If you want to become a group coach and enjoy smooth sailing, you need to make three major upgrades, first. Make these three important upgrades and you and your clients will experience the power of groups and coaching success - and you'll be a happy coach.
Why would you want to become a group coach, anyway? Most coaches offer a variety of services within their businesses and group coaching is often the first additional service, beyond one-to-one coaching, that they add, because it allows them to leverage their time, offer a lower-priced option, while making more money. And clients may get even more value from a coaching group, than from personal coaching, so it's a win-win all around.
Here are the 3 Major Upgrades You Need to Make to Become a Successful Group Coach:
Upgrade #1: Your coaching skills. Ten years ago, when I first became a group coach, I thought group coaching would be easy for me to add to my business, because I had been facilitating groups for decades as a college professor. And although my first foray into group coaching was so successful that I had to immediately add a second group to make room for all my clients, I found that coaching a group is much more challenging than I had expected.
Many group coaches make the mistake of leading a workshop or teleclass, instead of coaching a group and they miss the opportunity to customize the experience for each group member. I knew the distinction, but had to learn the hard way how to run a genuine coaching group. It's not as easy as it looks.
Let's face it, most workshops and teleclasses sell for far less money than group coaching; some are even free. If you're going to charge the average group coaching fee of $200 per month, per person, for 4-8 people to coach with you 3-4 hours per month, you need to provide far more value and personalization for each member than you would in a workshop or teleclass. Learn these advanced skills and hit the ground running with your very first group.
Upgrade #2: Your marketing. Lead great coaching groups and you'll have 4-8 times as many happy clients raving about you and your coaching. That's the good news. Filling groups has its own set of challenges. You'll need to reach more people who want to work with you in a group and they need to be able to meet at the same time each week. One common frustration to filling coaching groups is that you'll sometimes attract people who really want to join your group, but can't meet at the same time. This means you need to get really smart about attracting the right people, so you always have a group of eager potential clients with whom to fill your coaching groups - and you need to get smart about scheduling them.
Will you attract group coaching clients with an amazing blog that's optimized for search engines? Or maybe you should attract them by becoming a networking whiz. Or maybe your speaking skills will attract coaching groups to you. Be extra smart: develop multiple ways for clients to find you.
Upgrade #3: Business Administration. Once you start coaching groups, you need to expand your administrative tools and practices. Even getting paid gets dizzyingly complicated if you don't have a great system in place. Get an online payment gateway to manage your clients' payments. Get an email system to keep them up-to-date (and also use it for marketing). Get a virtual assistant if you're not tech savvy (or don't want to be). You'll also need an upgraded approach to scheduling. It's much harder to get 8 people together at the same time than just two.
If you'd like to learn more about coaching groups, sign up for the upcoming Q&A: How to Coach Groups class coming up in two weeks. If you're really serious, take our Group Coaching Mastery course or join the Become a Certified Group Coach program. (Your 'How to Coach Groups' fee can be applied to the course and program if you decide to join them later.)
One of our most popular blog posts is 101 Incredible Coaching Questions. The thing is, the best coaching questions won't do much unless you know when and how to ask them. Of course, we teach all the fine points of that at School of Coaching Mastery. And although a few tips won't make you a good coach, this infographic (my 1st-ever original infographic) will help you take that list of 101 coaching questions and start to turn them into some actual coaching. Be sure to check out the options below for next steps toward becoming a professional coach. Some of them are free.
Want to practice coaching? Join our Facebook Page to find coaching buddies. Or join our IAC Virtual Coaching Chapter to learn about coaching triads. Or join a free study group.
Want to become a professional coach?
It's almost impossible to the miss the story about the two 'life coaches' in Brooklyn who committed suicide this week. That story is everywhere, because it's so ironic. The two actually co-hosted a radio show called, The Pursuit of Happiness!
Apparently, they failed to find it.
This post isn't about them. They clearly were in a lot of pain and their passing is tragic.
This post is rather about the subtext of the media frenzy (okay, it's a small frenzy; let's just call it media attention) surrounding this story.
The subtext asks...
- How could these life coaches help anyone find happiness, when they were clearly miserable, themselves?
- Were these life coaches hypocrites?
- Would you want a life coach who is suicidal?
- Aren't there any requirements to calling yourself a life coach?
- How can you trust anyone who calls him/herself a life coach, when they might be depressed, mentally ill, suicidal, or who knows what?
In answer to number 4: No. There are no legal requirements to calling yourself a life coach. Yet.
That means my dog could be a life coach. She may be more qualified than some human life coaches.
And I'm not just singling out life coaches. Business coaches, executive coaches, career coaches, health coaches. None of these titles means anything. In today's world, everyone, including bill collectors, can and do call themselves coaches.
The guy selling vitamins at the health-food store is a nutrition coach. The woman who works at the dress shop is a retail coach. The manager at a telemarketing company is a sales coach.
None of these phrases means anything, because they have come to mean whatever anyone wants.
Right now, there is maximum freedom in the coaching industry, because there are no real legal requirements. That allows massive creativity and growth and that's great for coaches. Although the situation appears to be changing and the suicide story may speed up that change.
The real problem these days is for the consumer who doesn't know whom to trust.
The answer, of course, is credentialing and industry oversight, but a lot of 'coaches' are fighting it.
- They say it's an evil plot by established coaches to keep out the competition
- They say a piece of paper won't help them coach any better
- They say it's an effort to control coaches, or to sell them training and certifications
That first argument is just paranoid. The second is true. Although, I've seen hundreds of coaches learn to coach much better, while on the way to qualifying for a piece of paper. And the last may, or may not be true, but it's not a good enough reason to not get certified.
Life coaches get certified because they want to be the best they can be. Because they are committed to their profession. Because they feel it is the right thing to do. Because they are proud to be certified. They also get certified to distinguish themselves from the worst of the worst.
Consumers look for assurances that they can trust the life coaches they hire. And they deserve some assurance. That assurance often takes the form of a certification.
I got my first coach certification a decade ago and have qualified for several more, since. I've learned something new with each one. I'm not finished.
Although I believe more in learning than I do in credentials, I've noticed that the goal of credentialing is an effective way to stay focused on learning. It has worked for me and for thousands of other good coaches.
I sell training and certifications to coaches mostly because I want to help good coaches distinquish themselves from ineffective or dishonest coaches. It's an honor to work with people who are committed to being their best. Whether you get certified by my organization or some other, get certified.
Certified Life Coach means something. SCM, IAC or ICF Certified Life Coach really means something.
It's time to stop calling yourself just a life coach.
If you want to explore the path to our entry-level certification, click below:
Each year, at about this time, people start visiting our site, looking for the Best Coaching Blogs Contest and this year is our Fifth Anniversary, so it's going to be extra special. Best Coaching Blogs is the only coaching blog contest, that we know of, which is decided by popular vote and that's hugely important.
For instance, this blog, the Coaching Blog, was named Number 3 in the Top 100 Life Coach Blogs of 2013, which is awesome. But it would be even more awesome if our readers, subscribers or fans voted it #3, because they're the folks we write it for. And that's the coolest thing about Best Coaching Blogs.
Best Coaching Blogs contestants attract more readers, subscribers, fans and even clients just by actively participating in this contest - especially the bloggers who make it into the coveted Top Ten. Either way, it's cool to be able to refer to you 'award-winning blog' ever after.
Hundreds of coaching blogs have been entered in Best Coaching Blogs over the years, so it's super cool to win it and each year, there seems to be an upset or two, with surprise winners coming from out of 'nowhere'. That makes it fun for everyone, whether you're a new coach or a big coaching organization.
So how do you enter Best Coaching Blogs 2013? This year, the contest will run a little later. Instead of running for one month in late spring or early summer, the actual contest will run in July and August this year. But you can enter as an early bird and get a head start on winning.
Click the button below and fill out the quick form to join Best Coaching Blogs 2013 for free. Then make sure you write some award-winning-worthy content between now and then. The contest tends to be won based on your most recent blog posts. Also add the contestant badges to your site and plan your social media campaigns. The bloggers who actively promote their blog entries via social media have the best chance of winning Best Coaching Blogs. Good luck!
I've written previously about how executive, business and life coaches make money. And we have a free eBook that goes into detail about life coach salaries. But here's something we don't often write about: How else do professional coaches make money?
Average salaries for executive, business and life coaches range between $50,000 - 150,000USD for COACHING services. But most coaches have a few other services that they also offer, which can boost their salaries well into the high six figures.
The ICF has just released this helpful infographic on the "Extras" of coaching. In other words, extra services. Below it, you'll find a link to sign up for the Life Coach Salary eBook, to learn more about how coaches make money and how to set your coaching fees.
To get the FREE Life Coach Salary eBook, click below:
I'm always looking for new ideas that'll upgrade, broaden, or deepen my coaching, so it's more effective. You too? Then you'll love this post.
It's a challenge to keep readers like you, well...challenged. You're a pretty sophisticated bunch.
But here goes: some of the best ideas I've encountered, which ultimately changed my life and the way I coach and may change your life and coaching too.
1. The Power of Negativity. This first one is possibly the most powerful idea to come out of positive psychology. It's the concept of the Positivity Ratio and the upper limit of positivity, which can be measured as both positive thoughts and feelings, as well as whether you're curious or defending your point of view, and/or focused on yourself or on those around you. To flourish, you, your relationship, your business, or your coaching, needs at least a three-to-one ratio of positivity to negativity. AND there's an upward limit around eleven-to-one, beyond which things go down fast. So, if you're a Law of Attraction Nazi, or if you focus only on the good stuff in coaching, stepping over the problematic stuff, or if you relentlessly reframe problems into opportunities, or (as one of my clients famously put it) FLO's (F*cking Learning Opportunities), you may hinder, rather than help your clients. (Read Barbara Fredrickson's Positivity.)
2. The Tyranny of Mild Praise. This one also comes from positive psychology and it's about relationships. Let's face it, the relationship between coach and client does much of the coaching for us. Therefore, the concept called, Active Constructive Responding (ACR), is critical. What is ACR? It's an over-the-top form of acknowledgment that includes positive tone of voice (genuine excitement, awe, wonder), positive body language (smiling, eye contact, touching), repeating the specifics of what the other has said, commenting on it's importance to the other, suggesting a celebration; all of which leads to flourishing within the relationship. NONE of the other types of responses, including Passive Constructive Responding (Flat tone of voice, general praise, "That's nice."), Passive Destructive Responding (ignoring, changing the subject, turning away), or Active Negative Responding (showing concern, pointing out problems); I repeat, none of these promote relationships. In fact they ALL have a negative impact on relationships, which obviously can negatively impact coaching. I've listened to thousands of coaching sessions over the years. Even "good" coaches tend to rely heavily on Passive Constructive Response, or a hybrid of ACR and PCR, which clearly limits the value of their coaching. ACR can be a challenge to weave into coaching and for some of us, it's a challenge to make it truly genuine, but master coaches do it all the time. For others, over-using ACR (see above) damages our credibility. This is a tool that we can't afford not to master. (Read Martin Seligman's Flourish.)
3. Change Your Brain to Change Your Mind.
This one comes from neuroscience and it has profound implications for positive psychology coaches
, as well as every other type of coach. As members of my positive psychology course
know, the Positivity Ratio can be used to measure and increase your current potential for flourishing and it'sa nifty coaching tool. There are also tools, founded in modern neuroscience, that can change the brain to sustainably increase peace, happiness, love and other elements of positivity. Literally, you can grow some areas of your brain so that they become more dominant, relatively permanently. And over-developed areas that may be problematic (such as the over-sized amygdala of those who suffer from anxiety) can shrink, again causing sustainable change. Change your brain; change your life for good. I just took a neuroscience seminar on this, but you can read more about it. (Read Rick Hanson's Buddha's Brain
4. Coaching's Not Complete If It's Not Integral. I'm taking a course from Integral Philospher, Ken Wilber. Some people say he's the most important philosopher since Plato, but that statement begs an argument, so I won't say it. Suffice it to say, if you don't know his work, your evolution may be stymied. And that of your clients, as well. As coaches, we say our clients are whole, complete and perfect. Trouble is, we may be blind to some of that perfection. And our clients almost certainly are. Blind spots make trouble (see #5, below). Wilber's Integral Model, known as AQAL, is an elegant map that streamlines how we know anything and how we evolve. It's closely aligned with Spiral Dynamics, which I'll be teaching next month. But AQAL goes even further. The AQAL Map is a beautiful tool to use when helping our clients design accountability structures, supportive systems, environments and strategic habitats (or whatever you prefer to call them). With AQAL, we can easily see if we're leaving anything out, or if the client is blind to some aspects of reality (almost everybody is). Plus, we have an evolutionary framework. It makes the complex simple, when you understand it. I'll be teaching an introductory course on integral coaching soon, but start reading books on Integral Theory now. (Read Wilber's simplest book, Integral Vision.)
5. All Coaching is Shadow Coaching - Or Should Be. My first lesson from Zen Master, Genpo Roshi, included a joke - on us. To paraphrase, he said (with a laugh), evolved people like to say they're whole, complete and perfect, except the parts they don't like about themselves. But you can't be complete without all of it! So what parts of yourself don't you like? The part that overeats? The part that's naive? The part that gets tongue-tied at parties? It's not those parts that keep you fragmented, it's the fact that you try to disown them. Then they become blind spots, which grow into shadows, which undermine and sabotage you. That's what fragmentation really is. For many people, the first step toward wholeness is integration of the parts they formerly disliked. That's the underlying cause of stuckness and it keeps coming back until all aspects of the self are integrated (or Integral). Some people are so fragmented that they lose the ability to choose wholeness. That's what is known as mental illness and I'm not suggesting that shadow coaching can cure that. But even healthy people have shadows and we can choose to integrate them with assistance from a skilled coach. I use this approach in my Great Self Coaching. Genpo Roshi is incredibly masterful at it from a Zen perspective. (Read Genpo Roshi's Big Mind/Big Heart.)
6. Your Business Model May Be Too Infantile to Last. I've also been studying Adizes Management Methodology of late. Ichak Adizes is a legendary management consultant who deftly identified several different stages of a business life cycle. His theory explains, among other things, why the US Government is floundering these days (no, it has nothing to do with Republicans vs. Democrats). One thing that strikes me about it is that most coaches base their businesses on one of three early-stage levels and expect their businesses to continue at that stage forever. It won't happen. I'm happy to say, I saw this even before I studied Adizes and I'm ready for it. I'll write more at length on how you can design your business to last in a future post. But this issue could explain why our industry is so successful, but some coaches never enjoy that success. (Read Ichak Adizes' Corporate life cycles)
We all have access to too much information these days. But there really is no substitution for knowing the right stuff.
Have you ever wondered about life coach salary rates or how much money executive or business coaches make? Or are you setting up a coaching business and wonder how to set your own coaching fees? Or are you wondering if you should become a coach? If you said YES to any of these then you need to read the new information-packed FREE eBook: Life Coach Salary.
We took several of our most popular coaching blog posts and added the 'How to Set Your Coaching Fees' worksheet, previously only available to SCM students. Then we combined them into an information-rich free ebook. It's a quick read that will help you understand how much professional coaches make, how coaches set up their businesses for profitability and how to set your coaching fees with confidence.
Let's face it, confusion is the enemy of success. This free eBook can wipe out your confusion about coaching costs and help you take the next step toward becoming a successful life, business or executive coach.
- Worldwide trends in executive, business and life coaching
- How much do executive, business and life coaches make?
- How many clients does the average business, executive or life coach have?
- Why every coach needs a steady paycheck
- Why coaching costs so much
- Why setting your fees too low can backfire for you and your clients
- How to set your coaching fees so your clients get what they want and your coaching business is successful
If you want a full coaching practice, you can't afford not to read the FREE Life Coach Salary eBook:
In honor of the ICF's International Coaching Week, I'm sharing the Top Ten Lessons I learned from Thomas Leonard, founder of the ICF (and IAC) and Father of Professional Coaching. Studying with Thomas in the years before his passing in 2003, changed my life in profound ways. Perhaps you'll share how Thomas shaped your life in the Comments section, below.
Top Ten Lessons Learned From Thomas Leonard:
1. When changing career paths, it's always nice to have a role model: Thomas, philosopher and entrepreneur, has been one of my favorites (I'll mention a few more in this post). One of my original realizations, upon joining his first coaching school and receiving the famous 16-pound-box-of written-materials, was: "This guy is a lot like me, only he's much better at it. I can really learn from him!"
Today, Thomas is practically worshiped by his former clients and students, so I want to emphasize that he was a lot better at it than I, but in discovering his content creation strategies (finer points below), I was able to make the shift from, 'smart person with lots of potential', to massive content creator, myself.
Thomas, an incredibly prolific creative genius, was frequently asked, 'When do you sleep?'. No one believed him when he replied, 'Eight hours every night.' I knew I was hitting my stride when people started asking me when I slept and I replied, 'Eight hours every night,' and knew it was actually true.
2. How to handle 'Too Many Ideas' syndrome: Creative entrepreneurs commonly suffer from an overabundance of ideas. The classic advice on how to handle that is: finish one project before you start another. That's creative suicide for some of us. Thomas' advice? To paraphrase: If you have eleven ideas, start all eleven and see which ones people respond to. Then finish those. The result? You're there with the right idea at the right time for the right people. Instead of arbitrarily amputating your own creativity, you've collaborated with your clients to create what they really want. Magic!
3. To focus those 11 ideas even faster: crowdsource them. Ask your best customers what they most need from you now and how they'd like it delivered, even how much they want to pay for them (Remember t's R&D Team?). Result? You learn faster what your market wants and can develop those ideas beyond what everyone else is doing. Caveat: you need to be extremely good at asking the right questions to make full use of this one.
4. To get more done faster: do what you want, when you want to do it. Nobody believes this one, either...until they try it. The first time I experimented with it, I went back to a week-old to-do list after doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to do it for several days. Funny thing: I discovered I'd finished most of the items on the list, without even thinking about it and I never felt 'busy'. How does that work? Instead of forcing myself to do stuff on schedule, I did it when the mood struck. Suddenly, TV time became business-building time (if I felt like it) and late-night downtime sometimes became creative inspiration sessions. So long as I got my 8 hours, I was able to crank out way more work without ever feeling overworked (See item #1 above).
5. To stop blaming people: Get that people are doing their very best even when they clearly aren't. This one hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. How could I have ever been unaware of this (paradoxical) fact? Once you get this, you're free of the the 'blame and be blamed' game. The challenge is to get it even when you're mad at someone. But that's the evolutionary part, as well as the secret to greatness.
6. To get that everything is perfect: Ask yourself, if everything is perfect, what's perfect about this? Spiritual teachers tell us it's all perfect. That's nice, but it sure doesn't seem that way sometimes. The trick is not to force yourself to believe this (or pretend that you do), but to stay curious. Okay. So what's perfect about this (crummy) situation? It's is not a Pollyanna exercise. If you look deeply enough, you'll find a perfection that heals the whole problem, if you allow it.
7. The ultimate coaching tool: is Values. Actually, Thomas never said this, that I know of, but he's the one who taught me about the value of Values. And it has become increasingly clear to me over the years. Tony Robbins has his Needs and Donald Clifton has his Strengths, but Values are what matter most to people and they are the key to what matters most in coaching. Apparently both the ICF and IAC agree, because their certifiers look for values-based coaching conversations in the coaches they certify.
8. The relationship between coaching clients and what they really want: is they've often never even met. That's why Thomas put so much emphasis on his Clarifiers, a list of 15 this-or-that questions that quickly uncover what matters most right now. Some coaches think the ICF violates this, because ICF certifiers look for evidence that the coach, not only asks what the client wants at the start of a coaching session, but that s/he checks in at least twice to see that they are on track, relying on the client to articulate what it. The IAC style is a bit different; they look for evidence that the coach is uncovering what the client really wants, even if that takes up most of the session. Contrary to popular belief, these two styles of coaching aren't mutually exclusive. When we take a both/and approach and integrate these two approaches, we upgrade coaching and enter the zone of master coaching.
9. What coaches really do during coaching: is design environments that empower success. It's not enough to foster insights in the client. It's also not enough to plan client actions. Our real job is to co-design the client's environment to evolve them into the person they need to be to reach their goals. That's a big difference.
10. What marketing is really for: helping people learn. No, it's not about squeezing your list through a funnel. When people learn from you, they become more. That's irresistably attractive. No more squeezing. Help your followers learn the next thing they need to know, or help them become the next iteration of themselves. People want to be more. Both your marketing and your sales should help them with that. Some of them will pay you for a highly personalized version of it.
BONUS: To write content that is easy, fast and fun: Write in Thomas' favorite format, the Top Ten List.
Got a favorite lesson learned from Thomas? I'd love to hear it.
Want to get to know Thomas better? Sign up for the FREE 28 Principles of Attraction ecourse, based on his own notes for his signature personal development program:
This Spring I made a conscious choice not to participate in an affiliate marketing program that made School of Coaching Mastery some money last year. In fact, I've decided to avoid future telesummits and most marketing partnerships that come my way and...maybe it's none of my business, but I think you should, too. Here's why...
Actually first, let me answer the question, "What is an affiliate marketing program?" Affiliate marketing programs are strategic partnerships which "leverage the power of the list", meaning they leverage the combined power of mailing lists when two or more coaches/internet marketers/gurus team up to promote products. A key example of this is the coaching telesummit, which usually offers free teleclasses or webinars, that upsell to paid information products.
Number 1 Reason to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Programs: The program may benefit you financially in the short run, but be a disservice to your clients and members of your mailing list...and that could be a financial disservice to you in the long run.
Here's an example: Recently, a client of mine mentioned something that he could use that a coaching colleague of mine does very well, so I mentioned her to him, not for an affiliate fee, but because I know she could help in this area. My colleague happens to be involved in a lot of telesummits. My client was already familiar with her and said, "No thanks. I used to be on her list, but I got bombarded by email marketing messages from her and from a lot of other people, as well, so I unsubscribed from all of them." He was tired of getting several marketing come-ons everyday. They were confusing and annoying and turned him off from potentially working with this talented coach. Now, I've decided not to recommend her anymore. That's what I mean about affiliate marketing being a disservice to your potential clients and ultimately to you, as well.
Number 2 Reason to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Programs: Unless you know all the people involved in the program, you may inadvertently be recommending low-quality products and services that reflect poorly on you. In my case, if a fellow coach, who has a track record for only recommending the best, recommends someone to me, I follow up on that recommendation and if it turns out well, I think even more highly of them. But if a colleague recommends a coach who disappoints, I think a little less of both of them and I make a mental note to ignore future recommendations.
For example: Last year, I signed up School of Coaching Mastery as an affiliate of a large coaching summit, because some good people were involved. I emailed my list to try out the free teleclasses and I tried out some of them, myself. With only one exception, I thought the teleclasses were just the usual cr*p. Several of my students mentioned being disappointed by them, as well.
Here's something you need to know: once you decide to become a professional coach, you are ripe for the picking by untold numbers of coaches, consultants, marketers, webmasters, trainers and more, who know you're going to need products and services to build your business. There are a handful of folks who do extraordinary work...and there are thousands of me-too folks who want a piece of the action, even if they have nothing of real value to offer. Too often, telesummits are larded with the latter.
The telesummit in my example was well designed and they paid promptly. It was just enough money for me to consider doing it again, but it didn't pass my personal test for whether I should market something: Does it offer genuine value to my clients and potential clients? Or will it likely confuse them, waste their time, or talk them into buying services that aren't useful?
Number 3 Reason to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Programs: You may waste your own time and never get paid. Last year I was contacted by a coach I knew via social networking who pitched a product to me that she said would help my students. Normally, I would have ignored an email like that, but a student of mine had just ask me if something of that sort was available, so I checked it out. It was business-management software for coaches that included a coaching website. It looked pretty slick, so I agreed to talk to her about it.
Long story short: she offered me a free membership and what seemed like a great affiliate opportunity and it really looked like it would be helpful to my students. I spent six months promo-ing what I called a coaching-business-in-a-box to my mailing list. Quite a few people signed up, although a few of them told me they didn't like it, because it was too clunky and they could do the same tasks more easily without it. I eventually dropped it for the same reasons and...the company never paid me. I emailed the owners about it a couple of times and they never even replied to my emails! In my book that is: Really. Bad. Business. So now they're on my sh*t list and maybe, just maybe, I'm on someone else's list because I recommended them. I can say I'm sorry, but it might be too late.
So there you have 3 reasons to think twice before participating in affiliate marketing programs. Because they may be a disservice to your clients, or reflect poorly on you, or simply give you a lot of unpaid work to do.
It may surprise you (or maybe it won't) that School of Coaching Mastery has its own affiliate marketing program. Why?
Well here's an example: recently, a former member asked me if he could join my affiliate marketing program for Coach 100, because, as he said in his message to me, “Coach 100 was the best thing I ever did to get off to a fast start in my coaching business!” He knows me, knows the program and has seen the results and wants to share it. That's the kind of referral that works well for everyone involved and I'm happy to pay a fee to members who recommend us.
But here's the thing: you can make more money and experience more fulfillment by coaching your own clients. Recommend others based on value and supplement your coaching income by serving instead of leveraging a marketing scheme.
If you'd like to know more about Coach 100...
Guest post by Jeremy Tick.
Ten years ago I made a mistake. I stopped doing business with my business partner.
My colleague had made a larger financial investment and felt he owned more of the firm. Because it was my sales and marketing that helped the business quickly grow I thought the partnership equal. We could never agree on who owned what and tensions frequently arose. When this happened, he reminded me of my youth and less formal education. The relationship became deleterious to both my confidence and my ability to produce and it hurt the business. After learning that he withdrew a larger portion of our income for himself without my consent, I left.
As children we’re taught to ignore bullies. As adults we’re taught that relationships are sometimes transactional and we need to move on. I thought I understood both sentiments and responded accordingly. But these are not the old days anymore – we live in “Reality 2.0.”
Unsuccessful in running the business without me, my partner closed it down. Ten years later, however, he still maintains the company website with the caption on Google stating the business is out of business and “cannot be held accountable for any of Jeremy Tick’s actions.” Embedded in it are links to my old resume, tax documents from 2004, and a slew of defaming blog posts, written by him, about me. These posts attack my personal character, work ethic, educational and socio-economic background and psyche. Despite my effort to end an unhealthy relationship the web won’t let me. My former partner doesn’t have to do anything to maintain our connection: Google does it for him. And I pay the price.
When I first learned of the blog’s existence I paid no attention. It was 2004 and I had never heard of a blog. But while earning my Master’s Degree these posts became of concern. Despite being in a top-notch school with significant real world experience, my resume didn’t get nearly as much attention as those of my peers.
I soon learned why. It was now 2007 and ever more frequently people were being “Googled” by hiring parties. Curious, I looked up my name and found the return search populated entirely by these slanderous posts. Unbeknownst to me, the relationship was still alive in the eyes of the world – and that was the only thing that mattered.
Learning that most websites claim no responsibility for the content they house, I attempted to create alternative content to push the blog down in search results but it was so chock full of my full name that anything I created was secondary. Some ‘THING,’ had more control over my own name than me.
But I’m not the only one.
Businesses suffer tremendously when unwarranted or exaggerated negative feedback is posted without recourse. People are hurt when bullying occurs over social media. These mediums, by their design, empower the abuse and further disempower the abused. The repercussions of such acts are of far greater consequence than the costs: it’s easy to do, often anonymous and, as evidence has shown, it can hurt.
It’s sad that this vehicle with which we can do so much good can render us so imprisoned by our new ‘sensationalist’ behaviors. ‘Business at the Speed of Thought,’ might not be so thoughtful. But we can change that. Through the speed with which we exchange information and the impact we quickly have on others, we can actively redefine what constitutes social norms, decorum, and common sense. We must learn to exalt compassion, kindness and responsibility ‘online’ and not tolerate petty meanness and hate – just as we do not when ‘offline’. We need to remember that some relationships live their course and come to an end, that just as in real life, some things are better left unsaid, even online. Our impact on others, not because of a lack of proximity to them, but because of our new proximity to everyone, has become far more substantial. With any new tool comes precaution for its potential harm. We need to learn to use this one more responsibly.
So go ahead, Google me. Besides learning what a crud I once may have been, you’ll learn just how accomplished and resilient I am - how despite the one negative check in my background, I’ve done some pretty cool things – probably because Google encouraged me to do so. I dare you, Google me. Just remember, don’t believe everything you read online.
Guest blog post by Jeremy Tick, Coach for Entrepreneurs. A business owner since the age of 24, Jeremy is uniquely familiar with the challenges faced by individuals at all stages of business development. His work is dedicated to aid Creative Professionals in building meaningful brands and developing systems and structures for success with which to create sustainable profit. You can reach Jeremy at www.jeremytick.com and www.tickmanagement.com