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9 Steps To Design, Price, and Sell a Coaching Program | Creating a Powerful Coaching Engagement

People get all tied up in knots about how to price and design their engagements with clients. This is especially true when moving beyond a 1-1 coaching format. I often get questions about what to do if a company wants you to coach their entire leadership team, two co-founders, or some other type of engagement. So I’ve created a simple outline for the process that I use. 


9 Steps for building a powerful coaching engagement

  1. Consider what would serve the client, no price tag or considerations for time.

  2. Consider what options might exist in that realm of service. What’s the most invested client engagement and what’s the minimum?

  3. Once you’ve created the package, consider your own time, the value of the engagement, the context of affordability and possibility for the client(s).

  4. Craft a package focused on benefits and resting firmly on the thing that would serve the client most.

  5. (If needed) compare those options to previous investments, the market rate (which is incredibly variable), and how it feels energetically for you. You might then ask a few other coaches to look over your proposal to uncover what exactly you may be missing.

  6. Create the conversation with the client inside a context of what they want to create and the commitment required from them. This is centered around what they want to create, the impact of taking no action, and what’s in the way of them creating what they want. 

  7. Be with them fully as their resistance and challenge to commitment arise.

  8. Support them to make an empowered yes or no around that commitment, while standing for the structure and commitment required to make the change they want to make.

  9. Throughout keep your attention on two things   
    1.  A willingness to say no to your client if what they want won’t really serve them or be enough to create the change they are seeking to make.
    2. Trust yourself and your instincts as a coach because that’s all you got. 

The Nine Principles of Setting Fees | How To Calculate Your Coaching Fees

Principle 1 – All fees are made up. While they may be referenced by other fees, types of value, and what we consider affordable they are still basically just made up. 

Principle 2 – Fees are more related to the level of commitment than they are the level of value. Even though we tend to think that we’ll pay more for something that is more valuable, that value is always referenced related to what we’re committed to in our lives. 

Principle 3 – You can charge whatever you want so long as you can enroll someone at that level of commitment. 

Principle 4 – There are no groups of people out there for which creating commitment is inherently easier. While some people’s context of affordability, experience investing in coaching, and funding sources are different, creating true, deep, and lasting commitment requires effort for both the coach and the client. 

Principle 5 – Commitment and/or investment that comes easily and without examination is almost always based on attraction, projection, and pedestal-izing or guru-izing of the coach. Which is a shaky foundation for transformation at best and tends to disempower the client over time. 

Principle 6 – You can almost always charge more than you think you can if you are willing to stand more powerfully and lovingly for your client’s possibility, do the work on your own being, and practice being truly unattached to the outcome. 

Principle 7 – To you, your fee is your rent, to your client your fee is their rent, vacation, future investments, etc. Your fee has less to do with you than you could ever realize and way more to do with your client’s belief in themselves and how present they are to their own possibility. 

Principle 8 – While coaching fees certainly have an impact on how accessible your services will be to people from a certain socioeconomic status, they are still essentially amoral. It’s almost always better to discount or offer scholarships to people of color or people with fewer resources than it is to charge less in an attempt to be a ‘good person.’ There are almost always better ways to support people from diverse backgrounds than making less money.

Principle 9 – The conversation you have with your client around money and their willingness and desire to commit is actually the conversation that will change their life. Rather than money ‘tainting things’ it tends to clarify what people are really willing to put on the line and what they are really afraid of. This conversation may be the most important one you ever have with this person: be present, and serve them.

how to set your rate for coaching

Case Study: How Claire reinvigorated her practice and created $14k in new business all while planning a wedding, getting married, moving houses, and becoming pregnant.

coach case study claire

The Catalyst –

Claire is a life coach that left a successful career to follow her dreams of fulfilling work and adventurous travel. She coaches people who want to change their careers and/or follow their dreams. She joined the Embodied Coach Mastermind in November of 2020 here’s her story – 

What were you doing before the Mastermind?

Before the Mastermind Claire had always been serious about being a good coach. She had trained 1-1 with a powerful coach I know in the UK. She had been a part of 3 other programs I’ve run for coaches in the past and had even begun to train herself to train with and work with other coaches. 

And yet Claire seemed to be stuck in the cycle I see a lot of coaches stuck in. She would have a pretty full roster of clients that would fade away over time, followed by long stretches of few to no clients. These fits and starts were not only tiring they really impacted Claire’s confidence. After all there were other (less good) coaches around her with thriving practices. 

What hesitations did you have about joining the mastermind?

The Experience – 

What did you like best about the Mastermind?

On our first call Claire had been deeply moved by her connection to her essence, but she wasn’t getting that out into the world. Like many of the other programs I had done with Claire she was engaged, inspiring, and radiant as a member of the community 

But something wasn’t quite right. Even though I worked with her before, the action oriented stance of the Mastermind started to reveal that despite showing up as a good student, Claire was taking enough action outside of the classroom. I knew we needed to shift something. 

The Breakthrough –

How did you benefit from the Mastermind? 

I can still remember the call where things shifted for Claire. It was a Friday accountability call and she was talking about why she hadn’t sat down to work on her business like she had committed to. She was talking about her limiting beliefs and how she needed to shift them when I stopped her. I said to her 

“When I just got to commit and get to work. That’s when you’ll really start to shift your beliefs and start to see things in a new way.”

After that things changed for Claire, she created a structure for herself and most importantly she empowered it by showing up to it consistently. She used the group to keep her accountable and to inspire her to get back into action when she got stuck. 

It was so simple, but it was just this simple step that had such an incredible impact on her as a coach. 

Pretty soon Claire started signing clients, and by the time the Mastermind was done she had created over $12,000 in new business. 

What specific results have you achieved as a result of being in the Mastermind? 

  • A client for 3 months @ £2000 
  • A client for 3 months @ £1750 (has committed to next 3 months too) 
  • A client for 6 months @ £2500 
  • A client for 3 months @ £1000 
  • An ongoing client @ £200 a month 
  • An ongoing @ £50 a month

This is what is possible with both a commitment to coaching, some simple structure, and most importantly a willingness to empower that structure on a regular basis. 

Conclusion –

Would you recommend me and the Mastermind? If so, why and to whom?

Claire created something that’s so hard to create. She shifted something that she had struggled years to shift. And it wasn’t because of some crazy hack, or sales funnel. It happened because she applied herself in a new way, she made a commitment and worked through what showed up in the face of it. 

Claire embodies the truth that very often the biggest results aren’t the dollars (or pounds) we earn, but the changes we make in ourselves. That’s the real reason I love doing the mastermind, because not only do people create the foundation for a sustainable practice, they step into their calling to become a coach, and to me that’s the thing that can start to change the world. 

You can learn more about Claire at

I’ve only got one spot left in the upcoming mastermind so if you’re ready to make a change, nows the time. Let’s Talk



Should I coach my best friend?

If you’re a coach for any length of time the question about who you should and shouldn’t coach will come up. Eventually, you’ll either want to coach a close friend or family member or they’ll want to work with you. But can you or should you do this? 

Recently a coach posted the following question in a community forum I’m a part of: 

What are your thoughts about coaching close friends/ having them participate in programs you facilitate?


And here was my response. 


I think this is dicey at best (This is coming from someone who coaches their own father soooooooo….. 😱😱😱😱😱) 


I think it’s 100% possible but you need to get very clear on a few things:


Priorities – If the friendship/relationship is the priority how will you deal with it if the coaching impacts the friendship. What’s the bail/pull the chord agreement? 


The last time I was in business/coaches a close friend we agreed beforehand the friendship mattered more to us than our business. Which made a HUGE difference when he wanted to bail suddenly. I could have held it against him, but I reminded myself of what we had said. I let the business go and kept the friendship and our relationship was even stronger as a result. 


Confidentiality – How will you handle information inside/outside the container? Can you ask questions or reference things you know about them as a friend? Or can you only talk about things that get brought up in the group? If it’s the latter how are you going to navigate that? 


If things get brought up in the group can you talk about them inside your friendship? And how are you going to make sure things stay sealed? 


I’m very clear with my father that I won’t bring up coaching things outside of our coaching, but sometimes things do come up when we spend time as a family. For me, the line is to reference things only in an energetic sense, but never directly. Luckily he generally talks about things like business with us in a family setting as well, so I trust us in how to navigate that boundary but if he was more private it might be more challenging. 


Roles – What roles do you currently play in one another’s lives. How will you discern between the coach/client role and the friend/family role? 


When I’m in sessions with my dad I refer to him as Al, I call his wife Peg, I’ll even mention his children. I use these named protocols two separate the two types of ways we relate to each other. I developed this technique when I worked for his company many years ago. It isn’t perfect but it helps. 

In addition when he wants to discuss personal issues during our coaching time (like the next time I come to visit) I ask that we bring those things to our weekly family call instead. I’m not saying there’s never any overlap, but I work to be constantly attending to the container so it’s as clean as possible. 


I think this is esp. important if you’re very different as a coach than as a friend. In my relationship for example I tend to be more empathetic and offer witnessing more than I would in my coaching relationship. Sure I hear my clients but if they loop, if the same pattern shows up again I point it out and challenge them. If I did this in my romantic relationship without checking in first it wouldn’t go very well.


If your friend expects you to show up as a friend and you show up as a coach how is that going to go? 


Consider how it impacts the space: Will you be able to be in the space and be impartial with your friend? Can you make sure not to use any inside jokes or inside language with them? How are you going to share the fact that there’s a different relationship in the space? 


When I run strategic planning sessions with my father’s company I presence the fact that we’re related to one another, esp. when a new team member is in the room. I feel confident about my ability to treat him the same way I’d treat any CEO. but I do know this is harder in group coaching when I have a close relationship with a few of the members. 


When I run Half Day Dojo’s and dojo alumni show up I have to be careful not to talk to only them, because it can leave other people feeling like they’re on the outside of the group. So I do my best to treat everyone the same. I might check in with someone I know well, but then I move my attention on to the group as a whole. 


Ideally, you need to let people know that there’s a relationship there and how you’re holding it. People will almost always pick up on it if you don’t. 


Are you getting supported? – Since coaching a friend may bring up your own stuff, how are you going to get supported so you can show up cleaning in the relationship or space you’re creating? 


I could never coach my own father or have a friend in my groups unless I was working with a coach. If you’re going to take this on, bring it to your coach (and if you don’t have one get one), talk it out and see what you would need to be a strong stand for them. 


I also bring these kinds of questions to my close coaching peers. It’s this kind of thing that the Pilea consultation groups are great for. Because you can discuss how other coaches handle this while also attending to your own boundaries. 


Final thoughts – 

So should you coach a family member or close friend? 

In most cases, they will be better served by referring them to another coach. Because the relationship is cleaner and the work can be more direct. But if you really want to do it, make sure you really consider the issues above. 


Yes, you can do this but it requires a lot of attention and work before, during, and after the engagement. It should only be done with the support of a coach and a group of peers and being able to be very clear an why you’re choosing to work this way. 


For me and my father, this arrangement works great for us. We both like being in charge in a way and both get a lot out of working together. Because in a coaching relationship the coach is in charge of the container and the client is in charge of the process it balances our relationship in a way nothing ever has. When I worked for him and disagreed with his choices I would get frustrated and annoyed especially when it impacted my day to day work. And I doubt he would enjoy working for me for the same reason. 


By coaching him I can give him my best insights, offer my best questions, and then let him choose what he wants. My role as a coach works for our relationship, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it for anyone else. But my hope is that what I’ve learned from working with him will help you work with your clients as well. 


Love, Toku


Additional Resources


The Practice of Not Choosing | Removing Choice

We sometimes think that having a choice gives us freedom, but sometimes we use having a choice as a way to hide, to avoid, we pretend to have a choice so we don’t have to choose what would really shift us, and help us to grow. 

It’s like having a gym membership you never use, or kale in your fridge you never eat. Sure you don’t work out, sure you’re eating a burger, but you have a membership so you COULD choose to workout, you have the kale you COULD choose to eat. It’s the bastard cousin of real choice and freedom. The illusion of freedom as a salve that makes you a slave. 

When you see this it’s time for the practice of not choosing. You simply remove the choice you always make. If you have kale in the fridge you eat it, if you think about the gym or wonder if you should go, you go, even if you just have one bite or just walk in the door of the gym. You choose to make one choice until you develop a deep feeling of having true choice. Of being with choice beyond resistance. 

Then when you feel it’s right, you can let go of the practice knowing you have now developed true choice.

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.