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Should I Try To Sell Coaching To My Friends?

Most new coaches start by coaching their friends. After all, your friends are ‘soft’ targets. They are willing to let you ‘try’ coaching on them, respond kindly when you’re awkward and have probably complained about something that you’re sure you can ‘fix’. 

But a lot of people feel awkward talking to their friends about coaching much less trying to sign them as clients. They’re afraid they’ll come off as pushy or salesy and of course their afraid of alienating their friends and looking bad. 

Then again I know a TON of coaches that built their businesses by serving their friends and colleagues first. In fact having a solid pre existing network is one of the KEY reasons many coaches achieve success quickly. 

So should you try to sell your friends on coaching? 

While it’s ultimately up to you here’s a few simple things to consider:

 

1) How long has it been since you talked to them? 

A coach in my mastermind group recently asked for some tips on offering coaching to a friend after being turned down by a guy he knew from college. The first question I asked was: When was the last time you talked to this person? Five years was their lovingly innocent reply. 

If I call out of the blue after five years and then offer to sell you coaching I immediately put myself in the category of someone selling an MLM product. I get that you’re excited about coaching but please don’t do this. 

If you want to connect with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while go ahead, but do it lovingly. Do it to connect. If then after you’re reestablished a connection you want to share about coaching with them go ahead. But don’t call people out of the blue to ‘connect’ when you really are only connecting to ‘sell’ coaching to them. 

Connection first, coaching later. Always. 

 

2) Is your desire to coach them genuine? 

Sometimes you might feel desperate to get a client. Like if you could just get one person to say yes your life would be easier and if you get one more no you’re sure you’re going to fall apart. When this happens anyone around you can start to seem like the ‘fix’ for your coaching insecurity. 

If this is where you’re coming from enrolling your friends is probably a bad idea. In fact, trying to enroll anyone from desperation and scarcity is a bad idea. 

I remember early on in my journey as a coach I sat down with a good friend to ‘sign them as a client.’ I was more awkward and pushy than a used car salesman with a quota to meet. They were polite but clearly turned off. And the more turned off they were the more pushy I got. They continued to be polite, but eventually ended the conversation. I still cringe thinking about it. 

On the other hand, I’ve also coached friends in a really powerful way. I went slow, I was curious, I made sure they really wanted to move forward. When I did this the conversations went well even if they decided not to hire me in the end. 

The big difference between these two situations was in who I was being and in how genuine my desire to coach them was. If my desire was genuine and I was able to be loving and curious things went well. If my desire was to make the sale things did not go well.

So before you enroll your friends first pause and see if you can find a genuine desire to coach them. If you do then go slow, if not then take a beat and really consider why you’re doing what you’re doing. 

 

3) Is the friendship more important than the sale? 

I have a close friend whom I’ve collaborated with on a few projects. Some of the projects were a success others a failure. The friendship has survived largely because we knew what was most important. 

If your friendship is a priority make sure you’re clear on this. Ideally, it’s something you should talk about before you dive into exploring a coaching and client relationship. 

If you’re willing to risk the friendship in service of the coaching relationship, be clear about it. If you’re willing to jettison the coaching to maintain the friendship, know that before you get started. 

 

4) Can you be clean and unattached? 

It’s awkward if someone has a crush on you and you don’t like them back. Most of us don’t enjoy feeling like we’re the cause of someone else’s heartbreak and confusion. So we tend to avoid situations where other people are too attached to how we feel about them. 

The same is true for coaching. 

 – If you’re attached to signing your friend as a client because you’re ‘desperate’ to make some money or prove your worth… 

 – If you’re attached to signing your friend as a client because you KNOW you can help them with the terrible problem that plagues their life… 

 – OR if you’re attached to signing your friend as a client because you’re longing for more intimacy in your life… 

STOP. Do not pass go and do not collect $200. 

Hire a coach and do some work on yourself then go back to enrolling clients. 

 

5) Have you enrolled them?

If you’re like most coaches you’re out there trying to ‘convince’ people to try coaching with you. Convincing is hard. Convincing means to cause someone to believe firmly in something. But coaching isn’t really about getting people to believe something. 

Coaching is about enrolling. Enrolling is different. Enrolling is about getting people present to a new possibility. If I enroll you in a coaching conversation you’re present to what’s possible in that conversation. You’re OPEN to there being something you might get. 

Convincing on the other hand is closed. You’ve CLOSED your analysis and have concluded that coaching is or isn’t valuable. When you try to convince people to work with you, they very often become convinced you’re a pushy salesperson. 

So no more convincing. 

Instead enroll them. Get them present to what’s possible. Open them up. Don’t close them down. 

Here’s the Bottom Line

As a general rule, you shouldn’t try to sign your closest friends as coaching clients. But friends who are a ring or two out from your inner circle can be totally valid prospects especially early on as a coach. 

You might enjoy coaching some of these people for free as a way to get more experience, but if you’re going to sign them as a client you need to make sure you’re doing your best to be generous and unattached. 

I still recommend new coaches be open to coaching and enrolling their friends and colleagues. It’s where I got most of my first clients and I learned a lot about the process of what it takes to coach and sell people on my services. 

Whether it’s your friends or not, the key to growing your coaching business rests on your ability to be bold in your efforts while being generous with your heart. 

Niches: Simplified

There are a lot of experts in the coaching industry that will tell you the KEY to success is choosing the correct niche.

But even though this advice seems simple and straightforward it can be incredibly difficult to choose a niche. Should you choose a niche that’s the most profitable? the most authentic? the most interesting?

All of this wondering what to choose and which niche is right for you can lead to feelings of doubt and uncertainty.

Can you relate?

The thing about coaching niches, and company names, and logos, and business branding is that they all sit on top of a deeper question. A question that’s incredibly hard for most coaches (and people to answer)

Who am I? As a coach, as a human, as a practitioner?

Who am I?

Every coach who’s trying to discover their niche runs into this question like a brick wall. But this question doesn’t have to stop you. Instead it can inspire you.

Here’s how I work with this question as a coach and how I advise new coaches just starting out.

 

1. Understand you are not one thing –

And you never will be. You are so many things all at once. Brave and terrified, beautiful and flawed, clever and kind of a dolt.

Your desire for simplicity and clarity make sense when you’re trying to choose a niche. That’s the point of a niche. It’s a simple handle people can grab a hold of. But that’s all it is. It’s a handle attached to a mug filled with the infinite nature of the universe.

If you try to make the handle infinite no one can grab onto it. So don’t try. Just figure out what part of you is easiest to grab a hold of.

I became an executive coach because when I was a personal trainer my favorite clients were startup founders and executives. That’s why I chose it. Because those kinds of people seemed to like that kind of handle.

 

2. Realize you are always discovering who you are –

Before I was an executive coach I was a mindfulness based personal trainer, then I was a dharma trainer, then I was a mindfulness and happiness coach. I’ve been all kinds of things.

I’ve built and taken down half a dozen websites. I’ve changed my company name three or four times.

In the beginning you don’t really know who you are and what’s going to work. Most coaches feel this and refuse to take action. They want to wait until ‘they’re more confident’. But that’s incredibly hard to do. Because the more you think about who you are the less you know.

The best way to find out who you are (as a coach) is to go out and be something. Just say you’re a divinity coach, or a process coach, or a transformational coach and see what happens. If people respond, if you find you can feel more and more comfortable with it as you tell people, then keep going. If it doesn’t resonate with people or it feels like sand in your mouth. Say something else.

You will change a lot in your first few years as a coach so don’t worry about getting it right on the first try. Let yourself take some time to practice and learn.

 

3. Get that there’s no magic bullet –

No niche will make you immediately successful. No coach you hire will do that either. Nothing is a magic bullet. Sure having a pre existing network really helps. So does having some innate or learned sales or enrolling skills. But beyond that, building a coaching practice is about being in the business of connecting to and serving people.

It’s primarily a relationship business and relationships take time and skill to build.

You may think that if you can just get the right niche you’ll have it made in the shade. But this bigger question “Who am I?”, takes time to figure out.

The right niche can make a big difference. But knowing who you are deep down in your bones makes an even bigger one.

So don’t rush it. Let yourself stumble a bit and figure things out as you go along.

 

4. Accept that most people will simplify who you are and what you do into what they can understand –

A coach once told me that there were only really 3 kinds of coaches – Executive, business, and life coaches.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve explained to people what I do and they say back to me “oh so you’re like a life coach.”

Niches are great because they help people understand who you work with. They make it easier for clients to refer other people to you. But in the end they are only ever a vast simplification of what you do and who you are.

You do this with people all the time. Your friend Brian is the new dad, your colleague Susan is the former indoor cycling coach, and your neighbor Veda is a dance teacher.

Yes Brian became a new dad after years of trying and a few miscarriages. Fatherhood has changed him in powerful ways. Yes Susan left cycling after a challenging period and has been inspired to help others who struggle with their emotions. Yes Veda teaches a form of modern dance influenced by kundalini yoga and tantra. But those details are hard to explain and remember. So you simplify them.

Other people will ALWAYS relate to your work from a simplified version of what it truly is. And they will relate to you as a simplified version of all that you are.

That’s what we do. We simplify. That’s what a niche is, it’s a simplification that makes communication easier.

You are not simple, but your niche can be.

If you understand that it isn’t everything, it isn’t all of you, it’s just a sliver of the infinite that you are.

The good news is that “A sliver of the infinite is still infinite.”*

So don’t spend so much time worrying about your niche or caught trying to answer the question of who you are as a coach.

Work on answering the question, “Who am I?” everyday but never finalize your answer. Instead keep discovering and creating. Once you get enough of a hit to simplify then do it. But don’t ever stop searching and learning.

Because that’s what will make you a great coach and an interesting human being.

 

Niche Resources –

My friend Greg Faxon wrote this dope post on life coaching niches – I think it’s really good.

I also really love this infographic my friend Adam Quiney made –

* I think this line comes from Michelle Masters of NLP Marin

Exchanging Self For Other

Our discursive mind tells us that we don’t know what it’s like to be them. They have fancy cars, they live in fancy houses, they have fancy jobs.

But deep down we’re all the same, we want love, our bodies slowly fall apart, we feel good when our lives have purpose and we feel lost when they don’t. We tend to find ways to numb the pain of living instead of taking the risk to be alive. The only thing that’s different is the language we use to describe these things and the models we use to think about them. For some the models are spiritual for others they are monetary, but deep down we’re all the same.

Which is why we’re able to exchange ourselves for others. We simply slip beneath the waves of the discursive mind and pop our heads up inside the worlds of someone else. We feel into what it looks like inside their heads. We imagine going to an office every day and coming home and feeling empty the whole time. We imagine working to keep elderly people alive and wonder if we’re really helping or just prolonging the inevitable. We imagine sitting at home watching TV wishing you could be working but making excuses because you’re afraid.

If we want to get more intimate we can talk to the people we want to talk to. We can uncover their language, their desires, the way they see the world. Or we can simply go out into the world and put ourselves in their bodies. Feel the ache of a bad knee, feel the fullness of a round belly, look through eyes so tired.

It can help us in business for sure. This is in some ways the very foundation of leadership, marketing, and sales, but before all that, it starts with compassion, with empathy, with the ancient spiritual practice of exchanging self for other.

Definition: Playing To Win vs Playing Not To Lose

Little kid’s play to win. They might be a little sad when they lose, but usually, they just want to play again. Winning is EXCITING!!! Playing the game is fun.

Then at some point, we learn shame and guilt around winning and losing. We either learn that we risk being criticized when we lose the game or we risk it when we win, maybe we learn we get criticized no matter what, so we seek to find a way to not play.

No matter the case, before long we stop playing to play, we stop playing to win, we play not to lose, not to lose love, trust, the warm feeling of pleasing those around us. We start to play a different game called manipulating the feelings of others. We learn it without ever knowing we’re learning it.

And what we really lose is the joy of playing the game, of being ok with winning and losing, because it’s just a game after all.

We can play to win the game again, we can heal ourselves, we can learn to let others care for themselves, we can learn that losing ourselves in a game worth playing can help us find who we really are beyond winning and losing.

We might as well play to win, especially when winning means the world is more healed, more loved, and more transformed.

Coaching Only Takes 3 Steps

The Surprising Truth: Coaching Is Actually Very Simple

If I want to sell you on coaching, I will make it seem like it’s super difficult. And then like a magician (or a con artist) I’ll remove the barriers. I’ll tell you that I’ve got a magical map through the forest. One where all the traps and beasts are marked on it. If you use my map, you’ll be nice and safe.

But this is a lie.

Coaching isn’t complicated. It’s actually very very simple.

This is how coaching works.

First, you become possibility. You don’t talk strategy and offer suggestions. When you sit in front of the client you believe in and embody that anything is possible for them.
You breathe it. You embody it. You express it.

Second, you sit across from someone and you ask them what you want.
And you keep asking them until you can feel you’ve got it. You’ve got a hold of what they really want. Not the strategy, the thing they think they can get, or the thing they think they should want. But the thing they actually want.

Third, you find out what keeps them from getting it. What stops them or how they stop themselves. You explore it until you understand it completely. Until both of you know this thing with the intimacy of your own breath.

That’s it.
Be possibility.
Find out what people want.
Becoming intimate with what’s in the way.

It’s not complicated.

All the tools, questions, and processes are really just designed to help you do that.
Be possibility.
Find out what people want.
Become intimate with the obstacles.

So simple and also quite challenging. The simplicity itself is perhaps the biggest challenge.

That’s why at some point learning more doesn’t help.
The only thing that helps is practice and being.

The practice of keeping it simple.
The practice of being possibility.
The practice of standing for your client no matter how they show up.

Don’t make it complicated so you can avoid the challenge.
Keep it simple, so you can fully embrace it.

Love,
Toku

PS If you are ready to embrace the simplicity and become a master coach, apply for the spring 2021 dojo here.

What’s The Right Answer?

We often seek finding the right answer, like playing chess with the future. We plan out the moves, consider the options, and explore the possibilities. But most of our worries come to nothing and rarely does our advanced strategic thinking lead to results that are wildly different. Instead, it gets us a load of worry and fear. 

The truth is we don’t know what the future holds for us. The only person who knows the future outcome of our choice is a future version that’s already made the choice and lived that life. That doesn’t mean you should just choose at random. Instead, it means that there’s an opportunity to consider options and make a choice not from knowing the right answer, but instead from standing in who we declare ourselves to be and choosing from that place. 

If you are committed to fear, you choose from fear and you get the results fear creates, which is often more fear. If you are committed to possibility and you choose from possibility, you get the results of possibility, which is often more possibility. This is what’s possible for you in life. 

To be a certain way, to choose from that place and to be responsible for the outcome, good/bad, welcome or scary.  

When we choose what we are committed to being first and then choose from that place not only do our results shift, but our whole experience of choosing changes.

Why Everyone Wants to Become a Coach

It’s 10:30 am and you awake in your beautiful home in Bali. You put on a loose fitting outfit as you listen to the birds sing through the filtered light from the overhanging trees. You wander downstairs to the sound of your personal chef making fresh green organic smoothies in your high powered blender. They smile as they pour you a glass and watch your reaction as you drink. You soak in the flavors of fresh mango and turmeric plus something else? “Passion fruit” the chef says to you with a smile. You give them a wink and wander out onto your gorgeous veranda. 

You open up your silver macbook pro and check your email. 86 people have bought the 21 day course you put online last night and you’ve got three appointments for potential new clients that have been scheduled as you slept. 

You close your email and open your journal. At the top you write . . . Why I love being a coach and begin to record your thoughts. 

 

The Dream

This one BIG reason why people want to become a coach: they imagine that their life will be just like this. A profession that has meaning, a life of incredible freedom, being able to work from anywhere, and a small and acceptable form of celebrity. 

I do know coaches who live like this. (Hell, I actually sort of live like this.) 

I’m currently nomadic and live in AirBnb’s, I only work 4 days a week and I do long beautiful hikes in national parks on the weekends. 

I mostly buy what I want (though my tastes are not expensive) I eat in nice restaurants (or get take-out), and I love my work almost everyday. 

It is possible to get this as a coach, and that’s why people do it. The lifestyle, the promise of freedom, and because they worked with a coach and felt how powerful the process could be.

But this is largely an illusion. Not because you can’t achieve it, but because it’s not what being a coach is all about.  

Being a coach isn’t all about organic smoothies and exotic vacations. 
It’s not about freedom and lifestyle or being able to work from anywhere. 
It’s not about passive income and creating evergreen funnels. 

These can be part of it, but it’s not the core. 

The core of coaching is believing in the possibility of people, in the face of all of the things that are wrong, annoying, and inconvenient about people. 

It’s believing in your client, even when they don’t believe in themselves and their actions indicate that you shouldn’t believe in them either. 

You need this deep understanding in order to face the ‘reality’ of what being a coach actually looks like. 

 

Which looks more like this: 

You wake up at 6:30 in the morning with anxiety in your chest. You haven’t signed a client in a few weeks and you’re starting to get nervous. You know you should be taking action but your fear and distractibility all keep getting in the way. As you stumble out of your bedroom in the apartment you can’t really afford, you kick the empty pizza box you stress ate while watching TV the night before. 

You find a dirty glass in the sink, wash it out, and pour yourself a glass of water. Your blender is attracting flies but you’ll deal with that later. 

You open up your email and find three advertisements from coaches promising to give you all the answers to signing clients. You also find a late payment notification from your credit card company and a potential client that just canceled their session because ‘something came up’.

It’s not even 7 am and you already feel defeated. You click over to youtube and try to watch something motivational, but you just don’t have it in you. You close your computer, make coffee, and sit on the couch with your phone. 

By ten o’clock your neck is stiff and you realize you spent the last two hours scrolling through Facebook and reading articles on a news website. 

You figure this day isn’t really going how you thought it might and that maybe you should just try again tomorrow. 

 

Not that exciting right? 
But I’ve had lots of days like this. 

 

The only thing that’s kept me going is my commitment. My commitment to something bigger than myself, to my clients and my work, and to growth. 

It hasn’t been easy. It took me a year to get committed to a regular schedule and to empower some structure in my life. But I kept at it. I built something. Slowly and then quickly. 

Now my life does feel mostly effortless. I still get worried. I still have doubts. But they don’t slow me down. But it’s not because I live the life of the perfect coach. It’s simply because I’m not a coach so I can live in Airbnbs and work four days a week, that’s a side effect. 

The real reason I’m a coach is because it’s fucking magic. 
Because I get to be in the room where it happens. 
The room where people’s lives change. 

When I focus on that, everything else just gets simpler. 
So if you want to have success as a coach, find a bigger reason and get to work.

Practice your ass off and stay committed. 
It’s possible to wake up to organic smoothies, but first you have to wake up to your deep purpose for being a coach. 

Anything else is just a waste of time. 




This Is What a Master Coach’s To Do List Looks Like

Mastery is not a one-time event. It’s a series of small choices and overriding commitments that are made and empowered over and over again. Developing a set of strong habits that helps you grow every day as a coach and improve your business can help you avoid common pitfalls and take advantage of more opportunities to learn and grow as a coach. 

 

Here are the strategies and practices I have observed the best coaches engage with on a regular basis:

 

  1. Work with a coach – You can’t see your own blind spots. If you could, they’d be called hard to see spots. Great coaches work with coaches so they can uncover and work through what is hidden for them. They improve as humans and improve as coaches. They also learn a TON that they can bring to their own clients. 

 

  1. Create things – You can write, draw, record, sculpt, or choreograph. Creation demands that you choose to have something to say and learn how to say it. Both of which are essential skills in coaching. 

 

  1. Teach – Translating your thoughts and ideas into a format that others can learn from, forces you to develop a deeper understanding of what you’re talking about. If you can’t teach it you don’t really understand it.

 

  1. Connect with other master coaches – You almost never find completely isolated masters. It happens, but it’s rare. Spending time with other coaches, especially those who challenge your thinking, will expose you to new ideas and invite you to consider new perspectives. Like stones in a riverbed, this process of the community will smooth your edges in important ways. 

 

  1. Practice – Not all great coaches have a formal practice regime, but they all take a practice attitude to their work. Rich Litvin once told me about how he would listen to Michael Neill’s radio show and then pause before Michael would ask a question to see if he could guess what it would be. Other coaches I know watch recordings of their sessions to see how they could improve their work. There’s no one way to practice, but finding some way to become aware of your work is vital. 

 

  1. Read – The world is full of great books and great ideas, but master coaches don’t read for knowledge, they read for understanding and application. Knowing lots of stuff isn’t always that helpful, but being able to distinguish and talk about different concepts is. 

 

  1. Become Spiritual (or just have faith) – Coaching requires an enormous amount of faith. If your client’s success is all on you, it’s easy to become egotistical or resentful. When you can let go of that burden and trust the client and the process of coaching, you enjoy the process more. It’s often through meditation and/or prayer that master coaches find a faith that feeds them through hard times. 

 

  1. Connect with People – Great coaches are great connectors. They don’t just reach out to people in order to sell something to them. They find joy in connecting from a place of curiosity and love. 

 

  1. Take Care of Yourself – Despite the #hustle mentality in most of the world, master coaches handle their personal well-being. They get sleep, they exercise, they eat well. Master coaches understand that their mind and their being are their greatest tools. Neglect those at the risk of losing what makes you great. 

 

  1. Have a Life – Coaching is only a part of life, but personal development can sometimes feel like a monster that eats all of your time, attention, and energy. Everything you do doesn’t need to be optimized, analyzed, and examined. Sometimes you can just eat ice cream because it tastes good, play video games because they’re fun, and go for a walk because you feel like it. Master coaches love coaching, but they love life too. 

 

Get Good At Coaching

 

Once you’re clear on what there is to do, the rest is execution. But while it may seem like figuring out WHAT to do is the hardest part, often it’s the DOING IT that gets in the way. 

 

Which is why great coaches put themselves in exceptional containers. They hire amazing coaches, they train with masters, and they surround themselves with incredible peers. 

 

If you’d like to train like this, I’d love to invite you to apply for the Spring 2021 Dojo — over the course of 8+ weeks, you’ll get more time on the mat and more feedback on your coaching than most coaches get in a lifetime. 

 

Apply here.

You Don’t Have to Listen to Your Coach

I’m an executive coach. That means people pay me an incredible amount of money just to talk with them. So much so that I once explained to a stranger that my business model was actually most similar to a phone sex operator.

Why do they do this?

Well I could give you a long list of the changes I’ve helped my clients create, the single conversations that changed relationships, saved business ventures, and led to more joy and satisfaction. This is probably what should be on my website.

I could say people pay me to tell them the truth in a way they can actually hear. Or more simply I could say people pay me because coaching works. Not just coaching with me but coaching in general.

If you work with a skilled coach you will improve, enjoy, and thrive more than you thought possible.

But sometimes coaching doesn’t work, and when that happens it totally sucks, but the reasons are actually pretty predictable. This is true whether your coach is someone you’ve hired or just someone who’s trying to offer you feedback in the moment.

This is why coaching doesn’t work and how you can fix it –

1. You’re not listening

We have an incredible ability to ignore other people’s feedback even when it’s obvious. When you get new information that challenges the way you see yourself it’s easier to ignore the feedback then face reality. The feeling of being exposed, even to yourself is painful and humbling. So you avoid seeing these things or you explain them away.

Coaches are very good at pointing out what you don’t want to see. We practice looking for the blindspots that other people miss. Your coach is likely telling you again and again what’s missing, but you’re not listening to them. Instead, you are justifying why what you’re doing is right, understandable, or situational. Which is fine, if you want to stay the same.

However, if you want to change, try to listen to your coach and take on what they have to offer. If it doesn’t work you can put it aside but start by listening.

2. You don’t actually think change is possible –

If I came along and told you to jump over a ten-foot fence, you’d look at me like I was an alien. When people ask us to do the impossible we respond with confusion and incredulity. Regularly I see something my clients can do that they don’t think is possible. Sometimes they doubt their abilities because of limiting beliefs, sometimes they simply don’t understand that pathway from here to there. They don’t listen because they have doubts. There’s nothing wrong with setting realistic goals and working to achieve them, but often their realism is just pessimism in disguise.

A good coach will see more options than you do, they’ll see things you aren’t aware of, they’ll believe in a version of you that you’re becoming rather than who you are right now. But if you don’t think change is possible, you’ll end up stuck where you are. The way to change this is to notice where you shut down and start to argue for your own limitations. When this happens try coming from the point of view that it IS possible and then asking yourself IF it was possible, how would you get there? This is also a great place to get your coach to help you.

3. You’ve already quit –

My clients want to quit all the time. This may seem like an odd thing to say, but to me, wanting to quit is a sign of growth.

Think about a really tough workout you’ve done. At some point, you likely wanted to quit. I remember when I ran marathons and triathlons there was often a place during the race where I just wanted to stop. My legs were tired, my feet hurt, and I didn’t care about getting a stupid t-shirt. But each time I managed to push through and find more energy on the other side. When you’re developing yourself as a leader or working to change your life, you’re going to run into places where you want to quit. When this happens you have three options – quit, keep going, or pretend like you’re going to keep going while you’re actually quitting.

For coaching clients, quitting looks like going through the motions, showing up to coaching calls without anything to work on, not applying any of the insights you gain, getting stuck in the same cycle of complaints, or focusing on what isn’t working about your life or coaching. This is a way to quit without actually admitting that you’re quitting.

Coaching almost never works when this happens because if you’re not engaged and committed to change, you won’t change.

The good news is you can bring this to your coach. You can simply tell them that you are losing faith, not really giving this your all, or just going through the motions. A good coach will know how to with with people when they falter on the path to a new life so they should be able to help you get back on the right track.

Final Thoughts

Look, you don’t have to listen to your coach. Whether it is someone you hired to help you change or someone in your life that’s just trying to help you out or mentor you. But the cost of not listening can be high.

You have the chance to listen or to ignore. Most people ignore, they hide, and they avoid. But life isn’t meant to be survived — it literally ends with death — it’s meant to be lived. You’re meant to grow and develop as long as you’re alive.

And this simple act of listening and being open to the coaching around you can have an incredible impact on who you are. If you’re open to it.

There Are Many Kinds of Coaches… And They All Suck

There are different kinds of coaches in the world

There are life coaches – “I don’t have a real job”
There are executive coaches – “I have a fancy name for my not real job”
There are career coaches – “I don’t have a job, but maybe I can get you one”
There are business coaches – “I want to sell you facebook/linked in lead generation tools”
There are sex/relationship coaches – “I’m single let’s see if I can get you to be single too”

And yet if you’re in any kind of coaching group people call themselves all sorts of things: transformational, ontological, manifestation, intimacy, etc. etc. 

It’s not that these words have no meaning, or that they don’t distinguish different types of work. It’s just that they don’t matter to most of your clients or the people who will become your clients. 

Despite this coaches spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what kind of coach they are because . . . 

 

THEY DON’T WANT TO BE CALLED A LIFE COACH

 

Life coach is a strangely dirty word in the world of coaching. It’s a dirty word because people see it as fluffy and meaningless, because… well it is. 

There are a ton of people trying to solve this. 

Certification agencies try to lend an air of credibility by offering people a piece of paper that doesn’t really mean that much. 

Marketing companies encourage you to create a niche so you stand out among the world of other life coaches. 

But none of these solutions really work. 

The truth is what you call yourself as a coach doesn’t really matter. 

Life coaches are awful because they can totally suck at what they do and they can still call themselves coaches. 

Business coaches are awful because they only care about numbers and strategy and are more likely to give you advice than actual coaching. 

Relationship coaches suck because you keep having the same fights. 

Career coaches suck because they just get you another job you hate. 

You can call yourself the 4th grand pooba of coachsylvania regardless of if your coaching is good. 

The real problem here isn’t the kinds of coaches. The real problem here is your coaching. 

It’s part of the reason we don’t talk about types of coaching in the dojo. 

What we talk about is mastery. What will make you get better? What will have your clients lives change? How can you be in a state of optimal improvement? How can you get more mastery in less time? 

These are the things you need to pay attention to as a coach. 

Stop worrying about whether being a life coach has any meaning or not. Instead, learn to become the kind of coach that stands above any category you put yourself in. Develop the confidence to talk about your work with pride. 

Be the one kind of coach you are, a you coach, a good coach, a coach that actually changes things.

Once you do that, you can call yourself whatever you want. And you’ll still get clients.