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!

Why Coaches Suck at Explaining What They Do

Or, oral marketing as explained through a metaphor about boxes of cereal…

As coaches, we see the universality of all problems.

People think the challenge is in the content, in the people in their lives, in the details of their situation. But we know that’s not the truth.

We understand that most problems are problems of perspective, beliefs, and context. With the right view of reality anything becomes possible and with the right action in alignment with this view, fulfillment becomes realized.

But when people ask us what we do, we talk in this vague, universal language.

Who do you help?
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The Delusion of Unattachment

Somewhere along the way, we got this idea that being unattached is a sort of perfect ideal we should pursue. When in truth, pretending to be unattached is the doorway to delusion.


Recently I was called out by a member of the Dojo because I joked that I didn’t want to give him a list of other coaches to work with, because I’d like to see him work with one of the Sensei in the Dojo.

And at first when he called me out I felt ashamed.

I thought: “Man, he’s right! I shouldn’t hold back names of other coaches. I shouldn’t even joke about it. I should be unattached.”

But then I realized this isn’t true.

It is never true that I am unattached to a client I’m trying to enroll.Read 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?Read more

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?


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.Read more

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.Read more

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.Read more

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.
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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…


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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!Read more

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.

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