The Endless Trap of Preparation for Coaches

So many coaches, both novice and seasoned, are heavily invested in preparing themselves for the position of running the coaching business of their dreams. Pouring thousands of dollars into educational books, high-level training, marketing courses, and working with other coaches, all to help hone in on their craft.

We all know how time and money invested into the betterment of yourself offers the biggest return on investment of all. But how many of you are using this facade of “preparation” as means of avoiding actually getting started or doing the work?

Still not seeing it? Well you’re not alone. Let me explain…

I’ve been involved in the coaching industry for quite some time now, and year after year, I watch coaches struggle:

They either try the coaching thing for a little while and then get burnt out for a little while longer…

OR

They just push through, year after year, never actually “making it”, but never quite failing either.

Unbeknownst to themselves, this is often perpetuated by what I like to call, The Endless Trap of Preparation.

A trap that befalls all sorts of people from all walks of life, but it’s especially tragic for coaches.

Why is that, you might ask?

Well, precisely because coaches are the people who should know how to get out of this trap! Or at the very least, recognize the trap for exactly what it is.

We coaches are the ones who have spent all of this time, money, and energy training to be able to help people create momentum, and become accountable for their own goals. To get people up and out of the “idea” phase, and moving through the motions of actually creating and implementing the necessary steps to bring their goals to fruition.

Yet somehow, even the “best” coaches in the world, with mountains of training and experience, still miss that which is right under their noses… they fail to recognize their own personal shortcomings and fears in the face of their career.

This “trap” of getting stuck in the preparation-phase is not only experienced by coaches. Anyone can fall subject to this fear-based obstacle which rids the potential for any momentum to manifest.

Momentum, being the catalyst here to the success of any endeavor, big or small.

There is one truth I have come to know as being the secret to success. It is a truth so simple, that many times it goes unnoticed, even by the most seasoned coaches and entrepreneurs.

This truth is captured by one of my favorite quotes:

The universe moves for the deed, not the doer.

-Dusan Djukich

The message behind this quote is so simple, it’s alarming. In some ways, nothing else matters but what you do. You can come up with a million and a half ideas for what you want to be doing or creating, but until you actually DO it, these ideas will only ever be just that, an idea.

Now don’t get me wrong, preparation is important– and your mindset does have a huge impact on the outcome of any endeavor. The mentality you bring to the plate as you take action does deeply affect the final product… but all of this is no match to the overwhelming effectiveness of action. Even bad action is necessary in the grand scheme of momentum and all things success.

This is why the endless trap of preparation is so insidious, because one will let the fear of “messing up” or “doing it wrong” stop them from ever actually DOING. You can prepare and prepare and prepare a thousand times over, but that doesn’t change this one simple truth of the matter:

When you are preparing, you are not doing.
When you are training, you are not doing.
When you are trying, you are not doing.

Only doing is doing.

Doing is what matters.

Is the Coaching Industry Overcrowded? Concerns of New Coaches in a Growing Industry

One of the people in my mastermind shared this quote:

“The massive influx of coaches since Covid started has completely changed the rules of the game. Literally, tens of thousands of people are now calling themselves a coach who weren’t a couple of years ago.

And that figure is growing, so you’d better be ready for some hard work and to get help because otherwise, you’re wasting your time.

But it is doable if you’re utterly committed, prepared to work really hard and you’re very patient.”

Original source

They wanted to know if I thought the industry had changed because of COVID, and how much competition coaches have.

I hear statements like this every year or two…
There are so many coaches
There’s tons of people who have come into coaching
There’s a lot of coaching companies

And these statements are probably true. There are probably more coaches out there than there were a couple years ago.

The other truth is, most coaches are journeyman coaches; aka they’re mediocre at best. This is not a dig on coaches, it’s just the way the coaching industry trains people.

The ICF and the other coaching organizations train people for competence. They want to make sure people are competent. There’s nothing wrong with that, I’m actually glad they exist and have standards by which they decide where people are competent. 

But the truth is, the very best coaches will continue to remain in high demand.

The reason is that 45 minutes spent with a journeyman coach is vastly different from 45 minutes spent with a really powerful coach, who’s being, way of showing up, intention and style is truly unique.

If you are simply running life wheels, 360 reviews, and using basic accountability, it’s going to keep getting harder and harder. That part of the market is going to get commodified, just like everything else… a journeyman massage therapist, lawyer, tattoo artist, etc.

If you’re at the level of a journeyman, you’re always going to struggle.  It doesn’t matter which profession you’re in. Maybe there was a time where you could just show up and do a life wheel and people were blown away by it.

But again the best coaches will and always will remain in high demand.

Most journeyman coaches don’t realize that they are journeyman coaches. They don’t know what they’re doing, but they always think they’re doing what’s necessary or whatever is required, they’re going through the motions.

If you realize you’re that kind of coach, great! You have an opportunity to change.

If you’re a great coach and are working really hard to be a great coach, you should not ask yourself “Am I any good?” which is the question of the journeyman coach. Rather, you should be asking yourself , “how good can I get? How can I show up and take the decisive action? How can I get the very best teachers and trainers? How can I do the work on myself to show up powerfully, day in and day out for my client so I’m unconditionally believing in their possibility?” 

Quotes like this, which was probably pulled from a marketing website, are all designed to act on fear so you go “oh no I’m not going to get clients, I better sign up for this program”.

I don’t sell that way, the best coaches I know don’t sell that way.

The thing I build my mastermind on, the thing I sell to my clients is not just-enough coaching, it’s the very best coaching I can offer. I leave everything on the mat with my clients. In my mastermind, the time we spend together is a launching point for them to go and multiply whatever their investment is. It’s not because I want them to become “pretty good”. It’s because  I want them to become the very best coach they possibly can be.

So long story short, if you’re just trying to do the bare minimum and get by, you don’t want to transform your relationship to time, money, clients, and your own work, then yes you will struggle.

That’s how most coaches are. They struggle.

But if you’re willing to take that extra step, to truly transform how you show up to your coaching practice, how you show up to your clients, to truly transform the way you relate to your business and your life, you’re going to be fine.

That’s the work of great coaching. That’s the work of changing people’s lives. That’s why most people actually get into coaching in the first place.

So if that’s where you are and that’s where your focus is and you can find good teachers, you’re going to be just fine. Don’t worry about the coaching industry being too crowded.

Only Working With Inspirational Clients: A Coaching Tactic That Doesn’t Work

Even though almost all coaches start out coaching whoever they can, eventually coaches start to realize that certain kinds of people are more fun to work with. They are motivated, working on interesting projects, and inspiring to be around. That’s when coaches get this idea that if they could get more and more people like this their levies would be better. 

 

What’s Behind It:

Coaches usually follow this tactic because . . .

  1. They keep getting no’s as they begin to raise their rates and they think ‘more inspiring people’ have more money. So if they can just find them they can make more. 
  2. They are struggling to be inspired by the clients or people showing up in their practice and they are hoping a new kind of client will breathe motivation and inspiration into their work and make the coaching easier. 
  3. They see other coaches talking about their amazing clients and think if they could only get clients like that they would have ‘made it’ as a coach. 

 

The Problem:

This tactic isn’t bad at face value, choosing to work with or focusing on clients who inspire is a great idea, the problem comes when you think this will change something about you or your coaching. Your uninspiring prospects or clients aren’t your problem. Your lack of inspiration isn’t caused by them. And finding more inspiring clients might work for a while but even then the underlying need to prove yourself or desire to experience something different will return. 

 

What a Master Coach Does Instead:

A master coach chooses to be inspired by her clients. They don’t expect their clients to show up in a particular way to find something about them that’s incredible. They stand in the place where they can see the client’s possibility and don’t move no matter what the client does or how they show up. 

Of course, they’re human and they stumble and get into negative thinking or even get discouraged by their clients sometimes, but they always do the work to get back into believing in their clients. 

Yes they try to be around interesting people and they seek out clients that are fun to work with, but they never get caught in the illusion that there are some mystical clients out there that will change them or their practice. They show up, do the work, honor their own and their client’s human foibles, and choose to believe in possibility anyway. 

Coaching Your Heroes and Idols: A Coaching Tactic That Does Not Work

At some point every coach has had the thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could get Mr. x as my client. Who Ms. X is, is different for each person. For some people it’s a celebrity, for others it’s a top mind in their industry. 

 

What’s behind it:

The impetus behind this desire is twofold:

1) You think that if you coach this person it will mean something about you or your coaching. You think if you coach this person you’ll be recognized and be able to use that reference as a way to attract others into your practice. 

2) You think that working with this person will change who you are as a coach. You’ll be effortlessly inspired, motivated to do things differently, and walk on air. 

 

The problem:

Most people in positions of power are very sensitive to these kinds of requests. They can feel people who want to get something from them and it usually turns them off. It’s why the most common response to the outreaches is to politely decline. 

In addition, even if you do sign these clients it doesn’t really change who you are or how you show up as a coach. It might inspire a bit, but even if you do coach your idol it won’t matter as much as the commitment you make to your own practice, working with your own coach, and your own deep spiritual work. 

 

What a master coach does instead:

A master coach spends time around people that challenge his thinking, he works to connect with people that are interesting and talented. YES she tries to get into a room with people who do interesting work, are up to big things, and are motivated to change, but they don’t obsess over any one person. They understand that being in a space and connecting deeply with people matters more than one trophy client on their wall. 

What To Do When a Client Gets Deflated on a Call

One of the coaches that I’m working with came to me after a tough sales call. My client said that her potential client left the call feeling deflated because she wasn’t sure if she could make a big investment into coaching. 

What she wanted to know was, “What do I do when a client leaves a call feeling deflated?”

Even though the coach had done a good job enrolling her, when she quoted her a rate of $1000 a month, the client was forlorn. She was so excited about coaching but she wasn’t sure she could afford the coaching. She even told the coach that she was already worried that she wouldn’t be able to pay but that she wanted to try and figure out a way. 

Here’s what I told her . . . 

It sounds like your prospect came in ready to be deflated.

She came in worried that my client was too expensive.
She came in worried that she couldn’t make it work.

My guess is that this is a long running pattern in her life. 

Obviously she isn’t my client so I can’t be 100% sure, but my guess is that there are a bunch of examples where she starts off optimistic but she knows (from experience) that optimism won’t get her that far so she prepares herself to be let down.

Anytime you offer someone the chance to commit and that commitment includes a financial investment, it’s very likely going to stir up all the stories they have about how they can’t do what they want to do, and that money or something else is going to get in the way. 

When this happens it’s best to start by saying you get it and offering them a shared experience. You might say something like “Hey, I totally get it. I’ve been in the place where I’m totally excited about something I wanted to do but then when I found out what kind of commitment it was going to take I felt shut down. So if you’re feeling deflated right now, it’s totally normal. It’s happened to me with coaches I’ve wanted to hire before too.” 

Then once you empathize, you can ask them if this is just a one time thing or if maybe this is a pattern for them. A pattern of wanting something, finding out what it’s going to take, and then feeling deflated. 
If they see that it is indeed a pattern for them, you get to explore that pattern with them and even help them through it, if that’s what they want. 

Then you can . . . 

Normalize what they’re feeling and then invite them into the possibility.

Ask them: “What is deflation protecting you from?”
Then ask: “If you didn’t need protection from that, if you felt you could trust yourself to handle what came up, what might be possible? 

In this way you’re helping them see the context that’s getting them stuck and helping them see one pathway forward. 

But what about just avoiding deflation? Is that something we should try to do as coaches? 

For me, I don’t want to be attached to how my clients are feeling or need them to get anywhere different. That can get tricky at times because of course I want my clients to feel inspired and happy, but sometimes clients need to feel deflated. 

That’s why it’s so powerful to simply acknowledge their struggle and then ask them where they’d like to go next. 

As you get more powerful as a coach and especially as you raise your prices, you’re going to encounter more and more people who feel inspired by your work but get hung up on the investment you’re asking them to make. 

If you can learn to not take it personally, normalize it for your clients and gently create more possibility, you’re not just helping them open up to making a commitment beyond their comfort zone, you’re helping them see that possibility exists even when we can’t easily see it.

Things I Don’t Understand About My Coaching

There’s something compelling about reflecting on your work and what you’re creating with your life. You probably know the answers you always give at cocktail parties or events by heart, but if you dig deeper into the nature of your work, you may find things about it you don’t understand. In being with those questions, you may discover something totally new about your work and life that creates more wisdom and love. 

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about my work. 

  • What is it precisely that I offer people? 
  • Why do people pay me for what I do? 
  • What is it they leave with when we’re complete? 

After a couple of months of quiet reflection, I’m finally ready to take on new clients, and as I do, I’ve been given this chance to reconnect with my work from a new place. 

So I wanted to share with you a few things about my work that I still don’t totally understand. I hope you see yourself in some of these, and if not, maybe it will inspire you to see your own work in a new way. 

 

1) I work on people’s closest relationships, and it changes things.

Since my very first days as a coach, I’ve worked on my client’s closest relationships. I remember coaching a very successful marketing CEO in his relationship with his son. We talked about the standard he held for his son, how it affected his time with him, and how much heartbreak there was between them. 

He hadn’t hired me to coach him on this relationship; it just came up. More recently, I worked with a client on her relationship with her ex during a challenging divorce. With another client, her relationship with her son as he was going through some immense challenges in school. 

I’ve never sold myself as a relationship coach, and shifting close relationships is rarely part of the scope of work I plan out with my clients, but it always shows up. 

The pain we feel when there is a rift in a close relationship is intense. It impacts everything. In some ways, I get why it shows up in coaching, and yet I’m blown away by how much it shifts things. 

The marketing CEO signed a multimillion-dollar deal and changed his relationship with his business partner. The divorced woman started filling her group program after several had failed to launch. The mother stood up to a client of hers that wasn’t really showing up in the way she had hoped. 

I’ve never connected the dots. I’ve never tried to explain why this impacts that. And yet when I work with clients on their close relationships, things change for them, in ways that always surprise me and creates something incredible for them. 

 

2) I tend to ignore results

Some coaches hyper-focus on results. They want their clients to be out tracking, getting in the numbers, making to-do lists, organizing their time. And it’s not that this stuff doesn’t matter. I do this stuff all the time, but generally, as a coach, I ignore the results. I ask about results, I support my clients to pay attention to what they are producing, I worry about if they are or aren’t getting results sometimes, but I mostly ignore them. 

I’m not really a results coach, I’m more of a spiritual coach, a coach that looks for wisdom in the moment rather than the trend line. 

And yet, results get created. I work with clients to find the places they feel disempowered or incomplete. With a client recently, it had to do with the way they showed up to meetings with their teams, their willingness to ask for help and see themselves as a leader. For another, it was trying to have a conversation with their husband about moving to a new town. For another, it was the fact that they got so pissed off at our former president. 

You wouldn’t think any of these things would matter to results. There’s no strategy, no tactics, and I LOVE strategy and tactics, but that didn’t matter. 

My clients often see results, results that surprise me, but to be honest, I can’t track the direct cause and effect. I don’t push a lever here, and money comes out there. I am with people in their hearts, I work to be with their greatness, I love them, and help them connect more deeply with what life is all about. This precious life we all have. And more life shows up at their doorsteps. Sometimes this life comes in the form of results, but not always. 

 

3) The worse I become as a coach, the better my coaching is

I used to think I was really hot stuff as a coach. I used to brag about how I built a six-figure coaching business in 18 months (ok maybe I still do sometimes). But more and more, I’ve been humbled as a coach. I’ve had bad sessions, client relationships have gone sideways, I’ve shown up in the world as a bit of a mess, heartbroken, and not totally sure what direction to go.

And yet, my coaching is more vibrant than ever. I experience more intimacy with my clients than I ever have. I’ve even worked with people that, in the past, would have driven me crazy. Over and over, I find I have no idea what I’m doing as a coach. 

I have theories and styles of work and things I like to do with people. My work is full of ontology and zen and family systems theory. And yet it’s also full of nothing. As I’ve become more intimate with my sweet suffering, I find I’m with my client more in theirs. 

We find solutions, we create insight, but I don’t know if I’m any good as a coach. Other people say so, and I’m not going to argue with them. And yet, I feel less confident in one way and more reliable in another. 

Coaching is a mystery to me. You get on a call with people. You listen, you distinguish, you try to see the way they’re bound in knots, but sometimes you can’t really see that much more than them, maybe just a sliver. And somehow it works. The more I become enthralled with the mystery of it, the more it seems to work out. 

I keep working at it, I keep trying to learn more about it, and it keeps escaping me. But I also enjoy it more than I ever have before. 

 

Final Thoughts:

To be honest, I’m not sure what the point of this post is as I finish it. Part of me hopes you’ll read it and be curious. If you are, I’d love to have a conversation with you. Maybe there’s something for us to work on, perhaps not. But I know there’s only one way to find out. 

Right now, I really want to work with 3 coaches. 3 Coaches who want to double their business and deepen their work. I have no idea how I’ll find them. I keep thinking I should probably build a funnel or something. 

But I know they’ll come, I know my work will continue, I know it will surprise me. And more than anything, I hope that as you read this, you begin to wonder about your work. Not in the places you understand, but in the places you don’t. 

When we can be with the mystery of our work, we can be with the mystery of ourselves. And it’s in the mystery that wonder seems to have no end. 

Whatever you do, thanks for doing it. It comes from love, even if there’s a bit of fear, jealousy, and grasping mixed in. On some level, you work because you love and for that, I’m very grateful. 

How To Get Coaching Clients When You’re Just Starting Out

New coaches often ask where to find new clients.

The short answer is you find clients everywhere.

The long answer is a bit more complicated. Most coaches get their first clients from their personal network. The people they have known, connected with, and built trust with throughout their lives. If you’re just starting out as a coach this is probably the easiest place to get your first clients because you don’t need to establish your authority with people.

But it is possible to build a network to find clients quickly and you can do this even if you’re not 100% sure what clients would be the best ones to coach.

My first few clients came from my Buddhist community. The next few came from the Start-Up community I’d been a part of before I became a coach. Then I started getting clients through referrals and connections I made all the time.

At the core all coaches find clients the same way:

  1. They find places where they can show up, be of service, and make an impact.
  2. They start showing up making a difference, connecting with people, and helping out.
  3. They deepen those connections and begin to share their coaching skills with others.
  4. They serve people powerfully, sign clients, and build a reputation for being able to serve others in their community.
  5. They rinse and repeat.

While this may seem like a formula most coaches don’t even know where to start. They tend to stay at home, publish some blog posts, build a website, and hope people will find them, but this almost never works.

You have to get out there and make an impact on the world. Results almost always follow impact and it takes courage to show up this way without any promise of results. There’s no single way to do this, but being willing to do it is what matters.

Inside the Embodied Mastermind I’m AMAZED at how quickly people start signing clients when they simply become willing to show up, connect with people, make an impact, and create commitments with the people they’ve served.

The clients are almost always closer than you think. They are literally everywhere, but you have to start by showing up somewhere and being a leader when you do.

Dear Coach, Stop Being a Whiny Little B*tch

People come to you because they want their lives to be different. 

They see what’s possible. 
They got a taste of it somewhere. 

At a meditation retreat. 
On a vacation. 
In the pages of a book. 
In the embrace of a magical lover. 
Dancing at a concert. 

They got a taste of the infinite possibility of life. 

And then they woke up the next day feeling trapped. 
Ordering off of a menu. 
That has nothing on it that they want. 

They know that there’s more. 
They know that there’s something deeper. 

That life isn’t meant to be counted off like bottles of beer on a wall. 

And you have agreed to be the person who helps them. 
A dedicated liberator. 
A wise sage. 
A fellow traveler. 

Peering off into the distance 
Read to chase dragons and scale mountains. 

To help them squeeze the juice from life. 
And lick the last bits of pulp from their dying lips. 

But to do that. 
You have to stop being a whiny little b*tch. 

You have to have a stance on life that’s more powerful than the ordinary. 
You have to show up willing to create what you want. 
Instead of getting mad when it’s not brought to you on a platter. 

You have to be willing to believe in your clients even when they try
with all their might
to get you to believe they can’t do it. 

Even if they fail the entire time they’re with you. 
Your job is to believe in them. 
Beyond belief itself.

You have to move beyond quitting. 
Both your quitting and their quitting. 

It’s not that you should never say goodbye. 
But it’s that you have to be able to see when you are quitting. 
And choose back in, get more out, and move beyond your discomfort. 

Most people only try until it gets hard. 
You’ve got to be willing to try harder than that. 

You have to be willing to love. 
In the midst of heartbreak and hopelessness. 
To let your heart be wide and loving. 
Even as they insult you and call you a fool. 

You have to be willing to live in a way
that even if someone lied about you 
and called you names.* 

You’d be fine with who you were. 

You have to be willing to be responsible 
for your inevitable failings and stumbles 
and for things that aren’t your fault
and for which you have no control. 

You have to be willing to be an exceptional human being
who is deeply humbled by your humanity every day. 

Being a coach is such a fucking privilege. 
People come to you with their dreams
Swaddled and fragile. 

And you help them grow and become reality. 

What more sacred calling could there be on earth?

It’s a calling of the divine, of life itself. 
Despite what you might think of the industry, 
or the marketing, 
or the word life coach. 

So please for the love of all that is good, and worthy, and holy in the world. 

STOP BEING A WHINY LITTLE B*TCH!!

Get a coach. 
Do the work. 
Show up. 

You are more than capable. 
And if you’re going to help other people achieve greatness. 

Learn to discover daily the greatness in yourself. 
Find it and be it. 
Find it and practice it. 
Find it and generate it. 

That’s how you’ll make the difference you truly long to make. 

Love, 
Toku

 

*shout out to my friend Adam Quiney whose interpretation of this Zig Ziglar quote has become one of my favorites to repeat. 

People come to you because they want their lives to be different. 

They see what’s possible. 
They got a taste of it somewhere. 

At a meditation retreat. 
On a vacation. 
In the pages of a book. 
In the embrace of a magical lover. 
Dancing at a concert. 

They got a taste of the infinite possibility of life. 

And then they woke up the next day feeling trapped. 
Ordering off of a menu. 
That has nothing on it that they want. 

They know that there’s more. 
They know that there’s something deeper. 

That life isn’t meant to be counted off like bottles of beer on a wall. 

And you have agreed to be the person who helps them. 
A dedicated liberator. 
A wise sage. 
A fellow traveler. 

Peering off into the distance 
Read to chase dragons and scale mountains. 

To help them squeeze the juice from life. 
And lick the last bits of pulp from their dying lips. 

But to do that. 
You have to stop being a whiny little b*tch. 

You have to have a stance on life that’s more powerful than the ordinary. 
You have to show up willing to create what you want. 
Instead of getting mad when it’s not brought to you on a platter. 

You have to be willing to believe in your clients even when they try
with all their might
to get you to believe they can’t do it. 

Even if they fail the entire time they’re with you. 
Your job is to believe in them. 
Beyond belief itself.

You have to move beyond quitting. 
Both your quitting and their quitting. 

It’s not that you should never say goodbye. 
But it’s that you have to be able to see when you are quitting. 
And choose back in, get more out, and move beyond your discomfort. 

Most people only try until it gets hard. 
You’ve got to be willing to try harder than that. 

You have to be willing to love. 
In the midst of heartbreak and hopelessness. 
To let your heart be wide and loving. 
Even as they insult you and call you a fool. 

You have to be willing to live in a way
that even if someone lied about you 
and called you names.* 

You’d be fine with who you were. 

You have to be willing to be responsible 
for your inevitable failings and stumbles 
and for things that aren’t your fault
and for which you have no control. 

You have to be willing to be an exceptional human being
who is deeply humbled by your humanity every day. 

Being a coach is such a fucking privilege. 
People come to you with their dreams
Swaddled and fragile. 

And you help them grow and become reality. 

What more sacred calling could there be on earth?

It’s a calling of the divine, of life itself. 
Despite what you might think of the industry, 
or the marketing, 
or the word life coach. 

So please for the love of all that is good, and worthy, and holy in the world. 

STOP BEING A WHINY LITTLE B*TCH!!

Get a coach. 
Do the work. 
Show up. 

You are more than capable. 
And if you’re going to help other people achieve greatness. 

Learn to discover daily the greatness in yourself. 
Find it and be it. 
Find it and practice it. 
Find it and generate it. 

That’s how you’ll make the difference you truly long to make. 

Love, 
Toku

 

*shout out to my friend Adam Quiney whose interpretation of this Zig Ziglar quote has become one of my favorites to repeat. 

Should I charge this client more than that client?

There’s this weird idea in coaches that you have to charge all your clients the same amount. Sure, if you found out I sold you a t-shirt for $20 that I normally charge $10 for you’d feel ripped off, but the comparison is a bad one. 

Coaching is more complex than a t-shirt and the price you charge has more to do with the level of commitment than the specific work you do or even the outcomes they’ll create. 

Having said that, there are 3-4 good reasons why you might consistently charge clients a different rate for coaching. I’ve laid them out in this video with a summary below:

 

1) They have different profiles – 

(job titles, income streams, positions, types of work)

I sometimes charge CEO’s a different rate than I would charge a new coach. And I’m certainly more willing to work to get a yes with a really talented coach than a CEO. Partially it’s because the type of person is different and often the portion of income they are investing is different. 

That’s certainly the case with the nun I coach who runs a hospice. I charge her less because I believe in her work and also because she’s a nun. 

 

2) The perceived value is different –

I’ve paid $40k+ for 1-1 coaches but I can’t imagine hiring a trainer for that same amount. Not because trainers have less skill but the value of that is less in the market. If you coach CEO’s and you coach career transition people the CEO might be seen as more valuable. Whether or not that’s true, it means you could decide to charge differently for career coaching. 

I’d rather have you create a better explanation of the value of your career coaching instead, but sometimes the perceived value or going rate does have an impact on what you can charge. 

 

3) The work is different – 

I have a client I only work with twice a month and she pays less than another client who I work with every week. I charge $5k to do a strategic planning session which is a little less than my hourly rate for coaching. And the mastermind group I run costs 1/10th of what working with me 1-1 costs. 

I charge different rates because the work is different. Sometimes I do different work and charge the same rate. After all, time doesn’t always equal value, but if the work is different you might charge something different. 

 

4) The entity you’re serving is different – 

If you’re being hired by a company vs an individual you might charge something else. Usually, this means the work is different but it may not be. It could be the same work, but since the client is the company you might charge more. This is similar to #1 but not exactly the same. Because it acknowledges that Business to Business sales can be different than when you sign a deal directly with a client.