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Is Becoming a Coach Worth It?

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

#2 Are you curious?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

#4 Do you really want to do meaningful work?

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

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

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

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

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

 

So is becoming a coach worth it? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Coaching Superpower

Be Impactable

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

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

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

Being impactable is a superpower. 

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

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

It’s one of the keys to mastery.

Love,
Toku

 

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

The Illusion of Confidence

All coaches want to be confident. 

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

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

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

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

 

The Illusion of Confidence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preparing is great because it’s ENDLESS

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

 

But preparing keeps you trapped. 

It keeps you trapped because it IS endless. 

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

Preparing doesn’t really give you confidence. 

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

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

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

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

 

So how do you create confidence? 

You do the thing.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go sell. 

Go coach. 

Go write. 

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

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

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

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

Stop buying things in the hopes of preventing failure. 

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

 

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

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

 

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

So please, please, please… 

Stop preparing. Start practicing. 

 

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

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

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

 

Love, 

Toku

 

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

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

What You’re Worth as a Coach

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

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

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

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

What makes them special isn’t what they do.

What makes them special is who they are for you.

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

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

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

Yet coaches forget this all the time.

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

What matters is who you are for people.

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

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

Your real value is who you are for other people.

Learn to BE great for them.

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

 

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

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

Scarcity mindset – You’ve got it

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

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

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

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

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

Fearlessness isn’t enough
– you need skill and ability

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

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

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

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

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

You’ve got to practice to get it!!!!

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

Integrity is about a relationship you have with yourself.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Integrity isn’t about rigidity or flexibility,

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A GREAT COACH?

DEPTH. . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love,
Toku

Coaches Are Selfish

Asking for money is selfish, so is reaching out to someone with an agenda, in fact, most of what you need to do as a coach to be successful is selfish. 

It isn’t true or at least it’s not the whole truth, but that won’t stop you from thinking it’s true. Even if you think far back in the part of your mind where you hide the thoughts that ‘keep you from manifesting what you want.’

THE TRUTH IS you’re better off admitting that you worry about being selfish as a coach, that you feel a bit guilty asking for money, and that you somehow think that generosity is the key to success

AND also sort of resent how generous you ‘have to be’ in order to be ‘successful.’ A resentment largely built on the obligation to be generous in order to be ‘good.’

Seem like a lot?

It is. 

All of this mental chatter arises because of the bind you find yourself in as a coach. Specifically the bind between being Selfish and Generous. A bind which if you can learn to see, can have you be more powerful, successful, and actually more generous than you were before.

So let’s see if we can see it together.

 

Bind 2 – Selfish VS Generous

THE WAY WE THINK OF SELFISHNESS

At some point along your journey, you learned to wrap your desires in innocence. 

It was ok to want to talk to someone . . . if you had no agenda. It was ok to ask someone out . . . if you already knew they liked you. It was ok to ask for money . . . if you were certain you could provide a result. 

 

Your desire came with conditions that made them, ok, good, or acceptable. 

When these conditions were met they achieved the level of generosity or selflessness. You were trustable, kind, thoughtful, and loving. Sometimes you called this authentic instead. 

When these conditions weren’t met you were greedy, needy, and selfish. Sometimes you called this inauthentic or manipulative. 

Once you had these rules you tried to live by them. 

You tried to be a good person and avoid the ‘bad people’. You judged anyone who broke your rules as being selfish. You did this while you watched them make more money, date people you wanted to date, and become more successful than you. 

You did this while being certain that their success was somehow empty or karmically bad and that it was better to be poor, tired, worn out, and secretly resentful so long as you got to be ‘innocent’ ‘generous’ and superior to those other people. 

 

THE TRICK

Here’s the trick, you try to be good for the same selfish reasons that other people try to be successful. 

No one is perfectly un-self-interested. Or at least not very many people. 

 – You do actually have an agenda when you reach out to someone you’d like to coach. 

 – You do actually benefit when someone hires you as a coach. 

 – You do actually feel good about yourself when you make more money than other people around you. 

 

You like to win, even if the way you imagine winning is by winning the ‘right’ way and not the ‘wrong’ way. But all too often you use the rightness of how to win as an excuse for why you’re not winning at all. 

 

THE BIND

You see that’s the bind you’re in. The things you need to do in order to change people’s lives, to run a successful coaching business, to do ‘the work’ you worship like some sort of ancient god, requires you to be a bit selfish. 

Or maybe I should say it requires you to own the selfishness you actually have. 

 

Here’s the truth:

  • My clients pay my rent. 
  • When they pay me I get to buy stuff I like. 
  • If they pay me more I get to buy more stuff. 

 

Here’s more of the truth:

  • What my clients pay me DOESN’T go to their rent. 
  • They get to buy LESS stuff they like. 
  • If they pay me more, they get to buy EVEN LESS stuff they like. 

 

When someone hires you, in a way you win and they lose. 

Yes, yes I know your mind doesn’t like this. You probably have so trained yourself to avoid this fact and hide it from your clients that the mentioning of it feels deeply uncomfortable. 

Unless you’ve learned to wrap your desire in another form of innocence called justification. 

Which is where you’re so clear you benefit others that paying you is a privilege. 

Please, please get over yourself. 

 

MORE TRUTH:

  • You are not a charity. 
  • You are not a perfect solution. 
  • You are not the answer to anything. 
  • And paying you carries NO inherent significance or value. 

 

HOW IT WORKS

The truth is if this wasn’t true coaching wouldn’t work. 

If clients paid coaches with monopoly money or energetic units or something else without real value COACHING WOULDN’T WORK. If client’s give up some of the opportunity to buy stuff they like, paying you wouldn’t mean anything to them. 

As the great Steve Chandler says, Money is a stand-in for commitment. You can complain about it, whine about it, not like it, but in our world, in the time we live in, money is the most powerful unit of commitment we have. 

 

THE EXCHANGE

That’s the secret to this bind. You think that SELFISH and GENEROUS stand on two sides of a line. When in fact selfish and generous can either stand-alone or be cozied up with one another. 

You can be selfish in your generosity, putting forth no real opportunity to commit and doing it so you can feel ‘good’ about how generous you are. 

You can be purely selfish and think only of yourself, justifying that you ‘deserve’ what you’re getting. 

You can be purely generous, truly giving from your heart and expecting nothing in return.

And MOST importantly you can be generous in your selfishness. 

 

You can be clear that you get something out of giving something. 

You can own the dark side of giving, of coaching, of offering a space for transformation. 

You can free your clients and the receivers of your gifts from the obligation to make you feel ok about the benefit you’re receiving.  

 

THE ESCAPE

This is the escape to this bind. To OWN your selfishness. NOT by avoiding it and pretending it isn’t there. NOT by justifying it and deciding people paying you is a privilege you’re allowing them. But by acknowledging that having someone pay you for anything means you get something. 

If you own it, if it becomes your responsibility to be with the desire and impact of your inherent and unavoidable selfishness, then you can be free and even more so your clients can be free. 

 

Selling them coaching can be purely about what would serve them. 

You can sit in the place of really wanting to work with them, while choosing to be fully unattached to them hiring you. You can have clear sales goals and numbers you need to hit and then create the money you declare you’re out to create, in order to live the life you want to live, while magically and simultaneously showing up with tremendous generosity and compassion with every person you talk to. 

The pathway to purity is to get down in this human muck with the rest of us. 

 

Love, 

Toku

 

PS This is a part 2 of a 3 part series about the binds coaches find themselves in. 

You can read part 1 here – https://samuraicoachingdojo.com/compromising-too-much/

Part 3 will be about the bind of flow and structure. 

Thanks for reading this and thanks for being a coach. If you got something from this or you think I’m an idiot, shoot me an email/message or drop a comment below and let me know. 

The Fear Of Going Deep

One of the biggest fears coaches have – the fear of taking their clients deep. There’s this sense that deep down at the root of a client’s problems is fear, trauma, or pain so big you won’t know what to do. You’re afraid you’ll do damage. Afraid you’ll be clumsy. Afraid that you find yourself there and lacking and that it will rattle your coaching confidence to the very core. 

 

This fear leads to a host of problems:

  • You stay on the surface where it’s safe. 
  • You think of challenging questions, but you don’t ask them. 
  • You doubt yourself when you coach. 
  • You don’t create the space for your clients to feel all of their pain and fear. 
  • You never do the kind of deep work you see other great coaches do. 

 

So how do you address this? 

How do you know what to say? What to do? 

How do you prepare for something as a coach that’s unpredictable and a little scary? 

 

While I don’t have all the answers, let me share what I’ve learned so far. 


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