and develop critical elements to their expression of integrity and impact in the world.

In addition to his coaching and counseling work, Jesse produces the Supergivers Podcast, a twice-monthly interview series giving platform for folks with creative and inspired examples of service and social consciousness. He and his partner, Clara, have a vibrant young son, August, a dog, two cats, and a good amount of gratitude with which to face each day.

ODSC Framework #29 – The Close – Reflection

Another challenge you may be encountering with your client is that between sessions, they “twist the work” in some way (thanks to Bay LeBlanc Quiney for this phrasing)… you thought the session went great, but they come back believing the session wasn’t powerful, or they’re confused, or they fall apart the next day…

In this episode, Toku explains that deep work requires processing and integration, and if we don’t as coaches help our clients begin this during The Close, we’ll leave them struggling. Reflection is just one powerful tool that can help our client begin to do that post-session processing.

Need help applying the ODSC Framework to your own coaching conversations? Get your copy of the Coaching Canvas today!

 

See also the previous posts in this series:

Introduction

The Open – Context, The Open – Agreements, The Open – Building Rapport, The Open – Bad Coach Distortion, The Open – Creating Awe

The Drop – What’s it All About?, The Drop – Zoomin’ In and Out, The Drop – Don’t Believe Your Clients, The Drop – The Right Place

The Shift – Creating the Shift, The Shift – The Reveal, The Shift – The Transform, The Shift – The Commit, The Shift – Ownership – Acceptance, The Shift – Where Does It Come From?, The Shift – Where Does It End?, The Shift – Knowing Where You’re Going, The Shift – HighlightingThe Shift – Letting Things Land, The Shift – Using Embodiment, The Shift – Facilitation vs. Depth, The Shift – Klaus & Inner Buddha, The Shift – Shifts with Context, The Shift – What’s Valuable?, The Shift – More than a Shift

The Close – What Is the Close?, The Close – Next Steps and Commitments

ODSC Framework #28 – The Close – Next Steps and Commitments

Are your clients getting lost between sessions, not taking action on what you talked about, and complaining they don’t know what happened?

The root of this might be that they don’t know how to create their own container, because they, like most of us, grew up with containers that were forced on us.

So how do we as coaches help our clients create their own containers? When done well, one of the most common Close techniques—creating next steps and commitments—can provide your struggling client the foundation they need to begin this process. In this episode, Toku gives three specific steps on how to do this:

Need help applying the ODSC Framework to your own coaching conversations? Get your copy of the Coaching Canvas today!

 

See also the previous posts in this series:

Introduction

The Open – Context, The Open – Agreements, The Open – Building Rapport, The Open – Bad Coach Distortion, The Open – Creating Awe

The Drop – What’s it All About?, The Drop – Zoomin’ In and Out, The Drop – Don’t Believe Your Clients, The Drop – The Right Place

The Shift – Creating the Shift, The Shift – The Reveal, The Shift – The Transform, The Shift – The Commit, The Shift – Ownership – Acceptance, The Shift – Where Does It Come From?, The Shift – Where Does It End?, The Shift – Knowing Where You’re Going, The Shift – HighlightingThe Shift – Letting Things Land, The Shift – Using Embodiment, The Shift – Facilitation vs. Depth, The Shift – Klaus & Inner Buddha, The Shift – Shifts with Context, The Shift – What’s Valuable?, The Shift – More than a Shift

The Close – What Is the Close?